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View Full Version : Help! Need low-end video card advice!



scratta
05-07-2005, 06:13 PM
Hi, iv'e been asked by someone to get them a low-end video card for their pc with a budget of about $100, maybe $150 if really pushing it. This is mainly so they can play some older games on their pc (celeron 2.6 ghz, 248mb ram, (256 minus 8mb ram used for integrated graphics), 4xagp port, windows xp). They don't want to upgrade anymore due to cost issues so a 3d card is probably their best bet. Will be used to play games such as Day of Defeat (original, NOT source version), moh:allied assault and maybe call of duty and c&c:generals.

So far it seems to be a tossup between a geforce fx5200, geforce mx4000 or geforce mx440, but the similar performance between them all is confusing. If the 5200 is based on the 440 chipset but has a smaller manufacturing process would it run slightly faster????? Also, isn't the mx4000 based off either the mx440 or mx400 chipset?????? What is generally considered the best out of these cards keeping in mind it won't be used to run the latest directx9 games etc.... Also are there any other good alternatives from either Nvidia or ATi??? I'm aware of the Xsi volari video cards but would prefer to stay with the 2 main graphics card players.

Thanks very much in advance!!

Metla
05-07-2005, 06:19 PM
ATI 9550

scratta
05-07-2005, 10:15 PM
Hmmmm. pricespy offers many different variants of the 9550, how do you tell which one is the best? Is there a 256-bit memory version or are they all 128-bit or 64-bit. I wouldn't go for the 64 bit for obvious reasons but which brand makes the best 9550?

:D
Thanks a lot!

pctek
05-07-2005, 10:47 PM
Hmmmm. pricespy offers many different variants of the 9550, how do you tell which one is the best? Is there a 256-bit memory version or are they all 128-bit or 64-bit. I wouldn't go for the 64 bit for obvious reasons but which brand makes the best 9550?

:D
Thanks a lot!
I'm not sure it matters - isn't the price your main concern? Whatever you get, don't get it from Supercheap. And there was a 256 version listed there...

Greven
06-07-2005, 12:12 PM
I can't find any 256 bit versions, but I found a decent 128 bit 256mb card for $142.
http://ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=335543
I don't think these cards are fast enough for you to notice any difference between 8x AGP & 4x AGP.

pctek
06-07-2005, 12:50 PM
I can't find any 256 bit versions, but I found a decent 128 bit 256mb card for $142.
http://ascent.co.nz/mn-product-spec.asp?pid=335543
I don't think these cards are fast enough for you to notice any difference between 8x AGP & 4x AGP.
Cheaper:
Radeon 9550SE 256MB $136.05 C1 Shoppingmall

Metla
06-07-2005, 12:56 PM
Dont touch an SE.

KiwiTT_NZ
06-07-2005, 01:13 PM
A 4200-Ti

Metla
06-07-2005, 01:25 PM
A 4200 is getting to old now, a secound hand one is likely to be near the end of its life, and more and more games are now coming out that won't run on them at all.

Overdrive_5000
06-07-2005, 01:51 PM
I have got a 9600XT for sale $150 if your interested

KiwiTT_NZ
06-07-2005, 03:18 PM
A 4200 is getting to old now...Damn. My plan to get rid of mine ... foiled. Oh well.

The Nvidia 7xxx series out now. I don't intend replacing my PC anytime soon. So I will be upgrading early next year to an AGP 6800 Ultra 256Mb

Metla
06-07-2005, 03:28 PM
If I remember correctly 4 months ago i got $110 for my 4200, with a reserve of $80.

So they aren't hard to sell.

scratta
06-07-2005, 03:51 PM
Thanks a lot for your input guys. Looking at all the options the radeon 9550 seems the best bet cost vs. performance wise. Trying to sort through all of the 112 options for the 9550 on pricespy takes a while though! :eek:
256mb ram isn't needed so i'm just going through the 128mb models. Which manufacturer is best out of gigabyte and gecube? I've heard that powercolor sucks but i'm not sure.

Thanks once again! :) :) :)

Edit: Sorry didn't see your offer until now overdrive. Sounds like a good price but as i'm not buying it for me i'd rather get something brand new. Thanks for the offer though!

KiwiTT_NZ
06-07-2005, 03:54 PM
Thanks Metla: I think I will actually put it in my parents computer. They have got a MX440 so the 4200 will be quite a boost for them.

Sleepy
06-07-2005, 07:09 PM
Just a question is there much difference from the 9550 mentioned here, and other models the 9600PRO and 9600XT? considering there in the $160-$200 range. I mean would the 9600XT be the best card to get for this price range.
As it seems the 6600GT is a good midrange but at $280-$350 is still a bit expensive.

Greven
06-07-2005, 07:53 PM
Just a question is there much difference from the 9550 mentioned here, and other models the 9600PRO and 9600XT? considering there in the $160-$200 range. I mean would the 9600XT be the best card to get for this price range.
expensive.
The 9600 pro would be the best value for money. the XT isn't much better than the pro - it was designed for people that wanted more than a 9600 pro, but couldn't afford a 9800.

Sleepy
06-07-2005, 08:03 PM
Just had a look on pricespy, the Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB is cheaper then the 128MB version, 256MB vs 128MB? Not much difference, price $12, is there a performance difference between the two?

Metla
06-07-2005, 08:22 PM
The 9600 exsists because every six months they either bring out a refresh or a brand new card, The XT has a bit more kick in it then the original 9600pro, However after the launch of the XT they lowered the specs of the 9600pro in order to sell it at a lower price, fat chance of finding a brand new 9600pro on the NZ market that is built to the same specs as the 9600pro's that could nearly hang with the XT.

128mb vs 256?

Who knows, since they were replaced by newer cards the specs have gone all over the place, the cards could have a big difference in performance, and its just as likely that the 128mb version will be the better performer.

When these were the current cards I would have been keeping an eye on the market and which ones offered value and performance, not any more though.


Personally I would ignore the 9600pro, and buy a new 9550 or a second hand 9600XT, the 9600XT has far far superior performance, while a 9550 is a very good performaing card for the price, with onus on PRICE.






Im starting to remember why i usually avoid video card threads and stick to personal arguments with some of the other regulers.

Sleepy
06-07-2005, 08:50 PM
oh yep, well after reading the beginning of the thread where it was suggested the 9550 was the best low end card, and the 6600GT best mid range card, i was wondering if there was something in the middle of those two, like the 9600xt for example for $200. The 9550 $120 and the 6600GT $280. But it's not worth buying new? Some people reckon save the extra $100 for the 6600GT, but for some the budget won't stretch that far.

And just another question, will a 6600GT work well in a pentium 3? I noticed on one of the manufacturer's websites minimum requirements
"Intel Pentium®III, AMD® Duron™ or Athlon™ class processor or higher"
Now it doesn't say what cpu speed it should be. I mean what would happen if you put it in a p3 900 for example, waste of $? I mean how do you match up your cpu with what ever graphics card you want to get balance.

Metla
06-07-2005, 10:34 PM
A 6600gt would be overkill in a P3, any of the 9600pro/XT cards will suit it fine, buy whichever meets your budget.

Greven
06-07-2005, 10:39 PM
A 6600 would probably max out the AGP 4x bus, so theres no point in buying one for the computer you are talking about. Also, games require more than just a video card. If the system doesn't have enough RAM (CPU doesn't usually matter too much over 1ghz, its mainly the faster FSB improving loading times.), even a 9600XT would be a waste of money.

pctek
06-07-2005, 10:42 PM
All these models - thats why a trip to Toms Hardware can help. At least its some sort of rnaking system:
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004/vga_charts-04.html#3dmark_2003

Sleepy
07-07-2005, 07:07 AM
All these models - thats why a trip to Toms Hardware can help. At least its some sort of rnaking system:
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041004/vga_charts-04.html#3dmark_2003

Just by going off that link you sent, something in the halfway point
- 3DMark 2003 No AA/AF 1024x768 Radeon 9800 pro $264
- 3DMark 2003 4x AA/8xAF 1024 x 768 GeForce FX 5950 U $700
- AquaMark 3, No AA/4xAF 1024 x 768 GeForce FX 5700 U $381

Which are all last generation cards, am i right in thinking a 6600GT would beat these cards? at a resonable price of $280-350 odd.

Well that link brings the question, what is a playable fps when playing newer games that are out now? Was having a google before, and this site recommends 1024x768, x4AA/8xAF 50-100fps using these settings, is this a good guide to go by?

Greven
07-07-2005, 09:33 AM
I wouldn't bother talking about "newer" (HL2, bf2) games unless you are looking at a major upgrade of every part in the computer.

Sleepy
07-07-2005, 10:51 AM
No i wasn't meaning putting it in the p3, that was just an example i thought off. I guess it all comes down to budget buy what you can afford, its just decisions decisions. Anyone got the 6600 card? the non GT card seems like it as an alright performance for $220, although not as good as the GT model.