Recommended Graphics Card?


Was hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction for a new low-mid range graphics card.

I currently have a GF3 Ti200, which collapses under X2: The Threat. Also running XP, P4 1.7GHz, 512MB RAM.

Any suggestions welcome.


What’s your budget??

£100 ($180) or there abouts…

I would go with either a 9600XT or the 5700 Ultra. If that is too much then get a GF42XX and make sure the memory speed is 3.3ns.

Yeah, the 9600XT was en early contender, but then I started seeing higher spec cards at lower prices. What about an FX5900 (Plain), I found an AOpen version for only £130 (pushing the budget here).

I also looked at 9800 Pro, but the prices in the UK are still very high compared to the 5900 series.

Is AOpen/5900 a decent choice?

Originally posted by Digital Fire
Is AOpen/5900 a decent choice?

It’s an excellent choice. :cool:

I wouldn’t get the 5900 myself.

Have a read through this great card buyers guide. It says it all.

Great , now convinced myself on a 9800 Pro… once again the budget goes out the window… :sad:

I would still go for ATI 9600Pro /256

Same futures as 9800, but more memo, and for less money.


If you get the right model of 9600PRO (nice heatsink and decent quality RAM) you can usually overclock it to 9600XT levels as well :iagree: Get the lower RAM version as it generally has better quality RAM in it and saves you some money to boot. :smiley:

With regards the NVIDIA FX chip and poor DX9 performance, is actually chip or driver related? See the 5900 seems to give better performance (in all but DX9), while the 9X00 series is slightly slower but better quality…?

In fact can you really tell the difference in the “real world” environment?

I would still stick with the Radeon (9800) for DX9 performance. You want the card to last as long as possible I’m assuming. DX9 games are going to be flooding the market soon and I’m sure you want to be able to play all of them as well as possible. I know I would anyway :iagree:
If I didn’t care about DX9 games/performance I wouldn’t waste my money, I’d just buy a GF4 Ti4200 cuz it owns DX8 nicely. (actually that is the card I have atm, I’ve had it for about a year)

How long are you planning to stay with the 1.7 Ghz P4 CPU?

Why I am asking this? As this isn’t the fastest CPU anymore, it’s quite likely that the 9800pro is a little overkill for this CPU, meaning that it’s hunger for data can’t be fed. Simply said: you won’t get the performance a 9800pro can deliver. If you don’t want to upgrade all too soon, you’d better go for a 9600 series card, as the performance won’t be much lower, but the price is…

I sort of disagree myself.
A P4 1.7 should be able to just handle that card fine. Granted it’s close… perhaps if it was a Celeron or a Duron, or even a PIII I might agree. But any P4 or Athlon XP above 1.5Ghz should be able to handle that card alright. Plus a higher powered card can make up for a slower CPU on games.

The card will also last you longer. If you build a new system you can take it with you and leave the old one with whatever you were using before.

[/2 cents]

Thanks for the replies.

I was thinking about the CPU issue as well, and I reckon the 9800/5900 series is about as far as my system can go before bottlenecks start to kick-in.

There is no way I can upgrade to a new system. I’ll keep looking for a 9800 Pro - I’m an ATI virgin (so to speak) so I’ll be odd not to go the nvidia route, I’ve always liked their drivers and lack of compatibility issues, but if ATI works then ATI it is.

I’ve located a Sapphire Atlantis 9800Pro for £170 (new), which is £30 more than the FX5900. I’m presuming Sapphire are still a good make as they used to be?

Just remember Digital Fire, don’t worry too much about the fine print of the graphics cards, e.g don’t worry about the 9700 when the 9600 is nearly just as good and can be overclocked easily.

Also take into account how long you want the graphics card to last, how long until it becomes not so good any more. You want one that will last you a while.

Sapphire is second only to cards built by ATI themselves.

Originally posted by $CyBeRwIz$
Just remember Digital Fire, don’t worry too much about the fine print of the graphics cards, e.g don’t worry about the 9700 when the 9600 is nearly just as good and can be overclocked easily.

I don’t really think the 9600 and 9700 are comparable Cyber. The 9700 owns the 9600.
As far as I have been able to find you cannot overclock the 9600 either, it’s BIOS locked and I have yet been able to find a mod to unlock it.
You can however overclock the 9700. Actually if you get a Sapphire 9700 you don’t even need the BIOS mod.

Anyway, the point is moot I suppose considering they don’t make the 9700 anymore.

So between a 9600 and a 9800 there is no comparing really. The 9800 rules the 9600.

OK, well I’ve narrowed it down to £160, so only £20 difference between that and the FX5900 now. This is the “standard” 9800 Pro by Sapphire, not the “Ultimate” edition. From what i gather the ultimate simply swops a fan for a massive liquid heat sink.

You sir are correct.
Good choice :iagree:

I want one now! :stuck_out_tongue:

One last thing. Buy the 128MB version and save the money, you don’t really need that extra 128MB at all.

256? Wouldn’t dream of it!! :wink: