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  1. #1

    en4rcment's Avatar

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    Considering upgrading video card.

    Hello everyone.

    After a few recent discussions with some gamers, I have come to the realization that I might be missing out on game performance with my current video card.

    I currently own a: NVIDIA GEFORCE4 MX440

    I am considering upgrading to a: RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB.

    I would like all of your thoughts and opinions on current video cards and their performances before making a big financial decision like this.


    *EDIT- MY SYSTEM:

    -Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP Professional 2002 (Service Pack 1)

    -Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2000 1.67GHz

    -Memory: 1.00 GB of RAM (DDR)

    -Hard Drive: 60 GB 7200 RPM

    -Video Card: GeForce4 MX440 64MB DDR

    -Sound Card: Soundblaster Live 5.1 (although I use a plantronics headset for TS and GR so this bypasses my card on my current settings)

    -Monitor: NEC AccuSync 90 19" SVGA



    Also, what is meant by the term overclocking...and how is it accomplished?

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  3. #2

    beep's Avatar

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    I've got a Radeon 9800 Pro 128 meg. and I'm very happy with it. In GR at 1280x1040 and max settings, I typically get fps from 30-75, maxing around 90 fps and minimums (lotsa bodies, etc.) in the mid to high 20's). These are "real" stats are with NO overclocking of cpu or card...and usually with Outlook, etc. running in the background.

    I don't know if you really "need" 256 meg since so few games can actually use it right now. That's a judgement call I'm not competent to make.
    Beep


    Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

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  5. #3


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    Overclocking is making a component operate faster than it is spec'd for. If I buy a 2 Ghz CPU and run it at 2.5Ghz, I'm overclocking. As for how it's done, I'll let someone who actually DOES it explain that.

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  7. #4

    flux's Avatar

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    Overclocking a Graphics Processor involves tweaking registry settings to alter your Core Clock Speed and Memory Clock Speed. But there are tools out there that will do it for you. Gainward ships with a tool to overclock their cards and they still warranty them unlike others.

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  9. #5

    manager2's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by beep
    I've got a Radeon 9800 Pro 128 meg. and I'm very happy with it. In GR at 1280x1040 and max settings, I typically get fps from 30-75, maxing around 90 fps and minimums (lotsa bodies, etc.) in the mid to high 20's). These are "real" stats are with NO overclocking of cpu or card...and usually with Outlook, etc. running in the background.

    I don't know if you really "need" 256 meg since so few games can actually use it right now. That's a judgement call I'm not competent to make.

    well with this card those framerates are extremely low? Isnt it?. I guess the processor is the bottleneck.
    I have ATI 9500 nonpro and i got stable 75-90fps in all the maps. Occasional 50 on some maps, with 1024x768. I know the resolution is not the same, but nor is the Card.
    9800 Is the king at the moment IMHO.

    And about overclocking....
    Videocard can be overclocked easy with programs like RivaTuner (easy to use).
    I have my Card softmodded to perform like 9700. (there is a mod that opens remaining 4 pipelines on 9500 enabling same perfomance then 9700).
    Also it is overclocked using RivaTuner. Normally it runs core speed270/ memory speed270 . Now its 320/275.

    Processor overclocking is done by bios and you need some guidance if you want to do that - you need to be careful on that.
    I have Athlon 2500 Barton which runs normally about 1800Mhz overclocked to run 2200Mhz. It is done by changing the Multiplier or/and FSB in the Bios.
    If processor has settings 165*11 you get 1815MHz. I changed my settings to 180*12,5 so my processor is running 2250Mhz.
    If you do that you need better Cooling to keep your processor on normal temperature.

    With OC i got quite good results.
    My score with 3dmark2001 was about 12100.
    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=7407220
    Now after overclocking it is 14700. And that is huge difference.http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=7420362
    ... IGNORANCE IS BLISS

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  11. #6

    asch's Avatar

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    I just purchased the new nvidia 5700 FX card 128 Mb. I think it's going for around $180. I love it. I have everything cranked up to the max on both Savage and Battlefield, 1280x1024 on a 19" flatpanel.

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  13. #7

    =Sarc='s Avatar

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    Check out all the benchmarks and review you can of various video cards. It will give a good idea what would be best for you. The 9800 Pro is a good buy but it has to be paired with a powerful processor. Otherwise, it's a waste when the CPU can't keep up. Get it if you're planning on upgrading the processor to something beefy later on like XP2500 or P4 2.4Ghz.

    If you want to overclock, take all the necessary precautions. It's better than accidentally damaging your hardware. Scour forums and read articles on how others are doing it. It isn't tough to do but you still want to make sure you do it right.
    JO Guides & Tutorials
    Team Element - It's who you game with.

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  15. #8

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    I would agree with the rest the RADEON 9800 PRO 256MB is a great buy, but the processor will be the bottleneck in performance if you do not match them. If you have a slow processor then I would stickk with something a little cheaper then the 9800pro. If you plan to ugrade in near future go with 9800 pro. I myself have a 9700 pro in a 2.5Ghz machine and a 1.7Ghz machine and you can tell the diffrence.


    As for overclocking I stand firm in saying there is no need to overclock video cards. It wares them down faster and you dont get enough boost to notice unless you are using some crappy card in first place. The 9800 pro will not need overclocking at all. Overclocking is really only for those who know what they are doing and have studyed it and feel safe doing it.
    WARNING: DO NOT LET DR. MARIO TOUCH YOUR GENITALS. HE IS NOT A REAL DOCTOR.


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  17. #9

    Tempus's Avatar

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    Radeon 9800 xt is one of the best cards available right now. The 9800 pro is almost as good, and somewhat cheaper.

    9700 pro is cheaper yet, and almost as good.

    One thing to keep in mind with the high end vid cards is that they usually need an extra power supply, and some GeForces need an extra slot.

    I just got a 9600xt for less than $200, and it comes with a free copy of HL2, making it really cost less than $150 (assuming you were going to buy HL2). It is not near the top in performance, but a nice upgrade nonetheless.

    Benchmark tests can be found here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20031229/index.html
    FROM THE TACTICAL GAMER PRIMER.
    3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.

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  19. #10


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    Just to play devil's advocate:
    I've been having some horrid issues with ATI's drivers. Anything above 3.7 makes my system horribly unstable, and recently even reverting back to the 3.7's doesn't seem to be saving me a whole lot of grief. This is on a 9500 pro.

    I've also never been a big fan of nvidia. While their hardware isn't exactly bad, they do tend to do lots of little trickster marketing. The only way I know of breaking said habits is to NOT buy their stuff.

    My answer: Buy Matrox. It won't be as fast, but the picture quality is spectacular. And you can play games on THREE screens! :twisted:

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  21. #11

    =Sarc='s Avatar

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    I haven't had serious problems with any of the ATI drivers and I've been using them since the 3.4's or so.

    Either way, go for the Canadian company!
    JO Guides & Tutorials
    Team Element - It's who you game with.

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  23. #12

    Quarath's Avatar

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    I say do it but then again your Geforce 4 is better than my current kyro II

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  25. #13

    en4rcment's Avatar

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    Thanks for all of the help so far!!!

    I have a 1.67GHz processor in my computer. Is that going to be too slow for a high powered card like the 9800? Maybe the 9600 will be more my speed?

    Also, I am confused as to the memory attached to these videocards. Isn't more memory better? With my processor, should I get 128 or 256 memory on my videocard?

    Please keep the advice coming...

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  27. #14


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    MORE is better :P!

    Ummm you "may" not actually see a marked difference in gameplay performance but I've always had the mindset of "trying" if the price allowed, to buy higher end. I know the technology changes quickly, but it seems as of late the Video card industry has slowed slightly so I think you can forward think a bit.
    You may decide to keep this card for your next computer or something.

    The Radeon 9800 Pro is a great card. I'm very pleased with mine and experience framerates into the 100's many times.

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  29. #15

    =Sarc='s Avatar

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    I'm not sure how often you upgrade your computer but I bet that 9800 Pro would last you 3 years.

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