new graphics card.which one?

  tomleady 13:55 25 Mar 2004

I ordered a copy of FarCry and it arrived today luckily. i also ordered Unreal Tournament 2004 but that should arrive tomorow or saturday.

anyway, i installed FarCry and it loads fine. But i dont think my graphics card is up to the job. here is my spec:

3.06ghz processor.
512MB RAM.
FX5200 256MB graphics card.

now, i can whack the game settings up to high and it looks beautiful and perfect. but the playabiilty is rubbish and stutters the moment i get into fire-fight.

i can drop the graphics down to medium, and change a few on my actual card settings, and it plays fine, but i can see a massive difference in appearence.

I fear the same will happen with UT2004 which looks awesome.

i have set myself a budget of about £120 - £160 for a new graphics card. which one is gonna be the best buy?



  tomleady 13:59 25 Mar 2004

when i say 'best buy', i mean which is generally considered the best card, becuase i know there are loads about.

i have Futuremark 3Dmark03, and my card scored about 1200.

I've been reading that to get FarCry, UT2004 and the next line of top games, i'm going to need a card that scores about 4000.


  Totally-braindead 14:14 25 Mar 2004

Its differcult to say what is the best buy. The only advice I can give is avoid GeForce cards with the XT in the title they are cut down versions of the cards but stupidly perhaps the Ati cards with XT in the title are faster than the standard equivalents. Isn't that stupid? For the sort of money you are spending you should be able to buy a GeForce 5900 or even an ATI Radeon 9800. Why not have a look and see if you can get one of PCAs recommended cards.
Regarding avoiding the GeForce XT cards the XT part only came out a couple of months ago I believe so I've seen no comparison between say a FX5700 and a FX5900XT for comparison of frame rates etc so perhaps you should take my advice with a pinch of salt. Have a look at click here
they seem to have one of the best review sites I've seen.

  tomleady 14:27 25 Mar 2004

how silly it is regarding the XT in the title. its just to confuse people like me!

I appreciate that there are loads to choose from, and from my research a lot 'appear' to produce roughly the same performance. what i'm worried about is that in 6 or so months down the line, a new batch of games or technology is going to blow my new graphics card out of the water.

whilst i cant predict the future of graphics card, i need one that will keep solid and reliable for as long as possible.

well, thats the dream anyway!

  Totally-braindead 15:14 25 Mar 2004

Regarding the XT thing, I put the same thing in a thread a couple of days ago and someone said I was wrong. XT according to him or her were not lower spec graphics cards when refering to GeForce and quoted Toms Hardware site as an example of me being wrong for the GeForce 5900 specifically. Now if you look atclick here
you can see the FX5900 U at 43082, the standard FX5900 at 38361 and the XT version at 37689 so I rest my point. Plus I spoke to someone at MSI when I was looking for a new graphics card at Xmas and he admitted that the XT is a lower spec card and that is why its cheaper than the standard card. Notice however that there is very little difference between the standard and the XT cards in terms of performance, less than 1000 points in this benchmark so the question to my mind is, bearing in mind the price differences is it better in terms of performance for a set price, to buy the standard card or buy the one above it in the XT variant?
Incidentely I ended up buying the MSI GeForce FX5600 TD128 for £105, but now you can get a better card for the same money ( as always happens). I've going to order the same game as you FarCry and wonder if my card will be up to it!

  tomleady 15:21 25 Mar 2004

it gives me a headache all this, especially when there is a lot of money at stake!!

i'll keep reading around and post back when/ if i find something convincing!

in the meantime, order FarCry, you wont be disappointed, its a beautiful game. it looks fantastic, and in terms of playability, its awesome. The best 1st-person-shooters i've played in ages.

It really upsets me (in a bratish, dummy out the pram way) when i play other top games such as Call of Duty, Hidden and Dangerous 2, Battlefield Vietnam (plays pretty well on high spec), and a really graphics intensive (well, at the time) GTA: Vice City, they all look and plat really well and look great. then just one game makes my needs far graeter. humbug.

  Totally-braindead 15:35 25 Mar 2004

Well I agree with you on that, I upgraded my graphics card at the beginning of the year to play Need for Speed Underground at the highest settings and this my card does well, it looks fantastic, the reflections on the cars and the road blow away the graphics on the same game on a console though I've just seen it on a Playstation 2. If FarCry doesn't play well on my PC I think I'll just have to cry as I can't afford to buy another card so soon for just one game.

  simonp1 16:07 25 Mar 2004

Personally, the 9800 pro is one of the best around, its used by many "gamers" and now is at real value for can buy from here at a very good price...

click here

I have one myself, and completely happy with it..i dont think you will get a better card..let alone for the price...

  tomleady 16:09 25 Mar 2004

yeah i've been reading good things about the 9800 pro. so that page has been added to my favourites now.

cheers for that!

  BIG ben strikes 10 16:18 25 Mar 2004

geforce 4 has always done me well

  simonp1 17:59 25 Mar 2004

Should also say, the 9800 pro overclocks very well and their is a program called "RAD CLOCK"
which makes it very easy to overclock your card

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