What graphics card should I get?

  Josquius 22:26 06 Jun 2006

Yeah I made one of these threads a month or two ago but I decided against getting one then however since then everything has changed.
So now things are totally blank as to what to get.
I'm not looking for the best you can get, just something towards the back of the good zone before prices start shooting up for very little gain.

Is this much cop? Its 256 but that could well be misleading...
Really unsure on what I should be looking for really.

Sapphire ATI Radeon X700 256MB DDR TV-Out/DVI (AGP) - Retail (11061-01-20) (GX-091-SP)
Inject a shot of adrenaline into your PC with the power of the RADEON X700, as it flexes its computational muscle, and unleashes its High-Definition clarity with features such as SMARTSHADER™ HD, SMOOTHVISION™ HD and ATI's revolutionary 3Dc™ image enhancement technology complemented by 256MB of onboard memory. Enjoy the best but pay less with Sapphires RADEON X700!

- ATI Radeon X700 GPU running at 400MHz
- 256MB DDR memory running at 500MHz
- 128-bit memory interface
- 8 pixel pipelines
- Six programmable vertex shader pipelines
Price: £66.95 (£78.67 Including VAT at 17.5%)

  Starfox 00:45 07 Jun 2006

Think you can do better for your money click here and scroll down to X1300 and better.

  GaT7 01:10 07 Jun 2006

If you have a PCI-E slot there's a Powercolor X800GT going for just over £90 (incl del) from click here. G

  sezchwarn 09:24 07 Jun 2006

if you want to start at the back of the 'good zone', then ati x700 pro/ nvidia 6600gt are the cards to get. both cards are much better than the x700, and the 6600gt is a bit better than the x700 pro. most people say the 6600gt is the best card you can get when considering both price and performance.

in fact, i happen to have a spare 6600gt thats fairly new, if your interested in saving some money... check out what people say about the 6600gt on various forums

  sezchwarn 09:25 07 Jun 2006

ps as for the card you mentioned, £80 doesnt sound like the best deal ever..

  Mr Mistoffelees 09:39 07 Jun 2006

click here for £10 less.

  keef66 11:59 07 Jun 2006

what does the rest of your system consist of? Are you looking for an AGP or a PCI-express card?
How much do you want to spend?
In the £100-120 area the best bang per buck at the moment is X800GTO, but this doesn't have shader 3 ability.
The 6600gt has slightly less raw processing power, but has S3, and is still v. good value for money. You can find them for as little as £85 now.

If you have £120-150 to spend, look at the X1800GTO or the 7600GT.

Beyond these, as you say, it's silly money.

  Josquius 13:53 07 Jun 2006

I've been reading up on this and its looking worrying- does what graphics card you can use depend on the motherboard like with the processor? Is there a limited choice of what graphics cards you can have for motherboards?

  Josquius 13:54 07 Jun 2006

What is PCI-express?
I have PCI but I have not heard of express...I have AGP too (and AMR).

Not having a shader is bad. That is the reason I am upgrading my current one.

  keef66 15:15 07 Jun 2006

Back in the days of the pentium 166 etc if you bought a graphics card it would have gone into a simple PCI slot just like any other expansion card. (These are the normal white expansion slots which mobos still have.) Next they invented the AGP slot, usually brown. This was designed specifically for graphics cards to have a faster transfer of data between the mobo and the card. The AGP standard was revised more than once, so we had AGP, AGP 2x, AGP 4x, AGP 8x.
Next they came up with PCI-express which gives even faster data transfer. Most pc's sold now will be based on pci-express mobos. If you have an AGP mobo, you'll need an AGP graphics card. If you have a PCI-express mobo you need an PCI-express graphics card, they are not interchangeable. Online shopping, PCI-express cards outnumber AGP ones by about 4:1. AGP cards will probably be quite hard to find in 2 yrs time.

Geforce 6 and 7 series cards are shader 3 capable, as are the ATI X1600, X1800 etc series. The older Geforce 5xxx series and ATI X700, X800 etc cards are not.

So what do you have and what do you want?

  GaT7 15:42 07 Jun 2006

"...does what graphics card you can use depend on the motherboard like with the processor? Is there a limited choice of what graphics cards you can have for motherboards?"

Yes, to both your questions. There are 3 interfaces to choose from: PCI, AGP & PCI-Express (PCI-E). If you go for a PCI-E graphics card you'll need to get a PCI-E motherboard, so the cheapest option would be AGP.

A price comparison site you may find useful - the graphics card section is at click here. To narrow your search, select the Sort by option (above right) & fill in the fields on the left - for an example click here. If you decide a particular one, please post it here & we/I will help to find the best price.

PCI-E is the new(ish) interface replacing PCI & AGP, which has been around for almost 2 years I think. Plenty of info on the web click here. G

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