graphics card confusion

  theenchantingwizardofrhythm 17:43 09 May 2005

hello, i just got myself a new poodler from (whisper it...)tiny and am wanting to upgrade the graphics card that came with it (128Mb GeForce FX5200 with TV-out.) I know that this card is pretty basic and i do like my games but am by no means a total games nut. Bought gta vice city for instance and the frame rate is not very good at all, sometimes looks like a slideshow! i want something that will correct this but without having minimum graphic detail and a low res. Even medal of honour isnt as fast as it should be.

Since shopping around i have come to the conclusion that i am compleatly bamboozled.

My budget is around 80-100 pounds but its all so confusing. Ive heard that a faster processor is better than more memory but what affect will this have. I also watch TV on my PC, will this effect my choice??

Someone suggested a BFG GEFORCE FX5500 OC (over clocked)256MB DDR AGP 8X GRAPHICS CARD (80-100 pounds). Are oc'ed graphics cards a bit risky for the non technically minded? Is it better to get one that hasnt been tampered with?

Also looked at Ati 9700 9800 series click here

Looking at this page, i just dont know what the differnces really are (the pricier, the better???)Which ones "the best"

For the grand price of 768 pounds my computer is: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Processor, 1024MB DDR RAM, 400GB, MicroStar MSI MS-6741 uATX Motherboard, Graphics System: AGP x 8 slot occupied with Graphics card (but it also says i have: 3 PCI slots with one occupied with modem, 1 CNR Slot (free) Does this mean i can have a PCI card, or should i stick with Agp?

I just need suggestions of what to buy and why!

If any of you wonderful people could help me out i would be eternally appreciative, grateful and thankful and would buy you a pint if that were possible.
Thanks, adam

  Arthur Scrimshaw 17:53 09 May 2005

see here click here for unbiased reviews of AGP cards - ig your motherboard supports PCI-E (express- not the same as PCI) see here click here

Beware of people posting "buy this or that". Graphics cards have fanboys just like the Intel vs AMD factions. Read the reviews, and work out what you can afford. Then just buy it and enjoy the show.

  DieSse 17:55 09 May 2005

You should stick with an AGPcard - it's specially for graphics, PCI is not.

A Nvidia 5500 or 5700 or an ATi 9700 or 9800 would be fine - they're all good cards. I've always preffered nVidia cards in the past, as there drivers have always seemed more stable - but I beleive ATi drivers are much improved these days.

Just get the best card you can find for your budget, and I would suggest you stay away from overclocking - you rarely get much improvement from it, and risk running the card hotter, and so risking it's long term stability.

  Arthur Scrimshaw 17:57 09 May 2005

Checked your motherboard and I think PCI-E is out. Still no real problem - there isn't much between APG and PCI-E cards at the moment.

  Arthur Scrimshaw 17:58 09 May 2005

or even AGP

  citadel 19:36 09 May 2005

your computer is capable of running a top range graphics card but as these are out of your price range I would advise you to save a bit more money and get a 6600gt. This will will give you fast frame rates in high detail and is easily the best mid range card.

  Arthur Scrimshaw 20:13 09 May 2005

see what I mean?

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