Graphics Cards Avice, please

  TIMSMITH 21:52 02 Mar 2006

Am looking at buying an Evesham Axis and have a choice in price order as follows within my buydget;
256mb Ati Radoeon X800GTO
128mb NVidia 6600GT
256mb Nvidia 6800
256mb ATI Radeon X850

The pc will be used for standard games (Kong is presently the most advanced one our son has) but might get more complicated in future. Would I notice any great difference between the X800 (their basic offering) and the others? Is the X850 worth upgrading to?
Any other advice would be appreciated as I am somewhat in the dark on these matters.
Also, any advice on choosing a monitor?


  SpyMan {:o)){--< 00:20 03 Mar 2006

In my opinion, get the 256mb Nvidia 6800. I have had nothing but hassles from every Radeon i have ever crashing, games lagging, over heating warnings when temp is fine...

Nvidia drivers are much better written and rarely have bugs, and seem very compatible with all software/hardware...

Plus, 2 x SLI nvidia cards are much cheaper than 2 x SLI radeon cards if u would like to upgrade or expand...

  TIMSMITH 09:31 03 Mar 2006

Thanks, I think I'll take your advice.

  keef66 10:55 03 Mar 2006

If you want your games to look their best now and in the future, out of those 4 definitely get the 6800 vanilla.
The Radeon cards, even the X850, are older technology in that they do not support Pixel shader 3, which is used in some of the latest games and will be in many future releases.

Monitor; 17 or 19 inch tft, DVI input (and cable), avoid built in speakers, response time of 8ms or less. Dare I say it, buy a copy of PCA and look at the best buys in there and take their advice on what to look for.

Note that 17 and 19 inch models generally have the same native resolution, typically 1280 x 1024, so the bigger screen is just that, it doesn't neccessarily give you more detail.

  TIMSMITH 11:26 03 Mar 2006

Thanks for your advice. I'm clear on what to choose for the card and monitor now.
There's also a choice of upgrade from AMD64 x2 3800 to 4200. This will be about an extra £60. Would I notice the difference now or in thefuture? Fairly normal home use, bit of video editing and some ordinary gaming.


  keef66 14:24 03 Mar 2006

You're now talking about nanoseconds in synthetic benchmarks. Sneeze and you'll miss the difference. They are both blisteringly fast processors. Save the cash and get the cheaper one.


  TIMSMITH 16:44 03 Mar 2006

Thanks again for your invaluable advice (well, valuable, you've just saved me £60!). How about upgrading from 512RAM to 1GB - is that a worthwhile upgrade? Also, the motherboard is an ATI Radeon Express 200 Crossfire Multi-GPU ready thing which I'm told is state of the art(???). It has only two spare PCIs (excluding Express) and 6 usbs (and one firewire, I think). Is this sufficient? I expect I'll add a tuner one day, have an all-in-one printer thing, plug-in keboard/mouse, external 56k modem (in case broadband goes down)etc... but don't expect to put a soundcard in. I can't think that I'd add much else. Does this sound ok to you? (Hope you don't think I'm imposing on your knowledge - even though I guess I am.)
Thanks again.

  keef66 17:23 03 Mar 2006

I'd reccommend the 1 Gb ram as a sensible upgrade.
If you never anticipate having 2 graphics cards on the same mobo then you don't really need the crossfire bit, and I'd be inclined to get a simpler mobo with more pci slots. However, I imagine the mobo is one of the things you can't readily change in the Evesham configuration scheme of things.

Given the many usb ports, decent onboard sound, LAN, firewire etc the mobo comes with, plus your external modem, you'll be fine with 2 pci slots.
I'm assuming in future there will be expansion cards for the pci-express slots too.

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