Upgrading GFX Card - How Much To Spend?

  Blitzer 18:34 05 Dec 2004

About 18 months ago I completed the upgrade of a computer but it seems now there is a problem with the GFX card, namely that it would appear to be over-heating. Changing the stock fan for something far more substancial seemed to cure thr problem for a while but now I'm starting to get artifacts when playing games again. I'm happy it's not a general airflow problem and just a problem with the GFX card itself. The case is a rather nice cooler master unit with 4 fans, the PSU is a good quality Antec item with 2 fans. Despite the CPU only having the stock retail fan it only goes up to about 46 degrees under load. So yeah, basically I'm satified it's the card at fault.

Anyway getting to the point, I'm now at the point of deciding what GFX card to buy as a replacement, both from a POV of current hardware and possible future upgrades.

Current hardware/set-up consists of...

Asus A7N8X Delux Motherboard.

AMD Athlon XP2500 (Overclocked to XP2800 speed).

2 x Samsung 512MB PC3200 memory.

Antec Truepower 430 Watt PSU.

Windows XP Home Edition (SP2 Installed).

The current GFX card is Sapphire 9500 Pro that performance wise I've been resonably pleased with apart from it's apparent short life-span. Naturally I intend avoiding another card from Sapphire for personal piece of mind!

My thoughts on a new card are either to keep the cost relatively low and get a 9800 Pro (or better for around £150). Or spend twice as much and get an Asus ATI Radeon AX800PRO TVD 256MB DDR3, VIVO etc.

Main problem is not really knowing whether my current processor etc. are going to make the most of the second/more expensive option?

BTW, not really interested in changing to a Nvidia based card.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions. :)

  Blitzer 22:54 05 Dec 2004



Need advice on how to spend money here - what would you do?

  vinnyT 11:44 06 Dec 2004

The 9800 pro is a great card, and now at a great price. The other card, Asus ATI Radeon AX800PRO, I have no personal experience of, but being new and near the top of atis' tree, will give good performance in all recent game releases.

Is it worth the extra £££s', that's for you to decide. Myself, I would go for the 9800 pro and overclock it.

Hope this helps.

ps at the mo I have an nvidia fx5900xt overclocked, and have no probs with half-life2.

  vinnyT 11:50 06 Dec 2004

Sorry, also meant to say, that in 1-2yrs you will not be able to easily find a new mobo that supports agp slot cards. So, if you are planning to upgrade your pc in this timespan, the card you buy now, probably, will not fit.

So, if your happy about spending £300 on a card you will not be able to use for your next upgrade fine, but I think another point in the 9800 pros' favour.

  Totally-braindead 15:51 06 Dec 2004

My motherboard doesn't like the ATI cards, don't know why but I've had a lot of trouble with them, so I've got a Geforce 5900 plays everything so far at 1024x768 whicj is good enough for me. If I was you I'd go for the 9800 pro but make sure you buy a brand name one not a cheapie. Sorry about your Sapphire card they have a good reputation so maybe you've just been unlucky.

  [DELETED] 16:26 06 Dec 2004

5900 ultra and the 9800pro are both very very good cards.

The various 5700xt's are also very good and a bit cheaper and not so noisy!

All of them are within your price range.

  [DELETED] 16:27 06 Dec 2004

Sorry...by price range I meant under about £150.

I, personally, dont think its worth paying 300 quid for a graphics card.

  wjrt 17:27 06 Dec 2004

click here
not interested in nvidia
get this about twice ths speed of 9800pro and about half the price
click here
click here

  gudgulf 17:48 06 Dec 2004

I do!

Having recently bought an ATI x800pro vivo,partly funded by the demise under warranty of my GeForce5900 card (got all my money back).The difference is amazing ....every game I have including Doom3,Farcry and CoD can be run at maximum settings and 1600x1200 resolution with anti-aliasing enabled.This does not affect the gameplay of course and a 9800pro will be a big improvement over your 9500pro.Depends how big your budget is and especially how important it is to you to get the best possible appearance from your games.

One other possibility with the x800pro vivo is bios moding it to unlock all the pixel pipelines if you are into modding.

  [DELETED] 23:07 06 Dec 2004

Obviously the more you spend the better performance you will get from your card.

You wont get blistering performance from a £150 card, but you will get performance that is more than acceptable for most games.

You pays your money and takes your choice :-)

  Starfox 23:44 06 Dec 2004

9800 pro within your budget click here

a range of ATI cards for comparison click here

I know you said not interested in nVidia but these are worth a look click here


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