What Graphics card should I buy?

  StephenRogers 19:24 05 Dec 2006

we have a 6 year old computer
it has a 2400 AMD Athlon processor
768 meg of RAM
shedloads of Hard Drive (about 360gig including external)
and currently an ATI/Radeon 9200 graphics cars (put in earlier this year)

we need a new card because we want to run "Company of Heroes" - supported cards - Geforce 3 or better, or Radeon 9500 series or better. We'd like it to be future proof for this kind of game for a couple of years and want to spend less than £100, ideally less than £50

So - what card would you recommend?


  De Marcus™ 20:32 05 Dec 2006

How about a 7600GS AGP?

  Technotiger 20:35 05 Dec 2006

I would also recommend upgrade RAM to 1Gb if mobo will take it.


  StephenRogers 10:53 06 Dec 2006

Thanks for that

As the computer was built in 1999, can I assume I need an AGP card?

  keef66 13:04 06 Dec 2006

Ours is a 5 year old Athlon XP 2100+ pc and that has an AGP mobo / graphics card; chances are yours is the same.

If in doubt, have a look at the slot the current 9200 card sits in. AGP slots of that vintage were generally brown.

6600GT, 7600GS, X800GTO would be my suggestions. Forget the sub £50 budget though

  keef66 13:08 06 Dec 2006

And you may find you need a bigger power supply to run the new card reliably

  StephenRogers 15:14 06 Dec 2006

thanks all

I've been looking at the ATIradeon 9800XT as it seems tbe the best radeon I can get at a reasonable price (£75 ish) with an AGP connection.

any thoughts on this versus the nvidia cards at around the same price?

Also, i'm a bit confused that some of the ATI radeon cards, and the nvidia cards seem to be made by different companies - who's making what bit and does it make a difference?

  keef66 15:33 06 Dec 2006

the 9800XT was the dog's danglies in it's day. Good find! It will require an additional molex power connector from your psu. Also you should check out the size of your psu in case it's below the min specs for the card.

Graphics chips are made by either Nvidia or ATI. There are dozens of graphics card manufacturers (Gainward, Leadtek, XFX, MSI, Sapphire, Sparkle, 3DFX, Powercolor etc etc etc). Many follow the Nvidia or ATI reference design very closely, and the cards will perform almost identically. For these shop on price, software bundle, warranty etc.

Some manufacturers in an attempt to get a higher price for their cards overclock the gpu, fit faster memory, fit more memory, overclock the memory, or install bigger / better / quieter cooling solutions. Go for these options if you want to squeeze the last ounce of performance from your card, if you want to boast about it, and if you have few budgetary constraints.

  keef66 15:39 06 Dec 2006

click here

If you really want to save money have a look at these refurbished cards from Retek. Your £50 budget could be a practical proposition then. The X800XT strikes me as particularly yummy at that price point.

(beware a couple of the cards are PCI-express, not AGP)

  StephenRogers 20:54 07 Dec 2006

yes - I'll probably go for the X800XT

Is there any way i can check the spec of my PSU without taking the box apart, to make sure it is compatible?


  Technotiger 21:21 07 Dec 2006

No, I don't think there is, but you should be able to see the label on it simply by removing the side panel of your pc.


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