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  #1  
Old 10-30-2005, 03:18 PM
ddubois ddubois is offline
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Default What graphics card can I buy?

I have a Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939 motherboard, a AMD Athlon 64 3200 939 CPU, a 1 gig of RAM, and two 2100fp Dell monitors. My graphcis card is a dated ATI All-In-Wonder (AGP) who's extra TV features I gave up on. I mostly web browse and poker, but I also game some, and I want to buy Civ 4, which I hear is a hog. (Also, I'd like to be able to run two sessions of EQ simultaneously on each monitor, but any EQ window I move to the second monitor has atrocious performance. I heard this might be an ATI Hydravision problem, which would be another impetus to ditch my current card.)

I want to buy a new graphics card, one that will last me as long as possible, but I wanted to first check with you guys to make sure I don't buy 'too much' graphics card for my system (in other words, I don't want to spend $500 and find out my card is half-wasted because I'm CPU bound or whatever).

Any advice appreciated, thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2005, 04:29 PM
ddubois ddubois is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

Surely someone can recommend a video card? Do I want one with dual DVI output because I have two 2100fps, or is that wholly unnecessary?
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2005, 05:11 PM
obsidian obsidian is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

Hmm, looks like I should be frequenting this forum more. Anyways, a good upgrade for your computer would be something like a Nvidia 6800 or 6800gt. You also need an AGP version. The 6800 mainly comes in 128MB versions for about $184 and the 6800GT usually comes in 256MB versions for $324 and is faster (about 20%).
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2005, 05:26 PM
ddubois ddubois is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

I've been looking around the last hour or two, and it's slowly dawning on me that my options for anything high-end is pretty limited -- all the high end cards are PCI-E only now. 6800 seems to be the end of the line for me, at least in nVida chipsets. Apparently I screwed up buying the motherboard I did when I did. It hasn't even been a year yet, and it's already obsolete. [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2005, 05:33 PM
ddubois ddubois is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

Thank you for the response, but I have a followup question: Does it generally not matter whose 6800GT card I buy? What I mean is, could I ever conceivably either know or care that I bought XFX versus Prolink versus Leadtek versus BFG versus PNY, or is it all the same drivers/software/card regardless?
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2005, 05:47 PM
MyMindIsGoing MyMindIsGoing is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

If there is a fanles one, get that. Other than that, never buy the cheapest one. Drivers and software is the same (might be diffrent on the cd, but I always get my stuff online), the components on the cards are diffrent and of diffrent quality.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2005, 06:00 PM
obsidian obsidian is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

[ QUOTE ]
Thank you for the response, but I have a followup question: Does it generally not matter whose 6800GT card I buy? What I mean is, could I ever conceivably either know or care that I bought XFX versus Prolink versus Leadtek versus BFG versus PNY, or is it all the same drivers/software/card regardless?

[/ QUOTE ]
Sometimes there are small differences. BFG is generally slightly overclocked for instance. I just chose XFX because they are fairly cheap, good, and come with dual DVI. Personally I prefer BFG because they have great customer service (as does eVGA I hear), but they are slightly more expensive.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2005, 06:02 PM
obsidian obsidian is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

[ QUOTE ]
I've been looking around the last hour or two, and it's slowly dawning on me that my options for anything high-end is pretty limited -- all the high end cards are PCI-E only now. 6800 seems to be the end of the line for me, at least in nVida chipsets. Apparently I screwed up buying the motherboard I did when I did. It hasn't even been a year yet, and it's already obsolete. [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]
The 6800 series will be fine for Civ4. I have a 7800GTX and run it at 1600x1200 with everything maxed and 4xAA with no slowdown whatsoever. I can't imagine a 6800 being much worse. And yea, the 7800 line is mostly PCI-E atm.
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2005, 02:23 PM
astroglide astroglide is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

civ4 runs on my 1920x1200 laptop fine with a geforce 6800 go (mobile version, not as powerful as the desktop one). as far as brands, i would avoid xfx for now - check out the geforce6 forums there for the 'fire hazard' thread, there are 6600GTs that are popping a specific mosfet off the card consistently with actual fire. vaguely stated to be corrected now.

there will probably be agp versions of all cards for some time, it's just that the high end is pushing out pci-e versions first (they always rush to market with everything asap with new products) before doing the ones with agp bridges.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2005, 04:19 AM
ddubois ddubois is offline
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Default Re: What graphics card can I buy?

[ QUOTE ]
i would avoid xfx for now

[/ QUOTE ]
Unfortunately, I had already ordered the XFX 6800GT that obsidian linked when I saw your comment.

It arrived today and when I try to boot my machine with the card inserted (with or without DVI cables inserted tot he back), it, or my machine, screeches a never-ending beep. On one boot, I could hear a standard (but distorted) single boot BIOS beep in the backgrouns, and eventually heard the windows logo start up after letting the system sit long enough, but this is not happening every time. Obviously I get no video.

I have a reasonably new and snazzy 500 watt power supply in this machne, so it seems highly doubtful the problem is a lack of enough power for the card. I've removed and re-seated the card several times, so while possible, I do not believe that to be the problem.

For the final kick in the nads, when I visit the allstarshop.com website, the RMA request form indicates the product can be returned only for exchange for the same product.

Recommendations?
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