Author Topic: New video card time  (Read 2103 times)

Offline Quemaqua

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New video card time
« on: Sunday, October 05, 2008, 09:49:52 PM »
I'm still running a 7800GT, and it's been time to upgrade for a while now.  My question is... to what?  I've got an Athlon 64 X2 4400+ proc, which I think still has some legs on it, but I don't know what it's worth upgrading to and for what price.  I mainly want this for Fallout 3, which I wasn't expecting to want, and the suddenness of it all is a little disconcerting.  I don't have much money, either.  I was thinking of going for an 8800, but I don't know if that's such a great decision since the 9800s are so cheap.  Plus I've heard that ATi is making a comeback, but I know nothing of it.

Anybody got some knowledge to drop on me?  I don't know what's a good deal, though I do know that I like eVGA and will likely buy from them again if I can.

EDIT - Am I really this out of the loop?  A gig of GDDR3?  For under 200 clams?  How is that even possible?  I'm so fucking lost.  Someone help me.

EDIT x2 - Apparently you've got the Radeon HD 4850 at a reasonable price point as well, with speeds even greater.  I find this all hard to believe... nobody told me the bottom fell out in this market.  Now's the time to upgrade!  I just need to figure out what to buy!
« Last Edit: Sunday, October 05, 2008, 10:57:47 PM by Quemaqua »

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Offline scottws

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #1 on: Monday, October 06, 2008, 07:13:10 PM »
I'll never buy another ATi card again, personally.  You can't go wrong with an 8800 GT or something in the 9800 range.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #2 on: Monday, October 06, 2008, 07:18:21 PM »
I guess ATi totally botched their last few cards, but finally got back on track with the 4850 and 4870 (I think that's the other one).  Supposedly they beat nvidia's offerings and the response has been pretty positive.  I had a very good experience when I owned an ATi card before, but that was prior to the backlash they garnered recently.  I don't know that it would be a mistake to go back... though the main reason is that I sincerely want nvidia to have some competition.  But my experience with the 7800 was just dandy.

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Offline W7RE

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday, October 07, 2008, 07:16:50 PM »
I've got a this 4850 from Sapphire, and it's been pretty nice so far. I've had it for about 2 months and have had zero problems with it. I'm no harcore hardware geek because I'm too lazy to follow hardware (I only look things up if I need an upgrade, heh), but it's been working fine and my games run great.

My old system had an AGP X800 that was fine also. My system did start crashing a while back, prompting me to build a new one, but I'm not sure the video card was the issue. I was having video lockups, hard drive data corruption, and my system was generally unstable. I'm gonna blame the motherboard and focus on my new system, which is great. :)

Though the card I had before the X800 was an Nvidia (GeForce4 I think). When it died, I replaced it with the ATI card (just becaus it was affordable and compatible with my old AGP board, not because I'd lost faith in Nvidia).


Yea, I just became aware of Fallout 3 coming out soon, and suddenly feel like I need it bad.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 06:08:10 AM »
Well, this is what I was thinking of getting last night, when it was cheaper and had free shipping, but overnight apparently the price went up and the shipping went to 8 bucks.  A damn shame, it looks like a very nice, very fast card for a pretty good price, and the specs of this one were really nice.  So that kind of sucks.

This Sapphire is what I'm considering now, since it seems to run at a decent price.  I'd still consider some of the 9800s, but there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason to since the 4850s are generally around the same price and are supposed to be the superior card by a fair margin.

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Offline Cobra951

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 12:21:33 PM »
I don't trust ATi.  It could be that this time they finally got their act together, but I want to be able to look back on that moment before I consider them seriously.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 05:03:11 PM »
Well, as I've already stated, most people who have these cards like them, they're at a good price point, and they've proven to beat the competition consistently.  We are looking back on these cards, really.  The next iterations are almost upon us.  ATi used to be a great company, they just botched the last several releases to the point where things were looking bad.  Personally, I hope this is a big comeback for them.  I do not and never have had any great love of Nvidia, who as far as I'm concerned should have died instead of 3DFX, who were a better company with a better product.  I'd still be using Voodoo cards in a better world.

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Offline Tamaros

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 06:51:36 PM »
I tend more towards nVidia than ATI.  Mostly though its because i flirt with linux and they offer supported linux drivers for all their cards since like 5xxx series.  I don't know about ATI's support for x64 but nVidia also has drivers for my vista64 installation which is nice.  Most of the time the difference in performance really seems like nitpicking, just depends on which one makes it to the next major step up first. 

Offline scottws

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 07:35:02 PM »
I remember around the ATi 8500 series... "Oh they got their act together and finally made a decent card."  Yeah well all people complained about were the driver issues, and nVidia reigned supreme.  Then the 9700 came out and blew nVidia's doors off, and the 9800 followed right behind and basically crushed nVidia's offerings (the 5xxx series, which had to be programmed for specially for them to offer very good performance).  But a couple years after release and it became apparent that hardware of the 9800's were pushed to the brink and overheating issues were quite common.  And believe me the driver issues remained.  Every driver release would fix something in 3-5 games but break 10 others.

ATi isn't something I would consider again for a long time unless nVidia ever messes up as badly as they did with the 5xxx series.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 07:59:06 PM »
The main reason I'm still considering an nvidia card now is because that's what I've already got in the rig, so I know what to expect.  An ATi card would be an unknown now.  Their drivers have always been awful (though they weren't alone in that for many years... their competition simply got their act together and they never did), but the Omega drivers negated that problem effectively when I had a card back then.  Who knows now.

Ugh.  I can't make decisions anymore.

EDIT - Well, I went with the Sapphire 4850.  Overall everything I read said that the 9800s were really just rebranded 8800s, most seemed to run hot, apparently there were extensive driver problems with them (unusual since nVidia is usually the better company there), and the 4850s were really about the same price for significantly better performance and higher room for overclocking, especially due to heat.  The one I got seems to have a good fan that keeps things cool, though is a bit loud, and I know for a fact that it works on non-PCIE2.0 slots.  So it seemed to be the best deal overall, and the easiest thing to be confident about.  And all for under 200 bucks.  Amazing.

Thanks for your comments and for being a sounding board, guys.  Appreciate it.
« Last Edit: Thursday, October 09, 2008, 12:26:00 PM by Quemaqua »

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Offline Quemaqua

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Re: New video card time
« Reply #10 on: Monday, October 13, 2008, 05:49:12 PM »
New card has arrived.  I'll install it tonight.  If I don't show up for a while, it's because something went horribly, horribly wrong.

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