150 quid max !

Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by L_Plates, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. L_Plates

    L_Plates Fledgling Freddie

    I have around 150 quid max to spend on a GFX card.

    What do you guys recommend ?

    I have been stuck with this GF4 mx440 for to long :(
  2. Ch3tan

    Ch3tan I aer teh win!!

    9600 XT 128mb w/ hl2 bundle
  3. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi L_Plates

    From ATI, you're really looking at (as Ch3tan has already stated) the Radeon 9600 XT. The 128Mb model comes in around ~£120, the 256Mb ~£140. There are cheaper solutions, the 9600 Pro, say, but the XT is the best performance. If you go for this card, remember to get the full retail version (no the OEM or 'lite' retail), as only the full retail version comes with the voucher for Half-Life 2.

    From nVidia, you have slightly more choice: 5700 Ultra, 5900 XT/SE and 5900 non-Ultra. In fairness, the last two will really be pushing your budget. In terms of performance, the 5700 Ultra usually slightly outperforms the 9600XT in all but a few tests, although the difference isn't all that much. The 5900 XT/SE can outperform a 5700 Ultra and, you guessed it, the 5900 non-Ultra surpasses the lot. MicroDirect did have a PixelView 5900 non-Ultra for £125, which is amazing considering they usually reatil for between ~£160-200+, but I'm not sure if that offer is still on.

    Kind Regards
  4. L_Plates

    L_Plates Fledgling Freddie

    Its all confusing to me i feel so lost :(

    So many ppl say stay with nvidia but im always tempted to try ati :)

    Thanks for the info so far fellas :)
  5. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Aww, don't worry, no one said this is easy :) If you have any questions, then just ask.

    In terms of nVidia/ATI, I think whichever card you bought you would be happy. ATI have a great bundle with their cards at the moment (free Half-Life 2, for a start), and their DirectX 9 performance is, in some tests, better than nVidia's at this moment in time. Personally, I think their drivers still have some way to go in terms of stability, but that's just me.

    nVidia, having has a shakey year at times in 2003, have finished strongly. Their mainstream to high-end/mainstream cards are all good performers, and usually outclass ATI's mainstream offerings, if only by a little way. nVidia are currently bundling Call of Duty with their 5900 cards, which is a good deal (if perhaps limited to the US at the moment, it seems). In terms of driver stability, I'm tempted to give nVidia the edge here, but I'm yet to make any direct comparisons.

    Anyway, I'm sure other people will help and advise you too. In short, whichever you went for you'd probably be happy. If you have any more questions, just shout.

    Kind Regards


    P.S. This might be a bit technical, so don't worry if so, but the 9600XT doesn't require an external power connector and the PCB itself is small (in contrast to nVidia's cards on both points) which makes it great for Shuttles, if you happen to be running one.
  6. L_Plates

    L_Plates Fledgling Freddie

    Cheers Jonty,

    Im not running a shuttle you would collapse if you saw my case. No sides etc etc....

    Anyways what are the best sites to go look at these cards ?

    Or would you recommend a Comp fair or shop ?
  7. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi L_Plates

    For review sites, just check TechNation's News Roundups for links (even if the links aren't for cards you're interested in, the sites may well contain such reviews in their archives).

    As for stores, eBuyer, Dabs.com, Overclockers UK and MicroDirect are just some that spring to mind. I'm sure other people will recommend their personal favourites. I can't stress enough, however, how important it is to shop around, as prices do vary a lot, as does the postage.

    As for shops, most high-street retailers tend not to stock the latest graphics cards products (unless it's a specialist store) and often cannot better the online prices. That said, online stores like MicroDirect also have branches in Manchester you can drop by to purchase things. As for computer fairs, I've never been to one myself, but I have heard of people picking up some bargains at them.

    Kind Regards
  8. L_Plates

    L_Plates Fledgling Freddie

    Cheers Jonty ill take alook later as i have to get offline now due to the BT guy coming to install ADSL.

    Thanks again :)
  9. sibanac

    sibanac Fledgling Freddie

  10. RandomBastard

    RandomBastard Can't get enough of FH

    They will steal your soul and wander off with your wallet.
  11. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi Sibanac

    Looks like a nice card, and ASUS are known as a good manufacturer. However, be aware that the card you're looking at is just a straight 5700, not a 5700 Ultra. I forget the differences off the top of my head, but it shouldn't perform quite as fast as the Ultra model, even though it may have twice the RAM etc. How much are you looking to pay for it, just out of interest?

    Kind Regards
  12. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi L_Plates

    According to Google's cached page (the proper site is acting strangely for me at the mo), MicroDirect are selling a PixelView 5900 non-Ultra for £135 + £8 P&P. PixelView follow the standard nVidia reference designs (I think), so although the card may not be anything fancy, it will still offer no-frills performance. I know it's pushing your budget, but check out a few reviews first, and you should find it outperforms both the the ATI Radeon 9600XT and the nVidia 5700 Ultra and 5900 XT/SE.

    Kind Regards
  13. sibanac

    sibanac Fledgling Freddie

    was looking around € 250, Old card is a TI4200 64mb (blow the card before that up and didnt have the cash for a better one )

    found this aswel in same price range.

    Going to have a look if I cant find anything thru my dads company (I get dealer price - Tax that way )
  14. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi Sibanac

    Having very quickly asked Xavier, since I wasn't sure of the differences, it seems the clock speeds are about the main differences between the non-Ultra and Ultra models, which in turn can produce a performance variation of up to 20% at worst (although it does vary from card to card). Going on name alone, I'd like the ASUS card more, but whether it could keep up with Creative's Ultra model I don't know (I'm guessing not). Sorry, not much help, I know.

    Kind Regards
  15. sibanac

    sibanac Fledgling Freddie

    Thanks for the help, its so confising these days with all the SE/XT/PRO/ULTRA stuff going on.
  16. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    You're not kidding :( As far as I know, for ATI we have: SE, non-Pro (marketed as just a model number without any suffix), Pro and XT and from nVidia we have: SE, XT, non-Ultra (marketed as just a model number without any suffix) and Ultra (performance increases from left-to-right in both cases). But even the above is subject to manufacturers pulling marketting stunts :(

    Good luck
  17. MrBlack

    MrBlack Fledgling Freddie

    Pain in the arse, isn't it?

    The cynic in me is seeing NVidia's recent use of the XT suffix for its (not quite as good as the normal one) products is a direct attempt to confuse the hell out of people looking at ATI's XT products, thereby attracting more sales to their own stuff and scaring people away from ATI's.

    I'm favouring the 5900 non-ultra myself at the moment. check http://www.komplett.co.uk for some cheap ones (as well as the sites Jonty recommended)

    I was going for the softmodded 9800se, but I'm going off the whole idea now. Must be getting sensible in my old age.

    The third option is to wait until march when the R420 and NV40 stuff arrives and the traditional plummet in prices of the older stuff.
  18. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    I agree, when one is a cut-down version of a card, and the other is an enhanced version, it would be very confusing for the vast majority of purchasers. As far as I know, however, nVidia's stance is justified as their XT line of cards is designed to compete against ATI's XT range. In that light it's reasonable, but otherwise it is a little confusing.

    Kind Regards

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