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blankseplocked Buying new graphics card - can anyone give advice please?
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Lord Wamphyri
Starside Lost
Posted - 2006.06.23 15:16:00 - [1]

Hi all

Well the time has come to upgrade my creaky old system. Now I'm pretty much sorted mobo/cpu wise etc, but I need some advice on graphics cards.

At the moment I'm running an old AGP Geforce 5950 Ultra but it's starting to show it's age now. I'm aiming for an SLI system but budget means I may have to wait before I can buy the second card.

I've been looking at the Geforce 6/7 range and I'd basically appreciate some advice on what to get. My budget for GFX is about £200 - £250 tops.

Of course if a decent card is suggested that's cheap enough I could probably get two of them Smile Otherwise I'll get one and the second in a month or two when the cash has built up again.

Advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Dark Shikari
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Posted - 2006.06.23 19:02:00 - [2]

An x1900 or 7800/7900 would probably be good.

There's no real point to getting SLI to be honest: for the price of two mid-end cards you could easily get yourself a high-end and have cash left over.

Sevarus James
Meridian Dynamics
Posted - 2006.06.24 02:04:00 - [3]

On the 'budget NVIDIA SLI side, (key word being budget), the 7600 GT is a good card. Its not as sexy as the 7900's, but for the price its economical, performs very well in single mode, and in SLI its performance is very equivalent to a single 7900 or slightly better, which is to say very good at roughly the same cost (400-500 US dollars).

These cards tend to get discounted or put on sale for less than 200 dollars quite frequently, so if you search, you could SLI the rig for much less than a single 7900 card.

Again, key word here is 'budget'.

I'm currently using this card (the BFG 7600 GT overclock) in my ubuntu rig and am very happy with it.

Lord Wamphyri
Starside Lost
Posted - 2006.06.24 12:52:00 - [4]

Well thanks for the tips guys (I got a reply from DS - woot!).

I think I've found the card for me - an XFX 7600GT XXX which seems pretty good.

And it's also cheap enough that I can buy another one next month and still have enough left over for the 24" widescreen TFT I've been drooling over!

Thanks again!

DarkStar 1
Posted - 2006.06.24 16:39:00 - [5]

I'd recommend against a SLI setup from the start unless you're one of the super enthusiasts with thousands upon thousands to throw away. The problem with the 7600 SLI is that it's going to be outdated fairly fast and you'll have no way of adding any extra power without getting all new cards and trashing your current ones. Also the 7600 has a 128 bit memory interface which gimps the cards performance to some degree.

I'd go with a 7900GT which can be found for less than 300USD (165GBP) at some online retailers. It has a 256-bit memory interface which effectively doubles its memory bandwidth in addition to twice the amount of pixel pipelines the 7600 has. In addition to being able to throw in another 7900 down the road when you need some extra juice, the 7900GT core was made using the 90nm manufacturing process so you can easily overclock this thing like no other if you combine it with an aftermarket heatsink. Don’t give into the SLI novelty end, its extremely cost ineffective in terms of power consumption, upgradeability and lifespan.

Lord Wamphyri
Starside Lost
Posted - 2006.06.24 23:04:00 - [6]

Actually I hadn't thought of it like that - of course it's logic and I didn't realise about the 128 bit interface! Thanks again - looks like it's back to the drawing board Smile

Shionoya Risa
The Xenodus Initiative.
Posted - 2006.06.26 22:40:00 - [7]

Originally by: Epyik
its extremely cost ineffective in terms of power consumption

Would depend on what cards you went for wouldn't it?

Fact! 2 7600 GT's will only use the power from PCI-E slots, one molex on the motherboard in my case.

Fact! SLI does not cost thousands and thousands :/

Fact! There was a dodgy batch of 7900's, therefore decreasing their lifespan. Wink

Ander Zeiss
EVE University
Ivy League
Posted - 2006.06.28 01:30:00 - [8]

I recently bought a 7600 GT card and it runs EVE great. While researching cards, the issue of the 128 bit interface did pop up now and then, but that apparently only really starts affecting things when you are running at very high resolutions with AA and AF turned way up. For a game like EVE, it is more than enough card unless you are running a rather large flat panel with your quality settings pegged at max.

If that still bothers you, the ATI X1800 GTO costs a few dollars more, but has the larger interface. I mainly chose the Nvidia card because I prefer the SLI option over the Crossfire option for future upgrades.

Rock Lobster
Harmless Debris Field
Posted - 2006.07.02 20:11:00 - [9]

Originally by: Ander Zeiss
I mainly chose the Nvidia card because I prefer the SLI option over the Crossfire option for future upgrades.

...and nVidia's drivers work unlike ATI. ;)

I'm upgrading very soon too - My A64-3000+, 5900XT is really struggling. I'm probably going to go for an AM2 X2-4200+, and maybe a pair of 7600GS/GT. Fast, and the added bonus of passive cooling.

Posted - 2006.07.03 18:50:00 - [10]

atm x1900s are the best card by a long shot

Lord Wamphyri
Starside Lost
Posted - 2006.07.04 00:12:00 - [11]

Again, thanks for all the replies and input guys! I've finally settled on the card I'm having - A Geforce 7900 GT. It's got a nice spec and I picked it up for £204 so I'm very happy - especially as I'll be able to get a second one in a couple of months time!

Thanks again!

Bob Niac
freelancers inc
Imperial 0rder
Posted - 2006.07.04 22:56:00 - [12]

too bad you didnt wait a while.. te nvidia 8000 series is due out soon¯¯™ see: christmas

Heinrich Rix
Core Domination
Posted - 2006.07.31 16:00:00 - [13]

SLI is overkill for Eve. Just upgrade your cpu again :)
I find the fps gain from 90+ to 150+ absolutely useless. In fact, I run eve with v-sync on, so my graphics card idles most of the time, so it runs cooler and thus quieter. Steady 60fps all the time which suits me fine.


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