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Posted: 12/16/2003 7:27:44 PM EDT
I was going to wait until HL2 or Doom3 came out but I still have an old 64MB GeForce2 MX400 and it sucks. I figure there's always a new card coming out every couple of months, so why wait?

Sooo, what's the best card I can get right now for around $150??? I willing to spend as much as $200, but I'd rather still to $150 or less.

I'm not a hard core game, so I'm not looking for something to run at crazy resolutions and insane speeds with all the settings maxed out. I also don't need fancy features like dual monitor output or anything weird like that. But I do like to play some of the latest games and have them still look pretty good.

Keep in mind I may upgrade to a new computer in about a year, so I don't want to get anything too fancy right now. Hell, if you know of a decent card (that should play HL2 and Doom3 OK) for around $100, let me know.

So what should I get???
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:30:16 PM EDT
Let the flames begin, but my GForce 4 MX440 128mb DDR works very well with high end games. $60 on pricewatch.com
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:30:41 PM EDT
Look at the ATI Raedon 9600pro or 9700pro should be in that price range. A lot of people like the NVidea cards but they are noisy and take up two slots. Either of the ATIs will do what you want it to do if your computer is up to it.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:43:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By chainshaw: Let the flames begin, but my GForce 4 MX440 128mb DDR works very well with high end games. $60 on pricewatch.com
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DX2 doesn't work with the MX cards (no pixel shading), I found that out the hard way. That's what prompted me to upgrade now. I hear DX2 sucks compared to the original, but usually when I can no longer run a new game on my old card, that means it's time to start upgrading...
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:51:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 7:53:13 PM EDT by FormUnknown]
Go here for some good deals. They usually have some real low prices listed on stuff. I got my new radeon 9800 AIW for 320 after a 50 dollar mail in rebate. [url]http://forums.anandtech.com/categories.cfm?catid=40[/url] Note this site isn't selling crap it just lists the slick deals people find. They had some rather low 9800 pro prices a few weeks ago.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 7:59:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2003 8:01:00 PM EDT by dot_bob]
There are some good off brand 9600 Pro card on the market cheaper than the ATI brand. There is a little speed decrease (ram and gpu), and they tend to have 1 vs. 3 year warranties. But if you plan to replace your comp. in that time save the $. I'm an old school GeForce fan, but ATI is in control for now. The 9600 All In Wonder, comes with a key for HL2 when, cough cough, IF it comes out. We have some PowerColor 9600's 128mb. $135 or 256mb. 400/400 mhz. for $179. We don't ship through the store but I could ship it to you at about $200 tax and shipping included. LMK also if you can still stomach HL 64.202.114.36:27015. We ban the haxors, hard core style, so it's usually not to bad. Look for toH8you (me), maybe I can rocket you,lol. EDITED to add:DO NOT get an SE version, they are slower than the Pro's.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 12:52:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2003 12:55:02 AM EDT by SIG_220]
Pricewatch.com has these prices listed: $274 RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB $339 - RADEON 9800 All-In-Wonder $367 RADEON 9800 256MB $144 - RADEON 9800 128MB $230 - RADEON 9700 Pro 128MB $285 - RADEON 9700 All-in-Wonder $192 - RADEON 9700 128MB $198 RADEON 9600 XT 256MB $156 RADEON 9600 XT 128MB $82 RADEON 9600 SE 128MB $105 RADEON 9600 Pro 256MB $82 RADEON 9600 Pro 128MB $210 - RADEON 9600 All-in-Wonder $105 RADEON 9600 256MB $82 RADEON 9600 128MB $177 - RADEON 9500 Pro 128MB DO NOT GET AN NVIDIA CARD RIGHT NOW!!!! DX9 features do not work as well with NVIDIA as they do with ATI cards from 9500 and on. Also don't get the special edition cards as they're basically a "shortbus" version of the regular cards. I bought a 9800 pro 128, and with this card I have played maxpayne 2 without any lagging through the entire game running at 1600X1200 resolution and high detail.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 12:58:16 AM EDT
MSI (Nvida chipset) FX6500 VTD256. $164.99 pricewatch.com I have no problems with it running games, burning DVD's or running multiple programs.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 1:20:11 AM EDT
HL2 was built on the Radeon 9600 platform so if you go that route you'll be OK. There's starting to be some noise that D3 will get here when it gets here. Uh, oh... sounds a little like DNF, doesn't it. I was a die hard NVidia fan for quite awhile but ATI has the edge now IMHO. I'm currently using a 9500 but will be going to a 9600 Pro AIW shortly. I would LOVE a 9800 but I simply can't bring myself to spend that kind of money on something I KNOW will be a fraction of that price in 12 to 18 months. Check out [url]newegg.com[/url] for prices and user reviews.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 5:28:05 AM EDT
PNY Technologies Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 128 MB DDR. LOVE IT WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 5:34:21 AM EDT
Since you want to play HL2, buy the ATI 9600XT. It comes bundled with HL2. Since HL2 isn't out yet, there is a card in the package that you'll need to mail off. They will then send HL2 when its done. I also recommend newegg. Their prices, selection and customer service is excellent.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 5:38:58 AM EDT
What Sam said. Do yourself a favor and get it from Newegg.com no matter if they aren't the cheapest. You will save the hassle of thinking if you bought it from the right place and if you'll ever see it. Newegg is the best!
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 7:38:55 AM EDT
Thanks guys, I'm looking hard at the 9600Pro right now, but also thinking 9600XT. Maybe a 9700 if I stretch my budget. What about the off brand cards (Sapphire, PowerColor, etc.)? Are basically the same thing as the ATI branded cards?
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 8:09:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2003 8:10:21 AM EDT by eodtech2000]
Just save your money and wait till HL2 and Doom3 arrive. Because by the time they come out there will be better Video cards out, Nvidia and ATI are in a good old performance war, competition is such a great thing!!! I will also add, buy at [b]Newegg.com[/b], great place to buy!!!! Great service, they get the stuff shipped out FAST!!! Never had a hassle with them!!!
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 8:11:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ratters: Look at the ATI Raedon 9600pro or 9700pro should be in that price range.
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Yup...I just got the 9600. It kicks ass with all that Ram and is very quiet. Plus the software pack is good and it comes with a HalfLife game offer right now. $128 is what I think I paid. Sgtar115
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 8:14:29 AM EDT
Thanks for the info (even though it wasn't my thread!). I've been out of the loop on the latest and greatest computer stuff for a couple of years now. I am in dire need of an entire new computer and I'm going to start buying new parts (starting with a new video card) after I buy my Walther P99.
Link Posted: 12/17/2003 8:36:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By eodtech2000: Just save your money and wait till HL2 and Doom3 arrive. Because by the time they come out there will be better Video cards out, Nvidia and ATI are in a good old performance war, competition is such a great thing!!!
View Quote
I thought about that, but I figure if I don't buy a new card now, I won't buy one ever (until I get a new computer). I'm just not enough of a hardcore gamer to pay 300-400 on a high end card. In fact I will probably NEVER pay more than $200 for one. And for that $200 I better get my money's worth, so I'll probably stick with the new card (for a couple years) until it can no longer meet the minimum requirements for the good games. Call me stingy, but the only time I ever bought a video card, it was a Voodoo 2 (don't remember which model) for a 3 year old computer so I could play R6 Rogue Spear. And at the time I was pissed that I was spending $70... I've been watching the video card prices for a bit and it seems like the high end cards never really drop much below $250 before they totally discontinue the model. So I feel like I'm really stuck in the mid-range market. Shit, I can't believe $200 buys ONLY a mid range card! I can't imagine buying a $400 card every year! So considering that, I figure whether I buy a card now, or 4 months from now, I'm still getting a mid-range card with the same technology, even if something better comes out because the card makers have priced me out of the high end stuff. The way things look (for my price range) I should probably start buying games a year or two after they are released so I can afford a card that will play them well. [:O]
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