Need more help buying Video Card???

bigdog27

bigdog27

New Member
#1
Hello, I posted a few days ago about buying a Radeon 9000pro. After all the reviews I got I will never buy it. I'm up to $150 to $200 range canadian now. I can't find any 9500pro's even if they were in my price range. I keep hearing from other people what card to buy. I would rather hear what you guys think. I know lots of people on here told me to go with the 9500pro but I just can't afford it let alone find one.

What do you think about these 3 cards?
Nvidia Ti4200 128mb
ATI Radeon 9500 non pro 128mb
Sapphire Radeon 9100 128mb

Any other cards you can think of that might be better in my price range would be great.
Thanks again
 
wrathchild_67

wrathchild_67

Hidden Member
#2
The 9500 non-Pro 128MB would be a gamble. If you could find a Sapphire made model in red, compare the pic with that of an actual Radeon 9700 and see if the layout is the same, then there's a decent chance you could software hack that card into a 9700 and from there software hack it again to gain some 9800 features. If it worked, you would see a minimum 15% gain in everything 3D. Average gains would be around 30%. Be aware though that most Sapphire 9500 non-Pro's come with a black pcb and a different layout than the 9700. The red ones are getting harder to find.
 
SaulTurnedPaul

SaulTurnedPaul

Hiking Member
#3
Out of that list due to reported overclockability, I'd go with the Ti200. If I were you, though, I would go with the FX 5200. Shinma's post and excellent link sums it all up: Link.


Sean
 
bigdog27

bigdog27

New Member
#4
Thanks, in the review that Shinma posted the fx5200 was up against the Radeon 9200. Isn't the Radeon 9100 suppose to be a better performer than the 9200? Where does the Fx5200 fall into here. Do you think it would be better than the 9100 or in between the 9100 and 9200?
Another question that was brought to my attention was the Ati support for drivers. Has anyone had any problems with it? I know I'm not buying a kick butt card but would like something that's going to do the job for a while with this budget.
Thanks
 
SaulTurnedPaul

SaulTurnedPaul

Hiking Member
#5
Originally posted by bigdog27
Where does the Fx5200 fall into here. Do you think it would be better than the 9100 or in between the 9100 and 9200?... I know I'm not buying a kick butt card but would like something that's going to do the job for a while with this budget.
Perhaps where it may not compete too well with the 9100 is in the area of overclockability. I'm fairly certain that at stock speeds though, the 5200 outperforms both the 9200 and 9100, but this is based only on how much the 5200 whooped the 9200 in that particular benchmark.

Overclockability is questionable/under review for the 5200 (and the whole FX line for that matter) because the cards are so new. If you are looking for longevity for your price range, I don't think you can find a better buy than the 5200, simply because it has DX9 support. If you looked at the benchmarks in that review, it showed that it was capable of handling UT2K3 at acceptable framerate levels, which is fairly impressive for a sub- $100 card. I can't say how well it will do on DoomIII, but for the money and performance, this is a great option. When I can cough up the cash I'll buy one to replace my MX440.

About the drivers: I don't think you should have too many problems with ATI, and the same goes with nVidia. History speaks, too...


Sean
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#6
from the 3 you mentioned I would go for Nvidia Ti4200 128mb, should be the fastest especially if you OC it to 4400-4600 range which is almost a sure bet

but as wrathchild_67 posted 9500 can be faster when OCed to 9700 but is also a gamble to find the right one

there are some benchies that show FX5200 (ultra I belive) outperforming Ti4200 at stock speeds when using FSAA but I dont think any of this cards is in a class where using FSAA is sensible and in every other way Ti4200 is a better card

oh and most FX5200 out there are non-ultra and are really MX4 class cards with DX9 support
 
bigdog27

bigdog27

New Member
#7
Thanks, I have looked at a lot of online stores and no FX5200 ultras. Is the FX5200 going to be a lot slower than the FX5200 Ultra?

Non-Ultra: 250mhz core clock, 400mhz memory clock
Ultra: 325mhz core clock, 650mhz memory clock

Do you know if I would be able to OC the Non-Ultra close to the Ultra?

Dammit, I can't seem to find a Ti4200 for a good price either. Lowest is $200. I guess that is the most I wanted to spend.
Thanks again
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#8
some reviews the last one is for non-ultra version

anandtech review

tomshardware

review

from what I see Ti4200 is clear winner especially if you plan to OC it

also to lower cost of your purchase you can get 64MB version, which OCs better but mihgt be somewhat slower with something like UT2003 at higher resolutions though I wouldnt expect any major difference in speed
 
bigdog27

bigdog27

New Member
#10
Thanks for the Benchmarks. I think I have made up my mind. The Ti4200 wins with me. Now, 64mb or 128mb??? Do you think 128mb is needed in the next couple years? Also what is a good brand to go with? Example: MSI, Leadtek, Chaintech etc.
thanks
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#11
all I can say is that Leadtek has pretty good 2D quality and almost as good TV-out as R8500 from Hercules, which has one of the best TV-outs apart from designated TV-cards from Sigma design, that I have seen

as for the cards performance they should be about the same, just stay away from really cheap companies, I think any one of the 3 you mentioned will do just fine

as for durability it really depends on what you want, if you will stick to 1024*786 and later to 800*600 resolutions it will probably play most of the action games out there for couple of years, if on the other hand you want higher resolutions in FPS and want some eye candy like FSAA then you could argue that even now the card is obsolete since Unreal 2 for example can really slow it down at 1600*1200 and FSAA on

BTW if the price difference is small then I would opt for 128MB version
 
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bigdog27

bigdog27

New Member
#12
I will be going with the 128 no matter what. Its only $20 to $30 more. I'm not much of a big gamer. I like to play good war games, action games. I don't see the need for myself to play at really high resolution or extreme graphics. I just want a card that can play the games without being jumpy or slow. I hope you know what I mean. I only play games maybe 1 hour a week max. That's why I felt I didn't need a really good expensive Video Card. I keep on thinking back to the Sapphire Ati Radeon 9100. I saw a benchmark for it today again and it looks like all I need, nowhere near the Ti4200 though. I need to decide by the end of the month. That's when I'm going to buy. I'm just having a hard time spending $200 on a card. That extra $100 could go towards a better Processor and accessories for my new system that I have planned out. But then I think whats the point building a good machine with a crappy Video Card. What would you do?
Thanks for the help
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#13
I would go for Ti 4200 use it as is now and later OC it to 4600 speeds (maybe with new cooler, though the companies you listed have good enough cooling allready), when the need arises

but if you decide to go with R9100 especially Sapphire its also a good card,slower then Ti (when OCed to where I have it a GFTi is about 50% faster then R8500/R9100), but still enough to play most of todays games at reasonable resolutions and the money you save you can put towards the better card at the end of the year or for post holiday season bargains when R9700 PRO should drop in price somewhat
 
ThreeOnTheTree

ThreeOnTheTree

New Member
#14
128mb cards probably have faster ram on them, and therefore offer more OCability. If you look at newegg.com, most of the cards they sell have user based reviews--it will help you a little bit in determining what may be a card to avoid. I don't know if newegg delivers to Canada though.
 
bigdog27

bigdog27

New Member
#15
I will have to take a look at newegg for the reviews. They don't ship to Canada, I already tried.
thanks
 
Todd a

Todd a

New Member
#16
The older GeForce4 Ti4200 with 128MB DDR only ran at 444Mhz. I think the new ones with AGP 8x clock the memory at the same speed the 64MB cards were clocked (500 or some at 513).
 
Bennyboy

Bennyboy

Colonel Debugger
#17
Yeah, the 128MB models should be slower than the 64MB models. You are practically guranteed to get it up to 64MB speeds though, and should be able to go to Ti4400 or beyond with cards from MSI, Gainward, Leadtek etc.

It has been recent consensus to opt for the 128MB cards as newer games really do take advantage of the extra memory for textures. Seeing as you are planning on keeping the card a while it makes sense to max your budget. Even though you say you aren't a heavy gamer, 18 months down the line this baby still needs to be able to supply the thrills. The other option is to get the 9100 now, and another $100 card in a year's time for the same overall outlay. At least then you can decide if you need to upgrade when the time comes, or spend the money on other things. If you have an eye on HL2 or Doom 3 then just go straight for the Ti4200 128MB, it won't be great, but it will be a damned sight better than the 9100.

Bennyboy.