What Graphic Card Brand?
Looking into getting a new vid card and i just wanted some oppinions or comments on how important brand is in making the decision. I'm mostly concerned about reliability and lifetime of the card.
What brands woudl you recommend?
Has anyone had experience witha non ASUS, MSI, ATI, NVIDEA, BFG, or Sapphire cards? Specifically Celestica?
Thanks in advance.
A few years back I got a brand spankin' new computer with an ASUS GeForce2 GTS. I still have nightmares. The drivers were a thing of the past, the driver-install software sucked and was buggy, no driver updates from ASUS, it had compatibility issues with the latest optimized and performance/feature-enhanced 'universal' NVidia drivers. Got decent FPS with it in counter-strike though, so I guess that counts for something. It's still plugging away, so I guess it's reliable enough. I haven't tried overclocking it though, so that might fry it. Of course, it's an old card by now and ASUS has probably (hopefully) improved a bit with regard to driver updates and compatibility, etc.. but I doubt I'll ever buy another ASUS vid card.
I can only speak about what I have experience with and I swear by ATI. I have had a few GeForce cards made by various manufacturers but the day I bought an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro All In Wonder with 128megs, was the last day I needed a video card.
My recommendation, look for the brand name "Built by ATI". Many manufacturers make cards with ATI chipset on them but if it has that logo, it's pretty much a sure thing.
Watch out if you go with made by ATI. Most people now dont yet have PCIX, which means AGP. The only ATI card even worth buying right now is the 9800 pro 256MB, and the built by ati versions have shotty cooling and the majority dont last or overheat.
I'm not an ATI fan, so obviously im telling you Nvidia. A solid Sapphire, BFG, Visiontek, or Xtec 6800 GT 256MB 256BIT will run you between 130-150 dollars. If that too high a FX5700 256mb can be made to run just as well as the new 6800 for around 90.00. My prices are USD fyi.
I'd have to admit, the 6800 GT 256 is a kick butt card for $300 (I havn't found it that cheap, drop on a link cause i'll buy one). I bought my 9800 Pro about a year after it came out and I paid over $400 for it.
The benchmarks on the 6800 GT far surpass anything for around that price and the Ultra wipes everything off the map. One thing about the ATI 9800 Pro, don't bother with the 256megs. Benchmarks only show an increase of .2 between the 128 and the 256 and that's after testing with the newest games. The only time testers were able to even touch the upper 128 was using a very high resolutions.
Forgot to mention a few things. I've had my "Built by ATI" 9800 Pro for about 2 years and it has never failed or overheated but....have lost 3 Nvidia cards due to overheating. It's the main reason I went to ATI.
If your not running AGP, get outta the dark ages and throw that paper weight you call a computer out.
There are no links these are from my wholesale connection.
Oh, well, can I get one?.....lol Just one.
Any card you buy first you have to check your motherboard and see it supports AGP 8x. Second you need to check if your motherboard has any AGP slots available. the 6800GT will take up atleast 2 slots(1 AGP and the slot next to it) because the card is big. I have it so im talking from experience.
here are some pictures when i built the system, the card is a Nvidia 6800GT made by eVGA
you can find a 6800GT for around $250-300 but you need to search.
edit: forgot to add something VERY important. You need a very very good power supply, around 350-400 watt minimum. otherwise the card will suffer, it requires a lot of power.
Do yourself a favor and upgrade your system to support PCIX. I recently made the switch and I'm glad I did. I don't have to have a huge power supply and my video card (Geforce 6600 128mb) is a VERY reasonable ~$120. It only takes up 1 slot and can run with the bigger over-priced AGP cards.
Also, don't let the hype get you. You don't necessarily NEED the 256mb card. No one is currently using that kind of memory bandwidth and chances are you'll upgrade again before they do.
But back to the question at hand, I recommend ATI, Nvidia, Elsa, VisionTek, Asus, and BFG. I've used or known someone with a version of all of these and never had major problems. My only gripe with a company was Leadtek which has been bought out by VisionTek and my only major beef was their complete lack of customer service. The card still runs great after I replaced the onboard fan out of my own pocket (should have been covered by warranty... but then again it was only a $5 fan).
Yea visiontek has the worst support ever but awsome cards. As for pcix, i havent upgraded yet because of the issues i have dealt with so far in that area. Ive had three customers with faulty hardware, overheating, etc in the last two months. PCIX is definitly the future and i cant wait to get it myself, but im holding out a little while more. Ober if yours wors good, awsome man, hope it stays that way.
As for the power supply, i know and have built alot of comps that only use a 250W psu (not my suggestion, of course) that run just as well as the ones with 600W psu's. Also, my 6800 only takes up one slot, thats entirely entirely dependent on the motherboard in your computer.
And spud: I get these prices on the basis that i order more than one thing, IE i usualy build entire pc's or i upgrade the mobo, proc, and ram at the same time. If im in a position in the near future to place an order i will let you know.
Leadtek is a good brand but their tech support does suck. However their cards are extremely fast and that's pretty much all I buy. I still have a GeForce 3 TI from LeadTek and even on a 1.333 GHz AGP 4x machine it can keep up with the rest of em.
It's not always about the newest and greatest hardware...there are tricks to squeeze every ounce of speed you can out of your machine.
If you understand anything about graphics programming in OpenGL or Direct3D you should be able to get your card to do a lot more than most people's.
My server pc has a FX5200 Gigabyte card it in that gets 102FPS in AA, 90-93FPS in Doom3, and 87-95FPS in HL2. Course volt modifications and better cooling will do that for ya : )
I love Led/vision cards first and foremost, but i dont reccomend them to customers because if one should be DOA or require an RMA ticket, god forbid its from them.
I'd have to definately agree with Bubba, I had a Leadtek GeForce Ti4200 for ever and it's still running in a server I built to learn 2k server and Linux. Can't say much about customer support since I haven't needed it. I have had 3 other GeForce cards and they all overheated but that was along time ago. I guess things have improved because that GT looks boom'n and the reviews are good too.
its an awsome card. I built a pc for a buddy with one and a Gigabyte k8ns pro/amd 64 3000+.
It gets 157FPS in hl2, its incredible.
this is the card I own: Leadtek Nvidia 6800 GT
I run it OC'd 400/1100 (same as 6800 ultra) and it never goes over 53c
no matter what chipset you get, NEVER get one made by powercolor. They expected a 20mm fan to cool an ati 9800, I learned my lesson with them.