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Video Hardwares Help


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#1 luciusad2004

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:36 PM

So it looks like i will be in the market for a pc soon. Ive been looking around and i just dont have ANY clue what to look for as far as video. Since im on a pretty low budget ($500), i probably wont be spending more than $100 on a video card. I want something decent but i dont need anything extreme.

1. Are there any specific brands i should look in to other than nvidia and ati? I noticed alot of other brands still boast Nvidia or Ati, GPU's and/or chipsets. Are these boards as good as a board actually produced by Nvidia or Ati?

2. I would like to be able to at least play some casual games. As i mentioned i dont need anything extreme. Just enough to at least run some games. Most of the stuff i play is real time strategy, or Halo once in a while; so it isnt really anything that require to much out of my system. So, what should i look for as far as memory (on the video card)? 256Mb? What about the memory interface? Is 128bit decent? But the real question is, what can i get in my price range.

3. What are pixel pipelines? I checked the glossary but didnt find anything. What is a good number to have for my price range ($100 tops). Sry if this is a dumb question. I dont really kno anything about videocards, or video output, etc. Any other useful information on video output is welcome.

4. Are there any particular interfaces that i should look for. I read that PCI is becomeing less common for videocards. Should i look for something with PCI express or AGP? Does this really matter in the long run? I know that i have to make sure that whatever motherboard i purchase has that particular slot on it.

5. I am looking to upgrade later (when i get a job), would it be a good idea to look in to a sli capable card and then when the time comes simply buy another card, or should i just get an affordalbe card and worry about upgrades later? (seems to me it would be better to plan for the future. but thats just me. i was wonder what you thought.)

Thanks for any and all help. :thumbsup:

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#2 Snapper

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:04 PM

indeed you are right to plan for the future. a bad buy now can haunt you in the future. consider a 939 pin amd board. asus makes some nice ones. this way you can upgrade later to a dual core amd chip, or an fx chip.(same socket) as far as a video card goes, my humble opinion, i would go pci express, dont bother worrying about sli, you can get a very fast card without it. BFGhas a lifetime warr, and XFX has cards that you can overclock very well.they both use nvidia chipsets. stick with either ati or nvidia. a 128m card would do fine for now as you have been explaining to me. i can run decent games very well using my 6600gt 128m card. good luck
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#3 stevealmighty

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:42 PM

1. Are there any specific brands i should look in to other than nvidia and ati? I noticed alot of other brands still boast Nvidia or Ati, GPU's and/or chipsets. Are these boards as good as a board actually produced by Nvidia or Ati?


It's really user preferance. Some love ATI and some swear by Nvidia. IMHO, both are good.

2. I would like to be able to at least play some casual games. As i mentioned i dont need anything extreme. Just enough to at least run some games. Most of the stuff i play is real time strategy, or Halo once in a while; so it isnt really anything that require to much out of my system. So, what should i look for as far as memory (on the video card)? 256Mb? What about the memory interface? Is 128bit decent? But the real question is, what can i get in my price range.


128Mb of RAM on the card will do you fine for most (if not all) games. 128 bit interface is good.


3. What are pixel pipelines? I checked the glossary but didnt find anything. What is a good number to have for my price range ($100 tops). Sry if this is a dumb question. I dont really kno anything about videocards, or video output, etc. Any other useful information on video output is welcome.


Pixel piplelines are the "pipelines" that carry the "Pixels". Basically, the more the merrier. The more pipelines you have, the faster the card can move information resulting in higher frame rates of a game. A decent number is 8 (bare minimum). A good number is 12. Higher numbers are also better, but will be out of your price range :thumbsup:


4. Are there any particular interfaces that i should look for. I read that PCI is becomeing less common for videocards. Should i look for something with PCI express or AGP? Does this really matter in the long run? I know that i have to make sure that whatever motherboard i purchase has that particular slot on it.


PCI express is good. It's the new "In" thing, and is faster than AGP. I'm guessing that in a years time, agp will be a thing of the past. Most cards are now available in both agp and pci-e. IMHO, I'd go with PCI express (PCI-E), as it'll be easier to work with in the future.

5. I am looking to upgrade later (when i get a job), would it be a good idea to look in to a sli capable card and then when the time comes simply buy another card, or should i just get an affordalbe card and worry about upgrades later? (seems to me it would be better to plan for the future. but thats just me. i was wonder what you thought.)


Again, just my opinion, but unless your doing a lot of video rendering/editing and some really hardcore gaming, TBH I wouldn't waste the money on SLI. A single card should do you just fine. You could even upgrade a single card to a (for example) a 7800gt, which is a great card, and probably half or close to half the price of dual SLI cards. Buy an affordable card now and worry about updating in a year or 2.

As far as your budget goes, the Nvidia 6600 GT PCI-E for $99 is about the best bang for the buck. It's a good card that will do what you want right now, and even run some higher end games in the future (on low settings of course), until you upgrade to bigger and better. You can check this link HERE from Newegg.com. Feel free to read the reviews, or even look at other cards.

Hope all this helps!

EDIT: Oops! Looks like I should've scrolled down! I didn't see the second post! I guess that I just kinda backed up everything that Snapper said!

Edited by stevealmighty, 16 May 2006 - 02:44 PM.

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#4 luciusad2004

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 03:24 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I actually was thinking about getting a 939 pin amd board from assus. I was thinking of putting a 2 gig amd athlon 64 3200 venice core on it. I still have to figure out what board i want tho. Ill probably look around and see what sort of reviews i can find. Id like to put more money in to a main board but prob wont have much to put towards it (100 MAX unless i cut in to video card funds). I could possibly end up recycling some parts i already have. (hard drives, disk drives, ethernet card,etc; i dunno ill have to see what i can dig up... and what still works)

Now that i think about it i had another question, if its allowed (it seems it would be better to ask in my existing thread than to make a new one, if its not allowed let me know and ill edit this part out.)...

I DO have a case but its older. How many spots should i have for mounting fans? My case only has one in the rear not counting the ps fan (it looks like there might be one in the front but its coverd by the front bezle(excuse my spelling)). When i was using it, i was running an amd athlon (im not sure what kind. It was old tho, it sat on a daughter board, wich sat vertically up off of the mother board). I never had a problem with cooling. but that was a while ago. Is one fan (not counting the ps fan) in the back going to move enough air to keep my pc cool.? I imagine it would not be that hard to make some more mounting locations (on the top or side).

As always thanks for all of your help. Any responses on any of my questions are greatly appreciated.

---Computer Science Major---


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#5 Snapper

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:39 PM

well, trhe more air u move, the cooler it can be the longer the life can be as well. i use a thermaltake tsunami. very lightweight, aluminum case, 120mm fan in the front and in the back. an 80mm on the side, plus my vid,north bridge, cpu, psu all have at least 1. so i guess i am cool! lol. check out some of these bad boy cases, just make sure you have enough rom for your hardware and potential FUTURE upgrades. cause you always look to the future for expansion. i almost couldnt fit an aftermarkrt fan on my video card because i have 4 HDD in my case. (raid 0,raptors, ye-ha!) anyway here's the link.
http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/product/Chas...assis_index.asp
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#6 luciusad2004

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:12 PM

Awesome. Thanks for the link. The only problem with those is my budget lol. ill look around and see what i find. Thanks again for all of the help

---Computer Science Major---


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