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Buying A New Graphics Card! Need Some Advice!


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#1 B34R

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 01:51 PM

Hey there all!

As you can see from my post title I am looking for a new graphics card. My problem is that I've never brought a graphics card before, I've always been given hand me downs and thus have no idea about GPU's. The reason I have become suddendly entusiastic about buying a GPU will become apparent in due course.

Recently my computer died on me along with latest handme down, but since the system was 4 years old I decided on an update and went the pci-e route. So with the help of a friend, I got my hands on a biostar K8 geforce 6100-M9 motherboard and a 64bit 3Ghz processor and new case. I decided to move some of the bits from my old unit into the new one, but due to the fact my old board was AGP and my new one use PCI-E 16 I could not transfer the graphics card. Thus my mission began to find a graphics card.

Now with very little money at present and being quite impatient I decided that I would spend between 50 and 70 on a card now. However being a reasonably avid gamer and wanting to play with various image manipulating software titles, I also came to the conclusion this card would have to be reasonably poweful as well. So I set out to find a card with a high performance to cost ratio.

After much searching I came upon the Geforce 6600 DDR2 PCI-E 256mb. This card seemed to fit in the price range and meet my needs of perfeormance to cost ratio. So .... I am now stuck with the task of choosing a manufacturer and this is where I need some input. I have looked at ASUS, Gigabyte, XFX, Inno and various others. All the cards I have considered look slightly different, but due to my limited knowledge I cannot differentiate between them.

Therefore I am appealing to anyone in the know to put foward a suggestion as to which version of this card I should go with, taking into mind I would prefer a core speed of 400MHz and require VGA adapters.

Thanks for any help that you can offer!

p.s So far I have looked at:

ASUS Extreme N6600TOP 256mb
Gigabyte GeForce 6600GT 256MB(128bit)DDR11 PCIE SLI
GIGABYTE Geforce 6600 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Turbo Force Ultra, Silent Pipe
Inno3D GeForce 6600 DDR2
DabsValue GF 6600 256MB DDR2 PCI-E DVI
XFX GeForce 6600 DDR2 256MB PCIe
MSI Geforce 6600 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
Leadtek WinFast Geforce 6600 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16
BIOSTAR Geforce 6600 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16

Edited by B34R, 30 May 2006 - 09:53 PM.


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#2 pascor22234

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:04 PM

Hi B34r. So, you've settled on the 6600 series and not the 6800...

Here's a few things to consider. Every manufacturer of these cards do the same thing: make a board with the very same GPU and compatible RAM and run it with the same drivers. Where the differences come in is such things as quality (overclocking speed) of the memory and the heatsink & fan, similarly affecting overclocking capabilities of the GPU. Also note the differences in the warrantees. The cards all look the same, except for the heatsink/fan (HSF) because thay are mostly the same.

I can't give you opinions on brands but I suggest you read all the user reviews at Newegg.com. Take them individually with a grain of salt (each) and see how the brands stack up against each other.

Oh, a couple more things: DVI output is barely better than analog - you may not even be able to tell the difference. SLI models will command a premium that you probably don't want to pay if you don't plan on buying 2 cards.

#3 B34R

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 06:11 PM

Hey there Pascor!

Thanks for the speedy reply. I decided to settle on the 6600 ddr 2 since the 6800 series is too pricey for me and this card fills the gap. The 6600 ddr is cheaper but not as good performance wise. As for DVI I'm not overly bothered by it, especially since I have a CRT. However most of the boards seem to incorperate it. The same goes for SLI, but again most of the boards I have seen seem to have this feature. I will look into the reviews you mentioned as soon as possible. Thanks again! Also if anyone has any information pertaining to which brand names are reputable then I would be more than happy to be know.

What do you people think of the XFX version of the 6600 DDR2?

Edited by B34R, 30 May 2006 - 10:15 PM.


#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 11:07 PM

Make sure your power supply is adaquate to run the card plus whatever else you have installed.

Power Supply Calculator

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

#5 B34R

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 09:08 PM

Thanks for the power tips.

I think Im going to go with an Asus Extreme N6600TOP 256M. It has a 400mhz core clock speed and good overclocking prospects and a 3 year guarentee, along with VGA adapter and minimal bundle which is great for me. However I was wondering whether anyone knows if the ASUS Extreme N6600TOP 128M is out in retail form yet. I can't seems to find it! The card looks particulary impressive and does a pretty good job of coming close to GT.




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