Video Card Question, just curious

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I am not a gamer. I have a Radeon 9200 Video card that I think cost about 75
dollars and I have never felt like my computer was lacking in graphics
abilities at all.
    While looking threw the latest offering on Newegg I noticed many
graphics cards that are $500. This just flips me out. Are there really games
that you need a $500 Video card to play and if there are who plays these
games aside from Bill Gates kids. I make pretty good money but if my kid
said he wanted a $500 Video card for Christmas I would laugh in his face.

Just curious


Re: Video Card Question, just curious

On Sun, 4 Dec 2005 12:26:11 -0600, "Joe"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

There are CPUs that cost far more than $300, and a high end
video card is far more deserving of high cost than a cpu,
because it's as elaborate a processor as well as including
it's own circuit board, with power subcircuit, and a few
hundred MB of very fast memory.

While most people don't need that expensive of a video card,
it's far more ridiculous how much Pentium processors have
cost for years.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

"Need", not necessarily, but it does give a card more
longevity, would beat buying two mid-range cards at $120
each and having sluggish gaming right before buying that 2nd
card to replace the first low-midgrade card.

Depends on the user too, someone with that kind of $$$ to
put down on a card likely has some $$$ towards a nicer
higher resolution monitor and plays at higher resolution,
has a faster CPU, more memory, their whole system can take
better advantage of a faster card.

Remember that only a decade ago, systems routinely cost over
$2000, not high-end ones either.  $500 card could be put
into a $1300 system fairly easily.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Lots of younger adults play games, it's usually the kids who
play more console games, IMO.  Now consider that with a
console, games tend to cost about $50 per, rarely discounted
so much, while you can pick up a PC game that was really
popular a year ago for less than half price today.  Buy a
mere 8 games and that might be $200 savings in favor of
putting a nice video card in a PC rather than gettinga
console even though they start out lower priced then hook
you into their proprietary gaming.

IMO, $500 is a bit much for the average gamer, but then a
$500 CPU is too and they're out there for sale.  $200
motherboards seem rather extravagant to most buyers too but
today more than ever a high-end motherboard is way up

So no, you don't need a $500, not even $300 card to play
modern games... but like anything else that last 10-30%
performance gain costs disproportionately more.

The really sad part is that even with a $500 card you might
not get a fan on it that lasts 18 months, nor a heasink
worth $10.

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

Quoted text here. Click to load it

My Number 9 video card cost me almost $1000.00 about 11 years ago.
A $500.00 video card doesn't look too bad when comparing it to what
we got then.

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It seems like a lot but there are certain things that dont make it as
bad if sounds. First is the astonishing drop in other hardware.

In the old days ---- in fact up to the late 90s when rebate sales and
the net hadnt taken off like it did ,  hardware was far more
expensive. A stick of mem, hard disks , cases etc --- you were lucky
to get 10-20% off. Thats when mom and pop stores flourished in S calif
and the computer fair was a big deal.

Now you you can get a hard disk rebated at $19-29 , a case for 19-50
and a stick of mem for 30 bucks. A few years ago in fact they had free
sticks of 2100 DDR all the time after rebate. In fact recently even
the motherboards have softened. They used to be 200 and soften slowly
down to the 150-130 range. Now within 6 months they nosedive. Theres a
lot of sub 100 nfroce4 boards - which makes me a bit leery about the
quality recently with reports of problems. Anyway given the huge
savings in the other areas suddenly you have a lot more left over to
play with when purchasing a graphics card. Thats a HUGE factor.
And look at the LCD screens as well as CRTs. In the mid 90s I was
overjoyed to buy with some other friends at a Computer Fair in LA, a
NEC  17" CRT for $600. When I moved to where Im at now I was jazzed to
get a SONY 17" replacement for 700 bucks. Right now I have a 26" LCD
widescreen HDTV TV monitor which Im kind of pissed off about because
Circuit City didnt give me a discount down to $300-400. Im trying to
get them to issue me another discount.

The other is ,  very few buy them at that price. Im astonished but the
7800s just came out a little while ago and already there are deals on
the 7800GT down to $275 with small rebates intermittently. Maybe a few
people with money to burn buy it at those 500 buck prices most people
wait for a sale. And actually right now you can get a no compromise
powerful mainstream graphics card starting from 100 bucks or so. The
6600GT was on sale recently for $99 with rebate. Theres a ton of cards
in the 100-300 range now that are great for games.

Given those two factors it actually doesnt seem that bad. I used to
say I would never ever spend more than 200 on a graphics card . I
would spend up to 275 now because things are so cheap.

Another minor factor is things have been fairly stable in hardware.
Usually you had to throw everything away. They tried to do this, there
was  BTX and DDR2 in the INTEL arena and to a lesser extent in the

However BTX seems to have met a lot resistance so we can still use the
old cases we got eons ago and many bought 3200 DDR in the AMD camp
which they can carry over to a new nforce4 system. That really reduces
costs. Unfortunately the next M2 AMD is said to use DDR2.

In fact up intil the late 90s and early 2000s if you didnt pay
2000-3000 on a system you didnt get a decent system. And you could
have spent even more. Now if you spend more than 1200, its got to be
some kind of incredible system and even at 1200 its an  asskicking
game machine. Another benchmark are laptop prices. I rememeber looking
at them in the early 2000s -- IBM, Toshiba and Texas Instruments
3000-5000 for a good one. Now you see laptops on sale all the time at
499 or even lower recently during BF. You can get a decked out one for

Also keep in mind a new Xbox is 499 and they were pushing bundles that
had much higher prices.

So even kids can get them. I know a family - single mother etc who
showed me a bill for her PC she got in the early 2000s $2000. I put
one together for her for $250. If they added a 6600GT they would
actually have a usable game machine.

Even with all that ---- its not so much the price as the knowledge
many "kids" dont know about graphics cards etc m they end up getting
the Xbox or PS2.  The ones who seem to be buying all the expensive
game cards and even the new xbox seem to be from young teens to ,
older teens and adults. Teens have tons of disposable income now as
articles have mentioned. In the US and elsewhere theres a huge class
of not mega rich but upper middle class and lower rung rich families
who really  spoil their kids. Theyve shown faimilies where kids
besides having their own PC, TV, stereo  --- had BMWs and their own
stock portfolios at the age of 17-18.

My neighbor who is an immigrant who works in restaurant and runs a
small side janitorial business - spent $3000 on a PC for this son with
6800 GT selling at $300 last year. He wasnts an Xbox now.
Theres also articles now about how box office spending is on the
decline. A lot of male teens seem to be staying at home getting into
Home Theatersystems, with HDTVs finally nosediving and LCD TVs
--- and that means spending on games , DVDs etc,

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I'm scouting for components to rebuild my computer and I know nothing about
video cards.  Would anyone care to recommend a model?  I don't play computer
games, other than Freecell and Minesweeper.  I just surf the net and do word
processing, mostly.

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You can actually get the bottom of the barrel for that. But Id get
something slightly newer.

Theres a bunch of older cards , still hanging around in the mkt in the
bottom end.

Theres stuff like 400mx/440mx/4000mx  --- the really old nvidia line
that was the budget game card a few years ago. As time went by it
couldnt play more and more games but its fine for 2D type simple
graphics games , older games and everyday PC work.

The problem with this card is many places still sell this for 39-50
which is way overpriced. If you can find one for 10-20 bucks
preferably 10 or still have laying around you can still use it.

Others in the same class the 7000 ATI which they amazingly still sell
at COMPUSA -- overpriced at 36 bucks or so.

They even sell a RAGE graphics card with 8 megs ! Forget that card.

The ones you should look at are these if they are low priced enough.

9000 series ATI -- theres a ton of them but some have been phased out.
8500,9000, 9250 , 9200, 9100 etc

You see these going for ridiculous prices too. if you can get them for
$30-40 or so or less Id get them.

I got two 9600/pro  cards for $38 which is a great price.
If you can get a 9550/9600 or higher for 30-60 thats a decent price
Around $30-40 for a 9600. Thats a rock bottom price for decent card
and it can actually play many modern games too at lower res -- the

Thats actually ATIs older gen card too --- right before the current
gen.  The lower end of this model also uses shared memory. Look for
some weird term used with memroy

One generation older Nvidia chip based card that is up to date
in terms of direct X but is pwerful enough to play many modern
graphics intensive games but still better than many of the cheapo
cards I listed .

Geforce FX5200

These are all $40 or so.

If you want to jump to $50-60

look for a 5500 or better etc.
The current gen of ATI cards start with the model X300
and theres a 6200 nvidia -- the new gen low end card but they all tend
to use shared memory. If you read closely itll say something like
"hypermemory" and say something like "16meg onboard memory" . It has a
puny amount of memory and shares your PC memory.  Dont get these.

The 9250 128 meg or the 5200 is OK at 40 or less or around there.
If you really look you can find better deals though like the 9600 or
5700LE  or X300 with no shared mem really low on sale sometimes.

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You don't need a graphics card for that, you can just push the pixels
around manually yourself. Seriously, get the cheapest (or free) card
you can find, provided it fits your MB.

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

Quoted text here. Click to load it

While you obviously get diminishing returns after some point (which is
ridiculously low nowadays), people have different priorities. I never
spent more than $100 for a home audio system or more than $300 for a
TV but graphics is important for me, personally as well as for the
line of work I do, so $500 for a graphics card isn't unreasonable at

Re: Video Card Question, just curious

You have apparently not tried playing a current visual graphics intensive
game set on High Quality graphics settings in the game. A game such as Half
Life 2 would show you the difference or Doom 3.


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Site Timeline