Looking for new vid card....

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Have no idea why they are so hard to shop for.  Looking at upgrading from a
Radeon 9800Pro.  Current system is an AMD 3200 processor on a Gigabyte Mobo
(forget the model number).  Transitioned to that after a bad BIOS flash
FUBAR'd my Intel 3.2G rig;s processor and Mobo.  I've noticed that some
games run great that ran alittle jittery on my Intel rig, while others GOT
jittery on the AMD rig.  Those that improved include "Roller Coaster Tycoon
3", those that declined in perfocmance include HL2, and Call Of Duty 2.  All
in all system performance is better.  I am looking to increase game
performance.  Like to stick to an UNDER $200 board, and it must be AGP.  I
am not a tool to either the ATI or NVIDIA chipsets, just want the best bang
for the buck.... under 200, yet would still have a significant improvement
over my current board.  I have looked at the ATI X1300 board, but can't seem
to find any reviews comparing it to similar pricepoint boards, only to those
that uterly kill it, or are utterly killed by it (depending on weather the
reviewer is a fanboy of ATI or Nvidia).  Any Recommendations?  Does 512MB
VRam have any SIGNIFICANT benifit over 256?

More system details....

AMD 3200+ Athalon64
GIGABYTE Mobo (unknown model number, was 99 bux at Fry's in October... and
still is)
2*512 RAM in Dual Channel
2*300 GB MaxtorSata HDD's in RAID-0 Array
Additional 120 GB WD SATA Hdd
Creative Audigy2 Soundboard (yes it kicks utter ass with a good 7.1 speaker
ATI Radeon 9800 PRO 128mb AGP Video (what i want to replace)
Windows MCE 2005 OS.

System does run a lot of overhead, I know an additional GIG of ram is in the
near future, I use this machine as a Gaming/Working machine and it has the
added duty of Media Server with the Media Client being an Xbox with Media
Center Extender.  It is RARELY shutdown let alone rebooted, and it IS in the
bedroom so a vid card with a screamingly loud fan is not hapenin' tho the
system is far from "silent", whats more important is heat generation,
especially when idle, I hate having to run the AC when its 40 Deg outside
just to cool down the bedroom, its been a problem before, but the AMD setup
seems not ot contribute as much heat.

Other ideas?

Re: Looking for new vid card....

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Did a quick search at newegg.com, filtered by price ($100-$200) and slot
(AGP) and came up with 50 cards from which to choose. Good luck.....

Re: Looking for new vid card....

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Exactly... I can find WAY to many cards to choose between, thats why I'm
asking here, what i'm looking for is recommendations form people that may
have actually purchased or otherwise had first hand experience with cards in
this pricerange.

Re: Looking for new vid card....

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Well, all I can tell you is the last time I bought a vidcard, I was just as
overwhelmed as you by the choices. Finally settled on a nice FX5700 256MB
AGP card from Chaintech that was just fine. Took me weeks of reading and
digging and more reading to choose that one. The experience was one reason
my lastest upgrade included a motherboard with decent onboard video *and*
and available PCI-E x16 slot should I ever decide to descend into that
madness again. Unless I choose to start playing HL2 or Q4 or some such (I
won't), my nVidia 6150 chipset will just have to do.

Re: Looking for new vid card....

On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 15:47:47 -0700, "nooneimportant"

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Because AGP interface is being phased out.  OEMs are the
primary market no matter how much the online netizens like
to think otherwise.  Thus the target market is small, fewer
#s and types of cards will be available for AGP.  Plus,
there's a diminishing return, an upper limit to what an AGP
based system will run which is drawing near so after a
certain point it won't make a lot of sense to buy a much
faster (higher-end) AGP card.

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You're not going to get much for under $200.  You're falling
into the same trap as many, thinking to replace a card that
may not be blazing by modern standards, but was no slouch a
couple years ago.  It'll take near the first $100 just to
get same performance or trivial benefit, and gaming cards
skyrocket from there.  In other words, your best bet is
looking at cards in the $150 bare minimum price range,
closer to $250 is more realistic.

However, at this point in time it might make more sense to
just buy a new motherboard.  "Some" of the boards with PCI
Express are now under $80, which is less expense than it
first appears because PCI Express versions of video cards
are typically cheaper than their AGP counterparts.  The main
problem then might be if you have (need) a lot of PCI cards,
since the typical PCI Express board has those annoying other
PCI express slots with very little cards to use in them.
You'll just have to look around and see what's available but
IMO, what you want to do, a good result will be over $200
total, not under $200.

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Well who doesn't want "IT ALL", a great improvement for
pennies on the dollar?  Unfortunately if that were feasible,
the more expensive cards wouldn't exist except for someone
trying to run at 1600x1200 with 8X FSAA/AF.

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No, not in your price range.  There have been a lot of new
cards entering the market (or soon to), you might get closer
to your goal by waiting a few months.  Not that the new
cards will necessary be what you'd choose but that they will
depreciate the current and older cards.

Re: Looking for new vid card....

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Good post Kony. I would even take it one step further and say it would
probably be even better to wait until his next upgrade to his system and
then go the PCIX 16 route. The 9800 is not a slouch at all and will probably
serve him fine for awhile. A year or so ago it was state of the art. I don't
think that with his current budget he can do a whole lot better if at all.

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Re: Looking for new vid card....

On Sun, 19 Mar 2006 14:30:25 +0000, Ed Medlin wrote:
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A year ago (April 2005) it was no where near state of the art, the low end
cards were X300s, mid-range X700s and high end X800s

Here's a link to April 2005's Anandtech video card price guide:


Here's a "first test" review of the 9800 Pro which was written in March
2003 (yes folks, 3 years ago already):


It's been a long while since 9800 was state of the art.

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I do agree with that, he's going to be replacing an old high-end card with
a new low-end one - there's not going to be much benefit there...



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