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Thread: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

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    Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    Hi all. I'm looking to upgrade from my (very) old NVidea GeForce 4 MX440 64MB card, but I'm not looking to spend the earth.

    I've come across these two cards:
    PNY Verto GeForce 6200 / 256MB DDR 64 bit / AGP / Graphics Card
    and
    Sapphire Radeon 9250 256MB AGP Graphics Card

    which are both ranked as #2 and #4 in Top Sellers from Play.com's Graphics Card Section. Does anyone have any experience with either of these?

    I'm not going to be running any of the latest games, indeed, the newest I'd probably run is Sims 2 or something equivalent.

    I'm running at a resolution of 1680x1050 on a 22" widescreen flat panel, but obviously this won't be the case for all games.

    I'm basically looking for an AGP card with DVI out and at least 256MB of memory. Any feedback on those cards/suggestions of others would be much appreciated. I'm willing to spend up to the £40 mark.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    You won't see much increase in performance upgrading to those cards, so I would say that neither are good value

    If you can wear it, the 7600GS is a much bigger step up. Here is one. Spend another tenner with them to get the slow but free postage offer.

    Scan seem to have cheap 6600 and 6600GT cards on their Today Only offer page right now though they are only 128MB cards.

    On the ATI side, I think the 9550 is better than the 9250 you linked to? I use Nvidia, perhaps someone more in the know with ATI could fill in that gap.

    Interesting to see one of the new 2400pro Directx 10 cards in your price range. Might be nice if you intend doing high definition video at some point.

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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    ^ Hmm, I'd assumed that upgrading from a 64MB card to 256MB would virtually guarantee me much better performance. That said, I've never had cause to buy a new graphics card before, so I'm obviously not clued up about them hehe.

    I've never used an ATI card before, those were simply the ones I found as top-selling in AGP cards from Play. Indeed, I too have always used NVidia before.

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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    the amount of ram means very little to be honest, its speed and how its connected is more important.

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...tid=56&subcat=

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...=56&subcat=922

    both of those cards have 1024mb of accessable memory, but one is in a different universe when its comes to price and performance

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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    ^ Wow, well that's just saved me £30! As I said, I'm not at all clued up on how to judge these things... good job I posted here first.

    OK, so I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate which card I opt for now. Can anyone advise me what sort of thing I need to be looking at specs wise for improved performance over my current card?

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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    get the 2400pro
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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    Does depend on the rest of your specs, however at 1680x1050 nothing for £40 is going to be great, they'll be better than you currently have but not great
    For that price & AGP a 7600GS is going to probably be the best card you can get, unless you get something 2nd hand.
    EDIT: The above is for gameing, normal desktop browseing and such will be quite happy on that geforce4mx

    One thing I will metion here is Power, most graphic cards will need more power than that Geforce4mx, mainly from the +12v rail of the PSU (older PSUs although good can be a problem simpley because very little used to use the +12v so they were often low ampage on the +12v)

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    Re: Budget Graphics Card Advice...

    OK, I will try to give a quick heads up.

    The MX-440 that you have was a good card in its day. Standards have moved on, so if you get a new card it will have some new tricks (directx 9 standard vs directx 7) and the screen will look prettier in some games.

    However, although a new card will paint prettier pixels, it won't draw them much faster than your old card.

    There was a thread on here recently where someone upgraded from a Geforce 2 MX to a 6200, and was disappointed by the improvement. Your performance improvement will be much less than his was, as the 440MX is faster than the 2MX.

    When you pay more for a graphics card, you get 2 things.
    1/ Memory is faster (not necessarily more of it)
    2/ More pixel processor units.

    So, your 440MX has 4 pixel processing pipelines, as do the cards you originally found on play.com. The 7600GS has 12 pipes and the memory is twice as fast, so you can feel the difference. At the expensive end, the 7900GT has 24 pipes and even faster memory to keep them fed. Of course the real world is slightly more complex than that as not all pipes are the same and some cards drive the pipes faster than others, but that gives you a rough outline.

    One thing that may be relevant to you: I know someone that had a 64MB card (Geforce 3) who was getting blue screens after he upgraded his monitor to a newer higher res one when trying to play games. He upgraded to a 7600GS, and is delighted with it as it is both faster and he can now run World of Warcraft at full screen res.

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