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Thread: Which budget/semi-budget graphics card to get??

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    Which budget/semi-budget graphics card to get??

    well they say bad luck comes in threes - recently mine has come in sixes

    thanks to everyone who advised me on a good heatsink last week - i decided to get it from maplin and not get it delivered as i didnt want my pc to be offline for the 2-3 days it would have taken to get it delivered.

    My second pc (ive got two set up in a network) is a bit of an anomoly. Whilst it has a p4 3.2 HT and 1gig of ram - its set up with only a 30gb hard drive, 15 inch crt monitor, £10 case that cuts you whenever you mod it and a fairly old graphics chip (32mb).

    My problem is this : 80% of the time when the pc is on the monitor swtiches off either straight away or - its as if it thinks the pc has been switched off (even though the pc is still running perfectly). I switched it on with the side casing off and noticed that the graphics card fan does not spin at all when the pc is switched on.

    I havent tested the monitor or the monitor cable as yet though due to the age of the graphics card and the fact that the fan isnt coming on, ive decided that ill need to get a new graphics card.

    Can anyone reccomend a good reliable budget graphics card (i can wait for delivery this time). It doesnt have to be top of the range altough i am planning on playing some network games between the pcs once i get it sorted so it should be able to cope with jedi knight 2 etc.

    ive got a ati graphics card with 256mb although i have saw a few good budget nvidia cards that look good - should i opt for something like that?

    any help would be greatly appreciated
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    OK here to help

    What ATI 256mb card do you have already?

    How much money do you have/want to spend?

    What size is your monitor and what resolution will you run your games?

    Can you live with jaggies or would you prefer to have your game anti-aliased?

    ATI 9800Pro 128mb for £125... is that over your budget?

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    Senior Member kushtibari's Avatar
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    Big divide in prices at the moment. You can get a hugely capable card for just over £100 and then there's about a £200 jump to the X800/6800. There are a few 9800's knocking about for 130ish. However, if you're using it on a 15" monitor I wouldn't spend much more than £50 on a 9600 or get a second hand 9500pro for about the same (much better card). Don't buy a card with a low end chipset but 256mb of ram that it won't be able to make use of.

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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    depends if you want it to future proof in the slightest. If you do, then a 9800pro is the only way to go. a 9600pro would do if you just want to play old games [eg Quake 3 engine ones like JK2/3]

    a 9600 would run far cry etc aswell but not at full whack like the 9800 would =)

    my vote is a for a 9800pro tho, with that CPU it would be a stonking pc =)

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    Registered+ Zathras's Avatar
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    What's your budget? I'd look out for some Retek 9500s at around £30. Should mod to a 9500 Pro which will be plenty good enough for the time being.

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    my pc has a 256mb 9600 series ati card

    the pc im upgrading only has a 32mb - this pc doesnt need to have a top of the range card - the majority of the time its just being used by my mum to email my brother in the us

    £50 is probably my budget - as im going backpacking in 8 weeks time for 4 months and need to look after my pennies

    although i dont need to get a top of the range card - i dont want to have to replace the card in that pc anytime soon - although i probably would anyways cos i love upgrading
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    Looks like you can get a GF4 Ti4600 128mb for about £40-45 on ebay. I don't think you will do better for less than £50 and new cards at this price don't perform as good as the GF4 cards.

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    I agree with whats been said above - check out a second-hand gf4 or radeon 9500, you can't really do better for under £50, personally I'd go for the rad 9500

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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    a 9600[se/pro/xt] is a semi budget card - mid range

    if the pc is just used for email etc then a second hand GF4 will do nicely =)

    [not NOT mx - they are not really graphics cards]

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    thanks for the replies folks
    i cant seem to find a decent card on ebay at the moment - but hopefully something will come up in the next few days
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    picked up a geforce4 4200ti 64mb for £26
    that should do the pc for a year or so and then i can get a new card and throw this one into a pc not only getting used for emails etc
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