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Affordable Modern Graphics Cards

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the save-a-pixel-or-two dept.

Graphics 484

EconolineCrush writes "If graphics cards that cost more than a mortgage payment make your wallet quiver, it's worth checking out ATI's Radeon X700 and NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 series. Both are based on cut down versions of latest and greatest graphics chips, but at under $200, they sell for a fraction of the price of high-end cards. What's more, these $200 wonders outperform last year's $500 cards, sometimes by embarrassingly large margins. The Tech Report has in-depth reviews of both the GeForce 6600GT and Radeon X700 XT if you're in the market for a next-gen graphics card that's a little more affordable."

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Cooling! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343158)

My new graphics card sounds like a jet engine, and requires liquid nitrogen cooling.

Re:Cooling! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343267)

This is my fourth first post since I started trying for them about 3 weeks ago. I don't understand the charm, really. Every time I've gone for the first post, except once, I've gotten it. Is it really worth bragging about?

I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343290)

I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you.

Hoo Lee Fook! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343394)

Sony's GameCube isn't actually a cube !!!!!
(4.3"(H) x 5.9"(W) x 6.3"(D)) [ign.com]

Fuckin' metrick system!!!!
They should all be arrested for false advermatizing!!!

A mortgage payment!!!???? (5, Funny)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343166)

If a graphics card = a mortgage payment, you're either buying one hell of a graphics card, or I want your mortgage payment!

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343205)

Oh, don't rip on the submitter for it.

He just shamelessly cribbed the reference from the article... :)

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343265)

testing, 1-2-3

I don't have a mortgage payment.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (5, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343211)

You can have my mortgage payment, just send you cheque to...

I agree. When putting together my last machine, I set a limit of what I would spend on a graphics card. I ended up with $200 as my limit. I bought a FX5600 which on my AMD 2500 (oc'd to about a 2800) runs Doom 3 at medium Quality at 1024x768 with hardly a slow down. I'm happy, especially considering the card is over a year old. The folks who spend $500+ on cards must have more disposable income than I, or less brains than my boss.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (3, Interesting)

guppy98 (718496) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343223)

My mortgage payment is $880 CDN every 2 weeks. The GF 6800 Ultra is listed at $819 CDN. So, it's pretty close to a mortgage payment. This is a good article. Who is going to paying Over $800 (granted CDN) for a video card that will be second or third line in 6 months? I'd really like to hear from people who buy these and how they can justify the cost.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (1)

smallmj (69620) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343335)

My mortgage payment is about $290 CDN every 2 weeks. This is for a 5 bedroom house, and I put 25% down. Lots of graphics cards cost WAY more than this. Maybe the author lives in a place where real estate is NOT insane.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343448)

I buy the pricy first-gen hardware.

As an avid gamer, I view my $5,000/yr hardware habit the same way a sports fan looks at his season tickets. It's simply the cost of entertainment.

I play games almost every day, for about two hours a day. I'd rather play CS than watch The Apprentice, and I like to play on high-end hardware. It just amazes me, the way every time I think it can't get much better... it gets much better!

Besides, us early adopters are great for the rest of you. Without us, your speedy $200 video cards would be $1,000.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343225)

I assumed from the nick "EconolineCrush" that he's living in a Ford van. (Perhaps down by the river, perhaps not.) A $500 mortgage therefore seems reasonable.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (o/t) (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343296)

Econoline Crush is a Canadian rock band.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (1)

JBlaze03 (663162) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343332)

There is actually a Canadian band named Econoline Crush... I assume that is what the nick refers to

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (2, Informative)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343281)

My mortgage payment is $350. $500 > $350, so a high end graphics card would be more than a mortgage payment.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343327)

> My mortgage payment is $350

Where do you live?
I'm in New York. My mortgage payment is over $3000/month, and that's not for a mansion either.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (1, Offtopic)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343352)

Northern Iowa in a small town. I walk to work each morning and have a 3 minute commute.

Services aren't that far away either. I live within 30 minutes of two movie theaters and two hospitals (more miles, but short drives).

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (0, Offtopic)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343435)

> I walk to work each morning and have a 3 minute commute.

Me too. I walk to work each morning and have a 30 second commute, 45 seconds if I pause to put on my Frank-the-dead-bunny slippers. (I have a home office).
But when I did commute to work it was 1 1/2 hours each way.

> Services aren't that far away either. I live within 30 minutes of two movie theaters and two hospitals (more miles, but short drives).

I live within 30 minutes of at least 20 movie theaters and 10 hospitals... But I only ever go to one movie theater and one hospital so I don't know what I gain by being here...

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (0, Offtopic)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343479)

Living in a small town isn't for everyone. But it sounds like you telecommute, so there's no real reason to live in a large city.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (0, Offtopic)

Nugget (7382) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343530)

t sounds like you telecommute, so there's no real reason to live in a large city.

This is only true if you do nothing but work and your job is 100% secure and satisfying.

If you do expect to spend some of your life doing things outside of work, or if you can concieve of perhaps someday having a different job then the decision is far less polarized. Small towns don't usually have 24 hour chinese food delivery, job opportunities, or a large singles community for dating or marriage opportunities.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343374)

Yep. I've got a fantastic interest rate, I live sandwiched between neighbors above below, to the right and left of me in San Jose, someone died violently in my bedroom right before I moved in, and I still pay $1500/month for a Mortgage payment. I find it sad that I pay more in property taxes than some people do for their mortgages. :(

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (-1, Offtopic)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343447)

That clinches it.

I'm never moving to New York.

Small town life for me, I suppose!

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343339)

Well, he could be buying one of these [3dlabs.com] , which is about the same as a payment on a $600,000, 30 year mortgage, with 6% interest, and 20% down.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (3, Insightful)

geeber (520231) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343386)

Apparently some in the Slashdot crowd are immune to literary devices such as hyperbole.

I personally prefer being a little less literal at times.

Re:A mortgage payment!!!???? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343428)

Or you have a really small house.

Rats (2, Funny)

hesiod (111176) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343181)

Damn, and I just bought a Radeon 9600XT because it was cheap & available on eBay. Now I have to throw it away because new cards came out...

Re:Rats (4, Interesting)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343219)

These cards are being produced at this price and this speed for one reason -- they run doom 3 at an appropriate speed.

They are cheaper because they are not the fastest possible thing on the market; however, they make it where you can run doom iii with all the bells and whistles enabled at a decent resolution.

They are attacking the mid to high gamer market.

Brillant marketing move... if Doom 3 becomes the next standard.

If something else is the next standard and these cards don't run up to par with that game, then this line will circle downward very quickly.

Re:Rats (3, Insightful)

The Kow (184414) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343272)

You're fooling yourself if you think Doom 3 has achieved some pillar of achievement that isn't going to be breached within the next generation of games.

Heck, Far Cry was almost as demanding as doom 3 and it came out last summer. Some people even liked it more, especially when Ubisoft released the Pixel Shader Model 2.0 patch for it, to let it make use of the new shader technology on the GeForce 6800 cards - which, by the way, looks pretty cool, if you haven't seen it yet.

Re:Rats (2, Interesting)

HFXPro (581079) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343408)

Pixel Shader 2.0? That is Geforce FX area. Geforce 6800's bring Pixel Shader 3.0 (finally turning complete) to the table. I assume ATI cards are much the same way.

Re:Rats (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343467)

It's "Turing complete", you condescending dope.

Re:Rats (1)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343478)

True.

The games that will follow using the Doom3 engine will be heavier then Doom3 itself, as they will not be focusing on optimizing the content.
Just look at the past: Half life was heavier then Quake II, Alice heavier than Quake3, etc.

Yes but... (0, Offtopic)

Cumstien (637803) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343243)

Yes but are those graphic cards compatible with a level 6 computer?

GanDuff - Finally a full-bodied Ale with the wisdom of Middle Earth and the cynicism of Springfield.

Sell for a fraction... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343186)

...yet a very large fraction.

The last video card I bought was a Radeon 9000 for $99 dollars in January.

Re:Sell for a fraction... (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343220)

The super-expensive new cards are more for those who just have to be on the bleeding edge of technology. A $99 card will play any modern game smoothly, but it doesn't give you bragging rights with any of your videophile friends. If you're into that sort of thing.

Personally, I bought a Radeon 9200SE for $99 about 6 months ago (give or take), and it meets or exceeds the requirements of any game I've ever seen.

Re:Sell for a fraction... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343295)

I can't run RTCW at better than 640x480 and still get a consistent-appearance framerate. 14fps doesn't bother me unless I was running at 30+ just a few moments before.

$99 card for any game? (2, Insightful)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343411)

I thought Doom 3 was a modern game.From what I recall, owners of 9000/9200 cards cannot enjoy D3 even at 640x480 with playable fps (25-30). A resolution lower than that simply ruins the whole effort put by id Soft.

The 6600GT and X700XT are what people ready to upgrade should be looking for. It shouldn't take "too" long for the agp versions but I could always be wrong. Seeing how both ATI and nVidia made a fast card for a bargain price, I assume they'll work their ass off as fast as possible to be the first releasing the agp version and see the # of sales rise up like the tower of pizza.

Re:Sell for a fraction... (1)

roadrunnerro (800862) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343431)

a) you've overpaid. a lot! (I assume you mean US$) b) you haven't seen many games lately, have you mr. low-uid man?

Re:Sell for a fraction... (2, Interesting)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343455)

Well that definately depends on what resolution you play your games on and whether or not anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering are important to you.
I play on a 19" monitor and 640x480 or 800x600 looks very jagged.
I would be interested in seeing what types of framerates you get in Doom 3 or Far Cry on a 9200SE.
I went from a 5600 Ultra to a 6800 GT and was blown away by the difference. Being able to run all of my games in 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 with AA and aniso on is awesome.
Running 1280x1024 in City of Heroes means my screen isn't cluttered with large interface elements. So the res does actually improve gameplay in some cases.
Certainly the importance of high end graphics is dependant on the individual but if all I wanted was 640x480 that Xbox might look better.

Re:Sell for a fraction... (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343457)

But I bought my R8500LE for about $80 almost two years ago, and from what I can see on the benching sites, it beats the R9200SE, R9200, R9600SE, and even the no-suffix (The XT and Pro beat it.) 9600, at least at Quake3. It also beats them on the "FBucks" scale.

As mentioned earlier, I expected more progress across the board, not just above $100.

Why just PCI-E (5, Insightful)

untermensch (227534) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343196)

Of course, if you actually want to use your shiny new 6600-series card, you're gonna need to dish out the cash for a new PCI-E motherboard too. That or wait a few (more) months for an AGP version to show up.

Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted that Nvidia is releasing a good quality card at a reasonable price, I realize that PCI-E allows for the very cool SLI technology, and I intend to buy one eventually, but seriously why not come out with AGP cards at the same time, my copy of DOOM3 is already starting to dusty while I wait :(

Looking forward to PCI-E... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343263)

...if just for the fact that I'll be able to upgrade hardware on my machine whose bandwidth requirements normally demand that they be placed on the chipset.

Re:Why just PCI-E (5, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343322)

I agree that this was an odd move. Considering that PCI-Express motherboards are in the "early adopter" stage.
I think perhaps Nvidia and ATI are hoping to get these cards out in large quantities for the OEM system market in time for the Christmas buying season. Retailers are likely to be pushing the new PCI-Express systems as the wave of the future for the holidays.

Re:Why just PCI-E (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343514)

+1: Correct inclusion of modifier with "quality"

These aren't midrange cards! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343197)

SINCE WHEN DID 200 DOLLAR VIDEO CARDS BECOME MIDRANGE! The top of the line should cost around 200-300, and the midranges should be in the 100-150 range, and budgets below 100. This is plain ridiculous...

Re:These aren't midrange cards! (1)

Skalizar (676291) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343308)

It's just like popcorn and soda at the movies or other such gouging. As long as people keep paying, the price will keep going up.

Ask your McBoss. (-1, Flamebait)

glrotate (300695) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343334)

For a McRaise. High-end is about $500 so $200 is midrange. If you can't afford it, then sucks2bu.

Re:Ask your McBoss. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343486)

Actually, high-end is closer to $3,000 [3dlabs.com] . If you didn't know that, it's obviously because you're a lower-class monkey, who thinks his $70,000/year salary is special.

I think the point is... (1)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343489)

... that so-called "midrange" cars are not halfway between a Lamborghini and a Hyundai in price.

Re:These aren't midrange cards! (3, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343358)

Supply and demand. I guess they will charge what the market will bear. These prices have been the norm for several years though. The GeForce 4 series high end 4600 model initially cost $500 with the 4400 coming in at $400 and the 4200 around $300.
I do think that this time around parts scarcity has something to do with it. I found it almost impossible to find a 6800 GT when I went looking.

Re:These aren't midrange cards! (4, Insightful)

hesiod (111176) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343438)

> SINCE WHEN DID 200 DOLLAR VIDEO CARDS BECOME MIDRANGE!

Agreed. Up until a few months ago, I was using a Diamond Speedstar A50 (8MB, _EARLY_ AGP card). Then I tried playing a game. I had to go to a 32 Meg card. Then I tried playing a real game. I thought 32 megs was pretty good until I realized that these days, anything more complex than Tetris requires 128MB. Crazy. When 128MB is low-end, there's a problem somewhere.

0wn (1)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343201)

Abit has x700 [abit-usa.com] cards already. What I'm jazzed about today though is Vias [techreport.com] PCIe chipset for AMD.

x700 + A64 939 + HL2 Collectors edition = Lovin!

Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

gargonia (798684) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343204)

Almost makes you wonder if the makers of video cards are deliberately holding back on the market to make higher profits.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343370)

And so what if they are? It's not a public service, it's a commercial product. One that they don't *have* to sell, at any price. One that you don't *need*, but merely *want*.

If you don't want to pay what they're asking for it, wait a year. The prices will drop.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

The Kow (184414) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343391)

I won a 6800 Ultra at a raffle done by NVidia back in mid-April or so. I received the card in mid-June. No big deal, except that they'd used the exact same model of those cards in a tournament they hosted at the same time as the raffle. I scrambled to get it on Ebay, thinking I wanted to beat it to market, but it turns out I was still a month or so ahead of the release schedule anyhow.

PCI-E versions? (1)

BlueJay465 (216717) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343207)

could be an affordable version of a powerful audio DSP with some of the new AVEX (audio video exchange) technology coming out, like BionicFX [bionicfx.com]

Can't bring myself to buy cheap graphics cards (4, Insightful)

Peterius (606003) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343209)

I just can't. I feel like if I'm going to spend 200 bucks, it has to be the latest and the greatest, general gaming card. Which means like 400 bucks... my next problem is that I then worry about the rest of my computer. Its like if its not a totally perfect gaming rig, why bother upgrading at all. Anyone else have this problem/compulsion?

Re:Can't bring myself to buy cheap graphics cards (2, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343321)

I do. By the time I was content, I just dropped about 1600$ in a week's time.

Visa loves me, now.

:(

Re:Can't bring myself to buy cheap graphics cards (4, Interesting)

The Kow (184414) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343348)

Many people who upgrade their computers do it in steps. Usually the largest hump is the motherboard/cpu/RAM upgrade, but the video card, sound card, peripherals, monitor, are often released at different paces, so there's no point trying to upgrade them all at once. I just recently bought my first new sound card in about 3 years, but I've been through 3 video cards in the same time frame, and as many CPU/MB/RAM sets as well. My girlfriend wins out, too - she gets most of the leftovers.

Re:Can't bring myself to buy cheap graphics cards (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343382)

I completely agree...which is why I'm still running [brew-masters.com] a 750MHz Duron Presarios from 2000.

Re:Can't bring myself to buy cheap graphics cards (5, Interesting)

MixmastaKooz (621146) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343461)

$500 rule....after you build your rig, every year afterward, set aside $500 for your upgrades. It depends on what you think was weakest or could be augmented when you built your rig. Every other year, I buy a new video card (200-300) and that leaves me a couple bucks to buy a new HD or peripheral. The other years, it's the ol' MOBO, CPU, and RAM upgrade. Keep to this plan, you won't have to buy a whole new system every three years, and have an above average gaming rig. I've been using the same case and 19" monitor for the last 5 years and haven't spent more than $500 a year upgrading it. I have a p4 2.8 with 1gb memory, 37gb 10k rpm raptor and 160 gb media hd, and a 9600pro (guess what next year is). If you're a college student, then saving money during the summer is key...It's tough to get the money together if you don't have a steady job, but with some discipline, it's the way to go.

Re:Can't bring myself to buy cheap graphics cards (4, Insightful)

Plaeroma (778381) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343466)

I have this problem. I've been wanting to upgrade for quite some time now, but I feel like I'm just throwing money away if I get a bit more ram and a new vid card for such an old mobo. So now I'm looking at the prospect of a totally new box all together but I could allow afford a lower end one right now which seems pointless as well. So here I sit with my old piece of shit computer still, wondering what the hell I should do.

Just have to wait six months. (3, Insightful)

Antihero77 (602539) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343217)

Too bad that the gfx card industry has nothing but vapor releases. Maybe in six months these cards will be available for sale.

Mac perspective (4, Interesting)

MacGod (320762) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343222)

I really hope we see these sooner than usual on the Mac. I'm getting exasperated with ATI et al delaying the Mac version of their card by so long (ie: There is still no 9800XT for Mac, much less an X800). Plus, when they do come out, there's usually a $50 premium, and half the RAM. Sigh.

In addition, does anyone know if the nVidia 6600 will be DDL, thus letting people use the 30" Cinema Display? Of course, if you can afford the display, you can probably also afford the card (I can't on either count).

Re:Mac perspective (1)

petersam (754644) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343460)

I'm afraid I'm responding to a troll, but your complaint has been the status quo for over a decade now. Apple market share is tiny relative to Windows and Linux PCs, so they get drivers and software later. If it bothers you, buy an Intel or AMD based PC.

Re:Mac perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343464)

'm getting exasperated with ATI et al delaying the Mac version of their card by so long (ie: There is still no 9800XT for Mac, much less an X800). Plus, when they do come out, there's usually a $50 premium, and half the RAM. Sigh.


And you're exasperated with ATI? A look into the mind of an Apple apologist...

SLI and PCI express for Nvidia 6600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343228)

Does this work? With the new generation of cards can I buy 2 cheap ones and outperform 1 of the expensive ones? What am I missing?

Great (3, Insightful)

Soporific (595477) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343231)

I've been waiting for some cards that have had about the same price/performance ratio as my GeForce 4200 had when I bought it. I'll be picking up one of these fairly soon.

~S

A metaphor (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343232)

The bottom line is: you're still gonna get what you paid for. A Kia will get you back and forth to work. But a Caddy will do that and more... Of course, unless you really like the FPS games an all-singin' all-dancin' video card is not really needed.

Re:A metaphor (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343373)

Caddilacs are shit, and so is your metaphor. Fuck you.

Affordable and fast... but that's all (5, Insightful)

myc_lykaon (645662) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343234)

The 6600 may be affordable and fast, but it isn't much use if the affordable and fast card has production volumes so low that availability is an academic consideration.

In addition to that the few places that do sell these cards are in the US and they only ship to US, Canada and USFPO.

What about... (5, Insightful)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343262)

the $35 cards?

Yeah, it's last year's chipset. But weren't they all the shit last year?

Aah, basking in the lagging edge of technology. Bug free and cheap games. Besides, I have a life and an airplane to build. Don't have time to camp out on the doorstep of Egames, waiting for the latest release of 'Death in the Dark, Part XXX', and then spend a week trying to get it to run so that I can say, "Ooh! Shiny things!!"

Re:What about... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343469)

Yeah, I went and got the cheapest new card I could find like around May. It was about thirty bucks and it was an ATI, the card says 7026, although I'm not sure that means anything. It's a 64 meg card and it fucking rocks. I haven't tried DoomIII, but it does beautifully on custom Doom2 wads with Legacy and QuakeII which is more than enough for me. I actually prefer MAME games most of the time. When I see these graphics card prices I really don't get it. I guess kids with no patience are driving the market. That's a fickle audiance to be relying on for that kind of cash. Personally, I don't mind waiting a year or so at all.

who cares about "edges" at all? (2, Insightful)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343470)

I didn't even try to figure out what the best card was. I knew I couldn't afford a top of the line card on my new pc, so I just said "How much extra for a 256 MB card instead of 128?". I don't even remember what card I have... I just know it was retail-boxed, runs AA and UT2004 really well, and didn't add $200 CDN to the system cost.

I suspect a *lot* of people are less concerned about "ultra-high performance" and more concerned with "price point". After all, it's the real world that matters most, and who can stop buying groceries for a month just to increase their framerate by 50%?

(Those cheap games don't suck either, but don't delve TOO far back or the bugs come back too...)

Re:What about... (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343523)

The only $35 cards I know of are the Geforce MX series, whether you're talking about geforce 2 or 4, but basically they are the same - fine for business machines at work, but not a gaming machine. I mean, you can play the original Unreal Tournament or Quake III ok on them, but definitely not UT2004, Doom 3, or anything else in that class of game. The high end of those cards had 64 megs of ram, but it was cut down ram with a slow bus and the graphics chip was very cut down. If you're serious about gaming, you could spend around $70 and get a Geforce 4 Ti4200 8x card which slightly under performs a Geforce 4 Ti4600, which is a great card for the last few years. That card should be able to make UT2004 and games like it playable, but I'm not sure about Doom 3. I'm sure at 800x600 you could play it without some of the effects.

What about the $100 range? (5, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343269)

Almost two years back, I picked up a Radeon 8500LE for under $100. (actually, about $80) At the time, the Radeon 9700 and 9500 were top and second tier DX9 cards. The 8500 was a third-tier DX8.1 card. While it didn't have the latest features, it *was* feature-complete to the previous set.

These are good $200 cards, no doubt. But it looks to me as if the sub-$100 cards haven't made as much *relative* progress as the more expensive ones.

Still no AGP version (2, Informative)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343271)

Still waiting for AGP version... AGP versions aren't even announced yet, only PCI Express.
Somewhere later in October or November.

ATI Linux driver "push" (4, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343276)

(From a rejected story I submitted)

This Inquirer [theinquirer.net] story says that ATI will be beginning a big "Linux driver push" in the next couple of weeks - a driver based upon their Catalyst drivers, supposesly giving a speed boost to DoomIII.

Personally, I'd just like drivers that don't segv under Xorg 6.8.0

Building a new machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343279)

Hey I'm building a new machine I want to play counter strike source what video card should I get. Also what other hardware should i get? Any good sites to get suggestions
? Also is PCI express really better than AGP? Isn't PCI E at 1x while AGP is like 16X. Shouldn't I wait for like 8X PCI express and just get 256 Meg AGP for now? Also whats this I hear from my coworkers about "linking up" video cards to have like two cards working together? Thanks. Holla at your boy nigga! (yes I am quite black)

Re:Building a new machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343363)

Ha! Black people on slashdot...wasn't there something about that in Revelations?

Last Year (3, Funny)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343300)

Last year's technology of the future today!

Which one has better open source drivers for X? (1)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343320)

For those of us too lazy to do the research ourselves, which card has better open source drivers under X? I'm annoyed with binary-only kernel modules.

Re:Which one has better open source drivers for X? (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343365)

I'm just guessing here, but I don't think any (ATI or Nvidia) have "open-source" drivers...

just a guess though.

here's a card with decent drivers for X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343421)

You know, if you're "too lazy to do the research," you have no business asking about open-source or unix anything.

I'll point you in the right direction [google.com] Run along now.

Re:Which one has better open source drivers for X? (1)

ISayWeOnlyToBePolite (721679) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343483)

radeon 9200

Gamer vs. Non-Gamer. (1)

angrykeyboarder (791722) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343340)

I'm not a gamer. I suppose that's why I've "survived" with my 16MB nVidia TNT (From the old Diamond Multimedia - circa 1999).

It does what I need it to do. The rest of the computer sucks, but the Video card has been just fine. :-)

Current generation hardware better than previous.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343353)

news at 11...

Open source drivers? (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343357)

If you want to stick with open source drivers (under Linux), is there anything reasonable available?

The last mainstream gaming card with open drivers, AFIAKT, was the Radeon 9100. Is that or Intel Extreme Graphics 2 a reasonable option? Is the 3D on the Matrox GXXX series even worth mentioning?

HEAR HERE (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343504)

I asked this in a recent STORY [slashdot.org] ... but they published it off the front page, since obviously Non-Windows users aren't a priority here at SlashDot... Oh, wait...

Anyhow, if you find any answers, let me know.

I dont need more power right now (1)

saur2004 (801688) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343389)

I am more then happy with my, by todays standards, pokey old GF 4 4200ti. None of the new ground pounding first person shootemups interest me in the slightest.

Now if the powers that be, which include Volition [volition.net] that own the Descent series trade mark. Agree to do a Descent 4 (snowball/hell) then I might need a new card. Right now I dont need a new card.

I don't know what they are thinking. (4, Insightful)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343419)

At 450 dollars you can get a Radeon x800 Pro VIVO, which has a 100% chance of flashing to a full x800XT with all 16 pixel pipelines.

Or if you want an nvidia card (i.e. you have Linux and want drivers that, uh, work), the 6800GT is almost as fast and at 400 dollars, its a great deal.

The 6600 and x700s seem almost as fast as the 6800NU (300 dollars) at first, but note--they have 128-bit memory. This means that they will suffer a much larger hit when enabling antialiasing, as their memory is slower and AA requires a lot of memory bandwidth.

I don't understand how 400 dollars is too much for a card, as I can easily assemble a high-end computer for 1200-1400 dollars, like one of these:

Athlon 64 3200+ (200), Asus A78 (150), 1GB Dual Channel Corsair (300), 6800GT (400), 160GB hard drive (100), 480 watt power supply (100), case and floppy and crappy cdrom (50). That's 1300 dollars for something better than the 4000 dollar computer that Dell is offering, and as good as a 3500 dollar Alienware. So don't bitch about the price of graphics cards--you get so much for your money these days its insane.

Re:I don't know what they are thinking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343508)

You have no life.

Very timely and useful! (1)

mixy1plik (113553) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343427)

This is something I have *ALWAYS* wondered. I upgraded from an old GeForce 4 to a Radeon 9000 Pro early last year. It wasn't a huge upgrade, but it set me back $150 at Best Buy (I was impatient to play Sim City 4).

The online hardware magazines are always reviewing and comparing the bottom-end or the high-end stuff. I like gaming occasionally like the next guy with a real life, but I will NOT shell out $400-500 for a graphics card.

I think the linked review is very helpful, because it's the kind of review that I've been looking for. I'm the target market for a review like this, and would love a step-up from my 9000 that isn't just me guessing that it will be better based on X specs. The "bang-for-buck" graphics cards always seem to get lost in the review jungle, or simply don't exist.

Price/Performace (4, Insightful)

doormat (63648) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343451)

Its really all about the price performance ratio (at least, performance relative to the top-of-the-line card). The 6600 GT and the X700 XT provide a price/performance ratio not seen seen since the GF4 Ti4200. I'm willing to bet that between Doom 3, HL2, the amount of time since the Ti4200 came out, and the p/p ratio of these new cards, a lot of people who have Ti4200s will buy these new cards. As soon as they come out with AGP versions of course. I'm figuriing this will be my last AGP card and my last big upgrade until my next platform move next fall, which will be to a dual-core system (hopefully they're out by then!).

I'd rather buy a PS2 for those prices (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343485)

For the price of those cards, I can get a PS2 and have less to worry about.

You've really gotta love marketing... (3, Insightful)

DaScribbler (701492) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343498)

Last year $99 was the Affordable price, and probably (pure speculation) the best sellers.

So to generate more revenue, cards no longer bleeding edge are not reduced in price. Instead the newer cards are just bumped to a higher price and the original $200 sticker is now labeled 'Affordable.'

Beat last years cards? (3, Insightful)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343517)

I got my Ti4600 in 2003. Although it's been great it's already showing it's age quite severely.

EQ2, forget about putting up shadows. Doom3 runs okay but by okay I mean 15 - 20FPS average (and not all the options on.)

So, if you're saying these can beat my Ti4600, then I'm not very impressed. They need to CRUSH it for me to be impressed.

Is paying $200 worth it? Spend the $400, and you'll get a card you can use for a year and a half. If you spend $200 you'll be wanting more in 6 months when new games demand more.

I got my Ti4600 when they were brand new, and it cost me. But I've been using it for a long time, which is worth it.

What I find amazing personally... (5, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343533)

is how a video card can cost upwards of $400, and a processor AND motherboard that run faster and involve more R&D can cost less than that combined.

I have a 9800 Pro that I bought for $198, and I am certain that will carry me thru for another year or so until the x800 XT becomes $200, then I'll upgrade to the 'midrange' card again. I don't need bleeding edge technology -- I can suffice by lowering the quality settings to play games. If I am playing single player, I can turn up the eyecandy because FPS don't really matter, and if I'm playing online, then I turn them down to get the high FPS.

There's really no need to buy a $400 graphics card, and no need for them to cost that much. It's just for players who need the extra 5 or 10FPS when they are already in the 50 FPS range... which is damn stupid.

Not News (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10343537)

Yes, i am probably trolling, but I dont find this any newsworthy. Lately, I've been finding /. with too many advertisments or really what is non "News for Nerds". Maybe i'm falling out of the Nerds category and finding myself more of an angry grumpy troll.

Better version names (1)

glorf (94990) | more than 10 years ago | (#10343539)

I just wish they would switch to naming schemes that make it easier to figure out relative power within the same brand. I don't do enough gaming anymore to stay on top of the video card market. So nVidia has MX, FX, Ti, GT and who knows what else, and none of it is intuitive as to which is a later chipset or which is the budget chipset.
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