Video Card Suggestions

Dave Scarpa

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David Scarpa
I'm a casual gamer, not a die hard but I usually will pick up some newer games, especially FPS like Medal of Honor etc. It's time to replace my Voodoo 3 which the support has dried up for. I have a PIII 750mhz PC with 256k ram.

I've been looking at Geforce Cards. I know that the Ti4200 is due out in a few weeks, but I'm wondering If

I truly will notice the difference between that or the MX Line. I've been told to avoid the Geforce 4 MX line because they don't support the higher level of DirectX8. Then again I'm still wondering

If I could get by with a Geforce 2 MX card. I usually run the games at 800x600 or at most

1024x768. Those cards are around $50. What's the Best bang for the buck ?
 

Scott L

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Feb 29, 2000
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Check out Tom's hardware. The latest article benches all the popular cards, it looks like you'll be getting much better performance from a gf4MX than a gf2mx.
 

Drew Wimmer

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Feb 18, 2002
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you may wanna check out ati's radeon line, the 8500le can be had for pretty cheap ($130 + shipping online, go to www.pricewatch.com ) will positively smack around anything from the GF4mx line, at a price considerably lower than the gf4-4200 (which you don't really need if you're just a casual gamer)
if you do go the ATI route, make sure the card you get it retail, not oem/bulk/white box/etc., because the non-retail versions of all of ATI's cards are downclocked from the retail versions, and for most people at least, the notion of overclocking their video card just to get it to retail spec is not favorable
 

Rob Lutter

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Nov 3, 2000
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MX cards are CRAP. Don't buy one. For instance, a GeForce4 MX will run SLOWER than a GeForce3 Ti. I recommend getting the VisionTek GeForce3 Ti200. I got it for about $130 at Best Buy and it is a GREAT card.
 

Dave Scarpa

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David Scarpa
The Geforce 4 ti 4200 line is due out in May and I may wait for one of those.
 

Jeff R.

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May 31, 1999
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I believe that a GeForce 4 MX is really a GeForce 3 chip on a GeForce 4 board. The GeForce 4 MX and GeForce 3 are similar in performance also. The real GeForce 4 chips are quite impressive. Those benchmarks blow every other card out of the water. It really comes down to how much you want to spend. I think any of the cards available now over $100 will be plenty for a casual gamer.
 

Brad_V

Second Unit
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Mar 8, 2002
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356
You should be just fine with a cheaper card, especially if you use 16-bit graphics instead of 32-bit. 32-bit really puts a drain on things, (and most people can't tell much of a difference in color anyway).

I was going to recommend the 3d Prophet SE like I have and have gotten for others, was $42 shipped (and that was months and months ago), but I can't find the site now. No other place had it for under $75 at the time. It's a Geforce 256, and the SE means it has a little bit slower memory on it and takes about a 10% performance hit over the actual 256. The old 256s are good deals if you can find them. They are the same performance-wise as the original MX and the later MX200 I think it was, but the 256s got phased out for whatever reason.

Not all MX's are bad. Only the 64-bit (data bus) versions are the stinkers. I forget how it goes... something like... the original MX was good, and then they came out with the stinker 64-bit 200mx or something, and then the 400mx is similar to the original MX, and then one version in there was just an overclocked previous version. Something like that.

Anyway, I just looked at Pricewatch, and for your system and what you said you'd use it for, I'd just grab a Geforce 256 or Geforce 2 MX like you mentioned yourself. Under 50 bucks, and it'll work just fine. You can find frames-per-second comparisons on hardware sites, but to give you an idea, even my 10%-slower-than-a-regular-256 256 does 73fps in Quake Arena at 800x600 @ 16-bit, and 56fps in 32-bit. 1024x768 is 57fps 16-bit and 38fps at 32-bit. So, plenty playable, even at 1024x768 and 16-bit. That's on a 933mhz Duron with 133 front-bus speed.

So, get what you want, but don't be afraid of the cheaper stuff not being up for the job.
 

Kimmo Jaskari

Screenwriter
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Feb 27, 2000
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There are some games out there that can benifit from having more graphics firepower than a GF2 MX etc, and it seems pointless to buy a cheaper card now if one is trying to get a card that will last a while.
I'd concur with the ATI Radeon 8500 suggestion. They are not quite as fast as a GeForce 4 (non-MX such, they do beat the MX line quite handily) but how much more than 60 frames per second do you need at 1600x1200 resolution...?
 

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