Video Cards: 128mb vs. 256

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Phil L, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Phil L

    Phil L Supporting Actor

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    I'm going to replace my old geforce 2 video card with a radeon 9600. I've noticed that they're down to the $100 range. I'm not a big gamer and I've gotten along this far with a geforce2 so I'm not concerned that it isn't cutting edge.

    I know that the 9600se runs 64 bit and I should get a normal 9600 with 128 bit.

    I'm wondering if I'm really going to see a difference between 128mb and 256?

    I mostly want it for an upgraded card so I can play Deus Ex: Invisible War as well as run a S-Video cable to my tv.
     
  2. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    from what i understand, the main difference in video cards is the DAC, not the RAM. the ram is just for texture memory, so based on that alone, you wouldnt notice a difference unless your ram was the bottleneck, and that is unlikely. keep in mind, that is only what *I* understand, i'm sure more experienced members will confirm/shoot down what i said.

    CJ
     
  3. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    Okay, the ram on a video card is indeed primarily used for texture information. the larger the ram, the more textures can be stored on the video card, the faster high texture games will run.

    On an older game that uses less than 128MB of textures there will be little to no difference between a video card with 128MB ram and a video card with 256MB ram. If the Game uses more tha 128MB of textures there will be near night and day difference as the extra textures are stored on the main systems ram which is accessed over the AGP bus.

    256MB of ram is starting to be more common but I don't forsee that much ram being requires for at least another 4-5 years. If your not concerned about cutting edge and you don't upgrade your computer every 6 months I would just get a 128MB video card.

    the DACs (digital to analog converters) work for video cards just like they do in audio equipment, the higher quality the DAC the better the image that will be put out over the analog port of your video card. if you own an LCD I doubt this will make a difference at all since the DACS are bypassed.

    I hope this helps you out some!
     
  4. Phil L

    Phil L Supporting Actor

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    Very helpful. Thanks!

    Guess I'll go with a 128, with the highest DACs.
     
  5. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    As you've already figured out, any Radeon card with SE added to the name is usually a bad deal all round. They tend to make them worse sometimes than older versions with lower version numbers; a 9500 pro beats a 9600 SE quite handily in performance, for example.

    And I also agree that few if any games out there use more than 128MB for textures, so when I just now bought a new card, I got a 128MB 9800 pro and couldn't be happier.
     
  6. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I just read the recent reviews of the new GeForce card - it's seriously pushing near 20% - 100% faster as a Radeon 9800XT. The new Radeon cards are also supposed to be out in a few weeks.

    Halo benchmarks:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/...e_6800-40.html


    Of course, it also calls for a minimum 480w Power Supply. But still, this will probably affect prices of the other cards.

    You might want to hold on just a few more weeks to see where prices and the new cards shake down to. Just an FYI.
    I'm running a Radeon 8500 still (obviously I'm not on the cutting edge) but I can see some price shakeups coming.


    And whether 128 or 256, most games now don't need the extra 128MB. But upcoming games this year like Doom 3 will definitely use it. So if it doesn't cost very much more, do it! Otherwise, stick with 128.
     
  7. Phil L

    Phil L Supporting Actor

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    Dave,

    Good advice. Thanks!

    I'd already decided to go with 256, as the price differences were minor.

    Waiting a few weeks to see how prices drop seems wise, I've gotten along with a geforce2 this long anyway.
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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  9. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    The new cards that come out will all be strictly premium cards, with disgusting price tags. It usually does take a while before changes in the top end has an impact on the middle of the range; at first, it's all for the bleeding edge early adopter who just has to have the best.
     
  10. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Exactly. Also, there is no street date yet, it could 2-4 months and the performance numbers are on test cards, not production ones with production drivers.
     
  11. Jonathan Carter

    Jonathan Carter Supporting Actor

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    Since you want to play Deus Ex: Invisible War, be advised it runs like a pig on anything but a reletively hefty system. You will need at least a Radeon 9600 Pro or XT or the Geforce FX 5600 Ultra to get start getting nice smooth framerates out of it and to experience most of the eye candy. 128MB or RAM is still enough as only 1 game out right now I know of takes advantage of the 256MB and that's UT2004.
     

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