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nead advice on buying FX card
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: nead advice on buying FX card Reply with quote

i was rased catholic and was recently confirmed
now i have over $160 burning a hole in my pocket so i decided to waste it all on video games Very Happy

while browsing amazon.com i noticed AOE3
my brother (a veteran of all the other AOE games) would love that game
but his PC only has 16mb of video ram Shocked (90s era voodoo card)

now i feel an urge to upgrade his hardware and buy him a new video card
i have never bought a video card and have heard a few horror storys about people who just went for the cheapest or most powerful


so do you guys have any advice?


this looks nice but i am not shure
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using a GeForceFX5500 at the moment funnily enough, it plays everything over a year old or produced by indies like us perfectly. AOE3 along with Doom3, HL2, etc are all what I would call next-gen games in that they are designed with something called Pixel Shader 3.0 in mind. Down side is this is only supported by GeForceFX6200 or 6600 or 6800 or 7800. The other knock on effect is a certain level of cpu/gpu performance seems to have been assumed so although these games will work on older machines they wont run very fast or look as good as was intended. Shame really.

Even if you get a really fast card you may not be able to get the most out of it unless you have a fast cpu coupled to fast main memory to keep it well fed. I'm guessing you have a slot for AGP8x so be careful because this standard has been superceeded by PCiExpress and you don't want to get the wrong one by mistake. Also keep an eye on the name of the card, sometimes they add little innocent sounding acronymns to the end like 6200TC. In this case TC stands for TurboCache, which sounds cool right? Wrong. It means the card runs a lot slower than a normal 6200.

Support for Pixel Shader 3.0 start with the 6200 which appears to be another $10 so not bad?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009IEU4A/sr=1-1/qid=1131382005/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0469192-2851211?%5Fencoding=UTF8

6600 is faster still for $90. I'd probably get that one, but then I am a graphics freak.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000B7C2J4/sr=1-4/qid=1131382401/ref=sr_1_4/002-0469192-2851211?%5Fencoding=UTF8

With the 6800 and 7800 there is a big jump in price.

Please note : I don't have one of these funky cards, I just have a 5500 so it might be worth just checking on some review sites before putting your money down, make sure you know what you are getting. Also, ATI probably have something of similar spec and price and they recently released new OpenGl drivers that sped everything up on all their cards which I think makes them a little faster than nVidia in OpenGl.
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icarus
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Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well AOE3 only neads 64MB of video ram and the 5500 has 256 but this pixel shader thing sounds intresting

however thare are no reviews for the 6200


so is the pixle shader realy nessary
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a look at that 6200 on Amazon again and noticed there was no fan on it, which I thought was a bit odd and then there is the fact that it is only $75 when 6200's are about $110 everywhere else. XFX themselves don't seem to specifically list that card either, i've got a sneaky suspicion this is one of those filthy "Turbo Cache" cards I metnioned earlier. Stay away from it.

Bottom line is that a REAL 6200 is faster than the 5500 whatever game you are using it with. All the current blockbuster titles being released use PS3.0 for things like realtime water, high dynamic range lighting and more sophisticated shiny reflective surfaces. All these games work without that, but tend to run a bit slower and look a bit more simplistic.

Seems like a proper 6200 is quite a bit more money though - damn.
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icarus
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i finally found out what cpu my brothers computer has and found out it was still in the megahertz range so the cpu and motherboard would have to be upgraded also

my dad says it would cost around $500 to upgrade that thing
which would be fun but i am not that rich


the game would probably run in low on my laptop anywas


thanks for the help anyways
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you ever do want to spend $500 then here is a step by step guide from the people who really know what they are talking about.

http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20051014/index.html
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