Video Card Help
March 9, 2007 1:05 PM   Subscribe

What Mid Priced Video Card Should I Buy to get the most bang for my buck ? (P4 3 GHZ, 1 gig of ram)

I was given an older development computer from work. It has a P4 3ghz processor and 1 gig of ram. It currently has a Matrox video card in it but i would like to buy a better video card for it to play Counterstrike Source and some newer games. Here is the issue. With the cost of Video cards these days and knowing that in the next 8 months i will be getting a new computer, and so many Video card options(ATI, NVIDIA oh my!)...what gets me the most bang for my buck...
posted by slowtree to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What is your rough budget? $100? $200? (I probably wouldn't spend more than that). Also, what is the video card interface? AGP, PCIe?
posted by Good Brain at 1:14 PM on March 9, 2007

Response by poster: It is an AGP 8X id like to keep it around $100 to $150
posted by slowtree at 1:20 PM on March 9, 2007

I reasonably sure you could get a 6800GT with 256 or 512MB of memory or similar with that. That's where I'd be aiming at on that sort of budget. Definitely avoid ATI, even though the prices may be tempting.
posted by wackybrit at 1:39 PM on March 9, 2007

Toms Hardware did a recent roundup of the best values in gaming video card at varying price points. Around $120, they say go with the Radeon X1650 PRO or GeForce 7600GS.
posted by junesix at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2007

You really should avoid spending a lot on an AGP card. That bus is long obsolete and most of the newer cards aren't offered in that flavor. So what's left is used cards and a handful of relatively mid-grade new cards.

My recommendation is to get a used 6600GT or 6800 (non-ultra; extra shaders can usually be unlocked) off eBay. You'll pay about $60 - $80.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:59 PM on March 9, 2007

And the reason I say that is that you're planning on building a new system in 8 months and that new system will most definitely NOT have AGP, so this card you're buying will only have an 8 month life.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2007

For AGP, seconding the x1650pro or 7600. You should definitely look at the Tom's Hardware video card roundup; its the best way to get an idea of the scenery.

Based on my experience, it may be hard to find an 'enthusiast' (i.e., 8 or 9 as the second digit) card with AGP, used or otherwise. Easier to find an 'entry-level' card, (i.e., with 1-3 as the second digit,) but you want to avoid those like the plague. Hence the x1650 or 7600.

The first digit is feature-set/overall generation, the second digit is performance, btw. (Though performance does go up across the board a bit each feature generation, too.) Again, avoid a 1-3 as the second digit--go back a generation (first digit) if you have to to avoid such a card.
posted by blenderfish at 1:53 AM on March 10, 2007

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