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New Graphics Card... Pretty confused...

by whizkid454 / June 7, 2007 12:57 PM PDT

I'm about ready to upgrade to Vista and want to upgrade my graphics card to something a little better that will handle Aero and other non-intense games (i.e. not Oblivion or Company of Heroes type games). I've been searching through Newegg for awhile and am getting a bit confused. I see many complaints about their card not being compatible with Vista. Is this still the case or are there new drivers for both nVidia and ATI cards for Vista that actually work?

I am looking to spend no more than $100, and have already looked at "The Best Graphics Cards For The Money" article. I have also looked at the Tom's Hardware VGA Charts. I am looking particularly at the ATI X1600 series or X1650 series and the nVidia 7600 series. Which would be best suited for getting the most performance out of Vista and those other minor games at the lowest cost? Also, which brand do you recommend? I see there are many brands I have never even heard of.

Thanks!

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Hmmm....
by whizkid454 / June 7, 2007 11:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Any of these

Thanks for the list! However, all seem to say that Vista is not a supported OS. Does that mean the drivers that come on the CD are useless and you need to go to nVidia's website to get the ones for Vista?

Also, is there a reason why you didn't list any X1600s or X1650s? Just curious.

Thanks!

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As to Vista...
by John.Wilkinson / June 7, 2007 3:43 PM PDT

Personally, I prefer Nvidia graphics cards as a result of the technical issues and lousy support I have received from ATI in the past. However, others have had a flawless experience with ATI and it will likely get better with AMD's acquisition of ATI, so don't rely solely on that for the decision.

Anyway, anything above, say, the Radeon 9600 and GeForce 5200 is OK for running Vista with Aero enabled, though obviously the more powerful the better. Right now XP actually receives better performance ratings when running games than Vista does with the same graphics card because the drivers have not been fully optimized like those for XP have. Nvidia is particularly behind at this point, failing to match lower-performance ATI cards in some instances. However, that should change in the next few months as the drivers are tweaked, increasing performance in the near future. As it stands the graphics cards will work now, but flourish later. The three you're looking at will all do well with Vista, so just watch the user ratings and snag the best deal available.

John

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Couple more questions about performance...
by whizkid454 / June 7, 2007 11:16 PM PDT
In reply to: As to Vista...

I see many of the same card models by different manufacturers that have different core speeds and memory speeds. Which do you consider more important for Aero? for minor games? Also, the amount of memory: Is it important (256 vs. 512) for my needs?

Thanks!

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radeon x1650pro and geforce 7600gt are best $100 cards
by ramarc / June 8, 2007 12:37 AM PDT

256mb is enough for this class card... 512mb isn't necessary unless its free like with this $92 ($72 after rebate) card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102064
here's a geforce 7600gt for $100 ($85 after rebate): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130062

these cards can play most current games (including oblivion) so it may be overkill for you. for aero, you just need a entry-level card with 128mb like this geforce 6200 for $42: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130067

i'd still recommend the radeon since it fits your budget and if you ever do get the itch for a game that needs some horsepower, you'd be all set.

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I have chosen the x1650 Pro, but....
by whizkid454 / June 8, 2007 5:54 AM PDT

My Dell Dimension E510 only has a 305 watt PSU and it says the recommended is 350 watts. Would I still be ok?

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should be ok
by ramarc / June 8, 2007 6:36 AM PDT
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(NT) Thanks!
by whizkid454 / June 8, 2007 6:43 AM PDT
In reply to: should be ok
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Dell PSU
by kpo6969 / June 8, 2007 7:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

I have a Dell E521 with the 305w psu. It has 22amps on the 12v rails so you'll be fine. I just have a preferance for Nvidia and 7600GT is very popular among Dell users with that psu since there is no need to upgrade it or additional power connection required.

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