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Quick question on video card choice

by misosoupy / August 19, 2006 1:51 AM PDT

I'm just fixing up and a PC wit some older compotenents and it come sdown to choice of video cards. I have an old GeForce ti4200 128DDR which has served me well over the years (surprisingly and a newer GeForce FX5500 SE 128DDR. Which card is better for gaming? I mean as much of a generation gap there is between the two cards, as I understand it the "SE" label on the FX5500 means it'a stripped down GPU, right? It seems that the ti4200 seems to out perform the FX5500 or perhaps it's just my imagination. But anyways, I'd like some of your feedback before I decide to arbitrarily slap one into the machine and screw the case tight forever. Happy

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no expert, but try 3d mark
by m_and_m_kid / August 19, 2006 2:01 AM PDT

Whilst im not expert at graphics hardware, if you wish to make a test of which one is better; try testing them both with futuremarks 3d mark; it has a free download here and itll give a good idea of which ones better!

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by john_mcdoogle / August 19, 2006 2:26 AM PDT

Yes, the "SE" means that the card is a stripped down model, and that in some areas, it may not perform as well, but it all depends on what you're looking to do.

An example is that the GF4 gen cards were all DirectX 8.1 level cards. Meaning, they supported most/all DirectX 8.1 features in hardware. FX cards are DirectX 9.0 level, so support several of the new features of DirectX 9.0 in hardware, where a GF4 card would have to do those in software, which is many many times slower. This would give the FX gen cards a serious advantage in any DirectX 9.0 game.

However, not all games are created equally, and there are still rather few games that actually use DirectX 9.0 features. That's sure to change as time goes by, but for right now...

It's not a simple question that has a clear cut answer. Which card is better depends more on what kind of game you're playing. Some make heavy use of DirectX, others choose to just dump more of the complex stuff off on the CPU for compatibility reasons.

The best method, would be to test each card with a sample of games you like to play, then pick the one that performs the best. Otherwise, I'd probably pick the FX card, simply because more and more games will be using DirectX 9.0 features soon, and the more of that you can get processed in hardware the better.

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