BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > Off-Topic Discussions Board > Video + PC Gaming / Computing
 
Steve Thomas BMW
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      07-30-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Video Card Question

OK, I have two 8500GT video cards, running in an SLI configuration. Question: Would I be better off upgrading to one better video card (such as a 9800GTX)??

These cards cost me $150 each a couple of years ago, and I can get a 9800GTX for around $250.

My system:

ABIT KN9 SLI mobo
Two 8500GT 512MB PCI-E Video Cards (SLI)
4 GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
750 GB SATA HD
300 GB SATA HD
Two LiteOn iHAS120 SATA DVD Burners
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 09:10 AM   #2
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

The simple answer is yes. 2 cards in SLI does not provide a significant benefit over using only 1 card. Actually, you probably won't notice a difference at all unless you are running a larger monitor. Or unless you are jut obsessed with overclocking and running stuff at the max. Which since you haven't upgraded cards since buying 2 8500's, I would venture a guess that that isn't the case.

There are some GREAT cards out that are relatively cheap. A quick rundown of it all is..

8800GT: This card is probably the best performance per dollar on the market. It is getting a bit older now with the 9 series cards and the new GT200 chipset cards. But you will be able to run everything that is out right now comfortable with a 8800, and they are probably dirt cheap right now.

9 series: Don't buy a 9 series card. They are basically a rebadged 8 series card that has been bumped up in price. There may be a few extra transistors but not enough to really warrant the price increase. The only real benefit the 9 series cards have is the ability for tri-SLI, with the exception of the 9600. A 9800GTX is the same card as a 8800GTS but with tri-SLI.

If you want to buy the latest technology, and don't mind spending a bit more. You need to get a GT200 series card. They are fantastic and dropping in price because of the shocking performance of the new ATI cards. Nvidia didn't expect ATI to come out with a card that could rival their lower end GT200 cards for cheaper, but they did and so Nvidia is dropping prices to stay competitive. The ATI cards aren't bad. In fact they are actually pretty good, and they are great for the money. But I'm a nvidia guy myself. I like their drivers better and I also think they are more compatible with more applications. I'm sure someone else will post later that is more biased towards ATI.

To summarize, don't buy a 9 series Nvidia card. Get either a 8800GT or ATI Radeon HD 4850 if you want to spend under $200. If you want to spend 300, get a Nvidia GTX260. If you want to go all out, the top of the line GTX280 is around $450 -$500 depending on what brand you buy.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 09:11 AM   #3
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

What kind of CPU are you running on?
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
What kind of CPU are you running on?

Oops, left that off.

I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (if I remember correctly)
I also have a Samsung 22" widescreen LCD monitor hooked up.
And I'm also running Windows XP Pro.

Last edited by MadDog; 07-30-2008 at 12:00 PM.
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #5
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
The simple answer is yes. 2 cards in SLI does not provide a significant benefit over using only 1 card. Actually, you probably won't notice a difference at all unless you are running a larger monitor. Or unless you are jut obsessed with overclocking and running stuff at the max. Which since you haven't upgraded cards since buying 2 8500's, I would venture a guess that that isn't the case.

There are some GREAT cards out that are relatively cheap. A quick rundown of it all is..

8800GT: This card is probably the best performance per dollar on the market. It is getting a bit older now with the 9 series cards and the new GT200 chipset cards. But you will be able to run everything that is out right now comfortable with a 8800, and they are probably dirt cheap right now.

9 series: Don't buy a 9 series card. They are basically a rebadged 8 series card that has been bumped up in price. There may be a few extra transistors but not enough to really warrant the price increase. The only real benefit the 9 series cards have is the ability for tri-SLI, with the exception of the 9600. A 9800GTX is the same card as a 8800GTS but with tri-SLI.

If you want to buy the latest technology, and don't mind spending a bit more. You need to get a GT200 series card. They are fantastic and dropping in price because of the shocking performance of the new ATI cards. Nvidia didn't expect ATI to come out with a card that could rival their lower end GT200 cards for cheaper, but they did and so Nvidia is dropping prices to stay competitive. The ATI cards aren't bad. In fact they are actually pretty good, and they are great for the money. But I'm a nvidia guy myself. I like their drivers better and I also think they are more compatible with more applications. I'm sure someone else will post later that is more biased towards ATI.

To summarize, don't buy a 9 series Nvidia card. Get either a 8800GT or ATI Radeon HD 4850 if you want to spend under $200. If you want to spend 300, get a Nvidia GTX260. If you want to go all out, the top of the line GTX280 is around $450 -$500 depending on what brand you buy.

Good advice. Thanks.

One question: How do you know which 8800GT card to buy ??

I just went to Frys.com and saw 9 different cards, from different manufacturers:
1) BFG GeForce 8800GT OC Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, Open GL 2.0) $179.99 after $20 rebate.
2) PNY GeForce 8800GT 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $189.99.
3) PNY 8800GTS PCI-E Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.99
4) XFX 8800GT Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $139.99 after $30 rebate.
5) EVGA 8800GTS Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $219.99 after $30 rebate.
6) XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog XXX 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $159.99 after $40 rebate.
7) BFG 8800GTS OC Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.98 after $50 rebate.
8) EVGA Geforce 8800GT Video Card (1GB, PCI-Express) $274.99 after $25 rebate.
9) EVGA GeForce 8800GT Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, OpenGL 2.0) $179.99
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 12:39 PM   #6
- Paul -
Major General
 
- Paul -'s Avatar
 
Drives: see above.
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Posts: 7,269
iTrader: (5)

Garage List
2005 320D SE  [5.00]
2005 645  [4.50]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
The simple answer is yes. 2 cards in SLI does not provide a significant benefit over using only 1 card. Actually, you probably won't notice a difference at all unless you are running a larger monitor. Or unless you are jut obsessed with overclocking and running stuff at the max. Which since you haven't upgraded cards since buying 2 8500's, I would venture a guess that that isn't the case.

There are some GREAT cards out that are relatively cheap. A quick rundown of it all is..

8800GT: This card is probably the best performance per dollar on the market. It is getting a bit older now with the 9 series cards and the new GT200 chipset cards. But you will be able to run everything that is out right now comfortable with a 8800, and they are probably dirt cheap right now.

9 series: Don't buy a 9 series card. They are basically a rebadged 8 series card that has been bumped up in price. There may be a few extra transistors but not enough to really warrant the price increase. The only real benefit the 9 series cards have is the ability for tri-SLI, with the exception of the 9600. A 9800GTX is the same card as a 8800GTS but with tri-SLI.

If you want to buy the latest technology, and don't mind spending a bit more. You need to get a GT200 series card. They are fantastic and dropping in price because of the shocking performance of the new ATI cards. Nvidia didn't expect ATI to come out with a card that could rival their lower end GT200 cards for cheaper, but they did and so Nvidia is dropping prices to stay competitive. The ATI cards aren't bad. In fact they are actually pretty good, and they are great for the money. But I'm a nvidia guy myself. I like their drivers better and I also think they are more compatible with more applications. I'm sure someone else will post later that is more biased towards ATI.

To summarize, don't buy a 9 series Nvidia card. Get either a 8800GT or ATI Radeon HD 4850 if you want to spend under $200. If you want to spend 300, get a Nvidia GTX260. If you want to go all out, the top of the line GTX280 is around $450 -$500 depending on what brand you buy.
This man knows his onions
__________________
- Paul - is offline   England
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 12:44 PM   #7
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stnewcar View Post
This man knows his onions
+1. Absolutely.
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 01:39 PM   #8
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDog View Post
Good advice. Thanks.

One question: How do you know which 8800GT card to buy ??

I just went to Frys.com and saw 9 different cards, from different manufacturers:
1) BFG GeForce 8800GT OC Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, Open GL 2.0) $179.99 after $20 rebate.
2) PNY GeForce 8800GT 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $189.99.
3) PNY 8800GTS PCI-E Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.99
4) XFX 8800GT Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $139.99 after $30 rebate.
5) EVGA 8800GTS Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $219.99 after $30 rebate.
6) XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog XXX 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $159.99 after $40 rebate.
7) BFG 8800GTS OC Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.98 after $50 rebate.
8) EVGA Geforce 8800GT Video Card (1GB, PCI-Express) $274.99 after $25 rebate.
9) EVGA GeForce 8800GT Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, OpenGL 2.0) $179.99
I am quite glad you asked this actually. And there are two answers for you.

The first answer, which is the real kicker to watch out for, is there are infact 2 versions of the 8800GT. The easy way to tell which version you are looking at is the ram size that the card has. There is a the 8800GT 320MB and a 8800GT 512MB. The 512mb 8800GT is the good one. If you see the other card, don't even bother looking at it. The primary difference between these 2 cards, other than obviously the increase in ram, is that they use different chipsets. The 512MB 8800GT runs on the G92 chip, which is also used throughout the entire 9 series product line by Nvidia. The lesser 320MB 8800GT video card runs the older G80 chipset. The G80 chip was the original chipset for the 8 series, but the 8 series product line got a mid-life revamp (similar to how BMW does mid-life facelifts to their models). This revamp swapped out the GPU in the 8800GT from the G80 to the new G92. The G92 chip is better all around by far. When buying a 8800GT you want to make sure you buy the 8800GT 512MB.

The second answer I have for you isn't nearly as important to distinguish between. And this answer is that all of the cards you have listed above are all the same base-line card. Nvidia doesn't sell their graphics cards out directly, neither does ATI. They send their base cards to retail brands who take their card and tweak them a bit. Some(most) retail brands will factory overclock the card, but in turn you pay for this boost in performance because they also beef up the price alittle bit. However, they all are the G92 chipset 8800GT still. So, the difference between all the cards listed above is all in the company that is selling them. Also, this is where the warranty comes in as I know the company BFG offers full lifetime warranties on their cards, but they are mildly overclocked when compared to some of the other retailers.

The cards that are labelled 8800GTS are the next card above the 8800GT. I haven't really been keeping track of pricing lately. So if this card is in your price range, there is nothing wrong with it. It is a faster card than the benchmark 8800GT. The 9800GTX is basically a rebadged 8800GTS with a few more transistors and the triple-SLI capability. Last time I looked seriously at them the 9800GTX was alot more expensive. However, since the GT200 cards are out now then the prices might of come down more in line with their performance.

*edit* I forgot to mention that I think that 8800GT card with the 1gb ram is a special edition that they made when the 8800GT was getting alittle bit older. I'll need to look it up alittle more before I can be certain about that though. The general rule of thumb when looking at ram size is that the bigger the monitor you have, the more ram you need. Ram size will directly and noticably affect the performance of any application on monitors that are increasing in size. When I say large monitors I am talking about ~24". 22" is the beginning of the larger segment of monitors, but I probably would say its in the upper average size. There are some HUGE monitors out there.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
I am quite glad you asked this actually. And there are two answers for you.

The first answer, which is the real kicker to watch out for, is there are infact 2 versions of the 8800GT. The easy way to tell which version you are looking at is the ram size that the card has. There is a the 8800GT 320MB and a 8800GT 512MB. The 512mb 8800GT is the good one. If you see the other card, don't even bother looking at it. The primary difference between these 2 cards, other than obviously the increase in ram, is that they use different chipsets. The 512MB 8800GT runs on the G92 chip, which is also used throughout the entire 9 series product line by Nvidia. The lesser 320MB 8800GT video card runs the older G80 chipset. The G80 chip was the original chipset for the 8 series, but the 8 series product line got a mid-life revamp (similar to how BMW does mid-life facelifts to their models). This revamp swapped out the GPU in the 8800GT from the G80 to the new G92. The G92 chip is better all around by far. When buying a 8800GT you want to make sure you buy the 8800GT 512MB.

The second answer I have for you isn't nearly as important to distinguish between. And this answer is that all of the cards you have listed above are all the same base-line card. Nvidia doesn't sell their graphics cards out directly, neither does ATI. They send their base cards to retail brands who take their card and tweak them a bit. Some(most) retail brands will factory overclock the card, but in turn you pay for this boost in performance because they also beef up the price alittle bit. However, they all are the G92 chipset 8800GT still. So, the difference between all the cards listed above is all in the company that is selling them. Also, this is where the warranty comes in as I know the company BFG offers full lifetime warranties on their cards, but they are mildly overclocked when compared to some of the other retailers.

The cards that are labelled 8800GTS are the next card above the 8800GT. I haven't really been keeping track of pricing lately. So if this card is in your price range, there is nothing wrong with it. It is a faster card than the benchmark 8800GT. The 9800GTX is basically a rebadged 8800GTS with a few more transistors and the triple-SLI capability. Last time I looked seriously at them the 9800GTX was alot more expensive. However, since the GT200 cards are out now then the prices might of come down more in line with their performance.

*edit* I forgot to mention that I think that 8800GT card with the 1gb ram is a special edition that they made when the 8800GT was getting alittle bit older. I'll need to look it up alittle more before I can be certain about that though. The general rule of thumb when looking at ram size is that the bigger the monitor you have, the more ram you need. Ram size will directly and noticably affect the performance of any application on monitors that are increasing in size. When I say large monitors I am talking about ~24". 22" is the beginning of the larger segment of monitors, but I probably would say its in the upper average size. There are some HUGE monitors out there.

Again, very good advice, and information. Thanks !!
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 01:50 PM   #10
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Here is your list split up between the different cards.

8800GT 512BM:
-BFG GeForce 8800GT OC Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, Open GL 2.0) $179.99 after $20 rebate.
-PNY GeForce 8800GT 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $189.99.
-XFX 8800GT Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $139.99 after $30 rebate.
-XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog XXX 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $159.99 after $40 rebate.
-EVGA GeForce 8800GT Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, OpenGL 2.0) $179.99

8800GTS 512MB:
-PNY 8800GTS PCI-E Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.99
-EVGA 8800GTS Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $219.99 after $30 rebate.
-BFG 8800GTS OC Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.98 after $50 rebate.

8800GT 1GB:
-EVGA Geforce 8800GT Video Card (1GB, PCI-Express) $274.99 after $25 rebate.

What is your overall price range your looking to spend on a new card? I'll look around for you for a bit and see what I can find. Also, if you want to look for yourself a bit. I strongly suggest looking at newegg.com. They aren't always the cheapest in everything you will buy, but they are the cheapest in most cases and their customer service is the absolute BEST. I think I have only heard of 1 case where they refused a return or refund, and the guy like dunked his card into water or some shit.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 01:51 PM   #11
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDog View Post
Again, very good advice, and information. Thanks !!
Hah, your quick! I didn't expect you to read it so fast. And your very welcome.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 01:56 PM   #12
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Here is your list split up between the different cards.

8800GT 512BM:
-BFG GeForce 8800GT OC Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, Open GL 2.0) $179.99 after $20 rebate.
-PNY GeForce 8800GT 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $189.99.
-XFX 8800GT Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $139.99 after $30 rebate.
-XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog XXX 512MB PCI-Express Video Card $159.99 after $40 rebate.
-EVGA GeForce 8800GT Video Card (512MB DDR3, PCI-E 2.0, DX10, OpenGL 2.0) $179.99

8800GTS 512MB:
-PNY 8800GTS PCI-E Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.99
-EVGA 8800GTS Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $219.99 after $30 rebate.
-BFG 8800GTS OC Video Card (512MB, PCI-E 2.0) $229.98 after $50 rebate.

8800GT 1GB:
-EVGA Geforce 8800GT Video Card (1GB, PCI-Express) $274.99 after $25 rebate.

What is your overall price range your looking to spend on a new card? I'll look around for you for a bit and see what I can find. Also, if you want to look for yourself a bit. I strongly suggest looking at newegg.com. They aren't always the cheapest in everything you will buy, but they are the cheapest in most cases and their customer service is the absolute BEST. I think I have only heard of 1 case where they refused a return or refund, and the guy like dunked his card into water or some shit.

I was looking to spend not more than $300, so any of the cards I have listed are OK.
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:00 PM   #13
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Also, here is an older review that tomshardware.com did for the "Best Gaming Graphics Card for your Money:April 08".

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ds,1805-3.html

The price ranges are a bit dated but it is a good read to learn about all of your options.

I'll also say, if you are torn between 2 different cards that have similar prices and stats. I would say go with the card that you will be most content and happy with. When I built my new system, the 9800GTX and 9600GT had just came out on the market. I was tempted to go with the 9800GTX (it had a hefty premium at the time) or a 8800GT. I decided to go with the 8800GT, save a good bit of change (it was around half the cost) and wait until a card with more of a performance increase came out. Basically the new GT200 series cards.

Oddly enough though, at the moment I'm really not using my computer to game too much. At the moment everything on the market either bores me, or I've gotten burnt out on it. So my computer right now is just a glorified dvd player. HAH! There is some good stuff on the horizon though.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:08 PM   #14
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

You can do some serious damage with $300. Here are the top 2 choices I would pick.

$279.99-EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130370

$284.99-SAPPHIRE 100243L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102748

As far as pure processing and rendering power, the ATI card is probably stronger. But the Nvidia card has more ram, which means it may run smoother on your larger monitor at higher resolutions. I should probably note right now that the larger monitors require more ram because of the higher resolutions that they run at, especially if you are running with antialiasing on.

However, I mentioned before that I am Nvidia biased. And I am. So I would probably still get the GTX 260 (GT200 is the GPU). More ram, free shipping so I think it comes out to be alittle bit cheaper, and I think that Nvidia has better drivers. Before my current system I was running a Radeon 9800XT 256MB. It was a great card, bested Nvidia at the time I bought it. But the Catalyst drivers were flakey sometimes, mind you that was a 5 year old card when I replaced it finally.

I'll post up a few good cheaper options, but really go with your gut. Whatever you feel happy and pleased with is what you'll enjoy the most.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:10 PM   #15
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Also, I'm not sure if newegg has a shipping center out of CA. I think they are based up in New England somewhere so you may even not have to pay any tax on it. Which beats the hell out of buying from Fry's.


(Fry's is still a great store though. If you have to use a brick&mortar.)
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:19 PM   #16
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
You can do some serious damage with $300. Here are the top 2 choices I would pick.

$279.99-EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130370

$284.99-SAPPHIRE 100243L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102748

As far as pure processing and rendering power, the ATI card is probably stronger. But the Nvidia card has more ram, which means it may run smoother on your larger monitor at higher resolutions. I should probably note right now that the larger monitors require more ram because of the higher resolutions that they run at, especially if you are running with antialiasing on.

However, I mentioned before that I am Nvidia biased. And I am. So I would probably still get the GTX 260 (GT200 is the GPU). More ram, free shipping so I think it comes out to be alittle bit cheaper, and I think that Nvidia has better drivers. Before my current system I was running a Radeon 9800XT 256MB. It was a great card, bested Nvidia at the time I bought it. But the Catalyst drivers were flakey sometimes, mind you that was a 5 year old card when I replaced it finally.

I'll post up a few good cheaper options, but really go with your gut. Whatever you feel happy and pleased with is what you'll enjoy the most.

WOW. That EVGA card looks like a monster.
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:20 PM   #17
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

If you want to spend as little as possible and still get a VERY decent card. Here you go.

$135.99 (after rebate)-EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130319

$104.99 (after rebate)-EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130334


Wow, I just saw that they did come out with a 9800GT. I totally skipped seeing that. I'm a bit surprised even since I was kind of waiting for it to come out a while ago so I could compare it.

$139.99 (after rebate)-EVGA 512-P3-N975-AR GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130380


I will say though, some poeple are good with sending in rebates. And some are not. I personally always forget to send in for the rebate. So if you are like me, you should look at the non-rebate prices on the page I linked. If you think you'll send it in though, then by all means use that price to compare with.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #18
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Also, I'm not sure if newegg has a shipping center out of CA. I think they are based up in New England somewhere so you may even not have to pay any tax on it. Which beats the hell out of buying from Fry's.


(Fry's is still a great store though. If you have to use a brick&mortar.)

Fry's is also good for figuring out prices. It also has a great return policy. I once blew up three motherboards (don't ask how), and they refunded my money, no questions asked.
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:26 PM   #19
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

I could talk about this stuff all day it seems. Here is a quick 8800GT vs. 9600GT from my own opinion. The 8800GT cards are alittle faster than the 9600GT cards. They have a few more transistors, I think Nvidia purposefully detuned the 9600GT when it was released to make the 9800GTX seem more buff, and the 8800GT runs the same GPU as the 9600GT. The 9600GT benefits from a cheaper costs, probably brought on by the lower number of transistors. Because of this, if you wanted to run an SLI setup, while dual 8800GT cards may run alittle better you probably wouldn't notice the performance increase over 2 9600GT cards. So the money savings (2x because of 2 cards) would be more enticing. I also think tomshardware.com recommends 2 9600GT cards in SLI as their best solution for $300. But this was before the GTX200 cards with the GT200 GPU had been released to the market yet. And well before the price for the GTX200 cards was lowered to be more competetive to the dirt cheap Radeon HD 4800 cards.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:29 PM   #20
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDog View Post
Fry's is also good for figuring out prices. It also has a great return policy. I once blew up three motherboards (don't ask how), and they refunded my money, no questions asked.
Haha, thats awesome. Fry's is definately at the top of the list for local stores. I got my 780i motherboard from there, it ended up being about the same as newegg's price + shipping, but it was an immediate pick-up vs. waiting for a day or two. I have noticed that they do cost alot more for some things though. In particular, graphics cards. If you compare the exact same card from Fry's to Newegg they usually are alittle more, at least on the latest and greatest stuff.

Fry's weekly sales do bring some prices down though to match that of Newegg. I got my case (Antec Nine Hundred) from Fry's on a friday sale they had that made it $30 cheaper than the Newegg price. $89 vs $120
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:31 PM   #21
MadDog
Careful, I Bite.....
 
MadDog's Avatar
 
Drives: 2006 325i
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: S.F. Bay Area

Posts: 504
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2006 325i  [3.75]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
I could talk about this stuff all day it seems. Here is a quick 8800GT vs. 9600GT from my own opinion. The 8800GT cards are alittle faster than the 9600GT cards. They have a few more transistors, I think Nvidia purposefully detuned the 9600GT when it was released to make the 9800GTX seem more buff, and the 8800GT runs the same GPU as the 9600GT. The 9600GT benefits from a cheaper costs, probably brought on by the lower number of transistors. Because of this, if you wanted to run an SLI setup, while dual 8800GT cards may run alittle better you probably wouldn't notice the performance increase over 2 9600GT cards. So the money savings (2x because of 2 cards) would be more enticing. I also think tomshardware.com recommends 2 9600GT cards in SLI as their best solution for $300. But this was before the GTX200 cards with the GT200 GPU had been released to the market yet. And well before the price for the GTX200 cards was lowered to be more competetive to the dirt cheap Radeon HD 4800 cards.
Wow. You're definitely a wealth of information. Thanks!!
MadDog is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      07-30-2008, 02:35 PM   #22
UltimateBMW
Brigadier General
 
UltimateBMW's Avatar
 
Drives: MP4
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: South

Posts: 3,287
iTrader: (0)

Don't mention it. Just happy to help out. Let me know what you end up getting, and if you have any more questions.
__________________
UltimateBMW is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:52 PM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST