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Good video card for "mild" gaming?

Old 08-30-06, 11:28 AM
  #1  
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Good video card for "mild" gaming?

Hey all, battling with a crappy new LCD monitor I decided that I should probably upgrade my video card to support DVI. So I moved from a GeForce 5200 to a very cheap GeForce 6200 LE. Well, now I can't play any videos but I guess that's something else to look into. Regardless, I figured I should take that back and just upgrade my whole computer. I'm trying to decide between getting a motherboard with a 6150 built in or getting a motherboard with no on-board video and jumping into a 7600GS.

Keep in mind that I don't game much on PC. I might pick up Fable, my friend is trying to pressure me into giving World of Warcraft a try as well. But other than that.. I'm not really interested in any FPS other than the original Quake trilogy and anything else I'd be playing would be Japanese RPGs or other little free online games. Of course, even still.. my monitor is going to be running at 1600x1200.. so I'm wondering if I'll need the extra power to even run the older stuff.

Will the on-board video be enough for me? If not, what would be a good $100 or less card for my needs? I'm not totally convinced I need to jump all the way to the 7 series.. but you can try to convince me.
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Old 08-30-06, 12:07 PM
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If you plan on playing Fable and any other game released within the last 3-4 years or so, then on board video will not be enough. On board video almost always lacks features like pixel shaders, and practically every single game released within the last 3-4 years requires pixel shaders.

That high of a resolution can be a possible problem. The higher the resolution is, the more your framerate slows down.

The Geforce 5 series was crap, even when they were first released. They always had poor DX9 and shader performance. The Geforce 6 series is much better. I would suggest getting either a Geforce 6600 or 6800 card. They will run any current game well. You don't really need a Geforce 7 series. They are overkill unless you plan to play the most recent graphic intensive FPS games. The 6600 and 6800 are right around $100-$130 now.
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Old 08-30-06, 12:28 PM
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If you don't mind used, you should be able to get an ATI X800XT for ~ $100. (get a PCI-exprees mobo)

(anandtech for sale forums)
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Old 08-30-06, 12:31 PM
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Never, ever, ever get a motherboard with on-board video. Ever! Even if you're not that big into PC gaming, buy them separately.

Wait, don't you have an Xbox? Why not just get Fable: The Lost Chapters for that?

Also, I doubt you'd have much interest in World of Warcraft after a week or two.
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Old 08-30-06, 12:42 PM
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I just recently bought a Radeon 1600xt by Sapphire that goes for $127 in box or $97 OEM. So far it's ran everything I've thrown at it well. Half Life 2 Demo, FEAR demo, Battle For Middle-Earth 2, with very little slow down. Nice little card for someone who isn't trying to plunk down "new console" amounts of money for a video card.
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Old 08-30-06, 01:12 PM
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I would get a xbox360 before I got a new video card. Don't let yourself get talked into World of Warcraft. That is not a "mild" game by anymeans.
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Old 08-30-06, 01:23 PM
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World of Warcraft will devour your soul. Literally, it will bite your head off, suck out your soul, spit down your neck and have its way with your corpse.
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Old 08-30-06, 02:14 PM
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A friend of mine is offering an ATI 9700 Pro (for free!). Is that better than the GeForce 6200?
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Old 08-30-06, 04:01 PM
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Yeah, the ATI 9700 Pro is better than the GeForce 6200.
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Old 08-30-06, 04:23 PM
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The Radeon 9700 was a kickass card when it first came out and it's still pretty good now. Free is always good anyway. lol
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Old 08-31-06, 09:37 AM
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I'm using an EVGA 7600GS, and running World of Warcraft on my 24" Dell widescreen with no problems. I'm not running everything at high, but it looks pretty good to my eyes.

So yes, it's plenty capable. If you're NOT going heavy gaming, and want something better than the Radeon 9700, I hear the 7300s are decent bargain cards too.

look on www.tomshardware.com for more information and reviews.

-jason
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