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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey. i'm about to order a pc through dell. i plan on using this pc with my sony 60" xbr gw2 through dvi.


what video card would y'all recommend? ordered by price.


64mb nvidia geforce4 mx - comes with system

128mb nvidia geforce fx5200 - add $15

64mb ati all-in-wonder 9000 pro - add $76

128mb ati radeon 9800 - add $124

128mb ati radeon 9800 pro - add $295


i know that the the radeo 9800 pro is the best of the list. but i have to add $295 to price.


i'm leaning towards the geforce fx5200 since it's 128mb and only costs me additional $15. or i can go with the geforce4 mx with 64mb...which is no additional cost.


suggestions/opinions of which one would do a good job on my tv?


is there maybe a good website to compare video cards?
 

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It would help if you could elaborate a bit on what you what to do with this PC. For DVD watching ATI is still considered best by many. Also if you are into gaming, speed is crucial.... Do you want use your PC as TV tuner or for PVR? Those AIW flavors come already with an integrated tuner (however, some tend to prefer to rather go with an extra capture card - like me).


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Axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry...i should have went into more detail my intentions.


i'm looking to watch dvds and other digital movies, in addition to playing music files.


possibly surf the web or do other computer related stuff on it.


but the majority of the time...it would play movies.
 

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I would suggest the 128 MB 9800 (non pro).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul_Seng
I would suggest the 128 MB 9800 (non pro).
Sounds good to me, too..

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Axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i'm just curious...what's wrong with the 128mb nvidia geforce fx5200?


i know you usually get what you paid for...but i'm just baffled why a 128mb video card would be so much cheaper than another.
 

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I can't say for sure, but some PC vendors buy more of one brand of card than another and can pass that savings on. A quick check of pricewatch would actually compare the street price though.


Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
if i was primarily playing dvds...is the 128mb radeon 9800 that much superior to than the much more affordable 128mb geforce fx5200? it's like a $109 difference.


with that price differential...i can pretty much get a dvd burner.


of course...if the 9800 is way better for dvd playback...than that's all that matters. if it's a slight improvement...than i rather take the savings and run with it.


opinions? thanks again!
 

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imajazz,

the fx5200 doesnt perform well in any 3d application, even the geforce 4 4200 is a better performer. the only real difference is that the fx series is directx9 compliant, and the geforce 4 series isnt. that being said, apparently the best s-video out quality on a mainstream graphics card right now is the PNY geforce fx5200 ultra. when i build my new HTPC system in the next month or so, this is the card i will buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
but i don't plan on doing much gaming on this pc...would 3d application help with dvd movie playing?
 

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no. but take a look at the 9x00 series of ATI cards, especially for dvd playback, because they have 10 bit DACs (Digital/Analog converters) that are designed around providing a much deeper set of colors. I don't personally have one of either card myself, but my next card will be an ATI based purely on the ones I have owned giving me excellent colors.
 

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I just bought a Dell 4600 for similar purposes. Though, I don't plan on playing DVDs, as I have a Bravo D1 for that purpose (I will check out DVD playback however). I opted for the fx5200 because of the minimal price increase associated with it. Since there's no onboard video with the 4600 you've gotta select something. The fx5200 is likely worth $15 more than the 4mx. I'm only going to drive my Sammy DLP at 1280x720 so the ATI performance at higher resolutions isn't likely a big issue for me. The fx5200 should do fine performance-wise, as I'm not a huger gamer to begin with...


I'd point out, too, that if you look at pricewatch you'll see that a 9800 pro 128MB card can be had for $295 (a 9800 looks more like $190 as opposed to the $124 that Dell wants). I mainly plan to surf and videoconference with family across the country, but I'll swap out the fx5200 card for an ATI card if the quality isn't up to par.


My research did indicate that the ATI cards are generally agreed to provide superior PQ when compared to the nVidia cards, FWIW... Just not sure the price difference meets the threshold for value in my application (will know more shortly)...



Marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
let me know how your 4600 works out. i'm considering the 4600 and 8300. although the 4600 pricepoint works better for me.


i'm just having a difficult time determing which video card to choose. when you get it...please let me know how the pq is.


to ati or nvidia...that's the question...
 

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Stay away from the cheap nVidia cards. Their higher-end ones are good, but they tend to create one line in each generation that is a "bargain". What you get is old technology, though. Not worth it.


Personally, I'm looking to upgrade my video card as well. I've always been an nVidia guy before, but I'm going to get an ATI this time. The superior picture quality really sways me. Additionally, they have better performance at this point (unless you want to spend >$300).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so would you consider the geforce fx5200 a lower-end model for nvidia? maybe that's why it's cheaper than the rest. especially for a 128mb card.


what you think?
 

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You can do a google search and come up with reviews for the fx5200 and a lot of opinions too. Tom's Hardware has a good review and comparison with other chipsets there...


The fx5200 appears to be the nVidia mainstream entry for the public at large. It's definitely a lower performance card... Then again, at certain things (like those involving directX 9.0 operations) it's faster than the ti4200 nVidia screamer that used to be (and still is in some circles) very highly regarded...


One generation's screamer is apparently the next generation's dog, often... {chuckle} As I said, I've also seen many complain that the the PQ, and not just the performance, with the fx5200 is subpar, so keep that in mind. I think some depends on what you want to do with the PC, as others have asked. Pure PQ really isn't application dependent and can spoil the whole configuration, but for $15 more than the 4mx (like I said) it doesn't seem like a bad idea to try the fx5200.


Won't cost much, if any, more to replace with a Radeon when necessary. Dell really isn't giving a great credit... Much of what the 9800 offers is raw performance (though PQ is obviously as big an issue), but keep in mind that if you're driving a display device with only 720 lines of resolution (like an HDTV, as I am) then you don't need massive frame-flipping power for 1600x1200 at 75hz... The gaming advantage is obvious power-wise. Picture quality is the biggest issue for me (at 1280x720 @ 60hz)...


I know people say ATI is better these days and I'm inclined to believe, however, the Dell credit doesn't make it worth biting the bullet at this minute...



Marc



p.s. Will let you know what I think about the PQ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks. so when you going to receive your system. i'm hoping to order mine tomorrow.


so i should get it next week or so. can't wait. now if i can only make a decision on the video card. hehe. i keep going back and forth.
 

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LOL.... I just got back from going to pick it up at the local Fedex facility. Alas, it wasn't there though. Dell ships it via Fedex such that they refuse (Fedex) to give a delivery window. So, essentially you're expected to sit home all day and wait for delivery. Haha... After making perfectly clear with the Fedex rep on the phone at 6:30pm that the package was in fact at the local facility (25 minutes away) after their failed delivery attempt today, I went to get it. It wasn't there. I called Dell and told them that after this debacle they needed to facilitate an after 5:30pm delivery tomorrow from Fedex or I would be sending the box back to them undelivered and cancel my payment...


They agreed and now its supposed to be delivered tomorrow night. We shall see...


As for your video card: I wouldn't sweat it too much. As I said before, unless you get the 9800 card (not pro) the Dell credit isn't good enough to make it a great deal anyway. You can test it and get rid of the fx5200 if you don't like it then pick up a 9800 or other ATI based card and likely not lose any money on the deal when contrasted with what you'd have gotten from Dell to begin with... Just my 2 cents (likely a dime's worth after all this rambling)... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
that totally makes sense. that's what i'm thinking of doing as well. if the fx5200 doesn't work out...i can always sell or give it away. and then upgrade to the 9800.


i'm curious...did you consider just getting the 64mb geforce mx card?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
btw...sorry to hear that you didn't get it tonight. sounds like you gave dell an earful. much deserved.


i'm already planning a work from home day next week...when i await the fedex truck. hehe.
 
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