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video card question

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DEFELDUS, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. im in the middle of buying parts for the computer i am building (ie putting together) and i have a question about videocards for those of you that know a good deal about cpus. in my shopping around ive found many good deals on some of the high end gfx cards (radeon pros and such) but i was wondering, is it worth it to shell out the extra cash now to get one with 256 mb ram or just stick with 128 until the next generation (or next big improvement) of video cards come out? if i get the 256 one it will last me longer, but the 128 cards are about $100 cheaper, plus when i do need to upgrade (which will hopefully be a while) to 256 (or more) i will have a better card (instead of scraping by with the 256's that are out today.) any suggestions?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Really just depends on what you are doing.

    If you intend to be playing all the latest games and stuff you will probably want the best you can afford, if that is 256 then, go for it.

    But if you don't intend to be playing a lot of games, you really shouldn't need 256 vram, unless you're doing pro video editing or graphics design of course.
  3. thanks mr robot, you always seem to come to my rescue with my cpu related problems. i intend to play some games (star wars galaxies and the like) but if im not mistaken most games still only require 32mbs or so of vram, in which case do you think i'd get by with most gaming needs with 128?
  4. i would get the cheaper one. then wait a year or two and pick up a better one.
  5. My usual philosophy is to buy the best you can reasonably afford in order to defer the cost of upgrading as long as possible. In July of 2001, I bought and built a system with an Asus A7A266 motherboard, T-Bird 1.33ghz processor, and 512mb DDR-SDRAM, with two 60gb IBM DeathStar hard drives. I used a GeForce II GTS 64mb card which I had bought for my PIII 1ghz in January in the new system - I still haven't felt the need to upgrade any of the components, and the thing is now two years old - it still does everything I need. Should my usage patterns stay the same, I can probably keep trucking with Windows 2000 on this thing until the next version of Windows comes out.

    On the flip side of the coin, systems today, ESPECIALLY graphics cards, are being redesigned and reworked so often that a 6 month old graphics card is almost as obselete as my 2 year old GeForce II GTS! The Radeon 9500 my friend bought a few months ago is now a disposable item.

    That being the case, with graphics cards, I generally advise to buy at the best price/performance ratio - don't go above the point of diminishing return, because you'll probably have to upgrade 6 months from now anyway if you want to stay with current games. IMO, as 128mb is adequate for today's games, the graphics engine you choose is far more important than the battle between 128mb and 256mb of vram.

    There's my 2 cents!

  6. Honestly, I doubt that you will see a significant improvment with 256MB memory with today's systems. There will come a day.....

    Whatever you buy, it will be obsolete in six months anyway!
  7. Yep, and looking at the Radeon cards, noytice that the 128Mb cards ar faster in today's games tha the 256Mb ones. By the time the games really need that amount of memory, your GPU will be outdated anyway. Get a mid-budget card, like the Radeon 9500 128Mb, and get a new one when you need it.

    The bleeding edge-stuff is for people who can afford to bleed money.
  8. Read this review:


    It shows that the 256MB card is sometimes slightly better at 1600x1200, but often lags behind the 128MB card at lower resolutions.

    From the review it would appear that 256MB video cards are not yet worthwhile.
  9. mans0n


    Jun 15, 2002
    save the $100 and put a window on the side of the computer so you can see all the money you wasted on glowing cables and black lights..... :D


    if you are buying a 256mb you likely wont need it unless you are BUYING games all the time, in which case the 100$ wouldnt matter much considering games are ~50$ each...

    If you are pirating games, which is the case for many... i.e. downloading them off the internet... id say go for the 256mb one which would allow you to play the games the instant you are done pirating them, and as fast as they are released.... which is normally the case

    To sum up:

    Want to look really cool? 128mb, save money to buy window in your computer, glowing cables and black light

    You actually PAY for video games? go 256, seeing as you buy games and are a true gamer shelling out cash often, the extra 100$ shouldnt be too bad of a problem

    You steal your games off the net? go for 256, you steal the games as soon as they are released.. youll need it..

    You play games a few times a week, and its not your lifestyle, and you arent addicted to gaming... go for the 128mb <-------
  10. First off, if you want to read anything about hardware, the most credible and popular site out there is www.hardocp.com

    You'll have to do some serious gaming to really get the most out of a 256 Radeon. I have a 9700 PRO 128MB and when playing Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast, it sometimes will lag behind, depending on what options you have setup in the game. So there is a noticeable difference, but it depends if that difference is worth the extra money to you. Hardware is ever changing and you won't be at the head of the pack for long, but you will be the king with this card for a day.

    If you don't do a whole lot of gaming, I would suggest going with a slightly less performance card, and spending the rest of your dough on RAM. That is something you will definitely get a noticeable speed increase with, and you'll use it whether you're gaming or not. Money well spent IMO.
  11. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think that currently the best price/power ratio would be in Radeon 9500 Pro or GF4 Ti4200 128mb cards.

    In recent Tom's Hardwares test Ti4200 did surprisingly well considering it's around $100 nowadays, and 9500 Pro is bit outdated but still decently fast card too, sometimes even faster than the later 9600 Pro.
  12. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
  13. very cool turock
  14. Id either go with what Turock said or go for the Radeon 9800 Pro, my friend has one and it kicks ass! (I got a 9200)
  15. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a 256MB video card! Mine is 32MB and it has been able to handle everything I've done so far. I think a 128MB video card shouldn't even have any problems running Doom 3 when it comes out.
  16. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    That is probably true. Game makers (or the makers of any program) will lose many potential customers if only the people with the latest hardware can use their products.
  17. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    By the way, looks to me that graphics cards soon have more memory integrated to them than the motherboard itself!
  18. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
  19. Cuz its cheaper to do it yourself and you get a better computer :D Plus its more self satisfying (sp??)
  20. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    dude, it'll be way cheaper thru ibuypower. look at thier tight ass cases!!! there stuff is amazingly priced...