graphics card rec?

greenwater

Distinguished
Dec 6, 2003
2
0
18,510
Would like some help on getting new graphics card. Am building up new PC with Athlon 2.8GHz processor, and am looking for a mid-range (around $200) card with 256 Mb. My application is a little different then most. Am doing CAD and other engineering stuff where good Open GL performance is wanted. Not so much games. Looks like I can find a 9600 with 256 Mb and 5600 with 256Mb, but nothing in the Ultra, Pro, XT families yet. Thoughts and comments?
 
Avoid the 256mb cards for the most part.

They are usually cheaper memoery, and usually underclocked compared to their 128mb brethren. Try and get an Ultra/PRO/TX, as they are far suprior to those that aren't (and worth a bit of a premium) A 128mb R9600PRo or FX5600Ultra will walk all over a 256mb non-pro/ultra in just about everything you throw at it.

I would recommend (whichever is best priced) an R9600Pro, R9600XT or an FX5700Ultra.

Watch what you are getting to avoid getting a card that 'says pro' but infact is a non-pro card (may have a core @ pro speeds, but memory is much slowr [thus making it a non-pro really])

Also these are some 64bit FX5600s out there. Watch out for those too, they perform worse than just about every other card out there (other than maybe a 64bit 5200).

If you can an R9800non-pro or and FX5900 may be a good choice to, depending on the price. It really depends on what you have near you (since the PROs and ULTRAs seem to be hard to find).

Good luck, let us know what else you can find. If you can only find an FX5600non-ultra or an R9600non-pro then stick with the 128mb kind, and save money, the 256mb won't show you any appreciable difference, and between those two I'd say the R9600 would be the better choice IMO.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:

<b>-NEW PIC IN THGC ALBUM-</b>
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I think nVidia cards are a bit better at OpenGL. Also, depending on the card you might be able to use a software Quadro conversion.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
 
Yeah soft Quadro/GL would be the way to go, I'm just not comfortable recommending it straight out of the box, and the FX5600 turns into the poor performing 500. And I'm not sure if the FX5700U has a Softmod yet. Did you find anything yet (I know the Russians love doing these).

<b>Greenwater</b>, SOFT GL and SoftQuadro are good options, just be sure to read about them before attempting.If you prepare properly (back up critical info) then there should be little risk involved. The GL tweaked drivers for those two can offer significant improvements. The R9600Pro - mods towards -> FireGL T2 and the FX5600 - mods towards -> Quadro 500 IIRC. I don't know what the FX5700U would give you. The T2 is better than the FX500 IMO, but the FX5700 might mod to something better still.

Straight out of the box, the above stands, but you may also want to consider a SoftGL or SoftQuadro mod once you have your card.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil:

<b>-NEW PIC IN THGC ALBUM-</b>