Aug 19, 2003
I´m looking for a new card, but I don´t really know what kind of power I´ll be needing.

I only play games at 1024x768 in 32-bit colours, with maximum textures and effects, so I guess I won´t be needing the ultra high-end cards. I´ve tried playing at higher resolutions, but I´m happy with 1024x with maximum quality.

What should I go for in a card? Special effects techniques, size and quality of RAM, core and memory clock, RAMDAC, texture handling, rendering pipelines, PRO or non-PRO versions???

I´m usually playing games which require 3D water effects, like high quality pixel- and vertex-shaders, but I don´t know what else to look for.

Price range: <450$

My system specs:

2.0GHz T-Bred
1GB DDR333
AGP 8x mainboard

note: I´ve seen the Buyers Guide, but I´d really like your up-to-date recommendations?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Saudakar on 08/28/03 07:39 AM.</EM></FONT></P>


Aug 19, 2003
I read somewhere that you only need >64MB on-board RAM if you´re running at really high resolutions, is that right?

I know most new cards have 128MB RAM, will there be any improvement in my case going with 256MB?


Aug 26, 2003
Not always.For some really new games and tools like 3Dmark03 and Unreal2,u need some rams out of 64MB.256MB will only make nothing different now,but u wonnt tell the situation in the near future.


128 megs of ram is definitely used if you're using 4x Antialiassing at 1024x768, so make sure you get at least that much.

A Radeon 9500 PRO/9600 PRO or GeforceFX 5600 ULTRA or better should fit the bill for you for between $150 and $200 USD, so lots of budget to spare.

Since you can afford it, get yourself a Radeon 9700 non-pro. Much better card and only a teensy bit more expensive at about $220 US. That will certainly play almost every game at 1024x768 in 32 bit color with 4x FSAA and ansio.

If you want to play upcoming games like Doom3 and Half Life 2 at those settings, get the best card you can afford (i.e. 9800 PRO or GFX5900 ULTRA), because chances are they won't even do the job. You'll probably have to turn Antialiassing off on those games for decent framerates.

Radeon 9500 (modded to PRO w/8 pixel pipelines)
AMD AthlonXP 2000+
3dMark03: 3529


Aug 19, 2003
Thanks for the info guys!

I guess I´ll be getting the Radeon 9800 PRO with the 256MB RAM, might aswell make a real upgrade this time.

I´m putting my money on ATI, not ENVYdia, seems like ATI is the one to go with if you want quality...


Feb 24, 2002
I agree that if you're loaded, get the 256mb 9800 Pro, and I say that for 3 reasons.

1. first and foremost the ram on the 256mb version can be overclocked to much higher speeds (420 and up, vs. 380ish), equalling a HUGE performance boost (over stock)

2. *some games, and possibly *some future games may benefit from it

3. bragging rights to the layman:)

Really though I would only recommend getting the 256mb version if you're going to overclock it (refer to reason #1).

For best overclocking, invest in aftermarket cooling:)

Do you put cheap tires and regular gasoline in an exotic? Treat your new 500 dollar beauty with the respect it deserves. MAKE AMERICA A BETTER PLACE: GIVE A 9800 PRO A NEW HEATSINK!

"Mice eat cheese." - Modest Mouse

"Every Day is the Right Day." -Pink Floyd


Former Staff
Of course it would, but there's a catch! Heat pipes work off a temperature differential. Once the cool side is as hot as the hot side, they don't work. The top side is the condensor, the bottom side is the evaporator, the condensor must be cooler, so...if you want to make a good heatpipe into a great one, cool the top side with a fan.

It wouldn't take much added air movement to make the thing operate much better, so for heavy duty overclocking you'd only need a quiet, low speed fan on top.

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