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Ducescrub
13th Jun 2004, 02:43
As I think many of us needed to do, I need to buy a new graphics card in hopes of being able to play Thief III: Deadly Shadows.

I was reading a couple threads, and "Go for the GeForce FX 5900XT." Keeps showing up. Anywho, I currently have a Geforce 4 MX420 (Unsupported by the game), so I can spend anywhere more than $60 and get a better card. But money is no issue, (Save for buying a $3000 Alienware computer, or buying any other computer for that matter)

The point is I need a new card, and will spend up to $600 to get it.
My only really big question is, what is the best Nvidiacard out there, and will a computer power supply of 200 watts support it?

Everythign was going fine and dandy with my search for a card 'till I found out about that 200 watt limit, and found a soundcard that required 250 watts, then realized that no other soundcard I looked at listed watts.

Anyway, I don't know if I'm making too big a thing out of something tiny or not, so if you know off hand, or decide to look at your computer's power supply and tell me its watts and what video card you have, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.

zennex
13th Jun 2004, 04:23
Nvidia releases their GeForce 6800 later this month and it will supposedly double the performance of the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra. Bide your time for a bit longer and spring for one of these. Gonna need a bigger power supply for any card more powerful than you've got (GeForce 6800 recs. 480 watts but can be run with 350.)

Saudi_Garrett
13th Jun 2004, 04:32
I’d strongly recommend the Geforce 6800 ulta coz of the reviews I’ve read about. I my self am looking to by a new SUPER pc and would defiantly buy this new card. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

Ducescrub
13th Jun 2004, 04:56
Ok, so it does look like I'm going to need to get a new power supply. I've done this before with my ****ty e-machine that kept blowing a fuse for some odd reason, however after the new supply went in 2 more fuses went bad. Is it rather safe to compleatly void my 2 year warrente in excange for puttin in a new supply? Is that even supposed to be done?

thegrommit
13th Jun 2004, 11:29
Depends. Putting in a new graphics card probably voids the warranty anyway, so you won't have anything to lose. Check with your system builder.

Does your PC use a standard ATX power supply? If so, then you should be good to go. The total wattage (i.e. 350W, 400W) isn't as important as the +5v and +12v ratings (in amps), as those are the ones commonly used in modern PC's. If the power supply you're looking at doesn't list them, then walk away.

Also? Don't go overboard with the graphics card. A two year old system is unlikely to be able to fully utilise the fastest cards.

chris20202
13th Jun 2004, 13:15
A new power supply will be cheap. You could probably get a 350 watt one for $20.

Right now the best nvidia card is the geforce fx5950, which you don't want to buy. It is only barely faster than the 5900, and costs a lot more. Plus, the 5900 can be flashed up to become a 5950 (although this would void your warranty). I would recommend the 5900 if you want nvidia.

But really the ATI cards run this game much better, it seems. I have a geforce 5900, I can only play at 1024x768, whereas people with a 9800 pro can run the game at 1280x1024. You can buy a 9800pro for $200 (and up).

Or you could buy the top of the line ATI card, the x800 I believe it is, for $400+, and maybe even run the game at 1600x1200.

Ducescrub
13th Jun 2004, 15:11
<I>Currently</I> what is in my computer is a "ATX-1956D" power supply, which omitting the last crap I believe is the ATX you have mentioned. As for the ATI things mentioned, correct me if I'm wrong but ATI is like, PCI's brother, except smaller and black :P Right? In that case I've never had a computer with an ATI slot, which is beginning to confuse me on why the hell not.

Anywho, thegrommit, you said that total wattage doesn't matter as much as the voltage... Does this mean I could indeed get away with 250 watts? Or not really? :P

Thatguy
13th Jun 2004, 15:19
I think you mean "AGP slot" and they are brown and they are between the PCI slots (white) and the CPU.

BTW your better with an ATI 9800 or better, because they are simply better cards for many reasons.

And make sure you get a good quality 400+ watt power supply with gold plated contacts etc. not some £30 thing thats probably gonna fry your new card after a few months
(probably something you cant specify when buying a pre-made system from alienware etc, but its the price you pay for not making it yourself) :P

thegrommit
13th Jun 2004, 15:23
Originally posted by Ducescrub
As for the ATI things mentioned, correct me if I'm wrong but ATI is like, PCI's brother, except smaller and black :P Right? In that case I've never had a computer with an ATI slot, which is beginning to confuse me on why the hell not.

Anywho, thegrommit, you said that total wattage doesn't matter as much as the voltage... Does this mean I could indeed get away with 250 watts? Or not really? :P

The graphics card goes into the AGP slot. It's typically the first slot between the five/six PCI slots and the CPU. ATI are just another maker of graphic chips - Nvidia is the other big one. Do a image search on google and you'll find plenty of pictures.

As for your power supply, take a look at the label. What does it list for the +12V and +5V rails? Depending on what else you have in the system, you may be OK - but don't count on it.

[edit] The rest of your system specs would also be a good idea. Putting a $600 video card into a box with 128MB of memory and a 1.3GHz CPU isn't going to be an effective use of cash.

Ducescrub
13th Jun 2004, 15:25
AGP, exactly.... I was testing you.... :P

So then when it comes to ATI, I've heard debates about ATI (Insert Radeon, if you wish) cards versus Nvidia cards when it comes to this game, but I don't remember the outcome. But generally speaking, is one better than the other when it comes to most newer games?

thegrommit
13th Jun 2004, 15:28
Originally posted by Ducescrub
AGP, exactly.... I was testing you.... :P

So then when it comes to ATI, I've heard debates about ATI (Insert Radeon, if you wish) cards versus Nvidia cards when it comes to this game, but I don't remember the outcome. But generally speaking, is one better than the other when it comes to most newer games?

They're pretty much even, with ATI's Radeon doing better in modern DirectX games (e.g. Far Cry), while Nvidia does better with OpenGL games (e.g. Call of Duty). Just be warned that some of the Nvidia FX series can be a bit noisy.

Again, the rest of your system specs would be good. Follow the instructions in this link (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28948).

Thatguy
13th Jun 2004, 15:29
ATI unless you want to spend half a year finding a geforce driver that works without glitches aswell as a load of other annoying "features" and small incompatibilities :)

Ducescrub
13th Jun 2004, 15:37
So I'm pokin through ATi Radeon site and i found the X800, "The newest & best & latest pos or whatever to hit the market" In comparison to the Geforce 6800, would they be about equal? Or will one be compleatly submissive to the other?

Also my main issue is still watts, seeing as how I need a new power supply, and how I have very limited space in my computer in which a power supply fits, how exactly should I go about doing this? Should I buy the most powerful power supply? SHould I get just enough? Should I attempt to mount this gigantic thing inside, needing to drill holes into the frame to mount it? Or should I kind of like have it hanging out the side/back?

I have only about:
Depth --- 5.5 inches
Width ---- 6 inches width
Height ---- 3.5 inches

Removing the bracket that holds the power supply could result in structual failure... :-\

Thatguy
13th Jun 2004, 15:40
All ATX power supplys are the same size, 400 watt should be enough (thats what I'm using with a 9800 pro, AMD 2500+ and 1gb DDR 3200 ram)

Ducescrub
13th Jun 2004, 15:45
Several times now people have mentioned having fewer watts than the device(s) demand. Anyone mind explaining how it works, why, and what the hell?

http://www.pcdirect.com/product.asp?Sku=480DMON%2DBLUE
Good? ^.^??

It doesn't fit depth wise, but I figured I could have it stick out the back of my comp 2 inches :P

thegrommit
13th Jun 2004, 16:13
Originally posted by thegrommit
Putting a $600 video card into a box with 128MB of memory and a 1.3GHz CPU isn't going to be an effective use of cash.
.....

the rest of your system specs would be good. Follow the instructions in this link (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28948).

:)

The maximum wattage of a power supply is often misleading. That particular one only supplies 17amps on the 12V line - whereas my 430W unit supplies 20amps.

chris20202
13th Jun 2004, 16:15
Originally posted by Ducescrub
AGP, exactly.... I was testing you.... :P

So then when it comes to ATI, I've heard debates about ATI (Insert Radeon, if you wish) cards versus Nvidia cards when it comes to this game, but I don't remember the outcome. But generally speaking, is one better than the other when it comes to most newer games?

If you're really interested in looking into the difference, try reading some of the hardware forums. Here's a good one to check:

http://www.sharkyforums.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=14

That's a link to sharky extreme's video card forum.

Stereophile
13th Jun 2004, 22:24
Rather than drop 500 on a next gen card, I would think about overhauling your whole system. Realistically, If you're not running at least a 2 gigahertz processor, there will be no difference between a 9800 Pro/5900 XT and a X800PE/6800U.
You may want to invest in a new case as well. Proprietary cases are a pain. You can build a nice 3ghz+ barebones for under 400.
And buy a 200 dollar card. Better balanced. Unless you plan on buying the high dollar video card now, and upgrade the rest of your pc in the short term (<6 months).
my .02


This is a killer deal !!!!!!
9800 Pro for 189.00 (http://www.hypermicro.com/product.asp?pf_id=VDHE100B)

http://www.hypermicro.com/prod_img/VDHE100B%2Ejpg

Ducescrub
14th Jun 2004, 01:42
First off, let me say I'm 16 :P, and I feel reallly bad about this, considering the time you guys and even myself put into the posts in this thread, and maybe you guys along with myself researching things about these posts, it has been decided by my mother that I'd be better off getting a new computer.

What basically happened is that at the purchase of my current computer, my mom had the devious plan of lending me the money to buy it now. Later in life, in about 1-2 years I would buy my own computer and "sell" this one back to her for the money she lent me it to begin with.

I of course had no knowledge of this.

This is all well and good till she just told me that she doesn't want me touchign it any more than I already have (Touching as in upgrading) so that she doesn't have to worry about anything funky for when it becomes hers. I do compleatly understand her thinking, I'm the one that has known her for 16 years, but anywho, thanks for taking me on this adventure :P

Now it will only take me about 9 months of work to get a really kickass computer-- my dreamboat, alienware's area 51... The only ***** of that is its gonna be about 10 months before I play thief 3 :P

Anywho, once again, thanks for your time~

bravus
14th Jun 2004, 02:02
No worries man, education is never wasted!

Just kicking in a tiny bit - I'd say the Radeon X800 and the GeForce 6800 would be very comparable - and you can check out anandtech and Tom's Hardware for more reviews and comparisons.

The big difference is actually power requirements. The 6800 is a huge power-sucker. nVidia originally said it required a 480 W power supply, just to be on the safe side, but people have been able to run it with a good quality 350 W one. (Power supply ratings are notoriously optimistic, so there are also cheap 450 W ones that won't power it.) The Radeon X800 requires much less power, although you'd probably still have needed to upgrade.

Anyway, work hard, save hard! Personally, I'd be tempted to buy a $2000 machine in 6 months that kicks a moderate amount of ass, rather than save for 9 months to get a machine that kicks an enormous amount of ass. In eother case, you know it's going to be obsolete the minute you walk out the door of the store... and you've already saved something for upgrades or the next one if you go the slightly cheaper route!

ShiftyStirgebiter
14th Jun 2004, 02:30
I would strongly reccomend not getting an Alienware PC, I used to think they were awsome until I priced the hardware they contain. You can save anywhere from 500$ to 1200$ by building your own rig. I scratch built one with very little knowledge of PC parts and it came out fine.

Also I saw one of those Alienware PC's at the local Best Buy, it was HUGE and noisy.

If there are people reading this who own an Alienware PC and you feel it is a great PC worth every $, feel free to correct me. But my experience with them is that they are way overpriced, too huge and noisy.

Stereophile
14th Jun 2004, 02:35
Yeah do not buy Alienware. Way overpriced. Learn to build it yourself. It's really not hard.

thegrommit
14th Jun 2004, 02:57
Only 16, and willing to work for your "toys" - good on you http://forums.eidosgames.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

I suggest you come back in nine months and post the specs of your proposed new machine before handing out any cash. As a rough guide, bookmark this link (http://arstechnica.com/guide/system/index.html) for future reference. It'll give you an idea of where to start.

Think of this as a good thing. In nine months, the game will have been patched, and hardware that can play it well will have fallen in price (so long as you stay away from Alienware).

Ducescrub
14th Jun 2004, 04:02
Sheeit, thanks for the imput... Hrm... I've always wanted to build my own computer, but the whole process scares me :O... Most of me just doesn't understand it... I will definately look into that though, I kind of forgot that one of my life long goals would be to build my own... Thanks for the resource, I'll page through it tomorrow.

Mr. Perfect
14th Jun 2004, 05:38
Building machines is fun. :) For the most part the hardware all just plugs togehter(assuming you bought the right stuff), and then you jsut install your software. That new hardware smell is addiciting....

http://www.tomshardware.com/game/20040529/index.html

By the time you get your money together, that data might be bit dated, but it's a start. There are other more indept first-time building articles around too.