Developing for Low Budget Hardware

Hi all,

Simple question I’m sure: I’m looking to develop for the low budget hardware market to ensure performance and compatibility for my applications. I’ve been looking around the NVIDIA and ATI/AMD sites but I’m not absolutely sure what to get.

Basically I will purchase a low budget card from both companies to ensure that the applications will work regardless of the adapter.

The criteria will be support for Shader Model 2 (minimum), PCI-Express interface, and minimal support for the OpenGL API version 2.0. Any suggestions will be appreciated and I’m looking at a two year development scenario (an estimated minimum).

Cards in consideration:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 8500 series (~ $50-$80)
  • Not too sure about ATI but should be in the sub-$100 range and comparable/competing with the NVIDIA card.

No decisions made yet.

Thanks in advance.

If you want compatibility, you are better off buying older hardware such as geforce 6200.

Well, I though about doing so but I’m looking at a minimal 2 year time frame. By that time GeForce 6200 will be as obsolete as the Radeon 7000 series (I think).

I picked the 8500 since it will allow me to develop for SM 2.0 as well as for the 3.0 and higher without swapping the hardware too much.

It’s not my intention to solely develop using old technologies, but provide a smooth experience if they should be present. I might have the wrong mindset, so correct me if I’m mistaken.