Help me pick out a video card to buy

I’ve been looking at the video cards for a while and decided to buy a new one… now I am just a student so not a lot of cash… Geforce2 MX looks pretty good, the problem is I would like a TV-out also (So I can watch DVDs on my TV). I love my video games, and am getting into the GL thing, so the new NV extensions are important (too bad for ATI, I wish so many developers wouldn’t write Geforce only stuff… Tim S. ahem). Anyway, do you guys recommend a card that’s not too heavy on the wallet?

How about a geforce 2 GTS?
I know for a fact that some of them come with TV outs. Pretty fast too.

I’ve actually been looking at the ATI Radeon VE with dual monitor. TV-Out, 2 monitor outs, DVD support, DDR. All for about $150 (cdn, less in the States). I know I’ll be missing a few good extensions, and that the hardware T&L is ripped out, but I’m starting to think the performance hit might be worth the features.

Go for something with HW T&L, the GeForce 2 MX is cheap and has excellent T&L performance. You can also get a Radeon at very good prices these days. If you’ve got a bigger budget go for a GTS.

well… right now I am going towards the Radeon DDR, hear it’s got good DVD assist, whatever that means, a TV out and it’s cheap. MX is good too, but no TV-out. GTS… just a tiny bit over the price range. But, before I make up my mind for real. How many T&L apps are out there? does OpenGL automatically take advantage of it? how much more framerate do I get? How many people will probably write Geforce specific or enhanced games?

Just a note about Radeon, the Radeon VE is crap, and it mainly only for 2d use. They crippled the 3D too much. The radeon LE is a cheaper Radeon, with hyperz, and clocked slower. The Radeon SDR is ok, but slow. The Radeon DDR is ok, but with ALL the radeons, the biggest problem is the drivers. They just haven’t been able to produce a solid driver. This is especially true in win2k!

The GF2 series of cards are all good, some MX do have “twinview” so you can output to tv & monitor at once. The GF2 cards don’t allow that. I don’t know about the regular Radeon, but the All-in-wonder Radeon allows tv+monitor at once also.

I have been doing heavy research on message boards, since I am looking to upgrade also, and it seems that the best card to get is the GF2 series. More stable drivers. The Radeon does have a nice feature set, but the drivers really suck.

The benchmark I saw had a Geforce2 DDR run Quake 3 (1024x768?) at over 80 fps and the Radeon VE DDR at about 50 fps. Pretty dramatic drop in performance, but considering the human eye sees 30fps as fluid motion…
I’ve heard a couple of people talk about the drivers for Radeon now. What has been the problem? None of the benchmarks or test sites I’ve checked have mentioned any OpenGL problems.

HesitantBuyer: All OpenGL apps that actually use OpenGL for transformations will use hardware T&L. As for GeForce enhanced games, I would say that most of the games released this year will take advantage of its features in some way or another.


Originally posted by HesitantBuyer:
… (too bad for ATI, I wish so many developers wouldn’t write Geforce only stuff… Tim S. ahem). Anyway, do you guys recommend a card that’s not too heavy on the wallet?

Did someone say my name ?

only joking!


[This message has been edited by Tim Stirling (edited 03-30-2001).]

Thanks a lot! I’ll try to hunt down the MX with the TwinView. I forgot about the drivers issue… I want to be able to run linux too. And I know Geforce2s have some support for that.

Thanks a lot guys!

Originally posted by JoeMac:
… but considering the human eye sees 30fps as fluid motion…

Haha, good one, you think the human brain actually processes that fast? On the average person 18-24hz is sufficient. This number might be on the rise now that larger portions of our society are growing up staring at 60+hz screens, quakes and dooms though

That number is for movies, which are slightly different than a computer screen. Movies are motion blurred, which increases the perceived smoothness. Also, on movie screen, the whole image is displayed for the entire frame time, so it leaves an afterimage on the retina, which also increases perceived smoothenss.

A computer doesn’t do either of these things, so the framerate needs to be a bit higher. Even the difference between 60 and 75 is noticable. Try setting the refresh rate to 60 on your monitor. You should notice the difference right away.


I have a GeForce MX (Asus 7100) it works perfect for me and it was cheap it also has tv-out

All right. I’ve heard enough knocking on the Radean cards…I know there not all good killer running pieces of hardware…And the replies on the drivers baffels me…If you go into the registry and delete the ATI Tecnolagies…Then go to the start find…And type ati*.inf…Then it will find all the inf files in your windows .inf folder…deleate these and you can now have a clean install. The new drivers Should work just fine now…I have a Radean 64mgs DDR,VIVO …And i use a tweaker for it…And i play Giants ,Quake3,Oni UnrealTournament & the like FLAWLESS…No lag,system crashes,artifaces…nothing…And OPENGL ROCKS on my card…American Mcgees ALICE .is spectacular…I also run a 900 T-Bird with 256megs of pc133…But for the price this Card RULES…LaTeRz…RaZZoR

When people mention crappy Radeon drivers, they usually mean in Windows 2000. From what I’ve heard, driver performance is good enough in win9x (provided you do a clean, correct install, but that’s true for every card). However, the driver support for 2000 is seriously lacking. I don’t have this card myself, but if you go to just about any Windows 2000 forum on the 'net, the Radeon is just not the way to go as far as drivers go (I honestly don’t know how opengl compares with direct3d though with these drivers though).

I’m just saying this to point out that some people are comparing apples and oranges. Radeon performance on win9x != Radeon performance on 2000. And don’t try to blame the OS… it’s ATI’s fault for not getting off of their lazy asses.

Another effect that might be thought of. If you have 20 fps, it might look great, but it takes around 0.05 seconds until user input gets its output. Hope you understand what I mean. Games are interactive, movies are not!
I prefer playing at 60fps with 640x480 rather than 30 fps with 1024x768…

And, if you only check for user input at the beginning of a frame it might take nearly 0.1 seconds!
On the other hand, with 60 fps a frame take 0.017 so you’ll have to wait 0.033 seconds max.

Buy a GeForce 2 GTS I just picked one up and it is the fastest thing in the world (just ahead of a Maclaren F1 :wink: )

Eclipse Computers were doing one for just a fraction more than you normally pay for an MX. (and no, I don’t work for them)


Go with Nvidia…

Outstanding performance @ any budget…

MX if u want 2 spend <= $100
GTS for <= $150
Geforce3 if you have it like that!

Check out the Geforce buying guide:

For great tips/price lists/vendors… I just bought an MX for 70 and I am quite satisfied…

Well, despite the (understandable) bias of this list, I picked up the Radeon VE dual monitor. Terrific card. Everything runs fine, from Quake down to my own feeble attempts at a 3D engine. Not a bug to be found. :] It is (slightly) slower than the Geforce I use at work, but the dual monitor for debugging and the huge number of output combinations make me ecstatic with my purchase.
My 2c.