PC Graphic cards

Discussion in 'General' started by Bu_Jessoom, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Bu_Jessoom

    Bu_Jessoom Well-Known Member

    I am into buying a GeForce 4 MX 64 MB card, which is the cheapest one of the Ge4 I think (Since I am mainly getting it for WCIII and updates, and maybe some Lucasarts adventure wonders). The problem is, I see that there are 2 of them, one an AGP interface, and the other is PCI. Since I have no clue what the differences are, I thought I would ask your help here.

    Maybe you can also provide your suggestions of what you think of GeForces or ATI's Radeons, and what you prefer for gaming if you use any. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. /versus/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  2. HighKing

    HighKing Well-Known Member

    Isn't the Geforce 4 MX less powerful than the Geforce 3 Ti?

    I guess it is.
     
  3. Ellinas

    Ellinas Well-Known Member

    AGP and PCI are different ports that the graphics card goes in to. Unless you have a pretty old computer, you probably have an AGP slot.

    Do not get a GF4 MX if you want a card for gaming. The only uses I would recommend the GF4 MX for is for somebody who wants dual display capability. The GF4 MX is basically a GF2 that is clocked higher. It's not a directx 8 card, it doesn't have pixel shader and vertex shader. Have you seen the water effects in morrowind with a GF3 or GF4 card? you won't get the nice reflective water effect.

    With a GF4 MX you'll get this:
    http://newspics.rpgdot.com/gallery/Morrowind/Screenshots/nonreflect.jpg

    With a GF3 or GF4 Ti you'll get this:
    http://newspics.rpgdot.com/gallery/Morrowind/Screenshots/reflect.jpg

    Don't be fooled by nVIDIA's marketing. The GF4 MX is actually inferior to a GF3 card featurewise and they're pretty similar in performance. Neat marketing trick, but confusing for consumers and kinda dirty.

    A GF4 MX is an okay card for the games that are out right now, but games that make use of direct x 8 features are really starting to come in. Take for example Neverwinter Nights or Moto GP.

    I would recommend the GF4 Ti 4200 as the best buy by far. 2 of my friends purchased it at $235 canadian ($154 USD) and that card will blow the doors off of the GF4 MX series, and it's a much better investment for the future. Furthermore, this card can be overclocked fairly easily to GF4 Ti 4600 levels with standard cooling but you really won't need to because it's a very powerful card.

    I hope you change your mind about buying a GF4 MX. John Carmack (he programmed the whole doom 3 engine) himself says that the GF4 MX isn't a good card. If ya can't believe probably the best programmer in the world, who can ya believe? /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  4. Bu_Jessoom

    Bu_Jessoom Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies Highking and Ellinas. I will look into the GF4 4200 Ti, but I would also like to hear some comments on ATI's Radeon 8500 and the others if possible. I heard they are good for capturing or for TV display, but are they better/worse for gaming?

    I would spend the $150 on the GF4, but the fact that I only play a select few games on PC is the reason for my hesitation.

    And the game I'm playing now is WC3 which is a directX game, so I guess from what you said the GF4 MX isn't the best.

    This might be a stupid question, but how hard is it to install one of these cards? I have Zero knowledge in most-things-computer, and the BestBuy salesperson said that I would 'Fry' my card if I didn't do it correctly (Well he should; they install them for $39) /versus/images/icons/grin.gif
     
  5. Ellinas

    Ellinas Well-Known Member

    As far as gaming goes, the radeon 8500 is a pretty good card, about on par with a GF3 ti500. The problem with the radeon, is that ATI's drivers aren't of the high quality that nVIDIA's are. With nVIDIA cards, you probably won't have any problems, with the radeon 8500 well... there have been quite a few problem games reported. Geforce is the standard, other cards are secondary in terms of how much work is put in to optimizing for them. Example: in Neverwinter Nights, radeon 8500 users don't get pixel shader water, despite the fact that their hardware supports it. While the exact details of why that is haven't been revealed last I checked, nVIDIA support always goes first. So, if you want a solid card that won't give you headaches, stick with nVIDIA cards.

    Installing video cards is incredibly easy. It takes maybe 2 minutes to do, and they're charging $39? There is no need to throw away $39 if you have a screwdriver and know how to use it.

    Simplified Explanation of GF4 MX vs GF4 ti / GF3 ti / radeon 8500:
    GF4 MX lacks the features of even a GF3
    while it'll do fine with fairly graphically plain games (warcraft 3 among them) it has no support for advanced graphics effects. Very soon, lots and lots of games will support these advanced effects, and GF4 MX can't display them.

    http://gamershq.madonion.com/products/3dmark2001/images/3dmark2001se_shot12_big.jpg

    http://gamershq.madonion.com/products/3dmark2001/images/3dmark2001se_shot07_big.jpg

    those 2 screenshots are from a benchmark (3dmark 2001) but they display really nice use of pixel shader, and you will never see them on a GF4 MX. Games are starting to come out with those fantastic water effects. Water isn't the only use for pixel shader either, it's just currently the most popular one /versus/images/icons/smile.gif .
     
  6. Bu_Jessoom

    Bu_Jessoom Well-Known Member

    Thanks again, these are some nice and simple explanations indeed. You pretty much convinced me into getting the GF4 Ti, even though I don't play that much PC. I hope that future Lucasarts adventure games will also make use of those newer technologies (And maybe SC2).
     
  7. darqfalz

    darqfalz Member

    Did you say SC2? As in Soul Calibur 2? /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif

    ~D
     
  8. Bu_Jessoom

    Bu_Jessoom Well-Known Member

    I said SC2, as in the possibly-years-away Star Craft 2. Supposidely, when you finish WC3 on hard, you get a nice clip of Star Craft on the WC3 engine. That' why I said SC2. /versus/images/icons/smile.gif
     

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