Best low end video solution for gaming?

KenG

Member
Jun 17, 2000
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Hi all.

System is P3 933 mhz cpu. Asus Tusl2-c mobo.

256 mb ram

For desktop space reasons I need an LCD monitor. 17" if I can, 15" if I have to.

What monitor/video card combo will allow gaming and not be overkill for this older cpu?

Anything to watch out for? Is DVI necessary?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Ken
 

AdvancedRobotics

Senior member
Jul 30, 2002
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"What monitor/video card combo will allow gaming and not be overkill for this older cpu"

How much are you willing to spend. I could give you a million of possibilies with this vague of a description. All you say is low end...

So, whats your budget?
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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:D From the info supplied you'd be best served with a Rad8500LE or GF3TI200, although Rad9000 & 9000pro are still much better than GF4MX cards. The 4 cards I list unlike the GF4MX sport FULL DX8 hw functions which will be VERY important and are already found in many current games. PIII 933mhz is still enough to get the goods from these cards and all are found uner $100.

;) DVI will help if you buy an LCD with DVI and should give a much nicer picture, but do weigh up the costs. All the cards listed above can come with DVI as well as CRT and TVout too.

:) Here's how the cards weigh up (Rad9000pro is roughly 20% faster than Rad9000):

Tech-Report Rad9000pro review (inc GF4TI, Rad8500/LE, GF3, GF4MX440/460 & Rad7500)

;) To give you an idea of how these cards are likely to be with your CPU note the review uses a downclocked AthlonXP using DDR and a 266FSB so your PC will be around the 800mhz mark:

AnAndTech CPU Scaling Article using MANY gfx cards and games
 

KenG

Member
Jun 17, 2000
73
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By low end, I was thinking about $500-650 for the monitor and vid card.

I had in mind maybe a Gf3 ti200 which can have DVI, but don't know if all LCD monitors require DVI for gaming or not.
 

railer

Golden Member
Apr 15, 2000
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Keep looking for an 8500 refurb at Newegg. DVI output for under $75. Great card.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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;) Absolutely Rad8500 cards are excellent, esp if you find them as cheap or cheaper than the GF3 cards. I don't believe that image quality is a big concern with DVI because most of it comes down to converting to and from D/A and as such DVI overcomes this anyway, IQ is the big reason so many people go Radeon or GF4. With the Rad9000 cards being better than GF4MX anyway, and Rad8500 being a fair bit cheaper than the GF4TI cards added to which a slower CPU certainly won't benefit much at all from faster gfx cards anyway the Radeons are certainly a great choice.

:eek: GF3 cards will have much better AA and higher quality Aniso while Rad8500 cards are slightly faster, have better IQ (but see above), great TVout and dual display (but double check as not all Radeons have this feature). If you get a Radeon do look to get a true ATI (built not powered) as this ensures quality, clock speeds, perf and features ... but if you find a bargain non-ATI card just double check for any differences to the true ATI alternative.

:D Buying a 128MB gfx card is VERY worth while and it doesn't cost a whole lot more either. Whether you go GF3 or Rad8500 you should be coming in around $100 unless you find a bargain and both are good choices with the Radeon just edging it for me. That leaves you a very generous amount spare for a monitor or to consider upgrading other components too.

;) Have you thought about upgrading the mobo and CPU if not the RAM to DDR too? AthlonXP1800+ and SktA mobo cost from about $130 while 256MB DDR only adds about $45. If you have PC133 SDR you can take this over to some SktA mobos and some also allow the future addition of DDR as well. If you currently use all PCI cards (although replacements are cheap) and providing your case (airflow and ventilation) and PSU (pref 300W) are up to scratch then this is a VERY worth while and VERY costt effective upgrade and will give you a huge boost in everything your PC does as well as open up a lot of features and easy future upgrade options.
 

jiffylube1024

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2002
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Originally posted by: Operandi
what AnAndAustin said
yep same here. Everything Austin said was true - GF3 Ti200 or Radeon 8500 are your best bets. I don't know why I even bother to give my advice in these posts anymore, AnandAustin comes in way faster than I do, and says exactly what I would say!
 

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