best sub $100 video card out there?

hungrygoose

Senior member
Apr 7, 2001
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this will be a birthday present for my brother who will be upgrading from a voodoo 3 3000......don't want to spend over $100......he'll be doing some gaming but nothing too hardcore.....want the best performance in games for the price..........are the geforce4 mx series worth it?....i've found some of these for around $80.....i have a ti 4200 which i love........but i don't wanna spend that much on him for his b'day.....any advice?
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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;) Well the Rad9000 & 9000pro are out soon but are effectively cut down versions of the Rad8500LE & Rad8500 which are cheaper and much better buys. The Rad8500 is about 10% faster than the Rad8500LE, so see what the price diff is like. GF3TI200 is a sweet cards at a great price globally, it o/c's to within 10% of GF3TI500 speeds (TI200 was intentionally underclocked by nVidia so they could sell TI500 cards). Even when o/c'ed the GF3TI200 still falls slightly behind the Rad8500LE for pure perf, but the Radeon offers better '2D' image quality, TVout and faster Aniso. On the other hand the GF3TI200 has much better AA and also has the snazzy GF tag (better street cred?). It is a close call between these 2 cards, but they are clearly the best for under $100.

:D However you may find a bottom end GF4TI4200 64MB may be very close to $100 and is certainly better in all respects.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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Oh, something to be weary of with the Radeons, they come in different speeds. non-ATI BUILT versions use slower clocks and cheaper RAM and certainly o/c worse, they may even have poorer IQ too. Similarly retail Radeons often use faster clocks and better RAM than oem versions. In any case you are talking small differences, see what prices are like, but be aware of this!
 

hungrygoose

Senior member
Apr 7, 2001
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whick geforce 3 ti200 flavor would you recommend?....gainward?....leadtek....?....visiontek??.....not sure........i have a gainward ti 4200 and love it, but am not familiar with the geforce 3 line since i've never used one
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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Apparently Leadtek are the best for GF3 (if not GF4) visual '2D' IQ. However chipset dictates nearly ALL features and perf, so use price as your main guide. If some cards use faster RAM (lower ns, eg 4.0ns better than 5.0ns) then they will o/c much better. Pay attention to sw bundles and retial versions will also come with a pretty box, nice if it's a gift.
 

hungrygoose

Senior member
Apr 7, 2001
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well, i think i've narrowed it down to either the geforce 3 ti200, which i can get from here for $81, or the radeon 8500 which i can get from newegg for $91.....any more suggestions to help decide between the two?....i looked at anandtech's gpu shootout and these two cards perform pretty close together.....anything i'm forgetting?....and please, no more radeon 9000 talk since his b'day is august 12th and i don't really have time to wonder what the price is gonna be and what the availabilty will be (unless i'm missing something)
 

FSUpaintball

Banned
Jun 12, 2001
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I went from a Visiontek GF3 TI200 to a Radeon 8500 because I thought it would be a performance boost. As someone who has dealt with both of these cards, I wholeheartedly recommend the geforce over the radeon. My 3d performance was much better and I didn't have any problems with the GF, whereas with the Radeon my 3d performance went down, and they had very buggy drivers.

As far as multimedia goes though, the Radeon is better. For everything else, it's geforce.
 

AnAndAustin

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
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;) You wouldn't want a Rad9000, they are worse than the Rad8500LE, even though 8500 cards are cheaper. It is simply cheaper for ATI to manu the Rad9000. After all ATI only need the card to trounce the nasty and misleading GF4MX cards and not the superior GF3. Expect Rad8500 production to cease shortly.

:D I don't think you have to be too concerned about the $10 difference so both cards break down like this.

;) Regarding drivers, nVidia are well known for excellent (and truthful) drivers, but I believe ATI are just as good now. But beware, once again you can be caught out if you buy 'powered by ATI' rather than 'built by ATI', some non-ATI Radeons don't work with the standard ATI drivers, NOT a good situation to be in, esp long term.

:) Pure perf, the Rad8500 beats the GF3TI200 (even when GF3TI200 is o/c'ed), although the difference isn't huge and does vary depending upon the game. AA perf the GF3 is streets ahead, the Radeon8500's AA is nice and sharp but it kills perf. Much better off with a GF3 using either 2xAA or QxAA & Aniso, greta perf and good quality. When it comes to '2D' image quality and TVout the Radeon cards are FAR superior. Aniso is a mixed bag, Radeon is faster but the GF is much prettier, so that evens out. Both cards do all necessary DX8 hw funcs so that doesn't help to decide between them either. IT IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL, if your bro cares about street cred, the GF3 will prob be better suited, and is a tad cheaper too.

:D A final point, get a 128MB card if you can. Not only does it appear to be a lot more expensive and have better 'street cred', but it will become more and more important over the coming months. A Rad8500LE 128MB is a much wiser purchase than a Rad8500 64MB, likewise it is worth paying a bit extra for a GF3TI200 128MB over a 64MB version. See how much extra a 128MB card will cost. AVOID non-ATI Radeons, and pref get retail rather than oem versions as you get a much better card with better support and faster clocks. For GF3 brand truly matters little, but again retail is a nicer choice if it's intended as a gift.
 

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