Help w/ best choice radeon card for my setup? TIA!

DaveH

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
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I run several machines at home and work, and have standardized on ATI radeon chips for a variety of reasons. I haven't done a serious upgrade in about 2 years, and am now a little baffled at all the "manuf by" versions combined with the regular built by ATI verisons, as well as which vendors are best for such a purchase. Here's what I'm looking for:

-AGP
-cheap--would like to keep below $50, ideally less
-Quiet: fanless cards better than cards with fans
-DVI output as an option, and ideally dual output capable.
-top-notch 2d image quality
-good performace, but that's not as important as the above.

CompuVest.com seems an excellent merchant for these needs...they have some great cards cheap. Their shipping is OK, happily each add'l card is very cheap. They do charge me 8% WA sales tax...

Ideas on exact models and other vendors MOST appreciated. TIA!
 

kimber

Senior member
Jan 20, 2001
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well your leaving acouple important things out such as primary use and system specs.
as far as vendors i would highly recommend newegg.they may not be the absolute lowest price but thier close to it.and they have about the best shipping and return policy i've ever delt with.
if you have atleast a 1gig system i would recommend something in the 8500le line.i've always prefered "built by ati" cards but they are alittle more expensive.the "powered by ati" cards can be had cheaper and have the same performance.there just built by someone else but are still built following ati's spec's.
try to get a ddr card rather than a sdr.they will give you better performance.

couldn't get a direct link to work but just go to this site newegg and search the model numbers i'll give you.
N82E16814102228 this is built by sapphire and looks to be what you want

or if you can spend alittle more
N82E16814102244 again built by sapphire
 

DaveH

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Thanks Kimber,

system specs are new P4s, 1.6 gig and higher, 512 ram or better, newer 60 gig HDD or better. Intended use is mostly office apps, driving both conventional monitors and dual-input TFT screens.

I appreicate the suggestions, they seem like good ones. Nice that newegg is not charging shipping on these. The 8500LE will only dual-monitor with a DVI and a regular 15-pin setup (one RAMDAC), I assume, whereas the 7500 will do 2 CRT montors it seems?

Is it still the case that the LEs are clocked lower, but as powerful (e.g., same bandwidth) as the retail versions? Whereas the VEs are lower-bandwidth cards?
 

aircooled

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
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It's going to be tough to meet your needs at under $50. Yet very well met at under $100 with a 64 mb 8500 or 8500LE available at newegg.

 

nardvark

Member
Jul 3, 2002
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it doesn't sound like he's doing any gaming (at least he didn't mention it).
if you're not, newegg has radeon 7500's for 49 bucks I believe (I would also recommend newegg as a vendor). just go to their site, blick on "shop by category," then go to video cards, and it'll bring up a list of all their models, they have at least 3 or 4 different ATI radeon family cards for around 50 bucks. sounds like 7500's should work for you though. they have the features, just not the 3D power you'd want for gaming.
though, I should add that you'd be able to do some gaming on them, I still game on a radeon 32mb DDR. I can run Warcraft 3 fine, but I don't really play new 1st person shooters.
 

DaveH

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Thanks all,

I've bought from newegg before, and have no problem with them. Not a newbie by any means either--I even did some hardware consulting for awhile--just out of the loop on the latest radeons--seems like there are at least 31 flavors, LOL :) And nardvark is right, little or no gaming...

Now the ONLY edge of 8500 over 7500 is 3d performance for gaming, correct? No 2d image improvement?

That $72 8500LE by Sapphire at newegg looks interesting...I wonder if disconnecting the fan would be a bad idea provided I didn't tax the 3d? Of course if I did that the 7500 might do just as well, eh? :)
 

kimber

Senior member
Jan 20, 2001
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i believe theres no difference in 2d.
i would still get the 8500 if you could.theres gota be some things that would benefit the higher bandwith and faster vpu that the 8500 offers.
as far as the fan goes i dont think i'd unhook the fan.the heatsink is on the small side to be passive.what i did with mine was install a old pentium pro heatsink on my vid card.i do this for overclocking but i bet something like that would work fine used passively.
i believe all you have to do to get two crt's from the 8500 is use the supplied dvi/analog adaptor.you might want to investigate that alittle more but i do believe i've heard that before somewhere.
 

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