P3 with help choosing wich card ...


Mar 12, 2002
Good Day,

I need help on taking a decision ...

... my system is:

Pentium III 600EB Copermine
MotherBoard ASUS P3V4X (chipset VIA AGP4x BUS133)
DRAM 256 Mb PC133
Apolo Riva TNT2 32Mb
HD Western Digital Caviar 120Gb 7200rpm 8Mb cache
Sound Blaster Live! Value
Plextor Writer 24/10/40 internal
Monitor Sony 420GST 19"
Windows XP Professional SP1

I mainly play Warcraft3, Grand Prix4, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, Emperor - Battle for Dune, Jagged Alliance 2, want to have a go on Unreal Tournment 2003, and waiting to see and love Doom3.

I'm thinking about upgrading my video card ... until now I always liked NVIDIA the most, but it seems to me nowadays that ATI has no compatibility problems, no more than NVIDIA has ...

[1] Is there any compatibility problems with NVIDIA vs ATI? Beeing so software based cards (directx) maybe that isn't a problem anymore ...

[2] What card should I think of? GF4_4600 and ATI_9700_Pro are just too expensive and maybe too much of a power for nowadays ... I mean, I don't care if I don't play a UT2003 game with 200 frames per second ... 50-60 is enough for me at 1024x768.

[3] I was thinking at something like a GF4_4200 or ATI_9000_Pro or ATI_9500_Pro ... Next year I'm upgrading processor to a P4 with 512 RAM, so I think that I'll take most power out of any card in the future ... in the present I just want my games to be "As speedy as the processor can run" and don't think the bottleneck to be the graphic card ...

[4] Is ATI_9000_Pro any good? Because it is at a good price ... but what about performance with UT2003?



Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2002
1. No, only the fundamentilly new DX9 Rad9700 which is $350+ has driver issues, and even they are small and common with truly new technology.

2. Your CPU is going to be by FAR the most limiting factor, Rad9000PRO or GF4MX aren't even going to be able to peak let alone Rad8500, GF3 or GF4TI. Unless you're going to upgrade your CPU and pref your mobo too then there is NO point getting anything better. If you are upgrading then a GF4TI4200 is prob your best bet, whatever card you get you want to enable AA and AF inorder to use up some of the untapped gfx power your CPU can't reach.

3. Ah upgrading, good job. I'd def rec 4200 as you can enable AA and AF now, and whatever P4 you choose the 4200 will still not bottleneck like a Rad9000PRO, Rad8500 or GF3 would. Rad9000PRO is inferior to a Rad8500LE so don't get a Rad9000PRO.

4. Lets take a look shall we ...

Tech-Report Rad9000PRO

AnAnd Rad9000PRO

Firing Squad Rad9000PRO

HardOCP Rad9000PRO

... and then on to what to expect from a slow CPU ...

AnAnd CPU Scaling 1 (many games and many gfx cards)

AnAndTech CPU Scaling 2 (many gfx cards focusing on UT2003)