Spending Money On Hardware

Ok guys I will do this in English because the German readers interested in the topic will understand it anyway.

As you might probably know I have been thinking of buying a new graphics card for a while now.
Add the fact that my normal desktop resolution of 1024×768 is really beginning to annoy me because I can’t run Photoshop + Dreamweaver with the workspace I’d like to have, I need to get a new monitor (LCD …). My old 17″ Dell does only 60 Hz refresh rate in my desired 1280×1024 resolution, and this makes me wanna dump it.
So my shopping profile is smth like this:

19″ flat screen display with native resolution 1280×1024 and fast (= 8 ms) reaction time

The Hyundai L90D+ looks like the one to get atm. Cheapest price EUR 395.

Questions:

  • I understand TFT = LCD is the same thing ?
  • The recommended native resolution is "1280×1024@60Hz" – will those 60 Hz make my eyes bleed again ?! Or is it just not the same as my old CRT monitor running at 60 Hz ?
  • Is not using the native resolution really that bad (the LCD monitor has to interpolate) ?

Now, onwards to the graphics card. Right now, I have a Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 XT in my AGP slot (= no PCI-Express here !). My CPU is an AMD Athlon XP 2800+. The new gfx card must in any case give me a performance boost, or it’s not worth upgrading. At the moment I mainly (= only) play Red Orchestra (Unreal Tournament 2004) , but was playing Doom 3 and Half Life 2 and will be playing Battlefield 2. My monitor of choice should have me playing in 1280×1024 which is clearly demanding for a graphics card, especially with the AA (Anti Aliasing, screenshot) and the AF (Anisotropic Filtering, screenshot) turned on.

Questions:

My scientific research leads to this table, prices from www.hardwareschotte.de not representative but indicators:

nvidia RAM EUR ATI RAM EUR

GeForce 6600

128 meg

256 meg

EUR 113

EUR 128

     
GeForce 6600 GT

128 meg

256 meg

EUR 149

EUR (?)

     

crap ?

GeForce 6800 LE

 

128 meg

 

EUR 149

     
GeForce 6800

128 meg

256 meg

EUR 199

EUR 331

     
      Radeon X800 SE 256 meg EUR 269
GeForce 6800 GT

128 meg

256 meg

EUR 278

EUR 284

     
      Radeon X800 XL 256 meg EUR 295
      Radeon X800 Pro 256 meg EUR 315
      Radeon X800 XT 256 meg EUR 347
GeForce 6800 Ultra 256 meg EUR 390      
      Radeon X850 Pro 256 meg EUR 406
      Radeon X850 XT 256 meg EUR 414

Currencies: EUR x 0.70 = GBP

OK ladies – opinions please ! Which gfx chipset will give me the needed performance + best value for money ? Has anyone got own experiences ? Use the comment function please.

3 comments on “Spending Money On Hardware

  1. frank 24. April 2005 14:56

    As you might know, a TFT is not optimal for games, so do yourself a favour and get the latest c’t magazine where they tested TFT monitors for gaming (or ask me in chat).
    60 Hz is normal for TFT’s , there is nothing like a refresh rate, so you won’t see any flickering. But connect graphic adapter and monitor via DVI, that means digital transmission of the signals, no A/D conversions.
    Regarding the RAM: RAM does afaik not give a great performance boost. Card with 512 are definitly oversized, but 256 are ok 🙂
    I would go for a 6800 or a X800 – anything else makes no sense and they should be able to give enough fps in high resolution. Be sure to get a card with DVI connector, maybe with a second analog connector to use your old screen parallel.

  2. kba 25. April 2005 22:22

    CRT v TFT is not a generic reply. Obviously, TFT monitors are suitable for gaming and can be excellent performers but in general terms, I accept that CRT has the edge on picture quality euro-for-euro… My TFT monitor has allowed me more desk space and it certainly sits more attractively on my desk than an equivalent 19″ CRT would.

    If you stick with a market leader product and complete your extensive research, I am confident you will make a wise choice.

    RAM – I have chased the RAM issue to improve my PC over time. My current opinion is that the expensive memory brands do not give the perfomance boost that their price suggests that they will… I am using 2*512k sticks of generic and I will admit to have a couple of blue screens. For the price I paid for generic, I am more than happy.

    You know I am an Nvidia supporter. Primarily because of ATI Driver issues that were a major flaw when I started gaming. It has always been an excellent product, the current X800 range is serious kit, but I continue to be concerned about their long-term driver support.

    I presume you have made the choice not to upgrade to AMD64 as this would affect any forthcoming hardware purchases.

    I am using a 19″ iiyama Prolite E481S and run Nvidia 6800GT graphics.

    The system runs well, looks good and was not financially crippling 🙂

  3. kHamsun 2. Mai 2005 22:25

    Der Hyundai-TFT ist eine gute Wahl, wenn du viel spielst und nur ab und an zu Photoshop greifst (oder da nicht auf 100%ige Farbtreue angewiesen bist).
    Bei der Grafikkarte würde auch ich zu einem nVidia-Modell raten (ATi-Karten finden sich in deiner Liste ja ohnehin nicht), auch wenn die X800-Serie ziemlich gut ist (und die 9x00er den nVidia-Pendants damals sogar deutlich überlegen war). Jedenfalls sollte es wohl schon mindestens ein 6600GT-Modell sein; ich habe selbst eine Karte mit 6800GT-Chip und 256MB RAM, so etwas würde ich dir auch ans Herz legen, wenn das nötige Kleingeld vorhanden ist. Bei der Auswahl des konkreten Herstellers würde ich übrigens vor allem darauf achten, wie die Kühlung realisiert wurde. Lösungen, die auf dem Silencer von Arctic Cooling basieren sind vorzugswürdig, wenn man einigermaßen Wert auf eine ruhige Arbeitsumgebung legt.

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