View Full Forums : Sorry another Video Card question!


Kisman
07-31-2006, 01:26 PM
I recently decided to build a Dell Xps system (yes i know boo hiss but I have no time to build my own!)

I've spec'd out pretty much everything, 3ghz duel core, 2gb ram on 2 dimms so I can upgrade to 4gb if i want later.

What i really struggle with is the video cards they offer. None of them really look that great when you look into them.

Here are my choices out of the box, I could also buy one down the road I suppose. Please let me know your thoughts on these :

256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
256MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GS

The ATI's are out sadly since Dell doesn't offer them in the 256 category.

I really just need something to get me by till late next year when the Dx10 Cards start to get cheaper. Also I couldn't find if these support shader 2.0 (since i'll be playing vanguard next year I'll need this :D )

Please lend your wisdom to me so that I may learn, thank you!

swearword
07-31-2006, 02:51 PM
Personally if money is not a factor I would go with the 7900. However, if you are looking for something that will just get you by till next year form what I can see

http://www.nvidia.com/object/7_series_techspecs.html

the 7300 should be just fine for you as well.

Kisman
07-31-2006, 02:56 PM
That page was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you. And I realized I had a typo on the Shader version I should have been asking about 3.0 which it covers in that page :)

I'll probably go with the 7900 since it's only a extra 100 and I'll get a good chunk of use out of it for a year.

Create resurrected
07-31-2006, 03:36 PM
As far as what you're offerring as options, I'd go with the lower end card. If you don't have an afternoon to build, you don't have an afternoon to game, therefore graphics shouldn't matter much.

Go look at my last few posts in the other video card thread. There's a very, very nice deal from Dell on a laptop that'll likely both outperform and underprice your XPS.

More info:
Really, if your Dell MB is PCI-E capable, just buy an aftermarket card and plug it up. This does not void your warranty. You will get much more bang for your buck this way.

If offerred, the 7600 line is a good value, well, at least for the do-it-yourself crowd.

Top of the line for a single PCI-E is the 7950 GX2.

Kisman
07-31-2006, 04:52 PM
I actually have a dell Laptop as my 2nd box so I don't really feel like buying another, but thanks for the opinion! I had thought of doing a lower end card and buying a nicer one also but like i said with Dx10 coming out next year and the prices taking a year or so to come down to what I want to spend, I'll probably go for the higher of the 2.

Currently I play on a 128mb ATI Radeon x300 with 1gb of ram and WoW works fine on full settings, so graphics do matter to me :P (this on the laptop, the desktop is far older)

As for the line on no time to build no time to play, I prefer to spend my time playing :) Then again after doing a EQ raid guild for 6+ years I'm kinda glad WoW is more casual so I can do RL things too.

I guess my only worry about going top of the line is if the Power supply provided by Dell would power it, I hear they tend to cheap shot you on Power supplies.

Create resurrected
08-02-2006, 10:29 AM
Currently I play on a 128mb ATI Radeon x300 with 1gb of ram and WoW works fine on full settings, so graphics do matter to me :P (this on the laptop, the desktop is far older) If a laptop X300 supports your needs you don't need much in the way of the new card. Go for the PCI-E interface to allow for upgrades later, but buy the lowest-end PCI-E card availible. It'll be an unneeded upgrade as it is.

I guess my only worry about going top of the line is if the Power supply provided by Dell would power it, I hear they tend to cheap shot you on Power supplies.Dell does short you, in fact in every respect that they can. For example: If you do not configure your build for a SATA drive, there's a good chance your motherboard and power supply will not have the connectors needed for SATA.

Your statement is true. Expect a PSU with little room for expansion. After your initial purchase if you put in a new video card, say something with large requirements like a 7950GX2, you're likely to be pushing your power limits. Alternatively, if you drop in a HDD or two, I'd expect it to be fine.

Kisman
08-02-2006, 10:46 AM
Thanks for your advice Create! I went with this:

XPS 400 Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB)
Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition with re-installation CD
Memory 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz- 2DIMMs
Video Cards 128MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory
Hard Drives 320GB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 160GB SATA 3Gb/s HDDs)
Network Interface Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet

That way I can just chuck the video card in a year and since wow Runs fine on 1gb ram and the same video card with 2gb ram it should run better! I still have power supply concerns though even though I went with the SATA HDD.

I should have originally noted this is upgrading the desktop, I'm happy with the laptop if your wondering why I'm not content playing on that. We need 2 gaming PC's in my household or the misses fights over mine! Currently the desktop is about 3 years old has 512 ram and a 64 mb Gforce MMX in it.... not exactly worth upgrading!

Create resurrected
08-02-2006, 12:00 PM
If you're not building out the 3yr old box do-it-yourself style, you're doing the right thing by 'writing it off' so to speak. Likely, it'd need a MB, processor, RAM, video, PSU...the whole deal.

The only thing that appears off in your spec if the processor-to-RAM bus speed. If the processor runs 800MHz FSB, your RAM should be DDR400, not DDR533. Either that or the processor should be showing a 1066MhZ FSB. A good MB will allow you to step the ratio's to make it work, but it's not the classic, traditional setup. Worst case scenario: you pay for 533 and run it at 400 speed.

Running the RAID 0 array will give you a good performance increase. Usually, rather than recommend RAID 0, I recommend picking up a single Western Digital Raptor drive. You will get a higher data throughput from a single WD Raptor than two, large 5400rpm SATA drives in RAID 0. I'm not saying your setup is going to run poorly, in fact far from it, but it's not quite as fast as it could be for the money (and you'd be building it yourself which is not the situation). The reason why is that the Raptor drives have a very low 'seek time', or the time it takes to find the physical spot on the disk where the requested information is stored.

In place of the speed you've got space, and a metric f**kton of it (please note that a f**kton is one step up on a s**tton), and that's a very reasonable tradeoff.

It's RAID 0 though, and that means if one drive crashes you lost everything. Make sure you backup somehow, possibly ghost the OS to a folder on the old PC or the laptop.

So, here's how you get the speed down the line. I take it you've got the cash, so here's the best: Buy what's called an iRAM drive. It's a PCI card, but just for power, not communications. The communications are done via a SATA connection between the card and the motherboard SATA controller. The card will take up to 4x1GB=4GB DDR400 (PC3200) 184pin DIMM.

Load your OS here, and only the OS. What this will give you is a 5 second boot coupled with OS-related file access that's solid state: It's faster than anything out there because not only is the core speed fast, but seek times are near-zero. If you use the 'hibernate' function of WinXP you can cut a second or two off the boot time. I'm not kidding: Hit power and the PC is ready to use in 5 seconds or less.

As you can see, I'm just throwing info at you. Your build looks great. You'll be happy with it.

Kisman
08-02-2006, 12:30 PM
While I lack the talent to fully build a PC from ground up, I can do the basics such as replacing video cards/hard drives/drives etc. With that in mind I might go away from the Raid 0 and research Raptor drives. Storage really isn't a issue with the 400gb External HD sitting on my Desk :)

I had no idea something like Iram existed I"m going to look into that! Sounds like something you can add after buying the PC though.

A 5 second boot time...wow, only Vista boasts that! :)

Create resurrected
08-02-2006, 12:47 PM
While I lack the talent to fully build a PC from ground up, I can do the basics such as replacing video cards/hard drives/drives etc. With that in mind I might go away from the Raid 0 and research Raptor drives. Storage really isn't a issue with the 400gb External HD sitting on my Desk :)A big external is perfect for backup. I mentioned the Raptor drives because if you don't get the iRAM, a small Raptor drive with your OS/Apps is the next best thing. A nice SATA RAID 0 setup is not at all far behind a Raptor. Basically, you probably won't gain much for your effort by changing from your existing spec.

I had no idea something like Iram existed I"m going to look into that! Sounds like something you can add after buying the PC though.

A 5 second boot time...wow, only Vista boasts that! :)Vista + hibernate can try, but it won't do it. This is faster than your laptop coming out of hibernate. Yes, you do this after you buy the PC. AFAIK, no major retailer 'buy the whole PC at once' retailer offers iRAM.

Kisman
08-02-2006, 05:06 PM
Just another quick question... Dell does not offer XP pro on most of their specs. If one picks XP media addition is it a mimic'd 64 bit OS or really just a 32 bit OS, basically nulling the duel core power? I might be wrong on my 64/32 bit thinking with duel core also.

Create resurrected
08-02-2006, 05:21 PM
Core Duo is still 32bit. Pentium D's run true 64bit, as well as the Athlon 64 line.

I'm not 100%, but I believe XP lets the OS take advantage of 64bit only with XP Pro x64, which is a free 120 day trial.

Now that L1 and L2 caches are so varied, there's HT & core duo...The answer to the question: "Is this like a dual processor or 64bit?" is a very tough one to answer. In the case of a core duo, it's like a dual processor, but not *really* 64 bit like the Athlon64 line, or like two seperate chips.

If one picks XP media addition is it a mimic'd 64 bit OS or really just a 32 bit OS, basically nulling the duel core power?Long answer for a short question: No, the OS will work to the chip's max potential. Stay away from media center for a different reason: because XP MC adds alot of overhead (extra work) for a very small amount of additional functionality. Instead, XP Pro, free d/l of Windows Media Player 10, then buy Nero Burning Rom retail.

...and boycott Vista.

Kisman
08-03-2006, 01:48 PM
Go go Lindows? :) Oh wait it's Linexperience or something now.

Create resurrected
08-03-2006, 02:44 PM
I just started playing with linux. So far all I can tell you is that I havn't been able to 'break' it yet.

Microsoft is working with movie and record industry organizations to limit what your hardware will do. This is an effort to enforce, at the physical level, legal protection of content.

The nasty part of it is that the user is *limited* in what they can and cannot do with property they own (both hardware and content), even though copies for personal use *are* allowed by law. It's only distribution that is illegal.

I simply won't allow any third party to exert control over my assets without compensation. Since this new movement will be launched with Vista, I will boycott the program. If such a movement diffuses into other Microsoft products, I will move to an open source OS.