graphics cards - your thoughts

  Kate B 11:10 13 Apr 06

To my despair, not one but BOTH Nvidia 6800 Ultras in my beast seem to have died *wails, gnashes teeth* and I'm talking to Voodoo about how to proceed. However, it seems clear that I need a new card and I might as well upgrade. Although funds mean I won't be able to go the SLI route I might well go for either the 7800 or the 7900. If money were no object, which card would you go for? I'm thinking a 7800 GTX 512MB but I'm very open to thoughts and ideas.

Mobo is an Asus SLI (can't remember the model plus an FX-55 processor, 2GB of ram, 2x74GB 10,000rpm Raptors.

  vinnyT 11:28 13 Apr 06

If you are not bothered about going down the sli route again, then i would go for the ATi x1900xtx range of cards, as these are the fastest available at the mo. A.N. Other mag has the HIS radeon x1900xtx (£358 or there abouts) as their top card. They state ' this is the card to use if you want to get the most from your high-res monitor'.

If you prefer geforce then I would choose one of XFXs pre-oc'ed range (scans 7800 page click here=), though there is now the 7900 to consider you do not get a massive hike in power/vfm over the 7800 series.

Hope this helps.

  Totally-braindead 11:42 13 Apr 06

Perhaps worth a look click here as well as click here

If you don't mind me asking do you know what happened, the reason I ask is I had a lowely 6600GT which failed, I had to pick a different replacement and chose the 7600GS partly because its passively cooled, its a mega heatsink its right across the card. Now I have been considering using the SLI but this card under load runs at temps of 95 degrees. I believe this is normal but does concern me in that I worry about the cooling if I use 2 7600GS cards in close proximity. Do you know the cause of the failure bad luck or could overheating had some part to play.

  vinnyT 11:53 13 Apr 06

Totally-braindead, if you really want to run these cards in sli mode, then it may better to fit an arctic cooling hsf (they are very quiet) to them.

Unless the case is very well cooled and air is constantly flowing over them, then 2 cards close together are likely to overheat, you could try using them as is frist (keeping a close eye on temps). If you get errors, windows crashing, etc. remove 1 of the cards whilst waiting for the hsfs to arrive.

Hope this helps.

  chamoclafastic 18:02 13 Apr 06

I am a self confessed ati fanboy, however the current top nvidia card (7900gtx) is the performance king, and in comparison to the 7800gtx 512mb, the 'lesser' card of the 7900gt 256mb beats it in most tests and at around the 200 mark and with great overcloking ability, for an sli mobo this card is the way to go.

  Harpur 19:01 13 Apr 06

the motherboard you have will be best served using nvidia cards as this will give the opportunity to have a sli configuration later if you need. i seen reviews of 7900gts and they get a good review. performance is also good with the nvidia

  Kate B 00:17 14 Apr 06

I don't know for sure what's happened to the cards. The first one failed when I was replumbing the watercooling - the tank was leaking; and the second one died yesterday when on the advice of Voodoo tech chaps we reseated them on the mobo. I'm assuming the watercooling did the cooling trick (I've never had any obvious overheating problems with the machine, it is incredibly stable) so I'm wondering if there was something fragile that got biffed during the jiggling about. But we were soooooo careful.

Thanks for the thoughts on the replacement cards - I like the look of the ones on Scan's site.

  Harpur 22:01 30 Apr 06

if i remember correctly there was much anticipation of this computer some months ago. did it come from the states??

  DrScott 15:43 02 May 06

I don't know if this is against forum policy, but Custom PC did an excellent review of around 30 graphics cards, and should give you some good ideas of how to proceed. It's in the current issue, so might be worth nipping out to buy one.

Essentially, with money no object, the ATI X1900XTX is the fastest around, and the 7900GTX is also an excellent choice - just bear in mind they may well be about half the price in a couple of months' time (like the X1800!!)

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