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Can anyone suggest a decent Nvidia or Radeon graphics card costing between £100 and £120?
Should offer a decent balance between gameplay and additional functionality / connectivity although the former is the most important.
PC is powered by a Pentium 2.8ghz.
Also any suggestions as to the best place to buy would be welcome.
A good one if you a gamer:
ATi Radeon 9800 Pro, cost though.
A FX5800 is a good buy!
This one has a good review: click here
Chaintech FX5600 Ultra A-FX 70 at £100 and MSIFX5600-VTDR 128 or 256 are excellent cards and would come w/in your price range. Very good reviews for these two.
VERDICT: The combination of DirectX 9 and video input for just over £100 make this hard to resist.
For some people, 3D performance isn't vital. As long as their card has the grunt to generate 30fps in current games at average resolutions, any money saved is a bonus. Bundled extras are also an important consideration when so many manufacturers are offering essentially the same cards.
Another differentiation is video capture, and the VTDR128 has both S-Video and composite inputs. This allows those with analog camcorders to capture videos and edit them on the PC. To this end, MSI has included InterVideo's WinProducer and WinCoder for capture, editing and outputting of MPEG-2 files. Plus, there are many other apps that you probably wouldn't look at twice if they weren't provided free. The most useful is RestoreIT!, a backup app that images your hard disk. There are three full games too.
In terms of hardware, there's a breakout box on a short cable, which enables the ViVO capabilities. Also attached to the box on a longer wire is the receiver for the IR remote. This is a curious device that's mainly designed to be used with MSI's Media Centre, but without the TV/FM tuner some of the buttons are redundant.
While the FX 5600's performance is below average here, it can still handle the latest games. If you want reasonable 3D performance with a big software bundle and analog video-in support, the MSI is a bargain. If you don't need the performance, Hercules' All-in-Wonder includes a TV tuner for £15 extra.
Connect3D Radeon 9600 Pro
VERDICT: Great performance at a reasonable price, but MSI's FX5600-VTDR128 offers better value.
Connect3D's 9600 Pro sits atop the pile of more affordable cards below the noticeable gap in our overall 3D performance graph. However, MSI's FX5600-VTDR128 offers comparable performance for less money. Winning this month's Best Value award, it's certainly a tempting option, thanks to extensive video-editing capabilities and a generous software bundle. This 9600 Pro has less to offer yet costs £12 more. Indeed, Connect3D's package is positively spartan in comparison, providing only the card, drivers and a convertor cable in the box - no software is to be found.
However, like Connect3D's plain 9600, this card is solely about performance and value without unnecessary extras. For instance, it's the only sub-£200 card that's likely to handle DirectX 9 games. It finished the 3DMark03 (Build 330) test closer to AOpen's expensive FX 5900 than it did to MSI's FX 5600. Plus, 55.3fps in UT2003 at 1,600 x 1,200 is streets ahead of its similarly priced rivals and already provides a great deal of headroom when playing current games.
Sapphire's 9600 Pro is an alternative, offering Soldier of Fortune II and CyberLink PowerDVD XP 4 for £7 more, but delivers slightly poorer performance. Another temptation might be the Asus V9560 Video Suite FX5600, which bridges the performance gap between the plain 5600 and 9600 Pro cards yet still offers video capabilities. It all depends on your requirements. If it's features, go for the MSI, but if it's unfettered grunt without the need of a bank loan then Connect3D's 9600 Pro will provide ample satisfaction.
The Geforce fx 5600 256 mb at around £135 from dabs.com an essential compromise between cost and performance.
FX 5600 is Ok.
id go for ati 9600 pro 2nd choice fx 5600 probably nothing between them. 9600 pro £126 at scan computers
Last years £300 ATi DirectX 8.1 card offering Geforce 4 Ti performance for only £47.01
If you aint a huge gamer it is a no brainer.
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