what graphics card to buy?

category: general [glöplog]
in the lowend segment the price-value-ratio is way better i think. so what would you buy?

  • gf4 mx460, 109 eur
  • gf4 mx440-8x dvi, 139 eur
  • gf4 mx440-8x, 119 eur
  • gf4 mx440 dvi, 109 eu
  • gf4 mx440, 84 eur
  • rad 9000 64mb, 99 eur
  • rad 9000 64mb dvi, 109 eur
  • rad 9000 128mb dvi, 139 eur *
  • rad 9000 pro 64mb dvi, 129 eur
  • rad 9000 pro 128mb dvi, 159 eur *

all cards retail and with tv-out, those marked with * are also available bulk for 10 eur less.
prices from todays alternate.de
added on the 2002-10-14 22:54:15 by oner oner

Well, definitely a GF based card only...
I don't like radeon chipsets...saw some 'weird' behaviours already with certain scene-prods when using a radeon based machine... ;-)

You don't need the 8x versions...they are just 'marketing'...
If oyu have a TFT monitor, get one with dvi output of course...
In general I'd suggest you the mx460 of all those cards mentioned cards above (or any dvi one as already said!)
added on the 2002-10-14 22:58:22 by Weasel Weasel
if you just have couple of extra euros to spend i'd recommend definitely going for a gf3 class card instead. prices should be around 150 euros and you can do so much more with gf3 compared to gf4mx.
added on the 2002-10-14 23:11:59 by melw melw
I think I'd always go for nvidia... but then again, I haven't bought new hardware in years.. Just seems like everytime i hear about problems it's always ati or whatever
MX cards are crap!! no shaders, you wont be able to run any (hopefully) future demos with an MX !

MX SI HOMO as a dutch wouldve said.

Radeon r Rox!
added on the 2002-10-14 23:23:36 by Hatikvah Hatikvah
yes, 8x increases prince about 41% and 28% for the dvi version.. is it worth it? i think not.
btw, radeon is 8x already and seems to be fully dx8.1 compliant, while gf4mx is not. both seem to be really fully opengl 1.3 compliant. and the radeon has pixel and vertex shaders.
added on the 2002-10-14 23:29:52 by oner oner
would you even go for a gf3 ti200 instead? they are maybe 150 euro, but the gf3 ti500 is 350 euro! ok they too got vertex and pixel shaders.
added on the 2002-10-14 23:37:07 by oner oner
Well, if you consider also buying a gf3 in comparism with gf4mx...then I'd also go for a 'real' gf3ti card..instead of a gf4mx of course...

I just rated the cards cause of your list you first mentioned of course... ;-)
added on the 2002-10-15 00:18:08 by Weasel Weasel
I'd buy the Radeon 9000, I think it's silly to buy a non-shader card today.

I'm waiting for the R9500 myself... Soon, I hear :)
added on the 2002-10-15 01:13:15 by Scali Scali
AGP 8x is marketing crap. Just forget it.

For nvidia cards, you can get the faster GF4MX you can find, but it's basically a fast GF2 (no shaders). Shaders are expected to appear more and more in games in the near future. The nvidia card with the best performance/price ratio right now is the GF4 Ti 4200 64Mb (which btw has faster memory than the 128mb version).

I don't know much about ATI chipsets (I prefer nvidia's) but the ATI 9000 series kicks the crap out of GF4MX any day and it does have shaders too. Unfortunately nvidia is something of a standard these days, meaning that with ATI you may have driver incompatibilities etc.

If you are into reviews/benchmarks, you can take a look at:
added on the 2002-10-15 01:20:08 by moT moT
One reason why some scene productions have problems on ATI cards is because NVidia drivers are too lax in what they accept. So you write your code and you think its OK because the NV card rendered it OK, but the driver is actually "fixing" stuff for you and masking your mistake. Then you run it on a tight driver from another vendor and it looks "wrong" (actually the driver is just doing what you told it to do) and you think its the tight driver/card combination that is giving you problems, when really it is your lax code and the lax NVidia drivers that let your mistakes slip by...
added on the 2002-10-15 01:29:00 by legalize legalize
As moT says, the MX versions of the GF4 are not much better than the GF2. Currently the GF4 Ti4200 is pretty cheap where I live, and it performs considerably faster than the MX stuff.
how about:

"for (t=0; demoruns; t+=0.01) {
load10megsoftextures(...); // move this outta mainloop you idiot
-> requires_reboot()"

drivers fault if you ask me. though this happened on nv iirc...
added on the 2002-10-15 09:41:12 by 216 216
GF4MX is a piece of crap! It's the same crap as a GF2MX actually but with higher clock rates, which is the same as a TNT2......... So it's very old technology. Yes the GF3 is better, and the GF4 is a GF3 with higher clock frequencies basically and newer memory models.

RADEON 9000 is a simplified and cheap version of a RADEON 8500. Definately get a RADEON 8500 if you want better performance.

In essence, what you gave as choices render to CRAP!!! Those are the shitty cards!

- Upcomming RADEON 9500 or currentl RADEON 9700
- GEFORCE 4 - 4400 or 4600 (are OK, but nothing spectacular)
- That's it!!!

If you only have 150 euros, choose between a GEFORCE 3 TI500 and a RADEON 8500 (nothing lower).

added on the 2002-10-15 10:13:47 by 33 33
I think you might be able to get a GF4Ti4200 for 150 euro, which would be the best buy of the list, unless you want the fancy ps1.4 shaders of the R8500/R9000 (GF4 only has ps1.3).
The Ti4200 will perform better than those cards though.
And the R9500 might be around 200 euro... Trust me, it wil be worth those extra 50 euros, so you might want to wait a bit longer and save up some money :)
(It has ps2.0, and all other fancy stuff required for DX9, ideal card for coders :)
added on the 2002-10-15 12:37:36 by Scali Scali
So, i personally got a Radeon 8500LE and i really recommend it. OK, in *very* few cases i got glitches with some prods, but that's about 0,1%
And it has a great video output on board, or two displays if you prefer that.
Costs about 130-150Euro. And yes, it's a bit slower than Radeon 8500, but it's fast enough for sure.
Oh, i forgot:
Don't (let me repeat that: DON'T) get a GF4MX or whatever MX card. They are crap! Better get an older GF2 or GF3 if your must buy nVidia
GF4MX cards are indeed crippled, but they are not that bad. They incorporate some of the GF4 architecture features, like the crossbar memory interface for example, which is exactly what gives them higher performance in comparison to real GF4 cards. True, they don't have pixel shaders but someone could just not need them. It's a free market :-)

I repeat, technically, the ATI 9000 is superior to the GF4MX cards, even though they fall into the same budget category.
added on the 2002-10-15 16:22:23 by moT moT
Ooops, I meant to say:

"...which is exactly what gives them higher performance in comparison to GF2 cards..."
added on the 2002-10-15 16:29:22 by moT moT
I would go with a GF4 Ti4200 or Radeon 8500LE. For the GF4, 64mb (128mb only helps very high res, which most demos don't use because of projector limitations) and no DVI (unless you have a monitor that supports it) can be had for around 140 dollars/euros, in the US at least. 8500LEs can be had for 100-110, but the performance is slightly worse afaik. Either way, you'll get a good deal, but demos seem to be more NVidia friendly for the reason Legalize stated above.
added on the 2002-10-15 16:34:58 by phoenix phoenix
thanks for all your replies.
i believe that the radeon gives you more tech for the money. further i think the gf4 ti4200 or nvidia is somewhat hyped.. ok past times ati produced really nasty oem gfx cards with worse drivers and stuff, but the specs of some radeon cards look great. finally i would like to say the r9000 is better and cheaper than a gf4ti4200, or isn't it?
i think i will get an radeon 9000 or even 9500. will the 9500 be released in a week? or at christmas time, as some asshole dealer told me few minutes ago?
added on the 2002-10-15 17:13:41 by oner oner
The 9000 is cheaper, but not better by a longshot. Check this article out:

added on the 2002-10-15 18:27:24 by phoenix phoenix
I would buy a GF 4 TI 4200 64MB (149€/PixelView).
added on the 2002-10-15 20:35:23 by monstarr monstarr
R9000 is technically more advanced than Ti4200, but Ti4200 performs better.
R8500 performs slightly better than R9000 aswell, features are identical.
R9500 is supposed to be released this friday.
Will probably take a few weeks to hit the stores, depending on where you are exactly.
Still well before christmas time, I would expect.
It's definitely worth the wait though, this card will be the first affordable DX9 card. Features are incredible, and I am not worried about the performance either, probably well above Ti4200 level.
added on the 2002-10-15 20:48:13 by Scali Scali