Importance of Video Cards?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sammybea, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. sammybea


    Putting together a Dell System.. and totally confused on which video card would be suitable for me. The choices are between a GeForce 128 versus a ATI Radeon 256 (400 dollars more). Does greater memory with the ATI make a difference in outputing the images on my screen?
  2. depends on your end use goals. you don't need expensive high end cards to drive charts. but pc games you do. matrox dual cards are inexpensive, look great and will drive 2 displays. great for charting. not so great for gaming.
  3. I have a 6 display setup, use:

    1 - ATI Radeon 9600SE AGP = $125 @
    - supports DirectX 9.0, used by 3D programs like VisualTrader

    2 - ATI Radeon 7500 PCI = $70 @ Fry's

    Have used nVidia's cards, but better luck with ATI.
  4. Don't go overboard on "power" specs of graphics cards. A simple 64mb of graphics memory will be very sufficient for your trading needs. Only "gamers" need to push the envelope.

    If you are going to be adding a PC slot video card at some point, just make sure that it is in the same family as the brand as the one in your AGP slot. Keep Nvdia with Nvdia, and ATI with ATI in order to avoid "conflicts".

    Again, don't buy into the "power" hype.
    It's a waste of money!

    Spend the money elsewhere, like on additional memory.
    $120 can buy you an additional 512mb of PC-3200 RAM these days for your Dell. I have the Dell 8300 and am thoroughly pleased.
  5. listen to waggie, he's right. You can use second hand $8 Matrox cards off ebay and they work fine for charting,etc.
  6. Luto


    Currently the Dell NVidia card lacks a fan on the GPU.

    ( 128MB DDR GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI)

    User reviews claim gamers are having overheating problems and getting crashes. You probably won't put that much pressure on the card, but it overheating is the kiss of death to chips.

    So I would upgrade to the ATI which does have a fan. The ATI card (9800 Pro) has been between a $115 and $140 upgrade.

    It will be a great card and should have very good performance and be adequate for your needs. Also keep in mind that the quality of the signal can degrade on the second monitor.

  7. sammybea


    Thanks for all the responses.. Luto, when you say the quality can degrade on the second monitor, can you explain that a little more. Are you refering to the Geforce or ATI.. or both? I currently have 2 dell Flat panels which i will be using for the new comp.
  8. Luto


    It seems pretty universal that the second monitor is not exactly the same output as the primary.

    There are a number of factors.

    - Cable. Use a good one with a filter and preferable no adapters. Shorter the better since they are un shielded and probably pick up some RF interference.

    - The Card, I don't know the details of the actual chips and how they are configured but anecdotally, the GEForce card 5200, the ATI 9000 and a Matrox Parhilia all were slightly different. (I have used all three).

    Specifically, brightness and sharpness are the main differences. To compensate I just adjusted the monitors. Also use a 60 Mhz refresh rate. Unlike a CRT where higher is MUCH better, LCD work best, in my experience at the lower settings. I believe it is because of the nature of LCD being more bimodal versus the CRT which is more a "charge the phosphors" method.

    One could probably use a monitor switch and get better results. but they cost $$ and I try to keep cost down.