Good afternoon. My videocard sucks!

Okay, so Splinter Cell will only run at 640x480. I have a 32MB Nvidia card. And an Athlon 1.3 with 256MB.

What’s the starting point for a good replacement video card that won’t set me back $300?

Or even $150?

did some reserch, found a site
ATI Radeon 8500 128 Meg DDR 4X AGP Video Card w/ DVI & TV Out
$109.00
http://www.shopsite.com/html/cwarehs/product18.htm

So I should abandon Nvidia?

Well if your up on curent events you’d know that the radon 9800 pro left the geforce fx in the dust.

I’m definitely not up on current video card events, that’s why I was asking. I couldn’t even remember how much RAM I had. Sad.

I think they made a mistake. The copy reads 64MB even though the title says 128MB.

Newegg tends to be pretty-well regarded, and has some competitive prices as well. Here’s that same card for about $20 cheaper. And free shipping.

If your purpose is to play Splinter Cell, probably not. It’s a port of the X-Box version, which uses shadow buffers, a lighting technique that’s not supported by ATI hardware. You might look into a 128MB GeForce4 Ti 4200. Given that Nvidia has released a new chip line recently, the Ti 4200’s can be found fairly cheap.

As ever,

Loyd Case

I have the same spec computer you have and I got a new Geforce Ti4200 last summer, which made a hell of a difference.

Now, the top of the line Radeon 9700/9800 cards kick nvidia’s ass, but I’m not sure if it’s worth investing in a top of the line card for an old computer, and as you said you were not willing to invest $300. A better choice would probably be an older (and cheaper) card. The Geforce Ti4xxx series is cheap by now, and as I have one I’d recommend it, it’s a solid performance boost from 32 Mb cards.

I’ll leave it to someone else to comment on ATi’s cheaper cards as I have no experience with ATi whatsoever.

You can find 128MB versions of the Ti4200 for a few hairs short of $150. Best Buy, Fry’s and a couple others have rebate sales on the weekend, though, usually around $25-30 off.

In general, the $150 range is a pretty good one for video cards.

I’ll also vouch for a good TI4200 card – with your current system, a faster card (like a 9700) won’t do you much good, since your CPU will be the bottleneck.

If you’re planning on upgrading the motherboard and CPU and everything else in the not-too-distant future, you might want to look into a faster card, but if you’re going to be at least a year out from your next upgrade, it doesn’t make sense to buy a high-end video card now.

Incidentally, the 128MB ti4200 ranges from about $130 to $150 on Pricegrabber.com. The 64MB version is about $100, and there have been a number of places (like CompUSA) that have had rebates on TechBargains.com that bring the price down even lower.

For gaming, I’d stay away from the Radeon 8500 – they’re good all purpose cards, but slower than the ti4200 (I don’t have benchmarks handy, but that’s my recollection – check TomsHardware or ExtremeTech or any of the other bajillion hardware review sites).

A buddy of mine at work got a GF4 4200 (with 128mb) from Best Buy for about $120 after rebate. You can look here if you want more info:

http://www.bestbuy.com/Detail.asp?m=1581&cat=1588&scat=&e=11183716

It is 200 with 40 off then another 50 off from a mail in rebate. Other than that I would also suggest newegg.

– Xaroc

At the $110-$130 level I still feel the Ti 4200 is your best bet. Either 64mb or 128mb.

I was surprised the ATI 9500 cards, which would be somewhat faster (depending on the game/settings, etc), were so much more expensive… starting at ~$160 and up on newegg.

Most Ti 4200 cards will overclock to near-4600 levels, so factor that into your decisionmaking.

Hmm. What about the Ti4800SE for around $150? Its a 4400 with 8x basically.