Need advice on graphics card
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Thread: Need advice on graphics card

  1. #1
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    Need advice on graphics card

    Hi folks,

    I'm doing some investigating towards possibly buying a new computer. For the graphics card I will (if I actually buy a new computer) go with a Nvidia GeForce 7300 LE. Here's the decision I need to make.

    One version comes with 64 MB dedicated on board memory, and it can borrow system RAM to give it a total of 256 MB of memory.

    The other version comes with 256 MB dedicated on board memory, and it can borrow system RAM to give it a total of 512 MB. It costs $180.00 more.

    The total system RAM available would be 2 GB (for now).

    This would be on an HP with 2.2 Ghz AMD Althon 64 X2 4200 dual core processor.

    The computer would mainly be used for Internet browsing, word processing, email, and videos. I might also play an occassional game.

    Question: would I be throwing away $180.00 if I got the more expensive card? Keep in mind that this computer will need to last me for a while and therefore, it needs to be able to handle potential future operating system demands.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hey, Preacherman ,

    How many are you going to buy?

    http://www.shopping.com/xPP-graphics...eforce_7300_le

    From what I can see both in the USA and over here you should be able to get two 256Mb cards for less than the $180 you mention? They seem to go for $60~$90.

    Are you sure you have the right model, or is it the 7600 you are thinking of?

    The 7300 does not get very good reviews for gaming/graphics intensive uses, but it is claimed to be "Vista ready"

    I would go for 256Mb if you want to futureproof and certainly no less than 128Mb. The 64Mb cards are pretty much obsolete these days.

    nVidia use a technology called "Turbo Cache"................ don't quote me on this but it seems to be an improved version of the old "hardware acceleration" concept.............. if there is spare RAM available, then the video will use it as well as its own onboard supply.

    Please do not confuse this with "Shared Memory" that onboard chipsets use. In their case they actually grab the RAM to the exclusion of anything else.

    I saw a UK review of the 7300LE a while back (it is not a new card, only selling it retail is new, OEMs have had it for a while) apparently with only 512Mb of RAM the "Turbo Cache" was effectively turned off.

    I am afraid I have no idea what they are like under Linux, but if you were even contemplating "an extra $180", I would go for a better model in the first instance.


  3. #3
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    Errr, you are right Nihil.

    The more expensive version is actually a different card. The $180.00 extra is actually for a

    Nvidia GeForce 7500 LE. My bad.....

    So the choice is between:

    Nvidia GeForce 7300 LE with 64 MB on board memory (TurboCache can use system memory to give card 256 MB total memory)

    and

    Nvidia GeForce 7500 LE with 256 MB on board memory (TurboCache can use system memory to give card 512 MB total memory).
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmmm,

    Neither the nVidia home or its UK site list the 7500................... that makes me suspicious that it is a late entry in the series to fill a price/performance niche.

    You should be able to get a 7300 with 128 and 256Mb of oncard memory?

    I would also price the 7600 as the next up in the family.


  5. #5
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
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    I would avoid any card that has to tap into system memory to boost its onboard total...your system memory is inherently going to be MUCH slower...bare bone recommendation for memory on board IMO would be 128 with a definite recommendation to go to 256 if you expect to play any decent games (ie, won't really matter for solitaire, but you didn't say what games )....

    You should also try to look at see what technologies are supported by the card, like what version of DirectX it was geared towards, what pixel shaders it supports, what speed its RAMDAC operates at, what it in general clocks at, etc, etc...Tom's Hardware has, in the past for me, been very useful for getting this information together in tables for quick comparison...would recommend looking up the reviews for those cards there...
    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

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  6. #6
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    you didn't say what games
    SuperTux (Maybe something else in the future, who knows?)

    I'm really not concerned about games. Mainly I just want videos and web graphics to look nice. Also, I know that future operating systems will probably be getting more demanding as far as graphics are concerned, not less (eye candy). Gui demands are my main concern.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    OK,

    nebulus~

    I would avoid any card that has to tap into system memory to boost its onboard total...your system memory is inherently going to be MUCH slower
    In theory you are quite correct, but please remember that this is a new approach, and that ATi have their version as well. I guess that it is aimed at low to medium end cards, and, as I suggested, is a revision of the old hardware acceleration. It doesn't tap into RAM as such, but will use it if it is there, and available.

    What I don't know, is how clever it is? does it tell the system what it has taken? The problem with some instances of the older hardware acceleration was that it did not do that. The OS would then try to use space that was occupied and you would get bad things happen

    I still have a couple of the old VooDoo cards, which were a true physical hardware acceleration solution..................additional card, passthrough cable and all

    I guess that still leaves you with what should be basic video memory, and I would say that 256Mb has to be the minimum when planning a new, general purpose box, with a degree of future proofing.

    If you want a graphics/gaming machine then you really need to buy a proper card, but they are expensive

  8. #8
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    Hi Nihil,
    Just to make sure I understand, you would go with the card with 256 MB dedicated memory?

    Btw, what has been your experience/opinion of Hewlett Packard machines? The one I have now I got in December of 2001, and it has done well (And I haven't been too easy on it).
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

  9. #9
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    My personal recommendation is, if you're not really going to be gaming, go with the cheapy.

    Apart from World of Warcraft, being the only modern game I play, I could run my entire system on the onboard S3 chipset that's like from the dawn of 3d cards, without issues.

    My honest opinion is that yeah, almost anyone on here will say go with the more powerful card.... but you just don't need it for what you're going to be doing.

    Just my 2c though.

    Regards.

    ::EDIT::

    Let me add:

    Graphics cards don't last so long. They're one of the most sensitive pieces on a machine. My 256mb Radeon just died on me about three days ago.

    By the time an OS actually needs more power than a 64mb NVidia card, you will probably need to buy a new one anyway - and that technology will be a lot cheaper by that time.

    Any video that can't run nicely on 64mb.... it'd scare me, anyway. too, proc is more important there.

    Finally, make sure no matter what card you buy that it's in line with what your system can handle. An 8x AGP card does you bupkiss if your mobo can't do 8x AGP.

    My vote swings futher and further in favour of the less powerful card, for you.


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  10. #10
    HeadShot Master N1nja Cybr1d's Avatar
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    I would avoid any cards with the "turbocache" technology. If you're not using the video card for gaming...a 6600 would be sufficient and rather cheap.

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