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help with a video card


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#1
kamille316

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Hello again :)

I've been thinking of replacing my ATI X1600 Series video card on my DELL Dimension E520. I will be replacing my PSU and Processor so that's not going to be a problem. I don't do much gaming but would like to be able to play COD4, ET-QW and a bit of video editing. Budget is around CAD$200-$250.

I had my eye on the ATI Radeon HD3870 but since its dual slot, it would not fit on my case (no space at the back of the tower for the slot cooler "holes"). So I was convince to go with the ATI Radeon HD3850 which is still pretty good and doesn't cost much. But as I was surfing the net, I came across some news that the 8800GT 256mb are out though I only found this at Newegg and not at NCIX where I buy computer products from. I will be buying a video card at boxing day sale (dec. 26th) and possibly buying it at Memory Express so that we can just drive there and buy it compared to buying it online and waiting 3 weeks for it because of the craziness that will happen on that day.

Anyways, I also came across this review at Expreview and it seems like the performance of the 8800GT 256mb is almost on par with the 512mb counterpart. I am also thinking of sticking with NVIDIA because it has better warranty (most having lifetime warranty) though I couldn't find anything about warranties of the ATI products.

So question is, should I stick with the HD3850 (will buy this on Dec. 26th) or just wait and get the 8800GT 256mb (hopefully memory express will have it).

Thanks,
Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 06 December 2007 - 05:35 PM.

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#2
phatjo911

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Looks like they're pretty much on par just by the specs but

I would say nVidia ( just personal preference ) Also they're newer.
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#3
SOORENA

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If you are going to be playing at high resolutions then you want to have more memory, at least 512MB, also you can try these Canadian sites:

PCVONLINE.COM
GREY-TECH.COM
CANADACOMPUTERS.COM
TIGERDIRECT.CA (<-----IF YOUR REALLY DESPERATE)

Also the EVGA brand is the one with lifetime warranty.

Soorena
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#4
Troy

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Also try looking for an XFX card, they have a really good warranty which covers overclocking as well (so I've heard - double check on it first!)
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#5
SOORENA

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Yea I remember one of the nVidia brands didn't void it if you used nTune. I Would guess XFX or BFG since they overclock in stock at first as well, so it would be hard for them to know who did it, lol.

Soorena
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#6
kamille316

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I have researched XFX, BFG and EVGA's warranty and they all have lifetime warranty.

XFX -> Lifetime Warranties, Transferable Protection, Modder Friendly (troy, you're right about XFX covering overclocking :) )
BFG -> Lifetime Warranty

Any "tampering" (defined as any physical or software -firmware- modifications to the card including, but not limited to, replacing the fan/ heat sink and further overclocking or underclocking the card) will void your lifetime warranty (which covers the card for YOUR lifetime, not just the "lifetime of the product").

EVGA -> Limited Lifetime Warranty (seems like they don't cover faulty card from modification)

This limited lifetime warranty is valid for the life of the retail product, so long as the original purchaser owns the product, based upon the following conditions:
There is no physical damage to the PCB, GPU/chipset, or components that are caused by: Damage due to improper installation, damage during modification of any kind, damage during any type of Aftermarket cooling installation, and water damage of any kind.

So I can go with any of those above, I also heard BFG does not charge customers for shipping for RMAs. EVGA has that step-up program that will cost me $45 (shipping) if I do have to step-up. XFX's Transferable Protection is great as well since I can sell it for more because of its warranty.

I might just go with 8800GT 512mb if I have some money left from Christmas shopping and after buying a new PSU and Processor :) I'll probably wait until the prices go down for it since the NVIDIA 9xxx are rumoured to be released end of February. The 8800GT 256mb price is just a couple of dollars away from the 512mb (as per NCIX's price, 512mb -> $269-289, 256mb -> $229-249), if the price of the 256mb was around $200 I would have definately go with it but that's not the case.

Also I only have a 19" monitor and I don't particularly play in higher resolution and don't plan to.


Thanks for all the reply.
Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 10 December 2007 - 02:46 PM.

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#7
SOORENA

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Then the 256Mb would be good enough but just to be safe I would pay the extra $$$. Also I think BFG is better because of what you mentioned and because their cards come OCed and you can still OC them.I still don't know how they find out that you overclocked when they already broke the virginity of the card?

Soorena
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#8
james_8970

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In terms of warrenty on the nVidia side of the things it goes like this.
1. XFX (they are also canadian, an added bonus for us, because RMA will be delt IN canada).
2. EVGA
3. BFG
4. And then all the other brands like Galaxy/Palit......

NCIX is among the best for Canadian e-tailers, because of support and price match. Price match saved me at least 150$ on my watercooling setup.
If your a canadian, take a look at this link.
It should be beneficial, as to where you can buy stuff from. I have had experience with a lot of stores on that list, I can tell you that they are all reliable.

If I was in your case I'd get the 8800GT, but I wouldn't keep the stock heatsink on if you plan on overclocking or plan on buiyng a pre-overclocked card.
James

Edited by james_8970, 10 December 2007 - 05:44 PM.

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#9
kamille316

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I guess I'll go with whichever is cheaper. My boyfriend bought the BFG 8800 GT 512MB OC and since he's going away during the christmas holiday, I can just borrow it and see how it performs.
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#10
kamille316

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I'm buying the BFG 8800GT from my boyfriend so I'm wondering if this PC Case Fan and Video Card Cooler Fan will work. Are there any better ones from Memory Express? Something that doesn't involve taking out the fans from the video card.

Thanks,
Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 12 December 2007 - 10:35 AM.

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#11
james_8970

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In my experience, the effects of those PCI slot coolers are minimal, but everything will help keep that 8800GT cooler. Just be sure there if good airflow within your case.
James
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#12
kamille316

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My case does not have any case fans and I only found one fan for the processor (I didn't find any other fans). Even if I buy a case fan, I have no idea where I would put it. My current ATI 1650 card runs at 63F idle and 72-75F load. My room is always hot because my family always turns up the heater :)
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#13
james_8970

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Your going to have to find a way to place a intake and exhaust fan inside of that case, at least two 80mm fans, preferably two 120mm fans.
Without case fans, this card is almost guaranteed to overheat.
James

Edited by james_8970, 12 December 2007 - 11:08 AM.

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#14
kamille316

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Your going to have to find a way to place a intake and exhaust fan inside of that case, at least two 80mm fans, preferably two 120mm fans.
Without case fans, this card is almost guaranteed to overheat.
James

Thanks james.
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#15
kamille316

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I have installed all the upgrades and all seems to work great.
I added an exhaust fan at the back (Antec PRO Clear 80mm Double Ball Bearing Case Fan) and a PCI slot fan (Antec Case Exhaust Fan 22CFM 28DBA 2200RPM).
I also changed the fan setting on my video card (startup @ 55% and created a fan profile using RivaTuner)
Temps are:
Cores:
idle = between 32-42C (I have Q6600 @ 2.4GHz)
load = goes up to 55-60C
Video Card:
idle = 52-53C
load = around 65C (usually go below this because of my fan profile)
Hard drives:
below 47C, usually around 42-45C

All temps taken using Everest.

Thanks for all the help.

EDIT: I have a question, I have a copy of Vista Business Edition. How is this compared to the Premium Edition? I went to the Windows Vista: Compare Editions site, and the only difference are that the Business Edition does not come with the Windows Media Center, Windows DVD Maker, no new premium games and Windows Movie Maker in HD.

Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 07 January 2008 - 03:17 PM.

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