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Guest Reddog

Vidio Card selection help

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I guess if I want to see all there great new reflective textures coming out I have to get a new card and have NO idea of what to buy.So I'm asking for suggestions. Price wise would like to keep it 200 dollars max. my system:P3 800512 megs of PC133 ramVoodoo5 5500 vidio card 64megs AGPsound blaster cardthe voodoo has been doing a good job with the graphics just that it doesn't seem to like these new textures, they don't want to diplay like they should.Also I have the Standard version of the sim not the PRO.okay I'm open to suggestions please.http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data/reddog/481497.jpgSceenshots and Pics athttp://comunity.webshots.com/user/reddog18951USMC Retired

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Well, unfortunitly, your CPU is going to bottleneck anykind of modern video card you get. I'd recommend saving up, and waiting until this fall/winter and get a new AMD Athlon XP 2600+ and a nVidia NV30. Expect to pay a pretty penny for this combo, but you'll have a fantastic system.Ryan-Flightpro08 :-coolVATSIM Pilot/ControllerZLA ARTCC Controller 1 (C-1)SAN TRACON Lead [link:www.taxiwaysigns.com]Taxiwaysigns.com Scenery Designer-----------------------------My "Home Made" System Specs:Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz ProcessorTurbo Gamer ATX Mid-Tower with 420W Power SupplyEPoX 4G4A Motherboard with Intel 845G ChipsetVisiontek XTASY GeForce4 128MB Ti4600 (Det 30.30 Drivers)512MB PC2100 DDR RAM40GB Matrox 7200RPM Hard DriveWindows XP Home Edition*No CPU or GPU Overclocking*3dMark2001SE Score: 10346

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Reddog,I loved my Voodoo 5500. I had it nearly two years and it was with mixed feelings that I sold it in order to keep up with technology. I have wonderful memories of getting it just about when CFS2 came out. It really transformed my simming experiences.With your particular system and budget, I would be recommending the ASUS V8420 deluxe card. This is a Geforce 4 Ti 4200 card that is almost unique in that it uses the same BGA memory (albeit slower) as the more up market Ti 4400 and Ti 4600 cards. Nearly all other Ti 4200 cards use cheaper memory chips than the ASUS card.I won't be alone in recommending you stay away from any MX card, but I would also recommend that you do not buy a Geforce 3 card either. I own both a Geforce 3 Ti 200 and a Geforce 4 Ti 4400. I can assure you that even on a PIII system not much faster than yours, there is considerable benefit to be gained from having a Geforce 4 in lieu of a Geforce 3. The Geforce 4 suffers far less than a Geforce 3 when hardware features such as anisotropic filtering, anti-aliasing and 32 bit colour are enabled. Additionally, effects in FS2002 such as clouds, rain, reflections and detailed terrain textures effect the performance of the Geforce 4 to a lessor degree than the Geforce 3. Furthermore, if you look at a logical upgrade path over the next 12 months (perhaps an Athlon XP as an example), the Geforce 4 card won't let the side down.Some people have told me the ASUS V8420 deluxe is a bit hard to come by in the States, but it is listed on their US website here:http://usa.asus.com/vga/agpv8420d/overview.htmI don't know what the price is in the states, but here in Oz it is around $500 (around $260 US). If the card is over your budget, I would urge you to perhaps hold on a little bit until it comes down in price or your budget is a little bigger. I think if you settle for a Geforce 3, you will be disappointed in the medium term given that you know how good a Voodoo 5500 still is. I know I was a personally a little disappointed with my Voodoo 5500 to Geforce 3 upgrade. Not so, however when I plugged the Geforce 4 into my machine. I sort of wish now I had bypassed getting a Geforce 3 and just upgraded straight from the Voodoo to the Geforce 4. Oh the benefits of hindsight...EDIT: Re-reading your post I notice you are being pretty strict about the budget. I would sincerely recommend if you can't stretch to a proper Geforce 4 then you don't get anything at this stage. As I said before, our sytems are similar except my PIII runs a little faster at 933Mhz. HAving had a Voodoo 5500 for nearly two years I know how good they are. I really think anything less than a Geforce 4 will result in disappointment for you after the inital euphoria has worn off.

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My choice would be a 64MB GF4 Ti4200 from any well-known manufacturer (Gainward, Asus, Abit, PNY, etc). You will get all the latest features, it's fully DX8 compliant, the speed is well above the max that your CPU can drive, and the cost will be around US$150. (There a lot of deals around that could make it even a bit less - I got mine for US$129 on sale from CompUSA). But I wouldn't buy more card than that unless you're going to upgraded the entire machine soon - and maybe not even then depending on what the gaming use would be.TripNorthwood 2.2a at 2.72Ghz Abit TH7II-R512MB Samsung 40ns PC800Gainward 64MB GF4 Ti4200 300/57030.30's DX8.1 WinXP ProInwin case / Enermax 431W PSU3DMark2001SE = 12055http://service.madonion.com/compare?2k1=4088814

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Thanks for all the replys. Think i will go looking for that GF4Ti4200 locally first. If I can't find it around here then will see about ordering it online. No ones mentioned any of the ATI cards so assuming I should stay away from them??yes I did say up to 200 dollars but will goover that if need be.http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data/reddog/481497.jpgSceenshots and Pics athttp://comunity.webshots.com/user/reddog18951USMC Retired

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Hi Robert,The advice you received above is excellent, and I have nothing to add. As far as the ATI cards are concerned, I think there were originally a number of driver issues that have since been ironed out, to a large extent. However I continue to see posts regarding ATI card problems, so I think you are best advised to go with the Ti4200.

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Reddog,If you do decide to go for a Ti 4200, I would strongly recommend sticking with the "big" brands. You will no doubt run into a number of people who would contradict my way of thinking because their "no name" card works just fine and dandy. That said, you do stand a statistically better chance of success by sticking with a well-known brand, even if it costs a little more. Of course there is the chance you might get a dud, but I would much fancier your chances of a successful outcome by buying a brand that has a bigger reputation to lose. I would also suggest that in this particular instance, you attempt to purchase in person rather than online. It is just a little more difficult to resolve things with online purchases if something were to go wrong than if you made a trip to a physical shop-front in the first instance.In the second instance, by purchasing a well-known brand, you will most likely get better build quality and better component quality. I have nothing to do with ASUS myself, but as a customer I have been buying their products for a couple of years now. The build quality shows, as does the quality of the PCB mounted components and the PCB itself. When it comes to Geforce 4 cards, high quality components are essential. Everything from the local on-board power supply and filters to the memory has to be spot on, otherwise you will risk instability. I'm not trying to advertise for ASUS here - I am sure there are other well known brands that have extremely good build quality and reliability as well. The reason I mentioned ASUS in the first instance was that their Ti 4200 is well and truly over-engineered compared to any other Ti 4200 cards I am aware of - or at the very least any Geforce Ti 4200 upon which I would be prepared to plonk down my cash.You need to be mindful that owning a Voodoo 5500, your replacement card is going to have a VERY hard act to follow. That is why I also suggested that perhaps you don't do anything at all, and just sit on the system you have until you are ready to upgrade everything. By all means implement the DXT fixes suggested in the other thread.The advantages the Geforce 4 does have over your Voodoo 5500 is as follows:1. Able to reproduce textures at maximum sizes with little or no performance drop.2. High resolution at 32 bit colour with little or no performance drop.3. All visual effects with little or no performance drop.4. Improved colour saturation and reproduction - a significant reason for this being the digital vibrance feature.5. Massively reduced blurries.6. Vastly improved terrain textures away from the aircraft due to anisotropic filtering.7. Much improved scalability as you run faster CPUs and higher bandwidth solutions.A Geforce 3 also has many of these advantages. However the average Geforce 3 Ti has approximately half the fill rate of it's direct Geforce 4 replacement and much less bandwidth. As a result, it will start to "choke" noticeably earlier than a Geforce 4 card, especially in bad weather situations. When you enable features such as anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, you really dig into the available bandwidth and your fill rate takes a significant tumble. So imo it is much better to have more horsepower to start with. For what relevance it has, on my machine (PIII 933) my Geforce 4 is able to achieve the same mark as my Geforce 3, but with 32 bit colour, 4 x anisotropic filtering and 2 x anti-aliasing enabled. The Geforce 3 obtains the same mark but with none of these image quality features enabled and only in 16 bit colour. Given that that anisotropic filtering in particular has proven to be ideal for flight simming I believe this is quite a good argument to forgo the Geforce 3 series if there is not a great cost difference (as there indeed doesn't appear to be). On the other hand, your Voodoo 5500 still has the best looking anti-aliasing of any of these cards. Even two years on, Nvidia simply cannot compete in this regard. Perhaps this will be resolved with the NV30, but we will all have to wait and you certainly won't be bringing home one of these cards for $200. At the very least, the anti-aliasing quality of the Geforce 4 card is noticeably better than the implementation in the Geforce 3.With regards to ATi, I guess my personal reticence to recommend them is because I have had more experience with 3dfx and Nvidia and don't see any compulsion to switch brands from Nvidia. There remain arguments regarding driver support for instance, both positive and negative. I can almost guarantee, however, that there is no ATi card in existence that will give you a better simming experience than your Voodoo, except for their very latest release - which is outside of your budget. Ati supporters might point to their card's ability to render anisotropic filtering with less performance loss. All well and good except for two things. Firstly, the Ati anistropic filtering is performed at a bilinear equivalent whereas the Nvidia performs at a trilinear equivalent. There is a noticeable difference between the two. Only with the latest Ati card has a "quality" (trilinear equivalent) anisotropic filtering setting been provided so the playing field has leveled somewhat. Furthermore, at 4 x anisotropic filtering, I don't experience any performance loss with my Ti 4400 in FS2002 in any case. It is only in other sims such as Rally Trophy where performance degradation due to anisotropic filtering becomes apparent, but even then it is negligible.So over to you. It would appear you have quite a lot to think about...

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Nice post JonP, this thread was a pleasure to read. A star for you ;)

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Thank you very much for all this information. I have pretty much desided togo with your recomendation, now I just have to find out where I can get one locally. I have a few other places to call around to that might have it or can get it. went to there website to check on store locations and none around my area.Will keep you posted.http://www.enter.net/photoalbum/data/reddog/481497.jpgSceenshots and Pics athttp://comunity.webshots.com/user/reddog18951USMC Retired

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Do you mind me asking how much for the 4200 at B-buy?? I'm seeing them on Pricewatch for anywhere from about 130-175$ US. I will likely get mine from one of these sources. While I agree with just about everything JonP01 says above, Im not sure Im seeing the problems with the terrain blurring he is talking about. I get nice crisp textures out to the limits of my visibility as long as I use some of the config tweaks everybody else uses and I don't run everything maxed out. I also dissagree with the comment about the texture "shimmer" issue. I have used a GF4 and a GF3 with all the "tweaks" he mentions and they still cant really reproduce what my V5 can, thats what is going to be so hard about giving this thing up for me. Not trying to be nasty or anything JonP, just giving my observations on what I see with my Sys. By the way I run a tbird at 1.4, 512mb ddr, and a V5. A very imformative post and I too am going for a GF4 4200 or maybe a 4400 very,very soon due to all those other reasons he stated.Hornit

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