The Affordable Video Card – Do you have the power?
For those who have using XP with DirectX 9 in Windows XP keep in mind that DirectX 10 is a rewrite from the ground up.
Since Windows Vista only has support for it, if you install older DirectX 9 games Vista has a DirectX 9 subsystem that interfaces with DirectX 10 to allow games using previous versions of DirectX to work. However running older games in Vista means it will take additional CPU horsepower. This is the argument then, is it worth upgrading the Vista then?
If you plan to use Vista or not, if your in the market for a new PC or new video card my recommendation is try not to buy a motherboard with an integrated video card if possible.
Get a motherboard that allows you to purchase an independent video card. Plan to cool and ventilate the video card with additional fans within the case since these new generation cards are known to be power hungry and heat up.
My picks for a DirectX 10 supported video cards at this time would be an Nvidia GeForce 8 Series graphics chips card such as the affordable GeForce 8600 Series card. However pay attention to additional modifiers at the end of the model#, such as GT, GTS, GTX, XT, and XTX, since they often reveal important shader and clock-speed information. Rule of thumb you can never get enough speed and memory, since pc hardware gets outdated so fast in about 6 months time, so get as much as you can afford now.
Here is an example of what I mean. Looking at these two types of Nvidia Geforce cards there is a noticeable difference in the clock speeds, this shows the GTS’s clock speeds are more than just a little bit faster than those of the GT—core and stream processor clocks are up between 22% and 25%, and memory speeds have been boosted significantly giving you a that faster smooth frame rate while keeping vibrant graphics at higher display resolutions.
|GeForce 8600 GTS||GeForce 8600 GT|
|Core Clock (MHz)||675||540|
|Shader Clock (MHz)||1450||1180|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||1000||700|
|Memory Amount||256MB GDDR3||256MB GDDR3|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)||32||22.4|
|Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)||10.8||8.6|
ATI also carries a great line of video cards which are coming down in price such as the X1950 Pro which is worth looking at aswell for the price its a real winner. But dont get me wrong if you can aford to buy the latest and greatest, then please do and buy my dream card, the Geforce 8800 card it can handle the most demanding, current DirectX 9 titles at resolutions, antialiasing and eye-candy settings that leaves previous generation cards gasping for breath. Visual quality is simply superb. Also the Geforce 8800 card is ready for those highly anticipated DirectX 10 game titles like Crysis and Alan Awake under Windows Vista, which bring visuals that are even more incredible.
However like I said, you can never be fully upto date with your PC hardware, Nvidia will release its next ‘G92’-based graphics chip, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512, on 11 December, it has been claimed. As its name suggests, the new part extends the existing 8800 GTS line up with a model that connects to 512MB of memory.Today’s 8800 GTS family comprises 320MB and 640MB models – the latter is said to be scheduled to be replaced by the 512. Both older GPUs contain 96 of Nvidia’s Stream unified-shader pixel processors, but the new version will have 128 on board.