Closed Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Purchasing advice requested

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    13

    Name
    Bobby Kansara
    Forum Username
    Jeff's Friend



    Question

    I feel almost idiotic for posting this here in such a serious professional forum, but a friend suggested that this is a great place for such advice.

    I want to buy a new video card, and I'm debating between GeForceFX 5600 Ultra (?), GeForceFX 5900 Ultra, ATI Radeon 9600 Pro, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, and ATI Radeon 9800 Pro All-In-Wonder.

    Price isn't a really big issue, but value is. I would hate to buy a $400 video card today only to have that performance come for $150 next year. But I don't mind if I spend $400 today and it costs $250 next year.

    I use my PC mostly for games and internet. Occasionally I make Powerpoint Presentations, edit video, and Adobe Photoshop. The main reason I want to upgrade is Madden 2004 by EA Sports.

    I have read lots of reviews that like the Radeon 9800 Pro, but I am gunshy about ATI since I have had two ATI cards in past and have been underwhelmed. My most recent fiasco is in my laptop with the ATI Mobility Radeon. I paid extra for it only to have EA Sports tell me that it is not supported for Madden and that's why I'm getting wildly fluctuating framerates that virtually make the game unplayable.

    I'm gunshy about the GeForce cards because they have been getting lukewarm reviews.

    What do you guys think? And what advantage does the All-In-Wonder convey?

    Thanks,
    Bobby

    P.S. Anyone know when Intel is coming out with the successor to the Pentium 4?
    "Don't you know who I am!? You don't know who you're dealing with! I've got powerful friends!"

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Greg Hess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    University of Maryland
    Age
    36
    Posts
    1,021

    Name
    Greg Hess
    Forum Username
    Greg Hess

    United_States

    Post

    The important question to ask...

    Is what do you have now?

    and

    How long can you wait?

    Graphics cards have around a 6-12 month product cycle. This means by the time you usually buy a card, the new model is just a few months away.

    So the objective is never to have the latest and greatest, but to have what you need, and what fills your budget.

    You mentioned games. Either FX or Radeon will do just fine. FX tends to work better "overall" compatability wise, the radeon tends to be slightly faster (as long as your not comparing top dogs).

    Another important factor is system speed.

    Whats your current system specs?

  3. #3
    Invalid User Profile
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    825

    Name
    gareth ace
    Forum Username
    garethace



    Post

    One good way to look at it - systems come and go, computing power in the form of hardware is virtually going to double, and quadruple every so often. You are always going to be on a winner there, because you can buy more muscle for less money.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. You will learn to write off computer purchases too after a bit, once they have done a certain amount of WORK, they owe you very little and all that computing power actually is virtually yours for free. It is so simple it is silly - compared to how difficult things used to be prior to the whole digital revolution in the late nineties.

    - but your data is priceless, it gets better with ages, and is basically the one thing you cannot afford to be flippant, reckless or in any way 'amateur' about. Get really serious about data storage, and do not 'save' on buying digital storage capacity, in what ever form suits you better. Personally buying 70GB of storage in the form of 100 700MB CDRs for €50, is how i invest in my digital portfolio.

    Moving onto output - that is much simpler nowadays - because photographic places 'develop' your digital high res stuff like photography. So there isn't a great need for inkjet technology on your desk any longer.

    I see people who use old hardware, and maybe a couple of MB worth of files, and still manage to hit the nail on the head. You don't necessarily need to complicate your digital world to extremes, to do your work. That is just an urban legend, that will eventually end up in the dustbin of time.

    I have no less than four different systems in four locations, as well as a pocket pc. But mainly, i use 3 out of 4 of them as information points, and can store what i do on a USB key quite easily to be 'stored' and backup on the main system.

    Get to know filing systems, decide what you want to have as digital and what not. To be honest, be very, very careful about what parts of your life you allow to become digital on the same workstation as you use to run max or whatever.

    After about 5 years or so, you will begin to understand these issues, and decide properly what is best for you. In the beginning though, one does tend to swallow too much sales talk, and guys selling you rubbish you will never actually use. Put it down to schooling.

    If at all possible, outsource your system spec-ing and building to a good reliable sourse like a recognised workstation vendor. With certification for whatever software you require.

    [ August 19, 2003, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: garethace ]

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    13

    Name
    Bobby Kansara
    Forum Username
    Jeff's Friend



    Post

    Thanks for the expedient replies.

    Here's what I have right now:

    P3-800 MHz (waiting for P4 successor to upgrade)
    GeForce 2 w/64 MB VRAM (3 years old?)
    512 MB RAM
    Sony 19" G500 FD Trinitron moniter

    I can afford to wait to upgrade if I need to. I don't care if I have the card with the fastest stats. Compatibility is what matters the most to me (especially future compatibility). For example, with the PocketPC, most software is written for the HP Ipaq, therefore, I bought an Ipaq. It's also the same reason I don't own a Mac.

    Thanks, and I eagerly await your replies.
    "Don't you know who I am!? You don't know who you're dealing with! I've got powerful friends!"

  5. #5
    Veteran Member bigcahunak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Israel
    Age
    43
    Posts
    820

    Name
    Itzik Kelner
    Forum Username
    bigcahunak

    Israel

    Post

    Just a few short answers here:
    • Anything that you pay $400 for today, would most likely be much less than $150 a year from now. Thats how it goes with technology, sorry pal, it gets old the minute you buy it.
    • With your CPU I'd suggest you stick with your currentl GF2. You wont feel much difference even with a much fater vid card on this platform. The fastest car cant go too fast on a bumpy road...
    • I use the same vid card on a dual AMD for my 3d work and its fast enough for me. You probably need something faster if you play lots of games that needs it, but I'd wait with the card purchase and make it with a new system when time is right for you.
    Good that you never boughta mac.
    I bought an iPAQ 2 years ago and never touched it since then. battery is probably dead bored...
    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member mbr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles and Connecticut....and Denver
    Posts
    1,283

    Name
    Markus Byron
    Forum Username
    mbr



    Post

    Because your system is soooo old (hey, I've got a 933 with a Geforece2 64mb!), I would just wait until you can buy a new one.
    I looked at Dell's refurbished (I've got a refurbished workstation that is impeccable). For $825 you can get a whole computer that is current, including graphics card.

    Dimension 4600 (System Identifier FCVKBGML) Dell Dimension 4600 Micro-Tower: Pentium® 4 Processor at 2.4GHz with 533MHz front side bus System Price $899.00 Promotion Discount ($75.00) Discounted Price $824.00 <http://outlet.us.dell.com/Ecomm_Images/1x1.gif> Memory: 512MB DDR 333MHz NON-ECC SDRAM (2 DIMMs) Floppy Drive: No Floppy Drive Hard Disk Drive: 60 GB EIDE Hard Drive (7200 RPM) Video: 128MB DDR GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI Modem: 56Kbps Data/Fax Modem Operating System: Microsoft® Windows XP Home CD ROM Drive: 48X Max Variable CD-ROM Drive DVD Drive: DVD+RW/+R with CD-RW


    Damn, it's even got a DVD burner!!

    Also, keep an eye on http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/23155 they've got some fantastic deals.

    Personally, I rarely upgrade pieces. It always seems better to just wait a few months and upgrade the entire package.
    Just like the car analogy - if you have a nice V8, but a poor transmission, it won't matter much.

  7. #7
    Invalid User Profile
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    825

    Name
    gareth ace
    Forum Username
    garethace



    Post

    I don't care if I have the card with the fastest stats. Compatibility is what matters the most to me (especially future compatibility).
    Like i said, don't place very much thought into future compatibility of your hardware, since something available in 6 months, will always beat what you buy now in terms of compatiblity. Just look at USB 2.0 motherboards, - now you can buy a USB 2.0 caddy for €80 here, and stick in an ordinary IDE hard drive, and almost video edit, on the external USB 2.0 hard drive. I have friends here who use this system to cut final versions of movie edits etc. Of course the USB 2.0 caddies are not certified/guaranteed to do this kind of work.

    But in fact, these guys still manage to do everything fine. Buying external firewire storage a year ago would mean, paying out big bucks. If i was you, i might upgrade your system using an Adaptec USB 2.0 controller, if you want any new external hard drives, scanners, USB keys, sync cables for your Ipaq etc, etc, etc.

    I use a serial cradle Cassiopeia, and it can only sync 3-5k notes to OUtlook 2000, without getting all messed up. I paid top dollar for that PDA device too. But with USB 2.0, they are getting 7MB per sec transfer speeds - or 50x50x50x.

    If i had money, i would spend it on a broadband connection, a faster Plextor CDRW drive, a DVD+/- Sony Writer.... or something useful. Rather than wasting your money trying to make a 3-4 year old system 'compatible' in future. Buy CDR storage, and just go through all your old CDRs, and archive whatever you want to 'keep' onto a new better organised set of media.

    Perhaps invest in a CDR backup software, that does backups of your hard drive onto CDR. Data Sync Pro is available from the web as a free download, and you can purchase the product key if you like after 30 days.

    Look at buying a good DVD ripping software, and have all your favourite movies at your finger tips, or on the road when you travel. I think the Pocket Pcs come with Divx decoders/players now - invest in a 1GB CF medium. To watch movies on your Pocket PC. Or perhaps some high speed USB 2.0 keys of around 512MB, and the Adaptec USB 2.o adapter. Basically download 512MB onto a USB 2.0 key in 60 seconds.

    Go for a good mp3 player.

    Just look at hardware as cheap rubbish that just depreciates every 6 months, not to mind every 1 year. Learn to 'write off' your IT investments at regular intervals - for instance, your 800Mhz Pentium III owes you nothing at this stage - treat it like free computing power - and it still has got plenty of computing power for most anything.

    Watch how the really young nerds and geeks manage to latch onto these new technologies, and buy up far greater computing improvements with a lot less money than you would spend on a Graphics board upgrade.

    My advice is to get really clever with how you use your disposable income, with computers. ANd talk/visit as many hardware message boards etc as you can. Talk to the young geek down the street about his experiences with computers.

    Spend a less time as you can administering your IT investments - have as little money as you can 'tied up' in hardware, so that upgrades can easy to make later on. €3-400 spent in a years time, will be worth €3-4,000 spent right now - believe me.

    Pay special attention to the cost per GB on various storage mediums - flash, usb keys, CDR, IDE hard drive storage, Firewire/USB 2.0 caddies and exteral drive storage, Iomega stuff, DVD +/- storage mediums etc, etc, .... broadband services.

    Some day, all your hard ware will be replaced, but hopefully your data will be worth holding onto. Otherwise, the whole thing is just pointless. One may as well just watch television.

    There is another thing, TV tuners - to record programs on cheap external USB 2.0 storage.

    A new set of speakers, a new mouse.... monitor, computer desk, keyboard.... think, think, think... spend wisely. A new desk might over a heck of alot more 'future-proofing' than a new gpu card! And in a couple of years time, with committments, the economy, new hobbies, you may not have the readies to put into a new desk, chair, monitor,....

    When you walk into a shop, try several, in different cities too,... and make the sales guys work for you - not just shove you off down to the corner where all the graphics boards look so seductive up there on their shelves in retail boxes.

    P.S. Spend alot of time, on sites like Hauppage, and www.aceshardware.com/forum... before even thinking about all-in-wonder products etc. Check out properly and know sites like Memorex, Creative, any of the mp3 web sites, pinnacle, matrox, logitech, genius, trust and so on. Do your homework.

    Hell for that matter, don't make the mistake i made - i bought at the height of the IT boom, when everything was four times, what it costs now. I could have gone on a couple of pretty good treks around Europe with the same money. At least i would have some memories/experiences/pictures/tales to relate - and what is the ten or so systems i bought worth now? The data i created back in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 is still worth something however... i think.

    Generally speaking, almost anything else you can spend your cash on, will offer you ten times better depreciation, security, come-back, value than money spent on IT. Think about that, and question whether you are ready for it. I have talked with hundreds of IT managers over the past 4-5 years, and they can all tell you the exact same thing.

    BTW, if you wish to go shopping for any DVDRW drives, watch out for something called Mount Rainer compatibility, which apparently does for CDR/DVD writable mediums, what USB 2.0 did for USB.

    [ August 20, 2003, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: garethace ]

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    13

    Name
    Bobby Kansara
    Forum Username
    Jeff's Friend



    Smile

    Dear Garethace,

    :ngesmile:

    Thank you very much for taking the time to offer your advice. However, I have to ask what the point of your advice is. You are advising me to be shrewd about my IT spending. Isn't that what I'm doing by asking experts in this forum before I make a big purchase? And I'm sure that when you go into a computer store and ask the salesperson for advice (as you suggested) that you must have the same experience that I do: the salesperson knows FAR less than we do. They provide no useful information.

    As for your suggestions on how my money would be better spent on the following items:

    1. Broadband -- I already have it
    2. Plextor CD-RW -- I already have one.
    3. DVD writer -- I already have one.
    4. Storage -- I already have a 120 GB HD + a 40 GB HD + two Sony Memory Sticks + two SD Cards. I don't think I need more storage than that right now.
    5. I already watch movies on my iPaq and also on my laptop.
    6. I already have movie ripping software and I'm quite proficient at it, if I do say so myself.
    7. I already own an MP3 player, and I also own a Minidisc recorder.
    8. A European vacation: I have already toured Europe several times; I am already planning another European trip in February; I have gone on African safaris four times in three countries; I have toured India, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Aruba, and Mexico.

    So while I do appreciate your attempt to help, I really would like advice on choosing which video card would make a good investment for the next two or three years. What I'm trying to avoid is the anger that I felt when I purchased my Palm III for $350, only to have its successor come out *ONE WEEK* later and cause a $200 price drop.

    I'm also trying to avoid the frustration of buying a fancy new P4 2.2GHz laptop with the latest video card only to not have it be supported by my favourite game.

    And so, while I do understand your philosophical musings about how precious and important the data itself is, that doesn't really address my question. How would you feel if you walked into a car dealership to buy a car, and the salesman told you, "You shouldn't spend money on that. Go for a vacation in Australia instead!"

    Thanks for your help. :ngesmile:
    "Don't you know who I am!? You don't know who you're dealing with! I've got powerful friends!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Age
    35
    Posts
    342

    Name
    Doron Serban
    Forum Username
    schmoron13

    United_States

    Post

    a couple of things to note:

    1) see that little ERR huge red banner while you're posting that says, "anyone caught posting for support using illegal or pirated software..."? well when you tell everyone that you're proficient at ripping movies...

    2) This is gonna come off real snotty but: if you have all these great gadgets, why the F#ck are you using p3? I don't care what kind of video card is in there, a p4 will whip its ass, and you don't have to shell out 2k. My advice, though I know that you don't want to hear it: either get an xbox/ps2 for a couple of bills, or go get a refurbished dell and throw in that same 64mb card and you'll be amazed at how well it runs

    I'm also trying to avoid the frustration of buying a fancy new P4 2.2GHz laptop with the latest video card only to not have it be supported by my favourite game.
    if you're favorite game doesn't run on a p4 2.2ghz, then don't buy a better card!!!

    lastly, we are offering you advice based on the information provided. In terms of your analogy, you're asking us what car is the latest and the greatest, but won't depreciate. A car loses 25% of its value the 1st year and no one complains, yet we gripe that a $200 (or $400) video card depreciates. Which makes me wonder 2 things:

    1) if you're worried that a p4 2.2 can't support your favorite games, why bother with getting something that will be the latest and greatest a year from now?

    2) I'm assuming again, but you don't strike me as someone strapped for cash. From the plethora of pricey equipment you have, I fail to see how you WON'T be able to afford another card next year? It's not like we're taking about PURE cards, or having to upgrade 3ds max, maya, or any other SUPER expensive packages (NOTE: AUTOCAD)

    Lastly, WE'RE NOT SALESMEN. We're simply offering you our professional opionions, based on a vast knowledge base. Gregg Hess is the foremost expert on pc's here (in my opinion) and you completely discounted his, and everyone else's opinions.

    If you just want an answer, here: go get a radeon 9000 with 128mb. It'll be good for at least another year for games, and won't set you back a lot.

    you asked an esoteric question; one with no definitive answer, in an unrelated forum, and then got annoyed that you didn't hear the answer you wanted. seems imature to me...then again, I just ranted for no better reason than I'm cranky from lack of sleep...

    good luck
    Doron Serban

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    13

    Name
    Bobby Kansara
    Forum Username
    Jeff's Friend



    Unhappy

    Dear Schmoron13,

    A response to what I believe are your misinterpretations about what I have said:

    1. I am not using illegal software or pirated copies. Ripping software is not illegal. CompUSA and Best Buy both sell DVD X-Copy. That being said, what makes you think I'm using that software for making illegal copies of movies? I bought and paid for every movie I have ever ripped. I rip the movies from the disc to watch them on my iPaq. What's illegal about that? If a movie's good enough for me to watch more than once, then I'll buy it. What the hell; I've got the cash... :winkgrin:

    2. I'm using a P3 because I'm waiting for the successor to the P4 which I anticipate will be coming out within the next 6-8 months. If anyone knows differently, then please correct me. If you re-read my initial post and then my follow-up to that post, you'll see that I already mentioned this. I don't want to buy a P4 and new motherboard and then have the P5 necessitate yet another motherboard purchase. I bought the P3 at the end of the P3 lifecycle. Had I bought at the beginning, then I could have upgraded to a faster P3 without changing motherboards. Does that make sense now?

    3. You misunderstood about my game not running on a P4 2.2 GHz laptop. As I stated in the earlier posts, Madden 2003 does not officially support the ATI Mobility Radeon. My laptop has the Mobility Radeon. Therefore, Madden 2003 does not run very well on my laptop. That's why I want to upgrade my desktop. Every other game runs just fine on my laptop, but the only one I want to play is Madden 2004. Make sense now?

    4. You seem to think that just because I can afford some expensive gear, that I don't need to pay attention to finances or value. The reason I can afford some of these finer things is that I *DO* pay attention to value. For example, when I bought my P3 800, it cost $250 for the processor. A P3 933 at the time cost $600. For me the choice was obvious. The P3 800 was a better value. Because I bought the 800 instead of the 933, I was able to afford many other things. Thus, value matters, and hence, the reason I posted this topic. I want to buy the video card that the experts (like Greg Hess) think would offer me the best value for my purpose.

    5. That brings me to Greg Hess. I am flabbergasted to discover that you think I discounted his opinion. Quite the contrary, he asked for me to provide more information about my system and to elaborate more than I had in my initial post. I did exactly that. How is that discounting his opinion? Other people have also seconded his opinion and, frankly, I think that Greg and the other people are right. I have posted nothing to indicate that I was unhappy with Greg Hess's opinion nor with any of the opinions that concurred. I have nothing but grave reverence for Mr. Hess after a very knowledgeable and influential friend of mine referred to Mr. Hess as "The Man." That's good enough for me.

    6. You suggested that I got annoyed when I didn't hear the answer that I wanted to hear. You couldn't be further from the truth. I very much appreciated all of the legitimate responses to my query, and I think the car analogy is fantastic and makes tremendous sense. I did not get annoyed, but I was confounded by Greathace's post. Did you find any of his philosophy to be pertinent to my question about video cards? I asked which video card I should buy. He replied by giving me his philosphy on storage. When I first read his post, I thought had had accidentally replied to the wrong post! Answer my question honestly: Was Greathace's reply even on-topic?

    7. Schmoron13, you should get some sleep man! :ngesleep: All work and no sleep make Schmoron13 (self-admittedly) cranky... :winkgrin:

    So, to get back on topic: Does anyone know when the successor to the P4 is coming?

    Jeff's Friend
    "Don't you know who I am!? You don't know who you're dealing with! I've got powerful friends!"

Closed Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts