Monday, September 12, 2005

Stardate 59697.11 - Video Card Woes

Looking for some advice. Yes, it is indeed true, I do not know everything. ;-)

I currently have an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 420 video card. It works very well, but it seems to be incompatible with the latest computer games. The BardÂ’s Quest demo I downloaded would not work with it, and the Everquest II demo I downloaded yesterday would not work either. Everquest said something about "at least 4 texture units required". Their site says something about NVIDIA MX cards don't support DirectX 9.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good card to upgrade to without getting too expensive? Cards I took a quick look at yesterday include the GeForce FX 5700, the 6800, the 6800 GT, and the 6800 Ultra. The 6800 GT seems to be about $300, and seems to be at a good price/performance point.

Of course, with the baby on the way, I'm not sure how much game-playing I'll be able to do, so I'm not sure if now is the time to drop $300+ on a new video card for only a couple of months of playing prior to the birth in November.

Any advice on a new card?


Ryan said...

Oh trust me, you'll still play computer games. Just make sure you play games that you can pause to go attend to screaming children and can play while simultaneously balancing a squirming 10 lb child in one hand.

I don't recommend taking up counterstrike...

JamesF said...

All the cards you mention are nVidia. Not a bad company at all, but you don't really need to the absolute latest and greatest card to play the latest games. I recently upgraded my video card (my GF4 TI 4200 finally gave up the ghost) and went from nVidia over to ATI's 9800 Pro. I've been more than happy with it, and if you get it without all the bells and whistles, it's relatively cheap (under $150). I would recommend staying away from the Sapphire models though as I've heard different stories on how well their cooling works. I just got the retail version (which is on sale at the moment).

ATI Radeon 9800 Pro at NewEgg

And yes, you'll still have some time to play games (initially). Later though, you'll change the games you play because they'll want to play also (Nintendo's Double Dash and Super Monkey Ball are current favorites at our house). Depending on whether you care what they see while you're playing, at that later time if you still want to play games you may have to sacrifice sleep (but really, sleep is overrated).