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maggot202

Should i buy this graphic card?

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Hello
I'm looking for a new graphic card (i have a GeForce 7600 GT), and in a store i've found a GeForce 9800 GT in roughly 200 bucks (note: i'm not living in the U.S. but in Chile). It is a good choice,taking into account that a gaming card doesn't go below 150 bucks in this fine country?

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Depends on the specifications of the rest of your system. If the video card is currently a bottleneck, you'll just be falling on another bottleneck if you replace it with something faster.

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I don't think it will be a bottleneck, i have a Core 2 duo E4400 @ 2 GHz with 1 GB ram. I'm thinking about changing the graphic card for two reasons:

1. My current card is showing artifacts for some time now (altough usually a reboot fixes the problem)

2. This card won't be able to run GTA 4 nor Silent Hill homecoming (altough for this last one, my CPU doesn't make the cut either, but i'd like to start with the graphics first)

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I never got this "a too fast graphics card can be a bottleneck" thing: given a two graphics cards X and Y, where Y is faster than X, rendering the exact same scene with card Y will always be faster and give you a speed advantage compared to card X. If anything, a too slow graphics card can be a bottleneck, not viceversa.

OK, I'll give that the card has to be fed data from the main memory and CPU anyway, so if you're trying to run a game that's well above your current CPU and memory specs anyway, a faster graphics card may not help at all, but there will be no "bottleneck effect" if used with a title you can already handle just fine or you just need some extra FPS.

At most you will never be able to use your card's full potential, and in this sense it may be "wasted", but there's no chance in hell that e.g. a 1999 Matrox Millennium will outperform a 9800 GT because "it's better suited" to a certain system.

The graphics rendering, at detail parity at least, will always be faster with a better card, and sometimes you may even go overboard with detail with no CPU penalty (e.g. my Ati Radeon 8600 AGP 8x scored 8000 at 3D Mark 03, while replacing it with an Nvidia 7600 GT, keeping the same CPU and RAM made the score skyrocket to 22000, that's performance gain, plain and simple).

On the other hand, slapping such a card on, say, a Pentium II (even if it was possible) will not make it able to play Doom 3 alone.

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Of course something that's more powerful than the rest of the system can't bottleneck it. Rather, in certain situations, the rest of the system is bottlenecking the graphics card: For example, good luck playing, say, Crysis on a 90Mhz Pentium with 64Mb ram even if you have a 9800 GTX 512Mb graphics card or something. :P

Still, with that said, it's not too difficult to pay for more than what you need (no point in buying a ridiculously expensive graphics card if your CPU and ram aren't enough for playing the latest games, or if the games you are playing don't need all that power). Once you've got the fps level you're happy with, the extra fps that you might get is just pointless and no one cares about it, expect those kids still playing Counter-Strike 1.5. :P

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Well...if he was trying to buy the most powerful AGP card he could find (there are some DX10 class AGP cards out there), which would be both overkill and not reusable on a future upgrade, then I'd say yeah, don't buy it.

But since he will be able to use the card on any system built within the next X years (where X= 3,4...who knows how long PCIe is going to last as a graphics slot), there's no reason not to buy what might seem as an "overpowered" one. Buying a shitty one now will only result in buying a better one later.

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It's a good card but that price is really high. That's the price for it you'd see in BestBuy. You sure there's no computer online stores in Chile?

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Not that i've heard of, but, even if there were some, i doubt that the price would be significantly lower. I'll take a look around ebay, maybe i can find a cheaper card.

Edit: I found this for 140 bucks. Should i go for it?

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The price seems about right for MercadoLibre Chile, but I don't know how taxation works over there if you buy it from another Mercosur country. A 9800gtx is about 200 american dollars here (Argentina), A GT is 166. Maybe you could buy here and have it shipped. Maybe MercadoLibre isn't the best indicator for online hardware sales when it comes to Chile, though, so my numbers may be off, perhaps you can fill me in here.

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maggot202 said:

Not that i've heard of, but, even if there were some, i doubt that the price would be significantly lower. I'll take a look around ebay, maybe i can find a cheaper card.

Edit: I found this for 140 bucks. Should i go for it?

Don't you have to pay 50% taxes + VAT at Customs to nationalize the product?

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Now that you mention it, i heard once that if the product costs more than 50 bucks, what you say is true. And that's sssuming that some custom worker wouldn't want my card for his computer...
Oh, well, better to go with the 200 bucks one, i guess. Thanks with the help, i was really just looking for someone to tell me to go for it :)

Por cierto, mis condolencias por el 6-1 en Bolivia, Zaldron :D (broma, broma)

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maggot202 said:

Por cierto, mis condolencias por el 6-1 en Bolivia, Zaldron :D (broma, broma)

Worry not, as I'm not much of a fan. But that sure was pathetic :P

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I wanted to buy that, ended up spending a bit more to get a HD4850. I'm glad I did. In your case it probably woulnd't be a good choice, as your CPU would limit it's potential.

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