To buy or not to buy... (graphics)

Found 26th Jun 2007
I need to upgrade my graphics, and i'm wondering if i should get a xfx 7900gs or saphire x1950pro or xfx 8600gt

i was into the 7900gs, but seeing the charts on toms hardware, the x1950 pro blows it out the water and only a little more expensive (on ebuyer). I really dislike the ati control panel and currently have sli support for nvidia on the mobo

as far as the 8600gt goes, i'm concerned about not having dx10 for games in the future e.g. Alan Wake is going to be dx10 only last time i heard

i don't want to have to shell out again in half a year or less, or even a year!

currently i have an xfx 6600gt and it's been faultless



much depends on your budget..I just bought a 1950 GT and overclocked it using the ATI software supplied with the online it now exceeds the pro specs...but the pro may be the best buy if you want to avoid overclocking risks.

My own view is that the expensive DX10 cards will fall in price when the games are available so rather than going for a low spec DX10 cheapy now I'd rather wait for the expensive models to fall in price.

Original Poster

thanks for the info, i'm very tempted to get the x1950 pro (could overclock that and get even more speed!:))

anyone else got an opinion? i'm stuck!

Think you are being very sensible in the way you are weighing up the options and you have it about right. I wouldn't be too bothered about ATI's CCC - their drivers are generally better accepted than NVidia's and its not like you have to wait for CCC to load that often, its also a lot faster than it used to be in recent releases. I also wouldn't really bother with SLi - it tends to be both cheaper and significantly more efficient to upgrade to a newer model than add an SLi partner (eg. if you had a 7900, its makes more sense to sell it and upgrade to an 8800 than buy a second 7900 in my opinion).

Make sure you have adequate power no matter what you buy (remember you are moving from a mid-range part to a high-end part so the power requirements generally go up). If you are into overclocking you'll probably get more of a percentage improvement buying the GT (as it is just an underclocked Pro).

Its worth looking at benchmarks specifically of the games (or sort of games) that you are likely to play and at the resolutions you will be using as the cards will scale differently (ie one may be faster at lower res then much slower at higher res than another model, depending on things like the number of shaders/memory etc).

That all said, the GeForce 8800 GTS 320Mb is a big step up from all the cards mentioned and has DX10 support for future games, so it might be worth saving for (or waiting till it lowers in price to your current budget...)

Out of interest, what prices are you looking at? ebuyer have 7900GS for £75 delivered and a 512Mb 1950Pro for £90 delivered..

Original Poster

yeah the xfx 7900gs on ebuyer for £75 and the saphire x1950pro 512mb for a few quid more at £95 (the 256mb is £92!)

i suppose that is quite a difference, £20.. maybe i should stick with the 7900gs and get a dx10 card later on...

would be nice to play games with all the details to max again...

There is a GeCube one for under £91 (]512Mb 1950 that is), although it might be worth waiting for a really good deal, bound to appear sooner or later.

what resolution you running your games at?

i would go for the 7900GS because although the x1950pro may be better to the gamer u will not notice this difference unless high resolutions were in factor

forget the dx10 card wait till more games come out supporting it and then u can sell your 7900GS or whatever and the dx10 cards would have hopefully dropped to great affordable bargains (maybe end of year)?

7900gs is a cracking card(its a 7800gt essentially if i remember) and it will run everything super smooth (unless of course ludicrous reoslutions come into play like 1900x1200)

Original Poster

i've only got a 17" monitor so i'd only go to 1280x1024 (it's a cracking monitor though)

think i'll go for the 7900gs

now trying to decide if worth getting a amd dual core 4200+ to replace my single core 3000+ for about £65?
do you think going from 1gb to 2gb memory will have much of an effect?

ok spending a extra £20 would have done nothing for a x1950pro

since u are running resolution of only 1280x1024 the 7900gs will comfortably run anything at max resolutions with AA and AF also

as for getting a dual core it will improve the speed of your system but its not a major factor for gaming but since u have a pretty dud cpu to begin with going for a dual core is probably recommended

as for 2gb of ram i would say u would probably notice little or no difference unless your into graphic design or something ram intensive, gaming wise little difference

hope that helps

i read sumwhere the only game(s) that will benefit from 2gb ram is battlefield 2 or something crazy like that where there are large open landscapes with like 40 people running around, BF2142 etc etc but 1gb ram is sufficient enough

Original Poster

to me, 1gb just sounds a little underpowered for a dual core with good graphics card, maybe that's just successful marketing

believe me it wont be

i moved from 1gb to 2gb and i notice nothing different

if the ram is cheap then i say go for it

it just looks good when u right click on my computer and click properties and it says 2gb lol

i am running amd 4400-2gb ram and 7900GT i could take one stick out and my games ill still run the same
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