Some notes on GFX cards

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mSparks
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Postby mSparks » Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:48 pm

If you are having a problem with a certain game, chances are your graphics card needs updating.
there are 3 different types of graphics card.

Onboard - Comes as part of the systems motherboard, usually not suitable for anything but basic games, used to reduce the overall price of systems, if you get a machine with onboard graphics, ensure it has a free AGP slot in case you want to upgrade later.

AGP - This is a small brown slot, offset just to the front of the case above the white pci expansion slots, AGP cards provide greater performance for a cheaper price than pci cards, and are also more widely available. To check whether your machine has an agp slot, take the side of the case off (ussually the left looking from the front) and look above the white pci slots for this connector (its sometimes hidden by a sticker)

PCI - The only choice if your system doesn't have a PCI slot, nessecery if you want to use multiple moniters or your system does not have an agp slot. more expensive than AGP cards, and do not provide the same 3D performance as AGP cards.

3D graphics cards are effectively another computer for your machine. They allow programs that generate 3D images (such as almost all games) to take the pressure of the system to generate these images. The system does this by only deciding the minimal information needed to generate the 3D image, using 'wireframes' and 'textures'.
A wireframe basically marks the edge of an object (such as a matchbox) and is generated by points in 3D space like a graph.
A texture is basically an image to paint onto this wireframe.

All your Processor has to decide, is where these points go, and what to paint onto them and where abouts any light sources are, then it passes this infomation to the graphics card to generate this image on the screen.

This is the reason, with even old and slow machines can still cope with most current games as long as they have a decent graphics card.

RE. NVIDIA cards. such as the geforce range.
a Geforce 3 Ti card is actually a BETTER card than a Geforce 4 MX card. GF3 Ti has better capabilities than the GF4 MX range, and can generate images faster. This is not to say GF4 MX cards are not decent cards, just that GF3 Ti'sare better, unfortunately due to NVIDIA deciding to no-longer manufacture these cards, it is next to impossible to find a reliable supplier of them.
© Mark 'mSparks' Parker 2010
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mSparks
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Postby mSparks » Thu Feb 13, 2003 9:17 pm

Ankfoot just passed me a nice url with some comparisons of different gfx cards.
<a href='http://www.tech-report.com/etc/comparo/graphics/' target='_blank'>Graphics Chip Comparison chart</a>
© Mark 'mSparks' Parker 2010

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smurphster
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Postby smurphster » Fri Feb 14, 2003 7:39 am

ok here's 2 questions for ya:
what's the BEST card in your opinion?
what's the best VALUE card in your opinion?

mSparks
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Postby mSparks » Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:47 pm

atm, I believe the latest Radeon is the best card (ATI RADEON 9700/9500 Series), only I've heard conflicting reports about drivers.
The best value card is almost definately one of the GF3 Ti range if you can get your hands on one, good image support, drivers and compatibilty.

One thing I will say tho is, If your considering buying a high value card, wait for direct 9 to settle in before considering one, as its only then you can truely tell.

for more informative and up to date infomation <a href='http://www.futuremark.com/' target='_blank'>3D mark</a> is a cool place to check out.
© Mark 'mSparks' Parker 2010

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