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gaming fever
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
Location: Indianapolis

After getting back from the East Coast, I made a short hop to Indy->Chicago->Indy yesterday and now I'm sitting in limbo.

I'm getting the gaming spirit. I'm not a big gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but i do like my FPS games. I got hooked on the old classics like Doom and the original Castle Wolfenstein. In gearing up for the release of the new Medal of Honor: Rising Sun game, I re-installed Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault and have been playing it for the past couple of days. From there, I guess I'll probably get around to playing Ghost Recon which has been sitting in my truck for ages.

All of this, of course, is going to prompt me to do a computer upgrade sometime in the New Year. My machine totally suits my purposes save the advances made in gaming technology over the past few years. The three titles I'm most intersted in playing (Splinter Cell, the new Max Payne, and the new Medal of Honor) won't run on my machine. My processor's not hot enough and my video card is a dinosaur.

I need to get a video card at a minimum in the 128mb range I suppose, but I'm thinking that doing a little scrimping, saving, and splurging on one of those 256mb buggers might give me some chance of having adequate video hardware for the next several years. While my 16mb Voodoo3 has served me valiantly, she just can't keep up any more. After the video card is acquired, then I will give some consideration to a motherboard and processor. I need to get myself over the 1ghz hump, preferably, within striking distance of the 2ghz mark.. On memory, I'm adequate at 512MB and my disk space is paltry (18gigs) but I can survive on it for now.

I solicit the advice of those geekier than I (I know that's hard to fathom) on video cards. Radeon or GeForce? Mind you, their "top end" cards are a bit out of my league. I can't justify dropping $400+ on a video card. I'm looking at the Radeon 9600 Pro ($117), the Radeon 9200 ($94), the GeForce FX 5600 ($107), and the GeForce FX 5200 ($77). All of these cards would be AGP and with 256mb memory on board. Keep in mind I'm not some hardcore gamer who is building some sort of monster gaming rig. I more interested in bang for my buck, compatability, and dependability.

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i'm still running on a matrox G450 w/ 32MB, which has been good to me for three years, but i think it is actually dying. having already replaced the monitor (my first suspect in the battle of random flicker), i bought an el cheapo GeForce 4 last weekend to test that theory, but haven't put it in yet-- enough other problems to worry about.

i'm not a gamer (at least not on the computer-- putting games on PCs is like putting ketchup on eggs, IMHO), and so what i can tell you is limited to this: the conventional wisdom is that the radeon 9000s are supposed to have a slight performance edge. but i and many others can tell you from past experience that ATI's drivers are sort of a pain in the balls. also, i think the GeForce cards have generally better acceptance in the gaming development sector.

in the past, ATI totally sucked balls in the driver department, giving nvidia the edge. in the last year or so however, ATI has proven consistently that they're #1 and plan to stay that way, with nvidia's new driver sets apparently causing lots of problems as of late. obviously nobody can say who is going to be the best in the future, but ATI really did their best to address all the past issues with their drivers and in my opinion were pretty successful in doing so.

FWIW: in January or February of this year, i bought a Radeon AIW 9700 and kept it for about two weeks. at that point, they had definitely not dealt with their driver issues.

well, that is another possibility i'm considering is just buying a gaming system (psx2, prolly if i do) and just not worry about my computer... most all games are ported to psx2 anyway, only rarely is there a game that is PC only... in fact, the original Medal of Honor is only available for PS, it was never ported to PC... and, i could actually buy a PSX2 cheaper than what i would spend to do an upgrade on my machine... right now, i'm looking at $300+ to do a decent upgrade of my system... i could just buy a psx2 for $180 and have the added advanatage of just renting games rather than buying/downloading them... seldom is there a game that is so good that i have to replay it... usually when i'm finished with a game, i'm finished with a game...

as i stated, i'm really relatively content with my PC... it does everything i need it to do on a daily basis, which is why the thought of simply purchasing a gaming system might be my best bet...

whats up soopa.. personally, i'd go for the 9600 pro.. stay away from nvidia, they've kind of been sucking it up the last year or so, radeon has been beating them in all the benchmark tests as of late.. the 9600 pro is the best bang for your dollar, without going to the ridiculous range of the 9800 or 9800 pro.. i myself am looking into getting a 9600 pro if i can find one for a decent price here in canada.. maybe i'll get you to grab one for me and i'll paypal you for it or something hehe.. anyway, for the little extra money between the 9200 and the 9600, theres a fair jump in quality.. for compatability and dependability, i think ATI wins out over nvidia again.. anyway, that's just my two cents, you're welcome to look into it more if you like. my old roommate bought an fx 5600 and i really wasnt impressed with it's performance for what he paid for it..

typically price seems to always be a good indicator of the community's opinion of a product... god bless, capitlaism... i've noticed that the GeForce cards are somewhat cheaper, hence i figured there was probably a reason for that (retailers are having trouble moving them) so far, i'm leaning towrad the radeon 9600 pro... if i decide to do the upgrade at all and not just buy a psx2 ;-)

yeah, i play my ps2 alot too. definately worth the cash, i'm sure you'd get your money out of it. the only reason i like pc games is the mouse/keyboard combo for FPS and the fact that i can get games for free, being as poor as i am. speaking of which, where did you see the 9600 pro for $117? was it a place online, or someplace you ran across in your travels? they sell for like $299 here in canada, which is ridiculous. with the exchange rate what it is, $117 US is about $160 canadian, which is almost half the cost, which i could probably swing.

i saw the radeon 9600 pro listed for $117 at pricewatch.com

that is the only thing that makes me hesitate when considering the playstation is that i like FPS games mostly... and i've yet to see a console game do it as well as the PC keyboard/mouse combo.... i suppose someone could do an FPS for playstation (and may have and i'm just not aware of it) where the dual thumbsticks are utilized, one for "free look" and the other for movement... but it's still not the completely free motion you get with a mouse (or trackball in my case)... it is true, that when playing an FPS, the ability to move and look about you simultaneously is essential...

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