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Need help in choosing a graphics card [solved]

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I currently have an Asrock ConRoe945G-DVI, thus an integrated Intel 945G chipset.


I need something more powerfull for Need for Speed Carbon (commercial) and Rigs of Rods (free). Besides, I need:

- PCI Express (because of the motherboard),

- S-Video or Video (because my TV is an old cathodic with SCART/video),

- DVI (because of my current 22″ LCD monitor).

Finally, given the choice, I prefer low noise and low electricity consumption over unneeded performance (the two titles I mentioned are not very demanding).


I first thought I'd never find a card with both S-Video output and PCI Express format. But looking harder, it seems quite a number of older AMD, and a few older NVidia are still available for sell.


Basically, it seems to me the best choices still to be found are:

- 65€: the Radeon HD 4730 (like this: HD 4730 example)

- 100€: the Radeon HD 4850 (HD 4850 example) or the NVidia GTS 250 (GTS 250 example).


Even though I don't want to buy a gaming beast of a card (I play very few games), I'm the kind to change of PC every 8 years, and of graphics card barely more... So I don't want too lame a card!

I have zero experience with graphics cards and PC games (NFS is the first “modern†commercial game I have), and I fear the HD 4730 is already too old to last until my TV becomes HD (five years from now?).


What do you think? What would you advise?



Edited by theYinYeti

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I hope it'll work well too, I generally only buy nvidia cos I had so many problems with ATI but perhaps they are better now. Sorry I didn't see the post the first time around - only just saw it :(

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Good luck with your ATI card. You will definitely need it.

Their closed source driver is absolute crap, and your only chance is the opensource driver with kernel mode-setting (KMS) enabled. This requires AT LEAST kernel 2.6.32 and xorg-server 1.7.2.

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For those interested, here's a follow-up.

It happens the 4850 did not have the SVideo plug as advertised. So I sent it back and got a 4770 instead:

— more silent

— more economic

— less hot

— almost as powerfull :)


Conclusion: I'm really happy with the result, using ATI proprietary driver. The TV output works fine, in all available modes, and performances are good enough. There's one strange thing though: although the desktop is fine at 1680x1050, any game will behave strangely (slow and saccaded) if its window is 1024x768 or bigger…



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