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HANS-57
11-10-2004, 08:09 AM
I am looking to upgrade for the sole purpose of being able go unleash FB+ACE+PF capabilities. I am looking at the following upgrades for my computer, and I am not sure which video card to buy.

AMD 3000 64 bit processor
2 GIG 400MHZ RAM
74 GIG 10000 RPM Hard Drive
VIDEO CARD???

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

LeChuck59
11-10-2004, 08:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HANS-57:
I am looking to upgrade for the sole purpose of being able go unleash FB+ACE+PF capabilities. I am looking at the following upgrades for my computer, and I am not sure which video card to buy.

AMD 3000 64 bit processor
2 GIG 400MHZ RAM
74 GIG 10000 RPM Hard Drive
VIDEO CARD???

Any input would be greatly appreciated. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I don't mean to be rude, but there are dozens of sites out there devoted to reviewing computer hardware with hundreds of members ready to make recommendations. Maybe you've checked all those sites already and you just want an opinion from you buddies over here at IL-2.

In that case, I'd recommend the 6800 GT. It's much faster than the similarly priced X800 Pro and it can be overclocked easily and safely to 6800 Ultra speeds making it competetive with the X800 XT at $100 less. Finally, only the 6800 line supports the nicest water/wave features in PF so if you want all the eye candy you'll need a 6800 card.

Here are some FB benchmarks with the four cards you should be considering:
http://firingsquad.com/hardware/gigabyte_geforce_6800_ultra/page5.asp


Those are from September however and nvidia's drivers continue to improve performance (ATI's cards have less headroom as they're fundamentally the same tech as the last generation and thus their drivers were more polished at release).

I'd recommend the HardOCP.com and Anandtech.com forums for more information.

Finally, I've got a 6800 GT from evga overclocked to Ultra speeds and I'm very happy with it. FB+AEP+PF at 16x12 with maximum settings and smooth fps. If you're into AA and AF you'll have to knock it down to 12x9.

Texas LongHorn
11-10-2004, 08:38 AM
Hans, this week it looks like the nVidia GeForce 6800 series in its various iterations is the hot tip. The 256 meg version has come down to about four hundred bucks. All the best, LongHorn

RocketDog
11-10-2004, 09:23 AM
LeChuck it too quick to dismiss the X800 series cards. I have actually used both a 6800GT and an X800Pro in IL-2 AEP and Lock On. I prefer the X800Pro because it has (what I consider to be) better image quality in both games.

The point about the water = 3 is also a bit misleading. It's certainly true that only the 6800 series cards can use the Pixel Shader 3.0 hardware required to run water with white caps etc (i.e., the water = 3 setting), but they can only do so at frame rates that are so low that most players regard them as unplayable. Almost everyone with top-end PCs still seems to run with water = 0, 1 or 2. There's not much point in buying a graphics card because it offers a feature that you can't really use.

If I was buying a graphics card today purely for PF and Lock On I would go for an X800Pro or X800XT. If I wanted to play a lot of FPS games, then the 6800 series might be a better bet.

Of course, in the end the differences are relatively minor and you are unlikely to be disappointed with either ATi's or Nvidia's product.

Regards,

RocketDog.

LeChuck59
11-10-2004, 12:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RocketDog:
LeChuck it too quick to dismiss the X800 series cards. I have actually used both a 6800GT and an X800Pro in IL-2 AEP and Lock On. I prefer the X800Pro because it has (what I consider to be) better image quality in both games.

The point about the water = 3 is also a bit misleading. It's certainly true that only the 6800 series cards can use the Pixel Shader 3.0 hardware required to run water with white caps etc (i.e., the water = 3 setting), but they can only do so at frame rates that are so low that most players regard them as unplayable. Almost everyone with top-end PCs still seems to run with water = 0, 1 or 2. There's not much point in buying a graphics card because it offers a feature that you can't really use.

If I was buying a graphics card today purely for PF and Lock On I would go for an X800Pro or X800XT. If I wanted to play a lot of FPS games, then the 6800 series might be a better bet.

Of course, in the end the differences are relatively minor and you are unlikely to be disappointed with either ATi's or Nvidia's product.

Regards,

RocketDog. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I didn't mean to dismiss anything. I pointed him to a link with benchmarks for all four of the cards he is considering.

The fact that the 6800 GT is the best bang for the buck and handily out performs the X800 Pro doesn't mean it's useless.

As for image quality, that's a fairly subjective quality.
There are a few comparison shots here...
http://www.extremetech.com/slideshow/0,2394,l=&s=1017&a=128800,00.asp

My eye wouldn't be able to pick out any of those differences in game.

Look, I'm not telling him he needs to get a 6800 or else. He requested an opinion and I gave him mine with some reasons that you countered. However original and primary recommendation was and is that he visit the sites I mentioned in my first post, google some others, and come to his own conclusion after looking at some unbiased, disinterested data and screenshots. Everyone, even the most informed person, is fond of his own opinion and will defend it beyond what is reasonable or necessary as I have here.

The bottom line is that you really can't go wrong with the current batch of video cards, you can only manage to go more right.

Goodluck Hans.

HANS-57
11-11-2004, 08:05 AM
Thank you all for your input.