Well I am trying to think about what a potential buyer will be thinking right now, all I can come up with is how much faster than my current card is this one? Will it get rid of my choppy frame rate?
Well the card I decided to upgrade from was an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro and once I upgraded to this card Doom3 ran like a charm and FarCry well it actually ran, and no to mention the vast improvement given to Half Life 2. My suggestion to any one really wanting to know how well a card can perform is to visit www.tomshardware.com and look over the VGA chart to make a fully informed decision. My review may also help you make an informed choice
OK on the day this card arrived I open the parcel to be greeted by a fantastic X shaped box, XFX seem to make this their way of helping you know how to spot quality at a glance. Once the box is opened you will find the beast of a card itself, a driver cd, a manual, a DVI to VGA converter and 3 games - Moto GP, Commandos 3 and X2 the Threat. Not bad really as there are plenty cards on the market for the same price that don't come with any games included.
When installing this card there is one thing to keep in mind, if you already have an nVidia based card installed in your system, you can simply replace the old card with this new one and it will detect due to the universal drivers nVidia use, if you are an ATI user, un-install all ATI software first before installing.
When I install a major upgrade such as a graphics card I usually re-install the windows operating system to get the best performance possible.
Fitting the card was a snap as this card does not occupy two slots like some other variations of this card with oversized cooling fitted to them, NOTE make sure you read the instructions provided and make sure you discharge all static from your body before doing any upgrade work, once the card is installed you will need to connect a power cable to the front of the card as it needs more voltage than your AGP slot can provide alone.
This card is still a heavyweight when it comes to gaming it is Direct X 9, comes complete with shader model 3.0 and High Dynamic Range (a feature in the new 7000 series) you are not going to see much of a difference over this card if you were to go for a mid range 7000 series, plus its much cheaper to go for a 6000 series.
This card has not let me down yet I can ramp the graphics up to the highest settings on any game I throw at it, even Quake 4 runs very nice, just so you can make a quick comparison my CPU is an Athlon64 3200+ and I have 2GB RAM. If you are of a similar spec for your PC you will be fine, if better then it can only be better for you!
I would strongly recommend this card as today it really is a bargain buy.
You may have seen the GS version of this card on the shelves, all I can say is that it is much slower than the GT model as they reduced the number of pipelines feeding the GPU that cripples the performance. So if you do find a GT out there over GS snap up the GT model!
Hope my review helps with your purchase.
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