A question about buying new GPU

I’ve saved a small amount of money that i plan to use for upgrading my PC.
My current configuration is:
Mo-bo: Soltek SL-KT400-C/KT400-A4C
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2600+ at 2.080 MHz
Memory: 256 DDR RAM
GPU: nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 with AGP8X with 64 MB

I want to buy a new GPU and more RAM. The thing is, i’ve got a limited amount of money to spend and i want to make the right choice. I use my computer for games and Blender. I’ve got some combinations in mind and if anyone knows which one would serve me better i would appreciate your opinion. So here they are

DIMM 256MB DDR 400Mhz CL2.5 Kingston 29,264 Eur.
Gainward GF6200 Pro/1480 256MB DDR2 TV,DVI 70,564 Eur.

DIMM 512MB DDR 400MHz Blitz 46,492 Eur.
Gainward FX5500 Pro685 256MB DDR w/TVout,DVI 58,646 Eur.

The main difference between them is that with #1 i’ll have a more expensice GPU (and probably a better one) and with #2 i’ll have much more RAM and a GPU with the same memory like the first one but it looks kinda suspicious to me because it’s cheaper.
I don’t know much about these components in detail, so far the second combination sounds better but i might be wrong. So i’m asking those of you who know these things, which choice would be better.

Thanks in advance!


2, I don’t know how you manage to run an OS with 256mb ram. I assume you will be using it mainly for blender? There isn’t too much difference between the instruction set for 5 and 6 series cards, and the 5500 is higher in the series than the 6200, so performance wise you will probably only see a slight improvement with the 6200. Although neither will really be adequate if you plan to use Vista.

But yeah, go with #2.

Thanks for your opinion benstabler.

Yes, I’ll be using my computer mainly for Blender and games.

I don’t plan to buy Vista…

You need a high power GPU just to run the OS?? Come on, Vista can’t have SO many bells and whistles.
Oh, and Zazu, I’d go for solution 2, too. The increased RAM should really give you a boost.

Try to get an nVidia card. They work better with Blender. I had an ATI Radeon 7800, and Blender didn’t run smoothly even when there were no polys at all. The grid itself was slow. I got an nVidia GeForce 6600 and it works over a hundred times better.

2, I don’t know how you manage to run an OS with 256mb ram.

I did for six years. including XP, although I don’t know if you could get Vista to run with tht much RAM.

Both the 6200 and 5500 will be slow. The 6200 is budget last model range, and the 5500 midrange two model ranges ago. If graphics cards were the only consideration I’d go with the 6200 as the 6-series were better cards and the test scores seem a little better.

That said, 512mb RAM will make much more difference to your setup that the gap between these card, so go with that.

How much are these options costing? Maybe by buying carefully you could get a better deal…


I have a 7800 gt. But it you can go lower if you just want to use blender and such. 6800 gt would do great for blender and most of the current games out there today.

If you saved up a bit, you should get a Geforce6600 256 MB (I found one in Canada for $135 = 95 EUR). I have one and I could run FEAR on low/medium settings fairly well. The 6200 uses your regular RAM for video memory and isn’t very good. Definitely not worth the money, IMO, considering you can get the 6600 for not too much more.

Thanks for your replies, everyone

Aorus, i might consider your suggestion

@ajc158: The prices are written next to the names of the components

@Tynach: I’ll get nVidia for sure. I didn’t had any other brand -(vocabulary) in mind…

why couldnt you use 768mb of ram? you would be buying the 512mb stick, so you would just leave the 256mb stick in. your board uses a via chipset from the specs you mention, and doesnt run dual channel, which means youll see no preformance drop by using 768mb.

also you may want to use 512mb of ram (Add another 256mb) and upgrade the video card to a 6600gt.

@quantam: yes vista will need a high power gpu to run with its aeroglass interface. you can turn off some of those features, but you still need decent components to run. ms says they want this os to last for 10 years so theyre overbuilding now so they wont have to fix it later (right)

I will be using 768 MB of RAM, i’ve decided to go with the 512 MB stick already.
The only thing i’m not sure about now is the GPU. Although the FX5500 seems just fine to me (i don’t understand much about technical details of components, it’s all “more expensive=better” to me) a lot of people have sugested different models to me and i’m trying to decide…

get 5500 now and wait for pricedrop on higher models, then upgrade gpu …

I would wait until “DirectX 10” hardware level cards come out and then buy a new GPU.

But i suppose those cards will be much more expensive, right?
I just need something to get me back on track for the next 12 months…
Because i can’t go on with the poor 64 MB of my current card.

Of course, but the upside is that you won’t have to buy a new GPU in a few years. You get set for a considerable duration.

IMO it’s much cheaper than buying a semi-decent card now and then having to buy another one in a year or so.

You’re making a good point. Do you have any idea of how much will one of those cards cost?
Would it be wise to spend all the money for RAM now (with the money i’ve got i can buy 1GB RAM, which added to my current memory will make a total of 1256 MB RAM ), and buy a DirectX 10 hardware level card later?

Will XP support the DirectX 10? Or i would need to install Vista?

If I had to guess, I’d say around $300.

I believe it would be wise, since 1GB of ram is pretty much the going standard at the present time.

In all probability you will need to install some new drivers. Although I would run with vista.


You see Social, if i need to pay around 300$ for a GPU, and i don’t know how much more for Vista, i’d rather wait till i’ve got enough money for a complete new PC.

For now I’ll just go with the cheap GPU, because i really don’t need those high quality features that modern GPU’s provide, i just need a decent card so i can play most of the new games on a reasonable resolution and Fps.

Thank you anyway for your suggestion.

Best regards,


i hate to lay this on you but there is a 90% chance that your computer wont accept a dx10 video card, because your comp is agp, and the standard is pcie. i dont think they make many high end agp cards anymore. the last one that was made was a 7800gs, and it was a shocker because people thought nvidia wasnt going to introduce anymore agp cards.
does your mobo support 1256mb? ( a 1gb stick is 1024mb). check to see if your mobo will support a 1gb stick, and if it doesnt, your sol.

check and see if your computer will support vista. nto to be mean or anything but yoru comp would meet the minimum requirements for it.
these were taken from maximumpc magazine. they are certain systems and how they score.

p4 2.0ghz radeon 9500 512mb ram score: 1
athlon XP 3200+ geforce 5800 ultra 512mb ram score: 2

you need a big balance of ram and cpu and video card to score good. i wouldnt hav ea problem running vista, my rig would probably score a 5.