Now i'm looking for a good video card.... any help?

   My system is near completion but there are a few parts I still need. One of them is the VC. I would like nothing more then to have a Raidon 9800 pro, but I can't see spending 500 bucks on a video card right now (for that price I could get a PS2, XBox and a game for each!) But I was wondering what is the best card I could get for about 250 bucks or so. I still wanna play half life 2 with intense graphics, but I can't spend 500 to do that... any suggestions? I know the NVidia 5800 isn't too great but how about the 5600?
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I would recommend You a Radeon 9600 because its very similar to the 9800 and only costs half as much!
I also recommend the Radeon 9600 over the NVidia because the picture quality is better, due to 10-bit DACs.  If you play dvds on your system, you will like the color rendition.
PoeticAudioAuthor Commented:
How much better is the 9800 vs 9600? I don't have experience with either card. Does the power of the 9800 justify spending all that extra cash? Doesnt the 9600 only have quad pipelines vs 8 pipelines in the 9800? I wish I had time to find out all this info on the net, unfortunately i'm at work....err.
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At , you can find the greatest selection of ATI cards I have seen so far.  My favorite is the Sapphire Radeon 9800SE 128MB video card.  Its GPU is 324MHz, and the memory is 540MHz.  That's not bad at all.  GeForce4 Ti4600 cards run at 250/460, I believe.  I think that comparison is good enough...  What's your CPU?

The link sometimes changes.  Here's the one I got:

ATI's SE (Second Edition) cards are slower, and consequently cheaper, versions of the original cards.  Take, for example the 9200SE.  It runs at something like 200/333.  Also, the memory is 64-bit, rather than 128-bit, as is that of the 9200.  In addition, 128MB 9200SE cards are about $52.

I believe the 9800SE has 128MBs of 128-bit ram.  It's amazing, and only $156!  Also, you can get a FREE MOUSEPAD when you buy that card!!!  Personally, I don't like the mousepad, but I guess it could be interesting.  Could you sell it? - Yes!  $5!

Sorry; I got sidetracked.  The Radeon 9800SE is the best $156 VC that comes with a free mousepad.  Please keep in mind the box can also be used as a mousepad, since it's that shiny cardboard stuff, and it can be wiped away very easily.  It's smooth, too.

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic

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PoeticAudioAuthor Commented:
haha! Yeah I could really use a mouse pad! Heck i'll buy 2 of those cards as long as the mouse pad is sweet!

But really, I am going to run probably a pentium 4 2.8 GHz on an overclocked ASUS mobo. I really really want the best VC out there but crap, it's the most expensive hardware! 500 bucks is just insane for really good visuals. I wish I could find benchmarks between the 9600 and 9800 (Raidon) if anyone knows where I could find these benchmarks I will raise  the bar in points! =)

I'm not looking for the cheapest card, i'm just looking for the best card for around $250-$300 (mouse pad isn't a neccessity =)
Take a look at for reviews of the 9800 and the 9600.  Sometimes, not being at the absolute cutting edge can save you some money, and in 3 months, it won't be the fastest anymore anyway.
Thanks a lot!  Good luck with the 9800!
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