Question re graphics card

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Old 04-05-05, 02:56 AM
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Question re graphics card

Dear all,

Just for an extra few bucks, lately, I have been given the option to select between a 64MB and a 128MB GeForece 4 MX 4000 display card. Needless to say I went for the 128MB one, however it is still not clear what I have obtained by doing so. What is exactly the difference between a 64MB and a 128MB card? Is the difference visible? Will I obtain more frames per second while gaming? What is the relation between playing 3d games in high resolution and lower resolution but with a 2X or 4X antialiasing. Does the memory play an important role when it comes to antialiasing? I have a P4 2.4Gz HT processing.

Can someone clarify this for me? I am still trying to put everything together.

Regards
 
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Old 04-05-05, 06:37 AM
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I have to answer a question with a question, what games are/will you be playing? The MX series is not the best choice for PC gaming, if your going to be playing current titles such as Doom3 or HalfLife 2, the minimum card I would consider would be a Ti4200.
 
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Old 04-05-05, 07:13 AM
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Davejb, thanks for your feedback. I have played a number of games which are quite recent and so far I'm happy with the results..including MOHAA, Return to Wolfenstein, GTA - Vice City.

So far I managed to obtain good results also with 2X antialiasing turned on under 1024 X 768 res. I agree with you that MX is not the best option for gaming (my pockets were the bottle neck actually ), but what did I gain exactly with 'these' additional 64MB? Do they contribute to the antialiasing processing or to higher resolution? What would be the difference between mine and another PC exactly the same but with 64MB card instead of 128MB? I just want an answer to this question....you know it is my curiosity.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-05-05, 09:20 AM
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Just as computer RAM is used to store data accessed by your CPU, video RAM is used to store graphic data that is accessed by your 3D card's VPU. Video RAM is also called the frame buffer, because it is used to store the bit-mapped images that are sent to your monitor.

The larger the frame buffer, the more data that can be stored in it. The more data stored, the longer your VPU can pull that data from the relatively speedy video RAM without running out of data. When you run out of data, your VPU has to wait while more data is collected from your main system memory (which is much slower and physically farther away from your VPU). When this happens, the result is stuttering and pausing.

If you've ever played a high end game like DOOM 3 on a mid-range graphics card, you might notice that it might play relatively smoothly when you are walking around in one area. Open the door to a new area, and you might notice the video pause and maybe stutter for a moment. This is the result of the video card having to pause to load new texture data for that particular area of the game. Cards with faster memory and VPUs load this data faster; cards with more memory can load more of the data into video RAM. In each instance, the result is less noticeable pauses.

To make a long story short (too late ), if it was just an extra few bucks, then I think you did the right thing. High end games may be playable at low resolutions on your current card (640x480, or possibly 800x600 with a bit of tweaking), but I think a 64MB card would have been painfully tedious to use on such games.
 
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Old 04-05-05, 09:32 AM
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As for the second bit about resolution and anti-aliasing: amount of video RAM isn't a factor (as it was 10 or so years ago) in actually running a game at a certain resolution. Your card could theoretically run DOOM 3 at 1024x768; however, your VPU would not be able to process the amount of information that would be required to send images to your monitor. The result would be either a "slide-show" like effect or, more likely, your computer might crash, or the game just won't let you run it at that res.

Resolution is generally more important than anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing will kind of blur and smooth the edges of your images to give them a more natural appearance. For example, a catwalk railing will appear more like a straight line with anti-aliasing turned on, as opposed to short, connected line segments that are stair-stepped. However, higher resolutions will give your images much more definition in general, and make them more realistic - it also takes more processing power.

In either case, more memory can improve performance, but not nearly as much as a bump up in processing power.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 01:02 AM
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Thanks for your detailed explanation.
 
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Old 06-12-05, 11:36 PM
altiris
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keep in mind that the pc manufacturer recommends you turn off HT for graphics and 3d rendering and games
 
 

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