Okay, now that I have discovered how thoroughly crappy ProSavage 8 onboard video is, I'm setting my sites on an Asus GeForce FX5200 from Amazon.com. I have a $50 gift certificate for Amazon, and the thing costs under $50 so I figure it can't hurt that much...
Anyway, I've heard some really, really conflicting things about FX series cards. Some say they rock, others say they're well worth what you pay for them, and not a few say that they suck utterly... So, I'd like to know if anyone here has any experience with them? Can an FX5200 handle an occasional bout of BZFlag, or will it tank out - pardon the pun - unless I turn off all extra details, etc.? Will it be good for a while, even as applications of all sorts suck up more and more rendering power, or will it be insuffient from the word go?
I have an FX 5200 with 128M RAM, and I can assure you it's less than average... in fact I think that the GF2 Ti200/ 32 MB that I had some four years ago was a faster card on glxgears.
Also, it barely supports any framebuffer mode, either with the analog connector or both analog and DRI... a direct result is that most liveCD's fail to bring on a usable X with it (only excheptions so far Kanotix 2005.2 which works after a couple of alt+ctrl+backspaces, and the older nvidia edition of PCLOS 8.1a).
On the other hand, with DRI on the picture quality is quite good, and another bonus is that (my model at least) is totally silent (no fan, just a heatsink).
The latest nvidia drivers work well with it, but to have acceptable results with some GL apps you'll need quite a bit of tweaking of the nvidia driver (plz consider it as a sport, or else buy another card...).
Microshaft delenda est
The FX 5200 is the "smallest" VGA of the FX range. For most 3D things, it's about as fast as a GF2, just supporting more features (let's call them "DX9-Features"). I personally wouldn't use it for gaming, but then, I own an FX5800 as well as a TFT display with 1600x1200 native resolution which taxes the VGA mightily.
Depending on what you expect your game experience to be like and what resolutions you need, it's either an inexpensive, sensible upgrade or money down the drain.
For gaming @ <= 1024x768, it should be fine. If you need higher resolutions, (or want to play newer games), go for a more recent VGA. If you can wait, that's even better--NV just launched a new chipset, and low-level boards should be available inside the next two to three months.
Ahh... So then it sucks for my purposes.
How about the GF4 MX4000? How do those compare to FX cards?
I have the nVidia 5200 FX 128 MB card as well. I don't do any gaming so it works fine for me. I had a riva tnt2 card before that died.
No problems ever with my FX5700.
5200 fx, works like a charm for wurm, cube, bzflag, etc... I have had no problems, the drivers work fine, etc... great card, it's the 128mb version. I also use it for 3d work and game dev, and it works quite well for that too, plus nvidia works better with blender than ati.
p4 2.0gHz - 423pin
Plays Enemy Territory just great, except it slows down a bit in that level with the rain... oh it hates that rain! It's capable of HL2(native, when emulated it sucks hard) at mediocre settings, but that's more because of my ram and cpu. I'd give you some stats, but I'm kind-of 1200-something miles away from it right now.
I guess the real question is "What other games/CAD/eye candy were you planning on running?" I didn't think bzflag was that intensive, but I've never played/seen it so I'm not sure.
=> Now known as jb
BZFlag isn't that intensive. Doesn't keep it from stinking on my box.
Chances are, I'll never be playing any graphics-intensive games via WINE.... So I think that what's normally considered a sub-par video card might work for me. Of course, open-source games are going to get more demanding over time...
you should look for a GeForce4 Ti card instead of the MX series. I'm using an FX5700 and it's been alright for gaming, although Doom 3 sometimes gets choppy (Athlon XP 3200+, 512MB RAM, 1024x768) and half-life 2 is also pretty bad.
I have a ria tnt2 m64 32mb if you want it to play bzflag
geforce fx5200 128mb
Bzflag runs excellent, most options turn up high, smoothing, lighting,shadows off - get about 60-80 fps.
Here's the scoop. The FX line should be called the EX cards for "Embarrassing xPerience). I bought GeForce FX 5200's simply because they are only $30 now and the only reasons I wanted to upgrade from my GeForce 2 was because the nvidia driver starting to lose support for older cards, and I do game development and I want to be able to use shaders. It's fast enough for me because it'll run Doom III and UT2k4 at acceptable speeds. If you want to go serious gaming then the 6xxx line is for you.
6xxx line? No thanks, those things are expensive as hell. I suppose that if I want a nVidia card, I'll get a MX4000.
At this point, though, it's more likely that I'll end up with an old ATI from a computer someone's thrown away.
I have a Chaintech 6200 that I got for $50 after rebates. It is PCI Express though, but it runs everything pretty smoothly so far. I have not tested on anything really graphics intensive to fully know how much it can handle though.
The 6200 is a good card for the money and much better than the FX series IMHO.
Don't get anything from teh MX series, especially not a GF4 MX (GF MX4000 = GF4 MX440). They are worse than the FX series. GF4 MX is basically an overclocked GF2 card. Some of the higher end GF2 cards are better than them, actually. I don't know why they even call it GF4, it is clearly deception. MX means crap hardware.
Now that I think about it, the 5200FX is probably just as bad as the GF4 MX series. Hrm tough choice... But the 5200 is probably better. For ~$35 USD you aren't going to get much, but it will be better than onboard crap
6200 is a good choice, its the next generation budget card. It's twice the price of the 5200 at ~$70 and has more than double the performance. Then again, you could add another $30USD on top of that and get a 6600 which is much better once again. The best performance/$ is probably the 6600GT.
But if you want a sub-$50USD card, I'd go with the 5200.