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Cheap Asus/Nvidia videocard


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Hello everyone,

This is not about the game itself but rather about the hardware on which to play it. I am looking to buy a videocard, because the builtin video of my new motherboard and CPU is a rather pitiful affair. It is only supported under Linux (Xubuntu) with an open source driver that does not provide adequate 3D acceleration. It lets me play 0AD only with all the effects under "Settings" disabled, and that just does not look very inspiring to me.

So I was wondering if anyone here has been playing 0AD with this card:

Asus EN210 SILENT/DI/1GD3/V2(LP)

I like the fact that it is cheap and has no fan. It is based on Nvidia Geforce 210 which appears to be well supported with both Nouveau open source and Nvidia proprietary drivers. I am not after any sort of extreme graphics performance, but as I said, I do want 0AD to look its best and run smoothly at 1920×1080. Will this card be capable to do this for me?

Alternatively, there is this:

Asus GT610-SL-1GD3-L

This is a little less cheap and probably a bit faster, based on Nvidia Geforce GT 610 (for what it is worth).

I would appreciate any words of wisdom regarding these cards.

Oh, and a big Thank You to the developers of this great game of course. With each update it looks more and more interesting.

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The Asus 210 won't do much good, it's afwully slow. De GT610 however will get 0 A.D playable. I myself am running the game at a 610M with all effects enabled about 60~70fps at a 1366x768 resolution.

However you'd better get a card with enough performance at Full HD, say at least this one:

http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/GT6401GD5L/

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Don't go for later Nvidia cards that are low range.

Rather get an older model, such as an nvidia 9500 which in my opinion is a good card even today, despite age.

Alternately, you can also get an GTS 250 which is more powerful, and if go on ebay, you may pick these up for the same price as a new 210 ...

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If you're content with a more powerful but older card, go with the GTS250. Don't go however with the gt9500. I had the gt9400 before upgrading to a GTS450 and that one wasn't to fast (though it was able to run games like Medieval II total war (which is a more demanding gaming then 0 AD)

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Niektb:

The Asus 210 won't do much good, it's afwully slow. De GT610 however will get 0 A.D playable. I myself am running the game at a 610M with all effects enabled about 60~70fps at a 1366x768 resolution.

However you'd better get a card with enough performance at Full HD, say at least this one:

http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/GT6401GD5L/

Thank you. So, the cheapest solution is out of the window. Of course I expected that already.

If your GT 610 card functions well, that would be an interesting option. However the GT 640 card you mention has a fan, which is something I was really hoping to avoid. How about something "in between", based on Nvidia GT 630:

GT630-SL-2GD3-L

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If you don't want to spend a lot of money, shop eBay for one. Lots of mid-range cards available cheap, many never been used - people get computers and immediately upgrade the graphics, sell the card that came in it stock. If you're not looking for high-end gaming capabilities, tons of bargains there.

Just did a quick search for that GTS250 Romulus mentioned, you could get one for $25 - $30. I go with ATI cards, myself - more good deals on them, and they work well enough.

I agree that any card with that much power should have a fan.

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I have a GTS 250 with 1 GB VRAM, and it works great for gaming in Linux though I am using the proprietary drivers. If you want open drivers you should rather get a Radeon 5xxx or 6xxx card.

I would honestly not recommend a card slower than the 250 for full HD gaming - the passively cooled 630 might be decent enough.

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Never look at those, these results are only theoretical. But still a GTS250 would perform a lot better than a GT630.

Since there are no direct comparisions you should compare the GTS250 with the GTS450 and the GTS450 with the GT640. That gives a indication of what you can expect from the GTS250:

http://www.overclock.net/t/835606/evga-gts-450-review-multi-gpu-comparison

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5969/zotac-geforce-gt-640-review-/9

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My little brother has the gt640 and I've had the gts250 for some time. Margin betwenn gts240 and gts 250 was quite big (I had a gt240 too) and margin between gt240 and gt640 was a night/day difference. So I'd say go for the gt640, it will be easier to find.

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  • 1 month later...

Niektb:

Thank you. So, the cheapest solution is out of the window. Of course I expected that already.

If your GT 610 card functions well, that would be an interesting option. However the GT 640 card you mention has a fan, which is something I was really hoping to avoid. How about something "in between", based on Nvidia GT 630:

GT630-SL-2GD3-L

Not sure if anyone was really wondering, but I ended up buying the GT630 card I mentioned in February. It is fanless which I was stubborn enough to insist on despite all the warnings. I am using it with NVidia proprietary drivers in Xubuntu 13.10. I am not sure how to measure its performance with any precision but at least it allows me to enable all the visual effects in 0AD and the gameplay does feel quite smooth (except for the well known lag that occurs when there are many units active in the game, I believe it is unrelated to GPU performance). Of course it also works with other 3D/OpenGL based programmes, though I don't use a lot ot those.

Temperatures seem to be well under control, I am only very rarely seeing values over 50° C. But I have a reasonably roomy "midi tower" case with a slow (and adjustable) exhaust fan in the back so that probably helps. During my usual work (on the web, word processing, a bit of system administration) the card does not add any significant heat at all to the system and I see values around 35° in those circumstances. Room temperature is around 22.

In short: from my perspective I believe I made a good choice. But if you are a more fanatical demanding gamer than me you are probably still going to think this card is crap. I paid € 57 for it.

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