Summer PC: Graphics card

  • Gran Turismo: An enthusiast’s PC geared towards PC gaming
  • Easy Penny: A very reasonable PC able to sustain a few years without letting its owner down

To start with Easy Penny, the most reasonable PC, the integration of a graphics card inside the motherboard leaves the cost perfectly well managed. Added cost: 0€.

Eactly on the opposite, to play with PC video games, Gran Turismo requires a graphics card up to the level expected by most game designers of today (and of the near future). For this, I chose to look at cards able to support DirectX 10 (even though there is still no title adapted to this standard) and the eyes fall automatically on nVidia. The current offering from AMD-ATI (now only the Radeon HD 2900 XT) is obviously not mature enough and eats a electricity like if there was no end to oil reserves; This is not good for long-term reliability, cooling fans noise and overclocking capability (for the most adventurous ones).

Sparkle SF-PX88GTS640 graphics cardCurrently, the nVidia 8800 GTS 320MB boards are outrageously attractive. If you do not have a very large screen, 320 MB will be ample enough (if your screen is 1900×1200 or more go for 640MB) [1]. But the 8800 GTS 640 MB boards are much more expensive. Don’t wait! Get 320 MB, it’s a bargain.

As nVidia organized strictly the manufacturing of the boards of its partners, nearly all of them look identical (except for the color). The add-ins are the only real difference in the box. But since we wanted to go for a bargain price (if you need some games, look for the bundles), we went to a Sparkle SF-PX88GTS640.

We will add more to the configuration in future posts, but we currently have:

  • Gran Turismo: 284€ for a Sparkle SF-PX88GTS640 graphics (current total: 651€)
  • Easy Penny: 0€ for the integrated graphics of a Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard (current total: 232€)

All prices are the best we could find in France at writing time.