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First Person Shooter Strategies
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The video card is where you want to splurge. If you buy a real nice video card, it will outlast your CPU and motherboard, and you can use it in your next system. Again, don't go overboard for the latest and greatest, get a proven design with a good track record, and get one with plenty of onboard RAM and a higher clock speed.

Ask people in whatever game you are playing what they are using, and what they would get if they could have any video card. A good 128 MB or 256MB card will work fine.

The video cards will make a world of difference in the game. If you run into smoke or explosions, a slow video card will lag out and freeze you up, a high speed card will let you run without any difference. A personal story: I was using a 64MB Hercules video card, and it worked great. One day decided to upgrade to a 128MB PNY geForce 5200 card, a budget card, not peformance. The walls and textures of the game improved dramatically. The smoke caused less lag, but still some. For the $100 it was well worth it. If I spent $400 on a video card, I'm sure it would work better, but it really wouldn't help my scores 4x as much. Any money spent on computer hardware is diminishing returns. A $400 video card will only help your scores by a factor of 1.2x more than a $100 video card.

Here is a good video card that balances budget and performance:

GeForce FX 5500 Video Card, 8x AGP, 256MB DDR

GeForce FX 5500 Video Card, 8x AGP, 256MB DDR
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