Hi. I've found this very nice chart
which compares what are hopefully the most important qualities of video cards. I have a few questions still, though.
1. First of all, I noticed the chart doesn't mention the amount of memory any of the cards have. Is memory not as important as I may have thought it was before, and only secondary to the qualities actually listed here, or is it just as important? I've noticed some versions of even the higher end cards have only 128MB, while some cards below them have 256MB (ie. Radeon 9800 Pro has 128, while 9600 XT has 256.) What exactly makes these higher end ones better despite having less memory?
2. Second: How important are each of these qualities relative to each-other?
3. More importantly, for each one of them, what are the minimum specs I'll need to run games like halflife 2, lineage 2, shadowbane, etc without sacrificing any quality, and to at least make something like battlefield 2 playable (ie. very little or virtually no lag when the quality settings are at a minimum.)
4. How do these cards differ when made by people other than nVidia and ATI? eg, is a sapphire radeon inferior to an ati radeon, and is an xfx geforce inferior to an nVidia geforce? If so, in what ways? Which of these other manufacturers are good, and which should I watch out for?
5. AGP vs PCI-E. Is it worth it to pay extra for a card that has the same specs but is PCI-E (rather than spending the extra money on a better AGP card)? If so, why? Are all PCI-E cards SLI ready (in case I want to use it in the future, it'll be easier to upgrade) and if not, which ones are? Is there anything else I should know about AGP and PCI-E?
Thank you very much for your help.