Originally Posted by ssc456
right well heres the 1 i was gonna buy
but i generally wanted to know a bit more bout graphics cards for future reference
here is another example http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119117
says 128Mb supporting 512 MB so technically is there n e difference in the 2 cards ? im sure there is but i dunno
how do i tell how good a graphics card is in very simple terms lol
When it says, "128MB [or 256MB] supporting 512MB," it means that the card uses a TurboCache. Shankles is pretty dead-on; the 7100GS has 128MB of its own memory and drains up to the 384 remaining megabytes from the system RAM. You really want to avoid using any card with a TurboCache if at all possible, unless you're on a tight
A simple way to compare two cards is to check the speed and the bit-interface of the memory. For example, 256-bit memory is twice as fast as 128-bit memory of the same clock speed
. The shader units (usually called pixel pipelines) and the core/shader clocks also play a big role in performance. There are many other factors, but the memory and shader units are two of the most important.
The amount of RAM is usually never a bottleneck; however, at high resolutions the extra memory should prove to be beneficial. But as a general rule, a card shouldn't have any more than twice as much memory in MB as its bit-interface. The cards you listed both have a 64-bit memory interface, so anything more then 128MB is pretty much wasted.
Hope this helps...and sorry for the big post.
edit: Also, a great organization of cards in the order of performance can be found here
, though it doesn't take the new mid 8 series cards into consideration.