Well, a couple of weeks ago my video card, a XFX GeForce 8600GT XXX, popped two caps, no it didn’t go gangster, it just decided to give up on me. So I replaced it with an XFX ATI 4850 video card which I purchased from Best Buy. I know, I could have bought it from Newegg.com or even Tigerdirect.com, but wanted it now and didn’t want to wait for it. First impressions from the box, says you are buying a mean piece of hardware here, with a Gig of ram on it and a Teraflop of instructions possible, OH YEAH!! Opened the box and took a look at the card itself, Holy Crap, it is a menacing looking little beast, it is a double slot video card, and covered one of my PCI slots, no big deal.
Decided I should install this thing and looked at the two manuals inside the box, I noticed both manuals talked about different aspects and neither talked about the entire install process. One covered the physical install and the other covered the software install, so I installed the software first like many of my hardware installs told me to do, and then installed the hardware. My screen instantly went to an ungodly resolution as it should have but not wide screen. So I checked the properties of the display and it was stated to be a generic VGA card. So I installed the software again, after reboot the display went wide screen and all was well, so install the hardware first and then the software for this card.
Checking out a couple of games I had installed, Halo and Battlefield 2, to see the graphics abilities of the card, and I was pleasantly surprised after some work on my part. Halo just worked fine although the graphics are kinda blocky anyway. Battlefield 2 on the other hand just kept crashing to desktop, on my Server 2008 R2 machine. So I went looking for some help, to which I found not many ideas, so I did what I thought I should do and deleted my profiles, and low and behold, it fired up fine. I set the graphics to full bore in the game and it was pretty stunning, the card ran beautifully. The old 8600 struggled at medium, but the new 4850 runs fine at high quality. So if you want a decent card at a mid level price tag you may want to consider the 4850, unless you can plop down some more money and go for a 5800 series, since this does get you directx 11, which the 4850 only gets you 10.1.