First post, by gerry
I realise almost all my cards are budget cards, or at least ones that are now considered cheap
TNT2, Geforce 2mx, fx5200, geforce 6200
and some machines just stay with their integrated graphics!
one thing I've noticed is that they are never quite as bad as people made them out to be at the time, as long as you don't throw high end games (from the same year the card was released) with all the settings at them
i played far cry happily on an athlon xp2400 with an fx5200 without having to turn all settings low (just taking modest middle settings) and the same setup played UT2003 nicely and anything like UT99, quake3 etc looks really good at max settings
I'm not sure i actually have a point! Ah yes, there is one - lots of high end cards out there are very expensive, prohibitively so.
Rather than get a 'period correct' high end card its sometimes worth getting a later budget card, one that's really not considered good but in truth will play the games you want to play adequately, for me once a game gets to 30fps its doing fine already and in the heat of the action i don't really notice every water ripple or leaf sweating on the breeze anyway!