Tombo, I'm glad you're happy with the 5200 but that doesn't change the fact that the card is a piece of crap.
The fact of the matter is that your expectations are awfully low. 1280x1024 at medium to high detail?
Admittedly, that's the maximum a SXGA display will do, but you think that running GTA Vice City at 1280x1024 and high detail is asking a lot of a graphics card?
Please tell me you're joking.
I'll bet that you're not running them with AA and AF enabled either, are you? That would explain the barely playable 40fps that say you're getting. I'm surprised it's that high with a 5200. But running without AA and AF would explain that.
Moreover, the games that you're running are not exactly exemplary of the current cutting edge. SimCity 4 has high fillrate requirements, but is not exactly graphics intensive. Hell, GTA: VC would run fine on a Rage 128GL 32MB... and you're using it to prove that the GeForce FX5200 is a decent card?
The Rage128 is a DX6 or DX7 class GPU that dates from the late '90s. I would hope that the GeForceFX could at least keep up with that
As for the image quality, take a look at these screenshots
. That is with the detail, AA & AF settings at maximum for both cards.
And yet you insist that the graphics look great. I suppose if you compare them to a TNT2, then yeah... they look pretty good. But, compared to ATi's cards-or Matrox's for that matter-nVidia's image quality has always been abysmal.
Moreover, the benchmarks do not indicate that the 5200 is so slow that you "would be lucky to play solitaire," as you put it. They do
indicate that the FX5200 is slower than the card it replaces, the Ti4200, and in fact, is on par with or slower than the GeForce4 MX460 and 440.
And that's only in DX8. Try running a DX9 class game on that 5200.
Are you aware of how nVidia got the GeForce FX out the door with "DX9" support before Microsoft had even finalized the DX9 spec?
nVidia decided to write their own spec for DX9. Not only has this resulted in game developers such as Valve having to go back and re-write code to get it to run on the GeForce FX, it also explains the abysmal DX9 performance of the entire GeForceFX line. Your 5200 will never run Half Life 2 (for example) "The Way It's Meant to Be Played," because the 5200 cannot run DX9 code at anything much faster than a slide show. So, you'll get one of two things- either Valve's watered-down DX9 code for GeForce FX cards, or you'll be stuck running it in DX8. Doom 3 and all the other DX9-class games that are on the horizion are going to be the same way.
Also, are you aware of the fact that the FX5200 is based on the GeForce 4MX, which is based on the GeForce2? You just paid money for a notebook that has a GeForce2 with DX9 support that it's too slow to use.
And, on top of that, you seem to think that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread...
And don't even drag my avatar into the discussion. It has no relevance whatsoever to the discussion at hand. And beyond that, you seem to suffer from a common misconception about Mercedes- that they're expensive. Go look at the prices for Mercedes that are 10 years old or older. They're not nearly as expensive as you think they are, and since Mercedes are typically good for 300,000 miles or more if you take care of them, the fact that they may have 100,000 miles on them is virtually immaterial.
Anyhow, I'm glad you're happy with your 5200. But you still got screwed. The fact of the matter is that right now, ATi's cards are significantly faster, and the image quality is still superior. If you want a serious gaming system, right now, ATi is the only logical choice- in desktops or laptops.