Cheapest video card I can get to completely max out video settings in WoW?

By Ruu
Dec 23, 2008
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  1. Hi all,

    Cobbling together a new build very slowly and am undecided about the video card.

    Mobo: Asus P5E-VM HDMI
    Proc: Intel E8600
    RAM: 2 x 2 GB DDR2 1066

    Everything else is just a mish-mash that I haven't quite decided on yet---I'm sort of Frankensteining this thing together as I go.

    My question:

    My monitor supports 1240 x 1024, max. I plan to get a nice big monitor and a nice powerhouse of a card much, much later, so right now, I want the cheapest thing that I can get that will still let me turn up the eye candy in WoW. Which card should I be looking at? HD3850? 3870? 4850? Haven't paid that much attention to nVidia's offerings, either.

    I have no qualms buying off eBay or buying second-hand, as I have always had very good luck with that, so feel free to suggest something that's not on the market anymore.

    I don't even know where to start, so any suggestion(s) would be helpful.

    Thanks for reading!

    ~ Ruu

    Also posted this in the Video Cards forum, so if there's a problem, please delete this thread here, and my apologies.
  2. poteljito

    poteljito Newcomer, in training Posts: 42

    WoW eyecandy? xD Didn't notice that it has it lol. Go with the hd4850 or hd3870. Best buy solution IMO.
  3. davx

    davx Newcomer, in training

    I suggest you a geforce 8500gt , its enough to play Wow and its cheap (30€-40€)
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,274   +259

    They've done a bit of a tune up to the graphics engine after the WotLK update - I've even noticed on my daughter's machine which has a Q6600 + 8800GT that it can drop below 60fps sometimes. I run Vsync @ 1920x1200 on her machine though so dropping the rez will help some. Also, I don't run the shadows at maximum detail because I noticed a difference in performance when I did. I also noticed on my machine that if I ran max detail on shadows there were lots of glitches. I've heard this is due to problems with the new shadowing mechanics and SLI configurations - but apparently it doesn't affect everyone set up this way. My buddy has a 4850 (I've never seen it being used) and raves about the performance of that card.
  5. BMfan

    BMfan TechSpot Guru Posts: 471   +47

    I would say if you can afford it go with the 4850,it's newer and performs slightly better than the 3870.
  6. Ruu

    Ruu Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Yeah, I've noticed that the new engine is very sparkly and pretty and a total resource hog. ;)

    Hmm, that's interesting to note. Though I've noticed that Dalaran seems to particularly loathe everyone in it. I also suspect that there's something about the AGP drivers that causes the whole area to wildly bug out of control.

    Would a 3870 not be able to handle the shadows very well? The 4850s seem to be such power hogs; I was actually leaning toward the 3870s, but that's 2 votes now for the 4850s. I guess it's not that much more money, though. Mostly I was considering that whatever card I get now won't be carried over to my new 30" screen that I intend to get in about... oh, a year. Lol. ;)

    Any other opinions? Thanks for the ideas so far!

    ~ Ruu
  7. poteljito

    poteljito Newcomer, in training Posts: 42

    30'' screen? If you could please explain. Why on earth would you buy it? For that screen size (bigger resolution) you will have to have a good graphics card.
  8. Ruu

    Ruu Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Well, I'm obviously not decided on a 30" screen, lol. But 22"-24" seems to be the "sweet spot" right now, so I think it's a safe assumption to move up to ~30" in a few years.

    My point is, my current 17" isn't even widescreen, so I don't want to spend any more extra money on a good graphics card than I have to. In a few years, I will update my graphics card AND my monitor, so right now, I'm looking for the cheapest, most low-power card that can handle max video settings at WoW (it's the only graphics-intense thing that I do).
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