GFX card decision

By andy06shake
Nov 12, 2008
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  1. I am thinking of purchassing a new GFX card for my rig and was wondering whats the best option, do i get another EN9600GT and run both in SLI mode? or should i go for a Radeon HD 4870 X2 or GeForce GTX 280? If i get 2 EN9600GTs will i need a new PSU? My specs E8500 3.16Ghz, ASUS P5N32-E SLI, ASUS EN9600GT, 2Gb DDR2 Kingston 667Mhz, 570W Trust Pro PSU. email removed
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    We would need to know a lot more about your planned use. Do you really have a need for SLI mode?
    Whether you need a new power supply depends on what you have now.
    My choice would be the Radeon HD 4870 X2 or GeForce GTX 280 unless you are trying to impress somebody.
    Either card will handle the needs of 99 percent of all users.
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    A new faster video card is much better than going for two cards, since SLI\Crossfire scaling varies from game to game and adding a second card may actually degrade performance in some cases.

    What card you should get depends on what resolution you game at. The HD 4870 X2 is only recommended if you'll game at 2560x1600. The GTX 280 is good for anything below that resolution.

    And yes, you'll need a new PSU for whatever new card you get. Your current one is a generic brand that is not recommended for a high-end gaming system. I'd recommend the Corsair 550VX as an excellent option.
  4. andy06shake

    andy06shake TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 326

    Corsair 550VX seems silly at 20W less than the generic Trust 570W that i have just now. I think i might go for the Corsair CMPSU-650TX at only £45 seems ok, as to the card my budget is around £170 since i need a new PSU. Can you recomend a new card in this price bracket?
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    That "silly" PSU puts out around 90% of its total power on the +12V rail, which is where most of the components in a modern computer system pull power from. Yours is probably capable of around half that number. So it's not really weak, if that's what you think.

    But yes, the Corsair 650TX is an excellent one as well, nice choice.

    As for the card, I'd recommend this as the best choice for your price range.
  6. Jien23

    Jien23 Newcomer, in training Posts: 20

  7. andy06shake

    andy06shake TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 326

    Reading that article on generic PSUs is scary, guess they dont do what they say on the tin! new PSU is now a must. Still wondering about a GFX card though. If i purchase a Sapphire HD 4850 Toxic Edition 512MB GDDR3 for £160 will it be 100% compatable with my main board(ASUS P5N32-E SLI) because at heart this is an nvidia board, uses SLI instead of Crossfire, has an nforce 680i chipset, could this be a problem? Also my ASUS EN9600GT has 512Mb of DDR3, how much of an improvment will this card give me?
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    Yeah, you can use an NVIDIA card on a Crossfire-supporting board and an ATI card on an SLI-supporting board without any problems.

    As for performance, the HD 4850 is able to edge out the 9800GTX+, so the performance jump should be quite substantial.
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