TechSpot

Need Advice on Graphics card for new build

By the grip
Feb 17, 2010
  1. I decided on all the items I want in my new PC build, but I'm a little confused and basically overwhelmed looking into graphics cards. So I've come to the pros for some advice. Here's what I have so far:

    Motherboard: AsRock P55 Pro
    CPU: Intel Core i5 750
    Memory: Corsair 2x2GB PC3-12800 DDR3 (CMX4GX3M2A1600C9)
    HardDrive: Western Digital 1TB 7200rpm (WD1001FALS)
    PowerSupply: Corsair 750w (CMPSU-750TX)
    Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Ultimate Gaming Case

    Now I'm confused between nVidia GTX 260 or Radeon HD 5770.
    Which one will work best with my set up? Does it matter if I'm using Intel and not AMD? I'm trying to get the best under $250.00.
    I was looking at the XFX GeForce GTX260 896MB GDDR3 PCI Express (GX260XADJC), but then the Radeon is running Direct X 11 and might be better in the long run. For that I was looking at either:
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5 or
    XFX HD 5570 1GB DDR5 (HD-577x-ZNFC) , but then I saw this one and couldn't even determine what the difference is the XFX HD 5570 (HD-577A-ZNDC)
    Please help me get the best graphics card out of these. OH! I almost forgot what I'm using the PC for, well my son is a constant WOW player and I will be downloading, converting, and burning movies. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,905   +715

    What kind of time frame are you looking at for the build?
    If the GTX480/470 cards from nVidia launch on schedule (probably mid-late March) you'll see the HD 5850 price fall into the $US250 bracket which would give you comparitive performance to a GTX285 + the added advantage of DX11.
    If you need a card for the build before that I would recommend getting a placeholder card -just something to use until the prices drop and then can sell.
    If you're looking for a keeper now then I'd opt for the HD 5770- it's close enough to the GTX260 in performance that the DX11 would swing the deal towards the ATI card.
    The HD-577A-ZNDC is the factory overclocked version of the card (875MHz core, 1300MHz memory) while the -ZNFC is clocked at 850MHz core and 1200MHz memory (standard clocks).
    You are most likely going to have to settle for one very good card as you could see a performance hit with the second card being limited to PCIe x4 bandwidth. So running a cheaper ATI card then picking up another when prices drop is probably not going to net a large performance boost as opposed to one mainstream/enthusiast card.
    Both nVidia and ATI cards can enable hardware acceleration - ATI cards also have the use of the AVIVO media encoder should you wish to use it.
     
  3. the grip

    the grip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 47

    Time is not a factor so if I'm understanding correctly I should wait for the HD 5850 and then I would have a very good card with the DX11. Do you recommend cards with the factory overclock? Also since it's already there do you think the hardware I chose will give me good performance for gaming and video converting? I'm going to be running windows 7 64bit. Thanks for the advice. At least that explained some of my confusion with the video cards.
     
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Getting a factory overclocked card is a good idea if you don't want to overclock it yourself, or don't want to chance the GPU heatsink. They tend to be a little tricker to change compared to CPU heatsinks, but once you've done it once, its no biggie.

    Factory overclocked cards tend to come with better heatsinks, and therefore run a little quieter than their standard cards.

    Before rushing out to buy one tho, just make a quick check into the price of the next card up, sometimes the next card up might just be a few dollars more.... but do your research on their performances.

    As far as windows 7 is concerned, I don't think that would matter with any new hardware. OS would matter if you were running something obsolete... Windows 98 anyone?


    Also, I'm not buying into all this Dx11 crap. Higher-end Dx9 cards are still performing okay as long as you're not going for maximum settings, therefore mid-end Dx10 card onwards would perform brilliantly. Therefore, if presented with a choice between the 5770 and the GTX260, I'd go for the GTX 260. It'll last me long enough until my next upgrade (which would probably be when Dx12 gets released....)
     
  5. the grip

    the grip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 47

    I think that is where I'm getting confused. From everything I've read on forums and reviews it almost seems to come down to a personal preference. GeForce vs Radeon. The problem I guess I'm having is that this is my first video card so I don't have a preference yet.
    I guess I'll just take a leap on either and see how I like it. Thanks
     
  6. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,059   +76

    Also keep in mind that ATI is preparing to launch Radeon HD 5830 soon. Which will sit somewhere between 5850 and 5770. So if the prices doesn't come down, and if nVidia's upcoming GTX4xx is not on par with ATI's 5xxx series that may turn out to be a good choice (assuming the prices don't drop by much).
     
  7. the grip

    the grip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 47

    It looks to me like there is a lot happening with Graphics Cards in the near future and maybe I should wait to see what all comes out and how that affects the prices on them. It's nice to know that stuff cause I'm in no hurry so maybe waiting a month will work out well.
     
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