Suggestion for new graphics card

By yRaz
Dec 20, 2010
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  1. I have been needing an upgrade for a long time. I wanted to wait longer but the fan on my 8800GT died. I'm currently running off the HD4250 on my motherboard.

    My price range was going to be $350, since I didn't want to upgrade now I'm going to have to settle with something between $150-$250. I'm not entirely sure how much money I want to spend, but I want to get it soon after Christmas.

    My specs are:
    AMD Phenom II X3 720BE(3.8ghzOC)
    MSI 880GM-E43
    OCZ Reaper DDR3-1600
    8800GT(dead now)
    700watt OCZ StealthXtreme PSU

    I currently have a 19'' 1440X900 monitor but I am planning to upgrade to a 1920X1200 monitor as soon as possible.

    I don't think the other stuff is important.

    I was looking for something in the GTX 570 category or the 6950. The 6950 is faster than the 570, but I don't like ATi drivers. Those aren't really in my price range anymore so I have been looking at the GTX 465. I don't know which is better, the 465 or the 6850. Both can be had for ~$200. I think it would be cool to crossfire or SLi.

    I wanted something that can play crysis 2 @1920X1200(maybe AA?) with reasonable frames when it comes out. Given my current budget, what would be my best option? Or should I just tough it out and wait till i have more money?
  2. EDO219

    EDO219 Newcomer, in training Posts: 298

    Perhaps my tired brain is missing some thing, but I think your motherboard has one PCI-E x16 slot so a CrossFire or SLi setup wouldn't really work. My new build uses two Radeon cards and man oh man have those drivers been a nightmare.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,788   +639

    1.If you don't like the 6950's driver then you're probably not going to like the 6850's driver much better...if you see what I mean.
    Duo: The GTX 465....in a word...NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    3. These kind of prices should hold for the near future. In order of preference:
    PowerColor HD 6870 1Gb ( $200 after MIR),
    EVGA GTX 460 SC 1Gb ($190 + $20 MIR)
    Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1Gb ($190 + $20 MIR)
    Either of these cards is likely to make Crysis 2 playable, with the opportunity to add a second card in future.
  4. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    Hi Raz :wave:,

    The following video cards fall into your ~$250 budget and currently the market is stacked with great value in that range.

    Radeon 6850 (~$185) | GTX 460 1GB (~$200) < Radeon 6870 (~$240) | GTX 470 (~$260) < Radeon 6950 (~$300) < GTX 570 (~$350)

    Note: I left the GTX 465 out as that card is rather pointless unless you get one to unlock.

    At 1440x900 all cards will be more then capable at playing games maxed. For a 1920x1200 resolution all cards should be able to handle most games maxed albeit reduced AA/AF on the lower priced cards especially in heavy hitting titles like Metro 2033. Regarding Crysis 2 I don't believe we really know how demanding that game will be, but I would not be surprised if it ran better then the original as it looks like they are spending more time on optimizing it.

    For SLI/Crossfire as Pygmus points out you will be needing another motherboard as the MSI 880GM-E43 is a Micro ATX board. Even putting in one of those new cards might be a tight fit.

    With your current options I would say a Radeon 6870 / GTX 470 would be the best single card solution. However if you plan to upgrade your motherboard for SLI/Crossfire the GTX 460 / Radeon 6850 would be a great value especially with how well they perform.

    Regarding drivers, I've been using ATi/AMD for a couple generations and have been extremely please with few issues. I'm currently using the new Radeon 6850 and haven't had any major driver problems. It appears the past just wont get away from ATi, so if you feel uncomfortable with the drivers I say stick with Nvidia.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 862   +75

    I know that. I am not going to buy a motherboard with 2+ PCI-e 16X slots without knowing if I want crossfire or SLi. GPU comes first, then mobo

    Thanks for all the suggestions. The GTX 470 is looking pretty good. All of my friends have ATi and I just want to see some different hardware. The only concern i have is heat...

    So on the off chance that I SLi the 470, could my power supply handle it?
  6. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    Is this your current power supply? If so I'd say it might be best looking at another one to be on the safe side especially with an OC'd system. Also be aware that the GTX 560 is coming next year, and I'd imagine the 470 stock to start drying up quickly after that.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 862   +75

    no, I can't find the exact model anymore, I got it about 4 years ago. Anyway, i have had a 24/7OC on it the entire time I've owned it. I'm not worried about the power supply too much, it got great reviews when I bought it. I'm mostly wondering if 700watts is enough to run my overclock and 2 videocard(hypothetical videocards). If it is, do you think that age is a problem?
  8. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    That would be my concern too especially after 4 years and I can't comment with any certainty but only speculation. I personally would not chance it, all that new hardware and stress would not be worth the risk to me. Someone with more power supply expertise might chime in to see if my concerns are valid.
  9. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 862   +75

    I would say your concerns are valid. Whole reason I got this one is that i got a really cheap 800watt(some generic $30 garbage) and it blew up as soon as I hit the power switch. None of the hardware died, but this one I have currently was highly recommended to me at the time. It obviously wasn't a bad buy since I still have it. I have been kicking it's butt everyday of it's life though. That's not my main concern right now.

    I'm not planning on getting some ridiculous setup...at least not anytime soon...BUT I want to have all these things considered so I can save money in the long run. I do see SLi and crossfire as a cheaper(and awesome/cooler) way to upgrade rather than buying a new highend card.
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,390   +205



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