Good Vid Card for the Right Price?

By Ubershank · 20 replies
Aug 20, 2008
  1. In a previous post (can't link due to anti spam feature) I was deciding on getting a new PC but since then I've come to the conclusion that the best performance for my PC would simply be a new graphics chip set since the processor and mobo are still up to standards and probably don't need to be touched for awhile longer, so I decided to budget for a $300-$400 (may be more) card(s) and would like some opinions on what would be a good buy, I'm looking to run games like Mass Effect, UT3, Supreme Commander, Oblivion, Spore, Crysis etc. and any new gen games coming soon that utilize the Physx and DX10 technology. Currently I'm looking to upgrade my dual Geforce 7950GTs and put them into a second more economical PC for home use.
  2. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    Because its not always up to the GPU to provide all the game performance, but also depends on other components, such as the CPU, it would be best for us to know your other specs first.

    Just in case because you might be better off with a CPU upgrade as well.

    Anyhow this one go's for 410$ after rebate;

    Another other good choice would be something like this;
  3. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    4600+ AMD Athlon 64X2 Processor *Edit* Wrong clock speed :D fixed now.
    2 gigs mem (corsair sticks)
    3 300gb seagate HDs
    the mobo I forgot the exact name its a nforce from gigabyte i believe, I'll have to dig around for it, it was good if not the best when I first picked it up
    650w PSU

    Like I said the system specs are still decent enough, in most of the newer games I've been playing I've experienced more slowdowns from the video then the processor, but for the most part I probably will pick up a new processor eventually unless I get a new card with the newer physics calculators to put less stress on CPUs.
  4. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Hmm, looking at the EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2 and the EVGA GeForce GTX 280 I'm kinda debating which one too nab, I don't want to go cheap with the 9800 GX2 but I don't wanna overspend either O.o

    Also I think this is close if not similar to what mobo I currently use, it was recommended by newegg users when I first purchased it and had no probs with it since.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    How about a 4870x2?

    They are finaly back in stock though they are $550, Which i guess, cheep for the card...Though consider if your powersupply can take it.

    I almost questioned your sugestion about the GTX until i remmeberd Nvidias price slash :). I suppose an in between choice is the GTX 260, $279

    I suppose you could SLI and use 2 graphics cards. What level of graphical detail do you intend to play your games? and what resolution (how big is your monitor)? I asume your going for Very high.
  6. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    heh that 4870 looks smoking hot! I haven't ran an ATI setup since the good ole days with my old Radeon 9800 several years ago!

    I do want to at least run my games at a higher setting then current ( for example I'm running Crysis on medium settings atm)

    I probably will get a second card I love SLI and it worked great with my 7950s which is why they are still are decent even up till now. Also I just have a simple 17' flat screen I'm not much of a big monitor guy, but may be some day I will get a 20' or bigger since a lot of folks I know are getting bigger ones too.
  7. Darth_Terra1

    Darth_Terra1 TS Rookie Posts: 212

    If you planning to SLi the 9800 GX2 there are a couple of things to be aware of, the card requires 550 watt minmum for one card in SLI 850 watt minimum, not only that the card requires two PCIe power cables one 6pin and one 8pin most power supplies dont have the 8 pin so a adapter would be needed if your's doesn't have one.. also be aware that it's been said it can draw close to 40A on the 12v rail so make sure that the power supply can handle it on that side of things as well.
  8. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    O.O Might as well build a small nuclear plant to power those bad boys :p anyway thanks for the heads up, still deciding which one to go with.
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Wow, crysis on medium, im impressed by those 7950's O.o. Anyway with your budget being "$300-$400 (possibly more)" i supposed we could always shove in a power supply too. What brand is your current power supply? And what power pins does it have? If you don't want to upgrade your power supply, it limits your choiced and makes it easier to decide.

    Corsair 750W $120

    Though i think we can through out the 4870x2 now first off because of its price, and second because with its "dual core" design and 2gb memory buffer, its max performance comes out in high resolutions (≈30" monitor) and with AA enabled. Its a relitivily easy task for it to simply run games on their highest graphical detail withought eyecandy.

    I just relised you said that for and AMD mobo, xD.
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    You do realize that with such powerful cards, you will be bottlenecked by your CPU? This will be especially evident with dual-GPU cards like the 9800GX2 and the HD 4870 X2. I recommend upgrading to the newly-released X2 5400+ BE. A small OC will have you over 3GHz and that would enable you to get the maximum performance out of any video card you want to use in your machine.
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Might as well continue your new PC thread in that case. But I think the best choice is either single 4870, GTX 260 or GTX 280 as they are simple single GPU solutions that seem to fit your budget.
  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    Rage is right. I had a similar issues with even older cards, 8800 ultra in sli. I had to overclock my cpu to the point it is now. In order to do that I also had to put together a watercooling kit.

    I dont think he's saying you need something at 4Ghz or higher. I would suggest something around 3Ghz dual cpu or even a cheap quad.
  13. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Hmm, well an analysis of each of my CPUs shows both running at roughly 2.4MHz I would OC but I have more exp OCing single core (used to do it alot back in the day) than dual core/ AMD processors. If it comes down to it I will upgrade the processor.

    As for other games yes its amazing what computers can do, I can run Crysis on medium with my setup but not without a hitch of course it does have its slowdowns and what not, it is "my" playable setting (I hate having to sacrifice quality) but I certainly can't play with it on-line at least not very effectively.

    We'll so far this is what i'll need now to upgrade:

    Windows Vista (Need to know what is a good version for a gamer)
    New Video Card(s)
    (Possibly but Highly Recommended) New Processor

    Hopefully I can run the figures and be able to reach a affordable total from what I've decided.
  14. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

  15. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,484   +45

    the 98 gx2 isnt really a bad card. As far as memory bandwidth its a good card. They dont make default clock speeds horribly fast with those things because of heat issues.

    for 300-400 dollars i would get a gx2 and a cpu that's better than the one you have, if you're willing to stretch for another 50 bucks im sure that can be done.
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I suppose so, As he has the necasary power wins
  17. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Right, Excellent info guys, I think what I will start with is a new CPU setup to something a little up to par may be one of the new Phenom
    good price and much better then my current system.
    I'll see how that works then start tailoring this system to what else is slagging behind.
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    That should be fine, assuming your mobo suppors quadcores. And theres still the fact that we havn't yet chosen a suitable graphics card.
  19. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Hmm good point I'll have to dig around and find my Mobo specs.


    Gigabyte S-series Mobo with AM2 Socket
    Dual-On DDR2 800+
    SATA 36b/s
    IEEE 1394
    Gigabit built in NIC

    I see now that I may have to get a new mobo too heh one that supports at least AM2+ for phenom otherwise the system bus speed gets downgraded on a regular AM2 socket :-(
  20. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    >.> your computer is old lol. I don't know about amd, but i don't think its that bad if the buss speed is a bit slower, after all, we have at this point pretty much discused almost all the crucial parts for a new computer. And you won't need a quad-core. An athlon x2 would be fine too.
  21. Ubershank

    Ubershank TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Hah, yeah I remember when I first put her together all my friends where in awe at the speeds she could go, now old age is catching up to her and even budget systems can zoom past :p

    Any way I think if a AM2+ is hooked up the system bus speeds are dropped from around HT3.0(5200MHz) to about HT1.0(2000 MT/s) but I believe the core frequency stays the same I think I might stick with a higher up athlon x2 just to keep my head above the water for now, eventually how ever I will have to replace the whole system QQ
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