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Advice on the best Video Card for my budget

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a c 148 U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 12:06:21 PM

I am currently looking at possibly upgrading my video card. I am, for the most part, happy with my current setup but am starting to see newer games causing some performance issues at high settings. I like to see all the eye candy, but don't want to pay through the nose to get it. My budget is about $300 but its flexible if there is a good argument to go slightly over this. I am looking at the 3870, 8800gt, and 8800gts(g92) cards. These are my thought's on each, please give me your input. Keep in mind I do Overclock so keep this in mind.

3870 (Sapphire $250): Cheap but would a 8800gt be better? how well do they overclock?

8800GT(XFX $250): same cost as 3870, don't like the single slot cooler so i would probably get aftermarket and OC.

8800GTS(XFX $300): $50 for dual slot cooler and higher stock clock. I feel better OCing this on stock cooling.

Also, Would my 600 Watt PSU be sufficient to power any of these cards? Remember I have the x1900xtx right now and I figure if it powers this overheating bastard it will be fine on any of the appove.

Input?

More about : advice video card budget

a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 12:28:06 PM

600 W is fine for the PSU.
Rather than getting the 8800GT and buying aftermarket cooling, get the 8800GTS for the same price.
February 4, 2008 12:33:51 PM

jay2tall said:
I am currently looking at possibly upgrading my video card. I am, for the most part, happy with my current setup but am starting to see newer games causing some performance issues at high settings. I like to see all the eye candy, but don't want to pay through the nose to get it. My budget is about $300 but its flexible if there is a good argument to go slightly over this. I am looking at the 3870, 8800gt, and 8800gts(g92) cards. These are my thought's on each, please give me your input. Keep in mind I do Overclock so keep this in mind.

3870 (Sapphire $250): Cheap but would a 8800gt be better? how well do they overclock?

8800GT(XFX $250): same cost as 3870, don't like the single slot cooler so i would probably get aftermarket and OC.

8800GTS(XFX $300): $50 for dual slot cooler and higher stock clock. I feel better OCing this on stock cooling.

Also, Would my 600 Watt PSU be sufficient to power any of these cards? Remember I have the x1900xtx right now and I figure if it powers this overheating bastard it will be fine on any of the appove.

Input?


I dunno ,,kinda leaning towards buying a none over clocked and then doing my own i have the asus 8800gt with the vantec power cooler 6 pro dual slot,gotta push that heat right outta the case asap,and a 420 wtt psu,so you should be ok ,,600wtt yeah!!... :) )
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February 4, 2008 2:11:54 PM

You can get the EVGA 8800GT at the EGG for $230 shipped.
a c 148 U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 3:17:01 PM

bildo123 said:
You can get the EVGA 8800GT at the EGG for $230 shipped.


Where's the link for this one? I only saw the XFX for $250 + shipping. The EVGA was outta stock and was $240. Unless you are looking at the 256MB ones which I am not interested in.

I am only iffy on the GT's because i plan to overclock eventually after I feel it is stable and fine stock. The single slot worries me a bit. $230 is a good price shipped though if you can link me up.
February 4, 2008 3:20:54 PM

If you are buying an 8800 GT to replace the cooler I'd get an 8800 GTS with the better cooler and more Shaders.
a c 148 U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 3:25:16 PM

cnumartyr said:
If you are buying an 8800 GT to replace the cooler I'd get an 8800 GTS with the better cooler and more Shaders.


I'm really leaning toward this. Getting the non factory OCed card for $300 w/ $20 mail-in-rebate. I don't see many coolers out there for the 8800gt's anyways so id be stuck with the stock one for now. Besides a good cooler is $50 anyways so I may as well get the GTS. I haven't looked at Video Cards in a while but in sort of ruling out the 3870 because it appears the 8800's just kick their but anyways and have more OC headroom. The only thing I see OC restrictive is the memory since it's DDR3, but my experience with OC is that you don't gain much with this anyways.

Sound good?
February 4, 2008 4:04:46 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
How about getting this Evga model and overclocking yourself? The reason I pick this one is because if you register your card within 30 days of purchase, Evga allows you to overclock without voiding the lifetime warranty. It's only $15 more than the XFX model, and it has a $30 MIR.

Out of curiosity, how much are you planning to sell your X1900 for?
February 4, 2008 4:10:07 PM

Well, honestly it WAS $230 yesterday, now its $240 but still comes with the Eggs fast free shipping.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But I must warn anyways, OC is just not an option with the stock HSF unless you don't mind the cool sound of a turbine jet engine. If ya got the cash maybe the 8800GTS 512 with the rebate isn't a bad deal either. I personally put a Accelero S2 on my 8800GT. I volt modded it and got it to 770/1925/1040 at 1.25V idle
February 4, 2008 4:42:03 PM

I'd say go for the 8800GTS if you are into overclocking. You are already starting out on a faster card with a better HSF, so you'll get even higher yields.
February 4, 2008 4:43:05 PM

jay2tall said:
I'm really leaning toward this. Getting the non factory OCed card for $300 w/ $20 mail-in-rebate. I don't see many coolers out there for the 8800gt's anyways so id be stuck with the stock one for now. Besides a good cooler is $50 anyways so I may as well get the GTS. I haven't looked at Video Cards in a while but in sort of ruling out the 3870 because it appears the 8800's just kick their but anyways and have more OC headroom. The only thing I see OC restrictive is the memory since it's DDR3, but my experience with OC is that you don't gain much with this anyways.

Sound good?



The memory has a good 50-100 MHz left in it. It doesn't do much to help though.

Get an eVGA or XFX with Lifetime Warranties and eVGA has a stepup program if the 9800 GTX comes out. They also both support overclocking.

Mine does 820 MHz core. I can't complain. (Stock Cooler, no volt mod).
February 4, 2008 6:01:24 PM

cnumartyr said:
The memory has a good 50-100 MHz left in it. It doesn't do much to help though.

Get an eVGA or XFX with Lifetime Warranties and eVGA has a stepup program if the 9800 GTX comes out. They also both support overclocking.

Mine does 820 MHz core. I can't complain. (Stock Cooler, no volt mod).


Wait a sec......XFX also supports overclocking? Can you please confirm that? If they do that would be sweet.........

I'm just a little sceptical because I've looked and haven't yet found anything that says they do.
a c 148 U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 6:20:20 PM

Avenger_K said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
How about getting this Evga model and overclocking yourself? The reason I pick this one is because if you register your card within 30 days of purchase, Evga allows you to overclock without voiding the lifetime warranty. It's only $15 more than the XFX model, and it has a $30 MIR.

Out of curiosity, how much are you planning to sell your X1900 for?


I've been partial to XFX, mainly because I've had cards from them in the past. As for my x1900xtx I am selling it for $125 plus whatever shipping is if it needs shipped. I was going to mess around and put it on eBay but the selling prices on there are all over the place from $66- $150 for some odd reason, nothing stable. I just want a modest amount for it. I have a buddy who runs LAN parties in his basement and know alot of people. So whoever wants it is welcome to it.
a c 148 U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 6:47:48 PM

Ok so I bought the XFX 8800GTS vanilla card over lunch. I don't like paying for the stock OC unless the cooler is better or hardware is better. So what does everyone use to overclock? My last Nvidia was an AGP 6800 that all you needed was a reg hack to add a clock slider that you can crank up. What do they use now?

I use ATI Tray Tools for my card now because the ATi drivers don't allow OC over a certain speed.

So here is another Question. Is the stock HSF on the GTS good enough to OC to a decent stable speed? Since it uses less power I would figure it doesnt throw off as much heat as my x1900xtx which I could make toast on.
a c 148 U Graphics card
February 5, 2008 10:10:22 AM

Sweet thanks. I was searching around and it seems Rivatuner is the way to go. I used it breifly a while ago but other than that I havn't touched it. So how does it run? is it a service or a program that runs at start up? My ATI tray tools has a HUD that allows me to see FPS and gpu on the fly in the corner. Does this has something similar?

Also, what are normal, hot, cool temps for these cards? just so i know when it is heating up to much or is running cool as a cucumber?
February 5, 2008 10:12:45 AM

Riva doesn't have a "stress" feature like ATi. That is why I use both (Riva to set clocks, ATi to Artifact scan). It runs at startup and is driver level, so you can choose to apply the OC on startup or just when you decide to play a game.

Operating temperature is 75-85C. Mine doesn't get over 60C with 60% Fan Speed.
a c 148 U Graphics card
February 5, 2008 11:29:54 AM

Ok so Rivatuner will run at startup if configured to do so? I am assuming you can set it to launch via registry not just a startup shortcut. I recall using this to unlock my old 6800 AGP card. Anyways. So you run your fan at 60%? that keeps it cool and not to loud? I have quiet fans all over my PC because it is in the same room that I sleep. I have a fan control for the CPU and GPU cooler now but obviously this would no longer operate my GPU fan.

Also, you said you don't get over 60C? is that at load in a game? just curious. I am just not familiar with the Nvidia OCing anylonger. I see you have 820. Was this difficult to achieve and how much room to play on these is there?

Ok I just thought of another question, sorry for so many. My ATI runs in 2 modes 2D and 3D. It clocks down when in 2D to around 500MHz on both GPU and MEM. Then when in a game the driver cranks it up. Is this the same with Nvidia cards or how do they operate?
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