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I need a new video card. Which one

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 27, 2008 10:03:34 PM

Hi, I'm a gamer, and my GPU just can't give me the good graphics and high framerate I need. I did a build back in february and i cheaped out on my GPU using my ATI RADEON HD 3850. Well i'll be doing an upgrade on my GPU in the next 2 months and i'm basically looking for feedback. My budget is $250. I'm looking at these cards- what do you recommend?

3870
4850
4850 512mb
4870
8800gt
8800gts
9600gt


anything else?

my current specs:

Gigabyte-P35-Ds3l
Diamond ATI RADEON HD 3850 256mb
320GB Hard Drive 7,200 rpm
4 gb RAM
Windows Vista Home Premium x64

I do fairly high res gaming (1680x1050). I'd like a future-proof card (until at least this time next year) and i want one that can get as close to maxing out graphics whilst maintaining a framerate over 45 fps


Also, how do I check my post without having to find it?

i'm new to tomshardware

More about : video card

a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2008 10:17:16 PM

1) You can check your post without searching for it by "Bookmark"ing it. :)  So view your thread, and bookmark it in your web browser.

2) The 3870 probably isn't a huge jump up from your 3850 I'd guess? I think the 3870 and 9600GT are probably not to far apart performance wise. Your best bet honestly, is to check out Tom's VGA charts or here:

The Best Graphics Cards for the Money: May 08
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card,1923....

Find the best video card on their list for $250.

$260 They recommend 2x GeForce 8800 GS in SLI configuration.

$220 They recommend GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB.
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2008 11:52:27 PM

My 2 cents:
Throw out the 3870, 9600GT. Not much better than what you have.

The 4800's are not out yet, any day now I think....supposed to be good....but they will be pricey and you can bet the drivers will be buggy. ATI is notorious for this. They get better in time as new drivers are released though if you want to be one of their guinea pig's. I never recommend brand new hardware. Wait till it's out for a while, everyones says they are good, and the price comes down to a reasonable amount.

No since getting a 8800GT as the 8800GTS is so close in price, and just an all around better GPU.

Right now, the 8800GTS 512 meg G92 cards can be had for a steal at or around $200. There are a couple on Newegg for as low as ~$170 with rebates. A flat OUTSTANDING price for one these babies.
They will keep pace with a 9800GTX that costs $100-$150 more.

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a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2008 12:02:21 AM

mersonix said:
Well i'll be doing an upgrade on my GPU in the next 2 months... ..what do you recommend?


Come back closer to that 2 months, when you're actually buying.

I'm currently using my Crystal ball on the stock market, so can't look ahead at the graphics market. :kaola: 

At this very second as mentioned the GF8800GTS-512 is the most atractive thing in your price range.

Wait 'til the candidates come out first. Anyone speaking with regards to price/performance with the HD4Ks is pretty much guessing.

The only thing that is certain is that their arrival is likely to change the markets into which they launch, which seems to be where you're looking (although I think an HD4870 will be out of your budget until closer to that 2 month time when potential sales may occur)

And PS, there's no such thing as Future Proof, the most you can hope for is a higher level of utility from one over the other over the duration of your ownership.
May 28, 2008 1:25:53 AM

Ok, Which 8800GTS? Of course Cheap is good, I have a NZXT LEXA BLACKLINE CASE (3 120mm fans, 1 80mm) so heat is no issue. My current HD3850 is single slot and awfully close to one of my bridges (i don't know the difference between north or south). If i get a dual slot (i love overclocking) should I worry about that? Couldn't be more than 1 cm away. Will a dual slot go over? Look at a picture of the mobo and you can see how it could be problematic.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2008 3:14:34 AM

I agree with TGGA. The 8800GTS G92 512MB, or wait and see what the new cards actually can do in your games. No use talking about the HD4xxx series when we can't buy them, don't know exactly how they perform, and don't know how their street prices and availability will be.

BTW, what CPU you running?

You could always dabble with OC'in CPU and GPU for a free performance boost until you buy a new card.
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 28, 2008 6:55:13 AM

I dont recommend waiting, because if u want to wait u can never buy a new thing :) 

I recommend 8800GTS 512 from those choices
May 28, 2008 7:26:31 AM

It's too close until the new cards arrive. It'd be a good idea to hold back to see what kind of game AMD and NVIDIA bring to the table, and by that I mean their new Graphics Cards. But if you want a card now, it sounds like a 8800GTS 512MB will last you a good while, go EVGA if you do because you have the chance to "step-up" should you want to. I also agree with Maziar, it can be good to wait if the new stuffs around the corner, but it can become a game of waiting and waiting for the next thing.
a b U Graphics card
May 28, 2008 10:45:46 AM

evga is nice, but overpriced right now.

The MSI or ECS is alot cheaper(in the USA). Personally at today's prices I'd buy the MSI for $209 - $30 rebate (over the ECS for ($219-$50 rebate). Or if I wanted COD4 for sure, then the XFX with COD4.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Not sure if on the location of the OP if Newegg links are of help or not.
May 28, 2008 10:49:57 AM

Too bad you mobo doesnt do crossfire. your 3850 is a middle class GPU, a card for 250$ you wont feel a big "buff" by those values.

The good solution was really another 3850 in crossfire. And quite cheaper aswell.
May 28, 2008 4:07:52 PM

Well, I current have my Intel C2D Overclocked from 3.0 to 3.6ghz, and that's as far as i'm willing to go without adding extra cooling. My GPU is overclocked also, and it's just not making that last bit of performance I need. The reason that i'm talking now, is that in the school-year I make about $80-90 a month, and I'll make a lot more this summer when I work. I'm only willing to spend $250 (whenever) so that's where my question lies.

Option 2: I buy a cheap Motherboard that supports Crossfire, and in fall/holidays I buy another GPU.

Option 3: I buy a cheap crossfire motherboard, a cheap GPU, and crossfire those. Could I crossfire something like a 3450 with a 3850? That would give me that extra little bit that I need and 3450s are mo cheap.


Thanks for any help,

mersonix
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