Need Graphics Solution

Hi everyone this is my first post in the Tom's Hardware forums. I greatly look forward to everyone's help as well as helping everyone.

Now that I have a Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz running on my Abit IP35 Pro (Intel P35) with 2GB of Crucial 800MHz DDR2, I am looking forward to upgrading my rig considerably because my gaming performance is greatly impeded by my Nvidia GeForce 8500 GT imported from my previous OEM desktop (Yes, an OEM locked 8500 GT and I call myself an avid gamer wtf), and my mobo's old school PCI-E v1.0 slots.

So I would like to know how best I should upgrade my graphics solution with about USD$720 (SGD$1000 I live in Singapore), without having to buy new RAM and Processor. I had originally intended to get a Nvidia 780i with twin factory overclocked 8800 GT's in SLI, but then I realized that I play my games on no larger than 1024x768 resolution so more than one video card might not give me bang for my buck. The baseline is that I keep my gaming resolution, processor, and RAM sticks.

So what do you suggest guys?
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  1. Get a 4850 or a 4870, at that res, its overkill anyway. You shouldnt have to spend more than 200$ US. Keep what you have, and just upgrade your card, youll be fine
  2. Just curious, but does the 4870 or any other ATI cards require PCI-E v2.0 slots for full power?
  3. at that resolution I think a 8800 GT is more than enough, I'm even as far to say 9600 GT lol.

    4850 would be overkill like crazy. Unless your looking to play crysis, which might actually be playable at that resolution with a single card:P
  4. No card requires the PCIex16 2.0 bus yet with the possible exception of the HD4870x2. You'll be fine with a HD4850.
  5. It's the kind of demanding games like Crysis which I intend to run at max settings at 1024x768. And I would also like the solution to be future-games-proof.
  6. The 4870 would be the one. Tho the G260 is nice, youd be paying for vram youll never use at that res. Just crank your cpu up if you can.
  7. Okay, thanks everyone! You guys saved me a few hundred bucks and a tedious mobo overhaul =D
  8. Um, the HD 4800 series uses the PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus

    It says here:

    So i'll need to change my mobo?
  9. No, its back wards compatible, and itll be fine. With you res, it wont matter at all
  10. PCIe 2.0 doubles the bandwith of the 1.x, but nothing more. Since you'll be playing @1024x768 you won't use the 100% of that bandwith never ever.

    It comes to play @ 1900x1200 ish resolutions with "big" card setups (4850 CF, 4870 CF, GTX260 SLi, GTX280 SLi, 4870X2, 4870X2 CF, 9800GX2 SLi and similar/beyond).

    Besides, your 2GB of RAM should do nicely on XP, but i don't know if Vista (wich has the DX10 support).

    Now, on the cards thingy; yeah, i agree with everyone: a 4850 would be overkill at that res, but for "eye-candyness" i'd say go for it. Besides, it'll last a tad longer IMO thanks to it's way of handling AA. And if you ever want to go a little higher on res, that card will hold on till 1600x1200 ish res with no sweat with "eye-candyness".

  11. dagger said:
    Performance distribution is somewhat different at that low resolution than the typical higher resolution that most people use. Those who recommend 4850/4870 as a blanket statement are just dishing out their opinions blindly without addressing your needs. Not sure of prices where you live. Compare performance at that resolution, then prices, and decide for yourself.

    I really don't get what you're trying to say here. According to those benchmarks, the HD4k series are at/near the top in FPS even at 1024x768. The recommendation is still valid, and I can't imagine that the OP will stay at that res forever.

    @OP: With your budget you could upgrade to a 4850/70 AND get a new higher res monitor together.
  12. There's something wrong with those benchies, dagger XD

    I see in some tests the GTX280 falls behind the 4850 XD

    Anyway, in most benchmarks, the 4850 looks like a solid contender at lower res with all candy-eye things turned on. But yeah, at lower res, cards tend to show weird results indeed.

    I still say go for the 4850, at least in my country is a tad cheaper than the 9800GTX+ :P

  13. Also, the OP wants this to last, meaning having a better DX is important. Also, without even looking at any of these benches, they all are using no or very little AA, which is pointless, using higher AA seperates the 4xxx series from any other cards out
  14. They play to the strength of nVidia cards, using little eye candy
  15. mtyermom said:
    @OP: With your budget you could upgrade to a 4850/70 AND get a new higher res monitor together.

    Seriously! Your gaming experience would be much improved with a 20 (or 24) inch LCD and a 4870, and you'd still be well under budget!
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