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Looking to upgrade video card for WAR: AOR

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 25, 2008 1:00:55 AM

Here is my computer: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

Obviously the video card I am running now is a poor choice for Warhammer Online., game play is very sluggish if playable at all.
I am looking in the $250 range, I was looking at NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT OC.
Would this be a good choice or is there some then else for my rig that would run better?
I will be purchasing it from my local best buy store, so any bestbuy links would be great so i know what I am looking for.

Thanks ahead of time!

bl4ck7
September 25, 2008 1:07:31 AM

9800GT is a $120 card, not a $250 card. I would suggest that you look some place else because Best buy tends to severely overprice their cards, but if you're adamant on buying from best buy, then right now they are having a good deal on the HD 4850, which bests the 9800GT and 9800GTX.

VisionTek ATI RADEON HD4850 Graphics Card & $10 Best Buy Gift Card

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=999998200050006&type=product&id=pcmprd98300050006

Or here's another decent deal on another great card:

VisionTek - ATI RADEON HD4870 512MB GDDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8894048&type=product&id=1212192380239
September 25, 2008 1:55:47 AM

I am kinda of fond of running an nvidia card if that's not a problem.. My friend said he doesn't really trust Radeon much, he didn't explain much as to why but thats why I basicly learn most of my computer stuff from. He said if I went with an Nvidia card I couldn't go wrong so i am looking more into them. If ya don't mind explain me to a little about ATI Radeons and will it run with my computer since I have already got an Nvidia installed into it? Will I have to get anything special to make it run? Also, the card I selected is right at 250, A person in my guild said it was decent, whats your views on it? Does anyone know what FPS I should expect from using it in WAR? Sorry for so many questions.. this will be my first video card upgrade, most the time I just buy a new computer..

Also I just opened up my computer and saw that I am running a 250w Power Supply.. so this may prove me be an issue.. Unless I was reading it wrong.. >.>;


Thanks!

bl4ck7
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September 25, 2008 2:42:08 AM

Your friend probably had problems with a radeon card in the past that put him off to ATI cards, but that doesn't mean all radeons are to be avoided. Currently, there's no reason to distrust ATI cards as a whole. They will work perfectly fine with your computer provided you uninstall your old graphics card and your power supply is up for running the more powerful hardware.

As far as your selected graphics card goes, it's extremely overpriced at $250. It seems like best buy greatly overprices all nvidia cards.

The ATI 4850 delivers better performance than the 9800 GT and still costs almost $100 less
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8894057&t...

If you want more power, the ATI 4870 fits right into your $250 budget (well, assuming you get the $50 off that they're claiming/advertising right now)
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8894048&t...

Check out the performance charts at either Tom's or Guru 3D to see what level of performance each card would deliver. The 9800 GT is literally just an 8800 GT with a different name, so use that name to see how poor of a deal that would've been.



Edit: Yeah 250 watts is not going to be enough....You could buy a new power supply for $100 and then the 4850 for $150 and still be within budget, or you could look into the ATI 4670. While not being nearly as powerful, the 4670 does not need a lot of power and might be able to work with a 250w
September 25, 2008 2:51:45 AM

You have me sold on the ATI 4850, I really like the card after reading some more about it on the internet. I have some problems though, The power supply that it says it will run on is 450+ (So it says on the best buy website. (The reason for some many "best buy" related stuff is im using a best buy credit card to purchase this.))

I am pretty sure I read my current power supply right, The max amount I have left on the card is 259. with the ATI RADEON HD4850 & http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8763439&p... Power supply that still leaves a bit of a room in my total.

After looking at best buy.com some more it appears they are not in stock with the ATI Radeon HD 4850, but they have that power supply.

I could go for ATI RADEON HD4870 and break pretty much even (Might have to fork over some taxes of course.. lol). But the site says it requires a 500W or greater power supply.

If it helps any the store I am looking at is in the 28602 area code (Hickory NC 1884 Catawba Valley Blvd Se, Hickory, NC 28602)

But once again you guys know more about this stuff then I do so the best buy might be wrong about my power supply.


Thanks thus far you guys have been amazing!

bl4ck7
September 25, 2008 2:58:09 AM

It is an issue regardless of which card you choose (nvidia or ATI), these cards all need to be fed.

Your friend is sadly a misinformed nvidia supporter (I'm not trying to be rude, but it's simpler and faster if I just say it), and it's probably not his fault, but due to the fact that nvidia's marketing department is a force to be reckoned compared to AMD's poor marketing. I blame AMD for this, not nvidia.

Reason all this happened is because in the past two years ATi failed to deliver on time the R600 chip (HD 2900XT card), and when it finally did it was a big disappointment, it gained some ground, albeit not much, with the RV670 chip (HD 3850 and 3870), but it really shook the world with the RV770 (HD 4850 and 4870).

Basically all problems present on the previous generations (R600), like crazy power consumption, horrible AA performance, and subpar performance have been addressed with the HD 4000 series. You will find that using 4x AA in the HD 4850 and 4870 is basically "free" meaning that you'll take very little if any performance hit, the power consumption is acceptable, and the performance is all around great.

Some people complain about heat issues with these cards, but they fail to realize that they are built on the A12 silicon, which is designed to run hotter than previous cards. But if you're concerned about the little extra heat, you can always get a card with a non-reference cooler for as little as free up to $30 depending on the manufacturer. This is basically what I did with my HD 4850, I ordered the Sapphire Dual Slot edition and for you to get an idea, reviews show reference 4850s running at a load temperature of 85C, but mine doesn't even go above 59-60C under load in Crysis.

Hope that answers your question about the Radeons, they are not inferior in any way to Geforces, in fact this time around, the Radeons are the better cards on most scenarios, leaving only a few viable price points for nvidia's offerings to shine.

Looking at these benchmarks, I'd say you'd be running at 60+ fps most of the time even with the HD 4850, since the HD 3850 is already running at 50fps and it's A LOT weaker than the HD 4850.

PCGH Tuning: Warhammer Online - Age of Reckoning

http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,660322/News/PCGH_Tuning_Warhammer_Online_-_Age_of_Reckoning/

What you would have to do to install the graphics card is the same thing you would have to do even if you were to get an nvidia card. First download Driver Cleaner Pro, install it and follow these directions:

1.) Go to Add/Remove programs, uninstall nvidia drivers and restart.
2.) Run driver cleaner pro, set nvidia as a filter. Shut down the PC.
3.) Remove the current card and replace with the new one.
4.) Install latest drivers for the card.

The only special thing you'd have to do is to get the latest Catalyst drivers from ATI's website (8.9 is the current build).

My view on both the HD 4850 and 4870 is that they are terrific cards, incredible AA performance (I hadn't seen cards that performed so well with it enabled), and I'm definitely looking forward for future games that'll make use of their capabilities (tessellation and DX10.1 features). If you have the money to get the 4870 then do it, but you can't go wrong with either.

I suggest this PSU as a bare minimum, regardless of what you plan on doing:

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

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

EDIT: About power supplies, it not so much about the wattage, but the 12V amperage rating. You are recommended to have at least 30A on the combined 12V rails (it's not as easy as adding them up to find this number, though) for the latest cards to run properly. The PSU you showed has approximately 30-34A on the 12V rails (Can't give you an exact number, because thermaltake is only disclosing enough info to make an educated guess), but the one I showed you has a certified 34A across the 12V rails, regardless of it being only a 450W unit.
September 25, 2008 3:13:26 AM

Well, I think im pretty much sold on the ATI HD4850 and the PSU I picked out. I just hope once I get there sometime tomorrow they have the ATI HD4850 in stock.. if not I might just have to wait I suppose. Maybe the site is wrong.

Im not looking for some god awful graphics card I just want to be able to play WAR without it looking like im glitching acorss the screen lol. It ran World of Warcraft fairly well in minimum settings.. but I quit WoW so I am looking to move up in the world now ^_^ Thanks for all the help! I will come here with any more technicaly questions I may have.. like possible installing a new PSU and GFX card haha.. >.<;
September 25, 2008 3:20:31 AM

The PSU you picked should run it with no problems, I believe. I'm pretty sure about my guess on it's 12V rails, so it's quite decent. I am pretty sure you'll be looking at 60+ fps gameplay on maximum settings, the card you have right now is an 8300GS, which lacks power to even display movies in my opinion.

Saying that the HD 4850 is 20 times more powerful than a 8300GS would not be stretching the truth one bit, however I would like to be present to see your reaction when you notice the kind of change... Your jaw is most likely going to drop to the floor in awe.

EDIT: Installing a PSU is not difficult at all, you just have to make sure your motherboard has both cables plugged in (The large 20/24 pin one and the 4 pin one), your graphics card is plugged in with the respective 6-pin plug, and that all your hard drives/optical drives are plugged in.
September 25, 2008 3:22:03 AM

I have one last question for your emp, the PCI slots.. I have no idea what that is or if my computer has any.. >.< Will I have the slot needed to install this onto my computer?
September 25, 2008 3:24:55 AM

Your computer has 2 PCI slots (regular expansion slots, not used for graphics anymore) and one PCI-E x16 slot (This is the one for graphics cards), from what I can tell in the spec sheet that you provided, your computer comes bundled with the 8300GS graphics card on the PCI-E x16 slot (which will be replaced by the new card), so no worries on that front.
September 25, 2008 3:28:15 AM

alright awesome, in that hopefuly by this time tomorrow night I will be running my new PSU and GFX Card! Thanks for all the help emp!
September 25, 2008 3:33:59 AM

Alright no problem... just remember to ground yourself before doing anything (especially if you have a carpet covering your floor), you don't want any static discharges.
September 25, 2008 3:41:43 AM

Good advice emp and efeat! I was thinking of adding my own thoughts, but I don't really need to :) 

Anyway, more specs on that power supply (it's $95 at newegg...) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since it's "SLI ready" it should have more than enough power for the 4870, or even two 4850's. Modular is a good bonus. All in all, good choice on power supply.

And yeah, going from the 8300GS to a 4850 will be eye popping, hahaha. Have fun!
September 25, 2008 4:24:32 AM

emp said:
EDIT: Installing a PSU is not difficult at all, you just have to make sure your motherboard has both cables plugged in (The large 20/24 pin one and the 4 pin one), your graphics card is plugged in with the respective 6-pin plug, and that all your hard drives/optical drives are plugged in.


Installing the graphics card will be similarly easy. There's only one place on the motherboard that it will fit in. It's a good idea to examine the graphics card and PSU before you take them out. That will give you an idea of how they're hooked up and how they look when they're installed correctly.
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