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What is first when it comes to gaming?! >$250 Video Card or Console?

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October 8, 2008 11:00:43 AM

The last console I owned was a Playstation. Since then Ive been gaming on PC's. From a FX5200 to a 8600GT Sonic +.

Just upgraded my display to a Samsung 22" LCD with a native res. @ 1680x1050. Im into hack and slash games, sports, FPS, just about anything really.

As gamers, what would you recommend me doing?

Im caught in a pickle. 360 vs High End Video Card (4850 or perhaps 4870) vs PS3....

It would have been so easy if I didnt have to worry about getting RROD'ed. 360 - the cheapest among my choices. If I were to choose between the vid cards I might as well save for the 4870 instead of its lil bro.

But then again I hear some people complain about graphics on pc games not being up to par with those on the console despite being so strong.

Which brings me to a PS3... Included in my list because it being a console, no reported problems, and hey, it has an HD player, though I dont have a HDTV ahahah...

I dont have any consoles to borrow or pc's running those vid cards i mentioned which makes it hard to choose.

Id like to enjoy gaming without having to worry about the hardware dying on me.

Maybe this might help... I dont play for too long..at most 5 hours straight/day. Lets say I get the 360, Would I be prone to the RROD? To my knowledge, everyone one is no matter how much u stress ur machine.

Video Card - different FPS, must tweak settings, some games do not use their potential.

360 - hardware failure

Ps3 - most expensive of them all...


Basically, where would I get my money's worth.

a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2008 11:20:07 AM

Depending on what the rest of your system looks like, a 4850 would be your most cost effective gaming upgrade.
As someone who has gamed on the Pc and Consoles, I much prefer the experience and depth of games offered for the Pc.
October 8, 2008 11:55:18 AM

With no high def TV, I'd go for the graphics card. Best Buy actually has the 4870 for $225 right now, so that is a pretty good deal if you have the PSU for it.
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October 8, 2008 12:03:32 PM

If you don't have an HDTV the graphics on a console will totally turn you off. Even with my 46" 1080p the graphics didnt compare to my PC with a 3850HD and now I have a 1gb 4870 forget about it. I haven't played the xbox or ps3 since june and it doesn't look like the dust will be blown off anytime soon. I use the ps3 for the blu-ray which is nice so if you do buy a console I would suggest that but if you are just strictly into console gaming go with the 360. Neither will put out the graphics of your 48xx series card though.
October 8, 2008 12:04:59 PM

I probably have the right PSU ...HEC WinPower 550W .. cheapo but I think its good enough. 4870's have those converters for the 6pin to 8pin right?

Im using a Q6600 ..not overclocked.. GEIL 2GB of DDR2 800mhz memory.. VISTA .... Yeah If id get a vid card it would probably be best if I added more and faster RAM...

In regards to not having a hdtv..i could still connect it to my monitor right? i think it supports HDCP therefore HDMI?..its a samsung 2253BW 22" 2ms .. Could still play games but just not get it at High Def res and quality.

One more problem I have with the 4850's are the temperature problems. 70deg C at idle.. Thats a little to high.. on my 8600GT Sonic + i try not to let it go past 60 when playing games ahaha let alone on idle.

And yeah if a vid card, Im looking towards a 1GB..unless not really necessary.



October 8, 2008 12:22:27 PM

If you're really stressing over visual quality, in your case a PC is your only option because you don't have an HDTV.
October 8, 2008 12:22:36 PM

BlakHart said:
If you don't have an HDTV the graphics on a console will totally turn you off. Even with my 46" 1080p the graphics didnt compare to my PC with a 3850HD and now I have a 1gb 4870 forget about it. I haven't played the xbox or ps3 since june and it doesn't look like the dust will be blown off anytime soon. I use the ps3 for the blu-ray which is nice so if you do buy a console I would suggest that but if you are just strictly into console gaming go with the 360. Neither will put out the graphics of your 48xx series card though.



Wow.. I always thought a console would always surpass any vid card out today. Well I only based them on pictures i see online.. Never really had a personal experience. So if what you are saying is true.. I would get better graphics, on a 48xx series card than the consoles out today.

What about the game catalog for the PC... The last MUST PLAY game for me that came out was Devil May Cry 4. Other than that nothing has caught my attention.

COD is coming out with a new one I guess so that would be something to look forward to.

May I ask..what 4870 do you own? Brand? Features?
October 8, 2008 12:37:37 PM

nah, even when the 360 and ps3 first came out the GFX cards in a pc were more powerful.
October 8, 2008 1:04:10 PM

captainoats said:


But then again I hear some people complain about graphics on pc games not being up to par with those on the console despite being so strong.


Then those people are totally ignorant of the facts, put aside the fact that the consoles are powered by video cards that are now 3 years old (360= somewhere between a 1800/1900 and PS3=7800), the consoles simply don't play games at true HD resolutions so the fact your don't have a HD T.V. is null point. For example CoD4 runs at 600p on both PS3 and 360, Halo 3 if I recall runs at the same resolution and these are meant to be the blockbuster games for these next gen consoles. Also bear in mind consoles don't use anything like the kinds of anti aliasing the PC can employ (console you may get 2xAA PC can go upto 16xAA or even 24xAA on some ATI cards), and also console games are upscaled to stretch across big screens leading to large dpi's which makes the images look blocky and stretched.

On the plus side the PS3 may still be the cheapest stand alone Blu-Ray player on the market (not that Blu-Ray is that big a deal anyway) but next to the 360 is costs a bomb. If you did want a console I would suggest a Nintendo Wii, out of the big 3 for me it's the only true console and not a watered down PC and it's good fun to play and great for parties.
October 8, 2008 1:09:57 PM

captainoats said:
Wow.. I always thought a console would always surpass any vid card out today. Well I only based them on pictures i see online.. Never really had a personal experience. So if what you are saying is true.. I would get better graphics, on a 48xx series card than the consoles out today.

What about the game catalog for the PC... The last MUST PLAY game for me that came out was Devil May Cry 4. Other than that nothing has caught my attention.

COD is coming out with a new one I guess so that would be something to look forward to.

May I ask..what 4870 do you own? Brand? Features?



Gees, Devil May Cry 4............that's a console game (even if it is on the PC) at heart no wonder you can't see any game worth buying on the PC.

BTW the PC has had more powerfull video cards then the 360 and PS3 since their inception.
October 8, 2008 1:10:03 PM

Console could never actually match the visual quality of the PC. The reason for this is because the console has to be planned, built, mass produced, advertised, and wait for games to be completed before it can ship out this is a lengthy process. This means by the time you go out and buy the console the hardware is already dated and while it aged even more PC hardware has been released and will continue to.

Anyways I wouldn't make the choice based off of graphics potential. Make the choice based on what type of games you like better console or PC.
October 8, 2008 3:38:26 PM

I have a Visiontek 4870 512mb and I really dig it. Assassin's creed looks great at 1080p on a 42" high def TV. I would love to have a console side by side for comparison, I'm sure the console would be blown away by my PC. Also, the 4870 does not have an eight pin power plug, it has two six pins. My graphics card included two molex power connectors to six pin pci-e power connector.
October 8, 2008 5:31:37 PM

captainoats said:

May I ask..what 4870 do you own? Brand? Features?



This is the 4870 I own... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I bought the 1gb version because I have a 24" monitor and like to play at high resolutions. The 512mb version should do you just fine with your 22" monitor and will be about $80 cheaper... HIS, Sapphire, visontek, and powercolor are all good brands that I have never had problems with.

Most of your popular console titles are usually released on the PC either before or after they release on a console. Devil May Cry 4 is out for the PC I believe...GTA4 will be out eventually, valve usually releases on the PC first. I keep the consoles around for racing games (I'm a car nut) other then that they just play movies.
October 9, 2008 2:48:21 AM

Flakes said:
nah, even when the 360 and ps3 first came out the GFX cards in a pc were more powerful.



heheh...I said it wrong...I knew there were more powerful GPUs than those used in the consoles. Umm..

Maybe 'power' was not the right word.

In some game reviews and videos ive seen...Particularly EA Sports games like FIFA09..The graphics engine used to design the game was low. So compared to the console version, PC version looks poor despite using those high end cards.

Which is why I kinda though it was like througout all the games. Consoles will always look more better. Play smoother.

Guess not.

After putting up this thread..Im kinda leaning on to the HD4870 or HD4850 side than console now. Ahahah but what to do with my other Card...?! PALIT 8600GT SONIC + ... ahhahhahah
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 9, 2008 3:59:00 AM

graphics card

I bought the cheapest xbox 360... and then by the time i could actually play it and stuff and had it fully setup it was close to 400 bucks... I feel it was a waste of 400 bucks...

I use my pc literally 100 times more often than my xbox 360... even though my friend have all their games on the 360... I know that the PC is just so much better... it also takes your skill to the next level... when i play console games now... despite the imprecision ... I'm still the best there...

go for the gpu... it has so many more applications than a 360 YOU may or may not use all that much... I wasn't too smart in getting my 360... I may end up selling it before the newer versions come out so i dont make out SO bad
October 9, 2008 5:25:58 AM

I just have a few thoughts left on this thread to lay down to you, since the technical superiority on the PC has already been laid by my competent companions.

If you're into RPGs, FPS, RTS, or Shooter RPGs (like STALKER, which I hope they become a full-fledged genre soon) then there is no match to the PC as far as gameplay experience goes. It's just isn't the same with the limited interface of the consoles.

Consoles usually rock for those sports, fighting, or racing games, but that really doesn't keep me interested for more than a few hours at most.

Right now a few blazing hot titles for the PC are Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, Fallout 3, and the two STALKER games. Three of those are going to consoles or are already (TF2, L4D, and Fallout 3) and I can assure you that none of them will offer remotely the same experience.

To me PC gaming goes beyond image quality, even though some titles may be multiplatform, they will never offer the same type of gameplay and at times even depth as their PC counterpart. May sound elitist and/or snobby but everyone here knows it's the truth, playing TF2 on the PC and on the 360/PS3 are two entirely different animals, and the same happens to Left 4 Dead and every other title released, it just isn't the same.
October 9, 2008 10:37:50 AM

Thanks for the replies.. All of you...

Im not sure if my decision is solid but right now I think Id go for the Vid Card... 4870 maybe with a decent cooler....aww research again... 1GB would be awesome..

If you guys have any recommendations.. please feel free to drop them here..

Budget would be something between the price of a 360 and a PS3 lol..

a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2008 10:43:13 AM

The stock cooler on the 4870 is very good so no real need to upgrade it.
Currently, at your resolution, you only need a 512Mb card.
You will see no/absolute minimal increase in performance with an extra 512Mb of RAM at 1650x1080.
I would say either get a HIS IceQ 4850 (which is more than enough for your resolution) or a 4870 with stock cooling.
October 9, 2008 11:30:29 AM

Dont know about visual quality being better on a PC than a console, thats questionable and depends heavily on the monitor/tv/resolution.

You should also take the games library into consideration when picking what youre gonna go with. PC gaming right now (and for the last.....3 years) is nothing but recycled FPS games and MMO's that are all hype and no umpf. All there is to look forward to next year worth buying is Diablo 3 and Jumpgate Evolution. PS3 has been out almost 3 years and still has no games for it. The 360 has a fine games library (Fable 2 at the end of the month as well), but the console itself is still rather expensive for what it is and how old it is.
October 9, 2008 12:09:51 PM

HIS would be my brand of choice.


--HD 4850--

H485QS1GP --IceQ4 1GB --$229.99

H485QT512P --IceQ4 Turbo 512MB --$179.99


--HD 4870--

H487FT512P --Turbo 512MB --$292.99

H487F1GP --1GB --$299.99

H487F512P --512MB --$279.99


The 4850 with 512MB IceQ4 Turbo looks so tempting with its price and features!!!!Oh but wait..I see the catch..DDR3 memory..it was too good to be true :( 



a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2008 12:25:13 PM

It is not quite as bad as you might think.
The only real differences between a stock 4850 512Mb and a 4870 512Mb would be a 20% (625Mhz => 750Mhz) boost in core speed and GDDR3 => GDDR5. the performance difference is pretty darn close to 20%. The core on each is exactly the same other than the clock speed increase. If that does not give you a good picture about just how much you are loosing with the GDDR3, I am not sure what will.

In any case, either card will offer you more than enough performance for almost any current game at your resolution.
Get which ever is the best you can afford.
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2008 1:34:17 PM

pc gaming is much better in my opinion. go with a 4850 (150$) or the gtx260 (210$)
the 4870 is a good deal if u can find it under 245$. performs slightly faster then the gtx260.
October 9, 2008 2:50:14 PM

It goes:

Computer >PS3 > 360

PS3 I beleive runs off 7800 GTX sli equivalency, actually I think even less than that. So 1 9600 GT even a 9600 GSO can smoke both 360 and PS3 graphically.

It all comes down to the games you like to play not to the best graphical option though.

My 9700M GTS can outperform both the 360 and PS3 for example, and its slightly under the 9600 GT lol. So if you want graphics go PC, since current gen consoles won't come close to touching PC graphics. If your more into exclusives, fighters and etc. then consoles are your best bet.
October 9, 2008 9:00:47 PM

spathotan said:
Dont know about visual quality being better on a PC than a console, thats questionable and depends heavily on the monitor/tv/resolution.

You should also take the games library into consideration when picking what youre gonna go with. PC gaming right now (and for the last.....3 years) is nothing but recycled FPS games and MMO's that are all hype and no umpf. All there is to look forward to next year worth buying is Diablo 3 and Jumpgate Evolution. PS3 has been out almost 3 years and still has no games for it. The 360 has a fine games library (Fable 2 at the end of the month as well), but the console itself is still rather expensive for what it is and how old it is.


Would you consider Half Life: Orange Box a recycled FPS? Last time I checked, I believe they sold very well. The good thing about PC gaming is that the games you play have a lot of value to them. Some games you cannot get enough of. You would be playing it for years and still have a great time (no, not WoW). But then again, I was originally a console gamer and quickly migrated to the PC after realizing how much more of an experience I was getting over consoles (still addicted to CS:S after 3 years). I have always felt as I can do more on a PC. It opened a new world of creativity, imagination, and communication that I have never experienced before and will never be able to experience on a console. Another thing I noticed about "Pure" console gamers is that they get bored of their games pretty fast, and basically spend all of their money on new games.

PS: I don't want to start a flame war, just voicing my opinion, and what is best for the OP.
October 9, 2008 10:24:37 PM

I find all Valve games to be the same thing, once youve played one youve played them all. Has alot to do with the environment I guess.

I prefer PC gaming over console gaming, but the PC games market has been stagnant as hell for ages.
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2008 10:32:50 PM

spathotan said:
I find all Valve games to be the same thing, once youve played one youve played them all. Has alot to do with the environment I guess.


I don't know about that, I'd say the Orange box had a good mix, and Portal was pretty different to everything that wasa out there at the time.

However, it's hard trying to re-invent the wheel, and then even those who think they have and hype it as such (SPORE) usually fall flat.

However IMO games that challenge the norm are more likely to be found on PC than standard consoles, just because of the rishk of development. The major exception being the Wii whose, design, culture and fans almost drive eccentric approaches.
October 9, 2008 11:01:08 PM

Left 4 Dead :)  Ape, you should pitch the idea of having THG hosted TF2 and L4D servers for us :) 
October 10, 2008 11:32:44 AM

Ok..Made my decision...

HIS HD 4850 IceQ4 TurboX 512MB DDR3 - $199.90 + $16.32 shipping..

Ahahah USPS Priority Mail.. I live out in the pacific LOL..

Somebody stop me if this is a bad choice..

I hope to see more than x3 difference between my 8600GT Sonic + (19% Faster than the regular)..Hopefully more..

According to the Wild Card Charts, I should not upgrade to something only 3 tiers higher than the card I have now...



October 10, 2008 11:44:15 AM

By the way... HIS HD 4870 512MB DDR5 would be $289.xx + almost $19 bucks shipping.. too high... but not that big of a difference in performance right?
October 10, 2008 1:17:52 PM

The 4870 is about 20 - 25 percent faster then the 4850 and cost almost as the same as the performance difference so it comes down to your budget.
October 10, 2008 6:16:57 PM

I've been playing one game or another since there was a PC and later a mouse so I'm kinda biased when I say consoles blow. I bought my kid a PS3/80 and while it's a pretty good system the look, feel and control of games just don't do it for me. Even when he plays COD4 on my 56" HDTV via HDMI I'm not impressed with the graphics and I hate playing with him because of the spastic, awkward controllers. I play a little COD4 maxed out pretty much everyday on my 25.5" 1920 Samsung, 8800GTX, Saitek KB, G9 mouse and E8500 on steroids and you could not pay me to trade it for a console. He also has a Wii and the graphics are absolutely horrible. He got rid of his XBox and that also failed to impress.

I would suggest one thing if your getting a 4850... get the version that actually has the two slot cooler that exhausts air out of the case vs the single slot majority that pump all the heat back in the case. It might be Diamond or Sapphire... can't remember which one it is but Egg has it.
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