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what graphics card would match my system? (VOTE!)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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which card offers best price/performance ratio for my needs? (and that wont be bottlenecked by the rest of my system)

Total: 8 votes (4 blank votes)

  • HD 4850, CF later
  • 0 %
  • GTX 260
  • 20 %
  • HD 4870
  • 60 %
  • GTX 280
  • 0 %
  • wait for a 4850x2
  • 0 %
  • 9800GX2
  • 20 %
  • 9800GTX+
  • 0 %
October 19, 2008 10:08:32 PM

i'm in the process of building a new system. i have an idea about the graphics card i want but have decided to only state my specs and needs and see where you guys take me. i'm looking to spend at most around 350 on a gpu setup and have no preference ati vs. nvidia.


AMD 6000X2 @ 3.0 GHz (currently no OC)
4 GB DDR2 (6400; 800 MHz)
750 W PSU
crappy motherboard atm, will buy a new one soon.
Acer 22" widescreen, 1680x1050

i would like to be able to play COD4 completely maxed out with 70+ fps. i don't like it when my fps ever drop below 60 in that game.
i would like to be able to play crysis w/ the very high xp tweak with ~32-35+ fps.
assassin's creed, bioshock, oblivion, fallout3, farcry2 are other games i will be playing.


enlighten me!
Thanks! :sleep: 
October 19, 2008 10:19:48 PM

The ATI 4850 is THE budget/middle end choice for almost everyone looking for cheap, fast new technology.

Given that I am kind of a ATI fanboy but still think the 4850 is a better purchase than any nVidia cards today.

If you want to 'cheap it' a 8800GT/GTS could be a good choice but you won't play COD4 'maxed out'.
October 19, 2008 10:24:50 PM

do you think i should go with the 4850 and then crossfire it after a few months?

should i wait for the 4850x2?

also does newegg participate in the black friday sale where everythign after thanksgiving is really cheap? becuase i may wait until then if so...
Related resources
October 19, 2008 10:29:07 PM

Well, he's willing to spend around $350 for a video card, which is about twice the price of the 4850.

My choice would be either a 8800 ultra, a GTX 260 (core 216) or HD 4870. If your willing to spend a bit more, you could invest in a GTX 280 or 4870 x2 for around $50-$100 more.
You could check out newegg.com, they have some reasonable prices.
October 19, 2008 10:45:54 PM

at that price, I would go with the gtx 260 or 4870.
October 19, 2008 11:18:26 PM

yeah i love newegg. i'm a system builder as a sidejob but i keep going back and forth on what card i should buy myself for my new build.

the 4870x2 is out since its $500+
the 280 is also probably out because it is overpriced.

is the price difference really worth the jump from the 4850 to the 4870 (~$50) and from the 4870 to the 260 (~$75)?

the 4850 seems to be the best price/performance card by far...imo.
VOTE!
October 20, 2008 12:12:46 AM

the question was (a good fit for my PC) and i would say 4850. but if your willing to spend that much i would go with the 4870 it just has so much going for it, compared to the 260
October 20, 2008 12:18:31 AM

thank you rangers for answering my specific question. i would obviously not like to spend more money when i will hardly get better performance and start pushing bottlenecks and so i have been leaning towards the 4850 all along. however more feedback is always good :D 
October 20, 2008 2:11:17 AM

I had to do a "null" vote as your current cpu is way too slow for the choices presented. It's comparable to a core duo at 2GHz to 2.2GHz. You are getting a new motherboard? Also get a core duo e5200 for under $100 and overclock it over 3GHz(50% chance itll hit 3.5GHz) throw in a single hd4850 in that core duo system and all games will rock, your min fps will own!
October 20, 2008 2:46:56 AM

Here's are some benchmarks:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19

The highest performing card for your budget of $350 or below is 9800gx2. $280 without rebates, or $220 if you don't mind the big mir.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4870x2, at $520, performs above 9800gx2 but is over budget. gtx280, at $430, is both over budget and perform below 9800gx2. All others perform far below 9800gx2.
October 20, 2008 3:18:45 AM

9800 GX2 FTW, it's THE REAL price/perf champ.

Don't get drawn in the ati hypevortex.
October 20, 2008 3:25:17 AM

or wait for the 4850 X2 and see how prices shift:) 
October 20, 2008 5:38:19 AM

4850 or the 4870 should easily play any of the games you want. I have a 9800 and now i really want a 4850 ><... Such a cruel world.
October 21, 2008 1:18:52 AM

NewLCD123 said:
I had to do a "null" vote as your current cpu is way too slow for the choices presented. It's comparable to a core duo at 2GHz to 2.2GHz. You are getting a new motherboard? Also get a core duo e5200 for under $100 and overclock it over 3GHz(50% chance itll hit 3.5GHz) throw in a single hd4850 in that core duo system and all games will rock, your min fps will own!


how is a 6000X2@3.0 Ghz comparable to a core duo at 2 - 2.2GHz?
my roommate has a core2duo at 2.66 GHz and with my old 5600X2@2.9GHz i had a better 3dmark06 cpu score, loaded games faster etc. so in what way is mine comparable to a 2-2.2 Ghz from intel?
and i got my CPU/motherboard for free through combo deals etc so its not a real big deal imo.


SirCrono said:
9800 GX2 FTW, it's THE REAL price/perf champ.

Don't get drawn in the ati hypevortex.

i was originally considering a GX2 although i decided not to go with it because i heard far too many complaints about microstuttering. the GX2 is a very good performance/value card but i would rather not chance any issues. i would rather not go multigpu until later; probably 4850x2 or CF unless nvidia or ati come out w/ a real baller card real soon.

October 21, 2008 5:22:17 AM

dont go with the gtx2 its not got dx10.1 (there is a lot of games coming out that supports it) and you would need a lot faster CPU to get the best out of it, stick with a 4850 it will do AA better and its a good fit for the amd 6000x2 and although intel is faster its still a good processor
October 21, 2008 7:43:04 AM

hhahaahyea said:
how is a 6000X2@3.0 Ghz comparable to a core duo at 2 - 2.2GHz?
my roommate has a core2duo at 2.66 GHz and with my old 5600X2@2.9GHz i had a better 3dmark06 cpu score, loaded games faster etc. so in what way is mine comparable to a 2-2.2 Ghz from intel?
and i got my CPU/motherboard for free through combo deals etc so its not a real big deal imo.



i was originally considering a GX2 although i decided not to go with it because i heard far too many complaints about microstuttering. the GX2 is a very good performance/value card but i would rather not chance any issues. i would rather not go multigpu until later; probably 4850x2 or CF unless nvidia or ati come out w/ a real baller card real soon.


u know seriously, just grab a 4850 w/ a decent cooler maybe something dual slot, and you will be fine until you can upgrade the rest of you parts. 9800gx2 just doesn't seem like such a good idea [old tech, still hotter than a 4850, power requirements are still much higher, etc etc etc...]. Especially when you would be able to upgrade to a better platform...

More than likely those won't be a problem but still, why buy something that had to be sli'd just to get similar results with much less complexity... who cares if it's a little bit better, simpler solutions are usually the best...

edit: after reviewing ur thread, I'd have to say seeing as you could grab that 4870 Gigabyte [well-known motherboard company, not a thousand and 24 MB] (on newegg) and after 40 MIR, it's $210 and it's dual slot get that!!!

P.S. not to mention free S&H, dude where's ur gpu? where's ur gpu, dude? :lol: 
October 21, 2008 8:12:41 AM

FrozenGpu said:
u know seriously, just grab a 4850 w/ a decent cooler maybe something dual slot, and you will be fine until you can upgrade the rest of you parts. 9800gx2 just doesn't seem like such a good idea [old tech, still hotter than a 4850, power requirements are still much higher, etc etc etc...]. Especially when you would be able to upgrade to a better platform...

More than likely those won't be a problem but still, why buy something that had to be sli'd just to get similar results with much less complexity... who cares if it's a little bit better, simpler solutions are usually the best...

edit: after reviewing ur thread, I'd have to say seeing as you could grab that 4870 Gigabyte [well-known motherboard company, not a thousand and 24 MB] (on newegg) and after 40 MIR, it's $210 and it's dual slot get that!!!

P.S. not to mention free S&H, dude where's ur gpu? where's ur gpu, dude? :lol: 


my feelings exactly. i really like this 4870 for 210 and i did just get my paycheck :D 

the only thing stopping me...does anyone know if newegg participates in the black friday (or cyber monday, the online version according to wiki) sale the day after thanksgiving where everythign is really cheap? because the 4850x2 should be out soon and should cause some price shifts and the sale is in a month...should i just wait to see the price changes?
October 21, 2008 7:01:19 PM

I mean yeah, sure why not.

I honestly do not remember if newegg.com participates in those sales or not. The MIR for those Gigabyte 4870's are $40 off on each GPU, so maximum is 2 you can buy. SO I would say seeing as S&H is free you could always drop $420 and get 2 4870's but here's the thing, now you are complexifying [I can make up new words too, dubya, ya freakin @$$hole] your set-up and not too mention as great as that K8 cpu u got there, I would say that it is way too excessive.

Unless of course you are preparing for an overhaul of those other parts as well, which you did mention a new mobo, so why not drop some extra dough on a better cpu? ,maybe something with 2 more shiny new cores? Perhaps a Q6600, by this point all of them should be a G0 stepping anyways so if you like to O/C well then enjoy.

The way I see it grab a Pretty decent P45 chipset mobo for like $100-ish or even less. Grab a Q6600 for like < $200, w/ a good aftermarket cooler so think lots of copper, heatpipes, mass is your friend here [usually]. $30-50 should put you in a great range for cpu coolers. Then grab a single Gigabyte 4870 while they still have that BTW the promo ends oct. 26th, so you have to purchase by that date, for $210, after MIR.

That would be a great set-up and at $560 you can probably go a year or probably even longer w/o upgrading much if anything at all.

But you know, A good rig has some strong qualities, a great rig is just amazing at just about anything you want it to do, so try and keep that in mind.
October 21, 2008 7:07:02 PM

u could go with the 4870 and just grab another 1 later or just get the 4870 X2 and tri em.
October 21, 2008 9:32:54 PM

<img src=http://xtreview.com/images/Athlon-64-X2-5000+-review/ha...;

(core duo owns!)

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=311...

(Other reviewers show core duo much more ahead, let me look. But still even in this review, 3GHz a64 is comparable to 2.2GHz to 2.4GHz core duo.)

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/dualcore-s...

In professional apps, the e4600 2.4GHz performs like a 6400+ 3.2GHz a64. In gaming, it appears to perform close to the 3GHz 6000+ amd. But the new wolfdale core duos are miles ahead!

Do a search on Google for more cpu reviews and cpu roundups. Core duo outperforms a64s anywhere from 25% to 50%

Anyway does your motherboard have a pci-e slot? Does it accept Phenom cpus? If yes, you could try the hd4850 and if your games still lag, upgrade to a phenom and overclock it to at least 3GHz!



October 21, 2008 9:40:42 PM

Your 6000+ will be a pretty good match for the 4850. Anything bigger than that and your processor would hold it back. I also don't think you would see much of an improvement running 2 4850s in CrossFire.

My 6400+ runs at 70-80% while my 4850 runs at 85-100% in games.
October 22, 2008 3:44:57 AM

cool, all good to know.
i will probably wait for prices to drop since i have to fix something on my car now. and get a 4870 in a month or so unless something awesome happens in the market...however my friend is in the same situation as i am and is getting the 9800GTX+ over the HD4850. he's also been a long time system builder but is somewhat of an nvidia fanboy...but what about the 9800GTX+? it seems to be slightly more expensive and not any better...correct?


and
@newLCD
E4600 = $120 and doesn't perform as well as the 6000X2 which is $92
E8200/E8400 = ~$160 and performs somewhat better than the 6400X2/6000X2.
i'm all about getting performance for a good price since i'm a poor college student right now. and considering that i got my cpu for FREE i'm pretty satisfied with the price/performance...
October 22, 2008 9:50:28 PM

Oh, free is great! I can't argue there. In my case, ive gone core duo. Those overclock 50%+ and will outperform any a64s, in fact any amd cpus.

See if you can get a cheap or free video card. I got my hd2600xt very cheap, itll be a great match for a core duo under 3GHz. Ill upgrade to hd4670 when prices drop a few bucks. Maybe get the hd4670?
October 23, 2008 4:24:08 AM

i thought of that but since i played crysis on very high w/ the xp tweak before w/ a 5600X2, 2GB RAM and a 4850 i am led to believe that i'll be able to do it again and would rather not get a midrange card. the system i just mentioned was one i built for a friend and now i'm trying to figure mine out...any thoughts on the 9800GTX+?
October 25, 2008 12:36:06 PM

Go for the 4870 it's so cool hug graphs card XD

ATi fan boy 4 life FU NIVIDA!
October 25, 2008 2:34:04 PM

hhahaahyea said:
i thought of that but since i played crysis on very high w/ the xp tweak before w/ a 5600X2, 2GB RAM and a 4850 i am led to believe that i'll be able to do it again and would rather not get a midrange card. the system i just mentioned was one i built for a friend and now i'm trying to figure mine out...any thoughts on the 9800GTX+?


Crysis at High, no AA.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
9800gtx+ is not enough, you'll need to go higher to conquer Crysis. Even gtx280, at 40 fps, is cutting it too close. 40 fps average means it'll drop below that at times. You'll need at least a 9800gx2, the second fastest card in existence, or 4870x2, the fastest in existence.
October 27, 2008 9:54:39 PM

should i go with the 4870 then?
or a GTX260 maybe?
October 27, 2008 9:58:44 PM

hhahaahyea said:
should i go with the 4870 then?
or a GTX260 maybe?


They're fine for everything else. 4870 outperforms gtx260. Neither are enough to conquer Crysis. Even gtx280 isn't quite enough. If you absolutely must conquer Crysis, the choice is between either 9800gx2 or 4870x2, or going cf/sli.
October 28, 2008 1:13:59 AM

yeah well i know that nothign will conquer crysis i just want it playable.

is the 4870 a better price/performance card then?
October 28, 2008 1:26:28 AM

hhahaahyea said:
yeah well i know that nothign will conquer crysis i just want it playable.

is the 4870 a better price/performance card then?


After a recent price cut, 4870 has better price/performance ratio than gtx260. The cheapest is $250, or $220 ar.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cheapest gtx260 is $250, or $230 ar. Slightly higher ar, for less performance than 4870.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Although, 9800gx2, at $285, far outperforms as well as delivers better price/performance ratio than either 4870 or gtx260.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 28, 2008 6:20:06 AM

the problem, in my mind, with the 9800GX2 is that it is somewhat older tech that will not serve me as well in the future...also i've heard a lot of complaints about microstuttering and dual gpu solutions never scale as well as we'd wish...

the 9800GX2 is a ridiculously good price/performance card though...grrr this is so much easier when the computer isn't for me :p 
October 28, 2008 12:09:25 PM

hhahaahyea said:
the problem, in my mind, with the 9800GX2 is that it is somewhat older tech that will not serve me as well in the future...also i've heard a lot of complaints about microstuttering and dual gpu solutions never scale as well as we'd wish...

the 9800GX2 is a ridiculously good price/performance card though...grrr this is so much easier when the computer isn't for me :p 


There is no such thing as "microstuttering." The so-called "microstuttering" is a myth by fanboys on either side (both Nvidia and ATI) to discredit X2 cards. Technically, it applies equally to X2 cards as any cf/sli setup, including the very common 4850 cf and 8800gt sli setups, yet no one who ran cf/sli complains. Also, no one who actually owns 9800gx2 complains. Until frame rates drop below 30s, which is no longer smooth anyway, it's physically impossible for the naked human eye to detect the frame desyncing effect. At higher fps, it's too fast for typical monitor hardware to refresh fast enough to even display the so called "microstuttering." How can you see it when it's not there?

As for future-proofing, the latest Nvidia driver still officially support 6000s cards. Support isn't going away anytime soon. It only means that they'll stop further optimizing it for even more performance. The existing optimizations from the past isn't going away, and it outperforms gtx280 already as it is.
October 28, 2008 3:36:21 PM

yeah its fairly ridiculous that their ~300 dollar card can beat their flagship card. as far as microstuttering i guess out of the 5 or so people i know who have the card, 3 have complained. the other two really like it. also it only beats the GTX280 in certain games, other times it gets blown away. it's all about drivers...i've owned loads of nvidia products and was never altogether impressed with their drivers really; a lot of system instabilities.

edit: i started the poll over with the 9800GTX+ and 9800GX2 in there just to see what people say. the 4870 was leading before.

edit2:
"Earlier disappointments are confirmed. During "easy" scenarios, the 9800 GX2 shows its full power (57% to 70% better than its competitors at 1600x1200, 51% at 1920x1200), However, when antialiasing is activated and the card should be showing all it has to offer, its performance drops to the same level as the other cards. It's actually worse than that since the 9800 GX2 shows signs of a bug when antialiasing is on. There are big horizontal bars and certain textures are purple, making the game unplayable. We applied patch 1.2, of course."
it seems like the newer cards are better at running things that are harder to run. ie AA at higher resolutions and the newest games at higher resolutions whereas the newer cards aren't hit as hard by it.
October 28, 2008 6:24:12 PM

hhahaahyea said:
yeah its fairly ridiculous that their ~300 dollar card can beat their flagship card. as far as microstuttering i guess out of the 5 or so people i know who have the card, 3 have complained. the other two really like it. also it only beats the GTX280 in certain games, other times it gets blown away. it's all about drivers...i've owned loads of nvidia products and was never altogether impressed with their drivers really; a lot of system instabilities.

edit: i started the poll over with the 9800GTX+ and 9800GX2 in there just to see what people say. the 4870 was leading before.

edit2:
"Earlier disappointments are confirmed. During "easy" scenarios, the 9800 GX2 shows its full power (57% to 70% better than its competitors at 1600x1200, 51% at 1920x1200), However, when antialiasing is activated and the card should be showing all it has to offer, its performance drops to the same level as the other cards. It's actually worse than that since the 9800 GX2 shows signs of a bug when antialiasing is on. There are big horizontal bars and certain textures are purple, making the game unplayable. We applied patch 1.2, of course."
it seems like the newer cards are better at running things that are harder to run. ie AA at higher resolutions and the newest games at higher resolutions whereas the newer cards aren't hit as hard by it.


Where was that quote from? It directly contradicts benchmarks I've seen.
October 28, 2008 7:34:00 PM

hhahaahyea said:
the above quote is from this article on the crysis page.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-9800-gx2-review,1792.html


also,
http://media.bestofmicro.com/P/M/114970/original/crysis3.png
from
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964.html

the 9800GX2 is like an old car that has a really high top speed but can't corner as well as newer cars that also have more features.
o.O


Tomshardware charts isn't the most reliable. You should really look at other sources. After all, their official chart had single 8800gts outperforming dual gtx280 in Assassin's Creed. :sarcastic: 
a b U Graphics card
October 28, 2008 8:34:44 PM

I would recommend either the HD4870 1GB with an eye on another in the future or else wait for .... not the HD4850X2 but see what the GTX refreshes bring.

For a long term build I wouldn't consider a GX2, nor would I want to tie myself to an HD4850, but a single HD4870 should be enough for now with future potential. And the 55nm GTX refreshes should make things interesting for you if they launch in early November.

I'd say all your options will do the job you want right now for the titles you listed, but looking toward next year and beyond, I would chose those options. Definitely worth considering a whole new strategy next fall/winter, but for now that's where I'd be looking/recommending.
October 28, 2008 9:03:37 PM

or you could wait for the GTX refreshes and just buy the old GTXs, I'm sure they will drop down in price just like the 9800 GTX, which can now be found for 150$:)  from 300-400$:D 
October 28, 2008 10:32:47 PM

@dagger: yeah nvidia has SERIOUS problems in assassin's creed though so i believe it. ati has their issues too, i mean 3 4870x2s got less FPS than 1 4870x2 in crysis...go figure.

i'm probably gonna wait a little longer to see where the market goes and probably end up with a 4870. then in a while i can crossfire it or sell my whole comptuer and start over again :D 
!