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Matching your Video Card(s) to your Monitor!

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December 7, 2008 1:07:41 AM

Starting this topic to try and help because ...
All over these forums, and 9 of the 10 PCs I have to fix for friends and folks that they know with a messed up PC.

If you are spending big money on graphics cards and not matching a monitor that will use its resolutions, your wasting your money.

Good Gaming guidelines from my experiences....(max resolution you want to run and maintain decent performance)

Graphics Card
Nvida / ATI = Monitor's Native Resolution
9600GSO / HD 4670 = 1280 x 1024 *
9600 GT / HD 3870 = 1440 x 900 *
9800 GT, GTX / HD 4850 = 1680 X 1050
9800GTX+, GTX 260/HD 4870 = 1920 X 1200 (HD capable and look for contrast at least 1000:1)
9800 GX2, GTX 280 / 4850X2, 4870X2 = 2560 X 1600 (HD/SHD capable shelling out 1-2K for a 30" LCD monitor)
*1280 x 1024 and 1440 x 900 are very close in size. The cards listed are suitable for both its a matter of choice and performance needs.


ALWAYS run your game in your monitors NATIVE resolution!

Now that list is just for decent good gaming performance. If you want to max out that resolution on your game or have one of the cards for a lower resolution and want to run the higher resolution then pop in another of the same kinda and run SLI / Xfire and your there.

I know folks that get / do more with there card though overclocking etc.. this is just a basic guideline but if your trying to jump that resolution with a lower card try to get the highest memory version of that card case the higher resolutions LOVE more memory!

Lets talk about these LCD TVs posing as monitors. Anything right now that is more than 30" is NOT a monitor. It is a LCD TV.

You only want to do that if you have to have a bigger screen IE it doubles as your tv for a very large room. If you do have to get a LCD TV don't waste your money on more than 1 of the cards on the 2560 X 1600 list as your not really going to even tap into the benefits of a second high end card with that lower resolution stretched picture and granular screen.

The big boys on the higher resolution DO NOT perform as well on the lower resolutions as say a super clocked lower end card in SLI. The big boys are better equipped for the most parts to do BIG things. The GTX280 is the only exception but doesn't do it across the board. The 9800GX2 is an example of a Big Boy that isn't so good at lower resolutions but still beats out the GTX 280 and HD 4870x2 in about half the 2560 X 1600 bench marks!

Research your card and MONITOR together and find what is going to be the best for your GAMING RESOLUTION, not your synthetic benchmark.

In racing, you won't see a drag car on the 500 lap race, and vice versa. Our video is no different.
So a guy with 2 9600 GT can push out more FPS on Crysis than a guy with three GTX 280s pending on what monitors / resolution they are running its about matching!

Lastly know your game and its features. AA/AF pushes cards hard, and some games have simple engines and can run very high resolutions and settings with low end cards.

Hope this helps and please feel free to add or correct!
December 7, 2008 1:14:31 AM

sorry for the not perfect formatting as I did this in another forum first and decided to cut paste here for I get a lot of reference material from Toms.
December 7, 2008 1:46:59 AM

I HEAR STICKY!

add in 1440x900 resolution btw, theres a number of people that game on 19" widescreens including me :D  9600GT is more than enough for that, i can play crysis on all High 8x AA with the Natural mod...

for 1280x1024 i would say a 4670 or 9600GSO/8800GS
1024x768 (anyone still play on that?) = 4650? 8600GT?
Related resources
a c 192 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 7, 2008 2:09:20 AM

Guild Wars runs just fine on highest settings at 1680x1050 with my lowly 3850. It depends a lot on the requirements of the game.
I appreciate the intent, but I don't think this is "sticky" material.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 2:18:02 AM

I think it would be worth mentioning that AA/AF could make the scale slide off by 1-2 positions (ex: 1680x1050+2xAA+8xAF=4870). Not perfect but a great starter for people looking for a new card. Perhaps it could have a place in next to the "hierarchy chart" in the "best card for the money" monthly article.
December 7, 2008 2:24:53 AM

Made the changes V3N0M and that is great input!

My intent isn't to make a STICKY but seriously at least 90% of the "gamers" rigs I end up in my lap have no clue what they are trying to do with the video card / monitor match they have going.

AA can push things, and games like Guild Wars that have simple pathing maps don't. This list is intended as a GENERAL guide line not a end all be all!
December 7, 2008 2:28:10 AM

also note that 1440x900 and 1280x1024 are practically the same size.
December 7, 2008 2:43:37 AM

if done right i think it could be. updated to a list of the latest games people are/want to play, it could be VERY helpful.

lol i posted 3 posts too late... epic lag..
a c 171 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 7, 2008 2:46:38 AM

For anyone who's been wondering, this is why I always ask what res you play at when you post about which card to get. There is little point to buying a GTX260 if you game on an 1440x900 19" monitor. Save your $$$, or put it into something else.

Also, if you are an RTS fan, or play mostly RPGs, the requirements aren't as high. You don't need 60FPS for these games, 30 or 45 will do fine. I also don't think this is sticky material, but more people need to realize how this works.
December 7, 2008 3:14:35 AM

yeah, that's usually the first question we ask people posting "which grafix card shud i get"
December 7, 2008 3:36:32 AM

rodneysb said:


Graphics Card
Nvida / ATI = Monitor's Native Resolution
9600GSO / HD 4670 = 1280 x 1024 *
9600 GT / HD 3870 = 1440 x 900 *
9800 GT / HD 4850 = 1680 X 1050
9800 GTX, GTX 260/HD 4870 = 1920 X 1200 (HD capable and look for contrast at least 1000:1)



Id disagree with the HD 4850 its actually better suited for 1920x1200 better than the 9800gtx/gtx+ and even more if its the 1GB version, but neither actually perform that well in that resolution in newer games they're both 1680x1050, and the HD 4830 probably the best Card below 1680x1050, 1440 x 900 its about the same as 1280 x1024 so all the listed are in the range of 19 inches
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 7, 2008 3:55:05 AM

Also, the 9800GX2 only has an effective 512MB framebuffer, and as a result, doesn't really have the memory to do stuff like AA at 2560x1600. Without AA, it excels, but with AA, you'd be much better off with a 280 or 4870x2. I'm running a 4870x2 at 1920x1200, and it works perfectly, and is a great match. I can max out every game I've tried except the pair of Crysis games, and that's with significant (at least 4x) antialiasing.
December 7, 2008 4:10:31 AM

I'm kinda in the dark with your chart, I got a 32" LCD TV. What would you guys advise I get when I buy a gaming rig?. I know I can pull off 720p on the native resolution(1366X768) which is fine for me I'm content with that. What do you guys suggest I go with if I want to do full throttle gaming? I was set on a GTX280 but now I'm a little confused on if that's going to be a mistake.
December 7, 2008 4:14:43 AM

Excellent work. Certainly there may be a few subjective tweaks, but this is very helpful. Anti-aliasing may add some complexity, but that would be helpful too.

I assume the new 1080 24" monitors are ~= to the 1200 ones?
December 7, 2008 4:17:25 AM

nebakanezar said:
I'm kinda in the dark with your chart, I got a 32" LCD TV. What would you guys advise I get when I buy a gaming rig?. I know I can pull off 720p on the native resolution(1366X768) which is fine for me I'm content with that. What do you guys suggest I go with if I want to do full throttle gaming? I was set on a GTX280 but now I'm a little confused on if that's going to be a mistake.


Its still a great Choice for your resolution, if you have the cash go for it...
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 7, 2008 4:20:20 AM

Useless, games do not suffer as much form running at lower then native res then the desktop does. Also different games will run differently. My 8800gt can run mass effect, left 4 dead and Dead Space at 1920x1200 comfortably at max settings. Crysis warhead looks fine at 1680x1050 on gamer settings.

Also screen size is irrelavant. only resolution matters. So making some "rules" about what seperates a pc monitor and a TV is pointless.
December 7, 2008 5:41:25 AM

cjl said:
Also, the 9800GX2 only has an effective 512MB framebuffer, and as a result, doesn't really have the memory to do stuff like AA at 2560x1600.


Funny you say that, I personally run TWO 9800GX2 on a XHD3000. I have no problems going full tilt and a variety of games. I do have on occasion the line that cuts across the top 1/3 part of the screen but its only noticable for a split second and its gone. I chalked it up to an AA feature. I used a single 4850x2 for about a week and sold it, wasn't even close to what I got with the GX2.


husky mctarflash said:
Excellent work. Certainly there may be a few subjective tweaks, but this is very helpful. Anti-aliasing may add some complexity, but that would be helpful too.

I assume the new 1080 24" monitors are ~= to the 1200 ones?


If I understanding your question right unless your mixing resolution with HD image quality.

Yes most 1080 HD capable 24" monitors run at 1920 X 1200 resolution.

said:
I'm kinda in the dark with your chart, I got a 32" LCD TV. What would you guys advise I get when I buy a gaming rig?. I know I can pull off 720p on the native resolution(1366X768) which is fine for me I'm content with that. What do you guys suggest I go with if I want to do full throttle gaming? I was set on a GTX280 but now I'm a little confused on if that's going to be a mistake.
said:


Its good if you have the money and intend on maybe upgrading your LCD TV later or do lots of video editing, but honestly for gaming that is a good example of overkill. Run a 260+ or 4870 if you want and still have a good bit of headroom. Honestly a 9800GT or 4850 would push most things you throw at it today at a decent frame rate and either of them In SLI would smoke a single GTX280 at a cheaper cost. (at that resolution)

One last note. The HD 4850 is a poisonous topic. The 9800 GT and 4850 seem to have wickedly different benchmarks every week based on some new variation of the clocks folks push them at. I base my guide on stock clocks for the simple reason that any card when you tinker with it can do more but what are you getting from the start? The HD 4850 from the start does not compare with the 9800 GTX or 260 stock.
December 7, 2008 5:52:57 AM

Oh on the enaher post I notice your an ATI guy and thats great.
(I personally like NVidia high end cards better right now its all a matter of if you like taking the road to the right or left to get to the same place to be honest the benchmarks are so close)

I just got the wife one of the new Dell Studio XPS I7 system, it arrived with a crappy very low end ATI card (not even on this list) and a 380 watt PSU.
The wife runs a Dell 2407 which is 1960 x 1200 and pushes 1080p HD.

A pair of HD 4670 in CrossFire is the only answer for getting her up to where she needs to be. I give big Kudos to ATI for building a low power high featured card that can rock out in a set for a low power PC.

Got to love low power consumption cards that can muscle up in pairs!
December 7, 2008 6:22:15 AM

Todays Price List for the cards on the lower end

HD 4670 512MB $55*
1GB $90
9600 GS0 768MB $78**
9600 GT 512MB $72
1GB $104
HD 3870 512MB $72
1GB $104
HD 4850 512MB $129
1GB $172
9800 GT 512MB $94 ***
1GB $124
GTX 512MB $149
GTX+512MB $159
1GB $179
HD 4870 512MB $189
1GB $224
GTX260 896MB $199
GTX260 216 896MB $244

* HD 4650 is simply the best buy on the market for anything under 1680 x 1050. You can get two of them for the price of one of any other card and they take only motherboard power! Con is they don't leave any head room for larger monitors later, you will be replacing them both if you intend to upgrade your monitor soon don't go here.

** 9600GSO 768MB version can give you the extra GPU memory needed on may games and apps. If you have grater GPU hungry needs this is the cheapest way to fill them and just like the above mention you can do them in SLI or TRI SLI for next to nothing.

***9800GT like the HD 4850 is an over-clockers dream. 9800GT is $35 cheaper per unit and the ability to have two and even three in a system give this card more clout right now. If your looking to bust the benchmarks and don't have much money to shell out, this is your card right now, keep your eyes peeled I am sure ATI won't allow this to last to long.

Also a question I get asked a lot about these 1gb versions of cards that has been touched on in this thread, at lower resolutions you don't much need them in MOST games and applications. Seriously for the price difference on some models you would be much better off getting a second card! The exception is if your running games full tilt that do big things with AA and AF.
December 7, 2008 6:26:40 AM

rodneysb said:
Oh on the enaher post I notice your an ATI guy and thats great.
(I personally like NVidia high end cards better right now its all a matter of if you like taking the road to the right or left to get to the same place to be honest the benchmarks are so close)


Nope im a fan of performance I went from a 7800GTX to 8800GTX, and then an HD4870 1GB(that might be gone soon in favor o something new and better performing), as of the HD 4850 it overpowers the 9800gtx and the gtx+ in most of the benchmarks except Crisis, Flight simulator, and Quake Wars... and i can say this because i own most of the current gen card HD4670, 9600 GSO, 8800GT SLI, 8800GTX, HD 4850, HD4830 CF, HD4870, 9800gtx (Gone because of a volt mod gone bad :lol:  )and my brother owns the HD4870 x2 and a GF GTX 260 216 that actually mops the floor with my HD4870 after the Big Bang II driver release... :( 

And i can at least say that the 9800gt its closer to the HD4830 but not near the HD4850 at stock

December 7, 2008 7:44:25 AM

I buy the best card I can get for under $200 and stay with that.
I like eye candy, but it's not a must.
December 7, 2008 8:00:29 AM

Quote:
One last note. The HD 4850 is a poisonous topic. The 9800 GT and 4850 seem to have wickedly different benchmarks every week based on some new variation of the clocks folks push them at. I base my guide on stock clocks for the simple reason that any card when you tinker with it can do more but what are you getting from the start? The HD 4850 from the start does not compare with the 9800 GTX or 260 stock.

I strongly disagree. because the 9800GT's run cooler, they can overclock much further than the 4850's can when they are overclocked, and they are cheaper, which makes for an even better deal when you get a pair of them. on that basis, i recommend 9800GT's over 4850's... unless the price is good
December 7, 2008 8:28:59 AM

Ok I moved the GTX down with the GT sparing off with the hd 4850. Toss them up in the air one cost more runs hotter but has better speed. (it did beat the GTX in 36-31 in the 67 benches but the GTX+ BEASTED the 4850 54-13.
December 7, 2008 8:56:23 AM

?
December 7, 2008 9:29:44 AM

And added the GTX+ to the 260 /4870 line.
February 11, 2009 2:32:17 PM

Hi, i'm thinking of upgrading my 19" monitor to a 24"
U guys think my 4870 512MB can handle that resolution with game settings set to max?
!