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Video card selection for new gaming system

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 12, 2009 6:34:55 AM

I'm in the market for a new system that will be primarily used for gaming. Originally I had planned on going with a resolution of 1920x1200, however I've realized that with my component set and price range I might have to settle for 1680x1050. That is why I have come here, to get some help from you guys! :D 

The following are the components I've decided to pick for my new system (minus the video card, that's why I'm here). I'm looking for something that is pretty future-proof for quite a while as well. Of course any suggestions to modify these are welcome as well (keep in mind all prices are listed in Canadian dollars):

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor $202.99
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $159.99
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory $68.04
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $159.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $98.49
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner $29.99
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $45.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $98.69
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders $149.99

This totals to $1014.16, which is probably more than I'd like to spend on a system without a video card. Next, of course, I need a GPU. I have a couple selected already that I thought might fit in with the rest of my components:

XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $307.84
XFX HD-487A-ZDDC Radeon HD 4870 XXX 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Video Card $338.24
SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $381.69
SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $528.09

With the first three cards listed, after taxes and shipping, I'm looking at around $1,600. This is pretty much the max amount I'm wanting to spend on a system, and this is still stretching it pretty high. Originally I had planned for a system around $1,000-$1,250, taxes and shipping included, but it seems that where my sights are this just isn't possible. Let's also keep in mind I need to get a monitor on top of all of this!

I'm also open to the idea of getting an SLI or CrossFire motherboard, although at the moment I'm set on a single-GPU configuration, as it seems a lot more cost effective.
a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2009 9:16:08 AM

Well just a small thought ...
Change the PSU to this
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $123.19
(Before $20.00 USD Mail-In
Rebate

And get the 4870X2...
The reason is simple...U can get to crossfire 2 4870X2 in the mobo u have chosen and the 650W will be enuf for the single 4870X2....
So have saved some bucks on that ...well just an idea...

But if u want to go for the single card solution for less, then go for the 4870 1GB (don change the PSU though...)Cos the mobo is crossfir supported...so later u can add one more....
February 12, 2009 9:23:00 AM

Well if you don't mind spending that 150$ more, you can buy the 4870x2.
But price/performance ratio, the 4850x2's more worth buying though, IMO.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2009 9:39:58 AM

Well the 4850X2 is not a bad option ...but jus check out the reviews abt it and u are satisfied wit it...
But the best option is 4870 1GB
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $274.24
(Before $10.00 USD Mail-In
Rebate
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Get tis rather than the 1 u have chosen... u can easily overclock it to that frequ...and save money on that....
a c 191 U Graphics card
February 12, 2009 11:31:23 AM

The mobo you've chosen supports Crossfire. Get the single 1GB 4870 now, or even drop back to a 1GB 4850; you can get another one for Crossfire later when your budget allows, and the PSU you've selected will be sufficient.
February 12, 2009 9:40:42 PM

Quote:
I find it hard to believe you are spending that much on a mobo and dual core cpu when you could have a fast quad core for the same amount of money.
Socket 775 is dead, what are you going to upgrade to later?? Your only choice would be a QXXX -OR- you will have to buy a new mobo, cpu, and ram later. Is this dead end really a good investment?


Are you suggesting a Core i7 setup? It would be nice, since I wouldn't be backing myself in a corner upgrade-wise, but the amount of money to go this route is through the roof. I'm really looking at getting something soon, however maybe for what I want I will have to wait another couple of months.
February 13, 2009 12:38:36 AM

zodiac vii said:
I'm in the market for a new system that will be primarily used for gaming. Originally I had planned on going with a resolution of 1920x1200, however I've realized that with my component set and price range I might have to settle for 1680x1050. That is why I have come here, to get some help from you guys! :D 

The following are the components I've decided to pick for my new system (minus the video card, that's why I'm here). I'm looking for something that is pretty future-proof for quite a while as well. Of course any suggestions to modify these are welcome as well (keep in mind all prices are listed in Canadian dollars):

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor $202.99
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $159.99
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory $68.04
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $159.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $98.49
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner $29.99
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $45.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $98.69
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders $149.99

This totals to $1014.16, which is probably more than I'd like to spend on a system without a video card. Next, of course, I need a GPU. I have a couple selected already that I thought might fit in with the rest of my components:

XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card $307.84
XFX HD-487A-ZDDC Radeon HD 4870 XXX 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Video Card $338.24
SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $381.69
SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $528.09

With the first three cards listed, after taxes and shipping, I'm looking at around $1,600. This is pretty much the max amount I'm wanting to spend on a system, and this is still stretching it pretty high. Originally I had planned for a system around $1,000-$1,250, taxes and shipping included, but it seems that where my sights are this just isn't possible. Let's also keep in mind I need to get a monitor on top of all of this!

I'm also open to the idea of getting an SLI or CrossFire motherboard, although at the moment I'm set on a single-GPU configuration, as it seems a lot more cost effective.


Monitor? Not much point in a 4870, NV 260, whatever for a 1680 monitor. Monitor first, then GPU to match.
February 13, 2009 1:34:52 AM

Not bad but I would make a few changes

Here all prices are from www.newegg.com in "bold" are my recommendation.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor $202.99
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.5GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q8300 - $189.99
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $159.99
(good board I've got a P31) (Currently $134.99 at newegg)
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory $68.04
Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) $23.99x2 (47.98)
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $159.99 ($129.99)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $98.49 (Currently $74.99)
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner $29.99
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $45.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $98.69
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders $149.99

As for video card depending on what you want to play I for see two options. If you like ATI (I'm not a fan personally) 4870 or 4870x2 are great cards in performance (I don't like ati drivers) and there are some good open box deals on newegg as of late. For Nvida if you want budget get 9800GT or 9800GTX they can be had from $120-$170. If you want something that will play crisys well I just got yesterday (open box GTX260 $157), go with the GTX 260 or higher but be warned that the 9800GTX and GTX2** series cards are 10.5 to 11.5 long. Newegg has a msi GTX 260 for $215 which just came down was $249 plus a rebate available.
My system
E7200 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo
4GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 1066
Seagate 640GB 32mb cache 7200rpm
MSI GTX260 896mb

I can play crisys warhead at max setting with 4xAA, on 1280x1040 flawless. I've not tried to add higher AA yet. I can also play original crisys on high with 4xAA on 1280x1040 really well. All non-overclocked from mfg settings.
!