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What Video Card should I go for?

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March 2, 2009 5:37:34 PM

I am looking at building a new computer and was told that I need to pick out the video card first. The computer will be used as a media center to play movies and also for gaming. My budget for the video card is between $150-$200. What is the best card for my budget and should I get a nicer card and a lower processor speed? Looking at getting the intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3 GHZ processor and 4 GB of ram and just the basics after that.

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March 2, 2009 5:44:45 PM

I'd recommend the 4850 or the gtx260(216). Both are around 150-200 mark, and are great cards! Just pick according to watever suits your needs more ;) 
a c 165 U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 5:57:50 PM

Which games and what monitor/TV are you going to use?
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a c 175 U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 6:08:45 PM

Yes, what games and resolution? Mrcrybaby's suggestion is probably good, unless the games and/or resolution are undemanding, in which case you'd be spending more than necessary.
Check out Cleeve's monthly article on the best gaming graphics cards for the money.
a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 6:21:07 PM

Also note the price drop coming on the HD4870. For 150 you can't go wrong.
a c 140 U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 6:23:39 PM

^
Agreed. The 4870 for $150 is a steal! I have a 4870 1GB and I love it.
a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 6:35:00 PM

Another +1 for the $150 4870 - amazing.
March 2, 2009 6:35:19 PM

oooh! Ya 4870 is pretty sweet for 150 if that's the price nowadays. Remember to factor in bundles and warranties as well :)  Thats partially the reason I choose to stick with nvidia, so many lifetime warranties!!
March 2, 2009 7:00:16 PM

I will be using it with a Viewsonic PJ551 projector. I am playing Left 4 Dead at 1360 x 768 resolution right now and Team Fortress 2 but would like to play newer games when they come out as well and not have to upgrade for a few years.
March 2, 2009 7:09:07 PM

It's actually the PJ551D, and if that doesn't work well with the card I would use my Samsung 2433BW 24" monitor with the computer.
March 2, 2009 7:10:10 PM

Not having to upgrade for a few years? That's a tricky goal to fill -_-

You might consider the 4870 1GB then. Sure, the 1GB is complete overkill for 1360x768 right now, but a couple years down the road it might be necessary.
The 4870 itself is pretty speedy and can handle any current game just fine. Its performance will obviously start to taper off in the coming years, but judging by how well it performs now, it will probably be a good while before it becomes completely obsolete.
March 2, 2009 8:01:35 PM

efeat said:
Not having to upgrade for a few years? That's a tricky goal to fill -_-

You might consider the 4870 1GB then. Sure, the 1GB is complete overkill for 1360x768 right now, but a couple years down the road it might be necessary.
The 4870 itself is pretty speedy and can handle any current game just fine. Its performance will obviously start to taper off in the coming years, but judging by how well it performs now, it will probably be a good while before it becomes completely obsolete.


I know it will be pretty tricky to fill, I even expected someone to laugh at that comment but all I really need is something that will handle really well right now and make it a little ways into the future, I can only hope that what I get will last a few years and then actually wait and see what I end up needing.
March 2, 2009 8:17:04 PM

jay2tall said:
Not sure when they will take effect though. It says early this week:
http://www.dailytech.com/Radeon+4870+Gets+50+Price+Cut+...

But its a REALLY good deal.


That is very exciting, I think I will wait for the price to drop on those and go with that. Is there a specific processor or memory that would work best with that video card?
March 3, 2009 1:41:26 AM

I would spend a tad bit more and go with a GTX 280, 285, or 295. You will regret getting something smaller just to save $50. Also for games a Geforce usually outperforms ATI on just about every game. You can click on the charts tab above and look at the benchmarks. Trust me, save up a little extra to get a good card. You dont want to run into building a brand new computer and installing a new game and realize that you cant run it on max settings. I have a Q9550, GTX 260 with everything Oced and GTA4 says I cant run on max settings. Same goes for other games like FSX and Crysis I cant get higher then 2x AA. It still looks great, but I am kicking myself in the butt because I wish I would have just waited a month to get a 285 or 295. Trust me on this one.
a c 140 U Graphics card
March 3, 2009 2:54:55 AM

^
The 4870 is made to run with the 260. Obviously the 280,285, or 295 will out perform it. I always say get the most you can afford with what you are willing to pay. The 285 is overpriced though, I'd get the 280 and OC the thing.
March 3, 2009 10:12:45 AM

Whatever it is.. If you have money to spend on, then go for GTX285... otherwise HD4870 1GB.
March 3, 2009 11:26:44 AM

Spitfire7 said:
I would spend a tad bit more and go with a GTX 280, 285, or 295. You will regret getting something smaller just to save $50. Also for games a Geforce usually outperforms ATI on just about every game. You can click on the charts tab above and look at the benchmarks. Trust me, save up a little extra to get a good card. You dont want to run into building a brand new computer and installing a new game and realize that you cant run it on max settings. I have a Q9550, GTX 260 with everything Oced and GTA4 says I cant run on max settings. Same goes for other games like FSX and Crysis I cant get higher then 2x AA. It still looks great, but I am kicking myself in the butt because I wish I would have just waited a month to get a 285 or 295. Trust me on this one.

March 3, 2009 11:27:18 AM

It's a struggle because I want a nice video card but I don't want to afford it. I have the money but I don't think I can rationalize spending $300 or so to get the GTX 280. If it is worth it in the long run I can dish out the money now to get it but I've made it the last few years with on board video cards or cheap cards like the 9800 GSO. I also have a family and don't want to spend too much on "toys". I think if I was to spend a little more on a video card I would have to draw the line at $250 out the door but stay closer to $200 preferably.
March 4, 2009 2:41:59 AM

The 4870 is quite cheap right now... if I was strapped for cash, it would be my card of choice. Great value & great performance.
a c 140 U Graphics card
March 4, 2009 2:19:04 PM

bigmidgeman said:
It's a struggle because I want a nice video card but I don't want to afford it. I have the money but I don't think I can rationalize spending $300 or so to get the GTX 280. If it is worth it in the long run I can dish out the money now to get it but I've made it the last few years with on board video cards or cheap cards like the 9800 GSO. I also have a family and don't want to spend too much on "toys". I think if I was to spend a little more on a video card I would have to draw the line at $250 out the door but stay closer to $200 preferably.



You can get a fantastic card for your budget, $150-$200. You get what you can afford and be happy with it. I love my 4870 1gb card. Granted I sprung for it over the 512 model for the little bit of boost that it gives, but the 4870 512 is a GREAT deal.

So for that range I'd look at these in decending order: 4870(512), 9800GTX+, 4850(512)

The 9800GTX= falls performance and price wise right between the 4870 and the 4850.

Here is a nice powercolor 4870 and is $150 after rebate, and is Oced to 800MHz: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is a 9800GTX+ from XFX that is $130 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a c 140 U Graphics card
March 4, 2009 2:22:51 PM

^

Actually look at this AWESOME DEAL, dude I would totally get this deal. Its the XFX 9800GTX+ card listed above with a free FarCry2 game plus the rebate on the card. That is Sweet @ss deal. You want a value.. THERE IT IS.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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