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How future proof are the current graphics cards

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 30, 2009 5:24:04 PM

i mean the HD48x0 and GTX xxx series
i'm considering buying:

1. HD 4850
2. HD 4870
3. GTX 260
4. HD 4850 x2

but i want to make sure i can play games for the next 2-4 years without upgrading
which would be the best investment?

(gaming at 1680x1050, possibly 1920x1080)
April 30, 2009 5:29:00 PM

It actually depends on your motherboard I suppose.

You can always add another card in CrossFire or SLi configuration without discarding/selling the first one. I would think 4870, though, since the next one up (4890) is only 10% performance increase, and the best card there is right now (4870x2) is essentially two 4870 crossfired on a single board.

Honestly, though, no one know what the future holds. Some genius might come up with a revolutionary graphic cards next year and put all the current cards to shame.
April 30, 2009 5:37:55 PM

Graphics cards are almost impossible to future proof. For all we know, there will be some ridiculous game with 10x more graphical need than Crysis coming out in the next 6 months, and anything that we buy now will be obsolete and incapable of running it on High.

Your best bet is to do as Dragon Suggested, or just plan on upgrading graphics in the next couple of years.

If your motherboard can handle it, then I would go the SLI/Crossfire upgrade path. At least that way, when you need to get that new card, it will be back a generation (or two) and will be fairly cheap.

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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2009 5:47:31 PM

The only way to have a future-proof GPU is to have future-proof expectations :p . Look at what was the hottest hardware around was this far back and look how much it's worth now ... If you want to keep-up, you either have to buy very high end GPU every 2-2.5 years or mid-range every 1-1.5 years.
a c 107 U Graphics card
April 30, 2009 5:48:23 PM

Pretty much what everyone else said. Anyway of the cards you're looking at I'd say go with the 4850 x2. Get the 2GB version though since you will probably be limited on memory before GPU power.
April 30, 2009 6:27:39 PM

As much future proof as 9700pro were, 7800gtx were and 9600gt are.
The question is an oxymoron. There is no such thing as future proof, if you need a graphic card buy the one you can afford and be happy with it. There is always something new that will come down the road faster and better than what is available now, and so will games get developed with more features, details, real time physics and better AI.
April 30, 2009 8:21:34 PM

El_Mayo said:
i mean the HD48x0 and GTX xxx series
i'm considering buying:

1. HD 4850
2. HD 4870
3. GTX 260
4. HD 4850 x2

but i want to make sure i can play games for the next 2-4 years without upgrading
which would be the best investment?

(gaming at 1680x1050, possibly 1920x1080)



A lot depends on your motherboard. Can you do Crossfire or SLI?

I went with a 4850, cuz I was strapped for cash... spent about $110.00 for an overclocked ASUS. I do, however, have a crossfire motherboard, so next year I'll pick up a 4850 x2 for a much better price than it would be today, and essentially have 3-way Crossfire on two boards.
April 30, 2009 8:38:28 PM

2 years ago I bought an 8800gts 640mb. Since that time I have upgraded to an 8800gtx, a 9800gtx+ and an HD4850. I have actually owned 2 HD4850's. I recently killed a gpu and the only temp replacement I had was the 8800GTS 640mb. I put the card in, downloaded the drivers and was able to run every game on my comp with no problems. The only game that needed an adjustment was CODwaw.

In short, spend about $200 on a card and you should be able to use it at least 2 years. Actually, I would recommend that you stop reading this forum after you buy the card or you will wind up like me, a lonely old man with a stack of gpu's. ;) 
April 30, 2009 8:40:06 PM

haha ^+1. True words of wisdom :) 
a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2009 9:07:28 PM

Stay away from dual cards; the 4870X2 is already dissappearing, and driver support for dual GPU cards has always been lackluster. Get a single more powerful card (like the 4890 or 285 GTX), and CF/SLI later if you need more power.

Look at it this way: The 8800GTX has held up pretty well, and the 8800GT is still a cheap option. Those were the only cards to ever pay off the initial $500+ investment, in my mind.
May 1, 2009 1:42:33 AM

Quote:
Cant imagine why one would go from a 8800GTX to a 9800GTX+ or why one would go from a 9800GTX+ to a HD4850....but anyways.

This should be in contention for dumbest question of the year award. Nothings future proof for 2-4 yrs.






Because I can and look at the folding@home benchmarks for those gpu's. Not everything is about FPS in Crysis.

Besides, what's the point in posting in someone's thread just so you can say "this is a dumb question"? It's not a dumb question. It is a question posted by someone who is obviously not as knowledgeable as you.
a b U Graphics card
May 1, 2009 9:02:12 AM


In short, spend about $200 on a card and you should be able to use it at least 2 years. Actually, I would recommend that you stop reading this forum after you buy the card or you will wind up like me, a lonely old man with a stack of gpu's. said:

In short, spend about $200 on a card and you should be able to use it at least 2 years. Actually, I would recommend that you stop reading this forum after you buy the card or you will wind up like me, a lonely old man with a stack of gpu's.


if you really read the forums carefully you wont end up with a stack of gpu's. if it happened that somebody here had persuaded you to upgrade from an 8800gtx to a 9800gtx+, even a gtx+ to a 4850, its all your fault lol.

Because I can and look at the folding@home benchmarks for those gpu's. Not everything is about FPS in Crysis. said:
Because I can and look at the folding@home benchmarks for those gpu's. Not everything is about FPS in Crysis.


folding @ home is the new standard of "fun" now?
a b U Graphics card
May 1, 2009 9:05:27 AM

Quote:
Nothings future proof for 2-4 yrs.

G80 comes close. The 8800GTX is still a formidable card considering its age. Very few cards get that kind of lifespan though.
May 1, 2009 9:27:54 AM

Some things are a little more sensible like cpu's, example if you bought a CPU right now, p2 or i7, 2 or 3 years down the road, which would you rather have? lol
May 1, 2009 1:06:46 PM

They are good till December 8th, 2009 @ 2:30 AM

a b U Graphics card
May 1, 2009 1:22:57 PM

I am still running a BFG 8800GTS 512 OC card that I bought on sale a year and a half ago for $179. It overclocks like a demon and scales really well when you crank up the core speed. Though the newest high end cards make it look bad it in the benchmarks, it actually stills get the job done nicely at native res on my 19" Samsung, 1280x1024. This has been the best card/performance for price I have ever bought. I keep thinking one day I'll upgrade it, but just really don't see any need yet!
May 1, 2009 9:07:33 PM

wh3resmycar said:
if you really read the forums carefully you wont end up with a stack of gpu's. if it happened that somebody here had persuaded you to upgrade from an 8800gtx to a 9800gtx+, even a gtx+ to a 4850, its all your fault lol.



folding @ home is the new standard of "fun" now?



again, someone who wants to argue meaninglessly. I bought them because I wanted to and because I could.

folding@home is fun to me. My kids enjoy games so it's a win win.
May 1, 2009 9:40:18 PM

FWIW, I have a HD 4850 and am very happy with it.

As far as doing the SLI/Xfire thing... in theory its all good... But if you wait to long to add the second card, then you'll find that the older cards jump in price as they get scarce. Then your left with the dilemma of paying a lot of money for the second card, or just shelving your old card and buy a newer, faster single card.

This happened with me.. I bought a X1950 Pro when I built my current, older system. It was a more then adequate graphics card at that time. When I built, I went with a crossfire board (Xpress3200) with the intentions of adding a second when needed..... Well, it just so happened that the graphics requirements for games went up at the same time the X1950 Pro's were getting scarce... hence I now have my HD 4850 in my PC and my X1950 Pro is in a box in the closet (a shame too, it still works and looks like it when it was new... and was never OC'ed!!)

In short, dont always count on the upgrade to dual cards as a sollution... Just my 2 cents....
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