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Best 250-300$ graphic card (4850X2, 4890, GTX275)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 3, 2009 3:18:05 AM

Hey I wanna get a new video card and I'm still deciding on what one to get.
Here are my current specs (sorry it's so long)

Micorosft Windows 7 RC1
AMD Phenom II 940 BE 3.0X4 (oc'd 3.6)
4gb (2x2) OCZ Fatality 1066mhz DDR2 RAM
Seagate Barricuda 500gb 16mb (soon to be 500x2)
ATI Radeon HD4850 512mb
Samsung SyncMaster 24" (1920x1200)
ASUS M4A78 PRO 780GX
500w PSU (know I must upgrade looking at 700w with proper connections)
NZXT HUSH case (quiet don't care about noise good airflow as well)

My rig is almost an AMD dragon, official specs are my CPU, 4870 and 790 chipset soo close

I've been looking more at the ATI cards they seem more cost efficient, and I've always leaned towards AMD for that. Basically I want to max out every game and get decent framerates (Crysis excepted), so I want the absolute best for under 300$. I've been leaning towards the 4850X2, since it's two cards in one but I've read that the 4890 could still be better...
Also CrossFire/SLI is out of the picture as I only have one x16 slot. I will go with Nvidia if it's better than the ATI's, just open to anything really. Mostly be playing Fallout 3, Oblivion, Command and Conquer RA3, Crysis, Warhead, any new good FPS or RPG...

thanks
June 3, 2009 3:26:44 AM

Gtx 275 is by far the best. Short and simply answer.
June 3, 2009 3:28:50 AM

Well you can't get the absolute best for under $300, as the 4870 X2's are ~$400, and who knows what 4890 X2's are going to be if (and when) they come out.

4850 X2 and the 4980 are very close in terms of FPS, you could get a souped-out 4890 if you want, and OC it. The X2's run hot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Related resources
June 3, 2009 3:51:13 AM

Tech-Boy said:
Gtx 275 is by far the best. Short and simply answer.


I completely agree with Tech-Boy. Believe me, I have been doing a lot of research on the same exact cards you are looking at. I actually started out with the same exact question as you. From all the benchmarks I have been looking at from many different sources, the GTX 275 has came out on top. I am specifically looking at the BFG GeForce GTX 275, which is featured on the benchmarks here on tomshardware.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is the specific card I have been reading about that is beating out the GTX 280's and the 4890.
June 3, 2009 3:53:17 AM

Oh and as a side note... I was really leaning towards ATI to ^.^ But the results, performance, price of the 275 doesn't lie.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 3:58:18 AM

4890 and GTX275 comes pretty close to each other. Go with what is cheaper and if your mobo is Sli or Xfire
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 4:01:53 AM

The 4850x2 is faster than any single gpu card. Seriously what benchmarks are you people reading?
June 3, 2009 4:15:56 AM

I don't have time at the moment to go back and give examples of the benchmarks I've been looking at. However, you have the future to think about also. If you were to go with the GTX 275 now, and then in 1-2 years when it begins to become out dated, you can pick up another one for very cheap and run them in SLI. Which no doubtly beats out the 4850x2.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 4:19:27 AM

Whether 4850x2 is faster or not isn't relevant here.

OP said "Also CrossFire/SLI is out of the picture as I only have one x16 slot."
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 4:29:39 AM

Of course it's relevent, the op wants to know what the best card out of the 4850x2, 4890 and gtx275 is.

The 4850x2 is the fastest card out of those 3. He also only has one pci-e x16 slot, making the 4850x2 even more of a no-brainer.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 5:55:10 AM

According to that the 1gb gts250 beats the 4870x2 in far cry 2 also.

I think I can safely say that is the worst set of benchmarks I've ever seen.

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=18359&page=4

The 4850x2 is faster - comfortably - than a gtx275.

Edit - i dunno what happened but my post ended up above the one i was replying to...
June 3, 2009 5:55:31 AM

jennyh said:
The 4850x2 is faster than any single gpu card. Seriously what benchmarks are you people reading?


Here is one extremely informative link for the BFG GeFore GTX 275.
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read_pf.php?cID=1554

From this link you can see several, several benchmarks. Power consumption, maximum overclocks, pictures, everything you need to know about the BFG's 275.

Although these benchmarks do not specifically show the 4850X2, it does show the 4870X2. Throughout all the benchmarks this single BFG GTX 275 is right under the 4870X2 by just a few FPS. I believe in a few of them, they actually might come out on top. What I'm getting at, is if it this close to matching up to the 4870X2, it should certainly beat out the 4850X2. Since I haven't found a benchmark comparing the 4850X2 and BFG's 275 on the same link ( and I don't care atm to go through and post the 4850X2's results vs. the BFG's 275 to disprove or prove it's better ^.^) I can' necessary say if it will be better or not. I would highly recommend you looking through the link I sent you and looking through the benchmarks. The benchmarks from this link and how close they are matching up to the 4870X2 is definitely something to consider.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2009 6:42:27 AM

The 4850x2 is the fastest out of those three cards. This really isn't up for debate. We can hand pick benchmarks or sites but pretty much everything points to the card being superior. The 4580x2 is neck and neck with the 4870x2 in some benchmarks.
June 3, 2009 12:57:27 PM

I think the best you could do, would be buy another 4850, they are around $100.... and get the $200 left to change your MB to add crossfire option, and get the 790 chipset to be much closer to the dragon platform.
June 3, 2009 10:38:35 PM

I probably would go buy a new mobo and 4850, but i just got this one last month. I think I might go with the 4850x2 (also good with the 2gb of vram), and sometime in the distant future by a new mobo when i have enough money and then hook up the 4850 (if i havent sold it) and the 4850x2 together in xfire, according to ati it works really well. also ati cuz i have my amd processor and i dont know how many mobos have amd socket and sli...
but ive also heard that the x2's dont work well software wise, especially for old games (like oblivion), anyone know anything? Cuz i may go with the 275 then because switching over to intel and selling my amd stuff seems like a pretty good idea now once i sell some of my older rigs... also seems like the 4890 is out of the picture here

EDIT:Actually seems like theres a lot of SLI AMD mobos, so just ignore that
a c 106 U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 12:29:22 AM

Well, the 4850X2 will win out by a good margin alot of the time, but in games not optimized for crossfire it's going to suffer. If you were going to stick with a single GPU solution then I would say go with the 4890, altho if you really play Crysis alot you may be better served with the GTX 275. Another option that you should consider is getting a crossfire board and another 4850. Assuming you have an ATX case and a suitable PSU I would go with

ASRock A780GXE/128M $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or spend a little more and go with

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ASRock board needs to use a switch chip, just like the old X1600 chipset days, to split the lanes into two 8x lanes for crossfire. It's cheap and it works. The Gigabyte is a better solution and it has two slot spaces between the two PCI-E slots so that the airflow of the first card isn't blocked by the second card. Getting one of those boards and another 4850 would probably be the cheapest option :D . Not only that but you will have more upgrade options in the future.
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2009 12:00:20 AM

Not sure about a gtx275 beating a 4850x2 in crysis. Benchmarks on that?

Oh you mean over a 4890.

Honestly I can't see any good reason to buy either card. The 4850x2 is still the #3 fastest card money can buy, and it's a fair amount cheaper. These non-optimized crossfire games just don't exist any more, it's simply more fps for less cash and I'm still waiting to see the benchmarks to refute that.
June 6, 2009 7:53:00 PM

Right... I've actually decided to raise my budget... is the difference between a 4870X2 and a 4850X2 really worth the price?
a b U Graphics card
June 7, 2009 2:19:17 AM

That depends on the price of each. For example there were some 4850x2's going for a ludicrously cheap £134 a few days ago here in the uk. That's just insanely cheap for that level of performance.

I wouldn't pay £50 more for a 4870x2 over a 4850x2, same as i wouldn't pay £50 more for a gtx295 over a 4870x2. There are small differences but the biggest one will be the hole in your wallet.
June 8, 2009 2:50:19 PM

heres the difference i found

4850X2 - 250USD
625mhz gpu clock
2gb ddr3 vram at 993mhz
1600 stream processors

4870X2 - 400USD to 500
750mhz gpu clock
2gb ddr5 vram at 3600mhz
1600 stream processors
it also has the exhaust cooling, which looks better, but lacks the four dvi ports on the 4850x2 (who needs those anyway lol)

they both use the sam power so im gonna have to upgrade my 500w psu anyways (only 1 6pin connector)

in my native currency
4850x2 - 320CAD (which is stupid 250USD is actually 280CAD they have the wrong exchange rate)
4870x2 - 420CAD (unlike the 4850 this is the actual exchange rate idk more of a value unless newegg updates the rate on the 4850 soon)

EDIT: I was also wondering if since my board only supports hybrid xfire, will either of these cards even work or is the crossfire done on the card itself and not through the board
!