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Best card to play at max 1280x1024

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 4, 2009 12:17:56 AM

Hi there community. Just signed up because this seems the most obvious place to enlighten some questions I have.

Current specs: AMD64 3000+ (yeah, single core) / Asus EN7800GTX / 2.5 RAM / PSU LCPower 550W

I'm able to spend between 600 to up 900€ tops. Of course, as in the reviews "lower is better for my pocket"
As posted on the thread title, I need a single/SLI/Crossfire solution that enables me to feel a HUGE difference from my oldie 7800GTX TOP. Owning a Samsung SyncMaster 2053BW, I usually play at 1280x960. These resolutions please me on most games and also do not take a lot from my 7800. Also, there's the new 4770 1GB coming out...I have read many reviews and I have 4 options in mind, randomly:

2 x Asus 4770 Tweak Voltage in CrossFire mode. (Maybe the 1GB hoping to come out soon.)
Tweak Voltage edition price not available yet, standard Asus 4770 x 2 will cost 210€

XFX - Geforce GTX 280 1024Mb DDR3 602MHZ Ramdac PCI-E 250.99€
Asus - ENGTX275/HTDI/896MD3 - VGA NVIDIA GTX275 896M DDR3 PCI-E 219.99€
BFG GEFORCE GTX 260 OCX MAXCORE 896 MB GDDR3 224.95 €

Along with this I have to purchase a nice CPU/MOBO/RAM and PSU (mine will not suffice?)

Possible configs:

Config 1 (most expensive)
Intel Core i7 920 SLBCH 258,00€

One of these
Asus P6T 229,95€
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 268,80€
Asus P6T SE 189,95€

Gskill DDR3 PC-10666 NQ 4GB 69,60€
Nox Apex 800W SLI 102,50€
NOX COOLBAY SIDE WINDOW BLACK 53.50 €
VGA - one of the 4 options


Config2 (cheapest config)
INTEL CORE 2 DUO E8400 3.00 GHZ BOX 144.95 €
ASUS P5K 94.95 €
OCZ PC2-9200 REAPER HPC EDITION DC (2 x 2048) 69.95 €
NOX COOLBAY SIDE WINDOW BLACK 53.50 €
NOX APEX 700W 86.95 €
VGA - one of the 4 options


Config3 (neither cheap nor too expensive)
AMD Phenom X4 940 AM2+ 199,20€
Nox Apex 700W SLI 86,95€
Asus M4A79 Deluxe 174,00€
OCZ PC2-9200 REAPER HPC EDITION DC (2 x 2048) 69.95 €
NOX COOLBAY SIDE WINDOW BLACK 53.50 €
VGA - one of the 4 options


Having said that, I really look forward to get some feedback regarding my investment. Please, feel free to suggest whatever. The above configs vary between 600 and 970€ but if you have any suggestions I only ask that you bear in mind that I do not play at higher resolutions other than 1280x960 and 1280x1024 on my 20" LCD. I need a "package" to boost out max performance at these resolutions. Thank you in advance for any advice from the community, I'm really a noob regarding hardware and I only have some idea about the configs, not even sure if they are suitable...that is why I'm asking for advice. All is welcome and much appreciated. Portuguese prices on those configs ad VGAs so don't be surprised if I'm getting ripped, hardware is expensive here.
Ty :hello: 

a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 12:27:20 AM

Tbh, start with buying a better LCD as that will give you a lot more enjoyment with the kind of systems you are thinking about buying.

I know you think 19" is good enough but you don't really realise what you've been missing out on until you have more.
June 4, 2009 12:29:52 AM

Thank you but I am happy with my current one as I'm to close to it already. I don't live in a palace and have a somewhat small room. Thank you for your feedback but I'll pass on that one.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 12:40:18 AM

Well it's pointless spending anything like the money you are looking at spending on any gaming pc just to run games at that resolution.

You'd be best going for a decent midrange quad core (say a Q6600 or phenom II 940) and mid range card like a 4850, 4770, gts250. Anything else will cause you to spend too much for too little gains. All of the graphics solutions you mentioned are going to be overkill at that resolution I think.

Note that the parts I mentioned would be very much on the high end for your lcd, so you could expect pretty much perfect performance at that res.
June 4, 2009 12:49:22 AM

Well, ok. I can play at higher res, never tried but there's always a first time. About the config, my max LCD res is 1680x1050, based on this resolution what do you think of any of the choices? Thanks in advance. I appreciate your help.
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 1:01:32 AM

1680x1050 is pretty much standard now and any of the newer cards will run really well at that.

Any of the systems you have mentioned will be amazing at that resolution. Don't worry about seeing a difference over your 7800gtx, it will be quite noticable ;) .

I would say you definitely want to just build a new pc from scratch with that money. Grab a midrange quad core and graphics card and you'll be happy. I'm biased towards AMD but I think you would do well to consider a 720 black edition cpu, midrange 790gx/fx mobo and 2x4770's for great performance at a great price.

So...

720 X3 Black Editon - £110
Foxconn A7DA-S 790GX mobo - £90
2x 4770 = £160
4gb ddr2 800myz = £40

Thats a helluva gaming machine for £400 (€530 or thereabouts), and the Foxconn mobo will give you a chance at opening up that 4th core on the 720 BE.
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 1:02:38 AM

Nvidia:
1 9800GTX/GTX+/GTS250

AMD:
1 4770 or 1 4850
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 1:04:29 AM

You might be better off spending less on a cheapish non-xfire mobo and buying a 4870 or gtx260 however, so that's another possibility.
June 4, 2009 1:07:43 AM

Wow, I really appreciate. My doubt was about the max res as there's no point in spending a lot of money to play at that res. I'm copy+pasting your config and will search for prices here in Portugal, I'll give you some feedback on those later on. Thanks a bunch. And yes, any of those VGAs are affordable but I also had my mind on the CF Asus 4770 Tweak Voltage edition at 971 mhz.
June 4, 2009 1:10:57 AM

Also @ BSD, thank you for your feedback, will take it into consideration.
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 1:14:24 AM

You'll be lucky if you can get any 4770's right now as they are in high demand and low supply. But tbh, any of the cards mentioned will be good enough and more so don't stress over getting those 4770's, good as they are.
June 4, 2009 1:16:02 AM

I can get them tomorrow if I want, still a surplus here is Portugal. Thanks a lot. Will, as promised, post feedback tomorrow.
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 1:16:40 AM

Good luck, keep us updated. ;) 
June 4, 2009 3:10:00 AM

I hate when people list this crap....oh yeah i want to play at 1280x1024 on my 1680x1050 monitor...i just didn't mention its a native 1680x1050 monitor so that extra 50$ that could have given me a HUGE performance boost at my native resolution would have been advised....and running the monitor at its native resolution would have been suggested as well :pfff: 

:sarcastic:  can i have your money since you don't know how to spend it....
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 4:37:14 AM

skip the 4770 xfire. assuming the time comes when you wake up and play @ your panel's native resolution, the gtx275 is a pretty good deal for ya.

and besides, 6months from now, 2 old budget cards is a lot harder to dispose off than 1 old mid-enthusiast card. especially with dx11 on the horizon.

looking @ the numbers from tom's 4770 xfire review, its not that amusing (280 vs xfire 4770). http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-4770-crossfire,2288-11.html.
June 4, 2009 2:01:15 PM

@ rewindlabs

So you don't hate me here's the native resolution of my Samsung (1680x1050) not that you don't already know but her eit is anyway. Now, based on that native resolution do you have some advice, "old hand"? Thanks in advance

@ wh3resmycar
"skip the 4770 xfire. assuming the time comes when you wake up and play @ your panel's native resolution, the gtx275 is a pretty good deal for ya. " lolollo, "wake up" nice one. I was used to play with a 17" and my 7800GTX so I was not sure about the resolutions. But that's what I'm here for, to learn and to listen. Thanks guys, I really appreciate.
June 4, 2009 4:01:51 PM

@ jennyh

Can't find that MoBo here for sale....
June 4, 2009 6:52:04 PM

I choose a GTX 260 for 16xx/1xxx resolution monitor...you want a single strong gpu for that resolution....

So either get a 260 or 275....
June 4, 2009 10:00:09 PM

Ok, thanks a lot for your advice. :D 
June 4, 2009 11:18:00 PM

Quote:
Look into an E5200 if you want to save some extra money. Mine went directly to 4ghz on air

Thats as stupid as buing an E8400...oh yeah it runs great in every game except GTA IV....guess what....more games like GTA IV are coming....

E5200 is pos against a quad of any kind...same goes for the e7 and e8 series...
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 11:23:07 PM

That Apex/LCPower(and other cheap no name brand) PSU is/are a death dealing time bomb. NEVER SKIMP ON PSU. Get a quality PSU from Corsair, PC Power & Cooling,Antec, OCZ. Note, that wen selecting a PSU DO NOT ENTIRELY base your selection off of price and wattage.

Remember the golden rule:
W=A*V

where, W = Watts, A = Amps, V= Voltage.

If you don't have enough amps, your wasting money. Also note most "cheap" manufactures advertise their PEAK/MAX Wattage and NOT the continuous wattage. Good PSU manufactures like Corsair and PC Power & Cooling advertise their continuous wattage. They gurentee that their advertised PSU will run at the wattage as advertised.

Reliable PSU reviews: http://www.jonnyguru.com/index.php

Example of what can happen with low quality PSUs: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTMzOSwx...

I personally wouldn't get a cheap PSU (esp. $1000+ worth of hardware). I would rather step down the CPU/motherboard etc to a lower model than play Roulette with a low quality PSU.

edit: I found only one reliable review and that was the TechPower up. They did not stress test the PSU so I can't be 100% certain of their quality. Chances are that since it's not a well known manufacture it's probably low/mid quality.
a b U Graphics card
June 4, 2009 11:44:58 PM

rewindlabs said:
Thats as stupid as buing an E8400...oh yeah it runs great in every game except GTA IV....guess what....more games like GTA IV are coming....

E5200 is pos against a quad of any kind...same goes for the e7 and e8 series...


E7400 goes for $110ish, and E8400s are like $160ish. The cards can OC to 3.6 and 4.0 easily respectively. They can basically play any game out there today with at least upper 50's-60 fps w/o bottlenecks.

They only lag in GTA4 if the person has some crazy resolution...and I think GTA4 has bad CPU coding in the same sense Crysis had bad GPU/vid card coding. (I doubt GTA4 can be a more of a resource hog than Crysis, even if it is just CPUs)

E7s and E8s are great for gamers on a budget. It'll be a couple more years before games actually start requiring quad cores.2
June 5, 2009 3:23:43 AM

I'd say go with config 2 and get yourself the GTX260 , you wont be sorry. It's cheap and it will play Crysis at good resolutions with quite a few settings on high. or if you want DX 10 it will play with like 3 at max 2 on high and the rest at med. depedning on your rez as well though and the AA. 1680x1050 works great with that card and if your going lower and you are then it will lay with almost everything at max.
June 5, 2009 8:54:07 AM

Yes, still some years to come before games fully use all 4 cores, by then God knows how CPUs will be like. Probably I will go for the C2Duo or the Phenom. Still checking prices. Thanks pppl, much appreciated.
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