I am currently building a new system and have ordered everything but the graphics card as the choice seems to be so difficult. My current system spec when assembled will be:
Motherboard - GIGABYTE | GA-MA770T-UD3P AMD770
Processor - CPU AMD|PHENOM II X3 720 BLACK EDITION AM3 2.8G TRIPLE CORE
Memory - G.SKILL 4GB (2x4GB) 240 PIN DDR3 1333 PC3 10600
Hard Drive - Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
DVD Burner - Lite-On 24x CD/DVD Burner model iHAS324-08
Monitor - 22inch LG Flatron w2252TQ
I am currently searching for a high end video card under $250. I would like a reliable card that has a effective cooling system and would prefer a good lifetime warranty. I am not sure which cards offer a lifetime warranty except XFX which seem to be kinda shady in quality from what I hear. I have been looking at the following cards, please give me your advise on a gaming card so I can finally buckle down and buy one.
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP (2gig card seems amazing for only $219, and 2GB of video ram for games like GTA4 that utilize 1.5GB or so, cooling seems to be unclear from reviews and some hardware issues. doesnt seem like a good warranty.
(LINK - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My questions are how reliable are xfx and do they run as hot as reviewers say?
Can EVGA nvidia based cards keep up with the 800 stream processors in the saphire 4890/4870 series with the GDDR5?
What card will play all the games out right now with the system I have built and run the coolest?
Is the 2gig 4870 a better overall performance card than the newer 4890 cards for the same price?
If you can get a 4890 then don't bother looking at the 4870 regardless of the extra 1GB of vRAM (doesn't improve anything), also, have a look on the 2009 GPU charts in TOM's, that will tell you all about the GPU specs....
Out of the cards you listed I'd definitely go for the SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X 100269VXL Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5, you could also wait for next week's launch of the 5xxx series and buy a 5850 (a bit better than the 4890) or 5870 (way better than the 5870, but also much more expensive.)
A third option would be to wait for the release of the 5xxx series and then buy the 4890 anyway after its price plummets due to the new cards being available.
In any case, dont get the 2GB 4870, that's a waste of money.