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Recommend a decent GPU

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October 24, 2009 2:27:22 PM

Hi,

I have finally decided to move on with the times and retire my 7900GS, incidentally my worst buy in recent memory. Why? Well, I bought it around 2 years ago, when the 8800 GTX/S came out and those were too far out for me to get. I had to compromise my graphical pleasure am going hunting for a new video card tomorrow, one that potentially I will enjoy very well for at least 2 more years. I was initially planning to wait till a month or so from now, to see what sort of sales gimmicks retailers would attempt to do, but I just bought GTA 4 and... safe to say the current card is well over its head, despite what has been severally criticized about the game.

Enough of the chatter.

I have about $300.00 to spend on a keyboard, mouse, hard drive, and a GPU.

The plan is:
GPU: ~$200
HD: ~$100
Mouse Keyboard: Whatever is left of the expenditure above.

My current specs are:
OS: XP SP2
PSU: HEC 600w or so
RAM: 2g Geil DDR2 800
CPU: E8400 @ 3ghz
Board: Asus P5KPL-VM
Monitor: Samsung 22" w/ native display @ 1680x1080
3 HD's, with the oldest as my OS drive - hence the need for a new one, together with capacity issues.

Appreciate your comments.

Kind regards,
Cicero.


PS - Im not stuck on 1 camp or the other. I have been using Nvidia for over a decade but Im prefectly willing to pick up an ATI card. Infact, based on research, on these boards as well as other online sources, these are the cards Im considering - in no particular order:

5770
4890
GTX 260 216 - this was reviews of the ATI cards above frequently drew this as a comparison card.

More about : recommend decent gpu

October 24, 2009 3:05:55 PM

If I were in your situation, I'd probably go with a 4870.

That's probably the only card that will give you enough leftover for a decent mouse/keyboard/HDD. The 4870 is more powerful and cheaper than the gtx 260. The 260 is comparable to the 5770 but I think you'll be screwed on pricing as I'm sure they'll have a big drop in 2(?) months when the geforce 300 series comes out. The 5770 edges past the 260 in some apps/games where 260 wins in other cases. Only reason to go with the 5770 is if you're into streaming video, watching HD, etc. For gaming, the 5770 is purposely crippled to a 128bit bus width (which is crap)

Performance wise (generally):
4890
4870
GTX 260
5770

Price (high to low):
4890
GTX260
5770
4870

Grab a 4870, you'll still have enough extra for a great HDD and hopefully a decent mouse/keyboard combo. I'd say 4890, but you probably won't have enough for a good HDD and mouse/keyboard.
a c 130 U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 3:25:24 PM

If you have $200 to spend on the graphics, and $100 on the HDD, d'you think you could compromise a bit? $60 for the HD, and $260 for the graphics. If you can do that, you'll be able to purchase the HD5850, which is one of the best deals out there. It's $260, and has all the new features of a new generation (holds 3 monitors, Direct-X 11, uses less power[somewhat], etc). With the $60 you can purchase a 750GB HD, which should satisfy you.

However, if you are stuck with what you have, then it's up to you on this.
There's the 5770, which performs less than the HD4890, however this card has Direct-X 11, lower power consumption, and immature drivers that, over time, will improve and so will the card.
For $85, a 1TB HD can be had. This, I think, will most definitely keep you happy.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 3:34:43 PM

SamuelL421 said:
For gaming, the 5770 is purposely crippled to a 128bit bus width (which is crap)


That statement is crap, it's not purposely crippled, it's built to maximize resources, it's the GTX260 which is purposely crippled.

I agree with the pricing of the HD5770 making it unattractive, but the GTX260 is a dead-end card, especially if you're starting a new build.
October 24, 2009 3:55:06 PM

SamuelL421 said:
If I were in your situation, I'd probably go with a 4870.

That's probably the only card that will give you enough leftover for a decent mouse/keyboard/HDD. The 4870 is more powerful and cheaper than the gtx 260. The 260 is comparable to the 5770 but I think you'll be screwed on pricing as I'm sure they'll have a big drop in 2(?) months when the geforce 300 series comes out. The 5770 edges past the 260 in some apps/games where 260 wins in other cases. Only reason to go with the 5770 is if you're into streaming video, watching HD, etc. For gaming, the 5770 is purposely crippled to a 128bit bus width (which is crap)

Performance wise (generally):
4890
4870
GTX 260
5770

Price (high to low):
4890
GTX260
5770
4870

Grab a 4870, you'll still have enough extra for a great HDD and hopefully a decent mouse/keyboard combo. I'd say 4890, but you probably won't have enough for a good HDD and mouse/keyboard.


My only reservation with going with the older cards (48xx) is that when the use of dx11 on games becomes ubiquitous, I may be forced into an untimely change of cards - unless if my concern is unfounded.

I am also a bit concerned with the 128bit that comes with the 57xx series, except if that is largely irrelevant as far as performance in this range of cards are concerned.

a c 130 U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 3:59:41 PM

The 5770 performs just as well as an HD4870, which is a bit sad.

If you can save up like I said, and grab the HD5850, you'll be extremely satisfied.
October 24, 2009 4:19:54 PM

shadow187 said:
If you have $200 to spend on the graphics, and $100 on the HDD, d'you think you could compromise a bit? $60 for the HD, and $260 for the graphics. If you can do that, you'll be able to purchase the HD5850, which is one of the best deals out there. It's $260, and has all the new features of a new generation (holds 3 monitors, Direct-X 11, uses less power[somewhat], etc). With the $60 you can purchase a 750GB HD, which should satisfy you.

However, if you are stuck with what you have, then it's up to you on this.
There's the 5770, which performs less than the HD4890, however this card has Direct-X 11, lower power consumption, and immature drivers that, over time, will improve and so will the card.
For $85, a 1TB HD can be had. This, I think, will most definitely keep you happy.



I also have to fit in a mouse+keyboard.

Perhaps the only reason I am considering the 5xxx series is to keep me content over the next 2 years, specifically wrt DX11 and better(?) architecture. I wont benefit from the utility of some of the other touted features, namely the ability to use 3+ displays.

It begs the question, will I seriously miss out if I dont have a DX11 compliant card?
a c 130 U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 4:23:24 PM

Had this been when DX10 was released, I would tell you no.

But there are already 30 games that use DX11 (some are still being made), and many, any more will.
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 4:27:52 PM

Yep it's a difference of trade-offs.

HD5770 definitely could use more bandwidth (heck even the GTX285 and HD5870 could use more for some things).

But it does have more bandwidth than the HD4850 and still performs pretty well throughout the comparisons keeping close to the HD4870 and outpacing the HD4850.

But as long as you're not going far beyond 16x10 I don't think bandwidth is going to be muchof an issue, where the benefits far outweigh the potential limits, which are more expressed at higher resolutions and with higher AA levels.

I'd agree the HD5850 is attractive for longer term if you can swing the price, but if not I'd go with the HD5770 is a better fit for that resolution.


October 24, 2009 4:28:10 PM

Cicero said:
I also have to fit in a mouse+keyboard.

Perhaps the only reason I am considering the 5xxx series is to keep me content over the next 2 years, specifically wrt DX11 and better(?) architecture. I wont benefit from the utility of some of the other touted features, namely the ability to use 3+ displays.

It begs the question, will I seriously miss out if I dont have a DX11 compliant card?



No one can possibly know that right now, but people are expecting it to make a bit more of a difference than DX10 (DX10 made no huge differences).

However, consider this: The 8800GTX was the first DX10 card and it was the highest end card of it's time. A 8800GTX today isn't powerful enough to seriously take advantage of what DX10 has to offer. That said, even if you buy the highest end DX11 card right now (5870 $380), theres a fairly good chance that it wont be able to take any real advantage of DX11 when it's more widespread.
a c 130 U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 4:31:53 PM

HibyPrime said:
No one can possibly know that right now, but people are expecting it to make a bit more of a difference than DX10 (DX10 made no huge differences).

However, consider this: The 8800GTX was the first DX10 card and it was the highest end card of it's time. A 8800GTX today isn't powerful enough to seriously take advantage of what DX10 has to offer. That said, even if you buy the highest end DX11 card right now (5870 $380), theres a fairly good chance that it wont be able to take any real advantage of DX11 when it's more widespread.

Drivers. DX11 can be updated in the graphics card, fixing some issues.
October 24, 2009 4:32:32 PM

So, in the final analysis you would recommend getting the DX11 compliant cards then?

The 5850 is a touch too expensive, as it wont leave me with much to spend on the HDD and the mouse + kb.

I am leaning toward the 5770 then, unless others may have views to the contrary.
October 24, 2009 4:37:55 PM

What I'm saying is that the 5850 and 5870 might not be able to take any real advantage of DX11, they still have a pretty good shot at it.

5770 and 5750 have no such shot IMO.

If you cant afford a 5850, what I would do, and this is just me, is spend $100 now on a 4850 and then spend another $100 in a year from now. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy old tech like the 4890 when it's so expensive, or buy crippled new tech like the 5770.
a c 130 U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 4:40:39 PM

The 5770 is about as powerful as the HD4870; which is sort of bad.

The Keyboard/Mouse can be had for $15 at a local Walmart supacenter.
The HDD can be had @ 320GB for $40, 500GB for $50, or 750GB ~$60.
The best-performing cards, in order.

$100: HD4850
$160: HD5770
$125: HD4870
$170: HD4890
$270: HD5850
$370: HD5870
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 4:41:16 PM

Slightly more raw power from the HD4870+ cards, but at your resolution it'll be hard to exploit, and with the HD5770 using less power, the benefits tend to outweigh the drawbacks.

It's not like there's a cost for having DX11, it's just a potential option because the HD4K will be just as slow in DX10 mode, and maybe even slower if the games become more shader heavy, because while the HD5770 has less bandwidth it has more shader power. Plus you also get the added benefit of better compute shader support.

I'd say the HD5770 is a better fit for a new build with your resolution.
October 24, 2009 4:55:36 PM

HibyPrime said:
What I'm saying is that the 5850 and 5870 might not be able to take any real advantage of DX11, they still have a pretty good shot at it.

5770 and 5750 have no such shot IMO.

If you cant afford a 5850, what I would do, and this is just me, is spend $100 now on a 4850 and then spend another $100 in a year from now. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy old tech like the 4890 when it's so expensive, or buy crippled new tech like the 5770.


^ My thoughts exactly. DX11 features, when fully implemented a year from now, might have outrageous hardware requirements to play smoothly. There's just no way of knowing at this point.

4850/4870 is the way to go (for now), whether or not the performance advantage of 4870 is worth the extra $30-40 is up to you.



TheGreatGrapeApe said:
That statement is crap, it's not purposely crippled, it's built to maximize resources, it's the GTX260 which is purposely crippled.

I agree with the pricing of the HD5770 making it unattractive, but the GTX260 is a dead-end card, especially if you're starting a new build.


^I was simply trying to explain the 5770 in layman's terms. The card was purposely designed for the "living room" pc crowd. If it were built to compete with higher end gaming cards it wouldn't have been built around a halved cypress model. The 5770 is purposely given roughly half of the 5870's resources so that it can fit into a cheaper, midrange pricepoint while offering new HD video/audio features.
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 4:59:37 PM

HibyPrime said:
What I'm saying is that the 5850 and 5870 might not be able to take any real advantage of DX11, they still have a pretty good shot at it.

5770 and 5750 have no such shot IMO.


Based on what?
The HD48xx definitely won't period. And the HD5770 has more shader power than the HD4890 for any title that would be shader heavy, where the title isn't going to be playing at 4XAA.

Quote:
It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy old tech like the 4890 when it's so expensive, or buy crippled new tech like the 5770.


Once again the 5770 isn't crippled, and anyone who say it is and then recommend an actual crippled card (the HD4850 is a crippled HD4870) has no credibility.

Why bother with an HD4850 when the HD4870 is $20 more, at the very least that's a better return on investment if you want to do half measures, especially with comparatively poorer cooling on the 4850 vs 4870 & 5770.

You also pay more for energy, and lose out on better bas image quality with things like the AF improvements.

HD4850 makes no sense, the HD4870 would at least make more sense.
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 5:12:15 PM

SamuelL421 said:
^ My thoughts exactly. DX11 features, when fully implemented a year from now, might have outrageous hardware requirements to play smoothly. There's just no way of knowing at this point.


You do realise there's already games with DX11, right?
So we do know the start of features, which are selectively useful, not everything has a major penalty, and there are trade-off benefits.

Quote:
^I was simply trying to explain the 5770 in layman's terms.


Then use the correct terms, laymen won't understand your actual incorrect statement any more than more technical terms in expressing mid-range design or bandwidth limitation (which express themselves more at higher resolutions or AA).

And considering all you guys are saying is that it's crippled and leaving it at that without backing up what your saying with some kind of SPECIFIC example of how this will affect performance at his resolution is like someone saying "don't get the HD4K series, they suck cause they're DX10.1 only", which is equally as ignorant.

Try not to dumb it down for the laymen, that's what Wiki is for to explain whatever GOOD advice you can provide without dumbing it down beforehand.
October 24, 2009 5:19:12 PM

Thanks for your perceptive comments folks.

So, the choices are whittled down to the 5770 and the 4850/70.

TheGreatGrapeApe offers some attractive benefits of going with the 5770, primarily being a new card with better shader support. However, I dont know how this translates in (current and anticipated) gaming experiences.



HibyPrime & SamuelL421 prefer the 4870 at least.


To be honest, Im starting to feel the pull of the 4870, and considering selling it when DX11 fully arrives.

To really take this option, how much difference, potentially, will playing DX11 titles with this card be? Can I realistically expect to play at the medium settings at the least for a Crysis/FEAR type title? Or will it possibly be limited? I know it is difficult to say, but based on the available information and experience, what could you posit?
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 5:35:40 PM

A good source of both raw data information (sub tests) and gaming tests is the Tech Report's review of the HD5770;
http://techreport.com/articles.x/17747

It would be better to have RightMark information, but I haven't seen many test with that yet (hoping for ixbt or a few others to do their 5770 reviews soon).

Notice in that review that the HD5770 and often even 5750 outperform the HD4850, and the large gap between the HD4850 and 4870 which is why I wouldn't bother with that TRULY CRIPPLED card.

The 5770 and 4870 are the better options. Heck for $20 more than the HD4850 you get the 4870 or the 5750, both of which are better fits for the value near term and long term.

Look at various benchmarks and see if the performance deltas make sense for your resolution, also don't get caught in the 1920x1200 or higher differences if you're sticking with 16x10 where the difference is usually very low and all options are in playable ranges and there is no issue with bandwidth, where the 4850 would be even more limited if there were.

Read more reviews, especially the ones that focus on the games you like, the settings you use, and that test the cards in synthetics if you want to look at future potential not just now.
October 24, 2009 5:55:45 PM

Thanks TheGreatGrapeApe. I have spent the better part of the day reading this forum and reviews on the net.

Some of the articles pre-release of the 5xxx series advice waiting before diving in with an older series card.

There also seems to be a unanimous agreement that while the 5770 is okay, its price doesnt justify its performance relative to the difference between it and the flagship 5870.

From the older gen it seems the 4890/4870/GTX 260 are the choice products.

a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 6:21:31 PM

Yeah, even the Tech Report review mentions price at the end, but it's something we can't control now, and only changes if you're willing to wait.

It's a balance of benefit for your price, if the benefit differences are mostly expressed at higher resolution and AA then you would use, does it matter as much?

I agree with the HD4870/90, but not the GTX260, which like the 4850 is simply diminishing as time goes on with no bright future to balance things.

The HD4870 and above have great current performance if you want the higher AA, but the GT260 is just to weak, and the 275 would be more in line with a longer term build, because even to try and resell both the HD4850 and GTX260 will be less attractive in the future and get you less return there too, especially with likely even the HD5670 and nV G3xx series midrange beating them then as well. Would you pay $50-70 for an X1900 now or even a few months ago? Similar situation when you want to sell those in a more DX11 future. I'm sure you're feeling that with your GF7900GS now, how much do you think you could sell that for now? Remember that ATi have a whole new core coming out at the end of next year, so with that and no DX11, I wouldn't expect alot of return on your money for a card that's already gone down in price dramatically with the launch of these new cards.

I'd say the HD5770 is relative to it's higher end siblings (they are twice the price and don't offer that much more performance at your resolutions and the more common mid-level resolutions), but compared to the older cards is where the prices get tough, which is what happens at launch unfortunately for the IHVs.

My main concern is you buy for your needs, not because other people heard a catch phrase like 'crippled' and then they recommend prestige and not best fit.

Like I said, you're the best judge of what fits your situation.
October 24, 2009 6:32:31 PM

Indeed. Im only considering my objectives:
1. Meet the budget
2. Offer decent (great?) gameplay.

I will look between the 5770 and the 4870/90, favoring the former on balance.

Many thanks all for your wonderful comments. Either cards, I dont believe there will be too much regrets.

Regards,
Cicero.
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2009 6:33:27 PM

Yep I think you can't go wrong with any of those.

BTW, I think essentially in 2+ years time you'll need something different than any cards you see now, because I feel there will be big changes over the next 2-3 years, only starting with DX11 but continuing in that compute shader and such vein even further.
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