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Graphic Card Suggestion for an ancient PC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 8, 2009 4:25:19 AM

Hi,

My GPU is dead and now i need a new one for my old pc. Am on a limited budget...

Just want to play some games at 1280x1024 with good performance and some AA/AAF..

my pc specs are:

Core 2 Duo e6400 2.13 ghz Stock
2 gb ram 667Mhz
Intel d946gzis, (its crap i know),
500 watts power supply

I was using a 7600GT

I'm saving for buying a new pc but i'll be using this one till next year, so i need to replace only the GPU, my choices are:

Radeon HD 4650 - 50 $ range
Radeon HD 4670 - - 65 $ range
GeForce 9600 GT - - 80 $ range
Radeon HD 4850 512MB - - 100 $ range
Radeon HD 4870 512MB - - 125 $ range

The games i usually play are:
Farcry 2
Unreal Tournament 3 & 2004
PES 2010
Fifa 2010
Grand Prix 4 2009
STALKER series
COD
.........

With my OLD 17" monitor, i usually play at:
1280*1024 @ 60mhtz
1024*768 @ 85 mhtz
btw, which is better of the two?? i was under the assumption tht refresh rates matter a big deal, so i usually choose 1024*768.... but then again, i am a noob in these things...

Keep in mind the power supply, maybe i can get a 600W PSU, and i dont want to bottleneck the gpu cause of the other components.

Kindly suggest me value for money options based on my requirements... any other card besides the ones i mentioned?? oohh, btw, also need to connect one of my card output points to my TV so i can watch movie on the TV sometimes .....

Thanks in advance.

dNA
November 8, 2009 4:30:36 AM

a 9600GT would do nicely or you can go for a 4650...
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 4:32:20 AM

9600GSO performs just as good as a 4670 while being a little cheaper.

4650 DDR2 ~ 9500GT < 4650 DDR3 < 4670 ~ 9600GSO < 9600GT < 9800GT ~ 4830 < 4850 < 4870

Overclock your CPU as well. Your CPU can overclock fairly well.
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Related resources
November 8, 2009 5:43:30 AM

Grab a HD4850 and you can pretty much max everything out.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 6:16:33 AM

4670 will do everything you need at those resolutions.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 8:23:46 AM

9800GT/9600GT will be great for that resolution.

Keep in mind that of you go any furthur then you may face CPU bottleneck...

Cheaper options are 4670/9600GSO.

Go for GDDR3 Only.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:06:07 AM

It's not that old!
Anyway, the card...
I'd look to the 4670/9600GT as best match but check the memory type-look for GDDR3 not GDDR2, which is somewhat slower.
Obviously, if you can find the 9800 going cheap then it would be daft to pass it up, as always, when sticking to a tight budget, look for the 'weekend specials' and other offers-just stay away from product with little or no warranty.

It is usually better to have the higher refresh rate, 60Hz is low enough to cause 'flicker' and at work I've helped quite a few people to get rid of their headaches by increasing to monitor refresh rate from 60 to 75Hz.
BTW I take it this 17" is CRT, (like a TV not flat panel)?
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:16:03 AM

@coozie7:
What refresh rate is good enough to avoid any headache?

I also use CRT sometimes...
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November 8, 2009 9:27:29 AM

When i was using my old 17" CRT i was always using 85hz refresh rate, 75hz is still a bit too low. 85hz is the best, no headache :) 
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a c 191 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:30:29 AM

@ Shubham1401: The higher the better but I find 75Hz is a minimum. Also bear in mind, some monitors will not support high refresh rates AND high resolutions, my last CRT would not support more than 75Hz over 1600x1200 resolution for exmple.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:38:54 AM

4870 is going to kill any game you could throw at it. Don't settle for the 4600 series if you can help it. I don't think the CPU is THAT bad for the card, and as someone else said, this is a prime case for overclocking if it turns out to be a bottleneck.

Also, depending on what kind of RAM you have installed, going to a lower-latency kind could significantly boost your performance, enough to help keep up with the 4870. Something like this can really help you with that.

Keep in mind, the 4870 is powerful enough that it will probably be good enough to use in your next system too if you're upgrading in a year. The only thing that's going to make it obsolete is when games start coming out requiring DirectX 11 as a bare minimum. But that probably won't be for a couple years.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 10:40:49 AM

HD 4870 is wayy overkill for 12X10 resolution.

And he has a Crap Intel mobo...
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a c 173 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 10:52:30 AM

shubham1401 said:
HD 4870 is wayy overkill for 12X10 resolution.

And he has a Crap Intel mobo...


Not for me, at the settings I play it would take either a sli config or a single gtx285 since I really do enjoy the eye candy. Right I have two 9800gt 1gb in sli and play at 1280x1024 with the sli aa maxed.
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a c 365 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 11:02:33 AM

9600GT.
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a c 365 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 11:04:48 AM

BTW, the C2D E6400 is not ancient.

I have an ancient PC sitting in a closet. It's built around the Athlon XP 2600+.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 11:09:13 AM

jaguarskx said:
9600GT.


One of my friends has a 9600gt and he struggles to play far cry 2 and has to play medium in most games. It is just not enough unless your needs are low like playing wow or source engine games. A single 9800gt can pull its own weight but a lovely 4870 will do better and is better than what I ran till I went sli.
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November 8, 2009 11:33:33 AM

coozie7 said:
It's not that old!
Anyway, the card...
......................
It is usually better to have the higher refresh rate, 60Hz is low enough to cause 'flicker' and at work I've helped quite a few people to get rid of their headaches by increasing to monitor refresh rate from 60 to 75Hz.
BTW I take it this 17" is CRT, (like a TV not flat panel)?


Yes it's a CRT...... So i should play my games at 1024*768 @ 85mhtz... right???

@ JofaMang
Quote:
4670 will do everything you need at those resolutions..


and the 4670 is 128bit.. won't that be slow for playing the mentioned titles with some AA/AAF?? :bounce: 

@ alikum
Quote:
Grab a HD4850 and you can pretty much max everything out.


Which one??? That is the idea. Like to play the mentioned games and maybe a few more new ones with some eye-candy at 1024*768 :) 

@ nforce4max
Quote:
One of my friends has a 9600gt and he struggles to play far cry 2 and has to play medium in most games. It is just not enough unless your needs are low like playing wow or source engine games. A single 9800gt can pull its own weight but a lovely 4870 will do better and is better than what I ran till I went sli.


thats weird ... even my 7600GT could play FarCRy2 at medium settings !!!

btw, the 4870 is DDR5 right? then it should be faster than DDR3 say 4850... will i get a noticable difference if i go for DDR5 like that 4870? or will my CPU bottleneck it???

also any difference in going for a 1GB rather than a 512mb card? I mean will my CPU even use the 1GB card to its fullest?
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a c 173 U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 11:35:55 AM

[quote
btw, the 4870 is DDR5 right? then it should be faster than DDR3 say 4850... will i get a noticable difference if i go for DDR5 like that 4870? or will my CPU bottleneck it???

also any difference in going for a 1GB rather than a 512mb card? I mean will my CPU even use the 1GB card to its fullest?[/quotemsg]

Go fpr the 4870 1gb since it will last for much longer than the 512mb cards for meeting future requirements.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:26:53 PM

Here's a chart that can help you in comparing the relative speed of the different cards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

This chart shows performance at different resolutions with different cards in some of the games you play.
http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts/

If you like a quiet computer you should be aware that some cards are noisier then others, it's something that you may want to take into consideration as well that some cards produce more heat then others and if your case doesn't have great cooling it may be a problem. An example would be the 4770 and the 4850. The 4850 performs a bit better, but it's louder and runs hotter then the 4770.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:50:52 PM

Yes look at the charts and decide how much you want to buy. To simplify, you might start with the THG article showing what cards are best at different budget levels - then see how much more performance you get as you move up to you find your sweet spot. When looking at charts, keep in mind that 30 FPS is considered playable and that anything over 50 or 60 FPS you won't even see a difference. So 150FPS will play no better than 60FPS - although it does give room to grow as games require more.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

You CPU and PSU are more than adequate to handle any cards you are considering - even a little higher - up to a GTX 260. I would certainly consider the GTS 250 or 4870.

Also - can you spend a little more now and plan to use the same card in your new system later? Alternatively, still get a good card now and plan to double up with SLI or Crossfire to really have performance in your new system - although that is a lot easier if you build your own as most mainstream systems at the store are not set up to Crossfire or SLI -and those that are cost more.
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November 8, 2009 9:52:57 PM

4670 will do wonders for it. Its not that old!!!!!! I agree.
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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2009 9:59:00 PM

Regarding connecting the TV - typical graphics cards are not designed to connect to TV. You need a separate tuner card for that. They do make a few combined cards Like the ATI All in One Wonder - or something like that - but you sacrifice a lot on the game side with one of those - generally very low gaming performance.

Regarding your question "which one?" - the good name brands are very similar - the choice is mostly on price and a little on different features - like what game is included, if any. Once you settle on the chipset you want, just google for a few reviews or ask here - and watch the sales. Black Friday is just around the corner.
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November 9, 2009 3:07:39 AM

dirtmountain said:
Here's a chart that can help you in comparing the relative speed of the different cards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

This chart shows performance at different resolutions with different cards in some of the games you play.
http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts/

If you like a quiet computer you should be aware that some cards are noisier then others, it's something that you may want to take into consideration as well that some cards produce more heat then others and if your case doesn't have great cooling it may be a problem. An example would be the 4770 and the 4850. The 4850 performs a bit better, but it's louder and runs hotter then the 4770.


Understood... thnx for the guru3D link... i check it out ASAP :) 
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November 15, 2009 10:09:12 AM

Hi all,

Sorry for the late reply.. was away for a few days... i have decided to go for the HD4870 (1GB) card :) 

Hope that should last me a couple of years :D 

Everybody........ THANK YOU for your suggestions.... really appreciate it ....

Cheers,

dNA
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a b U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 2:30:50 PM

I trust you saw this article about balancing CPU and graphics card to get the most for your money. It just happens that one of the model CPUs used is the e6300 - close to yours. And while they don't use the 4870 you selected (except two in crossfire was an alternative) the GTX 260 is pretty close on average and the 4850 shown will be slower off course than the 4870.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...
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November 23, 2009 6:40:20 PM

Hi all,

I just got my Gigabyte's HD 4870 card.....

A silly question (AGAIN).... it came with a power cord that has two normal PSU outpins (the white pins normally there in the PC).... Do i need to connect both of them??

Also, i noticed that there are two slots in the GPU... but i have only recieved i power cord for it... ????

My PC wont boot, coz it shows a message like "You have not connected one of the power pins to the power supply" ... is it coz of the difference in the number of pins in the cord?



I hope i explained it well...... sorry for my english....

Kindly help....

dNA
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 7:26:31 PM

Yes, you need to connect both molex (white 4-pin) to power a single 6-pin PCIe (black) connector.

And the 4870 does require two 6-pin power connections -- which would be equivalent to FOUR of the white molex connectors.

They probably only gave you one adapter because they figured your power supply already has at least one 6-pin PCIe connector of its own. Most 500W power supplies do have at least one 6-pin PCIe connection, sometimes two or more. So check all the unused cables coming from the power supply and see if you can find a 6-pin connector(s) among them. If so, plug it/them directly into the 4870. If you've got two 6-pin connectors on your PSU, you're good to go right there. If you only have one 6-pin connector, plug it in to the card, then use the adapter they gave you to draw power from the 4-pin white molex plugs, and use that as your second 6-pin connection.
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 7:30:57 PM

Your video card requires two 6 pin power connectors. If your PSU has two, just connect those two to the power card. If it only has one 6 pin connector, then you use the adapter you pictured to to use two of the regular 4 pin connectors from the PSU, connect to the adapter, and connect the 6 pin connector on the adapter to your video card.

Don't worry that your PSU has 4 pin cables and the adapter only has 3 pins inside - it just does not need all the power that would be delivered from all 4 pins of two connectors.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 8:13:43 PM

Don't worry the fourth pin is for the 5v source and the card only needs 12v.
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November 30, 2009 2:28:56 AM

hi all,

sorry for the late reply as i was traveling......

thanx for your inputs.... finally got it working (albeit temporarily, coz i am wating for a different PSU).

btw, do i ned to remove the rubber clamp that is there on the card??



Cheers :) 
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a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2009 3:06:27 AM

No leave the protector on. That is the connector to use to Crossfire - to connect to cards together.
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a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2009 3:23:06 AM

No need to do that.
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!