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Best PCIe Card: $80 To $130 article - does DirectX 11 matter?

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November 12, 2009 12:06:04 PM

It's time to replace my 4yr old ATI X800GT 512MB shader 2.0 card so I can play COD MW2.

I've been reading the the rather usefull Best PCIe Card: ~$80 To $130 article.

I can get a Radeon HD 4850 512MB for £80 here in the UK which meets the budget requirements but after being bitten by the no shader 3.0 support in the X800 I'm worried about the comment about DirectX 10 / 11. How important is DirectX 11?

A few more details just in-case they're effect the answer: I don't plan on upgrading anything else apart from the graphics card this till at least next year. I have a 19" Samsung TFT which runs at 1280x768 so we're not talking super high-res here.

Thanks in advance...
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 12:50:11 PM

DX11 is important, if you plan on holding on to this card for 4+ generations again, but the point at which there will be a DX10/11 split in minimum game support is well off into the future.

Near term it's all about the benefits, it won't be about the limitations for at least 2 years, after which no one knows what the future would be (could change completely like the GLide / DX split).

Near term you're fine, but 4 generations from now, yeah, you're probably going to be limited, but I wouldn't worry about it becuse you'll want a new card by then.
a c 130 U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 1:08:52 PM

Just took a look at your specs as i wasnt sure if you would be running an OS capable of suporting DX11, with a GPU that old i thought it reasonable to think you might not.
Good news is as you know you are running a DX11 supporting OS, bad news :sweat:  Um well i dont wish to be rude but the rest of the system needs upgrading to support a DX11 card in my opinion.
Your specs
Athlon64 3000+ | Asrock 939N68PV-GLAN | 1GB Corsair 3200 | ATI X800GT 256MB
| 580W Hiper | Win7 Pro 64
That Athlon is going to struggle im afraid. Its not the end of the world but i wouldnt be surprised to find that it restricted the maximum performance of your new DX11 GPU. Im not sure what upgrade path you have on that motherboard but i seem to remember that the 939 does have a viable upgrade option, need to check though, and an extra GB of Ram woukld help as well.

Mactronix
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November 12, 2009 1:52:53 PM

So in summary "Go with £80 DX10 card because would need to upgrade CPU/mboard/RAM to use DX11 stuff anyway!" ?

Would the Athlon paired with with the HD4850 be ok for DX10 gaming with reasonably graphical settings levels?
a c 147 U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 2:49:54 PM

I think a 4850 is a good, inexpensive upgrade for you. DX11 is new and BattleForge is the only game that supports it so far. While DX11 does look tasty, i don't think you will use it in the near future. MW2 is only DX9, from what I understand (which is freaking stupid, dump console ports).

ATI cards tend to fair better with older hardware since they are so driver dependent. I have a buddy with an older Athlon64 and has a 4850 for the last year and loves it. He games on a 17". It was a great upgrade for him. It will be a vast improvement from your current card.

Are you sure that 19" is 1280x768 and not 1280x1024? I'd see if you can't change the res.
a c 130 U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 4:48:56 PM

McBainUK said:
So in summary "Go with £80 DX10 card because would need to upgrade CPU/mboard/RAM to use DX11 stuff anyway!" ?

Would the Athlon paired with with the HD4850 be ok for DX10 gaming with reasonably graphical settings levels?



Its not really about DX10 or DX11. The slowest DX11 card ATI do is around the same performance wise as the 4850 which while its true would be a great upgrade for you, its just that you wouldn't see it at its best due to the restriction your CPU will put on it in today's more demanding games.
As i said earlier its not the end of the world and the difference will be night and day compared to your old X800. I'm not trying to put you off upgrading I'm just trying to be sure you are aware of the issues surrounding pairing newer tech GPU's with older tech CPU's

As Jay says DX11 gaming is yet to take off, in my opinion it will next year. The 4850 is a lot of GPU for £80, I would go with that for now. Dont fret too much on the restriction I mention its not like its going to be a slide show or anything like as bad as that. On the plus side when you have a restriction on the speed side of things that means you have spare horses for turning up detail/quality settings.

Mactronix
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2009 9:51:48 PM

IMO, if you're just upgrading now from an X800, then I would recommend the HD5770, simply because it's likely the last upgrade for you before we go to whatever the next major change is.
It will just depend on pricing. I wouldn't pay a premium for it, but if I was planning on holding on to a card for 3+ years I'd start with the HD5770 moreso than the HD4850, even if the rest of your rig would grow into that and initially hold it back at first. I'd rather build around a higher standard personally since you're not moving from generation to generation.
November 12, 2009 10:33:16 PM

MW2? Meh. It's bad enough you'll have to drop $60 for the game... it's worse that there are no actual servers and you (or your opponent) may randomly have his/her PC assigned to be the "server" ... but spending money on an upgrade to play what is the most blatant console port ever? Hey, that's all you bro!

I absolutely DETEST consoles, console gaming and what they're doing to PC gaming... but in this instance you sound like a good candidate for a console. That's the cheapest way to play MW2 for someone in your shoes.
November 14, 2009 10:08:53 AM

rodney_ws said:
MW2? Meh. It's bad enough you'll have to drop $60 for the game... it's worse that there are no actual servers and you (or your opponent) may randomly have his/her PC assigned to be the "server" ... but spending money on an upgrade to play what is the most blatant console port ever? Hey, that's all you bro!

I absolutely DETEST consoles, console gaming and what they're doing to PC gaming... but in this instance you sound like a good candidate for a console. That's the cheapest way to play MW2 for someone in your shoes.

How can spending £130 for an XBOX and £40+ for the game and the XBOX Live fees be cheaper than a <£100 graphics card upgrade...
a c 365 U Graphics card
November 14, 2009 10:25:49 AM

Whether DX11 matter depends on you. I still play DX9 games even though I have a HD 5850 (in Win XP). Only game I played that supports DX10 was Crysis last year.
a c 147 U Graphics card
November 14, 2009 12:38:48 PM

McBainUK said:
How can spending £130 for an XBOX and £40+ for the game and the XBOX Live fees be cheaper than a <£100 graphics card upgrade...

It's not. Infinitly Ward has just left a sour taste in alot of our mouths and many are really bitter toward that game. If you want the game for PC, which I think all FPS's are much better played with a mouse and keyboard, then get it and enjoy. I've heard the single play campain is AWESOME. Everyone is just upset about the multiplayer being a complete port from the console with do dedicated servers, 9x9 max, no mods, leaning, and a few other items.
a b U Graphics card
November 14, 2009 1:09:55 PM

McBainUK said:
How can spending £130 for an XBOX and £40+ for the game and the XBOX Live fees be cheaper than a <£100 graphics card upgrade...


So in the example above were you going to steal the game? Otherwise that's a similar cost to both. Live gives you the servers.

As for the Xbox versus a new card, for a game like MW2 you probably also need a new CPU which likely also needs new MoBo and RAM in order to be competitive enough to play against others.

If you're just playing with yours... by yourself, then you'll be fine, but if you have any ideas of playing against people online, then you're going to get pwnd left right and centre by people with better rigs without a significant upgrade, the X360 brings everyone down to the same hardware level and his 19" resolution is a TV resolution (I think you meant 1366 if you mean 768 for res, which would be the computer standard of 720p).

So if you're wanting to just paly MW2, the console route would likely be best, the only reason to go PC would be for something more than just that game.
a c 376 U Graphics card
November 14, 2009 1:10:13 PM

At resolutions that low and a single core processor I would just get an HD4670. Honestly I really doubt you'll see much benefit at all with an HD4850 instead(can your PSU even handle that card?)
If you were using a bigger monitor/higher res then I could understand considering the HD4850 but for your current setup it's just a waste of money imo.
November 15, 2009 4:50:32 PM

Thanks for all the replies. This seems an active forum with some knowledgable members. I am a little disappointed the thread seems to have turned in to a console vs PC argument.

Just to clear things up:
- The res was from memory it's actually a 19" Samsung monitor with a 1280x1024 native res.
- I'm not a "pro gamer" with hours to waste but I get by just fine with the current rig with COD4, CS:Source and BF2. All, IMO, as they're meant to be played - online and with a keyboard and mouse. This is why I play games on the PC. A 4yr old PC that I don't get "pwnd" on I might add (tag is McBainUK, say hi if you see me :hello:  ).

jay2tall said:
It's not. Infinitly Ward has just left a sour taste in alot of our mouths and many are really bitter toward that game. If you want the game for PC, which I think all FPS's are much better played with a mouse and keyboard, then get it and enjoy. I've heard the single play campain is AWESOME. Everyone is just upset about the multiplayer being a complete port from the console with do dedicated servers, 9x9 max, no mods, leaning, and a few other items.

I'm currently considering a simple £40 upgrade to a HD4650 which according to TH article has "Great 1280x1024 performance in most games". I think I will also make a mental note to not pre-order a new game based on loving the previous one in the series, before reading up on it and then seeing that the multiplayer has been screwed with (which is all I play). :( 

I guess that's the problem with being out of the loop in the PC gaming and just playing COD4 too much :) 
!