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My first build...need GFX card choice.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 17, 2009 9:10:17 PM

Hey all -

First time poster, long time reader. I'm building my first computer and I'm stuck on my graphics card choice. So, I thought I'd ask the smaht guys here. This is my NewEgg build so far with a budget of around ~$1600 (its been 8+ years since my last one and I'd like to have this one last as long, too).

I'm not a hardcore gamer to say the least, but I like to be able to run the latest and great games without getting left behind. Yet, I don't mind turning down the AA or any other stuff like that all too much.

Current build:
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3

MOBO: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard SLI/XFire ready

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model

Heat sink: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler & Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

CD/DVD Burner: SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders


GFX choices:
SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - $169

HIS H489FN1GH Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - $179

I don't want to spend over $200 on a card - I just can't bring myself to that price range. Plus, if I can throw in another card for XFire down the line and extend the time between upgrades, I'm much more open to that. I don't mind not having a DX11 card - unless you guys think otherwise?

More about : build gfx card choice

a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 9:14:53 PM

What resolution will you be using for gaming? It could make a difference in what is recommended.
For example if you're on 1680x1050 I might suggest the 5770. If you're on 19200x1200 or 1920x1080 the 4890 is probably the better choice at your price point.
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November 17, 2009 9:19:08 PM

I would like to run at 1920x1080, but I'm not all about running at max resolutions as it can sometimes ruin frame rates. Just looking for good value, longevity, xfire possibility, and able to keep up, but not be at the bleeding edge.
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a c 225 U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 9:22:49 PM

Have you read ?

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

On the rest, I'd do the same except.....

Heat sink: Prolimatech Megahalems w/ IC Diamond Karat 7 Compound
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...

Memory: what CAS timings ? 6 will cost ya $200 .....7 around $170 ..... 8 gets down to $125 or so

HDD: The Black 2 TB has 500 GB platters but the rest of the blacks all have lower areal density and therefore don't perform nearly as well. The Spinpoint F3 has several drives w/ 500GB platters

CD/DVD Burner: Don't you want a SATA model ? I usually recommend Plextor 320 AS.

OS: Consider Pro if only for "XP Mode".
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a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 9:25:44 PM

Good choice of system parts by the way.
I notice the CM V8 CPU cooler hinting at the possibility of some overclocking.
If you feel the same way about your video card I think a 5770 would be a good fit.
The 4890 is a somewhat better @ 1920x1080, but if you got a good overclocking 5770 you can narrow the difference difference to almost nothing. (of course you could also OC' the 4890 a bit as well).

I think pretty much the same way you do - going after a good gaming experience without getting wrapped up in 'uber insanity'. Sounds to me like a 5770 (with the option of a 2nd later) is a good fit for you.
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a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 9:31:37 PM

Here are some benchmarks to hilight the 5770 OC'ed performance: Direct X 11 for the Masses: ATI Radeon HD 5700 Graphics Card Family Review @ Xbit Labs

Also worthy of note are the power requirements, size and other physical characteristics of the 5770s.
You could easily step down one size in PSU and case size and not loose any performance or upgrade-ability at all.

JackNaylor is right about choosing a SATA optical drive.

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a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 9:31:57 PM

If you're gonna end up getting an HD 5770, get the ASUS version with voltage tweak functionality; it'll add around 15% performance.
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November 17, 2009 9:33:16 PM

I think dx 11 is something that you might actually want to use later,
not the way dx 10 is...which....sucks ass
so I think you should get a 5770, and later crossfire that
but only if you're 100% sure that you WILL crossfire
if you're not sure get the 4890
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November 18, 2009 7:14:45 AM

Honestly, I would cut some costs on the hardware you have listed and dedicate a little more of your budget to a GPU. This can be done without any hits to performance.

Case: Go with the Antec Nine Hundred Two. It has all of the same features of the Twelve Hundred but saves you some money. It can still accommodate pretty much any hardware you'd want to toss into a machine.

Cost savings: $40

Ram: I've been a Corsair fanboy for a long time now, but the price premium of the dominator ram just isn't worth it. I got this OCZ Kit - same timings as the Dominator stuff, just much cheaper.

Cost savings: $90

Otherwise everything makes sense, you could save a little on the heatsink but thats not a big deal (and the V8 is sweet, I have it)

This way, you're able to dedicate a little more to your GPU budget - something like a HD 5850. The rest of your computer screams high-end performance, the GPU should too - especially since it's so easy to find room in your budget.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
November 18, 2009 7:37:54 AM

Those suggestions make a lot of sense. Now if only it was possible to find an HD5850 :/ 
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November 18, 2009 4:04:06 PM

Wow, guys! You've given me some really great advice. So now I'm going to go review my build and take your opinions into consideration. I really do appreciate all the help and honesty with this. I'll report back soon.

I think my only hesitation with the 5770 is the 128-bit memory interface.
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November 19, 2009 6:25:44 AM

The 5770 isn't a bad card at all. I just put one in the computer I built for my GF. She plays on a 1920x1080 display and is runs most stuff smoothly. However, it does show some struggling on more intensive games like Crysis - not too bad on High settings, but unplayable on Very High.

I'd reccomend a 5850 if you can find one or, since the 5850s were put up in price 2 5770s in Crossfire isn't a bad pick either - pretty much the same cost and same performance (taken from Tom's review on the 5770).

Like I said before, cutting some costs and dedicating more $ to the GPU is a really good idea. If it were my build I would be patient and regularly check for availability on 5850s - giving you the opportunity to add a 2nd in Xfire later instead of already having 2x 5770s and needing to scrap both when you go to upgrade.
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November 19, 2009 8:36:40 PM

Alright, final config! (I think)

@mr0000000000: Took your advice about the 5850. I'm looking for longevity here and squeezing all I can out of this system. I also swapped the memory and stepped down to a 650W PSU as well. Thanks!

@JackNaylorPE: Great tips on the HDD and the optical. I went with the Samsung F3 HDD instead of the 1TB Black Caviar HDD and looked into the aeral density and the platter size. Glad I asked!


New build:

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU:
Old: Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3
New: Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3

MOBO: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard SLI/XFire ready

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model

Heat Sink: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler & Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

GFX Card: SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail *I can find it cheaper on Amazon

Memory:
Old: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
New: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

HDD:
Old: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5
New: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

CD/DVD Burner:
Old: SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A
New: HP Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA 24X Multiformat DVD Writer

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders


First build w/5850 price = $1667.72
New build w/NewEgg combo deals = $1393.05
= -$274.67

Amazing! You guys rock! Thank you so much for the help. Now just gonna sit and wait on some holiday prices.
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November 19, 2009 8:43:09 PM

Alright, final config! (I think)

@mr0000000000: Took your advice about the 5850. I'm looking for longevity here and squeezing all I can out of this system. I also swapped the memory and stepped down to a 650W PSU as well. Thanks!

@JackNaylorPE: Great tips on the HDD and the optical. I went with the Samsung F3 HDD instead of the 1TB Black Caviar HDD and looked into the aeral density and the platter size. Glad I asked!


New build:

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU:
Old: Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3
New: Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3

MOBO: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard SLI/XFire ready

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model

Heat Sink: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler & Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

GFX Card: SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail *I can find it cheaper on Amazon

Memory:
Old: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
New: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

HDD:
Old: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5
New: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

CD/DVD Burner:
Old: SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A
New: HP Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA 24X Multiformat DVD Writer

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders


First build w/5850 price = $1692.72
New build w/NewEgg combo deals = $1492.71
= -$200.01

Amazing! You guys rock! Thank you so much for the help. Now just gonna sit and wait on some holiday prices.
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!