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Recommended upgrade - $200 video card for large monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 30, 2009 11:33:36 PM

Hi all.

I need a new display card - currently running an Evga 7950. I'm driving a large screen (52" Mitsubishi LCD) - native resolution 1080p.

I can tell the 7950 is having a hard time driving this - particularly at the fast "super stable" refresh rates this monitor is capable of. I'm (of course) a gamer.

I figure I've got about $200 to spend on an upgrade. What to pick? I am currently running Windows 7 - and do want to play new games. I'm aware the nVidia 200 series currently does not have d11 support - I dunno if that will be fixed simply with new drivers or if the cards will never do it - but it seems, certainly for the bulk of existing software, that far more nVidia optimized solutions exist than ATI. I'm also considering PhysX support.

Using an Asus mobo with 680i chipset - so I believe I'm on PCI-Express x16 - but not version 2 - if that makes any difference. Ideally of course the card(s) would migrate with my next CPU/mobo upgrade....

Based on current pricing - I'm torn. I see Newegg is offering XFX GT 240 1GB at $105 each - should I try a SLI pair? Or the GTX 260 896M for $195? Or try an ATI offering?
a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 12:21:03 AM

Get the $150 4870, $170 5770, or $180 4890

4870 ~ 5770 < 4890

GT240s are basically 9600GTs, so $105 for that is a total rip off. (You get get 9800GTX/GTS250 or 4850s for the same price)

GTX260s are currently overpriced...don't get that. 4870s perform the same and cost almost $45 less.
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December 1, 2009 12:26:19 AM

I HAVE read those - that's why I'm torn!

The GTX 260 was recommended - and my mobo is nVidia based so only SLI options would be available as opposed to Crossfire.

I didn't know, and still don't, if a pair of GT 240's with 1GB each will do better or worse than a single GTX 260 896M? Or can I not run the GT 240's in SLI at all?

I also don't know if in addition to screen resolution, if there is a difference in refresh rate with the different cards? My 7950 will run my 52" display at 1920x1080 - but at 60hz - and I'm fairly confident this display is capable of quite a bit more.

It looks like I'd benefit from adding a GT 220 for PhysX - though I don't know if it matters using the 512M or 1G version.
a c 1318 U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 12:33:02 AM

If I had to guess I would say that the gt 240 in SLI is going to perform worse than a single 260 GTX.
December 1, 2009 12:52:02 AM

I'm still torn! It sounds like the 5770 might be the better bet - but then I give up PhysX?
December 1, 2009 12:57:48 AM

I didn't see any SLI configurations shown in the current "best" review - only Crossfire configs. Do you know why?
a c 355 U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 1:01:35 AM

BigThumper said:
I'm still torn! It sounds like the 5770 might be the better bet - but then I give up PhysX?


Are there any games you play that supports PhysX? And do you notice any difference with it on or off?
December 1, 2009 1:04:39 AM

I've never had PhysX before - so I don't know what I'm missing <grin>. But I do have some, from GRAW to Batman, that do use PhysX and I figured as long as I'm upgrading I should look at supporting it.

I heard DX11 is supposed to provide such services for future titles to make it more open platform - but I don't think that will provide the extra eye-candy for the older DX10 & DX9 titles.
December 1, 2009 1:09:45 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
Get the $150 4870, $170 5770, or $180 4890

4870 ~ 5770 < 4890

GT240s are basically 9600GTs, so $105 for that is a total rip off. (You get get 9800GTX/GTS250 or 4850s for the same price)

GTX260s are currently overpriced...don't get that. 4870s perform the same and cost almost $45 less.


I heard you clearly recommending the ATI solutions, which I'm starting to lean towards - but should I consider doing the GTS250 in SLI instead of the GT240?
a c 1318 U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 1:14:27 AM

Now that would beat the single 260 GTX. Only question is can you find the cards cheap enough? Seeing deals on the 260 gtx around $170
a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 2:14:47 AM

I'd recommend the 4890 @ $190 or a 5770 @ $170.
December 1, 2009 2:24:33 AM

rolli59 said:
Now that would beat the single 260 GTX. Only question is can you find the cards cheap enough? Seeing deals on the 260 gtx around $170


I found these for $109 each - these are 512M each. Dunno how memory per card vs total memory compares in SLI configurations.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dunno if the "green, power-saving" version from Palit compromises performance.

That takes me to $218 - conceivably with PhysX. Does this sound good - or is the consensus at this price range I should stick with the ATI offerings?
a c 1318 U Graphics card
December 1, 2009 2:29:46 AM

1gb cards would be favored for your resolution especially with some eye candy (AA) turned on. SLI wit 2 x 512mb cards still leaves you with 512mb.
December 1, 2009 2:52:55 AM

Hmm...so I'm left with either a 260GTX 1G for PhysX compatibility and future SLI support (not that I'll likely do that in this rig) - or the 5770, probably a better long-term investment, but without seeing everything the current & older games had to offer. :cry:  I don't know what to do!!

Anybody have any experience trying the patch that allows nVidia PhysX to run alongside an ATI card?
!