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Yet another request for card input

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2009 4:32:01 PM

My video card died (in a most peculiar way), and I am looking for a replacement. Unfortunately, I don't have on board video, nor do I have an old card I can throw in, so my components list will include some best guesses.

MSI P45 Platinum
Core 2 Duo (approximately 2.2 - 2.3 GHz I believe)
2 x 2 GB RAM, 800 MHz
big fat PSU (750 W or something like that)
Old card: 7900 GS

So here's my issue: for any good card the bottleneck will be my cpu, and it seems like a waste to upgrade the cpu without just buying an entirely new system, which is not an option. My original plan was to buy a second 7900 GS when I needed it, and keep that configuration until I got a new machine in 2 years. 2 x 7900 GS is still a bit cheaper than a 9800 GT. I game but don't need to play on high settings to enjoy it; I'm more concerned with FPS than resolution.

Will something like a 5770 / 4870 be so overpowered, and bottlenecked so severely by the cpu, that there's no noticeable performance increase over a 9800 GT (or 2 x 7900 GS)? If the 5770 has enough longevity to last me 3 years, so I won't have to replace it right away when I get a new system, it might be worth it. Should I consider the directx 11 support, or will I be alright with 9 for 2 more years (I currently run XP)?

Power consumption is also something to consider. If using a second card costs me 20 cents more per day, that's about $73 per year.

More about : request card input

a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 8:50:51 PM

Im no expert to tell you if a 4870 or 5770 would be bottlenecked by your ~2.2GHz CPU but I do think that its a good match up. Maybe even the 4850 or 5750 if you are so concerned. My guess would be that they would give you a noticabe performance incrase over a 9800 GT even if they are botlenecked by your CPU.

Seeing as you are essentially starting over in buying a new card Id buy a single powerfull card now with the possiblility of crossfire/sli rather than buying two cards to crossfire with now.
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a c 1363 U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 10:20:57 PM

I think that HD4870/90 GTX260 and HD5770 are all a good match for your system!
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a c 358 U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 11:03:26 PM

The HD 5770 will be fine for the CPU. It uses about 40w - 50w less than the HD 4870, but also costs slightly more, but you'll have DX11 and save money on your electricity bill.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 11:23:30 PM

How much bottlenecking will occur depends on what resolution you are using. At low resolutions you are going to be cpu bound and probably won't see much of a difference between a 9800gt and an HD5770. At medium to high resolutions you will definitely see a difference especially when using high settings/AA.
You should at the least OC that CPU. Core2duos overclock very well and I wouldn't be surprised if you can get it up to 3ghz fairly easily. That would make a big difference.
But, I do think you should consider upgrading that CPU. You basically have the absolute worst core2duo possible. With a P45 board you can handle any of them and an upgrade to a good core2quad will be huge.
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December 8, 2009 12:41:19 AM

Thanks for all the responses. I priced some Core 2 Quad, and they're about $200. So if I got a good card and upgraded my cpu, that's about $300 more than just getting a crappy card. I'd rather put that money towards an entirely new system, so I decided to get a cheap card (HD 4650, only $40!) and anticipate getting a new system in 1 year rather than 2.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 8, 2009 1:10:14 AM

Definitely get an HD4670 instead. It's a much better card than the HD4650 for gaming and there's been some great deals lately. Like so;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The HD4650 with DDR2 is on par with your old 7900GS while the HD4670 is about twice as good as either of them.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 8, 2009 1:14:12 AM

Do OC that CPU btw. Your board should definitely allow for it and it will help a ton in current games.
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December 8, 2009 1:52:52 AM

jyjjy : I will.

Thanks for the info on the 4670. I didn't realize the ddr3 made that much difference.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 8, 2009 1:56:01 AM

There used to be DDR3 HD4650s but they mysteriously disappeared a few months ago. It does make a big difference but the HD4670 is just faster in any case.
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December 15, 2009 12:14:29 AM

Follow up: I went with the 4670. I got an Asus for about $45, it it has been 50-100% better (in terms of FPS) than my old 7900 gs.
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