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I need HELP choosing a graphics card!

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
December 13, 2009 12:03:16 PM

Hello to everyone,

I have a problem choosing a graphics card and I really need some help.

So here's the situation: I started thinking about buying a new graphics card all the way back in summer and I decided I'd buy ASUS EAH4870 and waited for the price to drop. Now it has finally an affordable price where I live and I want to buy the new video card before the end of December because I'll be on vacation.
But here comes the problem. The new 57xx series arrived and now I'm somewhat where I started. I would buy the 5770 but it's too expensive for me. I have the money but it's way out of the budget i have set for myself so it's out of the question for now.
My dilemma is between the 5750 and the 4870.
First of all, here are my specs:

MoBo: ASUS M2N-E
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 BE
Current graphics card: ASUS EAX1650 PROGE (not 100% sure of the name but it's a x1650)
RAM:3GB (I think it's dual channel - 2x512mb + 1x2GB)
PSU: FSP FORTRON 450W (if you need the exact model, I'll look it up)
Integrated sound card
Logitech G15 keyboard and I'm thinking about buying a mouse with a fan (I'm only stating this for the power usage, though I don't think it will make a difference)

Secondly, I know the 4870 is far better in terms of performance than the 5750 but it also has it's cons. It sucks out more power and doesn't have the new features of the 5k series. It also is 20 leva (local currency - BGN) more expensive which is about 10 euro so it's not a problem. The only reasons for me to choose the 5750 over the 4870 is because of the new features and the lower power consumption. Nevertheless, I don't think I'll ever use the eyefinity technology (unless my friends bring they're monitors) and I don't think dx11 is worth it right now. In 3 years time maybe (or 2 years, who knows) dx11 will make a difference but the 5750 would probably be useless by that time for dx11. I also don't understand the HD bitstreaming thing so if you could clarify it, that would help very much.
So let's say they have the same price - what should I do? Can my 450w handle the 4870 (I've already done a research and I think it will manage but a second opinion won't be useless)? I need to run the games great for 2-3 years 'cause then I'll probably be starting university. I'll be playing them mainly on 1280x1024 resolution and sometimes on my TV which is HD ready and I use it on 13xx X 1xxx. Something like that. My video card says it can support past 2k something x something resolution but after the 13xx X 1xxx the image starts flickering.
To sum it up- 1280x1024, ultra high, 450w psu (I'm not changing it!), don't care that much about eyefinity and dx11 and don't understand DTS bitstreaming. If you think I'll have the same performance on my resolution with both cards then maybe i should buy he 5750. Do I really need the 4870?
I'm eagerly awaiting your responses and I'll be very grateful for any help. Sorry for the long-ass post.

More about : choosing graphics card

December 13, 2009 1:48:27 PM

On 1280x1024, i think 4870 is a better choice, like u said earlier that u will never use eyefinity technology.
PSU with 500W is recommended, but your 450W PSU can handle it but don't expect more from that, if u want to be safe then upgrade your PSU to higher quality(Corsair,PCP&C,Antec,SilverStone,etc.)
In my opinion, i say that 4870 is your answer...

Anyone have another idea?
December 13, 2009 2:04:58 PM

HD4870 if you are looking for performance!
Related resources
December 14, 2009 1:31:12 PM

Hmm, maybe I'll buy the 4870 after all. The extra features don't seem to be worth it. And what about the memory? At 1280X1024 will 1gb 4870 make a big difference from the 512mb?
December 14, 2009 2:22:31 PM

I'd say a 4870 as well.

512MB should be plenty to handle that resolution. But these days, I'd opt for 1GB anyway, just because:

- It doesn't cost that much more
- If you do wind up with a bigger monitor one day, you'll have the extra performance to deal with it
- 512MB is sufficient for today's games at that resolution, but who knows what the hell kind of games they'll come out with in the next 2-3 years.

There's a pretty good article about determining how much video card RAM you need here, and lucky for you, it's even based on the various versions of the 4870:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-ram-4870,2...
December 14, 2009 2:39:45 PM

Agree with capt. above... :) 
December 15, 2009 1:28:16 PM

Thanks for all the help.
I already knew that article but I'll browse over it again. Thanks for the link. The strange thing is I can't find a cheap 1gb version of the 4870 but the 5770 1gb is actually cheaper than the the 1gb 4870. I think it seems very strange. The problem is our market is fairly poor in stock and expensive. I hope I can find a good deal the next days before the holidays.
Can anyone tell me, however, how is the 4870 512mb compared to the 5850 because all the charts I find are between the 4870 1gb and not the 512mb?
December 15, 2009 1:49:42 PM

With a questionable PSU I'd definitely go for the HD5750 instead as it's much more power efficient. An HD4870 uses almost 2.5x as much power under load. The HD4870 is about 13% faster but either of those cards should kill that resolution. Outside of Crysis perhaps I don't think you will see any real difference in terms of performance. As for DX11 games are already coming out(Dirt 2, Stalker) and a good amount more should appear in the next year. People keep assuming that just because DX10 took a while to take off and wasn't a huge upgrade that the same can be said of DX11 when there is no reason to think so.