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Best ATI Radeon HD 4000 and 5000 series Graphics Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 9, 2010 9:04:15 PM

Im looking for a good graphics card that would run on 450W Xion Simple Power PSU.

Here are my system specs:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 Ghz o/ced to 3.8 Ghz
PowerColor Radeon HD 4670 1GB GDDR3 (Rated at 2.2 GB VRAM for some reason)
3 GB 667 RAM
1 IDE 140GB Hard Drive
450W Xion Simple Power PSU
OS: Windows 7 (7600 Build)

Budget is $180 (Please don't forget about the tax! I have 12% tax here)
I know that my 450W PSU might not be able to run some of the GPUs so I am also thinking of upgrading my PSU too. Thinking of one $80 or less.

Looking at price/performance. :bounce: 
a c 227 U Graphics card
January 9, 2010 9:45:47 PM

Look at the last page of this article.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

I don’t recommend upgrading your graphics card unless the replacement card is at least three tiers higher. Otherwise, the upgrade is somewhat parallel and you may not notice a worthwhile difference in performance.

That puts you in 9800 GTX, 9800 GTX+, GTS 250, HD 4850, HD 5750 territory as a minimum. I have bolded the choices in THG's Dec roundup that fit your criteria. However, the 5770's elevated price has driven up the cost of the 260 / and 4870. IMO, at $170- $180, none of these cards are worth the price tag, least of all the 5770 as it is handily beaten by the 260 and 4870.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=14

The value of the 5770 in particular is clearly not going to be in its performance. Compared to AMD’s 4870, it loses well more than it wins, and if we throw out Far Cry 2, it’s around 10% slower overall. It also spends most of its time losing to NVIDIA’s GTX 260, which unfortunately the 4870 didn’t have so much trouble with. AMD clearly has put themselves in to a hole with memory bandwidth, and the 5770 doesn’t have enough of it to reach the performance it needs to be at.

If it was me, I'd be looking at the 5750 and GTS 250.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

Here's the "winners" from THG's latest (December) GFX Roundup
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December '09

$50 - HD 4650
$65 - HD 4670 / 9600 GSO
$85 - 9600 GT
$95 - 9600 GT / HD 4830
$110 - GTS 250 512 MB
$120 - GTS 250 1 GB
$155 - HD 5770 / GTX 260

$200 - HD 4890
$240 - 2 x GTS 250
$310 - No winner (HD 5850 Honorable Mention)
$330 - 2 x GTX 260 / 2 x HD 5770
$400 - 2 x HD 4890
$410 - No winner (HD 5870 Honorable Mention)
$465 - No winner (GTX 295 Honorable Mention)
$625 - No winner (HD 5970 Honorable Mention)]
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January 9, 2010 11:39:03 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't even run the parts you have now on that psu, let alone an upgrade.

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


It runs fine at the moment, and is very cool in temperatures. I've been running this system 2 weeks now.
NOTE: The HD 4670 runs on power from the motherboard, it is very power efficient. It has been known to run on 250-300W PSUs, so I don't see why my 450W can't do so.. But yes you speak truth, if I do upgrade I will need to get a better PSU. I am not planning on buying from newegg.com though, I am buying from ncix.com (because there are NCIX stores near me, as I live up north in Canada).
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a c 147 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 12:03:19 AM

Your current PSU is perfectly fine for what you are running currently. However, if you upgrade to anything that would give a significant performance increase you will definitly have to upgrade your PSU first.

Video card around $180 I would go for one of these. They both have similar performance. However, if you plan on overclocking, the 4890 will have more headroom as the GTX260 is already factory overclocked.
XFX 4890: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCed GTX 260: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ATI really has a gap in the 5000 series cards. There is a large performance gap between the 5770 and the 5850. The 5770 runs $170 and the 5850 $300. However the performance gap is significant, and really the 4890 falls perfectly in between at only a few bucks more than the 5770. Granted you don't get DX11, but honestly the 5770 is not going to run DX11 games with nice high settings, it will be a bit lacking. I'd actually stick with a good DX10 card if you can't get a 5850 or higher for DX11. THE GTX at stock speed falls slightly short of the 4890 performance, however at the good OC of this card, it puts them pretty even. Just an option.

As far as PSU's go, the one OCZ that ZipZoom pointed out is REALLY a good buy.
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January 10, 2010 2:40:46 AM

jay2tall said:
Your current PSU is perfectly fine for what you are running currently. However, if you upgrade to anything that would give a significant performance increase you will definitly have to upgrade your PSU first.

Video card around $180 I would go for one of these. They both have similar performance. However, if you plan on overclocking, the 4890 will have more headroom as the GTX260 is already factory overclocked.
XFX 4890: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCed GTX 260: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ATI really has a gap in the 5000 series cards. There is a large performance gap between the 5770 and the 5850. The 5770 runs $170 and the 5850 $300. However the performance gap is significant, and really the 4890 falls perfectly in between at only a few bucks more than the 5770. Granted you don't get DX11, but honestly the 5770 is not going to run DX11 games with nice high settings, it will be a bit lacking. I'd actually stick with a good DX10 card if you can't get a 5850 or higher for DX11. THE GTX at stock speed falls slightly short of the 4890 performance, however at the good OC of this card, it puts them pretty even. Just an option.

As far as PSU's go, the one OCZ that ZipZoom pointed out is REALLY a good buy.


Thanks! I forgot to mention that I am running on a low resolution screen as I don't see the need for a bigger screen to look at. Im running at 1280x1024. So would there be a change of mind in a graphics card that I should get & Price/Performance wise?
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a c 147 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 4:14:34 AM

No change. Chances are you may want a larger display at some point, but at that res the two cards I suggested would run virtually all games at mostly the highest settings. They are good buys.
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January 10, 2010 6:16:30 AM

jay2tall said:
No change. Chances are you may want a larger display at some point, but at that res the two cards I suggested would run virtually all games at mostly the highest settings. They are good buys.


Thats great to know! Thank you for informing me :)  But now my last question of all is, why would I need a larger display? What are the benefits to having a better resoultion? Im thinking of 1440x990 if I do get one.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 7:01:04 AM

jay2tall said:
Granted you don't get DX11, but honestly the 5770 is not going to run DX11 games with nice high settings, it will be a bit lacking.

This is pure speculation and likely quite untrue especially considering his resolution. Also DX11 mode in Battleforge actually improves frame rates so what you say may have no merit whatsoever. It all depends on how developers end up using it and none of us know what the end result will be at this point.
Also I can understand recommending the HD4890 but the GTX 260 simply isn't a good purchase compared to the HD5770(or HD4890) considering the difference in prices at this point.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 7:07:51 AM

arcticking said:
Thats great to know! Thank you for informing me :)  But now my last question of all is, why would I need a larger display? What are the benefits to having a better resoultion? Im thinking of 1440x990 if I do get one.

The HD5750 is very low power and should work fine with your current PSU. It's a great card for either of the resolutions you mention. You don't need and will see almost no benefit from the near $200 dollar cards being mentioned unless you plan on upgrading to a monitor with a 1680x1050 resolution or higher.
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January 10, 2010 7:36:07 AM

jyjjy said:
The HD5750 is very low power and should work fine with your current PSU. It's a great card for either of the resolutions you mention. You don't need and will see almost no benefit from the near $200 dollar cards being mentioned unless you plan on upgrading to a monitor with a 1680x1050 resolution or higher.


Wow! Thanks again! (Oh how I love this forum and the help I get from the people in it) :) 
But according to benchmarks the HD 5750 is low in performance and an 5770 easily beats it.

Im looking at these: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

Could you help me on which 5000 series to get? I know the 4890 is the best get for the 4000 series :D 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 7:51:14 AM

You would be better off looking at actual game benchmarks rather than synthetic ones. The article you linked doesn't benchmark your resolution however. Here is one that does;
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_5750_i...
For any card more powerful than an HD5750 you will probably want a new PSU which is why I recommended it. The HD5770 is actually the better buy IMO in general but it really is overkill for your current resolution.
If you want to get a new PSU anyway this is a great deal on an HD4850;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and it should be great for your resolution. I believe it's included in most of the benchmarks in that article as well.
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a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 12:10:12 PM

If you do not upgrade your PSU, I would get a 5770. It is a solid card, great performance for the price, and from what I have seen, DX11 does not really hinder GPU performance much at all. And it will work perfectly fine with your PSU. I would suggest it is about the best price/performance match for your setup. If you want anything more powerful, I would change the PSU. But then, you really would also need a bigger monitor to get the most out of a more powerful GPU as well.

PS...the next thing I would do is something with your RAM. 3Gig of 667mhz memory?
Am I missing something, am I reading that correctly? And with that overclock?
I don't how you could possibly have picked a worse memory setup to compliment the processor you have? Surely you have mistaken when you wrote that :) 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 6:51:23 PM

Looking up the stats of your PSU it claims to have 30 amps on the +12v rail. If that's close to accurate it likely can handle an HD5770. It really is overkill for your resolution however but it would serve you well if you upgrade your monitor at some point.
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January 11, 2010 6:32:36 AM

jitpublisher said:
If you do not upgrade your PSU, I would get a 5770. It is a solid card, great performance for the price, and from what I have seen, DX11 does not really hinder GPU performance much at all. And it will work perfectly fine with your PSU. I would suggest it is about the best price/performance match for your setup. If you want anything more powerful, I would change the PSU. But then, you really would also need a bigger monitor to get the most out of a more powerful GPU as well.

PS...the next thing I would do is something with your RAM. 3Gig of 667mhz memory?
Am I missing something, am I reading that correctly? And with that overclock?
I don't how you could possibly have picked a worse memory setup to compliment the processor you have? Surely you have mistaken when you wrote that :) 


No, I have not mistaken :D  What type of RAM do you suggest? (amount of memory and hz)
In the windows experience index rating, I get a 7.3 from my RAM processing by the way.

jyjjy said:
Looking up the stats of your PSU it claims to have 30 amps on the +12v rail. If that's close to accurate it likely can handle an HD5770. It really is overkill for your resolution however but it would serve you well if you upgrade your monitor at some point.


What screen resolution would you recommend? I also did say that I was planning on getting a better PSU for under $80.

(My plan is to get a 500-600W continuous PSU / active pfc / 80+ certified / single or dual rail ..
An HD 4890 GPU which I think is the best in performance and price worth for DX10 capabilities ..
And also about 4GB of 800-1066 RAM to take up 2 RAM slots, and mix it up with my 3GB of 667 RAM)
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 11, 2010 7:58:13 AM

An HD5770 is already massive overkill for your current resolution. You wont really see any benefit from a more powerful card like the HD4890 unless you are going to upgrade to a monitor with a resolution of at least 1920x1080 and the HD5770 is pretty good for that resolution as well.
I'd say go for the HD5770, keep the current PSU and put the money towards a quality 1680x1050 monitor. That should be fairly affordable and be a very nice gaming upgrade from what you have now both visually and performance-wise.
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January 12, 2010 1:05:43 PM

jyjjy said:
An HD5770 is already massive overkill for your current resolution. You wont really see any benefit from a more powerful card like the HD4890 unless you are going to upgrade to a monitor with a resolution of at least 1920x1080 and the HD5770 is pretty good for that resolution as well.
I'd say go for the HD5770, keep the current PSU and put the money towards a quality 1680x1050 monitor. That should be fairly affordable and be a very nice gaming upgrade from what you have now both visually and performance-wise.


1920x1080! How many inches of a screen monitor makes up that resolution!? You're right, HD5770 would be overkill. But then, if I switch monitors I would be wanting a HD4890 or HD5850.. (also meaning I'd switch PSUs and building RAM to about 6GB.)

BTW: Overclocked my Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.8Ghz and its showing 800Mhz on CPU-Z????
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 12, 2010 4:16:20 PM

Most current processors throttle themselves down to save power when not asked to do anything intensive. A simple way to make it go up to it's normal speed is to zip something.
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