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Recommendations on gfx card for new build

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 5, 2010 2:15:11 PM

Hi all,

Just joined and I'm looking for some advice. I'm trying to build a new PC and I have been out of the loop for a while one what's new and hot. I'm mainly struggling on which graphics card to pick up and currently looking at the ATI HD 4850 1 GB or Nvidia GTS 250 1GB.

I'm trying to stay below the $200 dollar range so feel free to suggest any other cards with HDMI support. And I'm hoping this card would last me a good 2-3 years before I have to really make an upgrade.

I just took a look at some benchmarks and I would like cards that give me 60+ fps in games like TF2 and L4D.. so I may have to increase my budget to $300.

Here's my potential specs:

Intel i7 2.66 GHz
6GB RAM
Corsair 650W PSU

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2010 4:13:21 PM

For $300, the HD 5850 is the hands-down winner for both power and future-proofing. Many advantages over both of the other cards you mentioned. You will be very glad in 3 years if you spend the extra money now.

If you're hoping for a card that will last 2-3 years, by the way, you'll want one with DirectX 11 support. There are only four of those right now, the 5700 series and the 5800 series (and the 5970, but that's really just two 5870s in one). Whatever nvidia comes out with in a couple months, I can guarantee you it'll cost more than $300.
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a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2010 4:16:06 PM

Don't forget that most benchmarks out there are using hihgly OC'd versions of your target CPU, to do their best to eliminate any CPU limitations. You will not replicate the same scores without performing the same overclock to your CPU.

That said, a 5850 would be an excellent choice regardless of the tuning of your cpu.
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February 5, 2010 5:01:03 PM

Nice, thanks for the input!

Also.. any specific manufacturers through experience would be appreciated too :) 
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a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2010 7:35:24 PM

Most important thing about manufacturers is that Visiontek and XFX offer a lifetime warranty, so I'd get one of those.

Also, if you can help it, avoid Powercolor. Haven't had much experience with them personally, but from everything I've heard, they're VERRRRRRY Made-in-China.
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February 5, 2010 8:27:52 PM

don't forget fermi comes out in March and ATI will probably drop their prices
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a c 225 U Graphics card
February 5, 2010 8:50:06 PM

Well ya talking two different worlds here....the 250 is a $110 card....so that's why I don't understand the $300 budget reference.

Without a screen resolution it's hard to point you in a specific direction. But plug ya budget into the link below and go shopping Only bad recommendation on this list is the 5770 which gets lauded for DX 11 compatibility and "Great 1920x1200 performance in most games" but it can't do 30 fps in DX11 games.

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

At 1680 x 1050, no reason to go past the $125 budget mark.

At 1920 x 1200 / 1080, the $200 mark or higher is the place to look.
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February 5, 2010 8:51:04 PM

Kewlx25 said:
don't forget fermi comes out in March and ATI will probably drop their prices

I agree with capt_taco, if fermi gets raped by 5870/5850 then ati drops price, however, that is about 10% chance. If Ati dominates fermi then ati will raise the price to 300+ 100%
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February 5, 2010 9:12:41 PM

Well given from what ubernoobie is saying about the 10% chance of a price drop then I'm not going to bother on waiting. I'm wayyyyy overdue on a new build.. it's been 6 years since my last build :bounce: 

@JackNaylorPE sorry about the confusion, but I was originally trying to stay at a budget so I was looking at the lower end of the cards, but after realizing the stats and investment I was about to make I figured I shouldn't be cheap about it. And I'm trying to play at full resolution of 1900x1200.
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a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2010 10:45:55 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
At 1680 x 1050, no reason to go past the $125 budget mark.


That's the only part of your post I'm inclined to question... I mean, it's definitely correct in the short term, but if I was planning on keeping a card for three years, I'd also be considering a) What kinds of games will they be coming out with then, and might they be more demanding at 1680 x 1050 than the ones we see now ... and b) What if I get a bigger monitor by then.

So yeah, I mean, I'm not trying to be a jerk and argue with you, but I'd say there is some value to having a good card just because you're better prepared for eventualities like that.

At any rate, looks like the guy has a big monitor anyway, so 5770 is out and 58xx is probably the way to go
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February 15, 2010 5:01:39 AM

i definitely went with XFX's 5850 :) 

thanks for all the responses!
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