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What should I upgrade first? GPU or CRT/LCD

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 16, 2010 7:04:24 AM

I just built a new computer on the cheap and am using the integrated Radeon HD 4200 (Asus M4A785TD-EVO, Athlon II X4 630, 4 gig ram) I have an old 22" CRT (VGA) that I use for my monitor (huge footprint). Sold some things and have a little extra money and I'm debating on weather to buy a discrete GPU (Radeon HD 4670) or a 23" to 24" LCD like the Hanns-G that newegg had on sale for $159.99. I have $170, so if I buy the monitor that's all I get. If I buy the $75 GPU I'm going to spend the rest on a external hard drive for the Wii. (I know I will have some left over but that will probably pay the wife tax.)

My computer use is photo and video editing, light gaming (Oblivion right now, but I would like to be able to play newer games), office applications, and of course web surfing (some streaming videos.)

If I opt for the GPU it will free up my memory, but how will these cards perform on an old CRT with a d-sub connection?

If I opt for the LCD I'm stuck with the integrated graphics until I can sell something else.

And please don't suggest I just save up and buy a 5890 and 30" IPS LCD, because that's just not going to happen. We need to be realistic. $170 is the max I can spend (maybe $190 if I get the LCD.)

More about : upgrade gpu crt lcd

February 16, 2010 7:14:36 AM

I would get the best graphic card under $190 if I were you.

There is nothing wrong with the CRT monitor except for its huge weight and size.
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a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2010 11:18:38 AM

an ati 5770 should do nicely for you with that budget :) 
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February 16, 2010 4:54:05 PM

The 5770 looks nice but I don't have 6-pin PCIe power connector What about the 5670? . Special this week for $90, free shipping, only $15 more than the 4670.

Does it matter that I'm connected by the d-sub?
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February 17, 2010 2:34:27 AM

I just posted this in a nother thread where I was asking about GPU purchase. I thought I put it here to.

...I was looking @ a Saphire 1 gig 4670 for $75 shipped, but I may may be able to get a used Saphire Vapor-x 1 gig 4890 for $100. Is this a good deal? Is this a good card. I know I will most likely have to up my power supply, or could I run it with adapters? Also I can get a new HIS Radeon HD 5670 512Mb for $90 shipped. I may also have a chance to buy a 8800gt from my brother in-law. Is that a good purchase now-a-days?
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February 17, 2010 2:40:26 AM

Saphire Vapor-x 1 gig 4890 for $100!!!!!!

Great deal! Grab it fast.
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March 8, 2010 3:33:38 AM

My brother-in-law was dragging his feet selling the VaporX 4890 and the Sapphire HD 4670 1 gig went on sale for 69.99 free shipping so I ordered it. Do you think I will see a great improvement over my IGP HD 4200? Again, I'm using a 21" CRT at 1600x1200. The only game I've been playing lately is Oblivion and it was struggling the last time I played. I will probably be getting Dragon Age soon, and I might try some other COD games. Newegg also had a Powercolor HD 5570 1 gig for the same price plus a $10 mail-in-rebate. Is that a better option than the Sapphire HD 4670? (I wish I had unlimited computer funds because I always second guess my purchases.)
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a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2010 3:44:53 AM

by far the 4890 for 100 would be the best but if your brother in law dose not want to sell then oh well.

Anything you buy will be better than the 4200 IGP. The 5570 would be a better choice over the 4670 for the price.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-5570,review-318...
Here is a review of the 5570 compared to some other cards.
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March 8, 2010 5:21:08 AM

I see two differences in the two cards the 4670's core clock is 750Mhz and the 5570 is only 650Mhz. The other is the stream processors. The 4670 has 320 while the 5570 has 400. So does the increase in stream processors out-way the slower clock? Is there something else better about the 5570? (DirectX 11 is not that big of a concideration or should it be?)
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a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2010 5:34:24 AM

Do not worry about comparing clock speeds and number of stream processors between cards, you only need to look at how the card performs in relation to each other. As you can tell form the review Ive posted the 5570 is slightly faster overall compared to the 4670.

Since you are on a tight budget I would get the fastest card possible regardless if it had DX11 or not. Like getting your brother in laws 4890 over buying a 5770.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 8, 2010 10:19:51 AM

CRT monitors are actually slightly preferable for gaming imo so there's no need to replace it(apart from the humongous size.) To use the monitor for gaming at 1600x1200 I would recommend at least an HD4850/5750/4770/GTS 250 but one of the good things about CRT monitors is that there is no native resolution so they are flexible. With the HD4670 I would recommend gaming at around 1280x960 although you may be able to get away with higher in some games, especially older ones. Also depends on whether you you prefer higher in game graphic settings or a higher resolution.
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March 8, 2010 1:55:09 PM

I already decide to stick with the CRT until I can afford a IPS monitor. Some of the video cards suggested are great but I was also trying to avoid a new power supply. If I get my hands on the 4890 from my brother-in-law I'm going to use an older power supply and dedicate it to just the GPU (two power supplies.) The reason I got the 4670 is Toms Hardware listed it as the best buy for under $80. Is that because the 5570 wasn't out yet? or was more money? I know this is a dumb reason but the 5570 just didn't look as good (low profile.) Also isn't Sapphire a better brand than Powercolor?
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a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2010 10:39:05 PM

Performance wise a Sapphire and a Powercolor 5570 will perform the same, the only real difference is the customer service. I fortunately have not had to deal with them so I cant realy tell you which is better. The fact that the 5570 is low profile dose not mean that the card is slower than a 4670, it is in fact faster. You should look into finding websites that have FPS comparison charts for different cards and use that to determine performance rather than looks of the card and clock speeds.

As for the Toms best buy for $80, the prices can change on a daily basis so that 5570 might not have cost $80 back when they wrote the review.
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March 14, 2010 10:33:25 PM

So I got 4670 and it is vastly better than the IGP. Now that I bought it I find out that the 4890 will be available as soon as the guy gets his two back order 5970's (sick.) So I think I will sell the 4670 when the Vapor-x 4890 becomes available. My question is now, what do you all think of the Vapor-x 4890? I have read a few bad reviews and it makes me nervous. Something about these crapping out after a short time.
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March 14, 2010 11:08:01 PM

supermaughan said:
So I got 4670 and it is vastly better than the IGP. Now that I bought it I find out that the 4890 will be available as soon as the guy gets his two back order 5970's (sick.) So I think I will sell the 4670 when the Vapor-x 4890 becomes available. My question is now, what do you all think of the Vapor-x 4890? I have read a few bad reviews and it makes me nervous. Something about these crapping out after a short time.

There are always duds when it comes to gpus or just about anything. I wouldn't worry too much. Performance wise that 4890 will destroy the 4670. Also, two 5970's???!!!?!
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March 15, 2010 12:38:59 AM

I know two 5970's at $700 a piece???? I think he plays in a lot of competitions. Kind of semi-pro video gamer if there is such a thing. If I can help him out by giving him $100 for his obsolete 4890, I'll do my part. What do you think of using a second power supply to power the GPU? I'm not talking about a supplementary PS but I would hot wire an old ATX PS I have laying around in my computer graveyard. I know how to get power working and all I'm just not sure what will happen when my computer sleeps or powers down. But I think that is communicated to the card through the PCIe interface not the power connectors, right? So it should work just fine. I doubt anyone has experience with this but if anyone does let me know your experiences.
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March 15, 2010 3:11:58 AM

Well, do you need the extra power? I wouldn't use a separate PSU for the gpu cause you might cause a short. You see power also flows through the PCI-E connectors, and you will also have power flowing in from the 6 or 8 pin connectors. I don't know what happens when the power from the 2 sources meet, so I wouldn't want to risk it.

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March 15, 2010 5:25:58 AM

I will need the extra power. I have a 560w power supply but I don't have any free connectors. The 4980 uses two 6 pin connectors so I would need 4 free 4 pin molex. So I will have to try my idea or buy a new PS. I don't think it matters where the power comes from but I could be wrong.

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April 26, 2010 8:16:25 PM

Update. I saw the 5970 became available on Newegg so I got ready to buy the 4890. I sold my 4670 and bought a new power supply (OCZ Fatality 550W). I just found out that he sold the 4890 to a friend but he does have a 4870. I was a little bummed but than I was reading that there isn't a lot of difference between the 4890 and 4870.

Questions: Should I still be excited about buying the 4870? Is $100 a good deal for this card? (I'm not 100% sure what card it is, if it is a Vapor-x or not.) Also, did I make an OK choice in power supply?
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April 26, 2010 10:54:24 PM

supermaughan said:
Update. I saw the 5970 became available on Newegg so I got ready to buy the 4890. I sold my 4670 and bought a new power supply (OCZ Fatality 550W). I just found out that he sold the 4890 to a friend but he does have a 4870. I was a little bummed but than I was reading that there isn't a lot of difference between the 4890 and 4870.

Questions: Should I still be excited about buying the 4870? Is $100 a good deal for this card? (I'm not 100% sure what card it is, if it is a Vapor-x or not.) Also, did I make an OK choice in power supply?

100 dollars is great for a 4870, and if it is vapor-x, then more power to you.
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April 30, 2010 1:00:38 AM

How does a GTX 260 compare to a 4890 (or 4870)? I found one on craigslist and I'm thinking of buying it. My brother-in-law got a 4890 to upgrade from his 8800gtx and he doesn't like the ATI drivers. If the GTX 260 is comparable to the 4890 I may trade him cards.
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April 30, 2010 1:11:55 AM

supermaughan said:
How does a GTX 260 compare to a 4890 (or 4870)? I found one on craigslist and I'm thinking of buying it. My brother-in-law got a 4890 to upgrade from his 8800gtx and he doesn't like the ATI drivers. If the GTX 260 is comparable to the 4890 I may trade him cards.


The 260 is about 10% faster than a 4870, and the 4890 is about 10% or more faster than a 260. Are you the one with a GTX 260? If so your not going to notice to big of a difference with the 4890. Also is your 260 the 216 shader processor edition?
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April 30, 2010 1:23:17 AM

I will buy the GTX260 and then trade that for the 4890 if he is interested (because he doesn't like ATI.) Or I can buy a 4870.

These are the specs on the card I was looking at:

Nvidia Geforce 260 (Core 216) GTX With Thermalright HR-03 GTX Cooler

Card Specs:
Graphics Clock: 576 MHz
Processor Clock: 1242 MHz
Processor Cores: 216
Texture Fill Rate: 36.9
Memory Clock: 999 MHz
On Board Memory: 896 MB
Memory Bandwidth: 111.9 GB/sec
Interface: PCI Express 16x (2.0)
NVIDIA SLI Ready (2-way/3-way)
Microsoft DirectX 10
OpenGL 2.1
Maximum Digital Resolution: 2560x1600
Display Connectors: Dual Link DVI (2) HDTV (1)
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April 30, 2010 3:26:58 PM

I bought the GTX 260. I figured for $75 this was a good deal. My problem now is it doesn't have a fan on the cooler. He put the Thermalright HR-03 on which doesn't come with a fan. He used it with a fan but kept the fan. Now I need a 120mm fan to put on the cooler. It can be used with out a fan but when I maxed out the Batman demo I was over 100C (according to speedfan.)

My question is, where can I get a fan that will plug into the EVGA card? It has a small 4-pin connector on the card. I have some fans but they are all 3-pin case fans.

On a side note, what is the best way to monitor my temps?
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