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Best card for $100

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March 5, 2010 10:07:48 PM

Hello, I am looking at cards. I am an avid gamer. Specs: core duo E6600 2.4 ghz 775. asus P5B deluxe/wifi-ap FSB 1066 4mb L2 cache. PC 2 6400 4x1GB DDR2 SDRAM dual channel. So this is what I have found http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Looking for best performance with cheapest price... I am thinking the MSI takes the cake. its PCIe 2.0 so i think its backwards compatible with my mobo being PCIe 1.0... correct me if im wrong plz. Thank you!

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a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 10:13:46 PM

Get the GTS250. Out of all the cards you listed it's the best. The Radeon you linked isn't even considered a gaming card I believe. However, if you have $100 might I recommend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The Radeon 4770; has a $15 mail in rebate, great performance for your specs. My wife uses one in her gaming computer with your similar specs. Good luck, and enjoy!!!!
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a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 10:23:54 PM

shadow187 said:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2505...*F%3F&GUID=30d5699f1270a0aad373c893ff95249b&itemid=250581408438&ff4=263602_263622

Condition: New



Read the auction description. Its a mis-titled auction, its actually for the 5600 series, someone goofed up their e-bay ad.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 10:24:39 PM

Did they? Woopsies, my bad.

If you're looking for an ATI equivalent, hit the HD4850.
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a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 10:25:47 PM

4850 > $120 right now, 4770 == $100.
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a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 10:42:36 PM

Its a 512MB and an OEM you just linked too, the 512 MB version isn't worth it; and the OEM doesn't even have a brand, so its likely shoddy quality reference everything. The XFX 4770 > both those 4850s.
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a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 2:03:05 AM

Hope hes not looking into running high resolutions with that whopping 512mb of ram....
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a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 6:43:55 AM

I'd go with the 4850 regardless. Heat issues are a problem if you have heat issues already -- in other words, if you've got a cramped case or poor airflow. Otherwise, if you've got a normal system, there are thousands and thousands of people running 4850s with no ill effects.
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March 6, 2010 7:22:18 AM

You shell out loads of cash for a 25.5" monitor and only leave $100 for the GPU? If at all possible, wait for a few more pennies to come in and try for AT LEAST a 4870/5770+. Being an avid gamer, the GTX 275 or ATI 4890 would be the minimum I'd suggest at that resolution if not stepping up for current gen cards. Those though are pushing the $300 limit.

4870 1gb $140 amir free delivery:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If not, pushing a $100 GPU at those resolutions will benefit from 1gb of ram. This is my suggestion, 4850 1gb $95 amir free delivery:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 7:34:27 AM

Yeah, for 1920x1200 you are going to want to spend a bit more. The HD4850 or GTS 250 will be ok for that resolution but not particularly good.
You want something more in line with that HD4870 linked above, which is a good deal. I would recommend the HD5770 instead however as it is DX11 compatible, much more power efficient/runs cooler and is only very slightly more expensive;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 11:52:37 AM

the E6600 is not a Quad Core processor; it is a dual core processor - one aimed at the midstream market 4 years ago. It is below the E7200 which is entry level non-bottleneck for the 4850. All of you people are telling him to get a card that will most definitely bottleneck his system, as running my old 4850 on an E7200 @ stock and the bottleneck was HUGE. The 4770 however he will be able to unlock the full power of with his current rig.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 12:25:32 PM

Bottleneck on an E6600? I don't think so.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 12:53:10 PM

nrnx said:
the E6600 is not a Quad Core processor; it is a dual core processor - one aimed at the midstream market 4 years ago. It is below the E7200 which is entry level non-bottleneck for the 4850. All of you people are telling him to get a card that will most definitely bottleneck his system, as running my old 4850 on an E7200 @ stock and the bottleneck was HUGE. The 4770 however he will be able to unlock the full power of with his current rig.

So you are saying the E7200 was a HUGE bottleneck for an HD4850 but the HD4770, which is only 5-10% slower should be fine for this guys system?
Honestly it sounds like you are just making things up. First off there will always be a "bottleneck" of some sort. Whether or not it will be the CPU depends on the game, the settings, the resolution and even what is specifically going on in the game at the moment. Like I said earlier his processor at stock speeds will be a bottleneck for certain games but with a decent overclock it should be just fine.
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a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 1:42:35 PM

Jeeze, Everyone king of insults around here these days?

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253315-33-running-e66...

http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=881205

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265574-33-core-e6400-... (almost same processor 6400).

I am not making things up, I am doing research on the question in hand then formulating an answer. The 4870 and 4890 would be bottlenecked without a question. To NOT be a bottleneck he'd have to get his E6600 up to 3GHZ or higher, which he stated he hasn't. E6600 != Q6600 which even then was said needed a bit of OCing to max out the 4890 performance. Lancore has mentioned nothing of overclocking, and thus you cannot automatically assume that he will be overclocking his processor to get rid of the bottleneck. Not everyone here has the same level of technical skill; a lot do just buy parts install them and leave it at that.


And yes, I am saying the 4850 was a HUGE bottleneck for a non-oc'ed E7200 which I used for a year and a half. Frame rates would get choppy in games such as FarCry 2 and Crysis Warhead was completely unplayable.

Conversely my wife had the same exact computer I did with a 4770 and she ran things much more smoothly than I did (albiet on a bit lower settings), why? No CPU throttling.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:14:51 PM

You are ignoring that the HD4850 and HD4770 have very similar performance. The issue most definitely was not a CPU bottleneck if the HD4770 was "smooth" and the HD4850 was not. A cpu bottleneck doesn't make things less "smooth" anyway, it just means you wouldn't be able to use the card to its full potential which may be a waste of money. If your wife's computer had the same processor and hers could play those games smoothly while yours couldn't then most likely it was the lower settings alone that made the difference you saw or perhaps some other difference between the two systems. A more powerful video card will never make games less playable.
Like I said earlier what will be the bottleneck can change dramatically based on resolution and the game being played. This is a fact. You cant just say E7200 + HD4850 = bottleneck, it doesn't work like that. If you want to say in X game, at Y resolution processor Z will bottleneck card Q then fine. In this case the E6600 will actually bottleneck the HD4850(and any other capable card) in the more cpu intensive games although the high resolutions will make that less of an issue as the video card itself will often be stressed to give decent frame rates at a resolution higher than what is optimal for the card.
If you want to tell if the CPU is a bottleneck it can be tested by increasing the resolution. If the frames per second doesn't really go down much or stays the same then the processor is what is limiting frame rates.
As for the threads you linked the first seems to be saying the processor will bottleneck an HD4870 slightly which seems about right. The second is about the HD5870, a good bit more than twice as powerful as the HD4850 so it is simply irrelevant to this discussion. The third is about the HD4890 which is also a much more powerful card.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:22:00 PM

Not to mention a CPU bottleneck on such a card would render above 40 frames still anyways.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:28:44 PM

Not necessarily. The number of frames the cpu can deliver is independent of the video card used. Frame rates will always be limited by either the cpu or the card. Whichever can deliver more frames per second in whatever game at the settings used will be "bottlenecked" by the other.
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a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:30:53 PM

eRR thought the second one was a 4870 not a 5870, my bad; Anyway if he can get a 1 GB DDR version of the 5850 and has the PSU and space for it for $100 then go for it. Otherwise wouldn't you agree that a 1 GB 4770 > 512MB 4850 for high resolution textures? The 512MB is paltry. I know there is a bus difference but still; A 1GB 4850 for $100 would be a good buy, however if he can't find that I still would reccomend the 1 GB 4770.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:32:07 PM

Oh I know. I'm just saying that, say, I ran an HD5850 on an E5200. Say the game is L4D. I'd probably cap out at 50 or 60, but I could go with 1920x1080 with 16XAA/16xAF, and still get the same frames.
Right?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:38:15 PM

Yeah, if you have cpu bottleneck you should be able to increase the resolution and AA and not get lower frame rates. Usually at some point when increasing resolution/settings it will reverse itself and the card will end up being what limits things but in your specific example of L4D on an HD5850 it probably would always be the CPU.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 3:46:31 PM

nrnx said:
eRR thought the second one was a 4870 not a 5870, my bad; Anyway if he can get a 1 GB DDR version of the 5850 and has the PSU and space for it for $100 then go for it. Otherwise wouldn't you agree that a 1 GB 4770 > 512MB 4850 for high resolution textures? The 512MB is paltry. I know there is a bus difference but still; A 1GB 4850 for $100 would be a good buy, however if he can't find that I still would reccomend the 1 GB 4770.

Well for resolutions where that memory difference will matter much those aren't really the cards to be looking at which is why I recommended an HD5770 or HD4870 instead. As for the HD4770 1gb vs HD4850 512mb at 1920x1200 I'm not absolutely certain but I do believe the HD4850 would still perform better in most games. I remember articles comparing the HD4850 1gb vs HD4870 512mb at high resolutions and the HD4870 was still much better despite having less memory.
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a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 4:34:40 PM

Err I keep sayin 5xxx I mean 4xxx in any of my posts. If agree if he had $60 more to play with he could get way more bang for his buck with a 5770 or even an OCed 5750. I think I saw a 5750 for $109.99 yesterday on newegg not sure..
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 6, 2010 4:40:46 PM

I doubt it. The HD5750 has been getting pricier unfortunately(cheapest 1gb model on newegg is $152 after shipping.) It no longer makes sense to buy one considering the HD5770 is just a few dollars more, even if you don't really need a card that powerful.
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March 6, 2010 11:35:43 PM

WOW, just found this.

5770 1gb, free shipping $130 amir
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

The CPU probably won't be a bottleneck issue until after you're above acceptable frame rates anyway, especially when the GPU is stressed to the level it will be at 19x12.
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a b U Graphics card
March 7, 2010 1:24:21 AM

^^^^ That's an amazing find. I would jump on it. That's the best bang you will get for near $100. Go pawn something real fast and jump on that deal. I paid 159 and 189 for my 5770s :( 
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