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Looking to upgrade my card, need some advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 8, 2010 1:18:52 PM

I am currently running a eVga 9600GT and am looking to upgrade. I had been looking to purchase an nVidia 285GTX however these do not seem to be available anymore and from what I have read I believe it's because they are about to release a new line of cards. One of the things this potential new card release has made me do is look at the ATI Radeon line. It seems like the 5850 is a good comparable card but to be honest I have never before used one of their cards. I'm not even sure my motherboard can run it. It's an ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 with the nForce 750i SLI chipset. Can an nVidia chipset board run an ATI card? I'm assuming it can't run it in crossfire with 2 Radeon cards but can it run a single Radeon card.

Should I wait the few weeks to see what cards are going to be released with nVidia? I'm not a heavy duty gamer, I do enjoy playing games like the sims 3, World of Warcraft and Dragon Age and want to upgrade my graphics since it has been a couple years since I have and want to be sure Cataclysm looks nice. Also, what brands should I be looking at and which ones should I be avoiding. I currently am looking at an XFX 5850. Is XFX a good manufacturer? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

More about : upgrade card advice

a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 1:58:01 PM

if you can run the 9600GT you can run the 5850 or any other modern card

the SLI board can run a single ATI card but can not run two in crossfire mode (you need a crossfire board) but very few people run SLI or CF so its not a major issue

an XFX 5850 will have no issue running the games you listed (none are very demanding), in fact a 5770 will also do the job, be a good jump over the 9600GT, and cost you half the amount of a 5850

as far as brands go, most cards are the same, get the one that has the features you want the the most like price, free game, extended warranty, etc.,

make sure your PSU can handle any new card
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March 8, 2010 2:04:17 PM

I have a Corsair 750W PS.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 2:04:39 PM

you should be good to go with any card then
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 2:06:41 PM

+1 to CT1615. Everything he said is correct.
To add to it though, XFX is a very well respected board company and they have a double lifetime warranty, so when you turn and sell that card again to someone else, they will still get a lifetime warranty on the card, so resale value is very good.
Also- if you can handle your 9600GT for a couple more weeks before you buy, the new Nvidia cards should be out. Doesn't mean there will be anything new for you to buy, but it could help prices to drop a little, and who knows- maybe they WILL release something that you want and can afford. It might be worth waiting, but then again if you can't wait that long, you cannot go wrong with the 5850 or with XFX.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 2:08:42 PM

the new Nvidia cards released will be their top end cards

they are rumored to run fast, but very hot and noisy. They are also supposed to be pricey.

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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 2:13:00 PM

They will be top-end and very expensive, but then ATI might drop their prices a little.
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March 8, 2010 2:15:57 PM

Thank you CT and Fly. Your advice is really helpful. Something else I've read since I posted is about nVidia's most recent drivers causing overheat problems because of a faulty fan control. Now admittedly I'm probably about 3 or 4 drivers versions behind so it hasn't affected me as of yet. I've read some people critical of Radeon's drivers as well. Is there a certain driver version I should look for? Since the new nVidia cards will be top of the line and pricey cards I'm thinking that I will stick to the 5850. It's true that the 5770 is quite a bit cheaper but it will be nice to have the "room to breathe" if I decide to get a more powerful game, especially since I will probably get Diablo 3 when it comes out. Also, should I run drive sweep after i uninstall using the nVidia uninstall utility or use it in place of? I'm assuming I should try to get ever pieve of nVidia drivers off since I will be switching brands.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 2:24:10 PM

Definitely run Driversweeper and make sure you clean those nvidia drivers out completely. With the 5850, get the latest driver right now. the 10.2s are the latest official ones, and they were running GREAT on my 5750s. The 10.3 beta drivers are also very good (thats what I'm running currently) and I've had no problems with them at all so far. You can download them from Techpowerup here:
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1763/ATI_Catalyst_...
Enjoy man.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2010 2:40:23 PM

what Fly said
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March 13, 2010 7:30:52 AM

My XFX 5850 is crazy good. Ive had it overclock stupid high. heres what i got and my scores.

I did the bios flash for the 5850 heres what got. Temps never went over 50C on air cooler.

Mobo- ASUS P6T SE
Processor- Core I7 920 - Overclocked to 3.8
RAM- 6 GB Kingston Hyper X 1600 (running at about 1555)
Video Card- XFX HD 5850 - Overclocked (GPU 950 MHz)- (Memory 1150MHz)
Hard Drive- Kingston SSD 64 GB
PSU- ATX 700w

3D Mark- P18685 (GPU-17209) (CPU25160)
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a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 13, 2010 1:02:32 PM

gratz, enjoy
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!