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Which card to replace a malfunctioning 8500GT?

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March 27, 2010 8:23:03 AM

Hi folks,

Seems my Gigabyte 8500GT is playing up so I'm thinking of replacing it. That, and it's the slowest part of my system at the moment. Now having said that, I have no idea what kind of card to go for. The way I see it, my options are

- Gigabyte GT 220 1GB DDR3
- Gigabyte GT 240 1GB DDR3
- Sapphire HD 5670 512MB DDR5
- Sapphire HD 5670 1GB DDR5
- Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB DDR3

Honestly I know very little about the specific differences between these cards, except for price. I think it's fairly obvious the GTS 250 is better than the GT 240, which is better than the GT 220. No idea about ATI cards though except the RAM is better and it supports DX11, which the nVidia cards do not.

Can anyone give me some advice in terms of the quality of the cards; what the ATI card is like; which ones represent the best value for money etc?

Thanks :) 
a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2010 8:26:54 AM

what power supply do you have
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a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2010 9:34:38 AM

In terms of performance, the GTS 250 1GB DDR3 is the fastest card. In terms of price performance - probably the GTS 250 as well.
The GeForce GT 220 and GT 240 are overpriced imo - the HD 4650 and GeForce 9600GT are around the same price and perform better.
What power supply do you have as obsidian asked before - if it's not good enough, then it won't be able to power the system. Gives us the rest of your system specs as well.
About the HD 5670 - it's a DirectX 11 capable graphic card which performs slightly worse than an underclocked HD 4770, but does not need a 6-pin power connector. Right now, I believe it is a little overpriced - for the same price you can get an HD 4850 which performs the same as a GTS 250.

I'd personally pick the Gigabyte GTS 250 1GB, only if your power supply can deliver enough power to it though, and it has one 6-pin PCI-e connector. If it's too weak, and you don't want to choose a new power supply, go for the HD 5670.

nVidia suggests that the minimum power supply requirement is 450W, on XFX's website it asks for 26A on the 12V rail. Although I'd say you could get away with a high quality 400W - like the Corsair CX-400 400W PSU.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
March 27, 2010 8:52:19 PM

GTS 250 is the fastest. The only thing is, it also uses the most power. If you have a good 400W PSU, or a decent 500W PSU go with the GTS250. If not, then go with the Radeon 5670.
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March 27, 2010 9:20:07 PM

Wow, What do you know, faster cards use more power!

(Other than GTX 480 vs 5970 lol)
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March 28, 2010 5:06:42 AM

Well currently I have a 350W power supply, can cheaply upgrade to a 430W (I think). The rest of my specs are:

- AMD 6000+ Dual Core (two 3GHz cores)
- 6GB DDR2 800 RAM
- Gigabyte M61-PM Motherboard
- 160GB WD HD
- 1.5TB WD HD
- Coolermaster Elite Case w/ extra fan

In terms of prices, of course the GTS250 is the most expensive, but still not bad at $160 AUD. The Sapphire 1GB card is $129-ish, and the other two nVidia's are in the $100 region.
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March 28, 2010 5:13:23 AM

You would probably have to upgrade your PSU with those stats if you want to upgrade to a GTS 250 which is probably the fastest out of those options , DX11 isn't really needed that badly yet, almost all games still suport dx 10 or 9 so you could stick with the GTS 250 for a while off DX version alone (not in strength though since cards become outdated quickly), so I think the GTS 250 is probably the better choice over the 5670, especially with the link JackNaylor put up
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March 28, 2010 7:11:04 AM

What would the difference be between the ATI cards running DDR5 instead of the nVidia DDR3, if any?
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March 28, 2010 1:56:09 PM

atomicprince11 said:
If you can spend a little more money, You can get a HD4870 1GB DDR5 or HD5770.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/284839-15-5770-4870


The 4870 is not a very good choice now, lack of demand has brought up prices from the 130$ price point, and 5770 has dropped 20$ in price to the point where the 5770 is now the better buy.

I would get the Free game/GTs 250.
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March 29, 2010 7:08:16 AM

Well that's the thing atomic, I don't want to spend too much. The 1GB Sapphire card for example is $30 cheaper than the GTS250.
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March 31, 2010 10:18:21 AM

Okay so looking at the reviews I figured there wasn't a huge difference between the GTS 250 and HD5670, and that the extra $35 for the GTS 250 wasn't worth it.

I then looked at two reviews (http://ninjalane.com/reviews/video/gigabyte-5670/page11...) and (http://ninjalane.com/reviews/video/palit_gts250/page12....) which seem to indicate that although the GTS 250 isn't DX11 compatible and only has DDR3 RAM, it takes a dump on the HD5670 in terms of performance.

Are these figures accurate?
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March 31, 2010 8:16:02 PM

The GTS 250 512mb with free game is 120$, shipped, after reabte.
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April 1, 2010 3:16:58 AM

For Americans, sure, but I'm an Aussie :-)
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April 1, 2010 3:44:18 AM

The GTS 250 is obviously better than all of the other options, and probably worth the extra 20 or so over the 5670, but it might be pushing your power supply. Unless you upgrade it, your safest choice would be the 5670, which offers the best bang for the power consumption.
The 5670 isn't really powerful enough to take advantage of a full gb of memory, so the bang for buck gets a bit better too once you start looking at the 512 mb models. Most benchmarks don't show more then 1 fps difference unless you go into resolutions where it isn't playable anyways.
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April 2, 2010 3:45:31 PM

Ah, quite interesting info there jenkem, thanks. :) 

I've been looking at the options, it seems that there is a small price jump and big performance jump all the way up to the Sapphire HD5770, then a big jump in price above that.

I'm thinking that would probably make the HD5770 the best choice, including longevity of the card?
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April 2, 2010 10:53:45 PM

85$ was cheap, over 100$ is NOT.
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a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 1:51:19 AM

First, to clarify your DDR3 vs DDR5 question.

Yes, DDR5 is faster than DDR3. The true difference in performance on a video card relies just as much on it's BUS speed, indicated by it's bit-rate. Makers can increase and decrease the bit-rate of the memory used to define the actual memory bandwidth. So, if both types are using the same bit-rate, DDR5 is faster. But if DDR5 is used on a 128-bit BUS and DDR3 on a 256-bit BUS, the actual memory bandwidth is much closer in performance than the memory type used would indicate.

As far as your actual card choices, consult this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart for a general performance ranking. You'll see that your aforementioned GTS 250's performance is comparable to the HD4850 and HD5750. If any of these cards are within your budget, then I suggest selecting one of them.

As far as powering them, the 4850 and GTS 250 both present potential concerns for your 350W PSU. If you do not intend to do any overclocking, it should be adequate. But, an upgrade to something in the 400-450W range that specifically has more 12V Amperage wouldn't hurt.
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a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 1:54:46 AM

RazberyBandit said:
First, to clarify your DDR3 vs DDR5 question.

Yes, DDR5 is faster than DDR3. The true difference in performance on a video card relies just as much on it's BUS speed, indicated by it's bit-rate. Makers can increase and decrease the bit-rate of the memory used to define the actual memory bandwidth. So, if both types are using the same bit-rate, DDR5 is faster. But if DDR5 is used on a 128-bit BUS and DDR3 on a 256-bit BUS, the actual memory bandwidth is much closer in performance than the memory type used would indicate.

As far as your actual card choices, consult this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart for a general performance ranking. You'll see that your aforementioned GTS 250's performance is comparable to the HD4850 and HD5750. If any of these cards are within your budget, then I suggest selecting one of them.

As far as powering them, the 4850 and GTS 250 both present potential concerns for your 350W PSU. If you do not intend to do any overclocking, it should be adequate. But, an upgrade to something in the 400-450W range that specifically has more 12V Amperage wouldn't hurt.


To clarify there's 3 factors, bus width, ram clock, and ram type.
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April 3, 2010 3:41:59 AM

Thanks for that guys. Yeah I've been looking at the Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart for a bit now, of course it doesn't take into account things like DX11 compatible etc, the little extras on the different cards.

I think the main issue I have is that for a small price increase over every card more or less there is a good performance boost. The question is - where do I stop? I want to get the most bang for my buck so to speak, but also to get a card I'm not going to have to worry about replacing any time soon.
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April 3, 2010 2:13:24 PM

Well, The awnser to that question is the Radeon 5850.

But, Thats out of Budget right?
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a c 172 U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 2:33:14 PM

Wow thick headed o.O go from chat about psu specs to getting a 4870. With that psu I wouldn't be able to sli two of those 8500GTs much less manage a 4870. Both the 4870 and the GTS250 are good cards. I would get a new psu of at least a 550w quality psu like my antec neo he550 which I had more than enough power to spare with even a small over volt on the 12v rails when using a 8800gtx and silent to. Note that both cards will need to be cleaned every two or three months if you really want them to last, modern rigs aren't like an IBM ps/2 or an Amiga ware you could chunk it around and still last 20 years.
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April 3, 2010 4:30:49 PM

builderbob - well, yes :-p. The difference is that even the most expensive I'm looking at - the 5770 - is $200, whereas the 5850 is $400 for the cheapest. That's way out of my budget, and more than I'm willing to spend.

nforce4max - oh I realise with the more powerful cards I'll need a bigger PSU. As for SLI my motherboard doesn't have SLI, so can't use it. At the time I had a choice of SLI (which I figured I wouldn't use) or with onboard graphics, which I figured would be useful if my GPU ever dies - at least I'd be able to keep using the system to search for a new card.
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a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 6:57:16 PM

builderbobftw said:
5850=290$.

Not in Australia... LMAO. Read much?
Darth Windu said:
For Americans, sure, but I'm an Aussie :-)

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April 4, 2010 5:13:46 AM

Yah, unfortunately supply is bit more limited here in Australia. Plus I've looked at some US websites, but they won't post to Australia (as far as I can tell), leaving me stuck with prices here.
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2010 5:34:36 AM

Any chance a 5750 is within your price range? Performance would be similar to an HD4850 or GTS250, but it's power consumption is lower.
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April 4, 2010 7:55:37 AM

I did look at the 5750, but I figure if I'm going to do that, might as well pay the extra $20 to get the 5770. Well assuming the performance jump is worth it of course.
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2010 9:31:02 AM

What resolution is your monitor? I'd hate to see you get a really good mid-level card, only to find out you'll use it at 1024x768 :) 
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April 5, 2010 9:41:47 PM

I wouldn't real connsider a 100$ card overkill for a 1280x1024 -ish setup.
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April 6, 2010 3:08:58 AM

I have a BenQ LCD 20-inch monitor, which apparently has a resolution of 1600x900.
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a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2010 4:36:50 AM

At that resolution, your system should start to show some benefit from 1GB of texture memory in some titles, especially if you like to use AA. But, the shift in performance doesn't really move from being more CPU-dependent to more GPU-dependent quite yet. Usually 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 is the point where that shift takes place.

Still, pairing a CPU with as powerful a card as you can get is the general rule for game performance.

Though aging, X2 6000+ CPUs are still capable processors. The GPU models we've discussed so far would be good matches for it. To be honest, my 2nd system is quite similar - AMD 7850 Kuma @ 3.25 GHz, 4GB RAM, HD4850 512MB card, ASUS 20" 1600x900 monitor. It plays most games quite decently. I get more eye-candy in my primary machine, but the 2nd one's no slouch. My friends and brothers use it when they visit and have never complained. I just wish I had a power meter to tell you just how much juice my 2nd system is actually sucking down under full CPU & GPU load...
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April 7, 2010 1:12:05 PM

Personally I REALLY appreciate the time you folks spend helping me out with this because, as I originally posted, I really don't know a whole lot.

I'm thinking now that for future-proofing and whatnot I might as well go for the Sapphire HD5770 1GB. On that subject, is it worth the extra $17 to get the Sapphire HD5770 1GB Vapor-X?
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a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 1:32:15 PM

I don't think the Vapor-X is worth it. It's a cool looking card and the tech behind the Vapor-X cooler is really sweet the first time you read about it, but the 5000-series ATI cards don't get that hot - not any of them, even when OC'd. They're nothing like their 4800-series cousins.

Any chance there's a nice ASUS EAH5770 or MSI R5770 Hawk available there? Their voltage tweaking support kinda sets these two brands apart from the others if you ever have any inclination to overclock it. Owners of other brands of cards will often flash their cards to ASUS's BIOS, allowing them to voltage mod their cards.

Just something to consider in the long-term. Overclocking currently might add unwanted pressure to a PSU that's already being stressed a bit at times.
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April 7, 2010 3:19:13 PM

Well there's:
- Sapphire HD5770 = $198
- Sapphire HD5770 Vapor-X = $215
- XFX HD5770 = $209 (comes with free game, have asked what game it is)
- XFX HD5770 xXx 850/5200MHz = $265

Can't find the ASUS or MSI versions unfortunately.
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a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 4:13:40 PM

Try a different website or retailer maybe? Does XFX offer their Double-Lifetime warranty over there, too? If so, the ability to sell it to someone else down the road and still offer them a full warranty is a bit of a perk. I'm just shocked to see XFX already has 10 different models of 5770's on their website...
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April 8, 2010 3:31:22 AM

Well I checked other retailers too - there is an MSI model, but it's very out of my way and they don't do shipping for some reason...

Not too fussed about selling it later on, but a lifetime warranty would be great for me :) 

EDIT: another place has a Gigabyte HD5770 model for $209.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 4:26:34 AM

I'm just confused by all of XFX's offerings. Usually the reference designs are the way to go, but I think these cards actually had a reference revision. XFX reference card model numbers should start with 577A, and revised ones with 577X. Unfortunately, I haven't paid them enough attention to know the benefits of one over the other because I'm perfectly happy with my 4890.

They're all good brands, though. It just comes down to packaging, warranty, style, and support reputation for me. Usually XFX is up at the top of my list, but these other brands are right there next to them or only an inch behind. I don't know if XFX uses specially binned GPUs in their XXX cards, but their regular cards can usually reach and sometimes exceed the XXX's factory OC specs. The price premium on those cards just isn't worth it to me.

You could always pick a few that you're interested in, find links to them and their pricing, and start a new topic to help you decide which one. Just ask what others would choose in the same situation and why. Maybe something titled, "5770 - which make/model and why?" You already have my opinion, though it's not exactly specific to any extent. :) 
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April 9, 2010 7:35:11 PM

Darth Windu said:
Well there's:
- Sapphire HD5770 = $198
- Sapphire HD5770 Vapor-X = $215
- XFX HD5770 = $209 (comes with free game, have asked what game it is)
- XFX HD5770 xXx 850/5200MHz = $265

Can't find the ASUS or MSI versions unfortunately.


Is that USD prices or prices in Pesos?
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a b U Graphics card
April 9, 2010 11:45:14 PM

Jeez bob... look up and read. He and I both told you he's in Australia.
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April 10, 2010 12:08:36 AM

Sorry.

Oops.

But at 15$ more, I would deffinatly get the Vapor-X
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a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2010 12:13:37 AM

LOL. Love the quote in the sig btw! Speaking of which... My sig is now missing. Odd.

Back to topic. I'm sure Darth would prefer to hear why you would choose the Vapor-X version.
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April 10, 2010 12:19:56 AM

Hehe, Thanks.

That whole thread gave me a chuckle.

I rember when he said that Palit was the best maker of NV cards period, and compared themselves to Evga. When I asked him abotu the 1 year warrenty he told me "Lifetime warranty is a gimmick".

Then he said that Palit makes the most cards of anyone, and when we asked him for Data....

he said something along the lines of: Screw you. (i think the exact quote was somethign like : We can't give sales figures to the public)

Then you asked him a seris of tough question, and he dodged them, then just closed the thread when he no longer could.
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April 10, 2010 12:21:20 AM

About the Vapor-X:

It runs much cooler, is very queit, even a t 100% fan speed.


I'd say it's worth 15$.

EDIT: In the US, the Vapor-X versions are like 80$ more.

It's clearly not worth that much, but 15$ is perfectly resonable, and I would go as far as to say cheap.
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April 10, 2010 2:54:35 AM

Thanks for that builderbob. Actually speaking of warranty apparently here the Sapphire cards only get a 1-year warranty. I did contact Gigabyte about the warranty for the 8500GT I have now - they replied and said that the retailer determines the warranty, not Gigabyte...
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a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2010 3:24:11 AM

Yeah. We tend to have it a lot better in the US when it comes to warranties and warranty service. Bob will attest to that concerning the aforementioned Palit discussions... (LOL)

Could always try to contact the place you purchased it and see what they say. It's my understanding that 1-2 years of coverage is the usual policy outside of the US.
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April 10, 2010 12:54:53 PM

RazberyBandit said:
Yeah. We tend to have it a lot better in the US when it comes to warranties and warranty service. Bob will attest to that concerning the aforementioned Palit discussions... (LOL)

Could always try to contact the place you purchased it and see what they say. It's my understanding that 1-2 years of coverage is the usual policy outside of the US.


And Thankfully, Palit has taken that bum-shafting of a warrenty those outside the states get, and broght it here!
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a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2010 2:55:24 PM

Let it go man... Woo-saaah. Woo-saaah.

Darth. Any luck? Do a little local research and find out what these companies offer as far as warranty "down under." I'm curious if any of them offer warranties anything like they do here in the States.

And Bob, back to Palit. Honestly, they're not the first company to finally come to the US market from overseas and only offer a 1-year warranty on their PC parts. But, almost all those companies now offer 2-3 years on all or many of their products. Why? They have to in order stand even the slightest chance of competing with the 3 to 5-year and lifetime warranty companies. Most PC components are delicate and sensitive hardware, designed to run within specified tolerances. That means if something goes even the slightest bit wrong, complete failure can result. So if someone's totally covering that possible failure and you're not, you're pretty much screwed. And it doesn't really matter how much less expensive your product is. People know they can fail and want their investments protected. If your product is the same price, where's the incentive to buy yours over theirs? Hello? *knock knock knock* McFly?
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