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Single slot Video card upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 7, 2010 4:06:12 AM

This is my first post. So i hope to get my question answered.

I am upgrading to a newer video card. I currently have an eVGA 8600 GTS OC 256MB. (Factory OC to 720GHz). And the games ive been playing have been pushing my card. But id still like to keep my graphics settings on high if possible.

It MUST be a single slot card. I have a compact cubed case and i need all the room i can get if possible. If necessary i could sacrifice my WiFi for a dual slot card. But that would be last resort.

I am looking for the fastest card within a $80 to $120 range. I will be playing games like Crysis, Just Cause 2, and the upcoming Mafia 2. Along with the less demanding COD games.

I haven't really been a fan of ATi. Although I've heard their cards are....decent. The DX 10.1 is tempting. But is it worth it?

Something Future proof (Like 3 or more years.) and reliable. I have looked at the 9800 GT and the HD 4850. Hard choice.

Here are my specs if it helps.

Windows 7 Home Premium
E6750 2.66GHz. 4MB/1333
2GB PC2-6400
500W PSU.
19'' Monitor - 1440x900 16:10

If also possible, what maker is best? (XFX, eVGA, BFG, etc.)
a c 1410 U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 4:14:47 AM

If you prefer a single slot card narrows it down to HD5670 and 9800GT. Next performance level up you got HD4850, HD4770, HD5750, GTS250 and 9800GTX+ but those cards are hard to find with a single slot cooler although they would be much more noticeable upgrade than the first two. HD5670 and HD5750 both support DX11 so they would be the closest thing to future proofing.
All those cards run on a 500watt PSU
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a b U Graphics card
April 7, 2010 4:25:56 AM

For reference:either will be good for 1440x900. --this chart is the lowest res toms tests at.



However the 5670 will run cooler in your small case because its a newer card
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April 7, 2010 1:58:50 PM

Ive been looking at the 9800 GT for a while. Tho the HD 5670 seams to be as good as you say. But its a 128 bit memory interface right? So that would put it a bit behind wouldn't it?

And one more question. Why does ATi have a lot more Stream processing units than Nvidia? Or for their architecture is it measured different?

Oh yea, and i also am playing some games like COD4 in 3D.(red and crayon) Does ATi have 3D capability?
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April 7, 2010 2:54:14 PM

deadlockedworld said:
For reference:either will be good for 1440x900. --this chart is the lowest res toms tests at.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/6/E/236102/original/Crysis_1280.png

However the 5670 will run cooler in your small case because its a newer card
http://media.bestofmicro.com/7/I/236142/original/Temp.png



I'm not that worried about temperature. The PSU is directly above and it has a fan underside is that sucks that air out and threw the PSU. Only down fall is sucking up hot air that is trying to cool the PSU.

According to this site(and reviews), the HD 4850 is a bit better than the 9800 GT. But the HD 5670 is underpowered. DX11 wont be popular till my next card dies anyways so i'm not all that for DX11.

http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=566&card2...
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:28:27 AM

Linken91 said:
Ive been looking at the 9800 GT for a while. Tho the HD 5670 seams to be as good as you say. But its a 128 bit memory interface right? So that would put it a bit behind wouldn't it?

And one more question. Why does ATi have a lot more Stream processing units than Nvidia? Or for their architecture is it measured different?

Oh yea, and i also am playing some games like COD4 in 3D.(red and crayon) Does ATi have 3D capability?

Comparing the architecture between ATI and Nvidia cards is useless, different tech. Either card is a good choice for your resolution but the 9800GT has the power edge. Your resolution of 1440 x900 is close to the same amount of total pixels as the 1280 x1024 as shown in the benchmark above so you can us it as a reference of what to expect.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:31:52 AM

I basically agree with your assessment. The 4850/5750 is better than either IF you could find one in single slot--but I dont think you will.

As for the game variation-- thats just how it is. Some games run better on Nvidia, some better on ATI.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:32:40 AM

Also-- yea dont worry about architecture. It doesnt matter how the card gets there--what matters is the overall benchmark.
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April 8, 2010 2:43:05 AM

I've Googled the 4850 and 5750. Results....4850 single, 5750 double.
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April 8, 2010 2:47:50 AM

Although i've heard that ATi's drivers are unstable or something.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:51:54 AM

They are fine, both companies have driver issues (so I guess you could say they both are bad). The original 4850's were single slot (I have one) but I doubt you could get one new now, nor would you want one (they ran Hot!).
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April 8, 2010 2:54:44 AM

Tom's have a review or charts of the 4850?
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:55:23 AM

Linken91 said:
I've Googled the 4850 and 5750. Results....4850 single, 5750 double.

At launch the HD4850 had single slot cooling that changed soon after when reports started flowing in from consumers about overheating or loud cards because the only way to keep them cool was to set the fan up to max speed.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:55:56 AM

It is around (a little higher I think than) a 4770 (on that chart), so it beats both of the above cards by a bit.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:57:17 AM

Well, they could take the heat (mine hit 110C). I didn't like that though so I replaced the single slot cooler with a dual slot with out vent.
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April 8, 2010 2:59:45 AM

Sounds as if the 9800 GT is a better way to go.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 3:04:32 AM

Yep, I think that is the best balance, and it is something you can actually buy. Just keep an eye on temps.
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April 8, 2010 3:07:14 AM

Lol. I was almost tempted to get the 4850. Now the 9800 GT is the exact same as the 8800 GT right? they both perform the same? And how are they different?
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 3:09:59 AM

The 9800GT if any is a little bit faster and more energy efficient and runs cooler.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 3:12:11 AM

It is just a die shrink I think. Performance is identical, however the 9800 should run cooler I believe.
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April 8, 2010 3:26:08 AM

Hmm. If only it had a temperature graph.
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April 8, 2010 3:41:38 AM

Its running the same as my 8600 is.

Ive been hearing something about a GTX 260 RAZOR (single) And its been proven by Google once again but i can't find any place to purchase it.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 3:56:52 AM

Linken91 said:
Hmm. If only it had a temperature graph.


Silly i gave you a temperature graph way up there!
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April 8, 2010 3:57:39 AM

Anyways, if i can't find the slim 260 i think i'm going with the 9800 GT. It should be a quick switch. Since all the drivers are all bundled i can just remove, replace, and i should be set to go.

And it should last me long enough till a better single slot video card comes out.

Well Thank you all for you time and words of wisdom.

Last question. What brand would you recommend and whats the advantages of each? BFG, MSI, eVGA, ASUS, PNY, XFX, JATON, Gigabyte, etc...
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April 8, 2010 3:59:02 AM

deadlockedworld said:
Silly i gave you a temperature graph way up there!


The 4850 is not on it
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 4:08:13 AM

The 4850 isnt an option-- it doesnt come in single slot configuration....

How much room do you have? Is it true single slot size, or do you just need the bracket to be that small and have a little room left over for the fan?
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April 8, 2010 1:32:24 PM

True single slot size.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That is my motherboard. Right under the PCIe is my WiFi, and under that is my SoundBlaster.

I would prefer the heatsink to rap around and be on the back of the card but i just don't have enough room between the PSU and DVD/PSU bracket.

If only the PCIe 1x was under the 16x 2.0. I do have my old motherboard where the 1x was under the 16x. That was a GF 7050 - 610i. It did not support fast enough speeds as the one i have now. Plus it didn't support 2.0.

So true single slot.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 1:34:19 PM

Bummer, because there are several really cheap 4850s, but they are dual slot.
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April 8, 2010 1:43:00 PM

I know right? But whats the price of going portable. lol. I haul it around a lot and prefer if it would be light. But yet still pack as much as i can into it. I do believe there are PCIe 1x WiWi cards.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 1:44:50 PM

Probably, though the 9800GTs aren't too bad.
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April 8, 2010 1:46:48 PM

Alrighty. What brand do you recommend?
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 1:52:02 PM

Are you in the US (and like Newegg)?
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April 8, 2010 1:52:43 PM

I am in the US. Newegg is alright. Tho i wouldn't mind other sites like Amazon or such.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 1:53:48 PM

I like eVGA personally, but XFX is great too. Probably want one with the longer or lifetime warranty. I wonder, should you get the Eco variety to reduce heat? Do you have a PCI-E power cable?
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April 8, 2010 1:58:02 PM

Would the Eco variety reduce performance also?
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:02:12 PM

In theory it wasn't supposed to, though I haven't found a good review yet. Also, I am not sure if eVGA or XFX have an eco variant. Since you have the PCI-E power cable, it may be best to go with the normal types.
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April 8, 2010 2:48:29 PM

I already googled. No need to answer that question.
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a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 2:56:31 PM

That looks like a nice one. Factory OC'ed too.
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
April 8, 2010 8:34:35 PM

Linken91 said:
True single slot size.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That is my motherboard. Right under the PCIe is my WiFi, and under that is my SoundBlaster.

I would prefer the heatsink to rap around and be on the back of the card but i just don't have enough room between the PSU and DVD/PSU bracket.

If only the PCIe 1x was under the 16x 2.0. I do have my old motherboard where the 1x was under the 16x. That was a GF 7050 - 610i. It did not support fast enough speeds as the one i have now. Plus it didn't support 2.0.

So true single slot.

With the quality of onboard sound (HD) these days I would sacrifice the soundblaster for better GPU!
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April 9, 2010 2:20:21 PM

I'm sure. But the Sound Blaster made quite a difference than the on board for my 5.1. So I'd like to keep it
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a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 2:15:07 PM

I agree that the superclocked evga is a great choice as a true single slot card. It would likely be the most power you would get from a single slot.

Also, most on toms will agree that soundblaster cards are worthless and low quality. I would never buy a creative brand product. Ditching the sound card would be worth it if you could put a full size card in your rig.
You could also change wifi if needed and just plug in (or external wifi) --wifi isnt a fast/reliable of a connection as LAN if you are gaming.

If you are looking for a sound improvement-- the ATI 5670 you were looking at is similar to the normal 9800GT in performance and has Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio build into the card. (all ATI 5-series cards do).

Edit: So my opinion is that you sell the sound card and get a 5750 or 5770 with a relatively small cooler. They run pretty cool so it shouldnt be a problem for your wifi.
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April 11, 2010 4:15:47 PM

I only use the WiFi when I bring it out too the living room or friends house. But yes, an external USB WiFi is logical. Idk why I didn't think of that.

I'm going to have to experament with sound quality between my card and inboard.
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a b U Graphics card
April 11, 2010 4:22:26 PM

Yeah, if you could somehow get a dual slot card in there, not only would you get better performance, you would get better card temperatures (and possibly even better case temps depending on cooler design).
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April 11, 2010 4:35:36 PM

Just looked into the 5770. Good price for speed and features. I'm thinking of just getting an external USB WiFi. I knoW ou all are sayig that the on board is better. But idk I I really want to trash an expensive audio card that improved my 5.1
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