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Welcoming Suggestions for a New Graphics Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 13, 2010 4:06:19 PM

:hello:  Good Morning Tom's Hardware Community! :hello: 

I built a new PC-Gaming rig a couple of months ago in December, and due to lack of funds, the only part I was unable to afford at the moment was a new GPU. My friend let me borrow his 3 year old e-GeForce 8800 GTS for the time being, but it recently kicked the bucket (RIP). I'm currently "renting" a GeForce 9400 GT from BestBuy and am in the market for a new card. Here is my list of semi-concrete requirements, and I appreciate any advice/suggestions:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Between now and the end of May (hopefully)

BUDGET RANGE: $325 or Less (including S&H, before rebates since they take forever)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: "Renting" a PNY GeForce 9400 GT 1024MB DDR2 and a Corsair TX750W

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core i5 750 2.67GHz, ASUS P7P55D Pro Motherboard, Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB DDR3), HITACHI Deskstar 1.0TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA Hard Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Antec 902 Case

PREFERRED WEBSITES FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com, or any trustworthy/respectable site

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PART PREFERENCE: Leaning more towards ATI but will consider NVIDIA, would prefer to spend extra money for a good manufacturer (i.e. SAPPHIRE)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Motherboard is capable of both, strongly considering for future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 (My next computer upgrade will be a new monitor, hopefully by the end of the year, so I don't mind if my current monitor will hold back a GPU's potential for several months)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I figure my case (Antec 902) is large enough for most/all of the current GPUs, but please mention if a card is extra long so that I can check my dimensions/clearance.

I also have two questions:

1.) I am leaning heavily towards the SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5850 1 GB DDR5 right now, but I notice that a new series of the card comes out near the end of March (****3SR compared to the older ****2SR). Besides a slight decrease in price and the new design, would there be any big changes made performance-wise to worry about?

2.) Referring back to the Radeon HD 5850 I am considering, my motherboard can run two of them through CrossFire at 8x8x. Is this OK (compared to 16x16x), or would the CrossFire 8x8x performance not warrant wasting the time to run it.

Thanks again!
-schoet87
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 4:56:15 PM

I think cards only get bottlenecked severley at 4x speeds and lower, as long as it is pcie 2.0 or higher.
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a c 180 U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 5:36:03 PM

Running pretty much the same rig at 1920x1200 and have to say the HD5850 breezes everything I've thrown at it so far (no Metro 2033 yet;) ) but you might want to read a few reviews on the Nvidia GTX470 cards before making a final decision.
I went for the HD5850 because of its cooler, quieter running, but you might think the superior tesselation performance of the Nvidia card and PhysX is more importaint to you.
As for the CF question it should make little or no difference if the link is only X8:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Expr...

If you decide to go with the green team, be prepared for a wait though, supplies are thin and likely to stay that way for some time to come.

Me. I'd grab a HD5850 again in a heartbeat.
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April 15, 2010 4:52:48 AM

Best answer selected by schoet87.
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nThank you all for your input!
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nI decided to go with the 5850, specifically this XFX model.
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nhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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nI couldn't pass up on the lifetime warranty for only around $20 more including shipping and handling.
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nKeep up the good input guys, I would have given you all "Best Answer" if I could have, but coozie7 won by a hair! :kaola: 
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a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2010 5:19:18 AM

XFX + ATI 5*** series is such a great combo, congrats.
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