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Choosing a good video card

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 13, 2010 11:08:38 PM

This is the first PC I have built, so I don't know a lot about graphics/video cards. What things should I look for, or what makes a good graphics card? What are some good suppliers? So far this is what I have picked out for my system:

-CPU: Intel Core i7-930
-Motherboard: ASUS P6TD Deluxe
-RAM: Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D G
-Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"

I'm also pricing out a system using an AMD processor. I don't know if the graphics card for that would have to be different, but here is that system:

-CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
-Motherboard: M4A79T Deluxe
-RAM: G Skill F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
-Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"

More about : choosing good video card

a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 11:26:17 PM

What will you be using the system for? What's your budget for the GPU? I would suggest an ATI HD5870 for gaming at your resolution.
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April 13, 2010 11:33:56 PM

The system is for work - writing computer software, and I'll use the internet a lot. As for budget, I really don't know even what price range I'm looking at.
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 11:42:48 PM

So you won't be playing any games at all on the system? If not, you could go with a very cheap card since your stated use doesn't require any graphics horsepower at all.

XFX HD-545X-YNH2 Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail $44.99

XFX HD-567X-YNFC Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail $94.99

The main thing to look for with graphics cards is the warranty. XFX offers a lifetime warranty.


Edit: This isn't really on the subject of your original question, but that 6GB Corsair Dominator RAM kit is very overpriced. Here's one for $90 less:

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI - Retail $189.99
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April 13, 2010 11:53:50 PM

Thanks. Would the graphics cards be good for both systems?

On the RAM, I was going off a list of RAM compatible with my motherboard. I didn't see this one listed, do you know if it is compatible?
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2010 11:58:00 PM

Yes, either of those cards would work fine with both systems.

The G.Skill RAM will work just fine with the ASUS P6TD Deluxe .
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April 14, 2010 12:05:06 AM

On the two graphics cards that you listed, one has a fan and one does not. Is there an advantage to getting the one with a fan? The reason I'm asking is because it does cost a good bit more, and I'm wondering if the case cooling/fans will be enough. If the fan on the graphics card will help a lot, I'm willing to spend more for it. If not, I'd rather go cheaper.
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a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2010 12:09:03 AM

The fanless card will work just fine as long as your case has decent air-flow. What case are you considering? The 5450 hardly puts out any heat, so it should be fine. They wouldn't have made it without a fan if it needed a fan. :) 
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April 14, 2010 12:13:58 AM

I don't know what case I am going to use yet. I am asking about that in another thread. (Yes, I'm doing more than one thing at a time :)  )
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April 14, 2010 12:21:55 AM

Best answer selected by ammhardware.
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a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2010 3:10:21 PM

Another way to go would be to get a MOBO with built in Onboard graphics -- since you are looking for a low cost way to go and will not be doing any heavy gaming the Video chipsets that come on the AMD MOBO's like the 790GX's hd3200 would be all that you need and then you can put the $ you would spend on the graphics card on a better CPU or extra RAM.
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