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Fastest Video Card That Won't Terribly Bottleneck My CPU

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August 29, 2010 5:50:07 AM

I have a C2D E6550 running at 2.8 GHz. I only have a P5QL-Pro motherboard and ValueRAM so that's the highest I can overclock stably.

What's the fastest video card I can use that won't be terribly bottlenecked by CPU? Thanks.
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August 29, 2010 8:28:51 AM

Maybe a HD 5750 1GB or something, possibly a single 8800?

Although you would get better performance from many other cards like a HD 5770 or GTS 250, they wouldn't be using they full potential.

It's kind of a hard call, because you could buy a GTX 480 and chuck it in there and it'l out perform nearly anything else, but it might only be giving you like 30% of what it can offer lol.

Until upgrading your system properly, I wouldn't bother getting anything more than a 8800 or 8800GT etc.
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August 29, 2010 9:45:35 AM

CPU bottleneck depends on your resolution and the games that you play, so tell us the resolution that you play at.
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August 29, 2010 10:57:29 AM

The other way to look at it is to see how long it is before you're likely to upgrade the rest of your system - the most important factor being your monitor....

If you're currently running anything 19" or less (1280x1024) or (1440x900ws) on most monitors, then there's not a massive amount of value in going for a super-duper graphics card, I have a 4670 running 2x 19" monitors fine for most things at the moment.

If however you can foresee yourself upgrading the rest of your system (or the monitor) in the near future, it makes no sense to buy the bare minimum graphics card and upgrade again in a few months.... One thing, if you *do* buy a monster graphics card, make sure your PSU can handle it.
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August 29, 2010 11:34:12 AM

Probably an HD 5750. But as others said, it'll also depend on your monitor. If you have a monitor with a 1680x1050 res or higher, then better save your money for a completely new build.
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August 30, 2010 11:40:49 AM

I'm gaming on a 1920 x 1080 monitor, which I recently bought because my old 1440x900 gave up on me.

On older games, I can play at that resolution with my current HD 3850. However, on newer titles, I have to lower to 1280x720.

I was thinking more on the lines of 5770/4870/GTX460 768 MB. Is that too much?

I plan to upgrade my whole rig in 2-3 years or so I guess. I'm not financially well-off. Im from a 3rd world country. So I upgrade very rarely.

A new system would set me back close to $900 for an up-to-date rig. A new card would be at most $170.
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August 30, 2010 11:54:52 AM

jut703 said:
I'm gaming on a 1920 x 1080 monitor, which I recently bought because my old 1440x900 gave up on me.

On older games, I can play at that resolution with my current HD 3850. However, on newer titles, I have to lower to 1280x720.

I was thinking more on the lines of 5770/4870/GTX460 768 MB. Is that too much?

I plan to upgrade my whole rig in 2-3 years or so I guess. I'm not financially well-off. Im from a 3rd world country. So I upgrade very rarely.

A new system would set me back close to $900 for an up-to-date rig. A new card would be at most $170.


If you can't wait then get the HD 5770, it won't be terribly bottlenceked by the CPU.
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August 30, 2010 12:03:47 PM

For your resolution, you won't see a major bottleneck unless you play CPU limited games(like WIC etc.)
GTX 460 is a great choice for your resolution, but i would recommend going with the 1GB version, because resolutions like yours benefit from the extra memory especially with AA/AF turned on.
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August 30, 2010 1:39:04 PM

Maziar, do you not think a GTX 460 is going to be bottlenecked by a E6550 at 2.8? I wouldn't even suggest a GTX 260 let alone a 460.. not without a much better clock speed or a new CPU.
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August 30, 2010 1:57:49 PM

acer0169 said:
Maziar, do you not think a GTX 460 is going to be bottlenecked by a E6550 at 2.8? I wouldn't even suggest a GTX 260 let alone a 460.. not without a much better clock speed or a new CPU.


When the E6550 is OC'ed, it won't bottleneck a single GTX460.
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August 30, 2010 3:33:35 PM

Thanks guys, so my estimates weren't too far off. I knew getting a 5850-level card was overkill, but I thought a GTS 250/HD4850/HD5750 level card wasn't enough for my needs. So if I'm upgrading I'll probably get a 5770 or GTX 460 768 MB. I wish I could get a 1GB GTX 460 but the price difference here is quite huge. :( 
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August 30, 2010 9:25:16 PM

acer0169 said:
Maziar, do you not think a GTX 460 is going to be bottlenecked by a E6550 at 2.8? I wouldn't even suggest a GTX 260 let alone a 460.. not without a much better clock speed or a new CPU.

It depends on the games and resolutions, for a resolution like 1920x1080 and with AA/AF turned on, the game becomes more dependable on VGA,so it will be fine, however like i said in very CPU limited games like WIC, it will be a bottleneck.

To OP
If the price difference is huge,then stick with 768MB,its much faster than 5770.
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August 30, 2010 9:46:53 PM

I'd just like to put a +1 to everything that Maziar has said.
I'd also like to add that the difference between the 1GB version and the 768MB version of the 460 is not just the memory amount. The 1GB version is faster because a few specs are higher:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
The card also performs accordingly against the 768MB version. Not to say that the 768MB version isn't still good value and a good card though.

Everyone is spouting "bottleneck here" "bottleneck there"

The CPU you have is excellent at 2.8GHz. It performs about the same as a phenom II x2 at 3.0GHz. (I'm saying that for my own reference as I am more in tune with AMD's products performance). The speed of each core is not a problem. But 2 cores will become a problem in the future. It already will be in games like Dragon age, FSX, GTA4 and BFBC2.

So I guess that is to say that in more CPU intensive games like those, the CPU could be a problem. But certainly not to the extent of making the game perform so badly that a nice powerful GTX460 wouldn't be worth the cost.
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