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Upgrade help please

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 29, 2010 11:45:53 AM

Hello all! I've got a reasonably powerful gaming PC, and I've been debating whether or not to go for a graphics card upgrade. I'm just not sure what would be worth it vs too much with my PC's specs, so I welcome all advice in that regard. Many thanks! Here's the relevant info:

PURCHASE DATE: Ideally within the next month or so, though I'm okay with waiting if it makes more sense. Budget is pretty flexible; I don't want to spend more than $400 or so.

USAGE: Lots and lots of games. I have a Steam press account, so I play everything from the latest (Metro 2033, Just Cause 2, etc) to older or indie titles.

CURRENT GPU/PSU: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 2GB / Dell H750E-01 (750 watts?)

SYSTEM SPECS:

Dell XPS 630i--
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz -- Yorkfield
NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI
4GB DDR2 memory (4x 1GB Elpida PC2-6400)
EDIT: Forgot to mention, I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium


PREFERRED SITE / COUNTRY: Any really; newegg is great, but I'm in NYC so it's easy to get to J&R or B&H physical locations

PARTS PREFERENCE: Ideally I'd like to stick with NVIDIA since that's what I have already and I'm used to the built-in control panel, etc. No brand preference and I don't know much about PhysX / whether it's worth it

OVERCLOCK: Never done it before, don't really have the technical aptitude to trust that I won't screw something up.

SLI/CROSSFIRE: I'm open to it, but I've never had that sort of setup before

MONITOR: 1920x1080 -- I run my computer through a 40" Toshiba LCD display, 1080p @ 60Hz

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Thank you!

More about : upgrade

a c 130 U Graphics card
May 29, 2010 12:16:19 PM

If you're willing to take a trip through overclocking, this card is the HD5850 overclock champion.

This card is the absolute best performance you will get for under $400. It runs very cool too.

Ultimately if you must stick with nVidia, a GTX470 is fine. An OC'd HD5850 will surpass an HD5870 and a GTX470 easily, and an HD5870 will easily beat a GTX470.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
May 29, 2010 2:24:03 PM

^+1
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May 29, 2010 5:57:08 PM

Between those two you're going to want to go with the Toxic for the resolution you're playing games at. The extra gig of memory won't help out all that much unless you're planning to play higher than 1080P and the Toxic comes factory overclocked higher than the Vapor-X while using the same technology.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
May 29, 2010 6:32:46 PM

Don't bother with the Toxic or Vapor-X HD5850s unless you're never going to OC much. Neither allow for voltage modifications, which is what the HD5850 prides itself in.
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May 29, 2010 6:40:04 PM

shadow187 said:
Don't bother with the Toxic or Vapor-X HD5850s unless you're never going to OC much. Neither allow for voltage modifications, which is what the HD5850 prides itself in.


geminibros said:
OVERCLOCK: Never done it before, don't really have the technical aptitude to trust that I won't screw something up.


If it helps, there's a very good guide here that will help you learn about how to OC your graphics card:

http://www.overclock.net/ati/633816-how-overclock-your-...

If you decide that you want to overclock after all, definitely go with shadow's ASUS DirectCU Radeon HD5850 suggestion:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 31, 2010 2:07:26 PM

Thanks for all the help. After doing a little more research, I discovered I can get the XFX HD5870 from J&R for $399, with $15 more off from a Memorial Day sale coupon. I was already leaning toward buying a pre-OC'ed 5850, so a few bucks more for better performance seems worthwhile.

http://www.jr.com/xfx/pe/XFX_HD587XZNFC/
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May 31, 2010 6:28:14 PM

Congrats on the good find. Since you're not overclocking, this will be some great performance for your dollar.
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