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Need 1280x1024 graphics card and have questions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
May 30, 2010 7:40:56 AM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (this week (the closer the better) several deals expire on may 30 or 31st, 2010) BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: USD $30-100) After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (not hardcore) -- Run current and announced games at 15+fps at 1024x768 or 1280x1024 at medium/high settings (25+ fps preferred).

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon x300 and hec X-Power Pro 650 650W Continuous @ 40°C ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

Phenom II 555 BE 3.2 GHz
ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
2 x 2GB DDR3 1600 MHz
HEC 6C60BS Black / Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case



OVERCLOCKING: No, maybe 2 years later. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, Maybe 2 years later, though unlikely

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 17 in. Cornea CT1700 (1024x768, 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (Native resolution is 1280x1024). I'd rather buy a $70 card and another 2 years later than buy a $130 card now.

REMEMBER: The more information we have about your system, your budget, and what you're using the card for, the better the advice we can give you - providing it up front gets you your answers and puts a card in your hands that much faster!


Some I've considered: (the ones I think are best deals are in bold)

$35 Radeon HD 4650 512MB 64-bit DDR2
$51 Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit DDR2
$55 Radeon HD 5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3
$56 Radeon HD 5550 1GB 128-bit DDR2
$60 GeForce GT 240 512MB 128-bit GDDR5
$62 Radeon HD 5550 512MB 128-bit DDR3$70 $67 Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3
$67 Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3
$69 Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit DDR3 (no rebate hassle)
$71 Radeon HD 5550 1GB 128-bit DDR3
$76 Radeon HD 5570 512MB 128-bit GDDR3
$80 GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3
$85 Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3
$90 Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5
$110 Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 (iffy rebate)

1. Given 2 graphics cards with otherwise identical stats (one having 128 bit bus and DDR5 and another with 256 bit bus and DDR3) are they equal in performance? If not, which is better?
2. Does more video RAM only increase performance for higher resolutions? If not, how much performance would be gained (% increase in fps) from a 1GB instead of 512MB at 1280x1024?
3. Please link any benchmarks comparing these graphics cards against each other.
4. Which gives the best performance per price? of the ones closest to $50? closest to $75? closest to $100?

a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2010 8:15:23 AM

take a look at this

also to answer your questions.

A 128bit bus with ddr5 compared to a 256bit bus with ddr3 perform very similarly.

1GB of vram will not benefit you at your resolution, but if you ever upgrade your monitor it will.

The link I posted will give you the best performance for the price.

Out of all the ones you have posted the gts 250 and 4850 are the best deals, but for your resolution any of the cards you posted will be fine with the exception of the 4650 and 5450 with the 64 bit bus.

Best solution

May 30, 2010 8:22:33 AM

okkaayy. at your resolution, a 4670 should cover your needs, but if you can afford it, you should really go for either the gts 250 or the 4850 because you'll pretty much be guaranteed able to play the majority of games at their highest settings.
1. it's difficult saying whether or not they'd be equal, because i don't think there's ever been a card with that kind of variation where nothing else was changed, but i suppose for the most part they'd be pretty similar. the 128 bit ddr5 card will have better efficiency.
2. you're spot on with the ram. at higher resolutions a lack of ram can act as a sort of bottleneck for the card. but you'd be fine at your resolution no matter what card you get with 512 mb, so don't let that be a deciding factor, you won't see any difference in performance.
3. it's not really hard findign the benchmarks. just search toms/the internets for the reviews of the cards you're interested in just as they came out, and maybe some reviews of cards that came after it that you might not be looking at but are still compared with the one you want (4850/5750)
4. for $50 i'd say it's not really worth it, you'd be way better off spending a bit more. for $75ish i'd say the 4670, with the 5570 you're really just paying for a bit better efficiency. and $100 is kind of irrelevant because either the gts 250 or the 4850 would handle everything beautifully at your resolution.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
May 30, 2010 11:07:32 AM

Well, if you aren't on a plan to buy a bigger monitor then HD4850 is a perfect card for your money... :) 
May 30, 2010 11:33:31 PM

Trying to narrow my choices: Please suggest the best over the next 2-3 year period.

$67 Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3
$60 GeForce GT 240 512MB 128-bit GDDR5
Seems like the GT 240 gives about 50% more fps and costs 11% ($7) less, however it lacks directx 11. (Is this performance boost due to having DDR5 instead of DDR3?) Though, the 5570 seems tempting as next time I upgrade graphics I could put it in an older system with a crappier power supply. It's also very power efficient... perhaps that's why it's got much less FPS than GT 240.

$80 GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3
$85 Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3

$60 GeForce GT 240 512MB 128-bit GDDR5
$80 GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3
bit of a price difference, GTS 250 costing 33% more, but how much more FPS does it give?

For HD 4670 vs HD 5570 (both priced at $67), they seem to have the same fps but 5570 supports more features (directx 11, eyeinfinity). If priced the same, the 5570 is better, correct?
though this only includes some I'm considering, not all.

Benchmark fps comparing GT 240, GTS 250, HD 5570, and HD 4850 would be nice. (would like to compare % difference in price to % difference in fps @ 1280x1024 medium/high.

This is probably more guesswork, but are sub $100 directx 11 compliant cards overpriced since nvidia has no competing cards? or underpriced/uneffected since not many games support directx 11?

How important is directx 11 support (considering i won't upgrade again till 2-3 years later?)

Game requirements often state Video Ram req. should I expect several games released over next 2-3 years to require more than 512MB Video RAM? I recall requirements were 32, 64, ect... now 256MB, though I don't recall the rate at which the req. have increased.

Note: other than better "roundness" I can't seem to see any better appearance from directx 11 pictures as opposed to 10.1.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 31, 2010 12:03:35 AM

I suggest something that is at the least on par with a single 9800gt/gts250 that has more than 512mb. I can easily max out a single 3870 at 1024x768 with very little effort which is faster than a 4670. If one does disagree then go look at the charts, not every one plays for fps.
a c 376 U Graphics card
May 31, 2010 12:49:17 AM

You don't need more than 512mb at 1280x1024. DX11 is nice but on a tight budget it is a luxury. Until there are new consoles I doubt we will start seeing DX11 only games(probably not in the next 3 years.)
The GTS 250 is a great card for that resolution and that one specifically is a very nice version of it. It's the best deal for low resolutions at the moment and what I would recommend if you want a card that will perform well for multiple years.
This chart should help you get a handle on the relative performance of the cards you are considering at your resolution;
June 1, 2010 2:56:37 AM

Thank you all. I decided I'll go with the HD 4850.
June 1, 2010 3:00:53 AM

Best answer selected by nicolasjager.
a c 376 U Graphics card
June 1, 2010 4:26:45 AM

That GTS 250 is both better and slightly cheaper and has a better cooler. The extra memory on the HD4850 is basically useless at your resolution.