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Need advice on video card for a Core i7-930 build.

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July 9, 2010 3:24:46 PM

I am planning to buy a new PC soon all on NewEgg.com, and I was wondering what the better video card will be for me. I will mainly be playing some of the new MMO's coming out (FF14, SWTOR, GW2, etc), but I want to get something really good so I don't have to upgrade again for years and will be able to play any games that may come along easily. I also am building a future proof system overall so when I do upgrade I can easily. I am in a roughly $2000.00 budget.

Here is what I have so far, with my video card decision posted last that I would like help with.

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
Boot HDD: Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Memory: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
Media: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
OS: Windows 7

I also will buy a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and speakers but I didn't list those as they aren't significant.

Here are the video card choices...

HIS Turbo H587FNT1GDG Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video

-or-

SAPPHIRE Toxic 100282-2GTXSR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support

The difference seems to be the HIS 5870 is 1GB memory, and the Sapphire 5850 is 2GB and has better cooling. I think each will run what I want to play maxed out fairly easily, but which one will give me the better value over the long haul for the price?

I also figure if I ever need more graphics power I can crossfire them, but I would like to not have to do that if possible. Not at these current prices anyway.

In a way I feel that with a Core i7-930 build I need a 5870, and with a Core i5-750 build I need a 5850. That's just how I see justifying it in my head. I want to go with the i7-930 because it is LGA 1366 so will be more future proof than the 1156 of the i5-750.

Therefore, I am down to choosing which video card will give me the better bang for my buck. Is the 5870 overkill? Will the 5850 with 2GB memory perform as well as the 5870 with 1GB memory?

Any help you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 4:15:27 PM

For just a few dollars more either of these G.skill kits would be faster, being CL8.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Your question is a good one. I have wondered the same thing recently. The only way I could imagine resolving it is to poll game developers.

You want my guess? VRAM demands will continue to grow and the 2GB card is the better bet.
July 9, 2010 4:39:45 PM

So CL8 is faster than CL9? I didn't know that. I always thought the 9-9-9-24 timings were better than 8-8-8-21. Is that not the case? It looks like it is only a $10 price difference as well. Would the CL8 ones be better in the long haul?

And as far as the video cards, I was thinking the same thing as you. Go with the 2GB memory on the card instead of the 1GB memory. I feel as though the performance in the games I will be playing will be flawless with either.

I'm hoping to get some more opinions.
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a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 4:49:45 PM

No lower timings are faster ;)  They also carry more weight when factoring speed than frequency... 1333 CL7 is generally faster than 1600 CL8, but it's all very small increments. If it's a 5-10 dollar difference it's probably a good buy, but not worth much more.

Unless of course you are obsessed with synthetic benchmark scores, the only place where you really see a difference.

Did you mention a screen resolution? If you are using 2560 x 1600 then I would say you might need the extra processing power before you need the RAM, but again just a guess.
July 9, 2010 4:56:34 PM

I'm honestly not sure on the screen resolution yet. Whatever each game looks the best and plays the smoothest on which resolution with the max settings is what I will go with.

I didn't see either of the two memory choices you suggested in the "Memory Support List" for the motherboard I selected. I also didn't see the memory I originally picked listed. Does that really matter? Shouldn't it work regardless?

And again should I go with the 1600 CL8/CL9 or 1333 CL7 as you mentioned? Now I'm second guessing lol.
July 9, 2010 5:12:34 PM

1600 CL 8- it will perform better when overclocking (both ram and/or CPU) compared to the 1333 CL 7.
a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 8:04:50 PM

You do need at least 1600mhz if overclocking much, as Omni says.

When using an LCD screen, you want to ALWAYS use the native resolution in games.
I personally find a 24" screen to be the largest I can tolerate while gaming. For others it's 22". I think 30" is great for strategy games or multi-tasking, but too big for FPS games.

So for most of us these days, that means 1920x1080, since it's only the very large monitors that use the higher res.
July 9, 2010 8:11:07 PM

LegolElf said:
I didn't see either of the two memory choices you suggested in the "Memory Support List" for the motherboard I selected. I also didn't see the memory I originally picked listed. Does that really matter? Shouldn't it work regardless?


As long as the memory isn't pushed past the max voltage the mobo can handle (1.65V for socket 1366, I believe), then yes, it should work at manufacturer specs. Set the timings/speed/voltage in the BIOS when you build the system and you should be good to go.

The memory support list for any motherboard is going to be a lot smaller than the number of kits that will actually work in the motherboard. What is on the list is what the company bothered to test (either directly or relying on their partners to do so).
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