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Upgrade for ATI Radeon X300 SE

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 11, 2010 6:06:17 AM

Hi, well as the title says, I really need a new graphics card.

Approximate Purchase Date: within this month of June [just got out of school today and waiting on report card, which usually takes at the fastest rate 1 and a half weeks to the most 3 weeks or so]
Budget Range: approximately USD ~$320 after rebates (preferably within $100-$300), but whatever gets me the best bang for my buck. (I do have some money I have in reserve but only if it will kill me if I don't get it, will probably not pay for anything over $350 - depends on situation though)
Usage: The usage varies temporally - if it's summer, I'll most likely use it for gaming (Crysis, Crysis Warhead, maybe Crysis 2, Halo PC/CE, Halo 2 Vista --- all at maxed settings @ either 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1080 resolution) and personal entertainment including instant messaging, surfing the internet, general usage, and multimedia including movies, pictures, online videos, etc. and if it's during the usual school year (Aug/Sept.-June), I'll need it for a mix of multimedia and productivity (a variety of school work).
Current GPU & Power Supply: (My current GPU is a temporary one that used to be my dad's back in 2004, when he just built his "new" computer, which he got an Evga GeForce 8600 GT to replace in 2008.) I have an ATI Radeon X300 SE 128 MB DDR 64-bit and my PSU is Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 600 Watt (RS-600-PCAR-E3).

System Specs Overall
*Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
*Intel Core i5 750 2.66 GHz @ 2.66 GHz
*Asus P7P55D Pro Motherboard
*OCZ Platinum Low-Voltage D/C Kit 4 GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 PC3-10666 @ 7-7-7-20
*Western Digital Caviar Green 750 GB WD7500AADS Hard Drive
*ATI Radeon X300 SE 128 MB DDR 64-bit
*Gearhead 24XDVDINTLS DVD Burner Drive
*Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 600 Watt (RS-600-PCAR-E3)
*Antec Three Hundred Mid-ATX Case
*Samsung 2494SW 24" LCD Monitor (1920 x 1080 max supported resolution)

Preferred Websites: I guess any that have good customer support as long as they don't charge ridiculously for shipping or tax.

Part Preferences: My top choice for ATI would have probably been XFX and for Nvidia, probably Evga but whatever floats the boat...whatever is powerful yet efficient, preferably cool (due to Southern California climate), hopefully not too loud (including when it is idle), and has drivers/support that is good.

Overclocking: If I overclock, I won't change the voltage or mess with anything hardware wise. I will only be changing settings via software. (For example, if I got the ATI HD5850, I would to 850/1200 or whatever clocks represent a noticeable performance increase in Crysis). Keep in mind though, when I overclock, I'll most likely keep it on as a 24/7 OC but if it consumes too much power, I'll only set the overclock when I play games.

SLI/Crossfire: Probably not - my parents, at the moment, say that this video card is the only one I'll get during my time in high school (still got 3 years ahead of me). Once I hit college, I'll probably use a notebook.

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: The graphics card, as I said, must last a long time (max: 3 years, because in 2013, I'm graduating high school) without replacement (although I may consider selling it one day and using my own money and the profit from selling the card to buy a new one). I want to have a sturdy, durable graphics card, with a sufficient fan/cooling for my system that won't negatively impact my other system components. One that will fit in my case without too much hassle (I plan to move the hard drive down to the lowest level anyways), has excellent support and lifetime warranty would be nice but I am considering selling it further along the line so double lifetime warranty would be even better, and it must be able to run Crysis @ 1920 x 1080 (without Anti-Aliasing, but at maxed settings). The ATI Radeon X300 SE in my computer right now can't even run Windows 7 properly - watching videos, opening pictures, watching movies, GPU-intensive stuff (minesweeper, chess titans, etc.), any PC games = blue screen. So you could imagine my situation, as I will be extremely happy with something that can run Windows 7 to its full potential.

Regarding XFX's warranty, if I buy any model of any of the XFX Radeon HD5000 GPUs anywhere, will I be eligible for double lifetime warranty if I live in the U.S.?
As of today, there is a great deal albeit my report card hasn't even been mailed (teachers probably still grading finals) on newegg with the XFX Radeon HD 5850. Oh, that brings up one question. What happened to XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD-585A-ZNFC models? Can I still find them (even if not on popular websites)? (If I go for an XFX HD5850, my first choice would be the HD-585A-ZNFC). Also, consider freebies that come with a GPU because I might sell them or use them myself (a price steal).

Anyways, this is the list of GPUs being considered (NOTE: may change with the fluctuating prices):
XFX HD-585X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5

Can anyone offer any comparisons between the ATI HD5850 models? Particularly the XFX HD-585X-ZNFC, XFX HD-585X-ZAFC, and XFX HD-585A-ZNFC.
I am doubtful of the ATI Radeon HD5830 because I heard it uses more power than the ATI Radeon HD5850 and it's PCB length is much longer than the ATI Radeon HD5850's PCB length and combine that with the fact that the XFX HD5830 requires shipping (it usually doesn't). I'm also skeptical of the Evga GeForce GTX 465 because it is extremely power hungry, expensive for the performance it offers, the shipping fee, and also the Nvidia GTX 460 seems like it's going for the GTX 465's jugular. The Evga GeForce GTX 470 just seems even more ridiculous because I know my Power supply will asphyxiate albeit it offers okay performance for its price (according to some articles and reviews).

Thanks for taking the time to look at this and I am open to suggestions.
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 6:43:27 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
About the warranty,as long as i know,XFX offers double life time warranty if you live in US.
As between those 3 choices,i would recommend a 5850.And between those 5850's the main difference is that the second one has a more clock speed,but i don't think its worth $30 more,so IMO go with the first one.
June 11, 2010 2:49:33 PM

The first one from Newegg is $303.09 shipped (CA taxed) while the second is $309.99 from Tigerdirect shipped. I'm not sure if either one could fit in the Antec Mid-Tower 300 due to the fact that it doesn't seem like it's using the reference board (so it could be longer) and the 2 x 6 pin power connectors are at the end of the board, not to the side.

1) Which cooler is better?
2) Will I be able to reach a noticeable performance increase by overclocking without touching voltage?
3) How long is that board compared to the reference ATI HD5850?
Related resources
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 4:12:38 PM

1_Both are good IMO
2_Well OC'ng the GPU won't give you a huge difference in performance,but it all depends on the card.You have to tweak it yourself to find out the best clocks
3_Its pretty much the same
June 11, 2010 8:12:50 PM

Do either of the two non-reference graphics cards vent heat outside via the back of the case or do they vent heat within the case?

Oh, I found on Newegg for the XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD-585X-ZNFV (basically the 585X-ZNFC except comes with AvP game) that there were several customer complaints of the length. I am not sure about the HD-585X-ZAFC but if I remember correctly, some also commented on its length. Could some members, if they have either card (the HD-585X-ZNFV or the HD-585X-ZAFC), measure the length?
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 12:49:52 PM

As long as i know they both send heat outside
June 12, 2010 8:44:05 PM

Is there any chance that the ATI HD5850 will drop back to ~$259 USD?
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 8:48:42 PM

I don't know about that sorry(since i don't live in US)
June 16, 2010 5:11:02 AM

So for sure, my 600 watt power supply with a total of 36 amps on the 12V rails, can support an XFX Radeon HD 5850, even if it has a 20-25% overclock?

Please take into consideration my components as I may add additional drives, fans, and other parts in the future.
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2010 6:48:17 AM

Well your PSU doesn't seem to be the best one out there(According to reviews),but i think it should handle it fine.
June 16, 2010 3:39:32 PM

Should I think about selling my power supply and getting a better one?
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2010 3:56:11 PM

Well if you can then yes,Corsair HX620 would be a good choice.
June 16, 2010 4:18:03 PM

I don't think they sell the Corsair HX620 anymore and I'm short on money. So it's the Corsair CMPSU-650TX non-modular power supply which will be $69.99 after rebates for me since I will not be charged sales tax nor shipping.
I bought my power supply in January. I still have the original box, manual, and power supply (basically the stuff that came in the box). What's the optimal sale price and where should I sell it?
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2010 5:13:57 PM

If you are OK with non-modular PSUs,then that's a solid choice.
As for your PSU,i really don't know about that,try checking the "Classified ads" in the forums.
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2010 5:47:03 PM

The amount of wats,number and and the ampere,pick load time and the efficiency of a PSU is what it makes it a good or a bad one
June 16, 2010 5:48:36 PM

What does it mean for a power supply to be more efficient or have a higher efficiency percentage than another power supply?
June 16, 2010 8:17:34 PM

So I take it the Corsair TX 650 will last longer, be more efficient, cooler, and quieter than the one I have now right?

Also, is it worth rewiring necessary cables and hiding unnecessary ones through the holes in the side of my Antec 300 case?
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 16, 2010 9:16:45 PM

About your first question,Yes
As for the second question,it depends on you really.If you want a more tidier setup,then you can hide the unnecessary cables.
June 17, 2010 3:38:46 PM

It seems that no one is replying to my threads (here and on other forums) for selling a power supply. Should I go ahead and buy the Corsair CMPSU-650TX anyways off of Amazon + apply for rebate and all and take out my Cooler Master 600W? I'm distressed about this situation right now.
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 17, 2010 4:44:08 PM

Well you can put it in Ebay if you like(I don't know much about selling stuff in US sorry)
!