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$700

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July 29, 2010 9:25:24 AM

So today, my GTX 295 crapped out on me, so I'm in search of a replacement - and fast.

So, I've got $700 to spend. If you had $700 to spend on graphics cards, what would you choose? Keep in mind, I can push the budget a little bit over, but not too much, so lets say, $700 preferred, $800 max.

Keep in mind I have air cooling.

Case: Mountain Mods Pinnacle
Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Extreme
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping Overclocked 4.2 GHz
CPU Cooler: Spire Thermax Eclipse II
Video Cards: ???
RAM: 12 GB Corsair DDR3 1600 mhz 8-8-8-24

I play games and edit videos on this build. I also do a bit of 3D rendering.

Sucks that it happened right after Starcraft 2 came out, but that's probably the reason why it broke... (24 hour gaming session FTW?

More about : 700

a c 189 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:55:45 AM

HD5970... :D 
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a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 12:57:03 PM

Go with 3 x GTX 460 in tri-SLI, that will do the trick nicely, it will be more powerful than the 5970, produce less heat than 2 x GTX 480's in SLI and use less power, not to mention the overclocking headroom.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 1:03:03 PM

i would go with wa1's recommendation. does SC2 support SLI/CF? i know blizzard dragged their feet in WoW's support of it.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 1:03:48 PM

jonpaul37 said:
Go with 3 x GTX 460 in tri-SLI, that will do the trick nicely, it will be more powerful than the 5970, produce less heat than 2 x GTX 480's in SLI and use less power, not to mention the overclocking headroom.

That would have been a good answer but unfortunately the GTX 460 can only be used in 2 card SLI, not 3 or 4.
That said just two GTX 460s when OCed are actually very close in performance to an OCed HD5970 because SLI scales better in than crossfire. It would be a good choice for a good price. The only other possibility I would suggest is SLIed GTX 470s. Just make sure you have a nice power supply and good case airflow.
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July 29, 2010 1:04:56 PM

jonpaul37 said:
Go with 3 x GTX 460 in tri-SLI, that will do the trick nicely, it will be more powerful than the 5970, produce less heat than 2 x GTX 480's in SLI and use less power, not to mention the overclocking headroom.


you cant do a 3 way sli with gtx 460's ( at least not all of them, they may make one capable of 3 sli)
anyway i recommend getting 2 gtx 460's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 29, 2010 2:13:03 PM

SLI GTX 470s or if you can find 5870s on Super sale, grab those for Xfire.
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July 29, 2010 2:15:22 PM

hehe
CAN do 3x460's, but one would only be good for PhysX...

For an already OC'd system, I'd +1 the 5970 ... UNLESS...

You could get away with a $200 GTX460 for now, and play the waiting game for ARES :)  The 460 will always be worth ~$200 if you sell it.
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July 29, 2010 2:17:13 PM

So many better/faster/more efficient options at 700 then a 5970. Only reason to get one is if you absolutely can only have 1 card.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 2:26:28 PM

FYI, after looking at graphic reviews, SC2 does not currently support multi-gpus
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 2:26:53 PM

hythos said:
hehe
CAN do 3x460's, but one would only be good for PhysX...

But why would you want to? :p 
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July 29, 2010 2:27:41 PM

Plus, if you go SLI 460s or 470s, you can use AA in SC2.
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July 29, 2010 2:30:50 PM

Also, just to follow-up on the SC2 note:
"the $200 GeForce GTX 460 is all gamers will need to fully appreciate StarCraft II, as it was just as fast as the GeForce GTX 480 and Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards"
(if you want to believe the review at http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...

2x SLI of GTX460 should treat you well
** Note - maybe even keep the GTX295 for PhysX - the GPU may still be good even if the GFX-output capability is cooked... That's my final answer ;) 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 2:31:44 PM

If you have $700 to spend, I'm not going to recommend a $500 SLI 460 solution. IMO get SLI GTX 470s, or a 5970 if it will fit.

And to the SC2 comments about the 460 being as good... well yeah, guess why... SC2 is not very GPU demanding.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 2:37:47 PM

wolfram23 said:
or a 5970 if it will fit.

The HD5970 really isn't much better than SLIed GTX 460s, especially when overclocking is taken into account. If you have an SLI motherboard it is a rather poor choice for the money IMO.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 2:46:36 PM

That doesn't really make sense to take overclocking into account, since you can OC a 5970 as well as seen here:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/overclock-radeon-5970-gui...

From stock 725/1000 to 935/1310

And again, SLI GTX 470s are far better than SLI GTX 460s. So are CF 5850s. And that's with or without taking overlocking into account, since all these cards can overclock.
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a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 2:48:01 PM

2 Palit GTX 460 Sonic Platinum and you're set :) 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 3:07:04 PM

wolfram23 said:
That doesn't really make sense to take overclocking into account, since you can OC a 5970 as well as seen here:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/overclock-radeon-5970-gui...

From stock 725/1000 to 935/1310

And again, SLI GTX 470s are far better than SLI GTX 460s. So are CF 5850s. And that's with or without taking overlocking into account, since all these cards can overclock.

Just because all cards OC does not mean they do so to the same degree. I would actually be interested in seeing a comparison of fully OCed GTX 460s vs a fully OCed HD5970. I suspect that at worst the results for the two cards will mirror their relative performance at stock which is that the HD5970 is about 10% faster. In any case $200-250 more for a 10% boost in performance is not something a normal person would consider worthwhile.
GTX 470s are another matter. That would be worth the extra money if you are ok with the heat/power factor.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 3:19:53 PM

I'm not arguing what is the best bang for you buck here, if a 5970 is 10% faster and within budget, then that's the best card he should get, right? Or SLI GTX 470s, they'll be faster than a 5970, and CF5850s are very close...
You have a point about the heat and power tho, SLI 470s will take a good PSU and a well cooled case.
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July 30, 2010 12:54:45 AM

Well, my PSU is the Corsair AX1200, so I don't really think it's a matter of power, it's more of a matter of what I can do with the $700.
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 12:58:12 AM

For $700 you can get 2 Zotac GTX 470 AMP editions, or two reference GTX 470s and two Geild Icy Vision coolers. Either one will destroy anything else in that price range, including the 5970 and 5850 crossfire.
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July 30, 2010 1:00:45 AM

AMW1011 said:
For $700 you can get 2 Zotac GTX 470 AMP editions, or two reference GTX 470s and two Geild Icy Vision coolers. Either one will destroy anything else in that price range, including the 5970 and 5850 crossfire.

I would ose this, but it takes up 3 PCI slots and I need one slot for a RocketRAID card.
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July 30, 2010 1:25:36 AM

I kind of want to go with EVGA because of their lifetime overclocking warranty...

-_- What do.
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 1:28:59 AM

Get the EVGA and deal with the extra heat and noise, its not that bad.
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 1:30:48 AM

Besides your case has up to 10 120mm fans....
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a c 153 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 2:42:53 AM

fonebone10 said:
Well, my PSU is the Corsair AX1200, so I don't really think it's a matter of power, it's more of a matter of what I can do with the $700.


I thought these weren't supposed to come out till mid-August? Are they out? Where did you get it?
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July 30, 2010 2:50:38 AM

Helltech said:
I thought these weren't supposed to come out till mid-August? Are they out? Where did you get it?

Anticipated PSU, since I'm gonna buy the cards when that comes out.
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July 30, 2010 8:17:18 AM

Just ordered 2 EVGA GTX 470's... hope they're as powerful as a HD 5970, that was what I was actually planning on buying, but then I realized the SLI'd 5970's could be just as good.

Also, I ordered the Antec 1200 PSU. Since the Corsair AX1200 is coming out August, I figure I can return it and get the AX1200 within 30 days.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 8:30:39 AM

fonebone10 said:
Just ordered 2 EVGA GTX 470's... hope they're as powerful as a HD 5970, that was what I was actually planning on buying, but then I realized the SLI'd 5970's could be just as good.

Also, I ordered the Antec 1200 PSU. Since the Corsair AX1200 is coming out August, I figure I can return it and get the AX1200 within 30 days.



SLI'ed 5970?

Do you mean a single 5970 or Crossfired 5970?

5970 in CF is going to utterly destroy Dual SLI 470s, but then again you would be paying like 700 dolars more for that....


EDIT - Oh I see what you meant, you meant SLI 470s would be better then a 5970... and you are right, SLI 470 is better.
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July 31, 2010 5:10:15 AM

Already having buyer's remorse, I want the GTX 480's... :'( 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 31, 2010 12:23:05 PM

Bah, they really aren't worth the money. The thing about the GTX 470 is it can OC a huge amount. Usually with the voltage bumped they can get up to around 850mhz. From the stock 607mhz that is a 40% increase. In general the GTX 480 OCs to the same speed so all you are gaining is 7% more shaders(480 vs 448) while spending over 50%+ more. Really not a good call unless you have a trust fund or something.
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July 31, 2010 11:15:25 PM

I suppose so.

After overclocking and when you consider I have a GTX 295 as a PhysX card, should be at least comparable, if not better than SLI'd GTX 480's.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 31, 2010 11:37:50 PM

That's a pretty crazy overpowered card to use for Physx really. The heat/power/noise situation with OCed SLIed GTX 470s is already going to be something to deal with. There's only a handful of games where Physx even matters. If you really want a dedicated Physx card I would seriously consider selling the GTX 295 and replacing it with something with a more reasonable power/heat profile. A GTX 260 maybe, or better yet a GTX 450 or whatever they call it when it is released. I believe there will be no actual difference in performance.
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August 7, 2010 11:59:22 PM

In the end I decided on water cooled GTX 480's in tri-SLI.

Talk about stretching my budget -_-
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August 9, 2010 2:14:54 PM

Ouch. 2 would have been way more then enough hahaha
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a c 125 U Graphics card
August 9, 2010 2:31:28 PM

Petey1013 said:
Ouch. 2 would have been way more then enough hahaha


No kidding! But hey, at least he can keep these 3 running for years even on his next PC... and the one after that =P
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August 9, 2010 8:20:14 PM

Remember that Nvida card have better AA in SC2 - I have an "old" Radeon HD4870 and there is no way to get AA running in SC. The Radeon 5000's can AA in SC2 but they are taking a performance hit - not that performance seem to be any concern of yours with that monster - gratz man:) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 9, 2010 8:36:03 PM

so the OP went from a 700$ budget to a 1,800$ budget?

show me how you did that!! I also want a second 5850!! :na: 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
August 9, 2010 10:20:13 PM

OvrClkr said:
so the OP went from a 700$ budget to a 1,800$ budget?

show me how you did that!! I also want a second 5850!! :na: 


lol! Selling drugs, obviously! (jk! I hope!)


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a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2010 1:33:00 AM

wolfram23 said:
lol! Selling drugs, obviously! (jk! I hope!)


its like saying : "today im going to buy a nice 24" screen"... later on that day im like "meh, ill just go all out and buy 3 30" screens for a nice surround setup :lol: 
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!