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Best GPU value today

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  • Graphics Cards
  • GPUs
  • Performance
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 2, 2010 7:59:10 AM

My GTX 280 went out last week, and it's no longer under warranty, so I plan on buying a new GPU. I'm prepared to pay $150-$500 for the new GPU (Or maybe multiple GPU's). I've been out of the enthusiast game for a little over a year, so I'm here to find out, what the current best GPU is, in terms of "cash-to-performance" ratio.

I do not actually need the biggest, and best new GPU set up, but like most enthusiast, it never hurts to have a little overkill. I'm not necessarily after the best GPU, I'm after the best cash-to-performance GPU. The best value. The idea gpu for someone who has money, but doesn't want to waste it.

System Specs: (Built Feb 09)

3.8ghz Core i7 (OC)
12GB 1600mgh DDR3
EVGA x58 SLI mobo (It has 3x PCIe slots, x16, x8, x8 or x16, x16)
1100 watt Modular PSU
2x 64gb SSD's in raid 0 running W7 64bit
4x 1TB HDD's in Raid 0 as extra space
All inside a CM HAF 932
1920x1200 res LCD


Thanks for the help guys.

More about : gpu today

a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 8:21:10 AM

whmdan said:
My GTX 280 went out last week, and it's no longer under warranty, so I plan on buying a new GPU. I'm prepared to pay $150-$500 for the new GPU (Or maybe multiple GPU's). I've been out of the enthusiast game for a little over a year, so I'm here to find out, what the current best GPU is, in terms of "cash-to-performance" ratio.

I do not actually need the biggest, and best new GPU set up, but like most enthusiast, it never hurts to have a little overkill. I'm not necessarily after the best GPU, I'm after the best cash-to-performance GPU. The best value. The idea gpu for someone who has money, but doesn't want to waste it.

System Specs: (Built Feb 09)

3.8ghz Core i7 (OC)
12GB 1600mgh DDR3
EVGA x58 SLI mobo (It has 3x PCIe slots, x16, x8, x8 or x16, x16)
1100 watt Modular PSU
2x 64gb SSD's in raid 0 running W7 64bit
4x 1TB HDD's in Raid 0 as extra space
All inside a CM HAF 932
1920x1200 res LCD


Thanks for the help guys.


right now i would say 2 GTX 460 1gb in SLI is the best value/performance :) 
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Best solution

a c 376 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 8:24:39 AM

The best value for the money on the high end right now is SLIed GTX 460 1gbs for $460. They rival an HD5970 but cost hundreds less;

That chart doesn't tell the whole story however as one of the things that makes the cards such a good value is that they overclock very well, usually about 35%.
The other good options for the money would be the HD5850 or GTX 470. They both cost about $300 but the GTX 470 is slightly faster while the HD5850 is much more power efficient/lower heat. They can both also OC a huge amount, often up around 40%.
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August 2, 2010 8:36:44 AM

+1 for 460 sli
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August 2, 2010 8:56:09 AM

At Newegg, I'm finding a bunch of 460 1GB's by brands I'd rather not try. The better brands like EVGA, Asus, MSI seem to make the 768mb version of the 460 or the 465's. The 465's seem to be only slightly more expensive, what about a couple of those?

Thanks the the help so far, the 460's look great.
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August 2, 2010 9:07:30 AM

they all make both versions, 1gb probably sold out. 465 uses about 25% more power and runs a lot hotter for same performance.
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August 2, 2010 9:23:36 AM

Alright, by any chance, does anyone have a link to the 460 you'd buy?
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August 2, 2010 9:53:57 AM

Best answer selected by whmdan.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 10:22:53 AM

I would recommend sticking with the 256-bit/1gb card for SLI. For a single card the 192-bit/768mb is ok but the memory subsystems are redundant in SLI, rather than added together. In SLI the extra memory and bandwidth can really help the added processing power achieve its potential.
For the 1gb cards in stock on newegg I would go for the Gigabyte card. If they were all in stock then I would get the MSI Cyclone.
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August 2, 2010 1:50:35 PM

While I understand that SLI'd 460s are better than a 480, given that two 460s aren't quite as efficient as 2 x one 460 how on earth can the two 460's get a better price/performance ratio (spelling edit) than one 460?

I'm not saying that they won't get you great FPS at high resolutions but rather that they aren't as good a value.

In general the high end of anything gives you lower price/performance ratios.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 5:47:24 PM

jeroly said:
In general the high end of anything gives you lower price/performance ratios.

^this answers your question. For a high end setup like his budget suggests and his resolution could use SLIed GTX 460s are the best for the money. A single GTX 460 is midrange and pretty much every non-high end setup will actually have better raw performance/dollar than anything on the high end.
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August 3, 2010 12:29:37 PM

On re-examining this thread, I believe that what the OP is looking for isn't exactly what was asked for. What the OP should do is to decide what games are important to him/her, what resolution they want to play those games at, and then to find the GPUs that provide that level of capability. For example, the 4650 may give a better performance/$ ratio but what good does that do the OP if it only runs a game the OP wants to play at 5 fps? (just making numbers up here for the purpose of illustration)

You can get this info by looking at a recent Tom's article on new graphics cards like the one on SLI'd GTX460s, and finding the chart(s) for the game(s) of interest. If the game doesn't appear in the charts then use a similar one for this purpose.

You can then pick and choose amongst those GPUs that do the job, perhaps getting one that's slightly better than you need to give a little headroom.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
August 3, 2010 1:15:43 PM

Well he could just grab a single GTX 460. When OCed it will do fairly well at 1920x1200 and be an upgrade from his old GTX 280. He can always add another if/when he decides he wants something better.
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