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Upgrading 9600GT, $275ish budget, best bang for buck

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 25, 2010 10:56:06 PM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next two weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $300 at the high end, before mail-in. Looking to spend all told about $275

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: High end gaming (Must be DX11) -> Hi-def Movies and television -> digital picture manipulation through Photoshop

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Corsair TX650w PSU, upgrading gfxcard from 9600GT

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, MSI MS-7374 mobo, 8GB DDR2 - CPUZ Validator link: http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1361979

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I usually shop NewEgg, but I'm not tied to them

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

OVERCLOCKING: Never bothed with overclocking before, doubt I would start now unless I had a compelling reason

SLI/Crossfire?: I can barely afford one card as it is, no.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 mainly

I have a bit of money saved up and would like to upgrade my graphics card to something that's going to last me a good while, so I'm looking upper-mid-end.

I've been looking at the GTX470's and the Radeon HD 5850, but again I'm not hitched to either of those. Even if it's overkill for my needs, I want something
I won't feel the need to replace in the next year or so at the very least. It's not often I get spare money, and if I don't spend what I've got I'll end up
throwing it away on fast food and gadgets.
a b U Graphics card
August 25, 2010 11:04:02 PM

I'd recommend the MSI Twin Fozr 5850 its $289.99 before rebate, $269.99 after and SFAIK it beats the GTX 470, Its also stock overclocked with better cooling that the original 5850.

Definitely recommend it, and SFAIK its quite low on power compared to the GTX 470/480.

EDIT: for that resolution it may be overkill, however atleast you will be able to play with full eyecandy for years to come. If you want to save money I'd recommend a MSi 460 Cyclone 1Gb for $232.99 or maybe a Gigabyte 460 stock OC'ed for $229.99 if you would prefer another brand, although the MSi is getting the best reviews atm SFAIK.
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August 25, 2010 11:46:51 PM

i too vote for HD 5850 Nvidia products are always more expensive compared to ati ones .
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 26, 2010 12:10:47 AM

At that resolution I'd saved the money and get a ASUS DirectCU GTX 460 1GB Edition.

@ Decode, actually the DirectCU edition outperforms the MSI Cyclone, its just a lot newer, so there aren't as many reviews out. Both cards are great however.

You can get a MSI Cylone for 200 bucks with some promo code on TigerDirect I think, not sure if its still up, let me see if I can't find it.
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a b U Graphics card
August 26, 2010 12:12:49 AM

True, except for the case of the 460 at present, However although I'd consider myself a ATI fan, most the time nVidia cost the world, but usually have a performance + feature edge, however in the current situation there only real good offering is the 460.
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August 26, 2010 12:37:40 AM

If you are able to go a little over your 300 dollar budget you could probably get a GTX460 and a new cpu like:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or the cheaper X3:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The the GTX460:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or the 768mb one for:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm thinking your X2 6000+ is going to bottleneck that video card and moving up to a quicker quadcore will extend the life of the computer for you for a while. You might need to update your bios on your motherboard for it to work.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
August 26, 2010 12:49:39 AM

wip99gt

You are right about the cpu bottle neck.
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August 26, 2010 1:31:39 AM

Just want to thank every one so far. :wahoo: 

A few questions?

Not a lot of love for the 470, any particular reason, or just not a good price:value comparatively?

From what's been said, I would benefit more from a $200 GTX460 and a $100 CPU upgrade, than I would from a more expensive card that's going to be slowed down by my current CPU?



And an off topic, but could be linked here - I use dual-monitors with my 9600GT, and I like to play standard-def video (streaming from say Hulu or Netflix, or downloaded with VLC, etc) on my second monitor, while playing my favorite MMO (LOTRO) on the primary. The video on my second monitor is often choppy. Is this a CPU problem, video card, both, something else? I'm just wondering if a CPU upgrade would help fix this or not.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 26, 2010 1:42:33 AM

You can get a GTX 470 for 250 dollars right now on sale, its a great card, but you're going to be bottled necked by your CPU.

The GTX 460 would be an all around better card for you.

Even a GTX 460 may be bottlenecked (probably) by that CPU.

Anyway @ Wip99GT, doesn't he have an AM2 motherboard? Maybe I'm looking at it wrong.
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August 26, 2010 2:17:59 AM

See above, Wip99GT beat me to the response by a few seconds- thanks much :) 
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 26, 2010 2:20:49 AM

Ahh I see, well I glad you found somethign about that board, I couldn't.

In that case yeah, I would upgrade your CPU as wip99gt said.
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Best solution

August 26, 2010 2:41:17 AM

That X3 445 and the 768MB gtx460 would make a pretty killer upgrade and it'll cost you less than $300. The X4 630 and 1GB 460 is easily worth the extra 30 or so dollars. I don't think you'd be disapointed with either option or any combo of them. Get the bigger video card if you can afford it though. Even at your resolution it make a difference.
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August 26, 2010 2:47:40 AM

Best answer selected by rta01.
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August 26, 2010 2:48:35 AM

Thank you guys very much for all your input. I'm going to look into upgrading both the CPU and the vcard.
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August 26, 2010 3:12:13 AM

If you havn't updated your bios before make sure to find out how and download it before you replace your cpu. Have fun with your upgrade.
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