I've been banging my head on the table trying to decide which graphics card I should purchase in the next few days to finally complete my build. At this very moment, I will only be using my computer for gaming purposes. However, my current 19" monitor's/hdtv's native resolution is 1360x768 (though can apparently work at resolutions upto 1080i - 1920x1080). Considering that everything looks horrible when not in native resolution, I usually stay at the 1360x768. I have not tried any actual gaming at the higher resolution at this point since I've only been using my motherboard's integrated GPU (Radeon 4300) but it doesn't look as crisp as what it would be in the lower resolution.
Here's the reason why I haven't been able to properly decide what card I should get at this point. I've been looking at the GTS 450, Radeon 5770 and the GTX 460 and obviously the latter card is the best out of all of them. However, due to the smaller resolution gaming that I have done at this point in time, something like the GTX 460 would definitely be above and beyond what is necessary to run probabaly every game in existence in maximum settings and whatnot. It is, however, $250 in the stores in Canada (though you can find it as low as $220 if one is lucky). The GTX 460 has been the card I was looking at for most of my search, but then I came upon this question and, once I was sure, it ceases to be the case.
That leads to the less expensive options in the GTS 450 and the Radeon 5770. From what I've seen of benchmarks and the like, these two cards would also be more than enough to play in maximum settings at 1360x768 resolution and they provide a good inexpensive option for me which is always welcome - especially in the performance/cost ratio.
Now I do not know what will happen in the a few years time, but in the forseeable future, I can see myself using the same 19" monitor. In that respect, should I get the GTX 460 which will be good enough to last whatever is thrown my way for the next few years, though will probably not be used to its full potential in its first year or so of usage, or should I get a cheaper option, which would be excellent at this current resolution and upgrade if need be 2 or 3 years down the line?
And just to get a better idea of what I'm running:
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE - 3.4 GHz
Gigabyte GA-880A-UD3H Motherboard
Patriot Sector 5 PGV34G1333ELK 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1333
Ultra LS600 Lifetime Series 600W Power Supply
Thermaltake V4 Black Edition ATX Mid Tower Case
A GTX460 would give you some futureproofing and allow max settings at your current resolution for pretty much everything. It also is enough for my 23" 1920x1080 monitor.
Throw that POS Ultra power supply away and get something decent. Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling or XFX. Ultra is all gimmick and no quality. That "lifetime" warranty will not include a new motherboard or graphics card when it blows up and takes parts with it.
First off, 1080i is NOT 1920x1080. That would be 1080p. There's a fairly large difference between video standards. Just to clarify.
Also, if the "native resolution" is 1360x768, then that is the MAX resolution, which is 720p. However, with many HDTVs you can FOOL them into accepting a 1080i and sometimes 1080p resolution. Actually the better way to describe this is you can FOOL YOURSELF. My brother did this with his 720p television and his XBOX 360. He set the XBOX to 1080p and it still worked. However, this only works in some cases because the TV resizes the image and basically turns it into a 1360x768 image all over again. So it decides what lines of resolution NOT to display. This can resize the image, and hamper over all details. This is why you're saying it doesn't look as crisp... because it's not. It's being distorted to force it to fit a smaller image size.
In this case, your video card would be working to draw a 1920x1080 image, but you'd only be seeing 1360x768. So it'd be an absolute waste of resources as you'd gain nothing from it.
A GTX 460 would be a great video card, but is absolutely overkill for 1366x768 resolution.
If you are planning to stick with this current monitor for more than a year, I see no reason to spend the money on a GTX 460. You simply won't need it's power. However, the GTX 460 would have a longer usable life as better graphics come out over time. It's just overkill for your current monitor.
First off i have to say that has to be the clearest, well constructed and informative post i have read for a while, way better than i could muster
Jerreece has covered the image issues about higher resolutions and you know the PSU is suspect so its all down to which to get at this point.
Personally i would get the 460. That would mean that you would know that you will have zero issues running games and it also opens up the possability that you could maybe have enough horsepower to use Physx on supporting games if you so wished.
Excellent reply Jerreece. Yes, I am very inept at these kinds of things so thank you very much for clearing up the resolution deal. It's weird, my manual says that it supports 1920x1080 but I always knew that it didn't - naturally. Like the example you used, both my PS3 and Xbox supposedly run on those resolutions as well and they looked good. I guess I was, as you said, fooled.
So I guess the GTX460 might provide the best solution as of now. It might even spur me on to get a new monitor sooner than later considering I would know that it wasn't being used to its full potential.