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Best Graphics Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 4, 2010 5:57:34 AM

I am planning on building a new computer with the following setup:

Intel® Desktop Board DX58SO

Intel® Core™ i7-970 Processor

The board says it will support Nvidia and ATI, both crossfire and SLI and I was curious which would be the best cards to go with - I plan on using two of them.

Looking over the charts it shows the ATI 5850 in crossfire as the best cards to use (if I am reading it correctly it says two of them, totaling 2gb of memory)

However there is an ATI 6870 out there too, how does that rank?

I'm really an Nvidia fan - are there any cards that are comparable or better than the ATI cards?

I'm upgrading from an Nvidia 8800 GTX (Retailed for $600 back in the day).


Really confused on what I should be getting as I am not entirely familiar with how the clock speeds and this and that rank up against one another, I Get the general idea, but still get lost with the clock speeds and such.

Like the 5850 says this:

Effective Memory Clock: 4.0GHz

And the 6850 says:

Effective Memory Clock: 1050MHz (4.2Gbps)

So which is better?

And where does Nvidia rank - I'd like to stick with Nvidia unless ATI really is better - I've heard about conflictions with ATI cards and Intel boards...

Is it generally true that ATI Cards work better with AMD Processors or what?

It's an Intel board with the I7 so I don't want any conflictions.

More about : graphics card

a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2010 8:17:40 AM

It's incorrect that ATI cards run better on AMD boards and nVidia don't. That's a myth by today's standards. You can run in any config you desire.

Back to the GPU, what's your PSU (Power Supply Unit) brand and power?
Next, what resolution do you game at? Also, what kind of games do you play?
Lastly, what's your budget?

There's a plethora of options on GPU's today. It all depends on your particular requirements and capacity. Let us know the answers to the above and we'll see then....
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December 4, 2010 9:19:23 AM

Moving past your PSU and resolution, ATI 6xxx series scales better in crossfire.

2x6850 if your looking for the most cost effective setup with amazing performance.

If you insist on the Nvidia setup, 2x460's are still amazing although ATI will come in cheaper and faster. That excludes PhysX ofcorz if that isn't something your interested.

If that urge to stick with nvidia persists and you have a litte more to spend, 2x470 will definitly be worth it.

And memory doesnt stack in sli and crossfire. 2x 1024Mb in sli = 1024Mb. And no, ATI doesnt run better on AMD boards.

6850 vs 460
6870 vs 470
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 4, 2010 3:06:30 PM

Shoot, someone had a GTX 470 on sale for $209 after coupon & rebates yesterday. For that price, it'd be stupid not to go that route performance wise. Though you'd need a fairly solid PSU to handle two of them.

Gigabyte Galaxy GTX 470 ($259.99 - $30 MIR = $239.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Granted they probably only allow 1 Rebate per person, per order, per family, etc. :( 

However, depending on your native resolution, you may not need to Crossfire or SLI. A single GTX 470 does very well @ 1920x1080 by itself.

If you want a Crossfire setup, the 2 x 6850 is a fantastic option given by Lian. And those are fairly inexpensive ($190 to $200) for their performance.
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a c 229 U Graphics card
a c 77 Î Nvidia
December 5, 2010 12:47:34 AM

The 470 substantially outperforms the 5850 but the latter's price has been dropping so fast, it's hard to ignore the price difference.
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December 6, 2010 8:17:58 PM

namelessonez said:
It's incorrect that ATI cards run better on AMD boards and nVidia don't. That's a myth by today's standards. You can run in any config you desire.

Back to the GPU, what's your PSU (Power Supply Unit) brand and power?
Next, what resolution do you game at? Also, what kind of games do you play?
Lastly, what's your budget?

There's a plethora of options on GPU's today. It all depends on your particular requirements and capacity. Let us know the answers to the above and we'll see then....


Thanks for the help...

I haven't picked one what - was going to figure out what graphics cards to put into the computer before buying a PSU. I spent $600 on my last Card (Nvidia 8800GTX) so I was figuring around the same price.

It's a Samsung 24" that hits 1900 x 1200 with a secondary screen by LG that is 1680 x 1050. (LG has a better color for some reason)

I spent 1700 or there abouts on the last one, probably around the same with this one.

I clicked on the review link, and according to the graphic charts the ATI Radeon HD 5850 CF is the best, but the 6xxx series is not there.

If memory doesn't stack in SLI or Crossfire, how does that work, I guess I am confused with that one.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 6, 2010 8:23:50 PM

SLI and Crossfire allow you to combine the computing power of both GPUs on one task. They sort of split the computations. However, you cannot distribute all the memory resident textures and such between both video cards and combine the total VRAM.

So two 1GB video cards does not equal 2GB VRAM, it still equals 1 GB VRAM. Maybe some day they'll design a fancy memory controller that allows you to stack the memory efficiently and quickly. But that's not the case now.

At $175 a ATI 5850 would be a kick butt option, especially if you went Crossfire. You'd see some stellar performance. However, if you are budgeting $600 for video cards, you could go much higher performance. Though quite frankly, as of right now, you don't need anything more powerful than Crossfired 5850's @ 1920x1200.

You could however, buy one high end card with 2GB of RAM if that's what you're edging toward. Something like a GTX 580 or one of the new ATI 69xx series cards when they get released.
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December 9, 2010 2:41:58 AM

Well on this site, it shows the HD 5850 CF as the best card, and newegg has them listed for about 300 each...Im not sure which company to buy them from though, Asus? VisonTek?
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