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Nvidia or ati for older system?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2010 7:17:14 PM

My hardware is a bit outdated or older. I'm hoping that getting a new card is not going to get bottlenecked by my hardware.

I have a P35 mobo and Q6600 processor.

My PSU is the Corsair HX520W modular unit.

My monitor is 20" LG 1680x1050.

Can you recommend me a card for $200 and below?

I'm wondering if the GTX 460 1GB or HD 6850 is overkill or would be bottlenecked.

I doubt I'd do much gaming but I would like to try/own a couple of games like CoD.

I like the card for video playback and maybe use hardware acceleration/various features. But, I think I would like it to be low power / low temps so efficient that way. I thought if I like the game, I might want a more powerful card but I thought the demand for weaker cards won't be much. I dunno so I'm undecided. But, a GT 430 might be enough? What is the ATI equivalent?

Lastly, ATI or Nvidia? I'm told ATI drivers are hit and miss and that quality of video is better with Nvidia. OTOH, ATI cards are often more power efficient and have lower temps usually. The newest revisiion of Evergreen, NI, seems to indicate this and although it's not a big change in the architecture, they look good and since it's the early introduction, I thought the cards are probably high quality so far before they release 're-designed' revised custom versions (often with inferior or less quality parts to save costs). I generally prefer the original or reference pcb version video cards.

Can anyone recommend some cards and keep in mind, I am not sure my budget or wants yet. :)  But, it needs to be a reference pcb and under $200.

Thanks! :) 
December 7, 2010 7:29:02 PM

No replies yet? The OS will be switching between Windows 7 and Linux.

I hope I didn't make it sound like the system is ancient or something but with many computer users having i5/i7 or AMD Phenom II+ systems, I thought I should indicate my system is of the previous architecture. :) 

Any suggestions/recommendations????!? :-D
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a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 7:40:58 PM

I don't think the Q6600 will bottleneck the graphics, particularly since hardcore 3D games are not what you'll be doing much. Its an older system, but the Q6600 is a quad core and runs at a decent clip.

I think the choice is between the HD 6850 and the nVidia GTX 460. It depends on if you like features like Physx, CUDA, and 3d then the choice is nVidia. If you think you may multimonitor in the future, Ati might be better. The performance is about the same in the $200 price range but I think either would be a fine choice for your rig. I say choose one that has the features you want and go for it.
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December 7, 2010 8:14:00 PM

Okay, that is what I suspected for the high end. What about low-end budget cards?

I have no clue on those since there's mostly the Evergreen series but Nvidia has some newer, mid-level or low-end cards released but how do they compare to ATI's?

If I can't budget the $200, I am looking at a bunch of choices I have little idea about. ;)  At least, I have already read about the GTX 460 and HD 6850. :) 
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December 7, 2010 8:15:39 PM

P.S. Any of these cards would fit my case, an Antec 300, right?
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December 7, 2010 9:04:23 PM

Canuck1 said:
P.S. Any of these cards would fit my case, an Antec 300, right?


Yes, I believe a mid tower would be fine for any of these.

Probably the best budget card @ $100 would be the GTS 250 or the HD 4850 however neither of them offer directX11 .
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-rad...

So I would look to spend just a bit more on the GTS 450 or HD 5750 if you plan on gaming with this for a while.
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December 8, 2010 7:06:11 AM

amk09 said:
You are looking at:

GTX 460 768MB - $169 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5770 1GB - $139 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GTS 450 1GB - $134 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5750 1GB - $119 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Listed in order of performance. Personally recommend a 5770 but they are all great cards.


Nice breakdown there, very helpful. I'm not sure though about the GTX 460 768 when I've seen HD 6850's for $180 in the wild. Still, as you say they are all nice cards.
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December 8, 2010 8:02:37 AM

Oh my I can't believe I forgot the 6850! If you can afford it definitely go for the 6850, you won't regret it :) 
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December 8, 2010 10:07:16 AM

be aware that on linux (presumably ubuntu or fedora?) can have troubled running ATI cards, Nvidea are usually the best choice, head over to the distro's forum and ask them :) 
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