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Help picking out a new GPU, please.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 18, 2010 4:04:55 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Hopefully within 30 days, but maybe later.

BUDGET RANGE: $200-$400, but I don't think it means much, I live in South America so prices are really different from what you guys are probably used to. Usually higher.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Purely for gaming.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
GPU
: Cheap NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS (512MB), which I've had for a long time.
POWER SUPPLY: I don't know if there's any way to get info on my PSU using a program, but I know (I have the box) I have a Thermaltake TR2 500W. I hope I won't have to upgrade this.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
CPU
: QuadCore AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 965, 3415 MHz (17 x 201).
MOBO: Asus M4A785TD-M Evo (2 PCI, 1 PCI-E x1, 1 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR3 DIMM, Audio, Video, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394).
RAM: 2048 MB (DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM). I remember the brand is Kingston. Hoping to get another 2GB more in the near future.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm going for an ATI card but just because I heard they work better with AMD. Is this true?

OVERCLOCKING: Probably not. If I get someone who knows how to do it safely, then sure, but as of now I have no idea how to do it, so for now it's not a possibility.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No. One card only.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: For now I have a crappy monitor running on 1280x1024, but I do plan on getting a new one (16:9, 1920x1080) as soon as I have the money.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
As you can probably tell, I don't understand much about hardware. As I don't have a lot of money, I will have to upgrade each part (RAM, GPU, Monitor) at different times, so I don't mind having the card first and the monitor later.
I only want this card for gaming. My idea is to play Starcraft II and Diablo 3 (as of now unreleased) smoothly at max graphics (or close), but I'd also like to run other games with good settings as well (doesn't have to be max); Fallout, maybe some other RPGs like Elder Scrolls. I don't need anything absurd like Crysis at max.

Also, if possible, I'd love to know what the best card for this computer is, without changing the CPU or Motherboard. I'd like to know this to have a reference, but also, I'd hate to buy a card that is too good for the CPU, because of what I've read about causing a bottleneck, etc.

If more info is needed I can post an Everest report, or something like that.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks!

More about : picking gpu

a c 600 U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 4:32:54 PM

That power supply is going to leave you limited, but a GTX460 should be a nice upgrade. If you are going for a single card, you do not need to limit your choices to either AMD or Nvidia.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 5:38:01 PM

I would reccomend going with a Radeon 6850

I play SC2 currently and am running a 5570 with details on high.If you got a 6850 you would be able to max everthing out for SC2 and D3 with your 1920x1080 monitor you will get in the future.

Can you tell if your PSU is the one with 1 rail or 2 rails on the 12/v.If you open up your case look at the chart on the Power Supply and you should see a 12/v line,how many do you see 12v1+ 12v2+.Or do you see only one 12v1+.

Are you currently playing any other games than SC2?
December 18, 2010 5:53:58 PM

17seconds said:
That power supply is going to leave you limited, but a GTX460 should be a nice upgrade. If you are going for a single card, you do not need to limit your choices to either AMD or Nvidia.
Alright, but the one I can buy is 768MB. That one costs just over 300 dollars. The other one I see with the same name costs over 400 dollars, but it says 1GB. I'm not sure which one you were recommending.

And when you said that my PSU was gonna leave me limited, did you mean I'd have problems with the card you suggested or did you mean it would limit my choices?

purple stank said:
I would reccomend going with a Radeon 6850

I play SC2 currently and am running a 5570 with details on high.If you got a 6850 you would be able to max everthing out for SC2 and D3 with your 1920x1080 monitor you will get in the future.

Can you tell if your PSU is the one with 1 rail or 2 rails on the 12/v.If you open up your case look at the chart on the Power Supply and you should see a 12/v line,how many do you see 12v1+ 12v2+.Or do you see only one 12v1+.

Are you currently playing any other games than SC2?
It says +12v1 and +12v2, and no other games, no.

So, so far, my 2 options are:

* HD6850 1gb DDR5
* GTX460 786MB DDR5

and they cost almost exactly the same over here.
a c 600 U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 6:25:09 PM

500 watts will limit your choices, but either of the two cards you are considering should be fine.
a c 214 U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 6:50:57 PM

At exactly the same price it is simple to choose the 6850 because it is way better than the 460 and since you are not going to O.C. then it would be an even better choice,although if you do want to go and O.C. the 460 would be the better choice as it performs much better and surpasses the 6850.
December 19, 2010 12:01:23 AM

go for gtx 460 1gb if you want to have features such as physx... as for at... your psu can handle ether of these cards.... hd 5850... hd 6850... hd 5770...
December 19, 2010 12:03:38 AM

Thank you all for your input. @phenom90 Unfortunately, I can only afford the 768MB version of gtx460, the 1GB version is too expensive for me. That's why I'm leaning towards the 6850 for now, as I do want 1GB.

Any further input is appreciated, of course.
a c 214 U Graphics card
December 19, 2010 12:21:03 AM

Doesn't make sense not to go with the 6850 even though it will be slight overkill for the games your going to be playing with it,it's still a great deal at your prices.It should last you a long time from your standpoint.
Go with the 6850 it has 1G and it is the best* choice

You do not play any other games?

What does the Readon 5850 prices look like in your region?
December 19, 2010 1:01:17 AM

I used to play a lot back in the day, but now I don't so much because of studying, and when I do, I usually stick to older games or games that have basically no requirements (DotA, Heroes of Newerth, Stacraft I, Abandonware games in general). Every now and then I feel like playing a "new" game, but I've had a worthless graphic card for so long I'm used to just not getting any new games. I think the last not-terribly-old game I played was Doom 3. That was like 5 years ago!

So yeah, it's kind of strange but the only two games I want to play for sure are SCII and D3. Other games I'd like to try (some already mentioned) would be Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Elder Scrolls, and any good RTS kind of game. I don't usually play FPS games.

I talked to an acquaintance who said he didn't like the 6xxx series because their strongest output is outperformed by the 5850, which is older. He said the GTX460 768MB is better than anything in my price range unless I switch to 1920x1080, in which case I'd need a 1GB card. He also told me I should definitely get the 2 extra gigs of RAM, as I would need them. Any thoughts on that?

Anyway, the Radeon 5850 is 425-450 dollars here, and unfortunately that's too much. I put $400 as a top but it's a ridiculous one. In reality, most I could spend is $350, and I still have to pay for SC2 ($60, although I've already saved this up separately from this budget) and the extra RAM I'll probably need ($50 more, and that's coming from the budget).
a c 214 U Graphics card
December 19, 2010 1:38:33 AM

Well in that case,with you not playing anything really demanding, i would say to get a 5770 and use the extra money so you can buy RAM now.
The 5770 will still max out your settings just without the eye candy like A/A and Anti-A.It will still run good even at 1920x1080.

How much are the prices on the Radeon 5770 in your region and would you have enough to buy some RAM after?
December 19, 2010 2:18:30 AM

It's about 70 bucks less than the 6850.
a c 214 U Graphics card
December 19, 2010 3:07:16 AM

I would go for the 5770 and buy some RAM seems like the best logical choice.

For reference, my graphics card(Radeon 5570) runs Starcraft 2 on high settings @1600x900 and i don't have any problems with it,i think 5770 is the better bang for your buck in this situation.

Can you buy RAM with $70 in your region?
December 19, 2010 12:48:07 PM

I can buy 2GB for about $50 and the 6850 for $300, I'd be spending all my budget but I'd be ok with that.

I know these days nothing is "high end" for very long really, (and I'm not even buying the best there is, far from that), I know my stuff will be old or obsolete in a short while, but even knowing that, I want to make it last as much as I can.

Wouldn't it be better to stick with the 6850 for the future then? It should have a longer life than the 5770, shouldn't it?
a c 214 U Graphics card
December 19, 2010 6:46:15 PM

The 6850 is only a little bit faster than the 5770 but it is a brand new card and they will come out with drivers that might increase it's performance.If you do have the money worked out like that then yes the 6850 is a better choice and will benefit you better,glad you could get the 6850 and the 2g of RAM with it.Should last you for 3 years or so.

Goodluck
Happy GAMING
!