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Upgrading from GTX 260

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 20, 2010 1:21:43 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 12/25-01/01

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming(FPS,Racing), 3D Studio Max/Maya, Photoshop

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: BFG GTX 260 MaxCore 55 & CORSAIR 750TX

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: AMD Phenom II X3, Asus M4A785TD-V EVO, 8 gb DDR3 1600

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: AIT or Nvidia

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

I'm considering-

Nvidia: gtx 470
ATI: 5870 & 6870

Would like to keep it under $300 but closer to $250

More about : upgrading gtx 260

a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 1:30:08 PM

HD6950. Have you thought about that?
December 20, 2010 1:41:42 PM

I did, but i wasnt impressed with the extra power consumption, heat, and noise the new 69XX cards made, as compared to the 68XX and 58XX
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a c 189 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 2:41:29 PM

Yeah, another vote for HD6950. GTX470 and GTX480 are HEAT sources... :) 
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 2:46:19 PM

You can get a GTX 470 after rebates for like $220 these days. A single GTX 470 equals the performance of a GTX 260 Core 216 SLI setup (I know cause I had that before).
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 2:57:47 PM

I would go with your second set of choices (ATI: 5870 & 6870) and base the decision on a cost/bundle/warranty basis if it was me. For preference I would want a 5870 as its the better performer but AMD have a habit of charging stupid money for older cards these days and I don't know just how much I would value the older card at. Having just looked on Newegg and seen its approx $20 more for the 5870 I would go for that.

Mactronix :) 


December 20, 2010 2:58:46 PM

yeah, the gtx 470 is not my top choice( btw i was thinking of an aftermark cooler for it)
At the end of the day, i think im leaning toward the 6870/6950
I haven't bought ATI in a long(10+ years) time...
Where do they stand as far as brands(Saphire, AMD, PowerColor, ect..) Any warranty better than others, brands to stay away from?
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 3:03:21 PM

Zotac GTX 470 + Mafia II Download = $249.99 - $40 Rebate = $209.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Very tempting to buy myself a second one for SLI. :( 

If/When I go for an aftermarket GTX 470 cooler, this is what I plan to get:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, you can get it a little cheaper elsewhere.

Whether you go nVidia or ATI I don't have any brand loyalty to be honest. As long as you stick with a larger manufacturer you shouldn't really have any problems. So tout Lifetime warranties and things, but honestly that's only useful if you intend to have the video card a long time.

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a c 130 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 3:12:09 PM
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Here is a 6950 review http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_6950/1... take a look at the performance then price up the 6950/6870/5870 and decide if you really want the lower performance of the 6870 or really want to pay the extra for the 6950 when the 5870 has such good performance and pricing in comparison.
Im basing this on the driving games in the review by the way.

Mactronix :) 
December 20, 2010 3:49:17 PM

Here's another question, would it be better to save a little more and do CF of two 6850's? over one 6870/6970? Would the 2nd PCIe slot @ x4 limit the performance vs 1 single card or dual @ x8?
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 4:02:43 PM

Generally speaking, one fast card is better long term. You can add a second card later if you decide you need more power. And later on, that second card in theory should be cheaper than the original.

Crossfire & SLI also have the limitation of giving you performance gains based on how well optimized the game or drivers are. So the rate of return isn't always the same.

Two cards will likely create more heat overall, and consume more energy. If either of those concern you at all.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 6:45:22 AM

jerreece said:
Generally speaking, one fast card is better long term. You can add a second card later if you decide you need more power. And later on, that second card in theory should be cheaper than the original.

Crossfire & SLI also have the limitation of giving you performance gains based on how well optimized the game or drivers are. So the rate of return isn't always the same.

Two cards will likely create more heat overall, and consume more energy. If either of those concern you at all.

This is true! A single heavy duty card is always better than a CF setup upfront. Go for a CF setup later when you need it. Its not that a person needs 100+ FPS in every game.

A CF setup has heat/power/air-flow and arrangement consideration which can be cumbersome!
December 21, 2010 10:56:53 AM

Best answer selected by jdpkeeper.
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