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Frustrated by lack of competition

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 20, 2010 5:39:20 PM

I've been trying to upgrade my computer's 4650 w/ GDDR3 (badly in need of an upgrade for gaming!) I used a tiny mATX case for the build, and my power supply is a solid 300w (one 12v rail @ 16a, the other 12v rail @ 6a, not to exceed 268w across 12v rails).

What I'm getting at is the general lack of competition in the mid-lower end segment of video cards, ATI 5770 and below. I've been watching for good deals for months, ever since I heard about the 6xxx and 5xx series. However, there is absolutely zero news about the AMD 6700, 6600 series, or the GTS 550, so I can only assume they are at least another 3 or 4 months away.

For my build, I guess perhaps my downfall has just been my pickyness, but I need a video card with a blower-style cooler (I don't understand why more manufacturers don't use them!) to vent the heat out the back of my small case, under $120, and using as little power as possible.

I would like to go with nVidia, but 450's are very disappointing to me.. in terms of both performance and power usage. Besides, there is only 1 blower-style 450 available. GTX 460's are above budget, use way more power than I feel comfortable with, and very few are blower-style. 5670's aren't powerful enough for a worthwhile upgrade, but 5750's are right around 450 in performance and use far less power, but I'd like a 5770. The problem is the only blower-style 5770 is $160, and I do worry a little bit about power usage..

I just don't understand why that segment has been without competition for nearly 9 months. It's getting to the point where GTX 460 prices are pressing down on the 5770s, but ATI has not reduced prices at all. 5750s are also within dollars of the 5770, and everyone knows they are overpriced. Even older cards, such as the 4850, still offer similar performance/price but with high heat and power usage.

tl;dr With prices for the 5770, 5750, gts 450 completely stagnate, does anyone have a clue as to when things in the mid-range segment are going to finally change?
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 6:03:23 PM

Whenever Turks/Caicos is released. The GTS550 will probably use more power than you can afford to give it, and nVidia's sub-$100 cards aren't anything special.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 6:09:49 PM

modern cpu's use more power and create more heat. the only way to move forward on the current 40 nm technology was to move to dual slot cards. if you need a single the 5770 is likely to be the most powerful option until the move to 28nm tech.

I'm sure both nvidia and ati/amd thought abotu making a more powerful single slot solution and probably decided the sales gains would not be worth... to put it in better terms... people looking into small form factor pc's are not the people usually looking for performance. I am sorry you fit into this segment but there don't appear to be any options beyond the 5770 in the forseeable futire :( 

as for the needing the card to push the air out of the case with larger better ventilated cases most enthusiats like its a nice adition like the saphire toxic editions. but a decentcase will usually have edequit ventilation to pull air from the case at the bottom where the graphics card is
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 6:14:19 PM

I think ATI's naming decision of the 6850/6870 is due to the fact that they plan to keep the 5770 on the market for quite some time, so I wouldn't hold my breath for something new in that range.

People just don't build high end rigs with 300 watt power supplies so there's not alot of demand for powerful gaming cards that can operate with that little power. I'm not sure what you mean about prices being stagnant, the 5770s have dropped 50% in some cases in the last 6 months, even the 450's have come down some and they've only been out a few months. If you want something more powerful you might have to give up on your micro ATX case and get a real power supply.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 6:19:20 PM

oh forgot to add that the gts 450 is no slouch.. i use the asus top gts 450 and it overclocks very well, plays WoW in ultra (sans shadows to low) in dx 11 mode on a 1080p tv at 60 fps

also i cam use the 450 to play mass effect 2 and borderlands at max res/ settings. same for bioshock . its nto a slow card, just slow compared to its competition, at any res over 1080p its pretty useless and even in some titles you'd have to turn a few settings down, but you're still looking at mid-high lvl setting on anythign out currently at reasonable resolutions
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 8:12:23 PM

i have to agree a little. 5770 has dropped a couple dollars but not much. The gts450 can be had for a little less and performs similarly with AA on and better in lower resolutions, but slower than the 5770 in 1080p in most titles. I think either are still a good buy as the next step up, gtx460, is still a decent amount more expensive. there is still a gap in the AMD/ATI lineup. Id like to see maybe a 6770...? even if it is a rebadged overclocked 5770, just to fill in the gap between 5770 and 6850.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 8:43:20 PM

Keep in mind, that 300W PSU may push 268W on the 12V rails, but there's more than just the video card pushing that 12v rail. Everything in your case that isn't your motherboard can tap into that 12v power source.

So, finding a better card than 'can' run on your 300W PSU means you'll be asking for everything your PSU can handle. Running it at it's max load (or close to) is going to cause premature wear n tear and potential failure in the shorter term. So just keep that in mind when you make the decision to put in a hungrier video card.

Is this the card you were looking @ for $160?
HIS IceQ ATI 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 20, 2010 8:48:11 PM

g00fysmiley said:
oh forgot to add that the gts 450 is no slouch.. i use the asus top gts 450 and it overclocks very well, plays WoW in ultra (sans shadows to low) in dx 11 mode on a 1080p tv at 60 fps

also i cam use the 450 to play mass effect 2 and borderlands at max res/ settings. same for bioshock . its nto a slow card, just slow compared to its competition, at any res over 1080p its pretty useless and even in some titles you'd have to turn a few settings down, but you're still looking at mid-high lvl setting on anythign out currently at reasonable resolutions


TO bad Wow isnt a real game.

GO buy Crysis, Metro 2033, Or BC2.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 9:37:01 PM

builderbobftw said:
TO bad Wow isnt a real game.

GO buy Crysis, Metro 2033, Or BC2.


or i could not be a dick to people with less money so they get lower performing parts cause they like to eat?

.. and wow is not a low performance game, it is not high performance but more mid grade well optimized for lower performance machines at low lvls but at ultra in high res it can bring some cards down, it took a good overclock to get my 450 to work at 1080p in ultra.. also i get to sli em come the 22nd when my second comes in which should add some performance

as for crysis why do people mention that piece of crap game. it isn't even a good game. its just a benchmark tool. played it on my ex roomate's pc with sli 9800gt's

metro i wanna play but it is much better programed so it will play on lower performance machines you shouldn't have to have the latest technology to play a game at all its just a question of where you have to put the settings to run the game on an average system
December 20, 2010 10:12:29 PM

g00fysmiley said:
or i could not be a dick to people with less money so they get lower performing parts cause they like to eat?

.. and wow is not a low performance game, it is not high performance but more mid grade well optimized for lower performance machines at low lvls but at ultra in high res it can bring some cards down, it took a good overclock to get my 450 to work at 1080p in ultra.. also i get to sli em come the 22nd when my second comes in which should add some performance

as for crysis why do people mention that piece of crap game. it isn't even a good game. its just a benchmark tool. played it on my ex roomate's pc with sli 9800gt's

metro i wanna play but it is much better programed so it will play on lower performance machines you shouldn't have to have the latest technology to play a game at all its just a question of where you have to put the settings to run the game on an average system


1. DOnt give advice on High end games if you play crappy games from 2004 than can be maxed out on low end cards from 4 years ago.

2. Metro is 100 times more intensive than Crysis. I recently sold/parted my rig in preoration for Gtx 59xx and Ivy bridge, and I was running Crysis smooth as butter 19x12, 8 aa, 8 af, all settings un Ultra high.

I tried Metro on the same damn rig And It lags like hell at mid-high settings, no aa no af.

3. Crysis is a great game. Just becuase you fail at the online version, and dont know how to play, dont insult the game.

4. WOW is an Ultra low preformance game. MW2 is a very low preformace game. Crysis is a high preformace game. Metro is a ultra-high preformance game.

5. I honnestly statred loling when I heard that Metro is a well optimized game. The game runs like *** on a GTX 480 @ 19x12, It requires at the very least 2 570s at 19x12 to max it out with aa and af.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 10:57:51 PM

yea maxed out again you give your own definition right there

also the OP is talking about something a little more powerful that what is currently out there for a mini pc .. guess what that doesn't mean 570's 580'7 or 6970's that means more along the lines 460's and 6850's

now as for your assurance that you think crysis is a good game, that is great, i am glad you enjoy it, i like fps games and for your info do very well at counter strike which i'd say is probably much more skill involved there. than crysis and you can play it on a medium rig. to be honest i never even tried the multiplayer, with most fps games i want a good immersive story... which it lacked

and from the benchmarks it looks like metro will play fine on my little athlon II x4 w/ sli 450's just on medium settings with no aa/af possibly straight medium if i lower resolution.

as for WoW vs crysis or metro though lets let the market speak... oh yea WoW has made more money and sold more copies than either... where would smart money invest? in the mainstream, that's why even crysis and metro had to be able to run albeit at lower settings. on medium machines to move games.

i'm ok with medium settings, and really i don't know why you posted negative and insulting things other than to just be a jackass... which i suspect is the case, but please at least attempt to answer a poster's question instead of a blanket statement saying my gaming choices are bad, and yours is somehow superior... the op asks for discussion on single slot cards and you offer nothing relevant... which seems to be what a majority of your posts have been thus far
December 21, 2010 2:40:30 AM

jerreece said:
Keep in mind, that 300W PSU may push 268W on the 12V rails, but there's more than just the video card pushing that 12v rail. Everything in your case that isn't your motherboard can tap into that 12v power source.

So, finding a better card than 'can' run on your 300W PSU means you'll be asking for everything your PSU can handle. Running it at it's max load (or close to) is going to cause premature wear n tear and potential failure in the shorter term. So just keep that in mind when you make the decision to put in a hungrier video card.

Is this the card you were looking @ for $160?
HIS IceQ ATI 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


yes, that is the card. Currently I'm deciding what to get for Christmas, and it's between that 5770 and this 5750:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just not sure if the price difference is worth it.

As far as power requirements, I've looked deeply into it. Running a wolfdale e6700 @ 3.7 Ghz, so it shouldn't tax the power supply much. My current system with 4650 pulls 180w from the wall under max load. Factor in power supply efficiency and it's more like 150w.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 8:28:31 AM

Well it's going to be a very tight fit. If you run anything like Furmark/Kombustor expect a crash.
a c 173 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 1:58:56 PM

Check out the new WoW expansion Cataclysm. It takes some serious hardware to max out the ultra settings.

I'm not sure why more lower end cards are taking their time to appear. The GT430 was joke, so I'm not sure Nvidia has anything to offer us. There might be a 6 series card from AMD coming, but I don't usually follow the lower end stuff. I personally wouldn't worry about the blower fans. As I recall I read an article that showed the egg coolers to perform better then the blowers. Just make sure you have some good case flow.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 3:54:10 PM

What's with all the attitude injected into this thread all the sudden? First of all, it's not needed. Second of all, it's Christmas week for goodness sake! Have some Christmas Cheer!

Based on the Power Supply Calculator
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Intel E6700 @ 3.7Ghz (assuming 1.45v)
2 sticks DDR2
1 Sata Hard Drive
1 DVD Drive
1 ATI 5770
1 120MM LED Fan
1 92MM Fan

Recommended PSU = 308W (Minimum 258W) {With 90% load}

With ATI 5750
Recommended PSU = 291W (Minimum 241W) {With 90% load}

Your 300W PSU is cutting it VERY close. And I calculated this WITHOUT capacitor aging. So with a brand new 300W PSU you'd be pushing it pretty hard. If it's a couple years old even, there will be some aging on the capacitors which means it won't handle the max 300W very well anymore.
a c 173 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 9:52:37 PM

In my opinion the best blower style cooler that I have seen in terms of air flow and reliability was the x1800-1900xt/xtx as you could jam any thing up against the card and not impact cooling performance. Now fast forward to the current gen cards you are going to have a hard time finding any thing that comes close let alone be affordable except for that 5770 that you found. I used to run a matx build my self in a vintage HP case that was like 6 or 7 years old. I guess that you either have to live with what you got or expand on your budget more or wait till a price drop.

5770 bis(best in slot) for power as it is only 84w at stock clocks peak load. You can try to get creative and make a shroud that would guide the heat out of the case.
a c 173 U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 9:56:44 PM

jerreece said:
What's with all the attitude injected into this thread all the sudden? First of all, it's not needed. Second of all, it's Christmas week for goodness sake! Have some Christmas Cheer!

Based on the Power Supply Calculator
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Intel E6700 @ 3.7Ghz (assuming 1.45v)
2 sticks DDR2
1 Sata Hard Drive
1 DVD Drive
1 ATI 5770
1 120MM LED Fan
1 92MM Fan

Recommended PSU = 308W (Minimum 258W) {With 90% load}

With ATI 5750
Recommended PSU = 291W (Minimum 241W) {With 90% load}

Your 300W PSU is cutting it VERY close. And I calculated this WITHOUT capacitor aging. So with a brand new 300W PSU you'd be pushing it pretty hard. If it's a couple years old even, there will be some aging on the capacitors which means it won't handle the max 300W very well anymore.


Only cheap low quality caps degrade that quickly (2-4 years after initial purchase) most caps will likely last up to a decade and longer depending on the electrolyte or polymer. Some electrolytics can last in excess for 60-70 years in quality builds. Still finding old TVs and radio equipment from the 1940s and the 1950s that are working and in great condition.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2010 10:00:47 PM

nforce4max said:
Only cheap low quality caps degrade that quickly (2-4 years after initial purchase) most caps will likely last up to a decade and longer depending on the electrolyte or polymer. Some electrolytics can last in excess for 60-70 years in quality builds. Still finding old TVs and radio equipment from the 1940s and the 1950s that are working and in great condition.


There's a reason those old TVs still work though. It's the same reason you see 60's and 70's model cars on the road still (even after accidents). Not everything is made like it used to be. And there are most certainly enough crappy power supplies on the market to think twice before you go for it.
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