Asus p5 w dh deluxe motherboard
Antec Neo HE500 (500Watts) PSU
Club 3d geforce 8800 gts (300 something gb ram)
4 GB g skill ddr 2 ram
Cooler master Mystique chassis
Windows 7 (32 bit)
Samsung Sync-Master 930bf monitor (1280*1024)
Let me start by describing my GPU woes. I bought the 8800 gts just before the launch of 8800gt which performed better at a lower price (in Denmark the price was lower, anyway). Off to a semi bad start. I then had to RMA it once due to a faulty card. Since then it has worked so so. It heats up to 80+ degrees Celsius when I play games (call of duty, wow, CIV 5), and I often experience graphical glitches and have never been able to play with the amount of details that reviews on the internet suggested.
Anyway… Im looking to upgrade now and a very important factor in that regard is the ability to run sound directly from the new card via HDMI to my Panasonic 42 inch flatscreen without connecting it to the onboard soundcard. Something I have been unable to get to work with my current GPU. I would also like to be able to play the games I play in as good quality as possible. I will be upgrading my monitor along the road somewhere, but not to something insane (22 inch maybe).
So with my current setup what would be a suitable GPU? I have only considered radeon cards as
I know that they carry sound via their HDMI, im not sure where Nvidia stands on that issue (SPDIF cables still needed?).
I’m seriously considering asus or Sapphires 6850. Which corresponds with my budget.
Been reading up a bit and it seems the gtx 460 is on par with the 6850 both perfomance and price wise. Im still leaning towards the 6850 due to slightly lowerr power usage and more display output options.
Does anyone have any experience with the Asus direct CU? Apparently it runs pretty quiet and cool at the same time. Please comment, my buying finger is twitching
The EVGA FTW card jericho is talking about simply has a factory overclock. It's nothing to get excited about. Both the GTX 460 and the HD6850 can overclock a very large amount but you can and should do it yourself as overclocking a video card is really quite easy. Rather than a factory overclock you should be looking for the best cooling to get the best OC on your own which once again points you towards the DirectCU cards. For the GTX 460 specifically there is also the MSI Hawk which designed for rather extreme overclocking. It's more expensive than a regular GTX 460 but usually still cheaper than the FTW card and it is a better choice.
To help you read this, it's saying an overclocked GTX460 beats an overclocked 6850 pretty decisively, except for the highest resolution. They are also saying an overclocked GTX460 is in the range of an overclocked 6870 at lower resolution.
That chart is a bit misleading. It is based on reference voltage OCs for the AMD cards VS the reference FTW which already has a bumped up voltage to go with the steep factory OC. The final core speed they got on the HD6850 is 130mhz higher(+13.4%) than what is used on that chart while on the FTW they were only able to go up 45mhz(5.3%) higher. Furthermore the article is VERY heavy on DX11 games(6 of the 8 benchmarks) where Nvidia cards tend to do better and one of the 2 that isn't is a TWIMTBP game. Also the chart is based on average frame rates and looking at the numbers they provide the HD6850 tends to fair better comparatively when using minimum frame rates which are more important IMO.
All of that said I do suspect the GTX 460 gains slightly more from a high OC than the HD6850 but the difference is much smaller than what is presented on that chart.
At your resolution either card of those cards is overkill. I would recommend scaling back to a GTX 460 768mb at least. This one is a quite a deal; http://www.frys.com/product/6434002
It really isn't much weaker. At your resolution the HD6850 or GTX 460 1gb is only going to be 5-10% faster and most of that will likely come at frame rates that can't even typically be displayed on a regular monitor in most games.