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Best budget card for Unreal Tournament 3

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January 4, 2011 9:02:15 AM

Hello,I want some advice for which card I should consider. I have an old rig with an Intel E6700 Conroe 2.67 Ghz, MSI P965Neo m/b, 4 Gb Ram,Win 7 and a decent PSU. I know I really should buy an new PC, but that`s not a financial option these days.
I`ve lived with a Radeon 4850 for a couple of years, this card is really sweating and doing it`s best on a 1920x1080 resolution with no eyecandy on UT3 (yes, there are still ppl playing it :o  )

Wonder if I should look for the new Radeon 6850, or maybe some NVidia card since UT3 uses physx-acceleration? Please give med some hints!

Regards, Jan
a c 125 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 9:30:39 AM

I'm very surprised your HD4850 doesn't cut it with UT3, I remember playing that game with medium settings on a ATI X1300 Pro.

If you plan on building a new rig in the not to distant future then I'd recommend getting a good card now that you can use in your new PC, A GTX460 1GB or a HD6850 1GB will play UT3 maxed out no problem at rediculous frame rates but may stuggle on the most demanding newer games like BFBC2, Metro 2033 and Crysis

Also with many of the newer games your CPU will hold back a newer card.
January 4, 2011 9:31:00 AM

how much your budget is?? here is some option for you to see at different price range....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

all these cards should handle most games at full hd resolution....
i hope that you don't go lower than any of this because that will make your upgrade unworthy.... depends on whether you relly need that physx.... if i were you i will make my purchase based on these points....

a hd 5850 if you can find one that is cheaper than hd 6870 and you not looking to play dx 11 titles with all eye candy....

a gtx 460 if you want to try some physx...

a hd 6850 if you can't really afford those 3....

a hd 6870 if you want the fast.... efficient combined together...

my vote definitely on the gtx 460 hawk and sapphire hd 6870....
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January 4, 2011 9:55:01 AM

Thanks for your time and all the useful information. It certainly has got me thinking. The better gtx460 cards approaches the new HD6870 in price, at least here in Norway, and it seems that the psyx factor means less regarding performance if I choose a new card like the 6870...

@ omgitzfatal: my old Asus 4850 works ok, but it gets too hot and the card doesn`seem to handle the stress very well, during fast performance in some fps heavy maps at the mentioned resolution...
a c 125 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 10:07:27 AM

How hot is too hot? if your graphics card is getting too hot then it'll throttle its core and memory clocks down in order to save itself from bursting into flames. If it is lowering its clocks then you'd get reduced performance. Or maybe its just running out of VRAM.
January 4, 2011 10:12:05 AM

4850 should be fine for that, Unreal Engine 3 is very CPU reliant even at high res, possibly look into a cheap cooler for your CPU and overclock it.

If heat has become a problem with the graphics card due to its age, simply pull the cooler off it, give it a dust and wack it back on with a nice thin layer of some new thermal grease (try MX-3 / MX-4 because you want non-conductive).

The same should be done for your CPU cooler also if its been a couple of years, as it may be your CPU overheating and throttling.


January 4, 2011 12:35:32 PM

Rustyy117 said:
How hot is too hot? if your graphics card is getting too hot then it'll throttle its core and memory clocks down in order to save itself from bursting into flames. If it is lowering its clocks then you'd get reduced performance. Or maybe its just running out of VRAM.


Well, by "too hot" I mean over 100 degrees centigrades. This has something to do with the general airflow in and around the cabinet, and I try to clean the cabinet and the gfx-card once in a while. Even then the temperatures rise to around 90 degrees. Don`t think not too much money`s been put on that stock card fan. CPU temperature on idle is around 50 degrees I think.


Nerdbox87 wrote:

Quote:
4850 should be fine for that, Unreal Engine 3 is very CPU reliant even at high res, possibly look into a cheap cooler for your CPU and overclock it.


Could buy a better CPU fan and do some overclocking, nice tip, thanks. Maybe during late spring I`ll make a priority of upgrading the pc, but would be fun to test some OC on my old system.
a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 12:48:30 PM

sorry to doubt you but what do you mean "decent psu" , just don't want you to get a nice graphics card only to find out you lack the power to push it
a c 125 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 1:07:50 PM

zardoz_67 said:
Well, by "too hot" I mean over 100 degrees centigrades. This has something to do with the general airflow in and around the cabinet, and I try to clean the cabinet and the gfx-card once in a while. Even then the temperatures rise to around 90 degrees. Don`t think not too much money`s been put on that stock card fan. CPU temperature on idle is around 50 degrees I think.


Nerdbox87 wrote:

Quote:
4850 should be fine for that, Unreal Engine 3 is very CPU reliant even at high res, possibly look into a cheap cooler for your CPU and overclock it.


Could buy a better CPU fan and do some overclocking, nice tip, thanks. Maybe during late spring I`ll make a priority of upgrading the pc, but would be fun to test some OC on my old system.


:ouch:  Wow!!! 100C is wayyy too hot, and your CPU idle at 50C is also concerning, You NEED a new case with decent airflow, or do some cable management and buy good case fans. :o 
a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 1:15:58 PM

Rustyy117 said:
:ouch:  Wow!!! 100C is wayyy too hot, and your CPU idle at 50C is also concerning, You NEED a new case with decent airflow, or do some cable management and buy good case fans. :o 


OR maybe he needs to reapply thermal paste on the GPU.
a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 7:05:24 PM

Before he invests in a new graphics card he will need to sort out his cooling issues, My E6750 idles at 32 C with an overclock to 3.52Ghz (2.63Ghz idle).
a c 171 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 7:52:59 PM

my e6600 idles at about 45 degrees at 3ghz, room temp is about 25 degrees mostly. under load doesnt go above 60 C with stock cooler and AS5. Id say, re-seat the CPU cooler with AS5 thermal compound and get a new GFX card for that 1900x1080 resolution. a 5850 can be had for fairly cheap these days, as others have said a nvidia card may be better for UT, like a gtx 460.
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 8:03:21 PM

I actually love playing UT3, particularly after upgrading to a card that does hardware PhysX. Do yourself a favor and get a GTX 460 1gb then play it "the way it was meant to be played" with PhysX enabled. Then watch as the Raptor explodes into little pieces that rain down after you blow it up it with the AVRIL. Or watch as body parts go flying everywhere when you blast someone from point blank with the flak cannon. Good stuff.
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 8:21:33 PM

Quote:
nvidia cards are best for UT...
and to play it with physX set-up is like - whoa.!

I actually thought your description captured it pretty well.
a c 171 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 12:23:38 AM

Will a gtx460 will play it will all eyecandy at 1080p with physx on at decent framerate???
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 2:47:58 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
Will a gtx460 will play it will all eyecandy at 1080p with physx on at decent framerate???

He might have to settle for about 150 fps, but I'm sure he won't mind:



a c 171 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 6:37:24 AM

where is the gtx460 in those charts? where does it say Physx=ON? where is the AA???
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 11:50:08 AM

^ averages 63 fps stock clocks... that seems very playable to me... now i doubt my gts 450 would be "playable" but the gtx 460 would almost certianly be
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 6:33:51 PM

The whole point is that UT3 runs at very high framerates with the latest hardware (even the GTS 450). On that link, with PhysX and 8x MSAA enabled, the GTX460 is getting max over 100 fps and averaging over 60 fps, which just happens to be the same as most screen refresh rates. The thing is, the map they tested on was one from the PhysX map pack, which goes way over the top with PhysX effects, much more than the standard PhysX used in the regular maps. By the way, UT3 does not officially support AA, so they forced it from the control panel. Those framerates, for UT3, represent a worst case scenario and are still plenty more than necessary.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 7:23:19 PM

17seconds said:
The whole point is that UT3 runs at very high framerates with the latest hardware (even the GTS 450). On that link, with PhysX and 8x MSAA enabled, the GTX460 is getting max over 100 fps and averaging over 60 fps, which just happens to be the same as most screen refresh rates. The thing is, the map they tested on was one from the PhysX map pack, which goes way over the top with PhysX effects, much more than the standard PhysX used in the regular maps. By the way, UT3 does not officially support AA, so they forced it from the control panel. Those framerates, for UT3, represent a worst case scenario and are still plenty more than necessary.


^ +1 great explanation...
January 6, 2011 11:55:04 AM

Hi, thanks again for all help and input. Seems that nVidia and PsyX is the way to go with UT3.

The GTX460 is mentioned by some as the card of choice. Since my last post I`ve given some thought about maybe streching my budget a bit, since I`m going to give my pc an upgrade during spring. In my country there`s about $100 difference between a GTX460 and a 470, so I think I can afford the latter. The main competitor from AMD/ATI in this price segment seems to be the 6870. Which one would you ppl choose, mainly for playing UT3 but of course other new games as well?

- And, yes, I will look into the cooling, apply new thermal paste and maybe get a new fan :) 

z.


a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 12:21:00 PM

zardoz_67 said:
Hi, thanks again for all help and input. Seems that nVidia and PsyX is the way to go with UT3.

The GTX460 is mentioned by some as the card of choice. Since my last post I`ve given some thought about maybe streching my budget a bit, since I`m going to give my pc an upgrade during spring. In my country there`s about $100 difference between a GTX460 and a 470, so I think I can afford the latter. The main competitor from AMD/ATI in this price segment seems to be the 6870. Which one would you ppl choose, mainly for playing UT3 but of course other new games as well?

- And, yes, I will look into the cooling, apply new thermal paste and maybe get a new fan :) 

z.


Only get the GTX470 if you have good (and i mean GOOD) cooling in your case, and have a quality 550-600W PSU. I'd get the GTX460 1GB, way more efficient, way more cooler and the diff in performance is not big.
January 6, 2011 3:40:43 PM

Thanks for your input, unknown_13. I have indeed had problems with my cooling, so I need to look into that. Maybe there is a GTX470on the market that comes with a quality fan?
Btw. my PSU is a Chieftec Turbo 750W, which has been a trustworthy component for nearly 2 years.

z.
a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 5:15:26 PM

Quote:
then add a GTS450 for dedicated physX....;)


Yeah... mean machine!!!! :) 
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 5:16:38 PM

Be sure to also check out the Gigabyte GTX470 Superoverclock that comes with a very quiet and effective fan.
January 6, 2011 6:51:33 PM

Hmm, Gigabyte GTX470 Superoverclock has got nice reviews, low noise and very good performance. But it has got about the same price as a VTX3D Radeon HD5870.
Is this Gigabyte card better still, or should I go for a 5870?
a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 7:22:21 PM

Quote:
nVidia for UT haven't you been paying any attention.?


^+1 and the HD 5000 series have much lower DX11 performance than GTX400/500 series and the new HD 6800 and 6900 series.

If i were buying ATI, i would take the HD 6870 over the HD 5870 any day.
January 6, 2011 8:36:51 PM

unknown_13 said:
^+1 and the HD 5000 series have much lower DX11 performance than GTX400/500 series and the new HD 6800 and 6900 series.

If i were buying ATI, i would take the HD 6870 over the HD 5870 any day.


OK thanks.
January 7, 2011 7:48:41 AM

I appreciate your to-the-point input, matto17secs, regarding competing cards. The SOC-card is indeed on top of my shortlist. But I think that if I buy this card I need to either buy a decent front fan to take care of the excess heat from the SOC, or a new cabinet. I need to explore the heat issue some more before I decide what to do.
An alternative would be to buy a GTX460, as unknown_13 pointed out earlier.
a b U Graphics card
January 7, 2011 1:00:23 PM

if you're willing to wait the gtx 560 is expected toward the end of the month and will likely be close to if not surpassing the 470 but more efficient
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 7, 2011 5:04:06 PM

This is a review that compared the EVGA GTX460 Superclock with External Exhaust fan vs. the stock fan that vents heat inside the case. The difference in case temperatures was 4c at load.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

The 470 SOC will heat up the case a little more than that with a custom cooler, but not much, and not to the point where it will have a significant overall impact if your case has decent airflow.

January 8, 2011 7:24:01 AM

Thanks for all the useful advice and info, folks! I`ll wait for the GTX 560 and first get an impression of that card vs. the GTX 470 SOC.

z.
January 10, 2011 8:41:09 PM

Couldn`t stand the wait any longer. Tonight I ordered myself a GTX 470 SOC...
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 10, 2011 8:55:09 PM

zardoz_67 said:
Couldn`t stand the wait any longer. Tonight I ordered myself a GTX 470 SOC...

That is probably the quietest card of all the ones mentioned.
a c 595 U Graphics card
January 10, 2011 10:34:53 PM

Quote:
matto..!
sup in Cali bro.?

Nothing but good things on the green front. (Nvidia, maybe ;)  )

What motherboard did you have again? I have my old MSI P55 GD65 that I RMA'ed, but the one they sent me was DOA. I'm trying to figure out what to do with it since I bought a new one anyway.
!