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System Refresh

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 2:23:30 AM

I realize this isn't solely about graphics; But it is the main point so I believe its acceptable in the forum.

I currently have:

AMD Phenom 955 BE (3.2Ghz)
Galaxy 9800 GT LPE (Usually OC'd to original 9800 GT speeds.)
Kingston 2GB DDR3-1333
Viewsonic 24" @ 1920x1080p
Asus M4A77TD PRO Motherboard
Silverstone Elements 500w PSU
1x 500GB WD Blue HDD
1x 2TB Seagate Barracuda 5.9k HDD
Asus DVDRAM ODD
Coolermaster CM 690 Case.
Windows 7 Ultimate(32bit)

I am looking at upgrading this month to 1x 4GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 RAM and acquiring a Logitech G35 Headset.

I don't really wanna muck around installing a 64bit OS hence why I'm happy with 4GB RAM.

now my problem is my graphics card. My limit is around $500 NZD and I need to be sure that it wont be limited by my CPU or anything else.

My original plan was to buy a 6950 and BIOS flash it to a 6970. I was informed that my CPU may limit it so I have a selection of graphics cards to chose from, they are:

ATI 6950, 6870, 6850, 5870, 5850, 5770. Nvidia GTX 460, 470.

I need to know which part would be best suited to my new system; the sites I'll be buying it off is playtech.co.nz or computerlounge.co.nz
(of course with a budget of $500)

I'd like to play all my games at 1920x1080 with as much AA as possible...

At the moment the ONLY game my 9800GT doesn't cover is GTA4 in WINDOWS 7; it works fine in windows XP.

However in the future I'll acquire MW2; MW:BO; BFBC2 and possibly hawx and Crysis?!?! not to mention any other new ones I wanna play...

So? - what do you recommend?!?

More about : system refresh

a c 217 U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 2:31:13 AM

There is no real reason that your 6950 would be bottlenecked by your CPU for the majority of the time. It's really the monitor that is the part that most effects the GPU you'd want.

You should be aware, that the bios flash isn't 100% effective, and on some, it has caused them to fail. It has worked for me, however. There is also shader unlock script that is nearly impossible to cause problems, which makes it safer.
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 2:43:42 AM

I know the 6950's gonna last longer... and is cooler... but I'm doing A+ MCTS x2, MCITP SA and CCNA this year.. possibly CCNP and MCITP ES so I'm not really ever gonna have alot of money for gaming...

If I go lower whats the recommendation?!?!
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 2:45:36 AM

Maybe a gtx 460 1GB (do not get the SE model)
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 3:47:00 AM

Maybe?!?!... this is a reasonably large investment so I want to be sure.

Apart from that. HERE's a link for some 460's... Which One(s) do you recommend?!?!

Ok: and apart from that. now im just looking between 6850/6870 or 460 Unless someone can convince me to grab a 6950 still?!?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 4:40:53 AM

Let's just say I have a 6950 and I really do enjoy it. I play at 1920x1200 and can max out most games. Metro 2033 is about the only game I play that I cannot max out settings. I enjoy being able to use SSAA in Dragon Age Origins and MLAA when playing Gothic 4 and Risen (haven't played either a lot since getting the card).

If you aren't going to game much, and wished to conserve money, the gtx 460 1GB is a great card. It can still handled 1080p mostly at high settings, only a few games might require you to back off. It doesn't have MLAA or an official version of SSAA, but it does have physX if you have games that support GPU accelerated PhysX.

The 6870 is bit faster out of the box, but the 460 can overclock a lot easier and may end up close to the same performance if you do. Between the 6850 and 460, go with what you can get a better deal with, and lean towards the 460. The 460 seems to be a well liked card, so I don't think you can go wrong with it however.

Here are a few benchmarks: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 6:07:28 AM

Sweet. I haven't been doing as much research since just after the 68xx series came out and although I know that theres the 5xx series I also know; along with better performance they also have a higher price tag as is common of nVidia.

Ok well.... I'll have to have a little think. I really wanna get the best of the best 6950(bios flashed to 6970) but im trying to be impartial in my selection so I don't go overboard on costings.

Which is the best OEM 6950 at the moment; I'm edging towards (in order) ASUS, GIGABYTE, HIS, SAPPHIRE, XFX

if you could help out with the selection from the site above(playtech) I'd be greatly obliged.

Also any industry news on factory OC models?!?
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 3:23:11 PM

Generally speaking, going with a non overclocked card is better, as it's easy to overclock to those settings on your own. Currently, with the 6900 cards, only the ASUS has tools to allow you to increase voltage if you are into that. Otherwise, all are reference cards and I'd go with what ever is cheaper.

Also, as a word of warning, there have been a few people who have flashed the 6950 bios to the 6970 bios that have damaged their cards. If you wish to be a bit more cautious, there is a script that will alter the 6950 bios to unlock the disabled shaders. This script is a lot safer than the bios flash. Once unlocked, the only difference between the 6950 and 70 is the clock speeds and voltage settings. You can then OC the GPU clock safer, with out the fear of frying your memory (the part that has failed for a few).
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 6:23:06 PM

True; although my suppliers arent stupid it's usually quite easy to RMA faulty products to them that werent there fault lol (like lasttime i changed the voltage to 130v on a 230vac psu lol) --learnt what that did fast :p 

Ok well if i get the 5950 I'll go for asus. It's still better than the 6870 I'd assume?!?!
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 6:23:42 PM

Best answer selected by decode.
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