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Best DX10 fast-memory card for ~$150?

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January 22, 2011 3:56:17 AM

Just got my old gaming rig running again, and looking to upgrade the current 7900gs to something a bit more capable. In catching up with the graphics card world, it appears that DX11 is now on the scene, and I'm not sure if I should be looking for a newer DX11 card, or be setting my sights a generation or two older, in search of more raw power. At the same time, I'm not a power user, and would like to keep my system as balanced and bottle-neck free as possible.

Rig is a Phenom x3 @ 2.1 ghz on a AM2+ mobo, 4gb DDR2 in Win7. 500 Watt psu. Current graphics is a 256-bit 7900gs with 256mb of gddr3.

I've been looking at the HD 5770, but I'm concerned about the slow memory bus. Additionally, I'm not really that concerned with DX11 anyways, as I probably won't be investing tons of money into this computer (I aim for $3-400 every couple years, always leaving me 2-3 generations behind on the GPU). This leaves me with thinking picking up a cheaper, more powerful DX10 card would produce the best results at the time, like a 4770 or similar.


Games I'd like to run are BFBC2, upcoming Witcher 2, Bioware rpgs, Shogun 2, GTA4... Don't need to max out Crysis, but I do want to be running at a resolution of *1050, which means more graphic memory.

So, based on the DX considerations, and the cpu bottleneck, what are my best options? I'm open to suggestions about the processor as well. Cheers.
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 4:18:19 AM

I would recommend a gts 450 gtx 460 or that 5770 they all run pretty well and should be ok with your setup.
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 4:19:06 AM

On a rig i have i run 1 gts 450 msi i get 40 fps solid at 1920x1080p 4xaa high settings
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 4:21:31 AM

I don't see why you don't go with a 5770.It is a really good card for the money.And they are going for as low as $130.If you remember the old 4850,the 5770 is the equivelnt to it.
What is the name/model of your current PSU?
I'm sure you will see some bottlenecking from your CPU.It's just to slow and kinda old to run some of the newer high end mid range cards.
I guess if you wanted to you could go for a 4850,they are cheaper but consume more power than a 5770.
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 4:23:36 AM

4850 is to out dated 4870 dogs at bad companey
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 4:49:11 AM

I would say the 4890 too but i can't find it anywhere.
But since your not a serious gamer i would say the 5770 is perfect.
Or a gtx4601g if you can find them for under $150
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January 22, 2011 5:07:58 AM

The 5770 is what I've been looking into the most, but my concern is the 128-bit memory bus, which (in my understanding) won't be able to run shooters smoothly at 1050 or 1080 resolutions. Hence my leaning towards an older 48xx card with a 256-bit bus.

Concerning the cpu, I do intend on upgrading to a ~3ghz quad-core this year, so I'm not set on the mid-range, but clearly the gpu is my current bottleneck.

@ Cia24: What game are you talking about, that you're getting 40fps? Bad Company is my primary goal here, and if a 5770 will do the trick, I'll go with it.

@ purple stank: The PSU is antec, not sure of the model. Only one 6-pin power connector.


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January 22, 2011 5:18:16 AM

8800gt is way to go,runs directx10 and directx9 games amazingly!!!
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 5:23:55 AM

I'm selling a Diamond 4890 for $100 plus shipping if you're interested. It's been used for less than a year.

(Sorry about advertising in your thread. I just thought that it might be relevant.)

Here's a review of the 5770 with benchmarks, so you can judge for yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 7:34:50 AM

Hmmm,i dunno about a 5770 giving you smooth play at max settings.I can barely get 55+FPS with my 6870(no aa).I think a 5770 could do medimum settings.
I really think the 6850 would be the way to go.Just stretch your budget about $30 more dollars and you got a card that will last you for a few years.I was going to say might as well get the GTX460 but since the 6850's prices are becoming so low why not get it instead.

Sapphire 6850 $175=$160 after MIR+Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I do encourage you to wait until laster this week when the GTX560 will be released.I'm sure you will see prices being slashed everywhere from the 58xx series to the new 68xx series cards.Not to metion the GTX460.


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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 2:35:43 PM

Dougx1317 said:
I'm selling a Diamond 4890 for $100 plus shipping if you're interested. It's been used for less than a year.

(Sorry about advertising in your thread. I just thought that it might be relevant.)

Here's a review of the 5770 with benchmarks, so you can judge for yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...


The 4890 is alot faster then the 5770 and it overclocks like a beast
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 2:49:21 PM

As of this moment, there are no good graphics deals. Get on Newegg.com's mailing list and check slickdeals.net. Look for a 5850, GTX 470, or GTX 560 in your price range in the next couple weeks.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 3:17:49 PM

I still believe anything over a 5770 will be seriously bottlenecked by your CPU.
That means 4890,GTX460 i wouldn't reccomend unless you O.C. your prossesor.
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 3:20:22 PM

purple stank said:
I still believe anything over a 5770 will be seriously bottlenecked by your CPU.
That means 4890,GTX460 i wouldn't reccomend unless you O.C. your prossesor.


+1 hes right on this, i would recommend a cpu and gpu upgrade together.
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a b U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 8:24:53 PM

Oh, my bad. I thought it said Phenom II x3. I should've legitimately read the OP. Time for a new build then? You can keep the optical, case and, if it's good, the PSU.
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January 24, 2011 6:02:39 AM

4850<5770=4870
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January 25, 2011 12:42:13 AM

So here's what I'm going to go with in the next week, unless I find a better deal:

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


It's an MSI 5770, for $100 shipped (with a rebate). It's only got one DVI port, which I'm a bit shady about, as I'm a fan of dual-monitors. But adapters aren't outrageously priced, so should be good...


That's for now, I'm looking at an Athlon II X4 645 sometime within the next few months, and if I feel the need for more muscle, a motherboard upgrade and another 5770 in CF.


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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 1:21:40 AM

jliverance1 said:
So here's what I'm going to go with in the next week, unless I find a better deal:

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


It's an MSI 5770, for $100 shipped (with a rebate). It's only got one DVI port, which I'm a bit shady about, as I'm a fan of dual-monitors. But adapters aren't outrageously priced, so should be good...


That's for now, I'm looking at an Athlon II X4 645 sometime within the next few months, and if I feel the need for more muscle, a motherboard upgrade and another 5770 in CF.


http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1035200287

word to the wise the better bussines burueo has many report of msi not refunind rebate. there is alot of talk about this on the web also i never got mine.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 2:56:05 AM

Spending the extra $30-$50 for another card is well worth it.Almost doubles the performance compared to a 5770.Either a gtx460 or a 5830 is well worth the extra money.But truthfly i really think you should spend your money on upgrading your PC first.But then again with AMD's new Bulldowzer series CPU's prices might drop for the athalons and phenom's.

5830
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 25, 2011 5:13:55 AM

purple stank said:
Hmmm,i dunno about a 5770 giving you smooth play at max settings.I can barely get 55+FPS with my 6870(no aa).I think a 5770 could do medimum settings.


I have the XFX Radeon HD5770 in my rig with a quadcore 3.0 and 8GB ram, and I run all my games on max settings at 1050 (wont go 1080 without a black border on your moniter, even with HDMI cables and a 1080 moniter). I can get 60 FPS on max setting WHILE recording 1050 definition with fraps. Outside of recording, I usually get 70-80 FPS. All my games run as smooth as can be, it preforms way better than I thought it would. Have to wonder if its just your rig?
It was 150$ from amazon when I bought it 4-5 months ago, I think its down to like 140$ now. Its definitely well worth the money, plus has a lifetime warranty if you buy it new and register it with XFX within 30 days. Plus it fit like a charm, I have a normal size box and had no issues getting it in there. Just make sure you have a 450w PSU and a 6pin connector. I went with the Corsair 750watt PSU, comes with the 6pin connector but the cord length is ridiculously long, unless you have a spare bay to tuck them in, might be a tight fit, lol. Heres a list of the games that I play on max settings, to give you an idea:

COD World at War
COD Modern Warfare 2
COD Black Ops
Battlefied Bad Company 2
Killing Floor
Mirrors Edge
NFS Shift
Street Fighter 4
Fallout 3
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2

None of these games have any lag whatsoever when I play them and always stay at max EVERYTHING. Im not sure about crysis, that might be pushing it, lol (you said that doesnt matter anyway though). Get this card, you cant go wrong bud.

XFX Radeon HD 5770
http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-5770-Graphics-HD577AZN...

Corsair 750watt
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMPSU-750TX-750-Watt-Cert...
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 25, 2011 4:36:48 PM

None of those are demanding except BFBC2...
My resoultion is 1600x900 what is yours?
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January 26, 2011 12:37:40 AM

jliverance1 said:
So here's what I'm going to go with in the next week, unless I find a better deal:

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


It's an MSI 5770, for $100 shipped (with a rebate). It's only got one DVI port, which I'm a bit shady about, as I'm a fan of dual-monitors. But adapters aren't outrageously priced, so should be good...


That's for now, I'm looking at an Athlon II X4 645 sometime within the next few months, and if I feel the need for more muscle, a motherboard upgrade and another 5770 in CF.


you coud do that, or you could upgrade to the Athlon II x4 645 first (recommended) then get a video card later. By then prices should have dropped on 5800 and 6800 series cards.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 1:02:14 AM

The 5770 is in your price range but the GTX460 or 5850 is your best bang for buck.Espically the 5850 sinces the prices are dropping because of the 68xx series.But i don't even think with a 5770 in an old phenom x3 @2.1ghz can do anything more than the 7900gs.Yes you will see a slight improvement but with your slow CPU you will be servely holding back any card you put into it.I would really advise you to spend this money on a new CPU now and get a graphics card later.
Also the prices are dropping already for the 68xx series card because of the realse of the GTX560 today.And i'm since the 68xx series cards price' are dropping the price of the 5770 will too.So it is probably best to wait anyway to see what the prices' will be like in a week or two.

EDIT:Just to be clear you do have a Phenom not a a Phenom ii right?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 1:08:36 AM

Here's a couple of nice prossesors you can still use with your mobo.But i'm not sure what your mobo is cpable of powering so you might need to read into that if you plan on upgrading.

AMD Phenom ii x4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom ii x4 B.E.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both are Socket AM2+,but like i said i don't know if your mobo can power them(Require 125watts).
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 1:45:16 AM

jliverance1 said:
The 5770 is what I've been looking into the most, but my concern is the 128-bit memory bus, which (in my understanding) won't be able to run shooters smoothly at 1050 or 1080 resolutions. Hence my leaning towards an older 48xx card with a 256-bit bus.

Your understanding is not correct. The HD5770 uses DDR5 memory which means a 128-bit bus is not a significant concern on a card of its caliber except perhaps when crossfired. The actual performance of the card is equal to or slightly better than the HD4870 at this point including the resolutions you mentioned. If the HD5770 struggles at high resolutions it will much more likely be because it lacks the graphical processing power rather than anything having to do with the memory. There's no reason to get an HD48xx card instead unless you find a great deal of some sort(perhaps the HD4890 doug mentioned?) and don't particularly care about power efficiency/DX10/eyefinity/etc.
That said the best card for $150 is the GTX 460 768mb which is significantly faster than the HD5770(about 25%) and overclocks a very large amount as well. This is quite a deal with the rebate, free games, factory OC and great cooling;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It will actually be of questionable benefit vs an HD5770 on your current CPU but once you upgrade it will be well worth the extra money.
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January 26, 2011 5:49:33 AM

I have a bfg gtx 285 for sale. I can sell it to you for $100, it was the second fastest direct 10 card. It is faster than the raedon 4890 and the 4870. Also If I were you I would almost save your money and purchase a new cpu and mobo. It's time for an upgrade
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 1:30:18 PM

residentdean said:
I have a bfg gtx 285 for sale. I can sell it to you for $100, it was the second fastest direct 10 card. It is faster than the raedon 4890 and the 4870. Also If I were you I would almost save your money and purchase a new cpu and mobo. It's time for an upgrade


285 for sale hummmm, pm me some pictures of the card.
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January 26, 2011 10:57:28 PM

Thanks for all the input everyone. Just as I was beginning to lean towards the gtx, a friend offered to sell me a pair of xfx 5770s in the near future as the new 6900s are dropping. Taking into account the money saved, I'll take the performance hit.

In the meantime, I'm looking at the yet-unreleased Phenom II X4 840 mentioned in this month's best gaming cpus, (really an Athlon without L3). Hopefully that becomes available on newegg within the next week so I can order one with my student loan money. It's not wildly overclockable, but it's 3.2ghz for $100.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 11:28:29 PM

Are you sure you mobo is compatible with the 840?
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January 27, 2011 1:30:24 AM

purple stank said:
Are you sure you mobo is compatible with the 840?




Yes, it's a AM2+, which fits AM3, at the cost of using DDR2 ram.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 28, 2011 3:21:48 PM

Not all AM2+ boards can use all AM3 processors. It is also possible your board can handle the new chip but needs a BIOS update to do so. Be sure to confirm your board can use whatever specific processor you decide on.
That said be aware of what you are getting with the 840. It may be called a Phenom II but the fact is before this chip the difference between an Athlon II and Phenom II was that the latter had L3 cache. The 840 lacks L3 cache. What does that mean? The 840 is actually an Athlon II with slightly higher clocks which can be achieved on the other Athlon IIs with a simple overclock. So don't think you are really getting a Phenom II in the traditional sense; this is just a marketing maneuver by AMD.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 28, 2011 7:04:13 PM

I would get the Phenom ii x 4 970.It is the only quad core AMD made that can unlock to a six core.
But with all this new techonoly coming out from both AMD and Intel.I think it is best to wait for the Bulldowzer to come out from AMD.A new line of proessors will really lower some prices for AMD's old generation and maybe for some of Intel'l Sandy Bridge.
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January 28, 2011 7:50:52 PM

True but even with Bulldowzer coming and AMD's new line of processors. It wouldn't hurt or set the OP back. The best case scenario for Bulldower and the AMD to come out is 5-6 months. Which the OP probably wouldn't upgrade for another 6 months waiting for the prices to drop. Feel free to current me if my logic is flawed.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 28, 2011 8:11:19 PM

I read somewhere that Bulldozer was coming out Q2 of this year.
Like 2 more months?
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January 28, 2011 9:07:59 PM

@ jyjjy: As I mentioned, I'm well aware of the fact that it's really just an Athlon II, reason I'm looking at it is that it's the highest clock speed on an Athlon (3.2ghz), for $20 less than the current fastest (at 3.1ghz.) As for the BIOS, I've checked and the manufacturer does have updates available.

Not gonna wait for Bulldozer, as Q2 could mean anywhere between March and June/July.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 6:38:19 AM

^+1
Get that 820. It actually does have L3 cache unlike the 840. It's OEM but you already have a fan/heatsink. Just order some thermal paste as that will need replacing for the new processor.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 6:39:34 AM

I think the dual core is actually faster than the 820
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 7:16:59 AM

If it unlocks then sure but it is a risk. I can't seem to find it now but I once saw a thread somewhere dedicated to the topic of the success rate of unlocking AMD chips and it was about 80% for the 550. I'd probably give up the 2mb of L3 to make sure I'm not in that other 20% myself.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 7:23:37 AM

It is only a 5770.Would benifit more from the 550.But the 840 might be more futureproof.I just think you might be able to get more out of the 5770 with the faster dual and more L3.
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February 8, 2011 1:50:49 PM

Best answer selected by jliverance1.
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