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Advice on upgrade from Radeon HD 3850 to play StarCraft II

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 1, 2011 1:27:38 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within a week or two BUDGET RANGE: up to $150 After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Would like to be able to play StarCraft II at full settings, use the computer for web/graphic design (Adobe Design Premium CS4 Suite) and occasionally basic video editing

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon HD 3850 512 MB DDR3 and X-Power 585 PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Intel i3 530 @ 2.90 GHz, Gigabyte P55A-UD3, 4 GB DDR3, RAID 0 with OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB x 2, Antec 900 Case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, frys.com (lucky enough to live very close to Fry's for in-store pickup) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: If there was a good video card that game with a free copy of StarCraft II that would be sweet, but haven't seen any on newegg in awhile

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (definitely willing to - haven't overclocked i3 yet but I'd be glad to try if it was recommended) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (haven't used either of these setups yet)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280 x 1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like to play StarCraft II at full quality and also in the future would like to switch to 3 monitor display

Here are some of the cards I've looked at:

MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus ATI Radeon CuCore HD5770
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0033KBT68/ref=asc_df_B0033KBT...

Sapphire Radeon HD 5670
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0033WSDNS/ref=asc_df_B0033WSD...

MSI Geforce 450GTS
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0044UHMOE/ref=asc_df_B0044UHM...

a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2011 1:43:19 AM

Radeon 6850 if you can find it for that much will be the most powerful for the price
February 1, 2011 1:47:37 AM

just updated the initial post with some of the cards I was looking at
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February 1, 2011 1:55:27 AM

thanks for the quick response. so you think maybe this would be my best purchase:

GIGABYTE GV-R685D5-1GD Radeon HD 6850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

its a little above my range at $165 after rebate but you are saying the extra $ will be worth it versus what I'd get in my range? i just haven't messed around w/ updating my video card in a few years as i haven't played any games so i don't know much about the current class of cards out there. thanks again for your help!
a c 214 U Graphics card
February 1, 2011 2:04:31 AM

If your trying to play SC2 with an eyefinity setup,it doesn't work as good as with a FPS, i've tryed it.In FPS you use the 2 outside monitors as your preeverle view(side view but not looking directly at it)you can take it all in and play.But with an RTF you actually have to look over at each monitor which is somewhat confusing.

If your main fouces is on maxing out SC2 then i would suggest going with an Nvidia card.They are the most favored card when it comes to Blizzard games and will give you more FPS than a ATI card would.Even tho the 6850 is more powerful than the 460,the game itself favors Nvidia cards so you will get better performance with a 460.I have a 6870 and a quad core CPU and i still can't max out SC2.

I would suggest a GTX460 for now and then SLI with another for later if you need it for your 3 monitor setup.Altough SC2 is very CPU intensive more than GPU so upgrading to a better prossesor might not be a bad idea either.

What is the make/model of your current PSU?Or are you going to buy one?
February 1, 2011 2:24:43 AM

My current PSU is the X-Power 585 which came with the Antec 900 case when I bought it.

Sorry for my ignorance, but what do you mean by RTF? And I'm assuming FPS is "Frames per Second" but I'm not sure what at means as you relate it to the tri-monitor set up.

purple stank said:
If your trying to play SC2 with an eyefinity setup,it doesn't work as good as with a FPS, i've tryed it.In FPS you use the 2 outside monitors as your preeverle view(side view but not looking directly at it)you can take it all in and play.But with an RTF you actually have to look over at each monitor which is somewhat confusing.


And as for 3 monitors, that is a definite, just a question of how soon.

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback, I guess I thought I'd be able to max StarCraft for under $150, but at this point I don't think its worth it to go crazy so I'll have to find a happy median between playback quality for the game and cost as well as the three monitor setup in the future.
a c 214 U Graphics card
February 1, 2011 3:09:42 AM

O,sorry i meant to say RTS, Real Time Strategy and FPS i meant First Person Shooter.
So your PSU is a 585watt Antec?
As for the monitors, are you going to use them for an eyefinity setup(combine all monitors into 1 image)or sepertly to manage differnt applications?
I just found an Open Box GTX460Cyclone for $150+$7 shipping.
I would really really reccomend getting it ASAP.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 1, 2011 6:41:09 PM

Thanks again for all of the help. I ended up picking up the Open Box GTX460Cyclone last night and I'm pretty psyched. Not sure how the three monitors will work just yet, but pretty psyched to see how StarCraft II looks with that card. Thanks again!
a c 214 U Graphics card
February 1, 2011 7:35:29 PM

Welcome.
a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2011 7:49:07 PM

I'm sorry, Invex But you cannot run 3 monitors with a Nvidia card YET.
February 1, 2011 7:56:50 PM

Didn't know that, thanks for pointing that out. I'm going to try it out as soon as it comes and see if I want to keep it or not. Now I'll have to factor in that in the future I won't be able to use 3 monitors with that card. Thanks again!
a c 214 U Graphics card
February 1, 2011 9:22:16 PM

You could always buy another one(should be cheap by then) but you would have to buy a new mobo too.
!