I am looking for any and all advice on what you might think is the best graphics card i can get for under $180.
I just bought a new computer because i literally dont have the time to build one though I d love to try now after reading the articles on this site. I bought it today at costco, hard to beat the warranties and like I work so much that its hard to find the time.
It is a ZT Affinity PC
Processor & Memory:
Intel® Core™ i7-950 Processor (3.06GHz)
Intel® X58 / Intel® ICH10R Chipset
12GB DDR3 Memory
1TB 7200RPM SATA II Hard Drive
22x DVD±RW Drive
Front Panel 19-in-1 digital multimedia card reader
Graphics: It comes with a ATI Radeon™ HD 5450 Video Card w/ 1GB VRAM, which is i feel is crap. There was no option to take one without the card.
Expandability (total bays/slots):
2 x 5.25" external (1 occupied)
1 x 3.5" external (1 occupied)
4 x 3.5" internal (1 occupied)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe x4
1 x PCI
It has a 350 W powersupply which i am ok with changing. And might need to if I put in a new card.
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I use my computer for home business, some graphics related to advertising that i do, but nothing high end like Photoshop. I do love to play games and currently play LOTRO but would love to try more the newer games like call of duty, 1st person shooters and other MMO's.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Ive installed only 1 graphics card before. I have no preferences. I realize that AMD was designed to run ideally with radeons and Intel chips with Nvidia but I wouldnt know how to maximize that potential yet. I was considering a 5770 but ... im intersted in hearing other opinions.
I have never overclocked a card, but im open to doing so.
The interesting thing about the HD 5770 is that it's an OK card for your level of gaming, but you still have the option of adding a 2nd one later if needed since you can XFire. This requires a minimal initial investment and might not require more money later if you are happy with the performance of that single card.
If you want the best card within you budget, I would suggest the HD 6850 (pretty much 180$), will deliver very good performance up to 1920x1200 in most games.
I'd honestly suggest that you go with either the HD 6850 or an nVidia Geforce GTX 460. I have an HD 5770 right now, and although it's certainly a good little card, it's starting to fall behind here and there at 1920x1080.
The 6850 and GTX 460 are really right around the same performance level, so it's up to your brand preference as to which one you'd prefer. I don't know what your motherboard is capable of, either - if it's SLI-capable, then I'd definately go with the 460. If not, and it's Crossfire capable, then I'd get the 6850. If neither, then it's up to you.
Whoa, I just saw your PSU. Hmm... I'm not sure whether it could hold up one of those cards or not...
I'd say to pick up something like this just for good measure, but it would blast your budget out of the water. Well then... let me think here for a while... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You could probably get one for cheaper than that, but if you get one that isn't modular, don't tell me... I'll probably cry... I could never buy myself another non-modular PSU after getting the OCZ ModXStream. Actually, depending on your card, you'd almost be better off with the 500w model, since you need both of the PCIe Power Cables for a single one of those cards - it only has two. Since you can't really run multiple cards on it, 500w is plenty for any single-GPU setup.
I'm not really sure what to do right now... you'll definately want a more beefy PSU to be safe, if you're going to upgrade to a $160-or-so card...
The 5770 is most definitely not crap. I use mine at 1600x1200 with no problems whatsoever.
Also, games like COD and LOTRO are light as hell on GPU requirements. The 5770, 6850, and GTX 460 are easily more than enough to max them.
If I were you I'd get the 768MB GTX 460 for $129 here. Despite what some may say it's still a pretty good card. The 1GB is only 3-4 fps faster in most games, but also $50-$60 more expensive. that money would go better towards a good power supply like this Antec 500 watt.
If you won't be doing CF or SLI the 400 watt version would run any of those cards just fine.
I would go for the 5770/gtx460 for futureproofing.And either of the Antec PSU's sartorius listed will do fine.As long as your not using a monitor with an extreme resoultion the 5770 should max out any game you can play.