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Need advise on Graphic Card upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 23, 2011 10:58:38 AM

Hi all,

My PC is an I3 2.93 Ghz, with an intel 5 series /3400 series chipset and 4GB of RAM. OS is Win7 home edition.

I have a lousy graphic card. its the radeon 5450, and would like ot upgrade. I use the PC for work and gaming, but gaming is the motivation behind the upgrade.

I don't want to overkill and make the PC the bottleneck, so my question is what is the best Graphic Card for this PC?

Appreciate your advice
Cheer
R.
a c 169 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2011 11:11:20 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums
What is your power supply and what resolution do you play at ?
Related resources
February 23, 2011 11:29:49 AM

Do I need to get a stronger power supply, or would that just bottleneck the CPU and motehrboard?
a c 365 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2011 3:15:06 PM

I wouldn't go with anything better than the HD 5670 without upgrading the power supply.
a c 169 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2011 3:16:32 PM

Right^
The best GPU you can get with your current PSU would be 5670 which is a huge upgrade over your current card but don't expect to max out games on 1080p with it.
February 23, 2011 4:10:35 PM

If I upgraded the power supply, then what is the best power supply for this system (where I wouldn't be overkilling it), and then what graphic card would be the best one with this new power supply all else equal.

thanks again
Ron
a b U Graphics card
February 23, 2011 4:16:21 PM

ronstar111 said:
If I upgraded the power supply, then what is the best power supply for this system (where I wouldn't be overkilling it), and then what graphic card would be the best one with this new power supply all else equal.

thanks again
Ron


Depends on your budget.

If you've got a few hundred bucks, I'll be the first to tell you to grab a ~550W PSU and a 5700 or 5800 series GPU.

But first, how much are you willing to spend?
February 23, 2011 5:43:15 PM

I would say look at a cheap 550w or 585w from gigabyte and then you can look at any 200 or 400 series cards in the nvidia series Im not that familiar with ATI.
February 24, 2011 6:34:04 AM

Is there a point where my CPU becomes the bottle neck?

I suppose I can invest max 250 dollars on this, but would rather stay at around 150.

thanks again
February 24, 2011 6:35:46 AM

another question. regardng the graphic card. if later I wanted to add monitors could the graphic card you recommended cope with say a total of 2 or 3 monitors (even at a lower res would be fine, as the extra monitors would be for work)?
a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2011 6:43:21 AM

Most modern Radeon cards support Eyefinity (multi-display output) natively, so assuming you spend about $150... consider the Radeon 5770. Should run on your stock PSU, if you're feeling nervous, spend 45 bucks to upgrade to this decent 380W Antec PSU; but it shouldn't be necessary. However, that 380W PSU will be able to handle the more power-efficient Radeon cards (according to the PSU calculator, a 6870 in your system would only cause a 325W draw), so if you're thinking about keeping that computer for a while....

I'm the ATI/AMD guy, though, so I'm not sure how Nvidia products natively handle multi-display output...
February 24, 2011 7:41:50 AM

I live in Europe now ans it seems like the the 5670 costs about $88, 5770 costs $120, 5850 costs about $205, and the 6870 cost about $214.

From my understanding 6870 is faster than 5850 costs the same and requires a smaller power supply (strange, so i must be missing something).

the 5770 seems to be twice as powerful as the 5670 in terms of processing architucture, and doesnt cost twice as much so I guess the question is spending $120 on a 5670 or 260 on a 6870 + power supply.

seems like the 6870 is about twice as powerful as 5770. Would you say that I understand correctly and that bank for buck the options are equivallent? or is there something that the I really wont be able to do wit hthe 5770?

thanks
Ron

however,
February 24, 2011 7:47:33 AM

Hi again, just a quick note...

I must be missunderstanding something, cause i looked at the system reuirements from the 5770 and 6870 and the powersupplys metioned are 450W and 500W respectively. does that mean I wll haveto buy a bigger powersupply?
February 24, 2011 8:38:57 AM

I entered all the specs into the PSU calculator you sent me, and it seems from that, that I'll need 500W anywise. actially even when I set it with my current 5450 card the calculator shows that the PSU is too weak. The calculator figures I needa 386W PSU with the Radeon 5450 card
February 24, 2011 3:10:22 PM

Almost any card's today can handle more than one display.
February 25, 2011 9:56:30 AM

wannaturnuptheheat said:
Most modern Radeon cards support Eyefinity (multi-display output) natively, so assuming you spend about $150... consider the Radeon 5770. Should run on your stock PSU, if you're feeling nervous, spend 45 bucks to upgrade to this decent 380W Antec PSU; but it shouldn't be necessary. However, that 380W PSU will be able to handle the more power-efficient Radeon cards (according to the PSU calculator, a 6870 in your system would only cause a 325W draw), so if you're thinking about keeping that computer for a while....

I'm the ATI/AMD guy, though, so I'm not sure how Nvidia products natively handle multi-display output...





I'm a bit confused, based on the calculator the 6870 would draw about 114W more than the 5450 (210W vs 96W). doesnt that mean that I would have to buy a 410W PSU instead of the 300PSU in my system right now?
February 25, 2011 10:20:59 AM

wannaturnuptheheat said:
Most modern Radeon cards support Eyefinity (multi-display output) natively, so assuming you spend about $150... consider the Radeon 5770. Should run on your stock PSU, if you're feeling nervous, spend 45 bucks to upgrade to this decent 380W Antec PSU; but it shouldn't be necessary. However, that 380W PSU will be able to handle the more power-efficient Radeon cards (according to the PSU calculator, a 6870 in your system would only cause a 325W draw), so if you're thinking about keeping that computer for a while....

I'm the ATI/AMD guy, though, so I'm not sure how Nvidia products natively handle multi-display output...


Hi Again,

Are you referring to Saphire or XFX cards. what's teh difference btw?

thanks again
R
a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2011 1:22:04 PM

I'm not telling you to upgrade to a 6870 now; I'm saying, if you get a PSU that's a bit beefier now, you could upgrade to a card like the 6870 in the future because it's efficient enough.
February 25, 2011 1:40:58 PM

wannaturnuptheheat said:
I'm not telling you to upgrade to a 6870 now; I'm saying, if you get a PSU that's a bit beefier now, you could upgrade to a card like the 6870 in the future because it's efficient enough.


but assuming I wanted teh 6870 then according to the PSU calculator I need another 110W (since it seems t odraw that much more than the 5450). However the system requirements from this card on the AMD site say 500W. You metioned 325W or a 380W PSU. So I am just trying to understand which is it as I assume you had a reason to suggest a smaller PSU. If I can get away with spanding less on a PSU I don't mind, but I rather have the right PSU so that I can benefit from the card.

Can you explain which one I should get then please?

p.s. the 4850 also seems to require 450W in the system requirements. is this a better card than the 6870?
a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2011 2:14:03 PM

ronstar111 said:
but assuming I wanted teh 6870 then according to the PSU calculator I need another 110W (since it seems t odraw that much more than the 5450). However the system requirements from this card on the AMD site say 500W. You metioned 325W or a 380W PSU. So I am just trying to understand which is it as I assume you had a reason to suggest a smaller PSU. If I can get away with spanding less on a PSU I don't mind, but I rather have the right PSU so that I can benefit from the card.

Can you explain which one I should get then please?

p.s. the 4850 also seems to require 450W in the system requirements. is this a better card than the 6870?


AMD says 500W?

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

These charts are the full power consumption of a system containing the 6870. As you can see:

Quote:
Radeon HD 6870 1024MB 173 295


It doesn't pass 300W at max usage. Keep in mind that this is a system with a Core i7 overclocked significantly. To use their own words:

Quote:
On average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to higher CPU clock settings, cooling, additional cold cathode lights etc.


Ignore the legal talk on AMD's page.
February 25, 2011 2:42:44 PM

wannaturnuptheheat said:
AMD says 500W?

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

These charts are the full power consumption of a system containing the 6870. As you can see:

Quote:
Radeon HD 6870 1024MB 173 295


It doesn't pass 300W at max usage. Keep in mind that this is a system with a Core i7 overclocked significantly. To use their own words:

Quote:
On average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to higher CPU clock settings, cooling, additional cold cathode lights etc.


Ignore the legal talk on AMD's page.



OK, but unless i misunderstand then the measurement (141W)on top seems to be just the PSU ussage. on the bottom of the page they make the recomendation for the whole system, and suggest a 500W PSU. Am i missing something?
a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2011 2:49:46 PM

ronstar111 said:
OK, but unless i misunderstand then the measurement (141W)on top seems to be just the PSU ussage. on the bottom of the page they make the recomendation for the whole system, and suggest a 500W PSU. Am i missing something?


Look:



If you get a low-efficiency PSU, yes, you will need a 500W PSU. If you get one that's energy-saving certified (such as the 380W I showed you, it is Bronze-Certified), you will not need AMD's recommendation, or what Guru3d said; both are erring on the assumption that you are looking at typical consumer PSUs.
February 25, 2011 3:20:02 PM

ok cool. thanks a lot ofr your help :) 
March 22, 2011 8:31:12 PM

Hi again,

ok I bought the ATI radeon HD 6870 and a 430 Antec Green PSU (rather than a 380 since the price was almost the same). I installed both of them, and installed the drivers.

Problem is that not my entire display is being used now. there is about 1/2 an inch not used on all sides. Can you advise please

thanks
Ron
!