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Few questions about GPUs

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April 27, 2011 8:43:31 PM

So I need to get a GPU sometime sooner or later and have a few basic questions, I'm not an idiot although these will be idiot questions which I do admit lol.

Ok, I have a 780G mobo, so an integrated 3200 HD card. However; after reading a load of threads it's apparent that I shouldn't get a crossfire card and just get a standalone card. I want to get a card that will allow me to play Battlefield 3, so I can't/won't decide what I want now because prices will go down in 5 months or so and there isn't enough info on specs required.

1. I have the HD 3200 integrated, so do I have to get an ATi? I would prefer a nVidia as they are more compatible with Linux.
2. Is there much of a price difference between ATi and Nvidia counterparts? like AMD is usually cheaper than Intel counterparts.
3. I search for cards and see price differences between the same card which is manufactured by Sapphire, Zotac, ect.. does this really have much of a difference on performance?
4. Is there a card you lot can suggest to be able to run the most graphically demanding game currently around, with decent graphics enabled not full all out crazy just decent. (would help if it were a multiplayer online game) - I have a corsair 400w PSU + AMD 550 (I think it is good enough to run any decent GPU, I am just stating it so you know and can have your own opinions too)

Thanks for your help.

More about : questions gpus

a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 9:04:49 PM

1) no it does not limit you to ATI, just means ATI is the onboard video chipset. all boards with a pci-e slot can use both ATI or nvidia. however - depending on your chipset you are limited in the sense of whether or not you can run crossfire/SLI.

2) yes there is a huge difference, just like AMD and Intel - ATI is cheaper but Nvidia does give better performance (some will argue this). But just like AMD and Intel - the price difference doesn't always match the performance difference. Both companies make great graphics cards.

3) honestly, it's personal preference. Some people believe that some brands perform better than others. For example I think EVGA makes the best Nvidia cards and Sapphire makes the best ATI cards. in my personal opinion it goes as follows for the top 3 of each.

|| ATI ||
- Sapphire
- XFG
- Asus

|| Nvidia ||
- EVGA
- MSI
- Asus

4) Our opinions don't change the fact that that is a duo core processor and will bottle neck most graphics cards and will certainly not let you play high settings on demanding games. you need an x4 of some kind - preferably the newer x4 phenoms. also that psu is too low-power to game with the cards everyone here will suggest. especially if you want a configuration that will allow you to play the most demanding games. If you want to run the most demanding games you will need to upgrade your cpu, psu, and will want an SLI/Crossfire configuration.

You could look at the ATI 58xx and 68xx - or 69xx if you can afford it.

If you have any more questions just ask. Hope this all helps :) 
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 9:25:18 PM

So you have a Phenom II 550 ? Thats fine for running any card that will be at home on your 400 Watt PSU.
What resolution are you going to be running at ?

@ opexx, You might want to do some research before you post info like this.
Quote:
Our opinions don't change the fact that that is a duo core processor and will bottle neck most graphics cards and will certainly not let you play high settings on demanding games. you need an x4 of some kind - preferably the newer x4 phenoms.

If a games wants more than 2 cores then even a lower clocked Athalon X4 will out do a faster clocked X2 CPU
Try starting with this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i3-gaming,2588... You will see you dont need a whole lot of CPU to power powerful cards.


Mactronix :) 
Related resources
April 27, 2011 9:29:20 PM

opexx said:
1) no it does not limit you to ATI, just means ATI is the onboard video chipset. all boards with a pci-e slot can use both ATI or nvidia. however - depending on your chipset you are limited in the sense of whether or not you can run crossfire/SLI.

2) yes there is a huge difference, just like AMD and Intel - ATI is cheaper but Nvidia does give better performance (some will argue this). But just like AMD and Intel - the price difference doesn't always match the performance difference. Both companies make great graphics cards.

3) honestly, it's personal preference. Some people believe that some brands perform better than others. For example I think EVGA makes the best Nvidia cards and Sapphire makes the best ATI cards. in my personal opinion it goes as follows for the top 3 of each.

|| ATI ||
- Sapphire
- XFG
- Asus

|| Nvidia ||
- EVGA
- MSI
- Asus

4) Our opinions don't change the fact that that is a duo core processor and will bottle neck most graphics cards and will certainly not let you play high settings on demanding games. you need an x4 of some kind - preferably the newer x4 phenoms. also that psu is too low-power to game with the cards everyone here will suggest. especially if you want a configuration that will allow you to play the most demanding games. If you want to run the most demanding games you will need to upgrade your cpu, psu, and will want an SLI/Crossfire configuration.

You could look at the ATI 58xx and 68xx - or 69xx if you can afford it.

If you have any more questions just ask. Hope this all helps :) 


Thanks very helpful. I was hoping that wouldn't have been the case.. I know I didn't build for gaming but was hoping if I ever did want to go into gaming I would have an ok start :p  I got outdated fast. I doubt I will bother changing that many things, I was hoping for a cheapo card too lol :D  I may sell it and build a new one from scratch though, combine it with the cash I get from selling my PS3 too and might have enough for a decent build. I'll have a look around for it all closer to the time I guess, the prices and new tech will change quite a bit by then.


@mactronix

My TV limits me to 720p
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 9:35:57 PM

@mactronix - he said for the most demanding games. i wasn't aware metro2033 or crysis 2 was gonna play well on a duo core - my bad.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 9:43:28 PM

No worries i hope the link proved useful to you

Mactronix :) 
a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2011 9:53:35 PM

just for the record - that wasn't me being a smart-ass it was a sincere "oh my bad" i honestly didn't know hahaha
April 27, 2011 10:34:38 PM

Thanks, read through that link. Nice to know.

Think my res is set to 1300 x 768 but not certain.. on my laptop right now, but it is something around that setting, because I have a HD ready TV.

How are these cards, both similar but different lol..

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/265356
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/263858

First is a Sapphire 5830 (800mhz) and second is XFX 5830 (840mhz) both state 500w though, would my 400w corsair be able to cope?... if it can't would it cause damage?

There is a 5670 that requires 400w, is this ok to use?
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190138
April 28, 2011 7:42:18 AM

The 6xxx series of ATI's cards I know are designed with lower power consumption in mind.
The 5670 is fine. With your resolution though it being super low, start here
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...

And use slickdeals to find your card of choice. Your wallet will be still be fat.
April 28, 2011 9:58:06 AM

Had a look, the 5570 seems too low to cope with the demands I'd need eventually, and costs are close to the 5670 so doesn't make it worth it.
I think the 5670 seems ok for demands right now, but I was wondering if I decide to double it (to cope with Battlefield 3, when it comes out) would it provide enough power? also I would doubt a 400w would cope, but would it damage the system if I did try it out rather than upgrading that as well?

Just checked a PSU calc, says with just 1 5670 i need 217w (min), 267 (recommended), and the 5670 adds 50w by itself on this calc, so 267w / 317w with the second card.. my 400w should be fine then.. but seems weird lol
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 28, 2011 10:50:47 AM

An HD5670 would be pretty good for your resolution but it's not going to allow you to max out the most graphic intensive current and future games. Here's some numbers for BF:BC2 at a similar resolution:

If anything BF3 is going to take more graphical power and the HD5670 is averaging 30 fps which is playable but not particularly smooth.
That Sapphire HD5830 is a good deal for the money and should handle your resolution very well. If your PSU is the Corsair 400CX it has 360w on the +12v rail which is the important number. That HD5830 uses 110-120w under normal gaming conditions which leaves about 250w left for the rest of the system which should be fine.
Also, what motherboard do you have exactly? The Phenom II x2 550 is actually a x4 with 2 of the cores locked. Some of the motherboards with your 780G chipset allow for unlocking the extra cores on the processor in the BIOS. It isn't guaranteed to work but the odds are very good, over 80%.
April 28, 2011 11:43:49 AM

Ok thanks. I'm using a GA-MA780g-UD3H, I've read that some can do that but so far I've not had the need so left it at dual core, but if I can then I might when I start gaming.

I quickly made a list of my power consumption
Mobo = ???
2 HDD (green) = 12
DVD = 6w
4 Fans = 24w
550 = 80

So right now it's really low.

I was thinking of getting two 5670s but think the 5830 will cope. And I guess if I want to upgrade in the future I can get a card to go along that 5830 instead of having to get rid of 2 5670s.
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 28, 2011 9:51:26 PM

I doubt you would need anything better than an HD5830 until you upgrade the monitor.
Unfortunately your motherboard isn't one of the ones that can unlock cores.
April 29, 2011 11:43:55 AM

Nice to know, thanks. That's decided then. I won't upgrade the monitor, because it is my 32 inch TV :D  Until I get a house I won't have a 1080p... and that won't be for a few years lol.

Ah ok, not a worry though, the processor is good enough I think.

Going to get BFBC2 for PC, try it out on my HD3200, just to see how the gameplay is. Then sell my ps3 get the 5830 if I prefer it over PS3 gaming.

Not sure how to mark this as solved.. don't see a thread tool option.
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 29, 2011 12:09:00 PM

GL with BF:BC2 on the HD3200. It is well below the minimum requirement according to EA.
You started this thread as a "discussion" rather than a "question" so you can't pick a best answer.
a c 271 U Graphics card
April 29, 2011 12:10:52 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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