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Advice on selecting a GPU ($150-$200 range)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 18, 2011 8:09:50 AM

Hey guys

My 9800GT is finally getting old for me and I want to upgrade my GPU. My price range is $150 to $200
I was looking at the following cards:
- GTX 560
- HD 6870
- HD 5850


My current setup:
AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9GHZ
4GB RAM
500GB HDD
9800GT 512MB

What do you guys suggest?
a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 8:45:08 AM

Out of those the GTX560ti would be the fastest card. What PSU do you have(model and brand)?
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May 18, 2011 8:50:23 AM

ionut19 said:
Out of those the GTX560ti would be the fastest card. What PSU do you have(model and brand)?

Oh the GTX560 is the non ti version. I have a 550W antec psu
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 10:10:02 AM

What model? The 560 needs 24 amps(recommended).

Do you plan to use SLI or crossfire in the future? Does your motherboard support 2 video cards? What model and brand is your motherboard. If it supports SLI buy the nvidia, if it supports crossfire buy 6870 if you want to use 2 video cards.

I don't know the performance of the non TI version right now. Did not get the chance to search or read anything about it. Basically it's a stripped down version of the TI model, much like the GTX460 1Gb and 768mb. This version only has 336 cores, while the GTX560 Ti version has 384 cores.

I would invest a little more and buy the ti model since the difference in price is not that big. This is 230$ with mail in rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
System Requirements
500 Watt or greater power supply (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 30 Amps.)
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 10:18:53 AM

Resolution? Can your motherboard overclock?
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 12:17:35 PM

ionut19 said:

System Requirements
500 Watt or greater power supply (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 30 Amps.)

Remember, that is the recommended power for the complete system, not just the video card.
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 12:39:30 PM

can you send a link to the EXACT model of your 550W antec psu
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 4:57:37 PM

HD5850s are quite cheap today and that's why i recommend it, it's not much slower than 6870 and 560.
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May 18, 2011 6:02:27 PM

shrkbay said:
HD5850s are quite cheap today and that's why i recommend it, it's not much slower than 6870 and 560.

Yeah I'm reading they have the best price/performance ratio but is it worth spending the extra $50 for the GTX 560?
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 6:24:32 PM

at that resolution and with that cpu (not OCd)
i would go with the HD5850 or something similar
the $50 price difference wouldnt be worth it
for the performance gained (minimal difference in that setup)
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 6:25:19 PM

I have a Core2duo at 2.93 and I wouldnt get crazy with a card since
it would just be bottlenecked anyway
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May 18, 2011 6:36:10 PM

king smp said:
I have a Core2duo at 2.93 and I wouldnt get crazy with a card since
it would just be bottlenecked anyway

Thanks for your advice. So you are saying a GTX 560 would bottleneck my CPU?
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 6:55:15 PM

I am pretty sure that the GTX 560 would be BNd by the CPU
unless you overclock
remember most games run on two cores
very few use the 4 cores
so you are basically using a dual core 2.93 to play games
your chip is respectable but to take full advantage of a card
like a GTX 560 you would need a good OC
even some of the I5/I7s are bottlenecks for the higher end cards

I would consider a GTX460 1gb to a good match for your CPU
get one of the good 460 OC editions like asus or HIS make
asus has the great Direct CU cooling and HIS has the IceQ series
if you OC the GTX 460 (ocing gpu is EASY)
then at your res you would be able to play any game
at good settins
also save yourself some bucks for future build (bulldozer?)
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May 18, 2011 7:10:57 PM

Ah I did not know that games only use 2 cores. Thing is the GTX 460 1GB is $200 and the HD 5850 is $150, I'm guessing the 5850 is the best bet?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 9:53:22 PM

nitric0 said:
Ah I did not know that games only use 2 cores. Thing is the GTX 460 1GB is $200 and the HD 5850 is $150, I'm guessing the 5850 is the best bet?

At those prices the HD5850 is certainly the much better choice. Even for the same price the HD5850 is a better card IMO.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 12:03:47 AM

lisen to jyjjy
he is wise beyond years :) 
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May 19, 2011 3:28:25 AM

Thanks for your help guys. I think I will get the HD 5850 :D !
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 3:28:03 PM

yea, 50$ more for 560 is a huge waste, OCing 5850 is as easy as 460 and many other cards
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May 19, 2011 3:54:49 PM

I actually had one last question. Would my cpu bottle neck the 560ti?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 4:20:36 PM

It depends on the specific game/settings/resolution.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 4:23:54 PM

No, it probably would not.
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May 19, 2011 4:34:29 PM

jyjjy said:
It depends on the specific game/settings/resolution.

I only play on 1680x1050 but lets say I try running Crysis maxed out with 4xAA, would I get everything out of the cpu/gpu?

and in what case would cause the bottleneck?
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!