Homest performance vs value assessment!

OK folks,

I need an honest assessment of my GPU needs. I don't want GTX people suggesting stuff outside my price range or needs. I'll tell you what specs I've got and what I'm looking to spend, what I've found and hopefully I can get some really good critical responses, not just "get a GTX560/ATI 6990 because its fastest"

So my specs-
600W PSU (Yes a good brand)
3.4Ghz AMD Phenom II BE 965
20" ACER H203H monitor supports 1600x900 max resolution

Need- a mid/high range graphics card-
Want to spend ~$100 (but I could a little higher if I get a great argument)

What I've found-
HIS5770 1gb- $84
xfx5830 1gb- $90
Sapphire 5830 1gb- $100
xfx6850 1gb- $130
EVGA GTX550 ti 1gb- $115
ASUS GTX460 768mb- $115
EVGA GTX460SE 1gb- $115
EVGA GTX460 1gb- $125
EVGA GTS450 1gb- $80

So??? Considering my needs, can I reach max setting with something on the cheap end here? I'm guessing that I would be pretty pleased with the HIS5770 @$84. I can afford the GTX460 @ $125, but am I really going to see $40 more value/performance given my computer/monitor constrictions?

I'm not a heavy gamer at all, though I like to play LOTRO and World of Tanks. I'd like to try out Shogun 2, or some of the other newer titles out there that I hear about- Crysis2, etc. I don't need uber setting, but I also want to enjoy my gaming experience at good FPS levels and such.

If I am going for the HIS5770, I have to do that one today though. This is a weekend deal at newegg. By the way, if you are wondering about these prices I'm showing I'm showing all applicable rebates, discounts (new customer discounts as well) and including shipping costs on ones that are not free shipping.

I hope I get some quick responses! I'm not against getting the GTX460 or 6850, but I don't want to be throwing money out of the proverbial window by buying too much graphics cards than what my system really needs!
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  1. Best answer
    At that resolution, a 5770 is a very powerful card which will give you great gaming performance. some of the more demanding games may require you to sacrifice either frame rates or turn the graphical settings down a notch or so, but you will still have a very capable gaming rig. If you want to play even the most demanding of games at the highest possible settings you might look into something more powerful.
  2. 1600x900 is not a very common resolution for benchmarks; at least from what I've seen. The closest resolution would be 1280x1024 which has about 9% less pixels than 1600x900.

    You can check out the following review which has most of the video cards you have listed as part of the review. The exception is the GTX 550.

    Basically, the two cards contending to have the best overall performance at 1280x1024 resolution are the HD 5830 and GTX 460. They trade places from time to time and while the GTX 460 is probably overall better, you'll need to decide if it is $35 better.

    Note that if you were to run these games on your PC, you will get lower frame rates with whatever card that is represented in the review for the following reasons:

    1. 1280x1024 has 9% fewer pixels, so that's less stress on the GPU.
    2. The CPU used in the test rig is an Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8 GHz.

    My recommendation is to get the HD 5830.
  3. I would recommend the 5770. Its a great card and for the price its probably the best you can get. You wont be able to max out the newer games but as long as you are ok with running medium settings or at a lower resolution in the next gen games then that would probably be the best. Good luck!
  4. Based on the prices listed by the OP, the HD 5830 is only $6 more than the HD 5770.
  5. i would just look out for a good deal on the gtx460 1gb or the 6850 and forget all the other cards. I believe the price difference would be worth it, and it will last you longer till your next upgrade.
  6. You definitely don't need the full 1gb memory, so my vote would be for the GTX 460 768mb.
  7. 460(1gb)....if you get a bigger monitor later, the card is still useable.....
  8. Best answer selected by christoj.
  9. I ended up getting the 5770. Before I even received it I experienced some buyers remorse and immediately thought about selling it to friends or on ebay or something. If I had the money I would have bought the GTX460.

    Now that I've actually kept it and installed it... I am absolutely thrilled with it! I've run a number of the more current demo games and my system has performed perfectly. Maybe the other cards could have given me even higher FPS and such, but I'm very unlikely to be getting a better monitor any time soon and considering my max resolution available to me I think I will be hard pressed to go to the limits of this awesome GPU.

    Adding on to my happy thoughts about my purchase now- I just read the tom's hardware review on actual power consumption of GPU's. Although my card didn't even make it on to the list, I was shocked and appalled at how much power some of these higher end cards can eat up. That kind of wattage being eaten up by a GPU can definitely be noticed even on a monthly electricity bill! YIKES!

    I am very happy with my choice. For my needs it definitely serves my purposes well. As a bonus, not only did I not spend very much on it compared to some other choices, apparently it will continue to save me money on my electric bill vs the others I might have chosen as well! Winning!!!
  10. Quote:
    "Just how big of a difference does 100 watts make, financially? Well, that’s about 0.1 kWh per hour, which is less than 1 cent per hour (depending on where you live and the rates your power company charge you). For most desktop users with a single PC, the savings are negligible at best.",2950-12.html
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