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Upgrade from GTS 250

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July 26, 2011 9:08:17 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in the next week BUDGET RANGE: $200

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Nvidia BFG GTS 250 1GB (OC), Antec BP550 Plus 550W

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: i5-2500K, MSI P67A-G45 (B3) LGA 1155

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: Doesn't really matter. I've always had an Nvidia though.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440 x 900 (will be x2 when I find a spot for other monitor)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: lifetime warranty would be nice. I like to play the most current games.
My GTS 250 has be performing amazingly well. Just wanting to know if there's something better.

I've been looking at the GTX 460 SuperClocked
It's specs aren't really higher than my gts250, if at all.
And this one seems like a beast, awesome price as well: PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6850

Thanks.

More about : upgrade gts 250

July 26, 2011 9:37:29 PM

the gtx 460 1gb will torch a gts 250. if you're looking at the radeon 6 series why not just get a 6870? either of the 2 cards mentioned would be an appropriate upgrade for your budget and system specs listed.
July 26, 2011 9:40:47 PM

If you're satisfied with how your current card is performing then is there really a need to upgrade? :p 

But if you still want to upgrade, I'd recommend looking at getting a GTX 560 (Ti or not) or 6870 as a minimum, anything below and there would be even less point as the difference would be more or less (a 460 of 6850 would be more along the lines of less, but still) negligible for the money you're spending ;) 
Related resources
July 26, 2011 9:49:08 PM

Which 6870 would be better?
SAPPHIRE
or
XFX

or is there a better model?

Looking at a few on TigerDirect, and they've got some pretty good sales going on.
I've just never bought anything from them.
And with newegg I get free 2-day shipping.
July 26, 2011 9:56:43 PM

XFX if ur looking at a lifetime warrenty
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 10:00:27 PM

This is the best card for under $200 if you are ok with rebates;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That said even a GTX 460 and HD6850(they are basically equal in performance) would be overkill for your resolution pretty much. I would only consider faster/pricier cards if you plan on upgrading your monitor. If not then then either of these would be a good choice;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The HD6850 comes with two games while the GTX 460 is slightly cheaper, has better cooling and can overclock a very large amount.
July 26, 2011 10:01:31 PM

Personally I'm a fanboy of Sapphire, they give you lots of stuff. XFX though is also a quality product.

Both Newegg and TigerDirect are the two places I instantly go to when I'm curious about something. Then amazon, etc. Imo you should sign up for their newsletters because there's usually graphics cards deals in every issue they send, almost daily. The other two sites you might be interested for buying parts from are ZipZoomFly or Provantage.

And as said before, it's either the GTX 460 1GB or HD 6870 for you. The 6870 is about $30 or more on average, but has better performance. Both are good cards, I know many who own the two.
July 26, 2011 10:04:09 PM

Between the 2 of those, the XFX one looks pretty good, including a MIR and a game (if it interests you at all, if nothing else you can give it to a friend) and as starravier has said XFX has some top notch warranty.

All the cards that jyjjy has linked are decent choices too, I guess it depends what you want and whether you have any preferences between ATI/AMD and NVIDIA.
July 26, 2011 10:10:05 PM

Wow, I'm loving all the responses and help. TH has yet to let me down. :) 

ATI/AMD seems to be better over all so far (price and performance).
Overkill isn't such a bad thing, just means I won't have to upgrade for awhile.
I'm definitely leaning towards the HD 6870 right now.

Oh, I guess it's worth mentioning, will all these cards fit in a Rosewill Challenger case (as well as my mobo)?
July 26, 2011 10:52:02 PM

I would certainly expect so :)  As with all technology it will age, so don't expect to be happy with its gaming performance in 4 years ;) 
a c 169 U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 10:55:16 PM

starravier said:
XFX if ur looking at a lifetime warrenty

Only their warranty isn't worth a poop. Have you ever tried claiming warranty through them? i found it impossible here in Australia.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 11:00:09 PM

The HD6870 is nearly twice as fast as the GTS 250.
July 26, 2011 11:08:39 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
Only their warranty isn't worth a poop. Have you ever tried claiming warranty through them? i found it impossible here in Australia.

Their warranty's still great over in America though :p 
July 26, 2011 11:08:44 PM

A few weeks ago I upgraded from a XFX GTS 250...

I was choosing between the GTX 460, GTX 560, GTX 560ti and HD 6870, I chose the 6870. It has great performance per dollar, and at the moment the 6850/6870 have the best performance per watt. This was also a major factor as I prefer low power consumption and I didn't want to upgrade my psu (ocz 500w).

I gotta say I think it was a good choice, but the drivers are lack-luster. If you use color correction use another program, the one in the driver is garbage.

the card looks freakin' sexy too....


hope this helps

:D 

also, here is some crysis gameplay footage a took last night, max settings at 1080p, no aa, ~45 fps on average...not too shabby.
July 27, 2011 4:55:34 AM

You've all helped a lot thus far. Thank you!

Okay so with some more reading it's come to my attention that if I get the XFX my chances of getting the $30 rebate are slim to none.
The Sapphire HD 6870 is seeming to be the best, and I've not read any complaints of people not getting their rebate.

My final decision has come down to, ASUS' GTX 460 and Sapphire's HD 6870.
I'm greatly interested in overclocking, and I've read that the HD 6850 is great for overclocking (so I guess that gpu is still in question).

The Sapphire HD 6870 is $160 with MIR, also comes with a game.
ASUS GTX 460 is $140 with MIR.

I want best bang for the buck, and I'd like to overclock (safely).
July 27, 2011 5:19:54 AM

BeeBahBoo said:
You've all helped a lot thus far. Thank you!

Okay so with some more reading it's come to my attention that if I get the XFX my chances of getting the $30 rebate are slim to none.
The Sapphire HD 6870 is seeming to be the best, and I've not read any complaints of people not getting their rebate.

My final decision has come down to, ASUS' GTX 460 and Sapphire's HD 6870.
I'm greatly interested in overclocking, and I've read that the HD 6850 is great for overclocking (so I guess that gpu is still in question).

The Sapphire HD 6870 is $160 with MIR, also comes with a game.
ASUS GTX 460 is $140 with MIR.

I want best bang for the buck, and I'd like to overclock (safely).


You should probably read this.
July 27, 2011 5:28:36 AM

asinausk said:
You should probably read this.


I actually read that after I posted my last response! :) 
The HD 6870 has suburb benchmarks from what I read/saw.
Unless I'm interpreting things incorrectly?

Here's something else I found that was useful: here.

They say, "The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 video card did awesome on overclocking and was able to reach a GPU core clock speed of 1045MHz and a memory clock speed of 1235MHz. This is a 155MHz increase on the GPU core clock and 185MHz on the GDDR5 memory!"

I'm assuming this is good?

The HD 6870 gets pretty hot when overclocked...
not really wanting to buy a cooler on top of the card (plus the new system I just dished money out for)...
unless there is a good quality one for fairly cheap (like $30?)

I'm already going to be overclocking my i5. Not wanting a meltdown on my hands.
July 27, 2011 5:37:33 AM

BeeBahBoo said:
I actually read that after I posted my last response! :) 
The HD 6870 has suburb benchmarks from what I read/saw.

Here's something else I found that was useful: here.

They say, "The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 video card did awesome on overclocking and was able to reach a GPU core clock speed of 1045MHz and a memory clock speed of 1235MHz. This is a 155MHz increase on the GPU core clock and 185MHz on the GDDR5 memory!"

I'm assuming this is good?


Yeah, that's a decent overclock.

If I was I planning to overclock my card I would have probably gone with something like this.

IMO it doesn't look as pretty as the standard coolers but the twin fans would definitely be optimal for overclocking.

EDIT:

Also, you may want to consider a Black Edition (which are intended to be overclocked), they come in both Standard and Twin-Fan designs.
July 27, 2011 5:42:43 AM

I was really attracted to the XFX until I discovered I probably wouldn't get the $30 rebate...
I actually think the XFX looks better. But I'd rather pay $180 for the Sapphire, get my MIR. And possibly get some sort of cooler if it's really needed. Judging by 88 degrees it probably would be?
July 27, 2011 5:48:39 AM

BeeBahBoo said:
I was really attracted to the XFX until I discovered I probably wouldn't get the $30 rebate...
I actually think the XFX looks better. But I'd rather pay $180 for the Sapphire, get my MIR. And possibly get some sort of cooler if it's really needed. Judging by 88 degrees it probably would be?


Sapphire only offers a 2 year warranty. XFX offers a double-lifetime, meaning if you sell the card you can transfer the warranty to them.

MIRs are hit or miss in general, IMO you'd have as much luck with XFX than with anyone else. I'm not trying to sell you on any particular manufacturer, it's just what I know.
July 27, 2011 6:03:09 AM

So now the prices come into play even more.
The HD 6870s are more costly by a tad.
The XFX is the most expensive at $190 (newegg anyways).

GPU always seems to be the hardest decision to make by far.

Let's also say I don't end up overclocking due to heat concerns...

Best solution

July 27, 2011 6:50:39 AM
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BeeBahBoo said:
So now the prices come into play even more.
The HD 6870s are more costly by a tad.
The XFX is the most expensive at $190 (newegg anyways).

GPU always seems to be the hardest decision to make by far.

Let's also say I don't end up overclocking due to heat concerns...


If I were in your position I would get this.

Yes, it's $10-$15 more than the Sapphires, but the lifetime warranty is worth that. It's pretty well agreed upon that between the two, XFX make the higher quality cards.

If you got the twin-fan design you'd be in good shape whether or not you decide to overclock. I prefer external exhaust and I don't plan on overclocking so I got this.
July 27, 2011 6:53:14 AM

dalauder said:
Either get a 6870 for $160 or so or spend $200 for the GTX 560Ti. I'd actually spend $205 to get the one with the lifetime warranty: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That GTX 560Ti costs $275 :( 

In a percent if possible, how much better is the GTX 560 (Ti or not) than the HD 6870?
July 27, 2011 6:58:50 AM

asinausk said:
If I were in your position I would get this.

Yes, it's $10-$15 more than the Sapphires, but the lifetime warranty is worth that. It's pretty well agreed upon that between the two, XFX make the higher quality cards.

If you got the twin-fan design you'd be in good shape whether or not you decide to overclock. I prefer external exhaust and I don't plan on overclocking so I got this.


Thanks!
I'm gonna go with the XFX HD 6870.


Thanks to everyone else as well, you've all been a great help!
July 27, 2011 6:59:07 AM

Best answer selected by beebahboo.
July 27, 2011 7:10:17 AM

the hd 6870 is alittle bit higher than the gtx 560 while the gtx 560 TI is a bit higher than the hd 6870 but i don't think that the gtx 560 ti is worth the extra cash its more than 100 $
a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 7:13:46 AM

I'm not sure how you get $275. If you click the link I posted, it's $235 with a $30 rebate. The GTX 560 is close to even with the 6870. The GTX 560Ti is a ways in front, maybe 16%: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=330
It depends on the title
July 27, 2011 7:25:15 AM

dalauder said:
I'm not sure how you get $275. If you click the link I posted, it's $235 with a $30 rebate. The GTX 560 is close to even with the 6870. The GTX 560Ti is a ways in front, maybe 16%: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=330
It depends on the title


There was a problem when it was adding it to the cart, no ones fault.
$235 before MIR, yes.

I'm not sure if my new 550W antec could handle the GTX 560Ti. For $205 it's kind of tempting now.
A lot of the benchmarks are a bit higher than the HD 6870.
Is this performance worth another $15 on top of the other $15 I've already decided to spend on the HD 6870?
And really is it worth $45 more? There's no guarantee I'll get the MIR.
July 27, 2011 7:47:50 AM

if U R gotta pay an extra 45 $ to buy the gtx 560ti then go with it i think its worth the extra cash in gaming there is at least 15 % difference between it and the hd 6870 and ur PSu could handle it with no problem
a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 7:53:13 AM

The 550W could handle a GTX 580. It can't SLi either though.

What's worth the money? I have no idea...but I try to match my graphics to my CPU. So you'll feel silly aiming much lower with an i5-2500K.
July 27, 2011 7:57:48 AM

Okay. Yeah, I guess you have a point.

Here's one last thing I found.
There was a promo code for newegg floating around (XFX726)
that takes an addition $15 off this card
add the MIR to that and now I can get a HD 6870 for $145!
July 27, 2011 11:26:43 AM

Hope you enjoy your new card :) 
July 27, 2011 1:16:13 PM

nice! I think you'll be pleased with your new card, enjoy!

:D 
a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 11:10:21 PM

6870 for $145! Nice! You'll be happy.
!