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Upgrading GPU, 100$ Budget!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 1, 2011 2:53:37 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week

USAGE : Gaming, 1080P Movies, rendering 3D iPhone games

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: PNY 9500GT 512MB DDR2, Ultra ATX switching power supply (600W)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core i5 2500K, Asus P8P67-M Pro SLI & Crossfire X ready (3 PCIe Slots) 8GB DDR3 1333MHz

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, frys.com, microcenter.com, directron.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Whatever the best thing currently is, haven't upgraded in 3 years (For 75 to 110 bucks after rebate or whatever the deal is)

OVERCLOCKING:p robably

SLI OR CROSSFIRE:No, doesn't work on OSx

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:Would love to have a cool running, VERY QUIET fan, NO Passive cooling.

The current temps for CPU and GPU with only stock fan are
CPU: ~98 to 100 degrees idle with system uptime of 4 days
GPU: 107 degrees solid, don't know what it is under load.

I am dual booting Windows 7 and Lion, but all graphics cards should work. EXCEPT ZOTAC!

A card I have been looking at is the XFX HD-667X-ZAF3 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
on newegg : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is this a good card?

I just don't know how loud it is, or how the 6770 preforms.

I have a Mid tower, can fit any size of card.

Thanks for reading this far. :) 
a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 3:08:53 AM

550 ti $107 after MIR and shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6770 $100 after MIR [5770 rebadged]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5770 $103 after MIR and shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

460 $120 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would spend the extra $20 and go for the 460. Yes there are 5xx series but the 460 is still a force to be reckon especially when it's priced near the 5770/6770/550 ti. Just buy the 460 and don't look back. You won't regret it.

Tom's best GPU for your money: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,....
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August 1, 2011 3:28:50 AM

Hmm, I heard the 460 runs hot, but i'm not really the expert. The 550 is a Zotac, which dosen't play nice with OSx, and the 6770 is reviewed as loud.

On the other side, the 5770 Seems good! Quiet, and powerful. I might search around a bit, but this seems like a good card. Thanks!
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 4:00:39 AM

It's the 470 and 480 that run hot.

The GTX 460 1GB is pretty much a perfect graphics card. The others are powerful, but have flaws (or the GTS 450 isn't "powerful", more "castrated"). DO NOT get the GTX 460 SE.

Get the GTX 460 1GB for $120 unless something more powerful dips into that price range, which is unlikely (it'd have to be at least a 6850).
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 4:36:01 AM

^I disagree. The GTX 470 is only worth it if you like buying used stuff and get one for ~$130 on ebay. Otherwise, a $180 new GTX 560Ti is just as fast, but cooler, quieter, & more energy efficient than the GTX 470.

The GTX 480 is only as fast as the GTX 570, but usually costs quite a bit more and is much louder and a power hog. The GTX 570 is exceptionally quiet for a high-end card.

At your price range, the only one of these cards worth discussing is the GTX 460. The GTX 460 2GB was on sale for $120 a couple days ago. Keep an eye on slickdeals.net and sign up for Newegg.com's email list.
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 5:13:21 AM

If I was stuck at a $100 budget and the motherboard and psu was more then able for Crossfire, Id just pick up a couple of used HD 4850 cards off ebay and crossfire them. There are a ton up on ebay going in the $45-$55 range after shipping cost. The gaming performance of two of them would trump any single 5770 or 6770 in most games.
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August 1, 2011 5:16:04 AM

Thanks, dalauder. I just hope I can grab a good 460, because that seems to reign king. So is the GTX460 a quiet card, Ie: 10db to 20db?
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 5:44:52 AM

Is it "quiet"? Not particularly--not that any gaming graphics cards are generally quoted below the thirties in decibels, but that depends on how far you measure from. It's definitely not noisy or distracting, but it's not absolutely silent.

My friend has a GTX 460 768MB, I have a GTX 470. My card is loud (when OC'd)! His is not. But you won't hear either if you've got a loud fan in the background like I usually do. Here's some general info on GTX 460 noise: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-460-review/13

This page has a good chart for noise of several cards: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-review-ro...

The GTX 460 is, by no means, the best graphics card out there. But it has no flaws (noise, efficiency, tessellation, features, etc.) and typically wins out on performance at its price point.
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August 1, 2011 5:49:57 AM

Thanks for that sound graph. So now i'm assuming Nvidia is the best card for ~120?
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 6:32:33 AM

1.Radeon HD 5770(The 6770 Is The Same Rebranded,Buy The 6770 If 5770's aren't available)!
2.GTX 460/550ti

And For 120$ i would lean towards Nvidia's 460 :) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 6:38:38 AM

cobra4014 said:
Thanks for that sound graph. So now i'm assuming Nvidia is the best card for ~120?


As I said in my first post, nVidia is the way to go if the 460 is available at $120. Yes it does consumer more power but it has lower idle/load temperature, the power consumption is around the same as idle, and the noise level is within also similar in both idle and load. The 460 does beat the 5770 in all the games.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/172?vs=180

Like I said buy it and no regrets!

Whoops I made a typo, I meant $120* lol not 460W wth @_@
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 6:55:31 AM

^+1 Wintermint got it in the first post.

EDIT: Wintermint, I saw that typo and figured that was what you meant.
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August 1, 2011 5:17:00 PM

Whoa, guys, I don't know how the prices got to upwards of 100$. Actually, the most I would like to spend is 75 to 100 bucks. So if you could adjust accordingly, I would be grateful.
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a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 5:44:17 PM

cobra4014 said:
Whoa, guys, I don't know how the prices got to upwards of 100$. Actually, the most I would like to spend is 75 to 100 bucks. So if you could adjust accordingly, I would be grateful.


Thing is at $100 price point the performance is only going to be adequate for your resolution (ie. a 5770 - 6770 is your best bet at that price) but they start to struggle above 1920x1080 resolution and require lowering some settings to get decent performance --- while for the extra $20 -$40 you step the performance up quite a bit and can get better performance at your 1920x1200 resolution so in the long run investing the bit more is worth it if you can stretch the budget a bit. (trying to get by with $75 - $100 will mean really lowering your game settings if you go for a lower card than the 5770, 6770)

With your resolution you'd be better off with something along the 6850 - 5850 (if you can find one) - 6870 if going ATI or a 460 GTX - 550ti if going Nvidia -- most of which can be found from time to time for around $120 -$150 depending on the sale.

ie.

Asus 550 ti $109 after MIR +$8 shipping
Asus 460 GTX Direct CU $135 After MIR free shipping
Sapphire 6850 $145 After MIR + $.99 shipping



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August 1, 2011 6:11:38 PM

JDFan said:
Thing is at $100 price point the performance is only going to be adequate for your resolution (ie. a 5770 - 6770 is your best bet at that price) but they start to struggle above 1920x1080 resolution and require lowering some settings to get decent performance --- while for the extra $20 -$40 you step the performance up quite a bit and can get better performance at your 1920x1200 resolution so in the long run investing the bit more is worth it if you can stretch the budget a bit. (trying to get by with $75 - $100 will mean really lowering your game settings if you go for a lower card than the 5770, 6770)

With your resolution you'd be better off with something along the 6850 - 5850 (if you can find one) - 6870 if going ATI or a 460 GTX - 550ti if going Nvidia -- most of which can be found from time to time for around $120 -$150 depending on the sale.

ie.

Asus 550 ti $109 after MIR +$8 shipping
Asus 460 GTX Direct CU $135 After MIR free shipping
Sapphire 6850 $145 After MIR + $.99 shipping



Ah, I understand. I just happen to be at the midway point... Well thanks for the info, now I just need to decide between the 550ti, 640 Fermi, and 5770/6770.. any help on that would be greatly appreciated.
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a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2011 12:18:33 AM

Well...did you already buy all those parts you listed above already? I'd love to save you $10 here and there and find an extra $40 to spend on graphics. If I were you, I'd try to catch one of these $110 GTX 460 2GB sales: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3162300
That 2GB will really come in handy if you SLI with a second one down the road at your resolution.

Also, consider buying a Radeon 6870 for $150. Those aren't hard to find on sale nowadays and are also a great deal on price/performance. Cheap video cards (6670) will look pretty bad at 1920x1200. Those are better suited to 1440x900, non-fullscreen gaming, or low/medium settings. Also, use that Newcustomer10 code on newegg to save $10. You'll need to give them a new email address.

Also, I don't trust your PSU brand. How many Amps does it provide on the 12V rail and I'll tell you whether or not it's actually a 600W? Lastly, typically people spend about the same on graphics as the CPU in a gaming build--your cost distribution is unconventional and not optimal for gaming performance.
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a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2011 12:19:57 AM

When you're on this tight of a budget, the performance difference of waiting for a good sale is huge. Also, GTX 460 768MB's occassionally go on sale for $80. That would be an acceptable minimum alternative in your price range.
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August 2, 2011 2:07:54 AM

dalauder said:
Well...did you already buy all those parts you listed above already? I'd love to save you $10 here and there and find an extra $40 to spend on graphics. If I were you, I'd try to catch one of these $110 GTX 460 2GB sales: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3162300
That 2GB will really come in handy if you SLI with a second one down the road at your resolution.

Also, consider buying a Radeon 6870 for $150. Those aren't hard to find on sale nowadays and are also a great deal on price/performance. Cheap video cards (6670) will look pretty bad at 1920x1200. Those are better suited to 1440x900, non-fullscreen gaming, or low/medium settings. Also, use that Newcustomer10 code on newegg to save $10. You'll need to give them a new email address.

Also, I don't trust your PSU brand. How many Amps does it provide on the 12V rail and I'll tell you whether or not it's actually a 600W? Lastly, typically people spend about the same on graphics as the CPU in a gaming build--your cost distribution is unconventional and not optimal for gaming performance.


Yes, I already have Upgraded everything but the Video card. Thanks for the Newcustomer10 coupon! that'll help a ton.

My PSU Provides 35 amps on the +12v rail. (Which equals 420 Watts, I googled it)

And I'm really surprised about the CPU=GPU thing you said. (Although I trust you.) My main problem is that i'm 14, and my dad only wants to spend 70$ MAX on a card. :(  The biggest problem is that he said the max noise the card can have is 10DB, (Which I found crazy, is that even possible???) Or otherwise the card has to be passive cooled. (Top 10 on my list of the dumbest things I've heard.) The stock intel cooler has got to hover around 30Db anyway!

Anyway, after that last disappointment, is there anything you can do for me or is it just a lost cause??? :( 


I just sent an email to my dad after measuring the Db levels around my computer, so you can forget the fan less, I just need (Unfortunately) a cheaper card, although There's a 550Ti I saw on new egg : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

How does this card compare?
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a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2011 5:10:10 AM

A GT 550Ti is definitely slower than a GTX 460 768MB: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4221/nvidias-gtx-550-ti-c...

You should wait for a deal on the GTX 460 1GB or 2GB and plan on SLI'ing those. You really have to aim higher than the GT 550Ti to make sure you have a satisfying gaming experience. An overclocked GTX 460 1GB would make you very happy. PM me when you want to overclock it, I did a walkthrough here (unless that's a CPU walkthrough): http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/298353-28-bottlenecki...

Just sign up for Newegg.com's email list...I think the code might be capitalized so it's NEWCUSTOMER10, you can Google it. Also, check slickdeals.net compulsively. You might do best posting in the classifies on this forum and picking up a used 5850 or something.

Also, I don't trust your PSU. It may fry and kill everything...hopefully it won't.
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August 2, 2011 5:37:49 AM

dalauder said:
A GT 550Ti is definitely slower than a GTX 460 768MB: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4221/nvidias-gtx-550-ti-c...

You should wait for a deal on the GTX 460 1GB or 2GB and plan on SLI'ing those. You really have to aim higher than the GT 550Ti to make sure you have a satisfying gaming experience. An overclocked GTX 460 1GB would make you very happy. PM me when you want to overclock it, I did a walkthrough here (unless that's a CPU walkthrough): http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/298353-28-bottlenecki...

Just sign up for Newegg.com's email list...I think the code might be capitalized so it's NEWCUSTOMER10, you can Google it. Also, check slickdeals.net compulsively. You might do best posting in the classifies on this forum and picking up a used 5850 or something.

Also, I don't trust your PSU. It may fry and kill everything...hopefully it won't.



I appreciate all of your help dalauder. I will attempt to go for a GTX 460, and regarding the Power supply, It has run 3 Hard drives, a GeForce 9500GT, and a intel core 2 duo on a gigabyte MoBo. I hope it'll work okay.

I will PM you when I'm ready to overclock.
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a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2011 6:35:22 AM

It might run fine until the day it smokes and dies (literally, I've seen two cheap PSUs smoke). I suggest you start looking for a deal for a replacement. Hopefully it'll start causing random shutdowns before that day.
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