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Need help picking out a Video card.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 10, 2011 1:46:01 AM

Hello all,
Ive been looking for a Graphics card for awhile now and ive had no luck.(every time i find one I like it ether goes out of stock or is discontuned.)
So i came here to ask for help. Im looking for a 2Gb video card, with alot of power for high-end gaming. My budget is around $350.00 give or take.

I'm going to keep looking also and if i find one i like ill post it and ask you what you think of it. Im more leaning to a ATI or AMD chipset because my CPU is AMD and it works a little better with a AMD or ATI GPU (also im not really fimiliar with NVIDIA), But if you persuade me to go with NVIDIA i might change my mind.

Thanks for the help.

PS: Please! Don't go cheap!

More about : picking video card

August 10, 2011 1:52:15 AM

it would be useful to let us know what you plan on doing on your computer, what resolution you will be using, and what kind of power source you have.
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August 10, 2011 5:20:39 AM

Other than high-end gaming, I use this computer for Video editing, movie streaming, and some other stuff.
Im using a 850W Corsiar PSU
This is all hooked up on a 24" 1920x1080 Monitor.
No need to worry about case size, or cooling. If theres anything else please feel free to ask.

By the way im replacing a Sapphiretech 1GB 1600 StreamProsesors ATI Radeon HD 5870. So it has to be an upgrade from that.
Please no jokes about "Why are you upgrading??" Or "GOSH marketing loves people like you."
I have already been through that with some of my friends.

Again thank-you
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a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 5:51:41 AM

Will you system support crossfire with two HD 5870s? If so that is worth considering:

Otherwise, take a look at the THG recommendations at your budget level:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

Which video editing software do you use? Adobe Premiere and a few others take advantage of nVidia's CUDA engine to greatly speed up processing - so I would suggest an nVidai GTX 570 - or more expensive if you can afford it:

Overclock.net provides a good description and benchmarks for video card acceleration in CS4.

http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/389996-...

Adobe CS5 added acceleration for multiple applications with the Mercury Playback Engine which is designed specifically for more recent nVidia cards with the CUDA feature set.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adobe-cs5-cuda-64-b...

Third party review and recommendations for use with CS5 (the card list starts about half way down the page)

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

CUDA (see more info below about CUDA) supported graphics cards (note that the GeForce or mainstream and gamer cards (for desktop and laptop PCs) are listed near the bottom of the page:

http://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus
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August 10, 2011 2:05:20 PM

Ok this is good.
I might think about 2 5870s like you said.
but now that im thinking about it, I dont really do alot of video editing or do i think i would consider that when buying a Graphics card because i do it every once in a long while.

I found some Graphics cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have never owned a XFX or a DIAMOND Graphics card before so im not fimillar with quality or anything.
So please tell me what you think, or if you have a different product.
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a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 7:30:54 PM

I generally prefer nVidia over ATI/AMD cards anyway - I think their CUDA technology will increasing be used by apps like it is in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere to offload processing from CPU to mobo. However, other than photo and video its applications are limited at this time. And other than that and the good results I have had with nVidia cards I cannot say they should be recommended over ATI especially when ATI has better price to performance at specific budget levels. Obviously THGs current recommendations include both nVidia and ATI cards and at some budget levels they are considered a tie.

If you only use video once in a while, it should not be a major consideration in choosing a card.

If you are considering crossfire - you need to mach your current card - which is a good one - with another similar card - prefeably a matching 5870. I am not sure if I confused you or not, but the crossfire suggestion is related to getting the best performance increase for the dollar in gaming not vide.

Here is the ATI list of compatible cards to use in crossfire:

http://sites.amd.com/PublishingImages/Public/Graphic_Il...

Th 6970 cards you listed above won't work in CF with the one you have, Are you considering them instead? I don't know of a review that directly compares the HD 5870 crossfire with the 6970 - but you can compare results for each across these two reviews. Note, for instance the 5870 CF gets 70 fps in Crysis while the 4970 gets 52 fps.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-6950-6970-review/1...

Note: For crossfire I used the review for a 6870 since it has later models for comparison than the 5870 crossfire review.

And better still, you can purchase a new HD 5870 for $180 with free shipping:

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-DisplayPort-PCI-Expres...

Also note that both of the cards you listed are out of stock at newegg.

I prefer the XFX brand over the other. For more information about video card brands, see:

http://www.upgradevideocards.com/brands.html\

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August 10, 2011 8:09:12 PM

Thanks for all the Info (You never can have enough)
I guess this brings me back to the age old question... CrossFire or 1 Graphics card.
Yeah its ether going to be two 5870s (one i already have)
or 1 REALLY GOOD CRAZY one.

But then again its all about if i want to do crossfire or not.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 8:26:27 PM

The 5870 is still a very powerful GPU.I would reccomend getting a second for crossfire.
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August 11, 2011 2:36:32 AM

Ok so any 5870 GPU will work in crossfire, right? no matter the brand or any thing else?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 2:45:56 AM

It's reccomended that you go with the same brand and but it works with others just the same.Also I would suggest buying a card with the same clocks as yours because if you get a card with higher clocks it's just gonna downclock it to meet the lower card.
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August 11, 2011 3:23:11 AM

Ok great ill look into it. ill post an update if i find a card.
or if you find one please post it also
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 3:35:33 AM

Your looking for a 5870?

What brand is yours? Stock Clocks?
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2011 9:45:08 PM

I would consider purchasing a used one eBay for approximately $175 - $200 - taking the normal precautions of checking feedback and making sure there is a clear statement that the card has no defects. Obviously that still entails some risk.

http://computers.shop.ebay.com/Computers-Networking-/58...

Or perhaps bidding on one and getting for about $140 - here is the list of recent sales:

http://completed.shop.ebay.com/Computers-Networking-/58...

If you are in a metropolitan area, Craigslist also might be a good source.
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August 12, 2011 1:21:51 PM

Ok so i bought the same exact card i have now from a friend. (we bought ours at the same time.) ill tell you when i get it and have it installed.

but is there anything i need to know about crossfire? Because this is officially my first crossfire system.
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a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2011 7:03:48 AM

You never specifically answered my question - does your system support crossfire?

Does your mobo specifically state that it supports crossfire?
Is your PSU large enough?

I assumed you had checked this out before proceeding but am asking again in view of your last question.

For how-to instructions, just Google "how to crossfire video cards" and you will find youtube videos and other step by step instructions.
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a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2011 4:19:53 PM

You will need a crossfire bridge to connect the two cards. Did you get one when you purchased the card originally?
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August 13, 2011 10:44:19 PM

Yes i have that. now i just need to wait untill my friends graphics card comes in the mail so he can sell me his.

Now the big question, will i notice a big difference between
Two 5870s
Vs.
One 6970
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 13, 2011 11:10:32 PM

Two 5870's is much more powerful than a single 6970.

From my understanding how you setup a crossfire goes like this.Install the second card in the PCI-express slot.Connect the needed power connectors.Connect the crossfire bride.After all that go to ATI/AMD's website and download the crossfire profile for your card.
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