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Advice on high-end gaming graphics card with $200 budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 15, 2011 10:18:46 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Anywhere from next week to Christmas

BUDGET RANGE: $200 MAX Before Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Video Editing

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Antec Earthwatts 750W 80 PLUS BRONZE

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: AMD Athlon II X4 650 3.20GHz, and 2 x 4GB DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, microcenter

PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer NVIDIA Cards, but I can deal with ATI

OVERCLOCKING: If I can, then yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 right now, gonna upgrade to 1600x900 and maybe even a 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Must run Battlefield 3 on max graphics with at least 2x AA. (30 FPS MIN)
Must run Crysis/Far Cry on max graphics and at least 2x AA. (30 FPS MIN)
Must run TES V: Skyrim at max graphics and at least 2x AA. (30 FPS MIN)
a c 214 U Graphics card
September 15, 2011 10:30:47 PM

Well i'm sorry to say but on a $200 budget and an Athlon your not gonna be able to get most of those games to play on max settings.You probably could at your current resolution but not anything higher.

For $200 i'd reccomend the 6870.Or the GTX560 if you prefer Nvidia.

Gigabyte 6870 $190=$160 after MIR + Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You also get a Dirt 3 coupon with that.
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a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 1:46:07 AM

There is a Gigabyte 560ti for less that 200 after rebate on newegg right now.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 2:24:37 AM

Probably won't last long.Those deals sell like hotcakes.
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September 16, 2011 2:41:03 AM

AMD 7000 series should be released well before Christmas.. Check their benchmarks when available. An AMD HD 6870 or a Nvidia 560 video card will be the absolute best you can get for your budget. They are very close in performance to each other. If you can spring a few more bucks.. Then get an AMD 6950 or Nvidia 560Ti. Your PSU will easily handle these.
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September 16, 2011 10:37:46 AM

purple stank said:
Well i'm sorry to say but on a $200 budget and an Athlon your not gonna be able to get most of those games to play on max settings.You probably could at your current resolution but not anything higher.

For $200 i'd reccomend the 6870.Or the GTX560 if you prefer Nvidia.

Gigabyte 6870 $190=$160 after MIR + Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You also get a Dirt 3 coupon with that.


i disagree with this statement. That setup combined with a 6870 will run alsost every game at max settings, 1080p without a hitch. Even crysis warhead (the original crysis not so much, but we all know thats an optimized pos). Not to mention the potential for crossfire down the line.

edit: just saw your demands. Honestly it all comes down to user preference, but eventually you might start asking yourself am i getting the power i want. If you absolute assurance that the FPS will never dip below those limits, you will definately need to upgrade to a 6950, or buying a 6870 first gives the potential of testing the card, and if you decide to get another one that will be much more powerful than a 6950/6970 in crossfire anyway, and not much more expensive.

Again though, if you really want a single card solution that avoids totally the issues of sli/xfire, aim to get a 6970, as they will do want you want i am very sure.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 10:41:13 AM

I highly doubt that.

I own a 6870 and a 965 @ 3.8ghz and I can't max out every game and i'm not even at 1080p.
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September 16, 2011 10:49:51 AM

purple stank said:
I highly doubt that.

I own a 6870 and a 965 @ 3.8ghz and I can't max out every game and i'm not even at 1080p.


what games do you play. I do not even have windows 7 TBH yet, still on xp.

I play warhead, source engine games, mass effect 1 +2, bfbc2 all at max res and settings. only games that dip below 60 are me2 in some rare places and bfbc2 which never really goes below 60 despite dipping to 40 at times.

i have it overclocked to 930 and 1085, and run a stock 3.2ghz 840, 4gb ram
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 16, 2011 11:54:05 AM

BFBC2 I was getting 50fps+ but that's with no eye candy.I have no idea how you are getting more FPS with a less powerful CPU.And I know that BFBC2 is very CPU hungry.

840 as in an i7?

What resolution is your monitor?
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September 16, 2011 11:28:40 PM

phenom ii 840, 1920X 1080, maybe you are suffering from the effect of having too low a resolution? I heard cpu's can bottleneck gpu's hard at lower res's. A lot of the performance i am getting is corroborated by many reviewers out there who were stunned by its price to performance ratio. I really can play crysis warhead at 1080p with max everything including 8xaa and 16xaa, at very playable rates. It does dip below 30 at times but it goes above 40 a lot of the times too, and we all know how smooth the engine feels anyway.

The only game that has bogged my card down at max everything is the original crysis, again only at certain parts of the game like when there are 5 helis overhead. Also the slight overclock really does help a lot. In mass effect 2, if i leave it on stock clock speeds, i will lose about 10-15% performance, which is usually just enough boost to ensure FPS stay over 60 in the majority of games.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 17, 2011 12:21:22 AM

Well your still using Windows XP aren't you? So your playing in DX9 which is probably less demanding than DX11.

1600x900 isn't a hugely low resolution and shouldn't bottleneck.And even if I was at a lower resolution i'm at 3.8ghz so their couldn't be a bottleneck.
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