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PS3/XBOX Gamer converting to PC Gaming needs help with video card

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  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 3, 2011 6:20:08 PM

I need help selecting a graphics card. My Sapphire Radeon 4850 hd has died. I replaced it with XFX GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 card. I love the HDMI output but I am very disappointed in the card performance.

I would like to purchase a video card for under $100 that can play Call of Duty, Battlefield 3, Crysis, Batman, Madden NFL, etc on a 55 inch LCD LED TV.

My eyes have crossed looking at video cards....sli, cross fire, directx 10, 11.....etc.... please help me end my misery and start playing games again!


My system

Windows Vista 32bit
Rosewell 1000w PSU
Asus p5q green motherboard
8gb of DDR 2 dominator memory
Intel Core 2 Quad 9400 2.66ghz
5 terabytes of hard drive space

Would upgrading to windows 7 64 bit help playing games?

More about : ps3 xbox gamer converting gaming video card

December 3, 2011 7:05:31 PM

The GTX460 looks awesome. I may have to poney up the extra money; although, the xfx 6770 looks awesome as well.
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a c 104 U Graphics card
December 3, 2011 7:11:36 PM

They are decent cards and with a lot of games enough for very playable settings, only don't expect to much in demanding games like BF3 etc. ( no high/ultra settings )

Mind you, the 460 in my link is only a 768mb version wich is def. slower than the 460 1G version. That was the only one i could find under $100.

Anything higher than a 460/6850 would be unnessasery because of the slow cpu.
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December 6, 2011 9:09:04 AM

Changing to Win7 Home Premium 64-bit will let you take full advantage of your RAM, as your system can only access 3 GB with your current OS. You'll need to buy the full OS since you can't upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit.

What is the speed of your RAM? DDR2 is going to slow your games down compared to DDR3 but if your RAM is in the topmost speed tier and you have a decent current generation video card you can overcome most of the gaming limitations caused by your CPU. If your not already using 1066 RAM I'd recommend 2 G.Skill 4GB kits, as the higher speeds will help any system run games better. You'd be better of with one of these, however, since overclocking 4 RAM chips is not as stable as 2.

Since I can't find any P5Q Green listed on the ASUS website, I'll just assume you have the basic P5Q motherboard that has only 1 PCI-E 2.0 16x slot.
Is your HDTV resolution 720p or 1080p? Do you want to play in 3D? Does it matter to you if your card is AMD versus Nvidia?
According to the monthly comparison here at Tom's Hardware, the best card for your budget is the 6770 at $110. That will work fine if your HDTV is 720p. But I recommend any 6850 for $160 instead, since it has better 1080p performance. I use a XFX HD-6850-ZDFC because it has two fans, comes with XFX's lifetime guarantee, looks slick on my 1080p HDTV through HDMI, and I can't hear it at all through my metal mesh case. Any 1GB 6850 should be able to run Crysis with ease at stock settings. At 1080p you'll need 1 GB on the card whether it's Nvidia or AMD.
Check this page to see various GTX 460 video card performances of Crysis. Check this one for the 6850. On a side note, Tom's Hardware lists the HD 6850 as being the same tier as the GTX 460 1 GB, but is a tier above the GTX 460 768MB.

If you want to play in 3D you'll need to see if your 3DTV is compatible with AMD's 3D functionality and if not, buy a GTX 460 1GB and the Nvidia 3DTV Play software from Nvidia. The Nvidia combination will run you about $220-240. Mind you this will only work if your TV has HDMI 1.4 support and a resolution of 1080p24, 720p60, and 720p50 3D formats.

In my opinion, the only reason to buy a Nvidia card is for the 3D compatibility, and that really isn't necessary. AMD will catch up soon.
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December 6, 2011 3:26:28 PM

Memory is Dominator 1033
1080p resolution
I have no intentions of playing 3d games. Also, tv is not 3d compatible.
Also, I had a typo in my system information. My cpu is core 2 quad 9400 2.66ghz, if that changes anything.
I purchased the upgrade for windows 7 and ran into the very problem that you described. I need the full version.

Nvidia or amd does not matter.
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December 6, 2011 4:55:36 PM

jambattles said:
Memory is Dominator 1033
1080p resolution
I have no intentions of playing 3d games. Also, tv is not 3d compatible.
Also, I had a typo in my system information. My cpu is core 2 quad 9400 2.66ghz, if that changes anything.
I purchased the upgrade for windows 7 and ran into the very problem that you described. I need the full version.

Nvidia or amd does not matter.


GTX 460 is the sweet spot I would say at the moment great price, buy 2 and SLI them.
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December 8, 2011 6:11:05 PM

If video card brand is not important to you, I'd go with a Radeon. They tend to be cheaper and run cooler while using less power, which means they last longer. I've owned 5 Nvidia cards and 4 Radeons, and all of the Nvidia cards have fried at stock settings. All the Radeons still work and 2 of them are OC'ed.

The 6850 is pretty much identical to the 460 1 GB and falls just shy of the 465 according to benchmarking. They each have their strengths and weakness in technical respects. In real life, however, there seems to be no appreciable difference at all between Nvidia or AMD. I'm part of a small LAN gaming group here, and I've seen all the current gen cards in action, and couldn't tell any real difference in 2D gaming between brands among cards within the same tier. Though a 6870 or 560 runs higher settings and looks better than the 6850 or 460 at 1080p, they all look great.

Since you don't want to game in 3D, I'd skip the Nvidia. Buy a 6850 and use the cash you save for Win 7. Keep in mind, that 1080p takes some of the RAM out of your cards, so you won't be able to use max settings, but your games will still look great so long as you try to keep your min fps above 20.
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December 8, 2011 6:22:56 PM

Welcome to PC gaming! Your going to be much happier if you save some more cash and get a $200 range card if your going to be playing battlefield 3/crysis on a big screen. Just a few more boxes on ultra make all the difference in the world.
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December 8, 2011 6:33:04 PM

d00kiejones said:
Welcome to PC gaming! Your going to be much happier if you save some more cash and get a $200 range card if your going to be playing battlefield 3/crysis on a big screen. Just a few more boxes on ultra make all the difference in the world.


Wow, either you haven't paid attention to his system specs, or you just don't know much about CPU's. His processor will limit all his gaming at 1080p, it just isn't powerful enough to keep up with anything above a HD 6850/GTX 460. Even with a 6950/560 Ti, he wouldn't see any real improvement over the 6850/460 because his CPU would bottleneck the data and slow down the video card without upgrading to a newer architecture.
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December 8, 2011 6:43:26 PM

majorgibly said:
GTX 460 is the sweet spot I would say at the moment great price, buy 2 and SLI them.


He only has one PCI-e 16x slot. SLI isn't an option with his motherboard and his CPU just wouldn't be able to keep up in any case.
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December 9, 2011 2:20:55 PM

okay, i have upgraded to windows 7 professional 64x. Amazingly, the upgrade to windows 7 64x saved my sapphire 4850, weird problem that I will not go in to.

I am still going to upgrade graphic cards. where should i buy the card
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December 9, 2011 11:58:04 PM

For the absolute lowest price go to Pricegrabber.com. Otherwise, I'd go with Newegg or with Amazon. They both have fantastic deals year round. Pricegrabber compares about a thousand different sites for practically everything, including Newegg and Amazon. I bought my last HDTV through pricegrabber. Sometimes, they don't list newegg and amazon for electronics, however, so check their sites as well.

The 6790 just dropped price to $130 and is a better option for 1080p than the $110 6770, so if price is still an issue and you don't want to spend $170 on the 6850, I'd give that a go. Many stores allow you to return a video card within 30 days, so buy it and try it. If you still want better graphics then get a 6850/460 1GB.
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December 10, 2011 4:05:55 PM

I would agree with masterzoen here. 6850 would be around your price range, i would suggest on saving a little more and getting 6950 or a 560ti. Also if you do go the save route and go with one of the 2 last cards mentioned you will need to OC your cpu. There are tons of guides online as you will want your cpu to be running at 3ghz + inorder not to bottleneck your gfx card. Also this topic made my day thank you lol.
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December 19, 2011 6:09:24 PM

Would I be crazy to buy the hd 5870 or 5850 for $140 over the 6850 and 460 1GB?
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a c 291 U Graphics card
December 19, 2011 6:15:22 PM

Not really, if it fits your budget nicely and you're not hoping too much from it.
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December 24, 2011 12:46:00 AM

jambattles said:
Would I be crazy to buy the hd 5870 or 5850 for $140 over the 6850 and 460 1GB?


The 5850 and 6870 are the same tier, and the 5870/6950 are the same tier, but the 6xxx series generally has better performance within tier. The 6850's performance is near identical to the 5850 at 1080p; the 5850's extra muscle only shining at higher/multi-screen resolutions. The same seems to hold true for the 6870/5870 at 1080p. The 6xxx series also has more/newer/better features like DirectX 11 and blu-ray audio pass-thru while also using less power and generating less heat/noise at similar performance levels. The 5850 uses 150 watts, while the 6850, which performs similarly, or better within DirectX 11, uses 140w. The reference cards ran a little hotter at the same noise levels but the 3rd party ones with 2 fans generally run both quieter and cooler, and my 6850 only uses around 130w max.

I would recommend 6850 (and even the 6830) over the 5850. That said, if you can get a 5870 for $140 go for it, but remember DirectX 11 is the new standard and it literally blows the previous iterations away in regards to code complexity, and the 5xxx series does not support it well. Also, there should be some decent after x-mas sales and another price drop around the middle of January. If you can hold out 'til after x-mas you can probably get a 6850 for $130-150 depending on how hard you look.
Also, now that I've noticed what your CPU edit is, you could run crossfire/sli in the future if you replace your motherboard. Wolfdale is still an outdated architecture, and you don't have an L3 cache, so a single top tier card is still just too much for your cpu. 1x6870/2x6850/2x460 1GB is your theoretical performance topout at 1080p.

Remember, this is a PC, not a console. Your card doesn't just need to play the games you have, it needs to play the games you've yet to receive as well.

Edit: Deeks, I'm absolutely MAD about your avatar, it's joining my collection!
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December 24, 2011 1:28:00 AM

I've already found you some deals! Merry x-mas jambattles!

These 6850's are $130 after rebate:

HIS H685FN1GD

PowerColor AX6850

MSI R6850 Cyclone PE

The GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD dual fan 6850 is $150 after rebate. Order it by Jan. 3rd and use the promo code to get an instant $20 discount as well bringing it to $130 after rebate.

I definitely recommend the Gigabyte, it's quiet and cool, and you gotta love the Ice Blue color scheme. Get it while you still can!

EDIT:

This 6870 is $140 after rebate:

HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870

I couldn't find any Nvidia cards with comparable performance at the same price points. Since a 560 is just a superclocked 460 and performs similar to a 6870, I'd get either a 6850 and OC it, or the HIS 6870.

Edit 2:

The 6870 is out of stock. No big surprise there. Hope this helped you out.
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