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Rookie needs help with new graphics card, please

I need a graphics card to go with the new machine I just assembled. Details on my system below. I started out by trying a Sapphire 6870, but I couldn't get the drivers to load. Both the ones on the CD that came with the card and the downloaded ones would crash the machine when I tried to load them. Rolling back to whatever Win 7 64-bit chose would allow the card to work, but they native drivers would not work. I RMA'ed the card and the same thing happened with the replacement. I decided to start over. I have read that sometimes AMD cards have problems with drivers, but I don't know if that is the problem I was having.

Anyway, I am interested in a new card that I can use for gaming. I have been looking at the GTX560 and 560ti, since I figured a different company might not have the same problem. If I wasn't so gunshy on the driver issue, I might try an HD 6950. I don't know if that would be a consistent thing between all AMDs with my system or if it is only likely to be the 6870s or even just the Sapphire 6870s. I just don't have much experience with issues like this.

Any help would be appreciated. I hope I gave the right information for people to be able to help. Thanks very much in advance for any help you can provide.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Flexible, depending on what might be coming out soon.
BUDGET RANGE: USD $150-250 Before Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming is most important - Skyrim and Diablo 3 are what I look forward to the most. I realize that at least Skyrim is not all that demanding, but I want this machine to last as long as possible without having to upgrade.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: I am running on-board video right now. I have a Diablotek 600w power supply.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: The machine was assembled from a kit sold by TigerDirect. It has a i5-2500k, 8 Gb of Corsair DDR3 RAM, Gigabyte Z68MX-UD2H-B3 mobo.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon, because of their return policy, but I am not too picky. I have had good success with TigerDirect and Newegg, too.



SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe someday, but not right away.

6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    are you updating a vendor machine or a custom built machine i personally have 2 6870 cards .. and what your exsplaining to me sounds like either they are not seated properly or the cables from your power supply may be loose ... espeically with the modular ones they tend to wiggle loose if you move the cables to much .. i would also suggjest turning off the onboard video while you install the drivers for the 6870 and make sure you plug the monitor to the video card .. and boot to the pci slot instead of the onboard driver.. also look in bio's and check to make sure the vga adaptor is set for pci and not serial .. anothing thing to try is to unintall the previous drivers from onboard and reinstall the latest drivers from amd .. and app profiles as well.. and if all else fails .. try again.. lol but with my exspirience .. check these things in this order power, boot priority , uninstall , ignore disk drivers, and get the newest drivers from the net ..

    i swear this is the 3rd time editing this .. ok so its new years.. lol happy new years.. but yes i have been drinking and ... lol well typing isnt as easy.. lead alone grammar.. lmao
  2. Have to ask - did you go into bios and disable on board video before installing new graphics card? If you didn't that is likely a big contributor to the issues you were having.
  3. < $200 6870 will get you 434 fps w/ a single card in Guru3D Game Test Suite, 701 fps in SLI

    > $200 900Mhz 560 Ti will get you 495 fps w/ a single card in Guru3D Game Test Suite, 862 fps in SLI
  4. Thanks very much for the replies, folks. I appreciate the help. I did not mess with the BIOS at all, so that maybe what was causing my problem. I am going to see if I can try a friend's card to see if I can get a 6870 to load the drivers. If I can't, I may go with a 560 or 560ti, instead. Thanks!
  5. Hello again,
    I just wanted to let everybody know that I ended up buying an EVGA 560ti DS card. It works like a champ and I am very happy with it. It runs Skyrim at close to 50fps on Ultra settings. As I had hoped, the problems that I was having with three different Sapphire Radeon HD 6870s seemed to be driver-related (or incompatible software?). Regardless, I am not having any issues at all with the nVidia card. Thanks again for all of the responses.

  6. Best answer selected by TortoiseBoy.
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