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What graphics card to buy?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 12, 2012 1:20:13 PM

OK I am in dire need of a new graphics card, I plan to buy a whole new system eventually but It's fine because I'll just swap the graphics card into it.

My specs are:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
500 GB HDD
Radeon HD 4870
IP35 Pro Mboard
4 GB Ram

I can spend 150-200 pounds tops.

Any suggestions? My friend swears by the 560TI but I'm not even sure this motherboard will handle it??

More about : graphics card buy

a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 1:44:19 PM

1. what CPU do you have?
2. what PSU do you have?
3. what resolution are you playing at and what games?
a b U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 128 V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 1:53:30 PM

If you're looking to buy a card as a stop gap measure, then the choice is simple. Buy as much card as your budget allows. After all, you will continue using this card when you upgrade the rest of your system.

Something like this would work well
Gigabyte HD 6950 OC AMD Radeon Graphics Card - 1GB
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a b U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 2:06:06 PM

^ Concur get the best you can, HOWEVER a cavet:
Most "good" GPU's are pci-e 2.1 cards and you have pci-e 1.0. NOT all pci-e 2.1 cards play well with pci-e 1.0 (don't sweat Bootlenect by CPU as that goes away when upgrading system).
This is a MB issuie (not a slot problem) and may be fixed in the lates Bios revision.
Will give you a little insight into what I'm talking about:

Do a search and make SURE the selected card will work with pci-e 1.0 ( even though in England you can go to and read the reviews - look for responses indicating use in pci-e 1.0)
ie on gigabyte 6950 (did not see any users with pci-e 1.0), but is a LONG card:

as dirty asked, what PSU. You need a quality 450 watt PSU and check the numper of pci-e plugs from PSU. ie the 6950 requires 2 6 pin connectors. Also case, some of the newer cards are LONGE, and cover two slots (on back).
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 2:27:32 PM

Well either way the card is going to get bottlenecked by the PCIe 1.0's low bandwidth right?


Get the highest you can afford, as has been said, other than that its just personal preference and whatever works with PCIe1

Also it never hurts to get extra wattage on your PSU.
a c 107 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 3:07:14 PM

Depends on the game but in general it shouldn't be a noticeable factor. 16X PCi-E 1.0/1.1 has the same bandwidth as 8x PCI-E 2.0.

Anyway I'm more worried about what CPU and PSU Ripebear has. Budget?
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 3:44:59 PM

Oh ok, then I guess its not too bad. Of course the AMD radeon 7000s just came out, but I guess itll be a while till they release cheaper cards that match the 560 ti's price.
January 12, 2012 6:01:22 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the reply. Really sorry I forgot my cpu!!

It's an Intel Core 2 duo E6850 @3.00 GHZ. Says 3.1 on DXDIAG.

I'm not sure about the power supply. But it should be newer than the whole system as it gave in about a year ago and I got someone to fix it with a brand new one.

Any way to check?

I've used CPU Z to check all the details.
a b U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 6:11:15 PM

Open side of case, should be a sticker identifing make/model and also show Power for the different voltages. You can physically look to see if you have the 6/8 pin pci-e pwr connectors.

Hopefully the place that did the work did not stick a "&(*(^&^(&^%) PSU in.
Only tier 1 and 2 listed PSUs should be used. Tier 4 and 5 should be avoided at all cost.
January 12, 2012 6:15:14 PM

MOD-X-STREAM PRO. 600W. That enough?
a b U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 6:35:42 PM

YES, enough horse power
•Good DC voltage load regulation
•Good efficiency at 110VAC, great at 230VAC
•Three year warranty
•MTBF>100,000 hours
•Active PFC
•Failure to verify 80 Plus compliance using the OCC Testing Methodology
•Borderline DC quality
•Basic user manual
January 12, 2012 7:09:41 PM

You got a reccomendation on a good card for 200 bucks tops then? One that will work fine on my system?

I'm hoping spending that much on a card will make star wars play pretty brilliantly, otherwise I won't buy it.
a b U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 7:33:11 PM

?? 200 lbs of 200 Dollars.
The one that abekl (6970) would be a great card (< 200 pounds)
For under $200 I'd recommend a saphirre 6870
January 12, 2012 7:44:59 PM

Yeah 200 pounds mate. In Scotland!! Wish I was in US though for gaming since it's ment to be way cheaper when you convert it..
a b U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a b V Motherboard
January 12, 2012 8:42:22 PM

Yes, have 3 brother-in-laws living in Cambridge, Understand. You pay in pounds what we pay in dollars which equate to about a 150% markup (taxes)
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 1:30:57 PM

God, here in Germany I pay 19% sales tax. :-(
Cant complain, take the public train to school every day...