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Looking to buy a graphics card, would like advice.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 13, 2012 3:07:59 AM

BUDGET RANGE: 100-200$ After Rebates (Extra will probably go to a headset)

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming: Skyrim, Dota2, Deus Ex - Human Revolution, Starcraft2, and more. Schoolwork (Software Engineering). Projects in Unity/Blender. Movies.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon HD 5570, I don't remember the power supply, but I know it's 700+ Watts

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Processor 3.00GHz, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 64 bit.



PARTS PREFERENCES: None, as long as they work.

OVERCLOCKING: Don't know enough.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Don't know enough.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 (16:10)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The card that has been recommended to me by a friend is the GeForce GTX 460

It seems like a great card, but he doesn't know a lot about my system, so I figured I would ask here! =)

Thanks for any help!
January 13, 2012 5:33:39 AM

Are you saying the 5570 isn't enough, or it died and you're looking to replace it?
check out Toms Graphic Heirarchy chart. You will get an idea how the 460 compares to what you have now. For the chart, go at least 2 "tiers" above to get a noticable difference.
And with a 700+ p/s, you should have no worries for any single video card.
a c 355 U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 6:01:32 AM

Within that range you can easily buy a Radeon HD 6870 for around $160 - $170 after rebate. However, the problem is your CPU is a bit weak so the HD 6870 will be a little bottlenecked. Hard to say by how but conservatively speaking I would say around 10% - 15% bottleneck in performance.

Click the following link to look at benchmarks between the GTX 460 and HD 6870 to help you decide which card is better for you. I would go with the HD 6870.
Related resources
a c 92 U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 6:04:23 AM

get the 6870.
a c 214 U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 6:52:33 AM

I suggest going for a 6850.It's a good solid card and should allow you to play Skyrim on High settings.

When/if you have enough money I suggest getting at least a Phenom ii dual core.It should give you a nice performance boost without breaking the bank.

What is the make/model of your PSU?If you don't know open the case and on the back of the PSU will be a sticker.Post back what you see.
January 13, 2012 9:13:06 PM

Well, it looks like the 6870 is the way to go, but if it isn't that big of an upgrade it might actually be worth waiting a year or so. It would probably be better just to wait and then buy a new graphics card and CPU at the same time. There's nothing wrong with the card I'm currently using, it's working fine, I was just looking to upgrade. Hmm.. can't decide.

Didn't feel like opening up my computer to check the power supply though.. would the model actually affect the performance that much anyway?

Thanks for all the advice! It's been very helpful.
a c 92 U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 9:22:06 PM

its a very large upgrade to your current gpu.
a c 214 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 12:42:49 AM

I actually had a 5570 myself and then upgraded to a 6870.Wow is it a big difference.I was able to max out almost every game.Although my processor helps a lot in that fact.

Yes the brand of PSU can make a difference.They're a lot of companies that use false advertising(say it can deliver a certain amount but actually can't).And cut cost by using cheap componets.This can be dangerous when using high performance stuff.So it would be wise to check it out and lets us know.
January 14, 2012 2:41:31 AM

Definitely go with the 6850 or wait until the 7000 series cards. Your CPU will bottleneck a 6870 so you're better off saving your money. Also if you're able to run crossfire down the road, it's a better value and isn't as PSU demanding.
January 14, 2012 7:43:00 PM

Hmm.. Well I think I've decided to wait awhile. I'll just go without a great Graphics Card for awhile and then upgrade later when I can get a new CPU at the same time. Thanks for the advice, this site is awesome.
a c 214 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 7:58:43 PM

Good idea.Just ask if you need help again.