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Best value under $150

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 27, 2012 6:56:31 AM

System specs:
CPU: e6750 OC to 3.2
RAM: 4 GB
Resolution: 1680x1050

A small upgrade bug is biting me :)  . I'll be getting a gts 450 from a friend to replace my old 8800gt, but feel that the gts 450 may not be enough. The max that I'm willing to spend is around $150, but the cheaper the better. The cards that I currently have my eyes on, however, are USED and on craigslist. I'm aware of the risks involved buying used computer components (lack of warranty and return 'policy' are probably the biggest), however I could potentially be getting the best-bang-for-the-buck if all turns out well.

The cards that are currently listed around my area are:

gtx 285 ~$100. Hoping to get it down to <$75
gtx 460 ~$100 for 768 MB
gtx 460 >$120 for 1GB
hd 6870 ~$150
hd 6950 ~$200

Needless to say, I'll try to negotiate all prices down as some of these prices are a mere $20 or so below the current retail prices. I included the hd 6950 there because if I can get one for <$175, I'll be very tempted to pull the trigger, especially if it's a reference card and I could unlock to a 6970.

Onto the ever popular question: which one should I get? Keep in mind that I play at 1680x1050 and do not plan on upgrading any other component for the time being. Is playing at this resolution with my current system worth forking up for the hd 6870 or 6950, even if I can get one for $175?

Even though the gtx 285 is the oldest one here, it looks like the performance is nearly on par with the gtx 460. If i could get a gtx 285 for under $70 this might be a very attractive deal, too.

Any thoughts? Thanks.


More about : 150

a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 7:22:40 AM

6950 at that price is a good deal. If you don't buy that 6950 then buy a 6870.Another good option for your monitor resolution is 6850.
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a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 8:07:32 AM

What PSU are you using? what country do you live in?
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a c 175 U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 10:36:10 AM

Your CPU, note it first, don't get 6870 or 6950. I think your CPU will bottleneck both of these, Also, what is your PSU?

At $150, I recommend 460 1GB (if you like nVidia) or 6850 (If you don't really matter about brands). They both can be bought NEW below $150:

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

I Like buying new rather than second hand cards, because as you mention they lack of warranty and return 'policy'. And about the Idea of 285, I don't recommend it, It's old, even though it's performance is the same as these cards, it does not support newest tech such as DirectX 11 and others.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 12:39:50 PM

The prices you are quoting are not good ones unless you can argue them down some. If not just get buy new.
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February 27, 2012 3:36:11 PM

Careful with the GTX 460. To lower the price, Nvidia lowered the memory interface to 192 bit. The 6850 has 256 bit (almost double the memory bandwidth if both are using GDDR5.

The 6850 above has 10% off right now which will bring it to $134, free shipping, AND you get Dirt 3. No question in my mind which I'd go for right now.
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a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 4:03:33 PM

tiger6k said:
Careful with the GTX 460. To lower the price, Nvidia lowered the memory interface to 192 bit.


Inconsequential given his resolution and CPU. The 192 bit is fine up to 1080p, has a full 1GB of VRAM and is clocked at 867 Mhz vs 720 Mhz (for the 256 bit model). It will also Overclock well over 900 Mhz without a voltage tweak since its a GF114 based CPU (same as the GTX 560 or GTX 560 Ti). The GF104 based 256 bit version won't clock nearly that high with stock voltage. I'd wager at 1680x1050 the 192 bit EVGA Superclock would be faster. Might as well save the money.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 27, 2012 4:07:45 PM

My psu is a antec 650W. I live in USA. And about my cpu bottlenecking, that's another issue i was thinking about too. If any of this matters, a few weeks ago I took my brother's 6950 and did a quick standard furmark test, and the scored more than doubled compared to my 'heavily' OC'd 8800gt. Booted up Skryrim, was able to put everything to max, but sometimes the FPS would dip to 40 or so in outside environments.

I really don't care about the brands, but I just remembered from my reading that the gtx 460 is a beast of a over-clocker, but the 6850 is not lagging either. But both heavily OC'd still won't match a 6870, if I recall correctly.

One thing I never really understood was memory interface. More is better as I understand it, but 256 vs 192 is a difference of 64. Would this really matter in real world performance?

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February 27, 2012 4:11:27 PM

2 simple questions
1.) what is the specs of the rest of your computer?
2.) what are you playing on doing with it when you put the video card into the computer?
with that i would recommend the GeForce 460 no only because it is cheaper but mainly because it is much more unlikely to be as bottlenecked by your CPU and the better once will be even more so giving you little to no advantage over the GeForce 460.
Now if it was a new system i would go with the 6950 as that is the best one on there and is at a good price just find out why are they selling them and if they are in a " good as new " or " new " shape as ware and tear on video cards is not so good when you get to the higher end of them.
With all of that make sure the part works before completing the deal as that is a decent amount of cash to pay for only a video card and not the entire machine.
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a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 4:18:41 PM

GTX 285>HD 6950>HD 6870>GTX 460 1GB>GTX 460 768mb.

In that order. the GTX 285 is a banging deal and outperforms the GTX 460, the 6950 isnt a bad deal either considering its current retail price is about 260 or so
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a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 4:55:06 PM

Guys take a look at his budget , he asked a simple thing "Best value under $150 ". And in that price range the best and good video card is 6870.
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February 27, 2012 5:59:39 PM

2575547,11,1071012 said:
GTX 285>HD 6950>HD 6870>GTX 460 1GB>GTX 460 768mb.

No offense, but a 6950 will walk all over a 285, the GTX 285 should technically be at the end of this list...

Proof is in the pudding:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Sure $75 bucks seems like a good deal, but for the noise and juice it takes to run it?

Dry
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February 27, 2012 6:48:43 PM

yumri said:
2 simple questions
1.) what is the specs of the rest of your computer?
2.) what are you playing on doing with it when you put the video card into the computer?
with that i would recommend the GeForce 460 no only because it is cheaper but mainly because it is much more unlikely to be as bottlenecked by your CPU and the better once will be even more so giving you little to no advantage over the GeForce 460.
Now if it was a new system i would go with the 6950 as that is the best one on there and is at a good price just find out why are they selling them and if they are in a " good as new " or " new " shape as ware and tear on video cards is not so good when you get to the higher end of them.
With all of that make sure the part works before completing the deal as that is a decent amount of cash to pay for only a video card and not the entire machine.


1). MB: ga-ep45-ud3l
CPU: E6750
RAM: OCZ 4 gb (2x2)
PSU: antec earthwatts 650
GPU: soon to be gts 450

2) Play games. No video editing or watching blu-rays. My video card will primarily serve to run video games.

If I do happen to make a deal on a used card, I'll no doubt plan on seeing proof that the card still works before closing the deal.

Honestly, I think the only way I'd consider buying these cards used is if I could negotiate the prices down... like >=60% of the current retail value. What I really want is the 2 gb 6950s if I could get them below $170. It's obviously the most future-proof out of the listed cards, and if I should upgrade my system within a year or two, it'll still should be viable. Right now, the frontrunner is probably the gtx 285 IF I could get it below $60. For such an old card, who know how many miles it has before it dies; I need my current system to last at least another year. Otherwise, it's not worth the risk and hassle of buying used cards for only $20-$30 below the retail price, not to mention the lack of warranty or any other type of insurance.

So to sum it up, if i can't get these prices way down, I'll likely look into buying the gtx 460, 6850, or 6870 new.








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February 27, 2012 7:28:59 PM

The 285 should be able to play the games (and play them well, mind you), but you wouldn't be able to play anything with Direct X 11. While most current games still support some form of Direct X 9 or 10 in the options (read: they will be playable) if a game is exclusively DirectX 11 it won't run on the nVidia 285.

Just in case: the 285 requires 2 6 PIN PCI-E connectors, so make sure your Antec has it or you have some adapters.

Dry
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a c 249 U Graphics card
February 27, 2012 7:45:05 PM

Using the Guru3D test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead, their cost in dollars per frame in single card - CF or SLI are listed below:


Best value below $200 is the 6870 (usually around $160) .... $ 0.37 per frame in single card config (434 fps) - $ 0.46 per frame in CF (701 fps)


Best value above $200 is the 900 Mhz 560 Ti (Usually around $205) ... .... $ 0.42 per frame in single card config (495 fps) - $ 0.48 per frame in SLI (862 fps).

Here's how the other cards stack up

$ 155.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.49 - $ 0.52
$ 155.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 160.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.37 - $ 0.46
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53
$ 450.00 7950 (603/NG*) $ 0.75 - ERR
$ 550.00 7970 (675/NG*) $ 0.81 - ERR

* did not complete test, expected to be resolved w/ future driver releases.
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February 28, 2012 4:38:33 PM

Awesome ^
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March 7, 2012 3:05:23 PM

Best answer selected by vwj.
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March 7, 2012 3:11:11 PM

I got a great deal on a HD 6950 for $150 so I got it. Otherwise I would've likely bought a 6870 used for <$140 or a refurbished 560 ti for <$200. But I couldn't be more happy with the 6950 for $150.
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