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550w PSU + Card under $250?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 23, 2012 7:42:30 PM

I've been researching GPU's for what seems like forever but more like since around February, and made the decision to wait multiple times so I come in search of advice from others. My current rig:

C2Q Q9400 stock
16 gig Corsair XMS
Antec 550w PSU
Crucial M4 64 gig SSD
Sapphire 4870

So I'm looking to upgrade my GPU, I want a single card not SLI or Crossfire for the moment, and there are so many options i just can't seem to find the best performance for the lowest price
and have it be something my system can run.

Cards I've looked at so far:

6850/6870 cause they're real cheap right now but I don't know if they'll last me longer than a year or so.

560 Ti Fermi looks fine but i know new cards are coming out but i don't think i wanna wait till the end of the summer or roughly Q3 for the mid range 600's

560 Ti 448 looks great but the price is still a little too high and i don't know if it's gonna drop in the near future

7850 i waited for this card and it seems really solid but i've heard issues with drivers and running older games and i don't know what to think anymore

GTX 480 this thing is on sale for like $200 which seems great despite it being older but i don't know if my 550w PSU could handle it.

I'm not trying to play multi monitor gaming, nor am i trying to play Metro 2033 @ max settings. i have a 23" 1920x1080 monitor i wanna run current games at very good high stable framerates mainly stuff like Skyrim (i know CPU has a lot to do with Skyrim but worrying about GPU right now) Diablo III, Mass Effect 3, and games that will be coming out for the rest of the year. I'd rather spend the extra if the card is going to perform longer, but I am worried about driver issues as i've heard problems with both Nvidia and AMD for the cards i've listed. Any help or opinions are appreciated thanks.

More about : 550w psu card 250

April 23, 2012 8:02:58 PM

im at 1920x1080, and i've previously made a thread worrying about my CPU bottlenecking and i was told by a few people that my CPU is still pretty good and would be even better with some simple overclocking. I'd prefer to still be able to run @ 1920 instead of 1680 so that's a factor here. If i knew that the 480 wouldn't set my computer/house on fire with my low PSU (Antec TruPower 2 550w) i would prolly say that might be my best bet at the moment @ $209 free shipping from NewEgg. But i'm mainly looking for other opinions or advice.
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April 23, 2012 8:52:27 PM

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OK sorry mate I should re word that the 6870 will perform great at 1080P native resolution of you monitor maxed setting however just make sure you are not expecting 60fps all the time in every game in some yes but not the heavy games like Metro 2033 and BF3, Crysis ect you will be over 30fps tho in any game so if you are cool with that then enjoy the savings. About the GTX 480 ya theres no guarantee that it wont burn down your house I mean it has been known to happen in the past to many other people and your PSU is just borderline at best for that abominable beast.


Ya i'm too on the fence about the 480, while i like the specs it is older and i don't know if my PSU could handle it. My only qualms about the 6870 is that in a years time am i gonna be right back here looking for a better upgrade? In my original post i said $250 or under preferably under ofc, but i hope to upgrade my Mobo + CPU eventually anyways probably to a i5 2500k or whatever's better at the time but for now i wanted a GPU for the upcomming games. I've had up till the end of last year extremely good luck with my 4870 and it ran almost everything i wanted high/max settings with good frame rates and i built this computer in 2009 so it lasted me a good long while. I'm just hoping to achieve something similar with my upgrade, i don't want a throwaway where i'll be mad i can't run games in 2013 (apocalypse pending) unless they're on medium at 1440 resolution. So that's my only concern about the 6870 at the moment i know its like $50-$100 cheaper than the other cards but if the other ones will last me longer i would probably prefer those. I'm not incredibly well informed about GPU's, i know a little but it's still a 256 1 gb card, and i was hoping to get something a little better, 7850 is 2gb, 560 TI 448 is 1.25gb 320 bus, and 480 is 1.5 with 384 bus, I know the other numbers are equally if not more important and i've looked at a bunch on a hardware comparison site. Just food for thought, With all this info do you still think i'd be best off with a 6870? Thanks for all your help so far Misterio.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 9:02:35 PM

Quote:
OK sorry mate I should re word that the 6870 will perform great at 1080P native resolution of you monitor maxed setting however just make sure you are not expecting 60fps all the time in every game in some yes but not the heavy games like Metro 2033 and BF3, Crysis ect you will be over 30fps tho in any game so if you are cool with that then enjoy the savings. About the GTX 480 ya theres no guarantee that it wont burn down your house I mean it has been known to happen in the past to many other people and your PSU is just borderline at best for that abominable beast.

Oh really? Can you provide some links to those news articles please because this is the first I've heard of such happenings.
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April 23, 2012 9:03:16 PM

just some price comparisons...

EVGA 480 is $209 + FS
EVGA 560 TI is $200 AR + FS
XFX 6870 is $160 AR + FS

then it's expensive

7850's are like $250-$260 + Shipping if you want the better names
560 448's are about the same after rebates.

just don't know :( 
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April 23, 2012 9:04:43 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Oh really? Can you provide some links to those news articles please because this is the first I've heard of such happenings.


I was exaggerating i didn't think it actually burnt peoples houses down :ouch:  but everyone says it runs hot and is a power hog, if i knew my 550w could handle it without problem i would probably consider it since it's pretty cheap at the moment.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 9:16:07 PM

SmorS said:
I was exaggerating i didn't think it actually burnt peoples houses down :ouch:  but everyone says it runs hot and is a power hog, if i knew my 550w could handle it without problem i would probably consider it since it's pretty cheap at the moment.

Yes but Misterio stated that it has happened, which is a bit different.
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 9:24:35 PM

+1 6870

It's VERY well priced and the games you noted have reasonably low min specs. Your Q2Q 9400 was a very good CPU for its time, and continues to be. You do run the risk of spending a shitload on like a 560TI you may be bottle necked in more CPU dependent games (like BF3 for instance)
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April 23, 2012 9:47:41 PM

teh_gerbil said:
+1 6870

It's VERY well priced and the games you noted have reasonably low min specs. Your Q2Q 9400 was a very good CPU for its time, and continues to be. You do run the risk of spending a shitload on like a 560TI you may be bottle necked in more CPU dependent games (like BF3 for instance)


As i said before I do plan on upgrading my CPU at some point later in the year, and also ya I'm not trying to run anything super demanding or multi display, I think the highest thing i'd wanna run is Skyrim, and my current system before i upgraded my ram (had 4 gig now have 16) could run it on medium @ 1920 with about 40 fps, so as long as it could do better than that i'd be happy.

SO my question right now is i can get a XFX Double D 6870 for $160 AR + FS OR I could get a 560 TI Fermi for $200 + FS. I personally have never owned a Nvidia card in my life so I don't know if that is worth the $40 difference. There was at one point a 560 TI 448 on Amazon for $220 AR that i missed, if i saw that again i would probably jump on it at this point. But so far 2 people think i should get the 6870 and i suppose if It's gonna last longer than I think, and the other choices I've listed aren't noticeable enough of upgrades then maybe that should become my first choice.
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 10:47:30 PM

I had the same dilemma as yourself, (6870 for 240 or 560ti for 300) and after reading many many benchmarks the extra 40 bucks simply I deemed unworthy it, I am not a guy to play on high @ 30fps, I'd rather play medium @ 60+ fps, and coupled with a 6x core AMD cpu I am really really happy with it, and looking at min specs for Mass Effect 3 and other up coming games I am very happy I meet if not exceed the reccomended specs.

I tell ya what, if you got money to spare, get the 6870, and spend the additional 40 bucks on a CM 212 Evo, it'll enable you to OC to get a wee bit more life out of the ol' Q2Q and will be future proof for any upgrade path you choose.
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 11:19:02 PM

7850.
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April 23, 2012 11:29:30 PM

First, i will update this thread again in half an hour as i may have taken the plunge into buying a card already :) 

@Teh_Gerbil if my other purchase falls through then i'll definitely consider this as an option, do you think the XFX Double D or the Sapphire 6870 would be better? I have a sapphire 4870 and it's been fine up till about December of last year. granted i ran it mostly OC'd with the software it came with but the XFX has 2 fans. Or in general which model do you recommend?

@diec4ast It's the one i wanted and said i was gonna wait for, but the price is like at my high end at the moment. I was hoping price was gonna drop but will have to wait and see, think i'm gonna be waiting a while for that.
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 11:30:43 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5625/amd-radeon-hd-7870-g...

diec4st - 7850 +1 (Huck diggity, that's a damn good point, it also requires less energy, and would be fine with 550W)

7850 = 6950

Depends on cost OP, but again, you run the risk of being left behind by your CPU.

If you have NO intentions of upgrading computer in the next 3 years 6870 = Competent for your needs.

If you are going to upgrade next year = 7850 you may be limited by CPU based games particularly at FullHD.
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April 23, 2012 11:36:32 PM

I do plan on upgrading my CPU in the next 3 years, so if i find a deal i should probably go for it. 7850 sounds about right so if my other purchase doesn't work out i'll probably end up holding out till i see a price drop for those. Also I need to look into overclocking my my CPU as I never have tried before, and wonder if that would help until i get a new CPU + Mobo.
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April 23, 2012 11:52:16 PM

OK so i ended up getting a 2nd hand MSI 560 TI 448 for $200.. but thanks for all the help and input guys!
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!