Ditching GT220 for something game worthy $172 budget

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: buying this week or the next BUDGET RANGE: $172usd max including taxes

USAGE (in no particular order): Metro 2033, FEAR series, Assassin's Creed series, Amnesia, Shadowrun, Ninja Gaiden 3, Unreal Tournament 3, Quake 4, The Darkness II, The Witcher 2, The Prototype 2, Snipers Elite V2, Rage, Red Faction Armageddon and Guerilla, Portal 2, Mirror's Edge...


Motherboard: Asus M4A89TD Pro/USB3
Processor: Phenom II X6 1055T 2.80GHz
Memory: 8GB (I don't remember the speed)

Midsized tower with 120mm venting out back, 120mm intake on the side, and then maybe a 90mm intake fan on the bottom front.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm definitely pretty set on AMD cards cuz they're cheaper and since my motherboard is made for them (am interested in crossfire).

OVERCLOCKING: um, is my card more likely to die on me and will I need to do a custom cooling job? SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire, yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Am getting new monitors. But I'm immediately coming from an xbox 360 1080p so I want as much of an upgrade from this a possible. I'm probably going to get a catleap 27" IPS.

So the deal is I can't spend more than $172 total (including tax). I have a Visiontek HD 6750 in the mail but I can return it and looking at the graphics card hierarchy I feel I sold myself short. What do people recommend? I don't have specific requirements as far as resolution, AA, or framerate, I just want the best my money can buy. After being a long time pc gamer and then not a gamer at all I spent two years strictly on xbox 360 and ps3 so I'm not up to date. I'm really looking to see a huge difference in visual detail and effects.

Even if I don't have enough money to get the best graphics card (obviously not) I am willing to run a couple cards in crossfire. I am read up on the microstutter issue but am not deterred.

Is the 6770 really a bit better than the 6750? I had some store credit so I have enough money left over that if I keep the 6750 I could buy another one.

Also, how would 3-way crossfire perform with the onboard graphics being the third? I guess another concern is that I don't have anymore money to upgrade my cooling if that's going to be necessary with two cards in there.

8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. It's a very good time to be buying a 6870; it's a great card and steadily getting cheaper. You can usually find deals for about $150, sometimes less. Here's an example for today at $150 once you include a $30 rebate:

    You are unlikely to see a 6950 at less than $200 any time soon, so if you're definitely going AMD, I don't see much choice but the 6870. Fortunately, it's a good choice.
  2. Hi there, thanks motorneuron. So 6870 is better than two 6750s in crossfire? Or the three way I mentioned? Or are you suggesting I get the 6870 now and another one later?

    Also, do AMD cards play games made for / optimized for Nvidia well?
  3. I think this might be better. At least some benchmarks say so.
  4. Hi auntarie, do you really think that's better for me? I like the idea of having the multiGPU option so given my motherboard I was only looking at AMD cards. Am I better off going through the hassle of selling my used card on ebay when I have more money and getting a better card then or just getting another one and going crossfire?

    I still wonder also if either of the suggested cards so far are better than two 6750s. Thanks yall.
  5. Best answer
    If you can, always go single-card. That way you'll avoid microstuttering and will be able to add another card later on, if necessary. Sorry for the Nvidia suggestion, it kind of slipped my mind that you preferred AMD.

    So yeah, go with a single card. For $172 your best bet is a 6870, as motorneuron said.
    6870 will probably be equal, if not better than 2x6750. And if the 6750 doesn't scale good, it will be far better. As you can see here:

    6870 is about twice as fast as a 6750.
  6. Best answer selected by catleapqueen.
  7. Thank you both! About to go order it!
  8. Ha, sniping my best answer! But yeah, I agree totally, much better to go for a single more powerful card whenever you can. And microstutter is especially problematic for relatively lower-end cards, like the 6750.
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