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Best budget graphics card

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May 20, 2012 6:33:28 PM

Hi all,

I've just bought an IBM Thinkstation D10 Quad Core 2.5GHz with 4GB memory, but the graphic card that came installed with it leaves a lot to be desired (ATI FireMV 2250). I'd like to upgrade, but I haven't done this in years and after a few hours of research my head is spinning.

My question is: with my computer's specs what would be the best GPU I could get for around $150-200 (less being better)? I might be willing to spend more, but I have a feeling my computer would bottleneck some of the higher-end cards anyway and I don't want to waste the money. I was looking at the GeForce GTX 560's and 560 Ti's, and also at the Radeon 6870's and 7850's, but again, not sure if I could even take advantage of the higher-end cards.

Physical size of GPU should be no prob, as this Thinkstation case is massive and has lots of PCI-E slots on the motherboard, and power isn't an issue either, as it has a 1000W PSU. It's sad to have this much potential with the processor and then have to play Shogun 2: Total War at the very lowest graphic settings. Please help!

More about : budget graphics card

May 20, 2012 6:35:34 PM

7850
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May 20, 2012 6:39:23 PM

Just read the "how to ask for advice" thread, sorry! More info:

BUDGET RANGE: USD $150-250

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet surfing, gaming (right now Shogun 2, but would like to get Diablo 3 and Civ 5 eventually).

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI FireMV 2250 and 1000W factory-installed PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: IBM Thinkstation D10 Quad 2.5, 4 GB memory.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: amazon.com, newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None, whatever would work best

OVERCLOCKING: No, unless I relearn how to do it (been 8 years since I bought a computer)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Needs to run quiet
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a c 106 U Graphics card
May 20, 2012 6:43:30 PM

at 150/160 its the 6850/6870
at 200, its the 6950
at 220, its the 560 ti
at 250 its the 7850
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Best solution

a c 232 U Graphics card
May 20, 2012 6:46:31 PM

Performance wise, the 7850 falls between the 560 Ti and the 560 Ti 900 Mhz, the latter 2 of which are the same price ATM.

In Guru3D 2011 Game Test Suite (common games tested include COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery)

7850 gets - 363 fps total
560 Ti 900 Mhz - 372 fps total

$200 560 Ti 900 Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$260 7850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So call it a draw on performance but $60 savings is nice.
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May 20, 2012 6:46:32 PM

Yeah, trust me I read that "Best Cards for May" article already, but I wanted to check and see what range of GPU's my computer can even handle. I could probably buy a $400+ card, but it would be a waste of money as I don't have the specs to even unlock it's full potential.

Will a quad-core 2.5 with only 4 GB RAM get value out of a 7850, for example?




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May 20, 2012 7:30:18 PM

Ok, would this card be better than a 7850? http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-GTX480-Graphics-015-...

It's a lower price than most of the 7850's I've seen, and according to some performance reviews it runs a little better. However, it might run loud and hot, and my case isn't set to handle a really hot GPU. Would a 7850 still be the way to go?
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May 20, 2012 11:26:27 PM

Best answer selected by csvernon.
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