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Opinions GTX 280 versus 550Ti for DX9

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 14, 2012 10:56:23 PM

Hi. I just bought an Ivy Bridge i5-3570K barebone kit along with a 550Ti, but don't find it to be an especially impressive performer for my various flight and train sims. So, I am wondering what you think would be best for DX9 (and OpenGL) gaming, the GTX 280 or GTX 550Ti. Tigerdirect has a good deal on refurbished 280s, though I'd need to buy a new PSU since the barebones cames with a 650W. I run XP 64 and XP 32/SP3 and doubt I'm going to be running anything in the future that requires DX10/11.
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2012 11:05:43 PM

PSU ? MOBO ?
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June 14, 2012 11:26:30 PM

Why only xp? You can run xp on 7. If your PSU & MOBO can handle SLI, then 550 ti. The 550 will be easier to get in the future.
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June 15, 2012 1:05:55 AM

The PSU is an Ultra 650W, and the mobo is a Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H. For reasons too numerous to mention, I won't be upgrading to an OS later than XP, at least not a Microsoft one. XP is more than enough. SLi actually causes problems with some of these sims anyway, and it's generally recommended to have a single faster GPU over SLi or X-fire arrangements. I'm only asking about the 280 because the price is so good and the 550Ti is a little underwhelming. However, I'm not sure if the various reviews and comparisons posted here and other places on the internet are based on games that run newer DirectX specifications or not. FYI, here are the semi-modern games I'll be running

FSX + various addons
X-Plane 9
OpenBVE
Trainz 2009, 2010, and 2012
Railworks 3
Battlefront I & II

As you can see, nothin' really fancy! lol
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a c 173 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 1:19:34 AM

The GTX280 is about as fast as a GTX460. Which is faster then the 550TI. If you find the 550TI underwhelming then I'm not sure the next card up is going to impress you. Perhaps a GTX560(TI)? There is always the 6870 or 7850 as well.
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June 15, 2012 5:05:10 AM

I'm still looking for more opinions! Let me clarify things. First, thanks for those links, Rick - I haven't seen that PSU ranking before. I know the Ultra isn't a good power supply run anywhere near it's limits, hence why I won't run a 280 despite nVidia claiming a minimum 550W supply but your link is extremely helpful in understanding the hierarchy.

560's or otherwise don't make financial sense; as it stands, it'll only cost me about $50 more to trade my current card and buy a new PSU. I've already worked out the finances - I'm just wondering about technical capabilities and I'm confining this discussion to the 550Ti versus the 280.

FYI, thanks to those who have replied.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 7:06:13 AM

I would probably grab the 550ti just on heat/power draw alone. The GTX280 isn't that much faster but will use a lot more electricity. So unless you find a GTX280 for a heck of a steal I'd just get the 550ti
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 11:26:12 AM

+1 for 550ti or 6790 which should be in the same price range, but I must disagree with the poster above saying 280/285 if faster than a gtx 460.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 12:21:32 PM

GTX280 is about the same speed as the GTX460. I never said it was faster. Both cards are faster then the GTX550TI. Up to all of us to decide if the extra power and heat is worth it.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 1:40:35 PM

4745454b said:
GTX280 is about the same speed as the GTX460. I never said it was faster. Both cards are faster then the GTX550TI. Up to all of us to decide if the extra power and heat is worth it.


No problem but I'd still even put the 768 mb version of the 768 over the 280/5.

If PSU is a concern then look at the 550ti but if it isn't a problem look at the 280/285 to save money
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a c 173 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:19:26 PM

It all depends on the deal/price. I picked up a 256bit 1GB GTX460 because it was $95.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 2:24:40 PM

4745454b said:
It all depends on the deal/price. I picked up a 256bit 1GB GTX460 because it was $95.


I'm looking at a 460 hawk for next payday for 110 and I might just buy it.
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