Best GPU for around $250 thoughts?!!

Looking for a GPU for my first build and have 250 to spend. I am looking at downgrading from the i5 to the i3 to get a better one. i want to play battlefield 3, GTA, skyrim. and have it last me at least for awhile until i get get money to upgrade the CPU then the GPU. Thoughts!!
26 answers Last reply
More about best thoughts
  1. 7850. crossfire later
  2. are there any brands i need to stay away from or any you would recommend?
  3. Asus CU II, followed by MSI TF IV, followed by Sapphire Dual X.

    Those are the top brands out there.
  4. ilysaml said:
    Asus CU II, followed by MSI TF IV, followed by Sapphire Dual X.

    Those are the top brands out there.

    Out of all the brands I've bought over the years ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX have been good. I've had a very mixed experience with Sapphire cards...

    As for actual GPU recommendation? Try and get a 7950... seriously. This: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127667 can be had for $320. Do not under any circumstance buy a 7870, though; it is too close in price to the 7950 to make sense as any purchase in my book.

    If you're dead set around the $250 mark then get this Gigabyte 7850, it's factory overclocked to 975MHz vs 860MHz stock giving you much more performance/$ ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125419 ).
  5. the 7950 is a good deal. and 3 free games if you want any of them kinda balances it out
  6. I would say GTX 480 is much better than HD 7850 and is cheaper too:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130759

    It's almost as fast as HD 7870, which is much more expensive!



    Just make sure you have a decent power supply to support it, it needs quite a lot of power ;).
  7. Sunius said:
    I would say GTX 480 is much better than HD 7850 and is cheaper too:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130759

    It's almost as fast as HD 7870, which is much more expensive!

    http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7850_HD_7870/images/perfrel.gif

    Just make sure you have a decent power supply to support it, it needs quite a lot of power ;).


    +1
  8. @Sunius
    Did Recon UK influence at you? I thought your badge makes you more smarter than this.
  9. Not really. I really believe that GTX 480 is much better than HD 7850. It is more powerful for a fact. And personally, I don't think increased power usage is much of a downside. I don't really know why you think it's a bad idea..
  10. Power only? Heat and noise? VRAM limitations? Tessellation and better IQ?
  11. There aren't any VRAM limitations unless he's trying to play on three screens. Noise isn't an issue, most people are making it sound like it's an air conditioning system or something. And heat: it's designed to be able to cool it self, who cares it's hotter than other cards? It won't blow up or anything like that...

    Tessellation and better IQ? What do you mean?
  12. Quote:
    There aren't any VRAM limitations unless he's trying to play on three screens.

    Maybe you've not heard of Max Payne 3 Yet.
    Quote:
    Noise isn't an issue, most people are making it sound like it's an air conditioning system or something. And heat: it's designed to be able to cool it self, who cares it's hotter than other cards? It won't blow up or anything like that...

    No, the card is pretty audible it gets 45db in load which is pretty audible and when the fans exceed 70% it;s like a vacuum machine you can't live with it at all and hits 90C while being in load too,
  13. With my 14 year experience building PC's, i have used all the major brands to include gigabyte, MSI, Asus, Abit, Tyan etc and with these brands they we are great right out of the box but after a few months they began to slow down or have errors. MSI being the worst of them. My recommendation with Intel CPU's is to use Intel motherboards. They have been the most stable and longest performing boards I have ever used.
  14. ilysaml said:
    Quote:
    There aren't any VRAM limitations unless he's trying to play on three screens.

    Maybe you've not heard of Max Payne 3 Yet.
    Quote:
    Noise isn't an issue, most people are making it sound like it's an air conditioning system or something. And heat: it's designed to be able to cool it self, who cares it's hotter than other cards? It won't blow up or anything like that...

    No, the card is pretty audible it gets 45db in load which is pretty audible and when the fans exceed 70% it;s like a vacuum machine you can't live with it at all and hits 90C while being in load too,
    http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image//skymtl/GPU/GTX480123/GTX480-82.jpg



    So what Max Payne 3 uses a lot of VRAM? It's still not the fps limiter.. GTX 480 would perform better at it than HD 7850 anyway. Just because VRAM is used up it doesn't mean it will lag or anything.

    Seriously, a vacuum machine? Non sense. Vacuum machine would be closer to 70. And unless you're playing games with sound off, you won't even notice it.

    Lastly, the temperatures. First of all, that was a test with reference nvidia card. Not custom manufacturer. Secondly, 1h of 3dmark is intensive. There's no wonder it hits those temperatures. It's unrealistic it will hit those temps in real world gaming though. They wouldn't manufacture it and give long warranty for it if it wasn't going to be resistant. I, for a fact, don't mind a few degrees ambient temperature raise. I repeat myself: it's not going to explode.
  15. I will reply you in the morning, can't open my eyes anymore :sleep:
  16. http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/xfx_hd_7870_7850_dd/9.htm
    go for the 7850.
    570 is 2 fps ahead on stock and then 5 fps behind when comparing overclocked specs.
  17. GTX 480, any day right now.
    The previous flashgrip is now only $200, W/Free S&H on Newegg.
  18. I'd still have to vote for the GTX 480, this is because AMD cards are POS at folding.
  19. Sunius said:
    So what Max Payne 3 uses a lot of VRAM? It's still not the fps limiter.. GTX 480 would perform better at it than HD 7850 anyway..

    OF course it is, with the GTX 480 you can't enable more than 2X MSAA otherwise you'll get the VRAM limit warning message and performance would be too laggy. Technically GTX 570 is 1% faster than GTX 480, and the review of the HD 7850/70 by Toms showed 4% difference between GTX 570 and HD 7850, an overclock to the HD 7850 would make it performing in similarity to GTX 480 while being cooler by 25C, and less noisier by 7db, consuming half of the power that GTX 480 consumes.
    Quote:
    Just because VRAM is used up it doesn't mean it will lag or anything

    HOW? :ouch:
    Quote:
    Seriously, a vacuum machine? Non sense. Vacuum machine would be closer to 70. And unless you're playing games with sound off, you won't even notice it.

    Maybe you haven't heard a stock cooler fan before running at high speed, here's a sample
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgLW06NPc8E
    GTX 480 itself @ 70% fan speed, watch from 2.04
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G488WIFoiw
    Quote:
    Lastly, the temperatures. First of all, that was a test with reference nvidia card. Not custom manufacturer. Secondly, 1h of 3dmark is intensive. There's no wonder it hits those temperatures

    The EVGA you're referring to which costs $200 is a reference card too, 1 hour of 3D Mark is intensive? How about FurMark? Guru3d showed 90C for the GTX 480 and they excluded Furmark from their test suit, they stated using a hefty shader application to stress the GPU and it got that temps, while hardcore gaming for hours you can expect the card to reach those temps, even if it's 85C, I would invest in a card reaches 65C as a max temp in load and give me a great room for overclocking wihout being worried my performance gets throttled by heat.
    Sunius said:
    It's unrealistic it will hit those temps in real world gaming though. They wouldn't manufacture it and give long warranty for it if it wasn't going to be resistant. I, for a fact, don't mind a few degrees ambient temperature raise. I repeat myself: it's not going to explode.

    These cards were designed to run as hot as hell, being noisy and a power hungry, those were the main disadvantages, why would one sacrifice those things gaining 5% performance increase?
  20. As I said, used up VRAM doesn't mean performance drops to the ground. Personally, owning a GTX 560 Ti 1GB, my VRAM gets capped at BF3 and Crysis 2 when playing on near max settings, however, I still get 40+ fps on those games.

    Sure, the sound is pretty audible when you listen to it with your ear 10 cm from the fan, however, it gets considerably weaker when your case is under your table. When you are gaming, you won't be able to hear it at all. BTW, 7 dB isn't much at all, so HD 7850 isn't that much silent.

    Lastly, you will not get thermal throttling. And I would sacrifice the things you mentioned for gaining 5% performance and saving 20% cash. Maybe it's just me, let's let the OP decide now that he has all the facts.
  21. The GTX 480 is the imperfect GTX 570.
    Keep in mind too, this card is older.
    Don't underestimate it though, as it still laughs in the face of modern games and can keep up with most modern GPUs.
    Yes, it is hot, it is loud, it is power hungry.
    They do sell cooling units for this video card though.
    At $200 though, the card can't be beat.
    I don't think everyone is going to be playing Max Payne 3.
    One thing people don't keep in mind is that this card needs space and ventilation.
    I have the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Gaming Tower; after I drop in a 480 I want, i'm buying 4 more case fans and the Gelid Icy thingymajigbob cooler.
    I also have this PSU- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817553004 just so I have enough power.
    In the end, the cons can be outweighed.
    I'm not going to spend another few hundred dollars for the GTX 570 or 580.
    If I was shooting that high i'd just buy the GTX 670.
  22. This is a 7850 with bf3 and dirt 3 for 250

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102987


  23. Do not under any circumstance buy a 7870, though; it is too close in price to the 7950 to make sense as any purchase in my book.


    They also run really close, when it comes to Playing games (FPS)

    Buy a. lets say your motherboard is a MSI, then buy a MSI GPU, it runs better, because the motherboard are mainly programed (GPU vice) to run the same brand, although it still supports all the other once as well. buy a 7870, and save some money
  24. That is a dangerous assumption. It is more likely they have been tested together, but except in special cases, I wouldn't bet they've been designed to work together. The counter to this that some manufacturers are better at Motherboards and some are better at GPUs, or at least particular models may be better or worse. I'd err on the side of finding the best parts and only go with the same manufacturer if all else is the same.

    The cynical answer is that all these parts are built in the same factories, often with identical components and virtually identical designs.
  25. lol @ Thread


    I would suggest the GTX 480, sure it's a bit warmer, but still a very capable card today.

    And please folks, stop sounding like the GTX 480 will have nuclear meltdown temperatures, I remember the days of the 8800GTX, now those GPUs ran hot, but at least my heating bill was low during the winter and could throw any game at it in those times, lol
  26. @recon
    Did you smell this thread? You're a F nice snoopy :lol:
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