A 4GB graphics card for under £60 ($90). Is this too good to be true? Will the extra memory be wasted in the same way as extra megapixels on a cheap camera?
I don't understand enough about this to avoid being dazzled by the flashy numbers. Expert opinions would be most welcome. Otherwise I'll go for better power and a GeForce GTX 550 Ti.
Amount of memory on a GPU does not give an indication of the cards performance, this has been a ploy used by manufacturers for years for this exact reason, big numbers catch some peoples eyes. Even the very high end performing cards can't make use of more than about 2gig of memory for today's games.
In short, the 550ti is a better card, though I would still consider it a low end gaming card. Personally, if you want to game I would set my sights a little higher if you can budget it at all.
Go check this thread. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/361461-33-550ti-7770-...
jitpublisher, I read that thread just after I posted mine up and am now drawn towards the HD 6850. I have also since seen people mentioning processor bottle necking.
DXDiag says I have an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q8200 @2.33GHz, does anyone know if this means my machine will struggle with graphics cards of this sort of spec?
The 6850, though it would show better numbers if your processor was running at around 3ghz, is a good match for your processor. Don't get caught up too much worrying about "bottlenecks either. That terms serves to indicate really the slowest part of the hardware in your machine, and gives you a place to work with your upgrade process. For instance, your GPU is your bottleneck now, but after you insert a 6850, yeah, the processor is going to be the bottleneck, all that means is the next future upgrade you may want to think about would be the processor. But there is nothing wrong at all with getting the 6850, you are going to see big improvement when you install it, have fun.
Current specs for a stock HP Pavilion m9451uk:
IPIBL-LB (Benicia) Motherboard
Intel Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
4GB DDR2 RAM @ 800MHz
Nvidia Geforce 9600GS
Bestec 300W PSU
Max Resolution 1600x1200
Aiming for high or better graphic settings for games like Crysis 2, Civ 5, DOW2 and Crysis/Farcry 3 when they come out.
I started off looking for a new graphics card for my current 300W PSU and quickly realised my choices were limited. I want GDDR5 RAM after a bit of research and I can find no cards that match both requirements. I decided I'd need a new PSU as well, 500W or so should do as I'm not planning on any multi-screen powergaming (and I might be getting a 550W for free), so I expanded my search to include 500W cards.
The best card as recommended most often on this and other forums for these new parameters is the HD6850 which I can get for £90. But another option presented repeatedly for a 300W supply was the HD6670 even though the specs say that it requires 400W. Looking at other graphics cards that say they need 400W, the best I could find was the GeForce GTX 550 Ti.
I can get the GeForce for £85 (£90-95 for an overclocked one with a big fan), so I wonder if the GTX 550 Ti would also run on a 300W supply? What would happen if I tried it and my PSU wasn't up to the task? The overclocked ones would presumably draw more power so would advice be against trying it with them? I have looked at the equivalent AMD cards as compared on the tomshardware hierarchy and they all have higher recommended power requirements than the GeForce, so I'm largely ignoring them as I'd get the 6850 if I need a new PSU as well.
In short, if I can't get the free PSU, would the GeForce be a good budget alternative to avoid having to buy a new power supply as well?
Feel free to comment on anything else I've said as I'd hate to find I made a mistake after spending the cash.