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Best card for an AMD Athlon II x4 640?

Hey there forums! :hello:

I was just wondering what, in your opinion, is the most powerful card that can run on a good 500w PSU with an AMD Athlon II x4 640 WITHOUT bottlenecking too hard? I'm not looking for price to performance ratio, my budget is pretty generous for this one. I was planning to go with a Radeon 7950 3GB, but I had mixed responses on how hard it would bottleneck. I suppose it would be nice for future-proofing anyways. I (sort of...) would prefer an nVidia card, just for the driver support, but I'm open to whatever card has the most juice for my CPU/PSU!
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  1. What is "good 500w psu"?

    You would prefer Nvidia for driver support? HUH?
  2. geekapproved said:
    What is "good 500w psu"?

    You would prefer Nvidia for driver support? HUH?

    I'm guessing the OP doesn't like AMD/ATi's drivers, that is allowed you know.
  3. Mousemonkey said:
    I'm guessing the OP doesn't like AMD/ATi's drivers, that is allowed you know.

    Pretty much. In my experience, they take twice as long to release drivers optimized WELL for current games, and radeon cards just don't seem to work with certain games as often as nVidia cards.
  4. my 7970 does not have a single problem. maxes pretty much everything i throw at it. just saying.
  5. shakal said:
    my 7970 does not have a single problem. maxes pretty much everything i throw at it. just saying.

    Well that's good to hear, so many mixed opinions about this.
  6. shakal said:
    my 7970 does not have a single problem. maxes pretty much everything i throw at it. just saying.

    That's nice for you. :sarcastic:
  7. 2nddimension said:


    Ummm...you say it by telling us the make and model ;)

    Nobody can make an educated recommendation without that information.
  8. 2nddimension said:
    Pretty much. In my experience, they take twice as long to release drivers optimized WELL for current games, and radeon cards just don't seem to work with certain games as often as nVidia cards.


    I've used every single AMD driver since I first bought a HD4850 about 5yrs ago. Only had a problem with one version that changed the 2d clocks too low, was easily fixed. On the other hand in that same timeframe I've seen at least 3 Nvidia drivers that caused problems including making the cards fail by overheating.

    I've since used every driver with HD5850 and now HD7850. No issues.

    AMD cards don't work with certain games as often as Nvidia cards?? LOOOL Name one of those games......I'll be waiting.

    It's amazing how Tom's Hardware and Anandtech and a million other sites review every AMD card that comes out.....and would you believe none of them ever mention driver problems or games that won't play on AMD cards. Hmmmm
  9. geekapproved said:
    I've used every single AMD driver since I first bought a HD4850 about 5yrs ago. Only had a problem with one version that changed the 2d clocks too low, was easily fixed. On the other hand in that same timeframe I've seen at least 3 Nvidia drivers that caused problems including making the cards fail by overheating.

    I've since used every driver with HD5850 and now HD7850. No issues.

    AMD cards don't work with certain games as often as Nvidia cards?? LOOOL Name one of those games......I'll be waiting.

    It's amazing how Tom's Hardware and Anandtech and a million other sites review every AMD card that comes out.....and would you believe none of them ever mention driver problems or games that won't play on AMD cards. Hmmmm

    :lol: I notice there is no mention of the infamous GSOD/vertical line issue that dogged AMD's 5xxx series for months or the fact that AMD have changed their driver release schedule because the monthly release thing just wasn't working, what with the constant ongoing bugs never getting sorted and sometimes the same driver being released several months in a row with no changes other than the version number!
  10. If it turns out that 500W PSU is a decent model, GTX 560 should fit in pretty well the the system.
  11. wouldn't a 7850/7870/660 be better for him o,o
  12. Well, the OP already stated that he didn't want an AMD card, also unless he's overclocked that 640, the cards you mentioned will start to bottleneck. The X4 640 is really just a gimped Phenom II.
  13. Just to clarify guys, I really don't mind an AMD card, I just don't prefer it. I have a GTX 460 right now, and I'm looking for a substantial upgrade.
  14. 2nddimension said:
    Just to clarify guys, I really don't mind an AMD card, I just don't prefer it. I have a GTX 460 right now, and I'm looking for a substantial upgrade.

    The 660Ti uses 10w less than your current card so you wouldn't have to change your PSU if you were to go with one of those.
  15. Mousemonkey said:
    The 660Ti uses 10w less than your current card so you wouldn't have to change your PSU if you were to go with one of those.

    Well that sounds pretty appealing. I've had trouble finding direct comparison benchmarks between the 660ti and the 460, but I'm assuming it's quite the upgrade. I know the radeon 7950 can run on a 500w PSU, would that be a better (read: more powerful) option, or would it bottleneck too hard?
  16. Why are you worried about it bottlenecking? Just get the most powerful card you can afford and when you upgrade from the Athlon II, take the card with you.
  17. 2nddimension said:
    Well that sounds pretty appealing. I've had trouble finding direct comparison benchmarks between the 660ti and the 460, but I'm assuming it's quite the upgrade. I know the radeon 7950 can run on a 500w PSU, would that be a better (read: more powerful) option, or would it bottleneck too hard?

    Personally I would never use nor recommend an AMD/ATi card as I would not spend my own money on one, but that's just me.
  18. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

    Hierarchy chart. Recommended to go up at least two tiers to make it worth the money.
  19. Best answer
    2nddimension said:
    Well that sounds pretty appealing. I've had trouble finding direct comparison benchmarks between the 660ti and the 460, but I'm assuming it's quite the upgrade. I know the radeon 7950 can run on a 500w PSU, would that be a better (read: more powerful) option, or would it bottleneck too hard?


    Youre CPU is not exactly powerful enough to allow a 7950 to stretch its legs, especially depending on your monitor resolution. Honestly get whatever is the best that will run on your PSU right now, depending on how soon you want to upgrade CPU. And the whole nvidia vs amd is only a personal preference. They both have had driver issues, but the new 12.8 from AMD work wonderfully, as do the newer nvidia drivers. Buy based on price/performance. Read reviews of any cards you are thinking about on this website and others. Researching it will help you with the decision, dont take personal opinions into account.
  20. Mousemonkey said:
    :lol: I notice there is no mention of the infamous GSOD/vertical line issue that dogged AMD's 5xxx series for months or the fact that AMD have changed their driver release schedule because the monthly release thing just wasn't working, what with the constant ongoing bugs never getting sorted and sometimes the same driver being released several months in a row with no changes other than the version number!


    No. Never saw it mentioned at Tom's, nor Anandtech, nor experienced it myself on my HD5850 for the 3yrs I had it. Nope.

    As far as ongoing bugs with driver releases....well I've updated to every single release and not had any of those bugs, nor seen Tom's or Anandtech mention them in their card reviews.
  21. Mousemonkey said:
    Personally I would never use nor recommend an AMD/ATi card as I would not spend my own money on one, but that's just me.


    That's your opinion. But Tom's happens to recommend a lot of them in the "Best video cards for the Money" article which is posted every month.

    You should check it out sometime
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-2.html

    There's only 5 recommended Nvidia cards in the entire article and 11 AMD cards. Surely Tom's wouldn't recommend crappy cards with buggy drivers right?
  22. geekapproved said:
    No. Never saw it mentioned at Tom's, nor Anandtech, nor experienced it myself on my HD5850 for the 3yrs I had it. Nope.

    As far as ongoing bugs with driver releases....well I've updated to every single release and not had any of those bugs, nor seen Tom's or Anandtech mention them in their card reviews.

    Maybe because you never looked but it was definitely mentioned.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ATI-Radeon-Gray-Screen-Crash,9529.html
  23. I mentioned the 2d clocks issue. Nvidia has their fair share of driver mishaps. I cannot say AMD has ever had a driver that fried gpu's by shutting down the fan though.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvidia-196.75-drivers-over-heating,9802.html

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA4ODc
  24. geekapproved said:
    I mentioned the 2d clocks issue. Nvidia has their fair share of driver mishaps. I cannot say AMD has ever had a driver that fried gpu's by shutting down the fan though.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvidia-196.75-drivers-over-heating,9802.html

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA4ODc

    Well Nvidia did instruct their AIB's to replace any cards that did get fried, did AMD/ATi replace any cards that were doing the GSOD thing?

    The answer is no, they wouldn't even admit it was happening until until various websites started publishing articles about it (the ones that you didn't see but were there!) so on the strength of that alone I would avoid AMD/ATi cards like the plague but if you want to use them then go right ahead.
  25. Anonymous said:
    Youre CPU is not exactly powerful enough to allow a 7950 to stretch its legs, especially depending on your monitor resolution. Honestly get whatever is the best that will run on your PSU right now, depending on how soon you want to upgrade CPU. And the whole nvidia vs amd is only a personal preference. They both have had driver issues, but the new 12.8 from AMD work wonderfully, as do the newer nvidia drivers. Buy based on price/performance. Read reviews of any cards you are thinking about on this website and others. Researching it will help you with the decision, dont take personal opinions into account.

    I run at pretty damn low resolution, 1900 x 600. So that probably allows for a little more legs stretching than most resolutions. I think I'll either go with a 7950 or a 660ti. They're about the same price where I live, time will tell.
  26. Best answer selected by 2nddimension.
  27. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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