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Upgrading my graphics card. Please help me decide!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 20, 2013 8:00:28 PM

Hello. I'm planning on upgrading the graphics card in my desktop soon. There are a couple graphics cards I'm currently looking at. I would like to know how they compare to my current graphics card.

Things to consider:
- I use my desktop mainly for gaming. I play most of my games at a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720.
- I realize that the graphics cards I'm looking at are older cards. I just simply want to know how they compare to my current card.
- I've never overclocked any of my parts, and I don't plan to for a long time, so please don't suggest that to me.

My desktop hardware specs:
Processor - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition @ 3.4GHz
Graphics Card - HIS Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5
RAM - 2GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333MHz RAM (I have another 2GB module, but my CPU cooler covers the slot, and yes I do plan on getting a new CPU cooler.)

Graphics cards I'm looking at:
- ASUS Radeon HD 6770 1GB GDDR5 graphics card
- PNY NVIDIA Quadro FX1800 768MB GDDR3 workstation graphics card

More about : upgrading graphics card decide

a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 12:48:22 AM

Don't get either of those! Why would you get a workstation graphics card? That is for editing and will suck in gaming. Don't get the 6770 either it is on the same tier as your current card on the tomshardware hierarchy. So you will either see minimal gains or an actual loss in performance. The weakest card I would upgrade to in your situation is a 7850.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 12:51:58 AM

i would save up a bit and get a 7750 also what is your power supply and its wattage
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January 21, 2013 12:55:53 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
Don't get either of those! Why would you get a workstation graphics card? That is for editing and will suck in gaming. Don't get the 6770 either it is on the same tier as your current card on the tomshardware hierarchy. So you will either see minimal gains or an actual loss in performance. The weakest card I would upgrade to in your situation is a 7850.


Would I be able to CrossFire my HD 4870 and the HD 6770?
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January 21, 2013 1:02:30 AM

7750 is not an upgrade compared to a 4870, barely faster, probably not even faster in all cases.
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January 21, 2013 1:06:06 AM

firinmylazerman said:
Would I be able to CrossFire my HD 4870 and the HD 6770?


No you can't. FYI, 6770 is exactly the same as 5770 which is as fast as a 4870, so if you want to upgrade, get something substantially faster, just like lt_dan_zsu said, 7850 is the minimum for you to notice a difference(there's a huge performance gap between 7700 and 7800 series)
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:08:56 AM

Supercrit said:
7750 is not an upgrade compared to a 4870, barely faster, probably not even faster in all cases.

we don't even know his power supply wattage and you guys are suggesting a 400-450w card when he might only have a 350w which the 7750 can be used with plus he games at 1280 x 720 yes in games the 7850 could go well over 60+ fps but the 7750 could be right at around 50+ that way he isn't waisting
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January 21, 2013 1:09:31 AM

I wouldnt crossfire as some games have issues with microstuttering and the like. I would buy the single fastest card I could afford. What's your price range? I would suggest a 7870.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:12:34 AM

mbrown138 said:
I wouldnt crossfire as some games have issues with microstuttering and the like. I would buy the single fastest card I could afford. What's your price range? I would suggest a 7870.

againg that card needs a 500-550w power supply if he buys that and his power supply is 450w or lower it could blow up his system
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:13:44 AM

firinmylazerman please answer this question what wattage/model is your power supply in your system right now
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:15:31 AM

About what I said. Think about it. You get a 7750/650, you will lose performance. 7770 isn't much stronger than either of those, which is the same case for the 650ti as it is barely stronger than a 7770. Then you get to things like 6950, which is hard to come by these days. After that you can look 560se, 550ti, 560, same case as all of the others. Then you could get a 560ti, which would be the minimum tomshardware recommends. But the 560ti is MORE expensive than the 7850. The 7850 is a decent jump from the 560ti so yes I stand buy saying that the 7850 is the minimum he should do. I'm not saying it is the minimum to see a difference, I am saying it's the minimum to be worth it.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:18:23 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
About what I said. Think about it. You get a 7750/650, you will lose performance. 7770 isn't much stronger than either of those, which is the same case for the 650ti as it is barely stronger than a 7770. Then you get to things like 6950, which is hard to come by these days. After that you can look 560se, 550ti, 560, same case as all of the others. Then you could get a 560ti, which would be the minimum tomshardware recommends. But the 560ti is MORE expensive than the 7850. The 7850 is a decent jump from the 560ti so yes I stand buy saying that the 7850 is the minimum he should do. I'm not saying it is the minimum to see a difference, I am saying it's the minimum to be worth it.

as i have said his system looks like it uses a small power supply that has aged and lost power which means that if you put a big power hungry card in there it might just blow up his system i agree the 7850 is a great card i have owned one but i also had a 550w power supply which this guy might not
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January 21, 2013 1:20:16 AM

devilofdeaths said:
againg that card needs a 500-550w power supply if he buys that and his power supply is 450w or lower it could blow up his system


I am unsure, if AMD states the minimum psu wattage for the 4870 is 500 watts, does that mean that he will definitely have a 500w psu? But nonetheless he would have to upgrade the psu if he wants a better card.
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January 21, 2013 1:22:18 AM

Supercrit said:
7750 is not an upgrade compared to a 4870, barely faster, probably not even faster in all cases.

The 4870 will crush a 7750 in most games. That being said the 4870 is now getting on in years and is DX10 only and runs hot and loud like a vacuum cleaner. I can't recommend either cards as a competent gaming solution now in day's even in the entry level IMO. I think a good place to start for the OP would be to look at GeForce GTX 460 1GB, Radeon HD 6850 1GB, Radeon HD 7770, GTX 650 as a solid entry level option IMO and a Radeon HD 7850 or Geforce GTX 660 for a more mainstream modern gaming worthy GPU.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:23:56 AM

mbrown138 said:
I am unsure, if AMD states the minimum psu wattage for the 4870 is 500 watts, does that mean that he will definitely have a 500w psu? But nonetheless he would have to upgrade the psu if he wants a better card.

exactly that is all i'm trying to say and power supplies lose power over time or it could not be a quality one.so instead of being 550w on the side after these 2-3 years it could be a 480w power supply meaning all these big cards that just suck down power could push it over the edge and cause it to malfunction
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January 21, 2013 1:27:52 AM

devilofdeaths said:
exactly that is all i'm trying to say and power supplies lose power over time or it could not be a quality one.so instead of being 550w on the side after these 2-3 years it could be a 480w power supply meaning all these big cards that just suck down power could push it over the edge and cause it to malfunction


Thanks. Would it be appropriate for him to get a psu from say Corsair or Seasonic?
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:35:04 AM

IF he has a 500w psu, he should be fine. That being said, it is also a 4 year old psu, so it is probably close to dying anyways. I think I would wait a few months to upgrade so some new cards can come out, prices aren't very good right now because they are going to be trying to make as much money on this series of cards before the new line comes out.
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January 21, 2013 1:35:16 AM

devilofdeaths said:
we don't even know his power supply wattage and you guys are suggesting a 400-450w card when he might only have a 350w which the 7750 can be used with plus he games at 1280 x 720 yes in games the 7850 could go well over 60+ fps but the 7750 could be right at around 50+ that way he isn't waisting



Even if we don't know, I'm pretty sure he's not running a 350w with a phenom II quad and a 4870 which at peak would comfortably blow up a 350w. 7850 doesn't consume much compared to a 4870, 28nm is not there for show. I'm confident that 7850 uses less power than a 4870.
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January 21, 2013 1:37:14 AM

Sorry for the late response. I have an OCZ 650W 80PLUS Bronze power supply, and I was originally going to be getting a GTX 460, but it never happened. The HD 6770 I'm looking at is $50 (Canadian dollars) right now, which is about the most I can afford at the moment.
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January 21, 2013 1:40:09 AM

firinmylazerman said:
Sorry for the late response. I have an OCZ 650W 80PLUS Bronze power supply, and I was originally going to be getting a GTX 460, but it never happened. The HD 6770 I'm looking at is $50 (Canadian dollars) right now, which is about the most I can afford at the moment.

6770 at 50$ is decidedly a good price, but you won't have any performance improvement aside from a modest power saving. If you want a visible improvement, go 7850 or better when you have the money. Your PSU is enough for all the big guns ATM except the dual GPU ones.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 1:42:21 AM

Well wait to buy a new card then. the 6770 will be either the same power or weaker than what you already have. Like I said, the 7850 is the most reasonable option for your situation. A lower upgrade than that wouldn't feel worth the upgrade for the amount you are spending.
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January 21, 2013 1:50:23 AM

Supercrit said:
6770 at 50$ is decidedly a good price, but you won't have any performance improvement aside from a modest power saving. If you want a visible improvement, go 7850 or better when you have the money. Your PSU is enough for all the big guns ATM except the dual GPU ones.


Yeah, both the Quadro FX1800 and the Radeon HD 6770 are $50. The HD 6770 is a DX11 graphics card though, and it has an extra 512MB of video memory, so that has to count for something, even if it is only a 128-bit card. As long as it's as powerful as my HD 4870, that's all that really matters to me at the moment, and if it's more power efficient, then that's a bonus. I have a feeling my HD 4870 is crapping out on me, which is why I'm looking at getting another card, and at $50, the HD 6770 looks to be the best thing I can buy at that price.
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January 21, 2013 1:52:49 AM

The best thing I can buy for $50 that's brand new is either a GT 520, GT 630, HD 5450, HD 6450, and those cards are nowhere near as powerful as an HD 6770.
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January 21, 2013 1:55:58 AM

Well if you are looking for a replacement for a dying 4870, 6770 is fine, since it uses less power, cooler, and probably quieter. 7750 is definitely a bad choice since it's probably slower than a 6770, as well as being much more expensive.
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January 21, 2013 1:59:41 AM

My HD 4870 runs at between 43 and 48 degrees celsius at idle, and when I'm gaming, it runs at around 60 to 65 degrees.
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January 21, 2013 2:04:40 AM

I think that because the HD 6770 is a newer card with more video memory, newer drivers and newer software, it may fix some of the texture glitches and random lag glitches I've been having in some games, which will be really nice.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 2:24:03 AM

I think you should just try to deal with those problems for a month or two. It sucks spending money for no reason, but getting a pretty 7850 or even 7770 would be nicer.
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January 21, 2013 2:27:26 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
I think you should just try to deal with those problems for a month or two. It sucks spending money for no reason, but getting a pretty 7850 or even 7770 would be nicer.


Good thing is 6770 at 50$ is pretty much the basement price, even in a few months it will still be a good deal, so he can sell it easily. I could be wrong if AMD and Nvidia decide to release extremely high performing 50$ cards in the near future, which I doubt :lol: 
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 2:32:30 AM

Well, the last thing doesn't make much sense because a 7770 isn't a super high end card, and is barely more than what he would normally spend. It doesn't make sense to spend money for no upgrade unless you absolutely have to. Although, he may be able to sell that 6770 for higher than $50 once he can afford a better card.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=...
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