PLease help. What graphic card?

Hi there,

I'm currently upgrading my computer piece by piece as parts I want come on sale. I am unsure what to look for regarding a graphics card. I utilize my 50 inch plasma tv as my monitor. Seeing as though the maximum resolution is 1080, does it make sense to upgrade my graphics card? Currently I have a Diamond Radeon HD 3870, 1GB 320 stream processing units, 256 bit memory interface, GDDR3. I want to have the best gaming experience possible and am willing to pay for it, but will there be any benefit since my maximum resolution is 1080?

In addition, if one has lots of system memory, say 8 or 16 GB is there any benefit to paying extra for a card that has more than 1 GB of memory. Will it make gaming any better, or is it useless because there is plenty of memory available?

Lastly, I am aware of burn in risk on my plasma, I have not had a problem.

Thanks for any info you can give me!

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  1. Yes you will see a huge difference if you upgrade your 3870. Also there is a big difference between system memory (RAM) and video card memory (VRAM). If you run out of vram it will use your ram (someone correct me if I'm wrong) which will make your FPS go wayyy down. If you give us a budget and some examples of games you play it will be easier to recommend you a card.
  2. Wow that was fast thanks. Ultimately I don't want to go over $400 but would probably go up to $500. I am not in a hurry to buy so I want to write down appropriate choices and watch for a sale or refurb deal, etc.

    As I have been reading through these posts the last week it sounds like the manufactorer doesn't matter much...

    A game I look forward to playing when I get the new card is Farcry 3. I also want to get into Battlefield 3.
  3. just get something like a 7870 its a massive step up and its still cheap
  4. You could get something like this (It has 3.5 stars because someone was complaining about something that is Amazon's fault) That's probably the best bang for the buck card.

    Next step up would be a 7950 and this card has amazing cooling: (I have the 7970 version)

    After that is the 7970 and you could look at something like this I would recommend you my card, but it is now selling for $500 now instead of the $440 I bought it for so I think it's too expensive right now.

    If you're interested in physx or 3D I recommend you go nvidia, but otherwise AMD is the best value right now.
  5. Thanks so much!
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