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What GFX solution to get for my new rig - £150 max UK budget

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April 8, 2010 8:33:27 PM

Hi guys here is my new system specs:

AMD Phenom II B50 X4 at 3.7Ghz with a Tuniq 120 Extreme
ASUS 890GX MOBO
Corsair DDR3 1333 4GB
CM Stacker 831
Antec Earthwatts 750 Mod PSU
Samsung 1.5 TB HDD

And my screen res is 1920 x 1080 on a 24 inch AOC monitor

So now on to the indecision that has been plaguing me of late, should I jump for a 4850 CF solution deal, get something else or wait?

Right now the GPU market seems to be at the worst place for getting a good deal it has been for a long time. ATI has had sole reign of DX11 for half a year and has understandably cashed in on it, sadly NVidia hasn't really shown up the fight yet with a paper Fermi launch and 10-15% increase in single GPU speed. Having waited ages to make this PC build I have had way to much time to follow the developements over the last two years. I've now finally got my system up and running but I am hesitant to buy a GPU because prices are the same really as they were last year and I know if I spend £200 + it will come back to bite me in the proverbial arse. So I want to spend £150 max.

As far as I am currently aware my options will get me:

1 x 5770 at £120-130

1 x 5750 at £110-115

2 x 4850 at £130 - (special this week only deal at overclockers - 2 year warranty XFX)

1 x 4870 at ~ £120 on Ebay - possibly new but more likely only used will be to find

1 x 250 GTS 1GB at £95 (not really considering this at all)

1 x 4850 at £65

So should I jump on this deal for the 4850 CF or wait?


I would love to hear your opinions, but I need to know quickly cause offer runs out on Sat


What I am thinking now is this:

- those 4850's are never gonna be cheaper new again - already they are being phased out of etailers and most are selling for £90 ++ -gonna buy has to be now
-5000 series not gonna drop in price anytime soon - NVidia doesn't want a price war and ATI is happy to sit on their laurels for the time being - probably no massive drops till this fall at least when 6000 series buzz and revisions are in place - a long time to wait
- I have a 20000 word PhD continuation report to write so I might benefit from waiting for a long time (I don't want to though lol)


Why am I not really considering NVidia anyways?:

Unique price sit-rep in the UK, Intel and Nvidia not as competitve as in US
I'm currently in the UK with no soon possibility of making it back over the pond and I have come to learn how different the pricing environment is over here compared to back stateside. Firstly everything is a bit more expensive, but more intrigingly for some reason products from both NVidia and Intel are comparably more expensive here than AMD/ATI ccounterparts when you contrast them against US prices. Back in the summer of 2009 when a price war was raging in the states between ATI and NVidia, prices on the 4870 1 GB model and the GTX 260 were neck-in-neck at the $150-180 price point. Over here in the UK however notable etailers like ebuyer, overclockers and scan were charging a £20-30 ($30-50) premium on GTX260's - why I have no idea. Likewise a 4890 at the same time cost ~£130, whereas a GTX 275 started at £160 and up. GTX 285 prices were only pounds short of the 4870 X2 and GTX 295's were close to £500 - way of the standard 10% increase on US prices. Similarly Intel prices are also inflated compared to AMD - Newegg has got the Phenom II 965 for $184 and the Intel i5 750 for $199 - a difference of $15, however in the UK at Ebuyer the Phenom II costs $214.63 and the i5 750 $260.30 - a whopping $45 difference!!! :ouch:  So its not that I am a fan boy of AMD/ATI at all - but for some reason pricing over here is just not as competitive for Intel or NVidia.
April 8, 2010 8:47:10 PM


I did not see anything about gaming or usage ... I might have missed it at a glance.

What exact (types of?) applications do you intend to employ ??

= Alvin =
Related resources
April 8, 2010 8:55:56 PM

thanks for the reply and Good question - sorry I missed that out - I haven't been seriously gaming for quite a while cause I've only had a laptop so I've been playing the total war series, some good ol CS, and whole lot of flight sims (F4.0, IL-2, LoMac etc. etc) and used my PS2 mostly for games like GTA and such.

That said I want to get back into gaming now that I got my desktop so what I'm gonna get (when I finish the report) are:
Crysis
FarCry 2
Fallout 3
Empire Total War
MW2 and COD4
BFBC2
Storms of War: BOB
Bioshock 1&2
GTA 4

thats for starters I thought

Thanks again for reply
April 8, 2010 9:08:42 PM

Oh ... So, I would shrewdly surmise that you might be contemplating a bit of gaming, at some point, with 3D physics sims at the forefront.

Congratulations !! This makes you a "POWER GAMER" and, with that "badge of honor", comes the priviledge of dumping a huge wad of cash on a top tier (prolly dual core) GPU "solution"!

I do hope you stopped by the ATM and drew your limit, before you came over!

Sounds like you gonna be havin' some fun ... WHAT ABOUT H.O.T.A.S. ??

= Alvin =
April 8, 2010 9:24:29 PM

H. O. T. A. S.? interesting you mentioned because that is another thing I have been wondering about. I've been using a very simple saitek cyborg joystick at the moment but I have been longing for a good H. O. T. A. S. set up for a while. I've seen the X52 that saitek do, but I think I would like pedals instead of that 3D stick thingy - it works fine in jet sims but is difficult in IL-2 and the like. I've known of CH for a while but I'm not sure if they're still around or if I can get them over here. Would love to know if you have any advice on a good joystick H. O. T. A. S. setup.
April 8, 2010 9:38:21 PM

Well, I think I have a 10 year old ThrustMaster HOTAS in the storage locker, out at my ranch but . . . I've been wondering about that, myself, just here lately.

Think I'll poke around just a wee bit ... right now.

= Al =
April 8, 2010 9:57:50 PM

Yes it does - Cheers!
April 8, 2010 10:09:33 PM

Abridged/Edited conclusion (from the article) ....

************************************

However, the available products sort themselves into two categories. The CH Fighterstick and CH Pro Throttle and the Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar are HOTAS systems with powerful programming capabilities that allow the user to do almost anything one might wish, either before starting up a sim or once the action has begun.

************************

However, programming capabilities are only one part of the whole story. Hardware capabilities play a big part in HOTAS preference, and in this realm each product from the four manufacturers is rather different.

CH Products has a sliding (not rotating) throttle and their HOTAS components can be purchased as individual items.

The Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar accepts gameport rudders, has adjustable throttle detents, and is metal. Arguably, its internal construction is not as durable as the CH Products HOTAS based on the CH Fighterstick and CH Pro Throttle.

The Logitech Flight System G940 has force feedback and dual throttles.

The X-52 Pro Flight has a display in the throttle base, an adjustable grip, lighted buttons, and sells for significantly less than any of the other products.

The two newest offerings about to hit the market, the Saitek X-65F Pro Flight and the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog will undoubtably change the flight sim controllers world again.
April 9, 2010 5:25:09 PM

5770 for now and crossifire another one later. Probably drop in price. And with the 5770 crossfired. Your performance will be right around 5870...for less :-)
!