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Graphics card recommendations around £120

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 6, 2011 10:42:52 PM

Hi,

I'm thinking of purchasing a graphics card to get back into gaming, and am looking around the £120 range or lower, maybe stretching to £130. Which graphics card is best at that range for now? I'm quite tempted at the 5850 extreme from sapphire, as it's only around £110 excluding delivery here: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

However, there's also 6850 sold a bit more expensively, around £115 excluding delivery here: http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/9452085/art/pixmania/ra...
I have heard that the 6xxx series is supposed to perform slightly worse than the 5xxx counterpart if they are the same numbering in the xxx part, so what benefits do the 6xxx offer and is it worth it?

There's also the 5830 sold at around £72 excluding delivery here: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX.... Since it is around £35 cheaper than the 5850 extreme above, is it worth getting? Bear in mind this offer is quite limited so is it a good deal at that price or should I hold off and spend a £35 premium for the 5850?

My specs for the computer are roughly:

athlon x4 630
patriot 4gb viper II sector 5 1600mhz ram
M3A785GXH/128M motherboard
onboard graphics card
600w ocz modxstream modular psu

Is there any nvidia cards also worth considering at that price range that can match or outperform the radeons? Also, would the PSU struggle if running any of these cards on its own or crossfiring?

Many thanks in advance.
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 6, 2011 10:49:23 PM

What games do you want to play and at what resolution. Personally i have just upgraded one of my PC's to a XFX 5830 they had at Ebuyer for £83 i think it was. It was an upgrade from a 4770 and at the price was well worth it.
It really comes down to what you need from it.

Mactronix :) 
a c 126 U Graphics card
May 7, 2011 5:57:58 AM

A start, but I don't completely agree:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...

I'm a heavy gamer. If I was in the market for a reasonably priced high-end gaming card I'd get the GTX 560Ti.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-ti-...

I don't believe the first comparison provides enough information. For example the impact of AA varies. NVidia has some solutions which are better. There's also PhysX, CUDA and possibly SLI to consider. I've found that it never makes sense to "get a second card in the future" for SLI or Crossfire. By the time you go to stick in another card they either don't have them or the prices are far too high for their value.

Do NOT even consider any of the NVidia GTX 4xx series cards. They run far too hot. They sorted out these issues with the 5xx series.

Summary:
Research the GTX 560Ti first by reading my link. You can also compare prices of other cards in the benchmarks to determine relative value.

Not all cooling solutions are equal. The noise level in a modern gaming computer, if built correctly has most of its noise from the graphics cards. Most other system fans should be slower, 120mm fans. (You should also replace the CPU stock fan if you haven't and make sure the BIOS fan control works.)

If it's still a good value, the Asus GTX 560Ti Direct CU II is a great card.
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a c 126 U Graphics card
May 7, 2011 6:05:19 AM

Crossfire or SLI:

There's no point in going Crossfire unless you want more power than a GTX560Ti or HD6870 provides. It's obvious you don't wish to spend that much money so there's no point thinking about it.

There are cons to using multiple cards too which I won't discuss here.

Both of the above cards can run most games at full settings.

Your power supply isn't suited for using two of the above cards.
May 7, 2011 9:44:02 AM

Thanks for the replies. After consideration, I think I'm going for either 5850 or 5830 as I've been unable to find 560 ti or 6870 for under £130. Question now is, is the performance bonus for 5850 significant enough compared to 5830 to warrant the £25+ premium, taking into account my current build for my pc? If not, around what specs should I be going for in order for the 5850 to be significantly better performing than the 5830?
a c 126 U Graphics card
May 9, 2011 1:45:21 AM

Your gaming performance on that system is limited by the graphics card.

ANY graphics card that you purchase that scores higher in the benchmarks will make your system perform better.
!