May 22nd, 2012, 12:25 AM #1
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- May 2012
Which graphics card should I buy?
I'm thinking about buying a new graphics card and I think I'll buy ATI. I have Radeon HD 4870 right now, it's been approximately 2 years and I was almost happy about that card. I have GA-970A-DS3 motherboard, AMD Phenom 2 X3 processor, 750 Watt Cooler Master PSU. My budget limit is 150-200 dollars. Can you guys suggest me a good graphics card. I want to use that for another 2 years. I mean, like in HD 4870, I want to be able to play latest games with full graphics options 2 years later. (Actually HD 4870 is having hard time with games these days, especially in Battlefield 3)
Any opinios is much appreciated since I don't know so much about PC technology.
May 22nd, 2012, 02:07 AM #2
Well, the current crop of Radeon 6700 series and 7700 Series are closest in performance to the 4870, and the 4870 is already 3 years old.
those usually go for around $100-150 depending on the model. The 6770 and 7750 are closest to the 4870, and I think 7770 is closer to the Radeon 4890, if not better than it, and at least as good as the HD 5830. All while only pulling about 80W of power.
the 7750 only uses about 55W, so in 3 years to go from a card that requires Dual 6 Pin PCIE connectors (150W or more), to a card that pulls 55W (75W max from the slot) and not needing any power connectors, as well as can be obtained in single slot designs, is quite an accomplishment.
but for the Video card upgrade, for $200 max you probably won't get a card that can run graphics at max and there is no way to tell if it will run things that high or close to it, for another 2 years, no one can say for sure until those games come out.
Which CM 750W PSU do you have.
Just wondering, so I know which one it is, in any case it will be enough to run any single card out there, so unlike many of our members that have to take a chunk of their budget and use towards a PSU replacement as well, you should be fine with just using all of that on the GPU.
If your wanting to stay with "ATI" which is now AMD, and has been since the Radeon HD 4000 series, just that AMD didn't liquidate the ATI name until the 6000 series came out.
But for $200, right now the only Radeon option is the HD 6870, or possibly a 1GB 6950 (though the latter tends to run a bit over $200).
If you were able to stretch the budget to $250-ish I'd highly recommend a Radeon HD 7850, which are as good a Geforce GTX 570 series card, but run on less power, and cost less.
Just to list the geforce counterparts in this price range (150-200)
HD 6850 (HD 7770 comes close to this one as well)/GTX 460 1GB
HD 6870/GTX 560 (some factory OC'd GTX 460's, especially the 2nd revision boards come close to this as well)
HD 6950 1GB or 2GB/Geforce GTX 560 Ti (original 384 core, and the 448 core which is a GTX 570 reduced spec card, the latter beats out the 6950 by a bit)
HD 6970 (HD 7850 matches or beats these cards, neck and neck)/GTX 570
but the cards in your price range are going to be the 6870, and 6950 1GB. If you could stretch it a bit, the 7850 would be worth while IMO.
AMD doesn't really have any options for between the 7770 and 7850 series to fill that gaping hole in price ranges yet. the 7850's performance wise match or best the 6900's, but price wise are similar to what the HD 5800's debuted at 2 years ago.
Which X3 CPU do you have, Clock speed anyways?
Curious, Have you tried to see if you can unlock your Phenom II X3 to a X4? based on your Motherboard specs you should have the ability to try it, either it will or won't unlock to a Quad core, no harm in trying, I forget the exact option in the Bios, but its as easy as turning on the function in the bios and see if it unlocks to a Quad or not.
reason I say that is it would help alleviate any sort of Bottleneck issue with the cards in this price range, if a bottleneck existed (card not performing to optimum levels due to CPU clock speed/cores).
Might also add, its not worth upgrading to the new FX series CPU's on your board, especially the Quad core, which runs at a good 3.6Ghz core speed, but since a 3.2GHz Phenom II X4 can match or even best it, and still run with less power consumption, the FX series CPU's were a flop. Only if you were to upgrade to an 8 core would it be worth while, but of course it would be wasted CPU cores if your not actually using anything that can fully utilize 8 cores or threads at once.
Anyways, as you can see, the 7850's are a good chunk more in price, but IMO are worth it.
Newegg.com - XFX FX-785A-CNFC Radeon HD 7850 Core Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
At least until Nvidia comes out with their GTX 650 and 660 Series cards that will compete in this price range.
So far all Nvidia has released in the last 2 months is the top end 680, the Dual GPU 690 and the next level down 670 (that really isn't that much less in performance from the 680)
once the 650 and 660 series come out, hopefully next month, we should see the pricing of the 7800 series drop steadily closer to $200 mark.
Here you can see the 6950 series pricing: Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Video Cards & Video Devices, Desktop Graphics Cards, Radeon HD 6000 series, Radeon HD 6950
which isn't half bad, considering what it was several months ago, a 1GB model easily went for $225-250, with 2GB models, going around $250-300.
Sadly these are just overstock since AMD has moved on to the new 7000 Series, so stocks of these are dwindling.
If you at all willing to consider Nvidia, the GTX 560 Ti would be the best choice in this price range.
Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Video Cards & Video Devices, Desktop Graphics Cards, GeForce GTX 500 series, GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi)
These cards are the original 384 core models, and not the 448 core model thats nothing more than a gimped GTX 570.
To be honest, the performance is at least double a 4870.
I have a HD 4870 (used to have 2), HD 4830, Geforce GTX 285 (bit faster than a single 4870 and close to a 4890), Geforce GTX 470 and Geforce GTX 560 Ti.
so I have somewhat of an idea of how much better the 560 Ti (and its 6950 counterparts) are over the 4870.
in some instances Dual 4870's might excel a bit better in frame rates, but as far as running newer games, especially DirectX 11 based games like BF3, the GTX 560 and Radeon 6900's are going to run it better.
the Radeon 6950 uses about 200W of power and the GTX 560 Ti uses about 170W or so.
so technically you could run a couple 6950's in Crossfire mode on your motherboard, with that PSU.
Another option would be to get a Radeon 6870, and then pair up a 2nd 6870 in Crossfire, on your system.
6870's use about 150-160W per card.
Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Video Cards & Video Devices, Desktop Graphics Cards, Radeon HD 6000 series, Radeon HD 6870
You have enough PSU power to run 2 of these, your motherboard supports Crossfire in 16x 4x on your boards slots (granted the 2nd slot may reduce performance a hair, but its still a good option)
however a single card solution is still best option, since not all games cope with SLI or Crossfire that well, and some just down right refuse to work with it.
other games may be fine with it, but just not optimized to the best with it.
Going with a single card eliminates all of those X factors in performance.
but your best options for performance of what your looking for is a Radeon 6950 1GB card, or possibly a Geforce GTX 560 Ti (even though your Mobo doesn't support SLI for nvidia cards, its still a good single card choice)
Or if you can must some more cash and land a single Radeon HD 7850.
Also just a heads up, for BF3, its a monster for eating up Video memory, so if you can get a card with 1.5GB or 2GB of RAM, it should help run things smoother as well.
Traditionally anything over 1GB for a card, running resolutions of 1920x1080 has been fine, but some games like BF3 like to eat that RAM, and it does help smooth out the game and reduce something called Micro Stutter.
Probably should of asked first, but are you in the US, UK, EU, Australia, etc?
rather than pointing to sites in the US if your not over here, but elsewhere.i7 940//Corsair H60//EVGA X58 SLI LE//6GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz//2x EVGA GTX 560 Ti FPB SLI//NZXT Hale82 850W//CM 690 II Advanced//Win7 64//WD 74GB V-raptor, 750GB Black, 1.5TB Green
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May 22nd, 2012, 12:36 PM #3
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- May 2012
That is the best answer I've ever gotten in my entire life in a forum from anyone!!!
Thank you for your great post my good man. I'm from Turkey but those websites actually help a lot. I compare the prices in my country's website prices and see if they are ok or too much.
I'm at work so I can't tell you which CM 750W PSU I have but when I get home, I'll write those specs again.
But before you help me again, let me explain what I really want. I want to buy a card that will run games with full graphics options in 2012, 2013 and I'll buy a new one in the first quarter of 2014. I know, the technology changes and you never know what the games will look like at the end of 2013. But I'm more pessimist about the game technology developing so fast. I think the games will have better graphics in two years but that's it, no weird new innovations. This is the reason why I don't want to buy a GFX card every year.
So, I'm thinking a card with 2 GB ram but I "really" don't know what orher specs mean like Mhz or other stuff. You look like you really know a lot about these specific stuff. I think you understand what I need and want.
My HD 4870 has been a good friend of mine for the last 2,5 years. I want such a friend
Ps: After I buy the new card, I think I'll sell my HD 4870. How much should the selling price be? Can you make a suggestion about that too?
Thanks for your consideration mate. Thanks a lot.
May 22nd, 2012, 03:37 PM #4
myself, a year ago I was looking at $150 for a 4870 to sell, now, I have seen GTX 470's go for $150 on used market, so $100, or even priced to sell quick $80-90 for a 4870 if its a 1GB model would be decent IMO.
Though I have seen refurbished 4850 512MB and 1GB models on some sites go for $50-60. so a 4870 would probably be around $75-90, maybe $100 depending on the actual model of the card (if its a Factory Overclocked card or some sort of exotic cooler on it, etc)
as to the MHz of a Card, its hard to say, it seems more and more cards these days are finally breaking the 1GHz barrier on GPU cores, but clock speed doesn't mean as much as it once did, with the changing GPU Architectures and the number of Shader cores, and the way they process data, its more complex now days than it was years ago, when sure you had said number of Pipelines and clock speeds, but ever Since Nvidia Changed the landscape with the Geforce 8 series, and to some extent ATI with its X1800/1900 series, its been a whole new ball game.
Even worse now that Nvidia changed it up again with the GTX 400 series, and now the 600 series again, along with ATI/AMD's Radeon 5, 6 and 7K Series.
but yeah I kind of know what your saying, but again its hard to say how much the landscape will change with high setting games.
take for example Metro 2033 which came out like 2 years ago, Still brings Top end systems to its knee's in performance.
you could spend 5 grand on system hardware and still only get 60fps in that game if you wanted.
Crysis 2, just like its Predecessors Crysis and Far Cry, also bring systems to its knees, though they fair better with that game than Metro 2033.
Even Battlefield 3 now days is a Uber rig Killer.
Its hard to say, what will be released in the next 2 years, I know of one game I am waiting for at the end of the year, and it will be pretty demanding on graphics AND CPU power, just like its Predecessor, ArmA 2, ArmA 3 is slated for a year end release.
Its not a "pretty" as BF3, but its not the same type of chaotic mess that the BF3 "team play" games are, which honestly is a joke as far as teamwork goes. IMO BF games are only a few steps above Counterstrike type games are as far as team work and Coop goes.
but then again ArmA series is more Sim than Game as well.
but the game needs a GOOD graphics card, and also needs a fairly High clocked CPU.
Sadly the current game, ArmA 2 is DirectX 9 only, the new one will finally be DX10/11 .
which is good for me, since I have noticed DX9 games run my cards harder than DX10 and 11 games do.
so hopefully it means more efficient and cooler (and thus quieter) operation of my card/s.
But I have seen YT videos of ArmA 2 in action with a stock clocked 3GHz Dual or Quad core, and then what it is with an OC'd 4GHz+ speed.
and the frame rate difference is night and day. but has to do with the AI and Physics Interactions in the game, as some maps/missions/Servers can have a massive amount of AI and it will lag the game down pretty bad.
to give an idea of the max number of players that can be in game at once, assuming the server and network can handle the load.
usually most servers with high player counts can max out around 60-80 players, but theoretically ArmA 2's player count goes MUCH higher.
Now if you were to make a map with AI in it, you can make a map with 144 Groups, and 4 Sides, 576 players max, but this is for AI in the game.
Technically there is no limit to the games max players, but it comes down to the network code and server hardware. back 2 or 3 years ago, the game was limited to this. I know things have been improved since then.
I have seen statements about 200 player servers, and currently with ArmA 3 there has been talk of 200-300 player limits for servers with that release.
hell, I used to play (still do sometimes) a Game called Joint Operations that was by Delta Force developer NovaLogic, that supported up to 150 Players in Team Death Match servers.
And this game came out in 2004/2005, back with Battlefield 2, which was lucky if it could handle half to 1/4 of that.
The Typical max player limit for most home servers or most hosted servers was 64 players back then as well.
Guess what I'm trying to say is that its really hard to say what gaming needs will be for top end performance from one year to the next.
Next year you could have a game that runs fine on current mid range hardware in your price range, but to run really good, maybe it needs a much faster CPU.
It also doesn't help when review sites like Tom's Hardware do video card reviews and gaming benchmarks using hardware that most games and consumers can't afford, like a top end 6 core Intel CPU at 3.3Ghz and then proceed to OC it to nearly 4.5GHz, add in 16GB of RAM when 4GB is more than enough, and what ever else.
when the Stock setup of the hardware was also more than sufficient, as well as more closer to real world users systems. They artificially fluff up game performance, beyond what most users have or can afford, and the people see those frame rates and settings and can't understand why their system isn't running similar results.
so sites like that don't exactly help things either.
but based on your budget right now, the only real options are a Geforce GTX 560 Ti, or a Radeon HD 6950 1GB card.
If you were able to stretch to a Radeon HD 7850 that would be best, but until that dang card falls in price, its hard to say to go for it one way or the other.
Right now that $150-250 range for newer AMD cards is too large of a gap, and AMD isn't dropping anything in price, or introducing anything in that range yet until Nvidia releases their cards for that market range.
I'd keep an eye out though for Possible Refurbished or Open Box cards from sites though, that might get you a discount in price, granted usually these cards only carry a 90 day warranty on them, but if you can get a good card, and priced right it can be worth it.
sometimes something like a Geforce GTX 570 or Radeon HD 6970 I have seen on Newegg as Refurbed or open box, down to $200-225 on occasion.
Sites like Geeks.com in the US here also have had some Geforce GTX 570 cards for close to the $200 range as well, also refurbished cards (Zotac Brand)i7 940//Corsair H60//EVGA X58 SLI LE//6GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz//2x EVGA GTX 560 Ti FPB SLI//NZXT Hale82 850W//CM 690 II Advanced//Win7 64//WD 74GB V-raptor, 750GB Black, 1.5TB Green
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