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Old August 3, 2011, 08:18 PM
frontier204 frontier204 is offline
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My System Specs

Default [Solved] Need a new GPU but not interested in a large performance boost

Hi all,

The ATI Radeon 4870 in the "My System Specs" Core i5 build I have listed dropped a few F@H work units last weekend, so it seems that my plot to kill off the GPU + alleviate my ears from the fan noise by using a quieter but less capable cooler worked

I want to replace the old GPU now, and I would like the replacement to be quieter than the old GPU. However, I do not require much more gaming performance because I find my current 4870 is fine for how I play. Any suggestions?

My main concern for the card is noise. I know "loud" is subjective, so my definition is I'd like it to be quieter than a 120mm Vantec Stealth or Scythe FDB case fan at 1400 RPM, or a 120mm Antec TriCool at its "high" setting. I also can't tolerate the horrible high-pitched whine made by 60mm or 70mm fans (e.g. stock CPU fans at high speed). Essentially, if the card is clearly audible over medium speed 120mm case fans, I don't want it.
For performance, I would like half-decent Folding@Home performance (at least 6000PPD), and to fluently run Fallout: NV, Mass Effect 2, and Supreme Commander 2 on very high to maxed without AA at 1680x1050. I'd also like some additional performance so I don't have to turn the grass settings all the way down on the two later S.T.A.L.K.E.R. FPS games. I haven't tried ME2 yet (got it at a Steam sale but never ran it yet hehe), but the Radeon 4870 is fine with Borderlands, Fallout 3 and NV, and Supcom 2 which is why I'm not looking for a huge performance boost.

I am actually thinking of the GTX 550Ti with the Asus, Gigabyte, or MSI non-reference cooler, because reviews point to the GTX 550 Ti being able to handle my current gaming needs, like that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. requirement: ASUS Ultimate GeForce GTX 550 Ti Video Card Review - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat - Legit Reviews

My budget is $230 before tax and shipping, and I DO NOT want to contribute to the business of MIR houses. Yes I know I can get a lot more GPU for $230 (heck it's close to double a 550 Ti), but from how I game right now, I can't justify much more than GTX 550 / Radeon 6850 levels of performance. Are there any current games or upcoming (in 1 year) releases that you think would cripple a 550 Ti to the point where it's barely playable on medium at 720p or 1280x768?


(note I asked a lower resolution than my monitor's native res in that final sentence because for games that seem to be BUILT to eat GPUs and spit them out laughing, I will tolerate playing at lower resolutions)

EDIT: Issue resolved assuming the GPU survives folding WUs
"The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself." [src]

Last edited by frontier204; August 6, 2011 at 09:28 AM.
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