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Old June 30, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Default Enlighten me on video cards

My knowledge of the last couple generations of video cards is lacking
The brand of choice has been Matrox, I am using a Matrox P690 PCIe x16 128MB in my main computer, supports 2 monitors at 1920 x 1200
It is now time to expand my horizons, on one hand we ATI(AMD) on the other NVIDIA.
I am not a gamer but will be trying some in the near future, mostly concerned about noise and smooth DVD playback.

Here is my short listof what I am looking at, 2 X 512Mb cards and 1 x 1GB card

VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 512MB $200.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814129113

ASUS ENGTS250 DK/HTDI/1GD3 GeForce GTS 250 $150.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121309

HIS H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB $100.00
Newegg.ca - HIS H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Do I need more than 512MB RAM?
Any possible conflicts with motherboard drivers etc.
The card will be going into a Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 motherboard.
Any other suggestions welcome in the price range up to $200.00


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Old June 30, 2009, 10:57 AM
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It's never a factor of how much RAM is on the graphics card. It really depends on the performance of the card and the display resolution you use. For your situation, I would choose a GTX 275 or a HD4890. You should be able to find them for just over $200 on sale and I would highly recommend it.
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Old June 30, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Looking at what you'll be using it for, the 4650 would be fine. However you may want to look at something like the HD 4770 if you can find one in stock anywhere. I've found ATi's multi monitor support to be better than Nvidia's, but probably not as good as Matrox's.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions
That's why I have stuck with Matrox so long, great passive cards but a little pricey.
Want to try something different for a change.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:27 AM
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I'm going to suggest the passive 4850 or a passive lower-end card (like the 4650/70) just because they're cheap. And from what I gather I assume that silence reigns supreme for the OP. If so, passive is the way to go, and the 4850 passive has shown great temps from the reviews I've read.
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Old June 30, 2009, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimndtel View Post
Thanks for the suggestions
That's why I have stuck with Matrox so long, great passive cards but a little pricey.
Want to try something different for a change.
Matrox cards are not optimized for gaming - they were always a leader in 2D performance - clearly not for gaming....... As to memory on the gfx card you would want to get as much as you can afford, future proof your system - newer generation games use bigger, higher resolution texture so the memory serves its purpose - actually a good combination CPU + RAM + GFX, making sure there is no bottleneck in between. I have always used NVIDIA cards personally since the Riva TNT :D Now I am still with the 8800GT 512MB OC and I'm happy with it. As to noise, no nvidia card I have owned is noisy at all, and all have provided silk smooth dvd playback - processors nowadays are fast enough to handle SD/HD playback anyway.
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Old June 30, 2009, 12:37 PM
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XFX Radeon HD 4870 XXX 1GB

Done, a 4870 1GB 199.99 for a great brand that doesn't play around with their warranties. And if your looking to do under $200 with taxes and shipping;

XFX Radeon HD 4850 1GB

How about a 4850 1GB for $154.99? Would be withing spitting distance of the 4870's performance as well! There are cheaper cards out there on the ATi side, but I would highly recommend sticking to no less than 1GB of memory, as it will allow for smoother framerate among other things, and XFX is a brand I trust(most other ATi vendors are "lacking" in the service dept).

[H] Enthusiast - AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4870 with 1GB of GDDR5
AnandTech: The Radeon HD 4870 1GB: The Card to Get
4870 512MB VS 1GB Comparison - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net
4870 512Mb VS 4870 1Gb
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Last edited by Chilly; June 30, 2009 at 12:47 PM.
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