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Old August 20, 2010, 02:18 AM
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Default Best video cards for U2711@ 2550x1440 resolution

I am about pull the trigger on new build (my 1st) and would like some views about GPUs choices that I have in mind. I will be driving a Dell U2711 (native res @ 2550x1440) and the CPU will be a i7 930 (stock for now, but perhaps OCed in future). I had thought about the U2711 (I just like IPS), but I got the proverbial offer that I couldn't refuse. The downside is that there's a lot of pixels to push around in real time.

I'm interested in very good game performance using the above mentioned monitor, which is why they will be in CF or SLI. I'm not crazy about the GTX 480s/5970s as they seem to have a reputation for being rather hot and rather loud, not to mention expensive (though if you have just one slot ...). Of course two 5780s may not be much different, though they will most likely best a 5790 from what I can tell. Ditto for the GTXs in SLi. Also, these choices are non-reference, which means to me that you can see what the company in question can do. The choices are as follows:

●MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5

These have gotten very good reviews on Newegg, though there are just five, which isn't a large number obviously. But they all seem to be happy with them. They seem to run cool and quietly (both relative concepts, I admit), without being undue PPs ("Power Pigs"). They're also a bit shorter than others, though in my "case" cards over 12" can be housed . I don't know much about MSi, but they seem to make good products. I do know that their Afterburner software is widely praised.

●GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470

These are just out and appeal to me because they are overclocked (or very easy to OC) and seem that they would run fairly cool and quietly as well with its tri-fan cooler. I base my assumption about the card based on the excellent reception that the GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 has received from buyers, including one very surprised 5780 owner. Again, I don't know much about Gigibyte as well, but they do offer a slightly better warranty than MSi and they have actually answered the phone. But then so did MSi. Tomshardware like it well enough.

●MSI R5870 Lightning II Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

This is an 5870 that's been "remodeled" by MSi, with its one reviewer singing it's praises, though without blinders on tight, and it's not cheap at $464.00 (after a mail-in rebate). But the performance is supposedly stunning, which it should be. It looks a little scary, like something you'd hit someone with. This is more expensive per card than the above GTX options, the premium going from $85.00 per card for the 470 Gigabyte to $115.00 for the 470 MSi Frozr. That means that, aside from more money, this thing had better be one "dam" good card. I can't say much about heat, noise or power consumption though.

●GIGABYTE GV-R587SO-1GD Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT)

This is much like the MSi directly above; it essentially is the same formula as the Gigabyte 470. But one drawback noted on this site, I believe, is that it's a real "PP", the reviewers being very surprised at this, if not taken aback. They were also none too happy about the OC software that came with, while MSi's Afterburner seems to garner most of the praise. I won't go into great detail on this card suffice to say that it's at about 80% approval, a good sign I would assume. But, again, it isn't cheap, and it seems to run hot, though that's not a surprise.

By the way I have done an enormous amount of research on this build, so please don't think that I am relying on you because I'm lazy. It's just trying get more information. Have owners of these brands had trouble with service? Have their cards behaved themselves? In terms a relative performance I'd assume that the 5870s mentioned would outdo the 470s. But whether that warrants a price/noise/power usage premium is intangible. Money is money, of course.

And yes, I know that new cards are due soon. But my experience is that it takes a while for things to calm down and sort themselves out, i.e., drivers, for example, and my guess is that you're not likely to see a huge jump in performance. But then, what do I know?

Thank you for your support.
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Old August 20, 2010, 03:53 AM
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I think the case you'll be using will have relevance. I'm using a HAF X. This comes with a fan shroud for the gpus like 480s,the 5970 is too big. With this case I've found the 480 runs cooler with a good fan in the shroud. This series of case by CoolerMaster has enough air flowing thru it to keep the inside temps under control. I really don't like how warm the 5970 gets because the shroud won't fit.

Regardless of what you choose, cooling is the obvious concern. Now if you decide to go with the 460 in sli, it uses considerably less power and runs much cooler. The reviews show that 2 of these in sli perform better than a single 480.

Such a high resolution is more taxing on video cards, that's why I would recommend sli. Check reviews, the EVGA SC EE 1 gb card performs quite well compared to like cards and has become very popular with the experts on this site. The only issue may be getting your hands on them.

Good luck with your search, and enjoy!!!
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Old August 20, 2010, 12:38 PM
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That monitor / res is going to require "poop" for smooth gameplay and the bells n whistles cranked (the way I play)....personally with that monitor I'd go straight to a 480 Sli arrangement.....yes heat n yes power, but with the right case and appropriate PSU its a non-issue.....temps are tolerable and easily regulated.
470's run hot as well, either way you'll have to make sure you have a decent case with optimal air flow.....XFire 5870's will also require good case / airflow, not as much power consumption as the 480's.....but with that size res you'll want performance across the board.

...I'd love to have that monitor on my set-up indeed !!

Enjoy...
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Old August 20, 2010, 01:34 PM
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I've been using a 2560x1440 for ~ 6 months now and I will say that it is great resolution. I've use to use an HD5970, which I can clocked well beyond HD5870 clocks and it ran everything pretty much flawlessly. It even ran Crysis well enough at that resolution. I have since moved to GTX460 1GB SLI and it seems be pretty much comparable.
So if you were to go w/ any of those cards you mentioned in SLI/CF you shouldn't really have a problem.
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