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Old July 19, 2011, 09:14 PM
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Default Which graphics card should I get?

Hey guys,

It's that time again, it's summer, and it's upgradin' season. Well, I'm deciding between at least two graphics cards:

XFX Radeon HD 6870
XFX Radeon HD 6870 900MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI 2x Mini Display Port PCI-E Video Card - DirectCanada
Pros
  • Double lifetime warranty and rather painless (costed me $30 in shipping to California though)
  • GPU cooler sucks air in and pumps heat out the back
  • Standard size for Radeon HD 6870 at 10" long.
Cons
  • The XFX letters in the vent looks flimsy and I'm afraid it might pop out and may get stuck inside the GPU causing problems
  • May not be overclocking friendly, my current Radeon HD 4850 isn't.
  • Noisier due to smaller fan.

ASUS Radeon HD 6870
ASUS Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU 913MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI 2XMINI DisplayPort HDMI PCI-E Video Card - DirectCanada
Pros
  • Factory overclocked
  • cooling pipes looks good
  • like how the PCB is built
Cons
  • Warranty is a ?. ASUS does have a Canadian repair centre about 10 blocks from where I live but I have no clue if they accept GPU repairs or not.
  • Sound card may be blocking the fan since it's located near centre
  • Due to overvoltage, GPU may be drawing more power than my PSU can deliver.
  • Card is not standard length, it is 11" long (not sure if it fits my CM 690 II Advanced case)

My budget is C$200 and NVIDIA is not out of the question (I have looked at EVGA's GTX560), but my most important thing is a balance between price, performance and power consumption. Fermi just plainly uses too much power and I don't want to change my PSU unless I absolutely need to since it's running fine right now.

I'm not a fan of the dual fan designs because they look funny and I'm afraid they might draw more power than needed. That and the fact I have no clue if my sound card has enough clearance. Best that I don't need to move the sound card, but if I must then I would do so.

I plan to order it next week since I'm getting my paycheque.

Thoughts? I'm open to any suggestions.

deltatux
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Old July 19, 2011, 09:31 PM
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can you shoot for a 6950? look in the bst.

much better performer and not hugely more expensive. especially if from the bst or super special or such :)
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Old July 19, 2011, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
can you shoot for a 6950? look in the bst.

much better performer and not hugely more expensive. especially if from the bst or super special or such :)
What's "BST"? Sounds like a sales tax :P.

deltatux
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Old July 19, 2011, 09:41 PM
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buy sell trade

aka used,second hand, hand jobbed
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Old July 19, 2011, 09:44 PM
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I'm assuming you plan on reusing the monitor in your system specs, which is 1680x1050. A 4850 should be good enough for most games out there, if I were you I'd fight the upgrade bug and save my paycheques for a nice system pimpout. Unless you're playing games that demand way more than what your 4850 currently provides.
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Old July 19, 2011, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilya View Post
I'm assuming you plan on reusing the monitor in your system specs, which is 1680x1050. A 4850 should be good enough for most games out there, if I were you I'd fight the upgrade bug and save my paycheques for a nice system pimpout. Unless you're playing games that demand way more than what your 4850 currently provides.
I'm mainly playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and I can barely keep it at 60 fps, it dips as low as 23 fps when I die in a fiery crash or my tank blew up in low-medium settings (texture, soldiers, vehicles, shadow and overgrowth at medium, rest at low or off). I'm mainly upgrading for Battlefield 3 as well. Also, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit also hiccups from time-to-time as well.

I'm also capping myself at $200 because I need the funds for my next school year for food and other expenses, so I don't want to spend more than that if possible. Of course, I want to get the Radeon HD 6950 or the GTX 560 Ti but not ideal for me financially. I already spent $90 (after taxes) on the Cooler Master 690 II Advanced 2 weeks ago.

As for buying used, for electronics, I'm avoiding as I've had a terrible experience before where the component failed rather quickly.

Cheers,
deltatux
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Old July 20, 2011, 02:07 AM
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XFX is one of these companies who use the cheapest components available on their custom cards. That Asus is very OC friendly btw :)
But as Dan said, try to putting your hands on a6950 0r 560ti.
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Old July 20, 2011, 04:41 AM
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Though oddly enough, XFX does offer transferable warranties, so buying second-hand means you're still covered. Third-hand, not so much.
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Old July 20, 2011, 05:27 AM
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Stay awat from the 6870s, they can easily be beat by the 560 or 560 Ti and when i had them (and still have one in my fiancee's rig) they have sub-par driver support. I haven't updated to the latest patch however you cannot even let your computer monitor go to sleep otherwise the crashes the graphics drivers.
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Old July 20, 2011, 06:41 AM
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NCIX.com - Buy ASUS GeForce GTX 560 DC 810MHZ 1GB 4.0GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI Mini HDMI PCI-E Video Card - ASUS - ENGTX560 DC/2DI/1GD5 - in Canada

Something like that is what I would opt for then, it puts you right on the cusp of your budget and will net you a good performance boost. I am with Ari on the ATI driver support or lack thereof....

And it gets you a new GPU since you had bad experiences with used ones, plus the bonus of having the RMA Depot nearby in Markham. Which to the best of my knowledge will take all Asus RMA's.

ST
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