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Old August 3, 2011, 08:18 PM
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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?

Thanks!

(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
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Last edited by frontier204; August 6, 2011 at 09:28 AM.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:36 PM
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GTX460 768mb, its cheap ($100 in the BST right now) gets good PPD, (mine gets 11.5K/PPD) and performs well in games. (40-50FPS high settings full AA in BC2 at 1680x1050)
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Old August 4, 2011, 04:29 AM
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You could also go for a used GTX 560 Ti as they are around 200-230$ shipped and will offer better performance then the 550 or the 6850 (it spanks the 6870)
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:24 AM
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I'd say if the 560TI is too much, even a vanilla 560 would give you exactally what you need.
From my understanding too the cooling arrangement on those cards is superb espically if you get someone like ASUS Direct Cu or Windforce from Gigabyte, that would give you perfect performance at acceptable sound levels.

ST
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for the advice!

No loving for the GTX 550? I assume it's because it's slaughtered by the GTX 460s that still occupy that price range and are not that much more power hungry: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Review

@Arinoth: Hehe I've been eyeing that BST deal, but for some reason I can't get myself into the practice of trading privately for anything including computer hardware.
@Soul & supaflyx3: I'll have to see if there's some random feature I'll be missing out on if I get a 560 vanilla vs. a 460 1GB non-SE other than the ~10-20% loss of performance per watt, given that there's a 0.5 generation difference between them. From the reviews it seems that both can keep their thermals and noise in check.
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:51 PM
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I would get a 550 or 460 if I were in your shoes....
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Old August 4, 2011, 06:31 PM
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The 550ti so long as its not a vanilla is actually really good.
I got the 550ti Direct CU for my friends build and he does very well actually on his 1080 Monitor. As well it isn't as power hungry as the 460's and runs cooler.
So if you really want to you can, just get a OC'd one.

ST


Quote:
Originally Posted by frontier204 View Post
Thanks for the advice!

No loving for the GTX 550? I assume it's because it's slaughtered by the GTX 460s that still occupy that price range and are not that much more power hungry: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Review

@Arinoth: Hehe I've been eyeing that BST deal, but for some reason I can't get myself into the practice of trading privately for anything including computer hardware.
@Soul & supaflyx3: I'll have to see if there's some random feature I'll be missing out on if I get a 560 vanilla vs. a 460 1GB non-SE other than the ~10-20% loss of performance per watt, given that there's a 0.5 generation difference between them. From the reviews it seems that both can keep their thermals and noise in check.
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Old August 4, 2011, 07:05 PM
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Hmm how are these two?
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti 910MHZ 1GB 4.1GHZ GDDR5 DVI HDMI VGA PCI-E Video Card - ASUS - ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 - in Canada
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti 970MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini-HDMI DX11 PCI-E Video Card - Gigabyte - GV-N550OC-1GI - in Canada

They have the same before MIR price at $125, although the Giga has a higher OC and has a cooler that looks like the stock Intel 1155 heat sink yet still keeps noise in check because of a larger fan...
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Old August 4, 2011, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frontier204 View Post
Hmm how are these two?
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti 910MHZ 1GB 4.1GHZ GDDR5 DVI HDMI VGA PCI-E Video Card - ASUS - ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 - in Canada
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti 970MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini-HDMI DX11 PCI-E Video Card - Gigabyte - GV-N550OC-1GI - in Canada

They have the same before MIR price at $125, although the Giga has a higher OC and has a cooler that looks like the stock Intel 1155 heat sink yet still keeps noise in check because of a larger fan...
I'd grab the ASUS one, but I'm bias because thats the one I got initally for these.

ITs a good price for what you get.

ST
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"Dear Iceberg, I am sorry to hear about global warming. Karma is a bitch. Signed - Titanic"

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Old August 6, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Thanks all! I got the Gigabyte 550Ti at Canada Computers for $130 (they didn't want to PM that last $5 but meh, the shipping would've easily been higher).
@Soul - I ignored your last statement about the ASUS because I was curious about the 92mm fan vs the ~80ish on the ASUS
I'll switch as soon as the folding@home WU finishes.
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