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Old August 12, 2011, 07:06 PM
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Default Need advice on a good card for the price around 200$

Hello all! New here.

I havent brought hardware in awhile... Thinking about upgrading some stuff before Skyrim comes out but since I haven't followed hardware alot, I'm a bit lost in a sea of modern denominations and versions.

My budget is around 200$, could go lower if there's something worth it, or a tad higher but not much more than 230$. I typically paid a bit more for video cards, but I just brought my first home and with my first mortgage comes a heightened sense of being thrifty. :)

I'm basically trying to get the best bang for my buck. I typically buy hardware at NCIX or DirectCanada (welcome to suggestion if more competitive rivals have arisen, tho I have a preference for Canadian stores). My current rig is a Core Duo 2 with 4 GB ram and a EVGA 9800GTX+ SSC. I recently got a 750w PSU (old one died), and I'm thinking this is a good time to get another 4GB of ram (seems cheap nowadays!) and a new card.

But I really need advice on what card's best and what it's worth. I'm not in a super rush, so if theres no good deals right now, I'm willing to wait some weeks and monitor prices on recommanded hardware.

From what I found googling, the best cards in my price range are GTX 560 and Radeon HD 6870. Is this what you guys think's best for me? If so, which of them is typically a better deal? How large are they an improvement over my aging 9800GTX+? I'm expecting current cards to be twice as good or so, but it's really guesswork.

Would this one be a good deal at 202$? EVGA GeForce GTX 560 DS SSC Fermi 900MHZ 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-E 2.0 2XDVI Mini-HDMI Video Card - DirectCanada

I've heard 6870 may be slightly better and use less power, but I had bad experiences with ATI cards. Are their drivers okay these days?

Thanks for any advice!
Val
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Old August 12, 2011, 07:45 PM
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i would go for the ti version of the 560 or a 6950 but your system will hold it back.

if you sell your old card you can get there

yes,big big improvement.

its like 9500 to 9800gtx lol.
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Old August 12, 2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
i would go for the ti version of the 560 or a 6950 but your system will hold it back.

if you sell your old card you can get there

yes,big big improvement.

its like 9500 to 9800gtx lol.
Thanks for the advice! Well my system holding it back is precisely a concern I have. I'm not quite ready to upgrade the whole thing, this is basically an upgrade to keep me gaming happily a solid two more years, at which point I'll probably replace the mobo/cpu/card again/add more ram. (keep the PSU, case, disks for sure either way.)

Therefore for now, if I get a card that's too powerful, and I get bottlenecked by my CPU (dual core, 3.2ghz), well, that's a bit of a waste ;) Do you think a GTX560/5870 would be held back by the rest of my system as well?
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Old August 12, 2011, 08:12 PM
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yup,it will. bit less.

i wouldnt necessarily get more than a 560/6850 for your system.
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Old August 12, 2011, 08:56 PM
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It still depends on the game - on most strategy or physics-heavy shooters your CPU will bottleneck a newer GPU. I remember when I paired a Radeon 4870 with an Athlon X2 at 2.9GHz I was heavily bottlenecked in Civilizations V.
On an adventure game that doesn't care about ballistics as much? Maybe not, but those games would generally play fine on your current 9800.

The older 5870 will be bottlenecked for sure - sorry I can't think off the top of my head if anyone's done a powerful GPU vs older gen CPU benchmark recently.
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Old August 13, 2011, 01:17 AM
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Newegg.ca - SAPPHIRE 100312-1GDP Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
For the price after rebate, this card is unbeatable.
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Old August 13, 2011, 05:07 AM
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I would say, given your CPU, that a 6850 or 6870 would be your ideal choice and best bang for buck. The 6870 is cheaper than an nvidia 560ti, but if you prefer nvidia then go for the 560. The ati drivers really have improved lately, so mo worries there. Watch for some sales on a 6850/70 and then spend the rest of your money on doubling your ram. That should keep you going for a bit, and let you play skyrim!
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Old August 13, 2011, 07:09 AM
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For a decent upgrade I would say hd 6870/6950/ gtx 560/ gtx 560ti. There seems to be more driver issues with the 68xx than other cards so I would probably pick one of the other three. The card you linked to is good, but too close in price to a 560Ti in my opinion (its $212 before rebate). For a 560 non Ti I would keep it under $200. Personally I don't think there is a need for more than 4gb ram if you already have a decent 4gb set with no programs or needs for more.
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Old August 13, 2011, 07:39 AM
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If you look at the performance numbers, the 6870 is not far behind the 560ti and 6950 for less money. The price of the 6870's has been dropping lately and sometimes can be had for around $150-160. I'm running 2 XFX 6870's in crossfire and can run any game max. Check out this one.. Newegg.ca - SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card Has good warranty and should run anything just fine.
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Old August 13, 2011, 11:17 AM
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XFX Radeon HD 6870 900MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI 2x Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card - DirectCanada

$176.xx and free shipping.
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