Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

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Harding Jr
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Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Harding Jr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:46 pm

Heya Guru's. I want a kick arse graphics card that I wont have to update for at least a few years and will keep playing the new titles in high quality over that period.

Is this any good?

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/Sapp ... ?r=1674611

If not what would you recommend would be the best bang for my buck?
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Jetboy
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Jetboy » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:01 pm

Depends on what your buck is?, how much are you looking to spend
Another major factor in this is what resolution are you running, a video card that is only driving a 1280x1024 monitor is going to be VERY different from that running 2560x1600

Spending $140 now to enable the statement 'I wont have to update for at least a few years and will keep playing the new titles in high quality over that period' is somewhat of a dream unless you've got a 1280x1024 monitor....a few years in gaming terms is an exceptionally long time to keep playing new titles at HQ, my last few upgrades have been around the $3-400 mark per year to enable that though I am playing in rather high res.

The 5670 would be a entry level card, esp if your running a monitor that's 1680x1050 or so as it'll enable you to crossfire later on once new higher specced titles appear on the horizion, looking around at a few reviews and in the DX11 titles are simply raping the card, DX10 titles are giving it a serious working over and its coping alright with DX9 titles, these are on resolutions 1680x1050 and below...anything over that and it just gets killed so imagine in a year when more titles are DX11....

Figure out your budget, what res your going to run and most of all read read read...lots of review sites out there that should give you an idea of what to expect few good ones below

http://www.guru3d.com/
http://www.bit-tech.net/
http://www.legitreviews.com/
http://www.hardocp.com/

Great site for getting prices - http://www.gearbot.co.nz/pages/view/3/Graphics-Cards/

Good comparison for current video cards http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010 ... ,2464.html

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KSR Aaza
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by KSR Aaza » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:19 pm

If you don't want to upgrade for a few years, look to a 1GB card.

Buy just below top of the line and you should be sweet for at least 2-3 years unless a massive leap in technology happens.
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Bull » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:11 pm

KSR Aaza wrote:If you don't want to upgrade for a few years, look to a 1GB card.

Buy just below top of the line and you should be sweet for at least 2-3 years unless a massive leap in technology happens.
Disagree Aaza.

Buy a top of the line card and you will need a new one in 2-3 years. If you look about 3 years ago top of the line would have been something like the 9800GT nVidia and around 4000 series ATI ... they struggle to run any modern games on anything higher then low nowadays.

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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Aaron » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:14 pm

Most games now seem to be cpu heavy... I recently got a 6850 and runs reasonably well apart from it being a tad loud (dual fan @70% fan speed).
Have also had a few blue screens etc but I am still having a few issues with RAM/heat in my case.

If you save a tad more and look at something like this (Have a look around at prices/brands etc they do vary a bit)
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/compone ... rtid=10704

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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Harding Jr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:57 pm

I don't have a real limit on my budget. The way I'm looking at it I would rather save up for a good card.

I have a 3Ghz Quad Core so having the graphics card (like the one Aaron has linked too) which takes advantage of every core is stuff that will no doubt help me out.

I ran with Cookie 1gb 4000 series (cant remember which one) ATI card playing Black Ops with everything on full and my CPU was only running at 20-40% so that is definitely not a problem. Although Black Ops isn't that intensive on the computer.

With the resolutions, I'm currently running a 17" monitor. But I do want to upgrade to a 21 or 22" screen. So something that can support high resolutions and still pull hard and look great using dx11 technology is pretty essential because I don't want to be buying a new card over the next year or at the very least.
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Aaron » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:16 pm

Although Black Ops isn't that intensive on the computer.
8o rapes my core 2 duo, would OC it but already having heat issues.

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Harding Jr
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Harding Jr » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:12 pm

Aaron wrote:
Although Black Ops isn't that intensive on the computer.
8o rapes my core 2 duo, would OC it but already having heat issues.
I've got a 120mm case fan right behind my cpu. Another 120mm fan directly above my cpu mounted to the top of the case and then the heatsink with that fan on it. My cpu doesn't get above 30degree's. The fans are always blowing out cold air. Graphics card however is at near idle atm and sitting at 45degrees :crazy: .
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Aaron » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Harding Jr wrote: Graphics card however is at near idle atm and sitting at 45degrees :crazy: .
haha yeah my case isnt exactly good airflow but it does its job. That temp for gfx isnt bad, reason I upgraded is my old 4850 couldnt do another hot summer considering it runs 80 degrees IDLE!!!!!!!!!

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Harding Jr
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Harding Jr » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

Shiiiit. That's impressive!!!

You seem to have had a few ATI cards? Is there any reason for this?
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by pacman » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:47 am

Ive got an ATI HD4870 1GB, had it for about 16 months and it still runs all games on max (black ops included) part of that is probably the cpu but my whole pc is the budget version of what i really wanted to buy, i wanted and intel cpu and a nVidia graphics card.
Ive heard that most games a created using nVidia...stuff (yeah i know real technical) but as i said my 16 month old brick still works fine.
Whilst some might say 512Mb will be enough and others say nahh get 1GB id be looking at what i think is the transfer or is it the processor of sorts, the 128bit 256bit etc, having heaps of ram is cool but pointless if you cant use it or transfer it all properly.

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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Bull » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:00 am

Quite a lot of graphics cards the 512mb are actually better then the 1gb, because as Pacman says, the 512 has faster Bus speeds, 256bit etc etc.

My 4670 I run is like that, Mine is a 1gb but the 512mb one actually costed more from new and outperforms my 1gb cause of its lower speeds.

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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Jetboy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:36 am

Harding Jr wrote:I don't have a real limit on my budget. The way I'm looking at it I would rather save up for a good card.
Good idea, getting the right card now can save you $$ in the long run
Harding Jr wrote:I have a 3Ghz Quad Core so having the graphics card (like the one Aaron has linked too) which takes advantage of every core is stuff that will no doubt help me out.

I ran with Cookie 1gb 4000 series (cant remember which one) ATI card playing Black Ops with everything on full and my CPU was only running at 20-40% so that is definitely not a problem. Although Black Ops isn't that intensive on the computer.

With the resolutions, I'm currently running a 17" monitor. But I do want to upgrade to a 21 or 22" screen. So something that can support high resolutions and still pull hard and look great using dx11 technology is pretty essential because I don't want to be buying a new card over the next year or at the very least.
If I was in your situation at the moment I'd be seriously looking at the AMD/Ati 6850, price wise its sitting around the low $300's but will play all the latest DX11 titles on a 22" screen without breaking much of a sweat...down the track if it does start to strain a little then the addition of a second card in Crossfire (which with price drops should be a cheap solution) will keep you going for alot longer

Some good reviews of the 6850 and 6870 on www.Guru3D.com including how they scale with Crossfire

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Harding Jr
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Harding Jr » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:11 pm

The card seems to surpass everything that I can see me needing it for over the next few years. It has a lot of cool functions too after reading through a few reviews (thanks for the link Jet).

I've got a few query's that the review's didn't answer before I go and spend my money getting it. I read reviews for both the 6850 and the 6870. It seems the 6870 has a little bit more grunt than the 6850. But with that it also uses a bit more power.

The peak power, I assume this means "TDP" is...
6850 - 127W
6870 - Slightly over 150W

My current system is powered by a 420W power Supply, running a 3GHz Quad Core AMD CPU, 4GB 1333Mhz Ram, Asus M4A78LT-M-LE Motherboard and two 120mm LED Fans. Oh and this pretty blue light thing.

I'm worried the power supply wont be able to cope and that putting a new card like one of these in could damage it.

My other query is to do with the crossfire. Can you cross fire a 6850 and a 6870 together? Or do they both have to be the same?

PlayTech pricing:
6850 - $309 for Asus branded card, $329 for Gigabyte, HIS, SAPPHIRE, XFX HD branded cards.
6870 - $409 for XFX HD, SAPPHIRE, Gigabyte branded cards.

Is there any difference in the different brands? Or do they just put their own stickers on them?
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by pacman » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:34 pm

I think you can use to different cards, aslong as theyd be ati, the only catch is if you crossfire a 512Mb card with a 1GB card the 1GB card will be decreased to 512Mb for some reason.
Im sure however someone will correct me if im wrong.

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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Aaron » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:18 pm

Harding Jr wrote: PlayTech pricing:
6850 - $309 for Asus branded card, $329 for Gigabyte, HIS, SAPPHIRE, XFX HD branded cards.
6870 - $409 for XFX HD, SAPPHIRE, Gigabyte branded cards.

Is there any difference in the different brands? Or do they just put their own stickers on them?
There isnt a lot of difference but in certain ways there are, I am by no means an expert (just know people who are) and the card I bought is a reasonably good one appart from what I found on MY system, some features of the defferent brands is just the heatsink/fans and whether they are OC'd or not. All in all it just comes down to what you are looking for in a card, obviously to last for as long as possible, but for me I bought a dual fan because of my heat issues which happened tonight in an all in race for best pairs... overheated, was awesome :B but for some other card features might appeal because heat isnt a worry . Guess I might need to try a cpu heatsink as well as an extra fan.

The pricing is either here nor there... I use Computer Lounge as I get special deal through them, gfx card and monitor and saved just over $60 :D
I find they are a little slow in delivery sometimes, compared to Playtech who are very onto it.

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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Harding Jr » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:56 am

Digging up a bit of an old thread here but it's still relevant. I purchased a new PSU and any day now I should be prepared to buy my graphics card and it will be able to go straight in. However the PSU was a factory dud and the company I'm working through is helpful but also taking there sweet time (notebook city).

I am pretty much set on getting a Radeon 6850 now. With them being pretty good for the meanwhile and the ability to crossfire them later down the track and improve the performance further for what will hopefully be a way cheaper price than they are now sounds good to me. But what one to buy (different heatsink design's, fan's etc). I want a few things from it, first to keep the thing cool. I have a cool case and I would like to keep it that way. Second to not be overly noisy, will a two fan design make it noisy? Or will two fans spinning at 1500RPM each be quieter than one fan spinning at 3000RPM? And the third thing albeit not as important is to look cool. Ive got a clear side on my case so you can have a peak inside at my messy wiring and see pretty lights.

So idea's and thoughts on the heatsink's advantages?, disadvantages?
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Re: Bang for my Buck - Graphics Cards

Post by Aaron » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:22 pm

I have a dual fan one and yes it is quite loud. Says it uses 74% fan speed at idle and leaves card around 38-41 idle, and about 43-46 during load.
(I have a fairly poor case for heat etc)

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