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Video Card choices

eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

Hey guys, so I originally thought about only going with nvidia, considering the 9600gt but am seeing ATI cards getting solid reviews on newegg. Do you guys think an ATI would be a better choice if I am trying to upgrade only for very cheap. All I want is a new video card and more ram. Right now I have

 

amd athlon 64 3500

1gb ram

6600gt

 

I  don't want to spend over $70 on the new video card and want the best possible option in that range. What do you guys recommend? Should I look for a 9600gt or look at ATI, so far I am looking at 3870 series and 4670 but am not familiar with ati cards at all.. what is the best option I can get with best performance/power usage/heat in consideration. Also, do all these newer cards require that 6pin connector cable?? I think my psu has some extra connectors on it..

Comments

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,345

    I would say the HD4650/70 is the best option.  As far as performance the 3 perform almost exactly the same.  Obviously they will perform better in games that were designed for ATI or nVidia.  The HD4670 and GeForce 9600 do not require a 6-pin connector since it uncommon to use one on a midrange part.  As far as heat and power envelopes, the HD4670 will be best in this department.

    The thing that makes the HD4670 the better pick is that it has a lower power envelope, its cheaper, its DX10.1 compliant, and its designed to utilize AA/AF.

  • eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

    thanks cleffy, what about the 3870 card? I guess it is last generation before the 4 series but how does it compare to 48xx ?

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,345

    The HD3870 isn't a gaming card.  I use one.  In gaming its gonna perform on par with the HD4670, maybe a little better when AA/AF aren't turned on.  To give you a comparison on its performance with this generations.  It performs 25% worse then the HD4770, 35% worse then the HD4850, and 50% worse then the HD4870.  As far as gaming, the HD4870 was a huge leap forward for ATI in performance.

    When it comes to CAD work which I do alot, the HD3870 is the better pick.  Its wierd that a CAD card was released to consumers.  When you softmod it, its only beat by its FireGL version.  I guess it made sense when Microsoft was planning DirectX 10 to make use of virtualization.

  • TibbzTibbz Member UncommonPosts: 613
    Originally posted by eneyman


    Hey guys, so I originally thought about only going with nvidia, considering the 9600gt but am seeing ATI cards getting solid reviews on newegg. Do you guys think an ATI would be a better choice if I am trying to upgrade only for very cheap. All I want is a new video card and more ram. Right now I have

     
    amd athlon 64 3500
    1gb ram
    6600gt
     
    I  don't want to spend over $70 on the new video card and want the best possible option in that range. What do you guys recommend? Should I look for a 9600gt or look at ATI, so far I am looking at 3870 series and 4670 but am not familiar with ati cards at all.. what is the best option I can get with best performance/power usage/heat in consideration. Also, do all these newer cards require that 6pin connector cable?? I think my psu has some extra connectors on it..

    ok here is a silly question, but coming from that AMD chip... Does your board support PCIE???

     

    Also is you PSU at least 400watts?

    If you have AGP then you can get no better than the 3850AGP

    If you have PCI then you have a ton more options but your cpu/ram will bottleneck.  I would say at tops the 4650, anything more will be to much for the cpu to handle.  2 gigs of ram and a 4650 (IF it is PCIe) would be about the best you can pull out of that machine, but you will see a difference in performance. 

    *i beleive the 4650 is direct power, just check the specs on newegg. 

    image
  • LuxferroLuxferro Member UncommonPosts: 6

    look for good deals, like this one for only $80 after rebate. free shipping too.

     

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161244

  • TibbzTibbz Member UncommonPosts: 613
    Originally posted by Luxferro


    look for good deals, like this one for only $80 after rebate. free shipping too.
     
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161244



     

    that is overkill for his set up.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102838 , this card is $55 and will run good with your current set up.  just make sure you have PCIe

    BTW they make a 4650 AGP now if you have that bus type

    image
  • eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

    yea I have a pci express board, not 2.0 but it will work. Do you think a 9600gt would be overkill?? I really just want to be able to run champions online, diabli 3 and star wars old republic..and will be adding 1 more gb of ram for 2gb total.

  • eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

    also do you guys think a 9500gt will be able to run those games I listed when I add 1 more gb.. seems like people think theres a big difference between a 9500gt and 9600gt

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,345

    The difference is steep between the 9500 and the 9600GT.  nVidia has never been good about getting descent midrange parts.  The only descent ones of the last 3 years have been the 9600 and the GTS250.

  • eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

    well.. i'm really leaning toward a 9600gt.. I am not very familiar with the ati's and I am getting some really mixed reviews from different boards. Some people are saying the 4670 is a great value and low power, others say it is not good for gaming but rather graphic cad design etc, or multiple screens/dual cards.. 

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,345

    The HD4670 isn't designed for CAD work.  The HD4xxx line was designed to take the HD3xxx line and make them gaming cards.  When it comes to CAD work, the HD3xxx line will actually be better.  There isn't an HD4xxx equivalent FireGL for a reason, the most rescent one is based after the HD3870 using GDDR5 memory.

  • eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

    so you think having a single 4670 will be able to handle current games.. I am not talking the max settings or anything. I just need medium quality.. would you say 4670 or 9600gt would be a better choice?

  • UbieUbie Member Posts: 185
    Originally posted by eneyman


    so you think having a single 4670 will be able to handle current games.. I am not talking the max settings or anything. I just need medium quality.. would you say 4670 or 9600gt would be a better choice?

     

    Both are good choices, but I personally lean toward nVidia because of they seem to put out updated drivers faster than ATI.

  • almerelalmerel Member UncommonPosts: 658

    I got this from another board when I was looking for a new GC. Its slightly dated but it should help you a lot.

    With nvidia the way to make sense of the nomenclature is this:

    7xxx, 8xxx and 9xxx refers to the generation of card, with the 7xxx series being older than the 8xxx series and so on.

    The second number refers to what the card is intended to do: an x400 would be a low end card, along with x500. x600 is really the minimum you'd want to game with. x800 are desigined for gaming - so if you want performance, their your best bet. Therefore 8400<8500<8600<<8800.

    Just to make things more difficult you'll see a suffix on the end such as gs, gso, gt, gtx or gx2. With this gs<gso<gt<gtx. Gx2 refers to a card with 2 GPU's on one board - a twin graphics card, although these are less common.

    The gs and gso are reserved for lower end cards. Gt - slightly better, and gtx - big money, big performance. VRAM isn't the last word in performance either, the number of stream processors, memory type (ddr2, ddr3) and clock speeds have a huge say in the performance of the card. This is the main difference between the x400, x500, x600 and x800 cards.

    So, 8400gs < 8400gt. Likewise 8800gso < 8800gt.

    Nvidia also have a new range of cards (the 200 series) which use a different naming system. The cards available are the GTX260, GTX 285 and GTX295. You can already tell that these cards are meant for gaming due to the 'GTX' prefix. And obviously the 260<285<295. These cards are pretty serious money however. (nvidia are also releasing at GT250 and Gt1XX cards soon, but don't worry about these)

    ATI use a slightly different system.

    3xxx and 4xxx refers to the generation. The second and third number refers to the cards performance, with the x8xx being the high performance range. x6xx is good for light gaming and x5xx or lower should really be restricted to desktop use.

    So, using the 4xxx series as an example; 4870 would refer to a 4xxx series card (the most recent), the x8xx denotes the card is desigined for gaming, and the xx70 refers to the speed of the RAM the card has, with xx70 cards having faster RAM than the xx50 versions. The first and second numbers are the most important here.

    For ATI: 4350<4550<4650<4670<<4850<4870. There is aslo the twin GPU 4870X2, although this is very expensive, and very high performing.

    Likewise with nvidia, the most important this is the card series and desigined application - NOT vram. A 1Gb 4670 will be left in the dust by a 512mb 4870. Even a 2gb 4670 wouldn't stand a chance.

    When comparing ATI to nvidia (generally):

    HD4650 - 4670 = 8600 range, 9600 range.

    HD4850 - 4870 = 9800 - GTX200

    Hopes this makes things clearer.

    Your copy of windows is most likely 32bit if you can only see 3Gb of ram. This is a limitation of the operating system. 32bit OS's can only recognise a total of 4gb system ram, but since you have a 512mb graphics card some of the availavle system ram is being 'used' up by it. The fix is to upgrade to a 64bit version of the OS you are using. 64bit OS's can recognise up to 128Gb of ram, although most motherboards max out between 16 and 24gb.

    Overclocking is not that risky, as long as you are sensible with your tweaks. And can gain large performance increases. Your Q6600's (guess!) stock speed will be 2.4Ghz, but it can easily be overclocked to give clock speeds in excess of 3.6Ghz with decent cooling. Thats a huge performance increase considering the Q9650 (quad 3.0Ghz) costs about £300. I run my cpu, memory and graphics card all overclocked 24/7 and have never had any problems.

    The ATI 4670 is IMO the best budget gamer card, however if you can stretch a bit the 9800GTX+ or the ATI HD 4850 are also very nice.

     

    -Almerel

    Hello my old friend.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    So, pretty much the 4670 is bare minimum and should run most stuff at medium.


    Goes something like:
    9500 < 9600 GSO < 4670 < 9600gt < 9800 gt < 4770 < 4850 < 9800 GTX+ (GF 250) < 4870 = GF 260


    I know it's a little more than you want to spend but you should get a 9600gt ($75 free shipping, probably $82 after taxes). If that's too much though the 4670 and 9600 GSO are about $10 cheaper (don't see many with free shipping though but there's some crazy mail in rebates).


    Personally I'd *try* for a 4850 for $90 cuz that card will blow the other 2 away and it's a great card for that cheap.


    Also about driver releases, ATI puts out monthly drivers which is actually faster than nvidia puts theirs out (almost bi-monthly for them), driver quality is something people argue about but I haven't had driver issues for either brand in many years.

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Member RarePosts: 3,476

    Spend the money and go for Ati 4890

    " Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Those Who  Would Threaten It "
                                            MAGA
  • TibbzTibbz Member UncommonPosts: 613
    Originally posted by Elsabolts


    Spend the money and go for Ati 4890



     

    **Facepalm

    This is directly from good ole tomshardware.......................

    Best PCI Express (PCIe) Card For ~$50:



    Radeon HD 4650 DDR3 (Check Prices)

    Good 1680x1050 performance in most games

     

    Radeon HD 4650 DDR3



    Codename: RV730

    Process: 55 nm

    Universal Shaders: 320

    Texture Units: 32

    ROPs: 16

    Memory Bus: 128-bit

    Core Speed MHz: 600

    Memory Speed MHz: 700 (1,400 effective)

    DirectX/Shader Model: DX 10.1/SM 4.1



    We've seen some DDR3-equipped Radeon HD 4650 cards approaching the $50 price point, and this makes for a card that packs a lot more punch than its DDR2-equipped cousins. Overclocking this card might bring it surprisingly close to Radeon HD 4670-class performance, so it's an especially good value for tweakers.

     

    image
  • Loveless12Loveless12 Member UncommonPosts: 37

    i have the HD4850,and i Do not regret swappin  to AMD.

     

    AMD certainly pull it off for us budget to Mid-low gamers, as the 4850 is mid priced,and certainly at the high end in performance.

     

    Its probably overkill,so i would suggest a 4650 for your price,but if you can stretch,the 4850 wont let you down for a while.

  • eneymaneneyman Member Posts: 47

    I am looking at the pics of 4850 on newegg and see it has a cable in the accessories.. is that the psu cable which is required for powering the card??

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,345

    Yes probably.  It might be a Crossfire Bridge though, but I think the difference should be obvious.

  • Wookiee6648Wookiee6648 Member Posts: 131

    XFX 4770 HD is a great card for around 100 dollars.  It will do just as good if not better job than most 200+ dollar cards.

  • TibbzTibbz Member UncommonPosts: 613
    Originally posted by eneyman


    I am looking at the pics of 4850 on newegg and see it has a cable in the accessories.. is that the psu cable which is required for powering the card??



     

    yes the 4770, 4830 4850 and all the higher cards will require a pci-e power cable addition and it is highly suggested to have a 500watt min PSU or a good 450 watt psu.

    The 4650 and the 4670 do not need the extra oomph and would go very well with your system. 

    image
  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170


    Originally posted by eneyman
    I am looking at the pics of 4850 on newegg and see it has a cable in the accessories.. is that the psu cable which is required for powering the card??

    Yea it's an adapter that combines 2 4 pin molex adapters into 1 6 pin PCI-e power connection, to power the video card in case your PSU doesn't have a 6 pin PCI-e connector on it. Preferably you'd have a PSU that has a 6 pin on it, but if you don't it's not a big deal you can use that adapter, which I've had to do before (with no probs).


    If you do have to use the adapter the idea is to hook up the 2 molex connections to different wires in case you have a multi-rail PSU but if you have a single rail PSU it shouldn't matter where you hook them up.

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