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Best GPU for $200~ ish

FaliceFalice Member Posts: 329

I picked up the Witcher 2 and I enjoy it, but I realize that my GPU is out of date and needs to be upgraded. I think my budget is $200, I might be able to stretch it a tad, but would prefer to stay within that range.

Here are my current specs:

Radeon 4870 1gig

i7 920

6 gigs RAM

850w PS with two 6 pins

MSI mobo

I've had my comp for a few years now and it's been running flawlessly, I've been playing SC2, DAO, DA2, and a few others all on max settings. But the time has finally come where a game has crushed my GPU. I've only been able to play Witcher 2 on medium settings with about 15-20 fps, which sucks.

Card suggestions and advice are very welcome, along with possible sites for the best deals, if outside of newegg and amazon.

EDIT. I wanted to add, since some of the comments are heading in that direction, that yes I have all of the latest drivers for everything, the game, my CCC, etc. My virus scanner is set to game-mode and there's nothing running in the background. It would be great if I could pull off the "high" settings with this game and my current card, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen.

That's why I'm card hunting.

Comments

  • vmopedvmoped Member Posts: 1,708

    I run the game maxxed on a i-5 2500k with a nvidia 560ti overclocked.  I don't think your issue is with the cpu.  I would check their forums for issues with your ati card and possible fixes.  The recent patch increased fps for most users with the removal of the DRM feature on most copies of the game.  Good luck mate.

    Cheers!

    MMO Vet since AOL Neverwinter Nights circa 1992. My MMO beat up your MMO. =S

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,223

    Originally posted by Falice

    850w PS with two 6 pins

    That doesn't sound good.  A power supply that only has two PCI-E power connectors is not an 850 W power supply.  What power supply do you have, anyway?  Find the exact brand name and model, not just the nominal wattage.

    -----

    If you're willing to do rebates, then either of these will offer about double the graphical performance of what you have now:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130634

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150523

    The Radeon HD 6950 is a little better card than the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, and also a little more expensive.  If you have any brand preference between AMD and Nvidia, then that's one way to make your decision.  At those prices, I'd probably personally lean toward the 6950, but they're both good deals.

  • FaliceFalice Member Posts: 329

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by Falice

    850w PS with two 6 pins

    That doesn't sound good.  A power supply that only has two PCI-E power connectors is not an 850 W power supply.  What power supply do you have, anyway?  Find the exact brand name and model, not just the nominal wattage.

    -----

    If you're willing to do rebates, then either of these will offer about double the graphical performance of what you have now:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130634

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150523

    The Radeon HD 6950 is a little better card than the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, and also a little more expensive.  If you have any brand preference between AMD and Nvidia, then that's one way to make your decision.  At those prices, I'd probably personally lean toward the 6950, but they're both good deals.

    Thanks Quizz.

    Yeah I know my PS is poop, it's a Solynox or something like that... It's listed on the AMD site as "approved", well at least the 600w version is. But I haven't been having any problems with it, so I'm satisfied for now.

  • CeldainCeldain Member UncommonPosts: 119

    the 6800s is the mid range line now, compared to 4800s which was the high end line. you wont see enough of a difference going from 4850 to 6870 to come anywhere near justifying the 200 dollars.

    i would stretch that budget a bit and go for a reference 6950 to flash to 6970. you can probably sell your 4850 for 40~50 dollars to fund it

    also all the video cards that need 6 pin connectors come with adapters so it doesnt even matter

  • NevulusNevulus Member UncommonPosts: 1,288


    XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity  $188.00

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150506

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,223

    Originally posted by Evile

    Nvidia 560 hands down

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127593&cm_re=nvidia_560-_-14-127-593-_-Product

    You do, I hope, realize that that's not a GeForce GTX 560 Ti.  That's a GTX 560 without the Ti, which basically means, a GTX 460 clocked higher, though it is technically a different stepping of the die.  A GTX 560 without the Ti is about on par in performance with a Radeon HD 6870 that is much cheaper than that card, and it's not in the same league as the faster GeForce GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 6950.

    "the 6800s is the mid range line now, compared to 4800s which was the high end line. you wont see enough of a difference going from 4850 to 6870 to come anywhere near justifying the 200 dollars."

    That's one way to look at it.  Alternatively, Barts fills the same market segment as RV770 did.  During the Radeon HD 4000 series, AMD basically decided to vacate the high end, and let Nvidia have it all to itself, on the basis that not enough people would buy a $400 card for AMD to bother with it.

    "also all the video cards that need 6 pin connectors come with adapters so it doesnt even matter"

    The issue isn't whether there are the right plugs to connect the power supply to the video card.  The issue is whether doing so will lead the power supply to malfunction, potentially killing hardware.

    "XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $188.00



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150506";

    If you wanted a card under $200 without rebates, that's likely to be the best deal available.  But it's also questionable as to whether a 6870 is enough of an upgrade over a 4870 to justify the price tag.

  • FaliceFalice Member Posts: 329

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by Evile

    Nvidia 560 hands down

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127593&cm_re=nvidia_560-_-14-127-593-_-Product

    You do, I hope, realize that that's not a GeForce GTX 560 Ti.  That's a GTX 560 without the Ti, which basically means, a GTX 460 clocked higher, though it is technically a different stepping of the die.  A GTX 560 without the Ti is about on par in performance with a Radeon HD 6870 that is much cheaper than that card, and it's not in the same league as the faster GeForce GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 6950.

    "the 6800s is the mid range line now, compared to 4800s which was the high end line. you wont see enough of a difference going from 4850 to 6870 to come anywhere near justifying the 200 dollars."

    That's one way to look at it.  Alternatively, Barts fills the same market segment as RV770 did.  During the Radeon HD 4000 series, AMD basically decided to vacate the high end, and let Nvidia have it all to itself, on the basis that not enough people would buy a $400 card for AMD to bother with it.

    "also all the video cards that need 6 pin connectors come with adapters so it doesnt even matter"

    The issue isn't whether there are the right plugs to connect the power supply to the video card.  The issue is whether doing so will lead the power supply to malfunction, potentially killing hardware.

    "XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $188.00



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150506";

    If you wanted a card under $200 without rebates, that's likely to be the best deal available.  But it's also questionable as to whether a 6870 is enough of an upgrade over a 4870 to justify the price tag.

    Here's my follow-up question, what kind of longevity could I expect from the 6950?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,223

    Originally posted by Falice

    Here's my follow-up question, what kind of longevity could I expect from the 6950?

    I'm not sure what you mean by that.  If you mean, how long until it dies, a 6950 should have a pretty good lifespan at stock speeds, as it's the bottom* bin of the Cayman chip, and PowerTune will prevent power consumption from getting out of hand and frying things.

    If you mean, how long until you feel like upgrading it, then that depends tremendously on you.

    If you mean, how long until the next generation of cards comes out, making it no longer make sense to buy a 6950 new, then my guess is sometime around this fall.  It depends on how quickly TSMC and Global Foundries can get their 28 nm HKMG process nodes working, though.  AMD's next generation of cards is going to be heavily based on the Cayman chip in the 6950, but on a new process node.

    -----

    *I'm excluding the new FirePro cards that are based on severely cut down Cayman chips, because AMD thought VLIW4 would do a lot better at professional graphics than VLIW5.  So rather than using a mid-range GPU chip for the mid-range FIrePro cards, they used Cayman and merely cut it down to fit the market segment.

    For example, the FirePro V5900 uses a Cayman chip with 2/3 of the shaders and TMUs disabled.  For consumer graphics cards, you can't do that, as if a card is going to sell for $100 at retail, the GPU chip better not cost $50 by itself.  But you can do things like that in the professional graphics market when a mid-range card goes for $600.

    Not that you should care about that.

  • likeafoxlikeafox Member UncommonPosts: 49

    I figure instead of starting a new post since I basically have the same question kinda, mainly aimed at Quizz.

     

    I currently have a HIS ATI 4850 512MB, and i play in 1680x1050 and probably wont hop out of that resolution for a long time. Would it be better for me to grab up the 6870 performance wise, or should I just hit up the 6950. I have the money to cover it but i wanted to save as much as possible because I was looking to get other stuff.

    My specs are:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400

    Gigabyte EP45-UD3P

    4GB Mushkin Ram

    Coolermaster RealPower Pro 750W ( http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=2733 )

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,223

    It's really a question of budget and desired performance level.  A Radeon HD 6870 should offer more than double the graphical performance of what you have now.  A Radeon HD 6950 should offer about 2 1/2 times the performance of what you have now.  Your power supply should be able to handle either card just fine.  It's rather dated, but then, so is the rest of the computer, which is why you're looking to upgrade it.  Hopefully you've got a decent enough case, so that airflow won't be a problem, as the new card will put out more heat than the one you're replacing.

  • likeafoxlikeafox Member UncommonPosts: 49

    Oh forgot to mention that, I have the coolermaster cm-690 http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=2710

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,223

    The link you give says it has room for seven fans, but makes it sound like it might only come with one.  I tried to look it up on New Egg, and there it sounded like it comes with three 120 mm fans.  If you've got three or more case fans, that's plenty of airflow for any of the cards we're talking about.  If it's only got one, then you might want to add a couple more fans, but that's easy enough to do.  The case also has plenty of room for any single GPU card on the market.

  • likeafoxlikeafox Member UncommonPosts: 49

    Yeah I have 3 fans in it already, one on the side, one on the front of the case and one on the top one of the reasons why i got this case long time ago. but it is quite heavy when i have everything in it.

  • BarbarbarBarbarbar Member UncommonPosts: 271

    Originally posted by Falice

    Originally posted by Quizzical


    Originally posted by Evile

    Nvidia 560 hands down

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127593&cm_re=nvidia_560-_-14-127-593-_-Product

    You do, I hope, realize that that's not a GeForce GTX 560 Ti.  That's a GTX 560 without the Ti, which basically means, a GTX 460 clocked higher, though it is technically a different stepping of the die.  A GTX 560 without the Ti is about on par in performance with a Radeon HD 6870 that is much cheaper than that card, and it's not in the same league as the faster GeForce GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 6950.

    "the 6800s is the mid range line now, compared to 4800s which was the high end line. you wont see enough of a difference going from 4850 to 6870 to come anywhere near justifying the 200 dollars."

    That's one way to look at it.  Alternatively, Barts fills the same market segment as RV770 did.  During the Radeon HD 4000 series, AMD basically decided to vacate the high end, and let Nvidia have it all to itself, on the basis that not enough people would buy a $400 card for AMD to bother with it.

    "also all the video cards that need 6 pin connectors come with adapters so it doesnt even matter"

    The issue isn't whether there are the right plugs to connect the power supply to the video card.  The issue is whether doing so will lead the power supply to malfunction, potentially killing hardware.

    "XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $188.00



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150506";

    If you wanted a card under $200 without rebates, that's likely to be the best deal available.  But it's also questionable as to whether a 6870 is enough of an upgrade over a 4870 to justify the price tag.

    Here's my follow-up question, what kind of longevity could I expect from the 6950?

    It's a matter of personal preferences, but I'd say that your new card will last you as long as your old card did.

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