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Video card/Battlefield 3

rebelhero1rebelhero1 Member Posts: 229

Hello!

Here's the short and simple version, would I be able to find a video card for ~$100 that will last me a few years at least playing games on medium settings?

 

At the moment, all I have is an old 8600GTX and that just ain't gonna cut it anymore. I can barely run Bad Company 2 at the lowest possible settings and even then it drops to 10-15 fps at times.

My primary concern is Battlefield 3, hence the title, but of course there are many titles coming out (Skyrim, TOR, GW2 and various others) that I'm interested in but I'm in dire need of an upgrade.

 

I'm obviously willing to spend more if I have to, but I'm not interested in pushing the limits of PC gaming, I just wanna keep up at the bare minimum lol

Playing: *sigh* back to WoW :(
--------
Waiting for: SW:TOR, APB, WoD
---------
Played and loved: Eve and WoW
--------
Played and hated: WoW:WotLK, Warhammer, every single F2P

Comments

  • twodayslatetwodayslate Member Posts: 724

    In my most recent build, I did some comparisons of power (via Tomshardware) vs. price.  The most bang for your buck option I came up with is the GTX570, more specifically the MSI OC'd versionm, as it was only five bucks more at the time.

    From what I saw in the Newegg reviews of the 500 series, it sounds like some people were able to get away with manually clocking up a 560 to achieve capable futureproof output, but then I haven't been much into that since I managed to blow up one of my 8800s.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/ is what I used for most of the power comparisons, check it out.  You can kind of approximate the degree of futureproofness(TM) of a card by comparing it to the average FPS demands of current generation games that they include in the charts.  Which, according to them, seems to be hovering around the 8800GTS level.

  • WorstluckWorstluck Member Posts: 1,269

    Originally posted by twodayslate

    In my most recent build, I did some comparisons of power (via Tomshardware) vs. price.  The most bang for your buck option I came up with is the GTX570, more specifically the MSI OC'd versionm, as it was only five bucks more at the time.

    From what I saw in the Newegg reviews of the 500 series, it sounds like some people were able to get away with manually clocking up a 560 to achieve capable futureproof output, but then I haven't been much into that since I managed to blow up one of my 8800s.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/ is what I used for most of the power comparisons, check it out.  You can kind of approximate the degree of futureproofness(TM) of a card by comparing it to the average FPS demands of current generation games that they include in the charts.  Which, according to them, seems to be hovering around the 8800GTS level.

     

    The 570 is $350, well over the 100 bucks the op wanted to spend.

    For around $100, I recommend either a radeon HD 5770 or 5830.  Both solid cards that I am sure will run BF3 fine.  I currently have a HD 5830 in one computer, runs BF bad company 2 very well.  I don't bother with nVidia much anymore so can't recommend anything there.

    Also depnds on what kind of power supply you have (the 5830 needs two 6-pin connectors) and the rest of your system.  Good luck.

    image

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    It seems that your video card doesn't actually exist.  If you mean a GeForce 8600 GT or 8600 GTS, then yes, you can get a huge upgrade over that.

    If you do rebates, then I'd try this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447

    That should offer several times the performance of what you have now.

    If you won't do rebates, then this card is signficantly faster than the one I linked above:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102878

    If you want a hard cap of $100 without rebates, then your options are much narrower.  This is about the best you can do in a modern card:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131399

    It offers perhaps 2/3 of the performance of the Radeon HD 5770 linked above.

    If you prefer Nvidia, then it's slim pickings in the $100 and under segment.  The problem is that Nvidia doesn't have any budget gaming cards in their modern lineup.  They have a couple of small dies that are low end, not for gaming cards.  And they have some huge dies that are expensive to produce.  A big, expensive die works all right if you're going to sell the card for $300, but it rather locks you out of the sub-$100 market segment.

    The best Nvidia option I could find for under $100 is this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150513

    That's old tech, too, so it's basically at a clearance price to get rid of it.  To put it in perspective, the GPU chip in that is a half node die shrink of a GeForce 8800 GTS that is nearly as old as the card you have now.  Thus, it lacks modern features, most notably DirectX 11 support.

    If you want some more modern Nvidia options, then the best I could come up with is these two:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162062

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130591

    The first of those is quite a bit slower than the Radeon HD 5770 linked above, and also significantly more expensive, both before and after rebates.  The second performs comparably tot he Radeon HD 5830 linked above, but is more expensive after rebate than the 5830 is without a rebate.

    So basically, if you want a good deal on a video card for around $100, you have to go AMD right now.  Excluding rebates, Nvidia is really only competitive in the gaming market at around $160 and up.  At higher prices, you can get good deals from either AMD or Nvidia.  AMD cards have a lot better performance per watt this generation, and also a better feature set, though both sides support DirectX 11.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by Worstluck

    Also depnds on what kind of power supply you have (the 5830 needs two 6-pin connectors) and the rest of your system.  Good luck.

    Actually, that's an important point, too.  Rebel, you should say what power supply you have.  You could probably upgrade to a Radeon HD 6670 without having to replace the power supply, but for something higher end, you might need a new power supply, depending on what you have.

    A DDR3 version of a Radeon HD 5570 wouldn't take any more power than the card you have now:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102874

    The trouble is that it might only offer 2-3 times the performance of the card you have now, which might not be the level of performance that you're after.

  • rebelhero1rebelhero1 Member Posts: 229

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by Worstluck

     

    Actually, that's an important point, too.  

    Would http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817159065&cm_re=450_watt_psu-_-17-159-065-_-Product be an acceptable PSU to run http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176333&SID=1ts9dwxc7gfd9 then?

     

    Sorry, I'm still a moderate noob at this. It says it has a 6 pin pci-e but I just want to make sure I don't derp. I don't really have enough money to trial and error lol

    Playing: *sigh* back to WoW :(
    --------
    Waiting for: SW:TOR, APB, WoD
    ---------
    Played and loved: Eve and WoW
    --------
    Played and hated: WoW:WotLK, Warhammer, every single F2P

  • Entropy14Entropy14 Member UncommonPosts: 675

    no i would prob go with at least 650W sometimes 750W, problem is with power supplies you cant go cheap , or you will mess up your whole computer. 

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    First off, you can't really pick out a video card today for a game that doesn't exist yet. There is absolutely no telling how any of today's cards will run on BFBC3.

    Second off, the video card is probably the most important part of a gaming computer. On most gaming computer builds, I budget more money for Video than any other single component, and sometimes as much as 30-40% of the entire computer budget towards the video. That being said, $100 is what I would consider "Entry Level" for PC gaming, and while you can find video cards for ~$100 that are leaps and bounds better than your 8600GTX, if your able to expand that budget to $150, or better yet, $200, you can by significantly better video cards that will last longer and give you much better performance than a $100 video card can.

    Now, I realize that your card is a bit old, but if your shooting for BFBC3 performance (or Skyrim, or GW2, or ToR, or what have you), then you should wait until that game comes out: it's impossible to tell right now if ATI or nVidia will have the upper hand with that title, and by the time the game ships, we could have an entire new generation of video cards (along with new prices) to deal with.

    If your lookiing to upgrade now, and hopefully pick something that will still be "good enough" for when these games do finally ship, I strongly urge you to try to expand that budget out to $150-$200.

    $100 can get you an ATI 5770 or 5830, as was recommended before, and both are great entry level cards. the nVidia 450 is on par with those two, as the nVidia counterpart. But, these are what I would consider entry level, and they aren't going to have great lifespans. They will run today's games decently enough (High to Medium settings), but there's no guarantee when it comes to anything that hasn't shipped yet.

    $150 can get you into a ATI 6850, or an nVidia 550. Either of which will significantly outperform the entry level cards. They will all run excellently on todays titles (mostly high settings), and will continue to perform well on future titles (probably continue to support High to Medium settings).

    If your able to stretch to $200, then you can look at the ATI 6870, and maybe even the 6950 1G or the nVidia 560, both are excellent mid-range video cards, and will definitely perform well on upcoming titles. You will be able to run mostly high settings on current and future releases with great framerates for probably the next 2-3 years at 1080p resolution.

    So, you can spend that $100 and get a bare minimum, but your going to get what you pay for: your current framerates will go up, but if your able to stretch that budget a bit more and reach to the next tier or two up, it will buy you a whole heck of a lot more, and most gamers consider it to be worth the investment.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by rebelhero1

    Would http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817159065&cm_re=450_watt_psu-_-17-159-065-_-Product be an acceptable PSU to run http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176333&SID=1ts9dwxc7gfd9 then?

     

    Sorry, I'm still a moderate noob at this. It says it has a 6 pin pci-e but I just want to make sure I don't derp. I don't really have enough money to trial and error lol

    Is that the power supply that you have now?  If not, then don't buy it, as it sure looks like cheap junk to me.  If you already have it, then it might be able to handle the video card or it might fry something--but it's risky enough that I'd replace it on general principle.

    Coolmax is a cheap junk brand.  Decent quality power supplies start at $40, with only occasional special deals making one available for cheaper than that every now and then.  Coolmax has one available for $21, before a $10 rebate.  That just doesn't happen for a unit that isn't completely worthless.

    If you're looking for a budget power supply that will be able to handle a Radeon HD 5770, then either of these will work:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371033

    The former has an inflated wattage rating, but if you think of it as a decent enough 380 W power supply, it will be fine.

    Do be warned, however, that those aren't a good idea for more powerful video cards.  In particular, you shouldn't try either of those with some of the more power-hungry cards listed above, such as a Radeon HD 5830 or GeForce GTX 460 SE.  If you're upgrading an older system now, then presumably this will be the last time you upgrade the video card, so you don't really need a ton of headroom for future upgrades.

    -----

    "no i would prob go with at least 650W sometimes 750W, problem is with power supplies you cant go cheap , or you will mess up your whole computer. "

    It's not the nominal wattage rating on the label.  It's how much power the unit can reliably safely deliver in the real world.  A Radeon HD 5770 has a TDP of 108 W.  Very few processors have a TDP over 130 W, and most are much less than that, even.  And then the rest of the components in a system don't add up to all that much.  If you're going to end up with a computer that will pull 200-250 W at peak loads, then a good quality 380 W power supply is plenty for that.

    -----

    "I strongly urge you to try to expand that budget out to $150-$200."

    I'd argue that someone who has an 8600 GT and is only now getting around to upgrading it isn't the sort of person who needs to max settings in everything.

    -----

    Rebel, what processor do you have?  If the problem is poor frame rates because you're processor bound, then upgrading the video card won't fix it.  Now, many games won't run well on high settings on your card, but most of them will still be playable at low settings.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    $150 can get you into a ATI 6850, or an nVidia 550. Either of which will significantly outperform the entry level cards. They will all run excellently on todays titles (mostly high settings), and will continue to perform well on future titles (probably continue to support High to Medium settings).

    A Radeon HD 6850 is substantially faster than a Radeon HD 5770.  A GeForce GTX 550 Ti is not, however. That's why the GTX 550 Ti is such a failure of a card:  it's too big and expensive, so it can't compete on price with the much cheaper Radeon HD 5770 (cheaper die, cheaper PCB, cheaper power circuitry, cheaper cooler) that performs just as well.

    The GTX 550 Ti also mismatches the memory channels, and is, as far as I can tell, the only video card ever made to do this.  While it tells you it has 1 GB of video memory, it might work just fine up to 768 MB.  But getting the proper memory bandwidth if you're using more than that is mathematically impossible, as 1/3 of the memory bus has to handle 1/2 of the memory capacity.

    If you want an Nvidia card in the $150 range, then the GeForce GTX 460 1 GB is Nvidia's answer to the Radeon HD 6850.

  • rebelhero1rebelhero1 Member Posts: 229

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by rebelhero1

    Would http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817159065&cm_re=450_watt_psu-_-17-159-065-_-Product be an acceptable PSU to run http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176333&SID=1ts9dwxc7gfd9 then?

     

    Sorry, I'm still a moderate noob at this. It says it has a 6 pin pci-e but I just want to make sure I don't derp. I don't really have enough money to trial and error lol

     

    Rebel, what processor do you have?  If the problem is poor frame rates because you're processor bound, then upgrading the video card won't fix it.  Now, many games won't run well on high settings on your card, but most of them will still be playable at low settings.

    It's a E3300 @ 2.5GHz Intel Celeron Dual Core overclocked at 3.2GHz.

     

    I can up it to ~4GHz if I have to, but whenever I check my CPU performance it's rarely at 100%.

    Playing: *sigh* back to WoW :(
    --------
    Waiting for: SW:TOR, APB, WoD
    ---------
    Played and loved: Eve and WoW
    --------
    Played and hated: WoW:WotLK, Warhammer, every single F2P

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    That's a Penryn, so I'd say you have adequate processor power to be appropriate to a $100 video card upgrade.  Even with that overclock, it probably won't come anywhere near 100 W of power consumption.

  • rimaxo14rimaxo14 Member Posts: 118

    I just got myself a gtx 580 and might i say it is one hell of a card lol!

    EVGA FTW-3 MOBO X58
    EVGA GTX 580
    G.SKILL RIPJAW 12GB
    INTEL I7 950
    CORSAIR H70 CPU COOLER
    CORSAIR 1200W 80+GOLD

    image
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by rimaxo14

    I just got myself a gtx 580 and might i say it is one hell of a card lol!

    But you didn't get one for around $100.  Or even $300, for that matter.

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