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Old 2009-09-28, 20:39   Link #1
Kytherno
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Graphic cards

I'm looking for a graphic card to buy, price range $150-$250.

If anyone could help me, it'd be greatly appreciated.

I'm looking to run some newer games, not as powerful as Crysis. More toward something like Prototype or those F2P games that are downloadable.

I don't want it to be a graphic card at lower than $150, because i have a feeling that it's a standard graphic card that comes with a pc, and mine came with a standard piece of junk.

Any suggestions?

It'd be better, to recommend something from This link, so I have a clear view of which one you're talking about and stuff.
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Old 2009-09-28, 20:42   Link #2
Alchemist007
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I'd go for the GTX 275 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2346900,00.asp
Competitive prices likely at newegg.com
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Old 2009-09-28, 20:54   Link #3
chikorita157
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You have to be aware that higher end graphics card tend to let off more heat and use more power. Most of the time, you will probably need to plug in a cable from your PSU so that the graphics card will have enough power. Another thing is that most OEMs computers don't come with powerful enough PSUs that can handle such a powerful card like that. As a result, you find yourself needing to upgrade your PSU that supports a higher wattage the graphics card needs.

Another thing to keep in mind... some cheaper computers may not come with a PCI Express X16 slot, so you will be out of luck if you don't have one and you are stuck with the slower PCI graphics cards. In that case, you need to replace your motherboard or computer just so that you can upgrade your graphics card.
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Old 2009-09-28, 22:09   Link #4
Alchemist007
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Certainly know your system and the cards' requirements before you buy anything.
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Old 2009-09-29, 01:26   Link #5
0utf0xZer0
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What's the resolution of your monitor and what kind of power supply do you have?

At 1680X1050, I imagine you could get away with a $120 HD4850 even for games like Crysis. It's insane how much GPUs have outpaced games the past year or so.
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Old 2009-09-29, 01:54   Link #6
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http://www.directron.com/expressguide.html

and for gods name don't cut to fit!
I've seen pictures (Or at least photoshoped ones)
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Old 2009-09-29, 02:08   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
What's the resolution of your monitor and what kind of power supply do you have?

At 1680X1050, I imagine you could get away with a $120 HD4850 even for games like Crysis. It's insane how much GPUs have outpaced games the past year or so.
I wouldn't count on Crysis as a good benchmark, its way too messed up.
at 1680x1050 and futureproofing, I wouldn't go for a 4850, notice its place on this
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/g...R.-2,1451.html
(75.10) compared to the others it may last for a while but not as long as something that gets more frames. I'd say the 4890 (107.3) is a better bet if you're willing to shell out, more bucks, more frames, more future proofing.
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Old 2009-09-29, 02:52   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007 View Post
I wouldn't count on Crysis as a good benchmark, its way too messed up.
at 1680x1050 and futureproofing, I wouldn't go for a 4850, notice its place on this
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/g...R.-2,1451.html
(75.10) compared to the others it may last for a while but not as long as something that gets more frames. I'd say the 4890 (107.3) is a better bet if you're willing to shell out, more bucks, more frames, more future proofing.
I would go for a 4870 if you are worried about the budget.
Its 150~ and you get almost 4890 performance for 50-100 bucks less.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...card,2404.html

Here is a good article if you want to see which card to get.
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Old 2009-09-29, 03:19   Link #9
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I'm not getting any upgrades for at least another year or years and when I do it will be a whole new system so it's not an issue for me atm; but if I was thinking about it now I'd wait for a whole nother 2 gens, not just the HD58XX or what nvidia will counter that with, but at least another gen of the DX 11 cards (since first gens are teh_suxxors on hindsight). Of course technology is always move but I do believe there are optimal times to get certain parts. I'd be most likely (if I was buying) wait for another 2 gens and get the best bang for the buck after a few reviews come out for the cards, the down side is probably the prices, but when building a new system I don't want to hold back. Of course the OP's position is different so he should get it whenever he wants (as I do with general upgrades if desperate enough).
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Old 2009-09-29, 03:33   Link #10
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007 View Post
I wouldn't count on Crysis as a good benchmark, its way too messed up.
at 1680x1050 and futureproofing, I wouldn't go for a 4850, notice its place on this
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/g...R.-2,1451.html
(75.10) compared to the others it may last for a while but not as long as something that gets more frames. I'd say the 4890 (107.3) is a better bet if you're willing to shell out, more bucks, more frames, more future proofing.
I tend to treat games like Crysis, Stalker: Clear Skies, GTAIV, etc. as the most important benchmarks because they're worst case scenarios. And I'm not sure what you mean by messed up, it seems to scale pretty well with processing power from what I've seen, at least on single GPU setups.

I like the 4850 because it will handle those worst case scenarios at 1680X1050 for like $110. And if it doesn't in two years, well... just throw in another $110 card and run that for another two years. I doubt you'll get four years out of a 4890.

Besides, if he wants to future proof, he should be waiting a few weeks for the 5850 to come in stock. $260 and much faster than any 4000 series Radeon.
If he wants to future proof though, I would say he should wait a few weeks for HD 5850 cards to start shipping for around $260 - the performance increase over the 4890 should be well worth the extra.

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007
I'm not getting any upgrades for at least another year or years and when I do it will be a whole new system so it's not an issue for me atm; but if I was thinking about it now I'd wait for a whole nother 2 gens, not just the HD58XX or what nvidia will counter that with, but at least another gen of the DX 11 cards (since first gens are teh_suxxors on hindsight).
Uh, the Radeon 9700 Pro was the first Direct X9 card and the 8800GTX was the first DX10 one... and both of those first gen parts held up pretty well. Hell, the 8800GTX is still a pretty decent card and it came out in 2006!
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Old 2009-09-29, 04:04   Link #11
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Crysis sucks as a bench because of how low the frames are from even the highest end of cards, when even they can't hit 30 it's not a good indication of an ideal bench model, the game itself was made in a way that's bad for getting frames. I'd much prefer Clear Sky over it. And from what I heard the other Crysis game did a much better job on benches, an indication that it was indeed the coding itself of the first game and not the general engine or w/e.

I basically pretend that DX10 doesn't exist. That being said the 8800s were pretty freakin good later gen DX9 cards.
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Old 2009-09-29, 04:24   Link #12
Jinto
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Imo the frames per second benchmarks are not quite suited to give a good advice on future proofedness (at least not them alone). Because this proofedness also comes with the support of future calculation technologies that are to be implemented in future DirectX versions. For example the support of more advanced geometry shaders. Often these shaders are not tested sufficiently with todays games (and many graphic cards simply do not support them). Since todays games - for the sake of backward compatibility and market relevance - do not realy use the most advanced features of the latest graphics cards (utilizing them requires costly development) it is hard to predict future proofedness based on FPS tests on these games. So any FPS test actually just shows what the graphics card can perform using the older calculation methods.
It says next to nothing about the capabilites of future calculation needs in games.
One of the major future improvements will be in-GPU surface subdivision/tesselation and massive texture based vertex-displacement technologies. The calculation process will then be something like this:

1st) Use a low polygon base mesh to do the boned animation.
2nd) Tesselate the transformed low poly mesh using surface subdivision. Good algorithms will smooth out all the edges in this step. This step does add lots of additional vertices and thus makes the low poly base mesh a high polygon mesh.
3rd) Since this smoothing process will make the mesh look very undefined in certain places, the texture based vertex-displacement will give it the coarse contours back where it is needed (think of this like bump mapping but on vertex level). This vertex displacement is only usefull on very high polygon meshes.
4th) For the very fine details bump mapping and all those old fashioned image manipulation techniques will be used.

Today there is no game doing this. Most games rely on the 1st and 4th step but do not use the 2nd and 3rd. They do other stuff instead, that somewhat makes use of the calculation principles used in the 2nd and 3rd step. But not enough to actually give a good picture of the performance-relevancy in the future.
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Old 2009-09-29, 04:59   Link #13
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I think we'll have to wait for another gen of consoles before more devs jump on more techs.
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Old 2009-09-29, 07:38   Link #14
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There are other factors that can affect FPS depending on how fast your CPU is. You can still have a fast card, but if your CPU is too slow, it can bottleneck the GPU so that it won't be able to perform as fast. This isn't the case if you have a fast Core2 Duo or Athlon/Phenom processor, but if you have a lower end CPU like the Pentium Dual Core, don't expect it to run as fast.

Most older games aren't really much a problem with the newer cards, and graphics card go obsolete when the newer cards come in, so it's best just to get the highest model, but not the latest since it will be cost effective since the newer generation will eventually go down in price. You can still play the latest game with the previous generation, but it won't be as fast, but it will still be playable.

I have a Geforce 9600m on my Macbook Pro laptop which I use for gaming and still can handle all my games with good framerates although it can't handle Crysis with high settings and full resolution since mobile graphics card are only half the power of what the desktop cards are. I don't build or use desktop computers since I go to college and I don't spend that much time at home to have and use a powerful desktop computer.
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Old 2009-09-29, 19:11   Link #15
Kytherno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
There are other factors that can affect FPS depending on how fast your CPU is. You can still have a fast card, but if your CPU is too slow, it can bottleneck the GPU so that it won't be able to perform as fast. This isn't the case if you have a fast Core2 Duo or Athlon/Phenom processor, but if you have a lower end CPU like the Pentium Dual Core, don't expect it to run as fast.

Most older games aren't really much a problem with the newer cards, and graphics card go obsolete when the newer cards come in, so it's best just to get the highest model, but not the latest since it will be cost effective since the newer generation will eventually go down in price. You can still play the latest game with the previous generation, but it won't be as fast, but it will still be playable.

I have a Geforce 9600m on my Macbook Pro laptop which I use for gaming and still can handle all my games with good framerates although it can't handle Crysis with high settings and full resolution since mobile graphics card are only half the power of what the desktop cards are. I don't build or use desktop computers since I go to college and I don't spend that much time at home to have and use a powerful desktop computer.
Is a "4400+ AMD Athlon 64X2 processor" capable of playing newer games? Or would i have to change it?

I'm kind of new to the computer stuff =/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
Imo the frames per second benchmarks are not quite suited to give a good advice on future proofedness (at least not them alone). Because this proofedness also comes with the support of future calculation technologies that are to be implemented in future DirectX versions. For example the support of more advanced geometry shaders. Often these shaders are not tested sufficiently with todays games (and many graphic cards simply do not support them). Since todays games - for the sake of backward compatibility and market relevance - do not realy use the most advanced features of the latest graphics cards (utilizing them requires costly development) it is hard to predict future proofedness based on FPS tests on these games. So any FPS test actually just shows what the graphics card can perform using the older calculation methods.
It says next to nothing about the capabilites of future calculation needs in games.
One of the major future improvements will be in-GPU surface subdivision/tesselation and massive texture based vertex-displacement technologies. The calculation process will then be something like this:

1st) Use a low polygon base mesh to do the boned animation.
2nd) Tesselate the transformed low poly mesh using surface subdivision. Good algorithms will smooth out all the edges in this step. This step does add lots of additional vertices and thus makes the low poly base mesh a high polygon mesh.
3rd) Since this smoothing process will make the mesh look very undefined in certain places, the texture based vertex-displacement will give it the coarse contours back where it is needed (think of this like bump mapping but on vertex level). This vertex displacement is only usefull on very high polygon meshes.
4th) For the very fine details bump mapping and all those old fashioned image manipulation techniques will be used.

Today there is no game doing this. Most games rely on the 1st and 4th step but do not use the 2nd and 3rd. They do other stuff instead, that somewhat makes use of the calculation principles used in the 2nd and 3rd step. But not enough to actually give a good picture of the performance-relevancy in the future.
Tl;dr

Can you summarize for me?
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Old 2009-09-29, 19:43   Link #16
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That is a fairly old processor since the AMD you have is made in 2006. It should handle the older games, but it's not going to handle the very intensive ones.

Your CPU barely meets the minimum requirement for running GTA4 which requires a 2.4 GHz Athlon X2 and yours is 2.2 GHz, but the game should still run fine, but a little slower and you may not be able to upgrade your CPU since the newer CPUs won't support your motherboard.

However, you may not be able to play CPU intensive games like Crysis that well since your CPU is a little outdated and Crysis is very demanding on the CPU, but most games should work fine, especially the non-demanding games.

Your 4400 may be overclockable, but you have to keep in mind that overclocking will produce extra heat and can damage your hardware if you don't have proper cooling, so it's not recommended.
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Old 2009-09-29, 19:47   Link #17
Kurz
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To be frank most games are GPU limited.
CPU is becoming less important.

There are exceptions like Supreme Commander (God that game is Epic).

Though you should really consider overclocking the CPU if you aren't able to play games with the new card.
Unless your motherboard doesn't have those options.

If you have a AGP motherboard don't even bother. Just save up and get a new computer.
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Old 2009-09-29, 21:08   Link #18
Alchemist007
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Quote:
I'm kind of new to the computer stuff =/
You're going to want to look up more facts before you buy anything.
Your Power supply wattage and amps on the 12V line, existence of a pci-express slot, cables for the 6-pin to connect to the power supply, and other stuff too.
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Old 2009-09-29, 21:49   Link #19
0utf0xZer0
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Hmmm... my guess is your X2 4400+ can handle a great many current games, but it's pretty borderline on others. For example, Tom's Hardware benched a 2.4ghz Intel dual core at 38.5FPS in Resident Evil 5, and the 4400+ will actually be a bit slower than that. And while Grand Theft Auto IV will run on a dual core CPU, I've heard it runs much better on a quad.

A inexpensive graphics upgrade might be worthwhile if you have a really weak graphics chip just so you can handle some current games on your rig, but your CPU will hold anything high end back.

Also, as mentioned, we really need to know what kind of power supply you have... a lot of the higher end graphics boards will pull more power than a low level power supply can handle.
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Old 2009-09-30, 01:03   Link #20
Alchemist007
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for my 3800+ X2, a 7950gt is about the max I'm willing to do. With a 4400 I wouldn't think much higher before bottlenecks make their presense felt. I'd say 8800gt max for optimum performance.
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