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Thread: Run Down for New Video Cards

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default Run Down for New Video Cards

    Can anybody give me a quick rundown on some of the newer video cards? I'm doing some upgrades this Christmas season (PSU, OS, GPU) and find myself utterly confused on how the cards relate to one another. It was simple enough with nVidia's old system, the x800 was the top of that particular line, performance goes down from there, but now I'm a tad bit lost.

    How does the, say, the GeForce 460 rank nowadays? Is it like the x600's (ie. 8600, 9600)?

    With a budget of roughly $200, what newer graphics card would you recommend? I have no problem with Radeon... just always been an nVidia guy.

    Edit: I was reading around, would it be effective to just go the SLI route and get another 8800 GTX (as I am currently using one)? The PSU I'm upgrading to is 850 watt so that should cover it... would probably need to upgrade my cooling all around though...
    Last edited by Gelton-Rathe; 12-08-2010 at 09:58 PM.

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    Rift Master Sinistrad's Avatar
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    Check this site out. It shows everything from the cheapest to the highest-end $500+ video cards and their scores. It is also updated regularly.

    When it comes to SLI, remember that two video cards does not equal twice the performance. SLI is very good at certain things (I believe higher resolutions) and not so good at others. Generally, you should expect only a 30-50% performance increase, NOT a 100% increase as you might expect from having two video cards. Also, some games have serious compatibility issues with SLI. If I remember correctly, EQ2 did not support it for a long time, and may still not support it? (Correct me if I'm wrong).

    Personally, I look at whether a 30% increase over my current card, puts me beyond my budget for any single card. If not, I upgrade to a single card within my budget. If the cards within my budget are not 30% faster, I buy a second of my current card.

    Currently, I have a GTX 275, and given my budget will probably upgrade to a GTX 470 or GTX 480 rather than going with SLI. The 470 scores about 56% higher, and the 480 even higher than that. If you can squeeze another 50 dollars into your budget, a $250 card (GTX 470 on sale) will give you massive increases in performance (i.e. it's the most bang for your buck) over a second 8800 GTX; $250 seems to be the sweet spot lately between cost and performance. The performance jump between sub $200 cards and $250+ cards is pretty significant.

    If you cannot swing $250, then definitely pick up a GTX 460. It more than doubled the score of your current card, meaning that it outperforms your card even in SLI. If you're a savvy shopper you can find it somewhere for less than $200, though be sure to buy from a reputable brand with a good warranty. Complicated electronics can and do break with no warning! If it doesn't have a good warranty they do not have confidence in their own product.

    I'm sure I've missed a few things, since I've only just been on the market for a card myself, and have not gone through my full research cycle, but feel free to ask any questions, and (for everyone else) point out any errors. I also know very little about ATI products, so it could be there is a better fit in that lineup.

    EDIT: I just ordered a GTX 570. It's like the 480, but better, and cheaper. Though, it's still around $350. I went a little outside my own budget, but I'll just have to recoup my losses with Christmas money.
    Last edited by Sinistrad; 12-09-2010 at 07:58 AM.

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  3. #3
    Telaran mauv's Avatar
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    Click on the link below, I hope this helps to give you some guidance on performance.

    videocard benchmark
    OS: Win7 Pro 64bit CPU: i7 950 (@3.6GHz) VidCard: 2 x EVGA GTX 570 SLI (Driver: 266.58)
    RAM:
    Corsair 12GB (1600MHz) Mainboard: EVGA x58 SLIx3 HDD: Gskill 120gb SSD 2x1TB Seagate Barracuda (7200rpm 32mb) raid0
    Keyboard + Mouse:
    G15 + Razer Lachesis Monitor: Samsung P2770HD 27" 1080p

  4. #4
    Telaran mauv's Avatar
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    the 6870 is fairly good bang for buck, as is the 6850.

    the GTX 460 in sli will work for rift.

    I like nvidia, however the nvidia 400 series cards ran a bit hot and were a bit power hungry for my liking, so I put a 5870 in my system. Side note, my wife's GTX 580 seems to run everything very well.
    OS: Win7 Pro 64bit CPU: i7 950 (@3.6GHz) VidCard: 2 x EVGA GTX 570 SLI (Driver: 266.58)
    RAM:
    Corsair 12GB (1600MHz) Mainboard: EVGA x58 SLIx3 HDD: Gskill 120gb SSD 2x1TB Seagate Barracuda (7200rpm 32mb) raid0
    Keyboard + Mouse:
    G15 + Razer Lachesis Monitor: Samsung P2770HD 27" 1080p

  5. #5
    Rift Master Sinistrad's Avatar
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    I've heard the 400's run hot, but that their threshold is also well above 100 C. So, if it's running at 80 or 90, it is not really anything to worry about assuming it is not causing your entire case to overheat.

    If you're well ventilated it should be a non-issue.

    "That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die."
    --H.P. Lovecraft

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    Ascendant rabb1t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gelton-Rathe View Post
    Can anybody give me a quick rundown on some of the newer video cards? I'm doing some upgrades this Christmas season (PSU, OS, GPU) and find myself utterly confused on how the cards relate to one another.
    teh rabb1t site breaks it down to it's simplest form. ;)

    How does the, say, the GeForce 460 rank nowadays?
    Lower / mid mainstream Nvidia card. The 470 and new 570 would be higher and high of mainstream.

    With a budget of roughly $200, what newer graphics card would you recommend?
    XFX AMD 6850 $200 - advantage Eyefinity, tri-monitor on a single card
    -or-
    Evga Superclocked GTX 460 1 gig $180 - advantage PhysX, 3D Vision

    The PSU I'm upgrading to is 850 watt so that should cover it... would probably need to upgrade my cooling all around though...
    850w should be plenty for dual. Why would you need to upgrade cooling? GPUs should vent out the rear.

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  7. #7
    Shadowlander
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    These responses were perfect, exactly what I was looking for.

    I wasn't really planning on going the SLI route, just didn't want to rule it out.

    Thanks everybody.

    One last question, what is the FERMI on the GeForce 470's? No idea what that is. I have a motherboard that's two-three years old, that should be fine for any of these cards correct?

    Edit: I was thinking about upgrading cooling because, well, it just isn't very good.
    Last edited by Gelton-Rathe; 12-09-2010 at 09:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Ascendant rabb1t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gelton-Rathe View Post
    TI wasn't really planning on going the SLI route, just didn't want to rule it out.
    The thing with that is if you "plan to" you rarely ever actually do. In order to stay current technologically you need to upgrade about every 1.5.-2 years, and so if you "plan to" you really never get the chance because the urge to stay current on features will override your ability to catch a sale and stick with something older.

    I call it "riding the wave (of technology)". As example, let's say you had upgraded to something like a GTX 260 from your 8800. You would have then sold your 8800. You could have upgraded again to a 460, sold the 260. Now you could upgrade to a 570 and sell the 460. Up until a few years ago (when I lost the ability to afford anything ) I did that every generation. I was always in the newest generation and I always paid for 50-70% of the cost of the new card by selling the "old" card. The thing is that a very large bulk of the mainstream users are a generation and sometimes several generations behind, so there's almost always a secondary market for a card that's one generation back.

    One last question, what is the FERMI on the GeForce 470's? No idea what that is.
    Teh Internets, joo is on it. Use teh search.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/fermi_architecture.html

    I was thinking about upgrading cooling because, well, it just isn't very good.
    If you have at least 2 120mm fans you should be good to go. I'd say look at something like a better CPU cooler before anything else if you are on a stock CPU cooler. Be sure you aren't choking out the airflow in your case. In terms of clearance I'd recommend 6" to one side, 2' to the other side, 6" off the back, and 6" off the top.
    **Canceled Oct '11, cannot reply on forums. Contact me through my site.**
    rabb1t.com - pc gaming hardware tech talk for everyone / rabb1t's ramblings podcast
    rabb1t's Gamer Day 2010 After Party videos
    joo can has Rift iPhone 4 and Droid wallpapers


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