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Thread: Best/least expensive video card for Ultra settings for Windows 7 home premium

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default Best/least expensive video card for Ultra settings for Windows 7 home premium

    I run a Windows 7 Home Premium and my computer fails to display any graphics past minimum quality with bearable FPS. yes, i have it set to low quality renderer.

    I'm looking for the cheapest video card that will allow me to set my graphics to ultra and still be effective in raids and busy environments. i'd say $200 is my budget. tell me if this is unreasonable.

    Details (tell me if you need to know more specifics):
    Model: p6754
    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) II X4 649 Processor 3.00 GHz
    Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (3.75 usable)

    Please talk to me like I'm 5! or as close to it as possible.

  2. #2
    Ascendant Machiko_Naguchi's Avatar
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    EVGA GTX 560Ti.

    You can get them for $199 after instant and mail in rebate from Newegg.

    My sons new $1100 computer build had one in it and it ROCKED. I just took out the old video cards (2 ATI 3870s) from my wifes 6 year old computer (Intel Q6700 quad core 2.66GHz, 4GB Ram) and put one in. It took her old PC that ran Heaven 3.0 (benchmarking software) at a 501 score with an average 19.9FPS up to a 1250 rating and an average 49.9FPS running at 1920x1080 resolution.

    Basically, with that card in a new Intel i5-2500K system (my sons) he can run 60FPS at "Ultra", and in my wifes 6 year old system, she can run 25FPS on ultra (but she prefers to run on "High" and get 45-55FPS).

    By far, the best bang for your buck, IMO. Not to mention, with EVGA's new warranty (3 years), you can't beat it.
    Fire and Ice - Hailol
    Level 60's - Guardians: Proclus Lycaeus, Wolframm, Ephrus, Berilion / Defiants: Daermoon, Shvaai, Eldr, Yamule --- Misc Characters: Ennal 60 --- On Faeblight: Benderis 17 --- On Brutwacht: Siebenundvierzig 17

  3. #3
    Ascendant Machiko_Naguchi's Avatar
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    Looks like the "instant rebate" expired, so it's up to $219 after rebate, still, a heck of a card ... even in an old motherboard that DOESN'T support PCIe 2.0 slots. My wife's computer only has the PCIe x16 1.0 slots, and it still works ... just about 1-3% slower than if your motherboard had the newer PCIe 2.0 slots.

    Here is the EXACT card (since there are a number of slightly different ones): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130604


    [Edit]

    Oh, and don't cheap out and get the GTX 550Ti. While is sounds like it is "nearly as good", because it is a 550 vs 560, the performance is just over HALF of the 560. There is a reason that it is only $129 ($109 after rebate).
    Last edited by Machiko_Naguchi; 03-28-2012 at 01:25 PM.
    Fire and Ice - Hailol
    Level 60's - Guardians: Proclus Lycaeus, Wolframm, Ephrus, Berilion / Defiants: Daermoon, Shvaai, Eldr, Yamule --- Misc Characters: Ennal 60 --- On Faeblight: Benderis 17 --- On Brutwacht: Siebenundvierzig 17

  4. #4
    Soulwalker
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    ignore this comment
    Last edited by Conny214; 03-28-2012 at 01:23 PM. Reason: misinformation

  5. #5
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machiko_Naguchi View Post
    Looks like the "instant rebate" expired, so it's up to $219 after rebate, still, a heck of a card ... even in an old motherboard that DOESN'T support PCIe 2.0 slots. My wife's computer only has the PCIe x16 1.0 slots, and it still works ... just about 1-3% slower than if your motherboard had the newer PCIe 2.0 slots.

    Here is the EXACT card (since there are a number of slightly different ones): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130604


    [Edit]

    Oh, and don't cheap out and get the GTX 550Ti. While is sounds like it is "nearly as good", because it is a 550 vs 560, the performance is just over HALF of the 560. There is a reason that it is only $129 ($109 after rebate).
    I get that, but does the GTX 550 Ti still deliver decent fps at ultra graphics? because $129 is my kind of price :P

  6. #6
    Ascendant Machiko_Naguchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conny214 View Post
    I get that, but does the GTX 550 Ti still deliver decent fps at ultra graphics? because $129 is my kind of price :P
    I can't personally attest to it. Certainly NOT at "Ultra" settings. Since the wife was only getting 25FPS on Ultra with the GTX 560Ti, and the GTX 550 Ti is just a little only HALF the effective card, I can't imagine it getting any more than say 15-18FPS on Ultra.

    You can Google for benchmark comparisons of the two, for various other games (no one benchmarks with Rift), and you'll see that it is nearly HALF as many FPS as the 560Ti.

    http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/2154...tor-directx-11

    56.3fps vs 33.3
    37.6fps vs 22.8
    50.3fps vs 29.5

    etc

    IF you HAVE to "cheap out", get this card for $139. EVGA GTX 460. Even though it's an older generation that the 500 series (the 600 series JUST came out, hence the price drops), it out performs the 550Ti by about 18-22%.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130750

    But in all seriousness, save a little more money, get the 560Ti. Not only will you be more happy now, when you look to upgrading that old motherboard and CPU later, your video card will STILL be a good one, and work that much better.

    Here is a link to a site with some various performance rates for different cards, it should give you some basic ideas:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/A...ect_Cu/23.html
    Last edited by Machiko_Naguchi; 03-28-2012 at 01:37 PM.
    Fire and Ice - Hailol
    Level 60's - Guardians: Proclus Lycaeus, Wolframm, Ephrus, Berilion / Defiants: Daermoon, Shvaai, Eldr, Yamule --- Misc Characters: Ennal 60 --- On Faeblight: Benderis 17 --- On Brutwacht: Siebenundvierzig 17

  7. #7
    Soulwalker
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    Thank you so very much, you have made this so much easier for me. i only have one last question:
    My knowledge of software is minimal (as you can tell) and i keep hearing about Overclocking and such... would i be underutilizing my card if i neglected to overclock it?

  8. #8
    Ascendant Machiko_Naguchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conny214 View Post
    Thank you so very much, you have made this so much easier for me. i only have one last question:
    My knowledge of software is minimal (as you can tell) and i keep hearing about Overclocking and such... would i be underutilizing my card if i neglected to overclock it?
    Ok, well, let me say this about overclocking. I've been building my own PC's since 1984, and I am in IT by profession. Back in the early days, Overclocking was a "black art". Today, with modern hardware, it isn't nearly so. Most modern (by that I mean stuff that is only 4 years old or newer) that aren't "budget basement" items (mainly your video card, CPU, and motherboard) will allow for VERY EASY, even automatic overclocking of both the CPU and/or video card.

    For that is why I recommend quality parts as opposed to "the cheapest". Not only will it typically last longer, but it can over clock better and more stable.

    My current system is pretty old compared to some peoples computer, but because I built it "top of the line" 3 years ago, it is still better than 90% of the machines out there today, with only 1 major upgrade in all that time. I'm running an old Intel i7 965 (3 generations old) with 12GB RAM and a newer EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2 (that is my newest upgrade, and even though the new GTX 680 JUST came out, it still does very well). Granted I "water cool" my system, so I can run MUCH quieter and over clock more, but even before I put the water cooling system in, my old "stock" 3.2GHz i7 CPU was overclocked to 4.0GHz on air (VERY STABLE ... like I could run it for DAYS without a hitch ... or 4.2GHz with a glitch once every 8 hours or so). On water, I can stay at 4.6GHz all day long.

    Now, having said that, my sons newest build was using an EVGA Z68 motherboard, Intel i5-2500K, and EVGA 560Ti video card. The reason I picked those items (aside from the warranty) is because they are all HIGHLY over-clockable and best of all, EASY to overclock. EVGA even has software that will automatically allow you to change the overclocking rate inside of Windows! My son never had built a computer before, much less over-clocked one, but we took a long weekend, and I taught him and we built his system up.

    The EVGA card and motherboard are nice warranties, every over-clockable, and fairly cheap. $220 for the video, $149 for the motherboard. I've already talked about the video card. The mobo can over-clock that Intel i5-2500K (MUST get the K version, all others are junk as far as over-clocking goes) from a stock 3.3GHz to 4.4GHz ... on AIR COOLING. Granted we also used a $40 aftermarket fan on the CPU, but still, for non-water cooled, it was great ... and EASY. We torture tested his system for 8 hours using a program called Prime95 (which put his CPU at 100%) and the temperatures only got to 58C. You don't even start batting an eye at temps until you get above 85C. The motherboard also allows for nice things like USB 3.0 support and the newer SATA III 6.0GB/Sec hard drives. The Intel i5-2500K can be had for $219. I'd go with a Cooler Master HAF 912 for lots of room for $60 or a Cooler Master HAF 932 case for $139 if you want TONS of room (for an eye on water cooling, and if you love an all black case (inside and out).

    Granted we "tricked his system out", by cutting a window in the case, and adding lights, but for $1200 including the 22" monitor, new 1 terrabyte 6GB/Sec hard drive, DVD burner, and a full copy of Windows 7 64-bit, you can't beat it.

    Here are a couple of pictures:

    http://i.imgur.com/mJ5yY.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/FeqzG.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/cA9gi.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/p4Q0D.jpg




    Oh, and while over-clocking a CPU is VERY EASY, and can go up a lot, you can also over-clock a video card, but with what seems like much smaller numbers ... but will yield much better FPS results. While you can OC your CPU from 3.3GHz to 4.4GHz, that won't have nearly as much of an impact as overclocking the video card from 850MHz to 880MHz.
    Fire and Ice - Hailol
    Level 60's - Guardians: Proclus Lycaeus, Wolframm, Ephrus, Berilion / Defiants: Daermoon, Shvaai, Eldr, Yamule --- Misc Characters: Ennal 60 --- On Faeblight: Benderis 17 --- On Brutwacht: Siebenundvierzig 17

  9. #9
    Sword of Telara
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    There are, or should be, some 768mb RAM GTX 460s in the $150 range and AMD's HD6850s should be in that price range as well. Either should suffice to run the game well at Ultra, or Ultra-comparable, settings given that my HD6870 does the trick just fine with Ultra-like settings.

    As for overclocking your graphics card, my recommendation is that unless you're willing to sink in the time learning how to do it right and maintain it you probably shouldn't bother. I say this simply because the only times it will really matter is either when you overload the GPU-heavy graphics options (AFx16, SSAA, etc.) or when you're out in the field doing solo stuff away from a lot of other players. In the former situation you may find that your GPU is what's holding you back while in the latter it almost always will be. In all other situations, however, and especially in major cities and raid environments (including zone event raids) you'll find that our GPU is often going underutilized and that your CPU is the limiting factor.

    In other words unless you want to spend the time learning how to "do it right" and spend a majority of your time playing outside of player-heavy environments OC'ing your graphics card is most likely not worth it. Overclocking your CPU, on the other hand, is a different matter.

  10. #10
    Soulwalker
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    thank you both.

  11. #11
    Rift Disciple
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    My main comp runs
    i7 930/6gb/HD5850 on triple screens.
    Fullscreen on ultra it is around 10-15fps

    My GF's/also secondary runs
    i5 750/4gb/GTX280 SLI on single 1080
    Fullscreen on ultra it is around 30fps
    Okooko <Synapse>
    Aerospace Engineer
    Yeah, I fly planes.

  12. #12
    Ahi
    Ahi is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machiko_Naguchi View Post
    While you can OC your CPU from 3.3GHz to 4.4GHz, that won't have nearly as much of an impact as overclocking the video card from 850MHz to 880MHz.
    Not in most other games but in RIFT, it definitely will.

  13. #13
    Sword of Telara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahi View Post
    Not in most other games but in RIFT, it definitely will.
    From what I've seen with Rift how you overclock your CPU also has a big effect on it. With AMD's Phenom II line, and probably any AMD CPU in general, overclocking via the FSB is far and away better than with the clock/core multiplier. OC'ing my Phenom II 1090t to 3.6 GHz works better when I raise the FSB from 200 MHz to 225 compared to just raising the CM from 16x to 18x. IIRC it's something like 5-7% increase in frame rate while having identical clock speeds.

    As I understand it FSB alterations with modern Intel CPUs don't do as much as CM overclocks do though due to architectural differences.

  14. #14
    Soulwalker chopp3r's Avatar
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    Default Cheap ATI graphics card that supports overclocking

    I got the ASUS EAH6870 based on the AMD Radeon HD6870 chipset and is designed to be safely overclocked with the supplied software, or with the AMD Catalyst Control Centre. It allows me to play RIFT with the "Ultra" graphics settings on my Windows 7 64bit OS.
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