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Need suggestions for new graphics card

ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.
Depending on your systems specs, you will most likely need a new PSU as well.

Whats your budget?
 

ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.
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ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.

Shino

Now with more Writer's Block!
Despite the fact that I'm going against all the other reccommendations, whatever you get, get nVidia and not ATI.
Part personal prefrence and part past experience, I can't stand the way ATI cards perform in-game, and their catalyst software (last I checked) is poorly written and horribly bloated.

Also, most of my favorite games are optimized for the nVidia arcitecture and not ATI, and new nVidia cards have the PhysX chip.

I love AMD, I really do, but I still believe their purchase of ATI was a really sucky move.

Ok, I'm done ranting now. You can have your ATI-lovers thread back.
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
You have one very good point there Shino - the Catalyst software IS pretty damn bloated. As for trouble in games though, I've not really had anymore or less with ATI than nVida throughout the years. I've had a pretty even smattering of both cards, and don't really have a preference one way or the other. The only oddity with ATI that I encountered of late is with my godless creation of a card, the AGP 3850HD. To run without problems, lock-ups and general annoyance issues, I actually have to overclock it. Ah well. It was the fastest card I could get for the very dead AGP architecture. I just need to upgrade sometime. :p
 

Shino

Now with more Writer's Block!
...It was the fastest card I could get for the very dead AGP architecture...
Eh. My main tower still is only running a GeForce 7600 out of an AGP x8 slot. I've got a PCI-E 1.0 x16 slot (dual-slot 939 motherboard, one-of-a-kind), but I've been more focused on getting my tablet than upgrading my tower.

Still, I would reccommend one of the nVidia GTX series cards. One thing, though, certain manufacturers are better than others. Be careful what you buy, as one GTX 280 might not be equal to another GTX 280. I reccommend EVGA, ASUS, and XFX are good ones. Avoid ones like Sparkle, Gigabyte, Zotac, and MSI. PNY is a good middle road for budget performance.
 

ToeClaws

PEBKAC exterminator
Eh. My main tower still is only running a GeForce 7600 out of an AGP x8 slot. I've got a PCI-E 1.0 x16 slot (dual-slot 939 motherboard, one-of-a-kind), but I've been more focused on getting my tablet than upgrading my tower.

Yeah, before the Radeon, I had a GeForce 7800 GS, but it was straining to run BioShock on max settings. If I can't run a game with all the settings maxed out, then it's time for a new video card. :p The HD3850 was a royal PAIN to get working though because ATI/AMD did not officially support the 3000 series on AGP, so to even work, it requires a hotfix driver. Graciously though, AMD does release one unofficially. It only works in XP (not sure about Vista, and no support in Linux/BSD... which sucks). Power-wise though, the card is a brute - the difference in Bioshock was incredible - not a scrap of strain with the Radeon.

Still, I would reccommend one of the nVidia GTX series cards. One thing, though, certain manufacturers are better than others. Be careful what you buy, as one GTX 280 might not be equal to another GTX 280. I reccommend EVGA, ASUS, and XFX are good ones. Avoid ones like Sparkle, Gigabyte, Zotac, and MSI. PNY is a good middle road for budget performance.

Agreed. Sparkle... heh, yeah, bad company. MSI is a bit of a gamble in that sometimes they turn out really good stuff, and sometimes it's complete garbage. It's as if their lead engineer suffered severe head trauma and he has his good days and bad days when it comes to new designs. :rolleyes: Sapphire and HIS aren't too bad, and BFG does some pretty crazy over-clocked designs.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Also, most of my favorite games are optimized for the nVidia arcitecture and not ATI
No they aren't - They paid for the logo and you fell for marketing FUD. It's like how Crysis has the Intel logo on it. Is it going to be faster on an Intel chip than the equivalent AMD chip? No. Not really. I play plenty of games with that "Whooooosh! (whisper)nVidia!" "The way it's meant to be played" logo on them and I don't have any performance nor graphical issues on my Radeon HD 4850. nVidia sponsors dev team. Person buys game. Sees nVidia logo. Buys nVidia card.

and new nVidia cards have the PhysX chip.
No they don't. They run PhysX on their stream processors, which ATI cards have been proven to also be capable of. Pretty soon, OpenCL/DirectX 11 will remedy that one and render CUDA (the platform PhysX runs on with the nVidia cards) obsolete.

Honestly, I'm of the opinion that avoiding nVidia is a good idea. nVidia's control panel offers almost no ability to customize anything (not even which output to use) and is pretty unintuitive for me. Their old, pre-Vista drivers were definitely a lot better than the new Control Panel task-oriented style of doing things. At least with ATI, you have the option of disabling the Catalyst Control Center and grabbing ATI Tray Tools, which gives you insane control over your card, including fan speeds, advanced tweaks like texture support, multi-threading, etc along with the normal gamut of options like AA, AF and mipmapping. About the only advantage you get when using nVidia cards is that they can support CUDA and PhysX on the card - That and you get to pay a pretty penny for them, especially if you're going top-end. But that's a pretty techie reason. Also, AMD's releasing the specs for the cards so that open source drivers can be created for *NIX, which is a huge plus.

Then again, depending on where you look, you can grab a GTX 285 for about the same price as a Radeon HD 4890 and they're about on par. So in that case, it boils down to what sort of chipset your computer is running right now - AMD/Intel (Crossfire-capable) or NVidia (SLi). Not that it makes a huge difference, especially if you only have a single PCI-E slot, but matching up the chipsets can lessen any headaches that might occur when drivers clash.

Regardless as to which card you go for, you'll need to uninstall your graphics drivers before you can even think about installing that new card.
 
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Ty Vulpine

Well-Known Member
Was at Best Buy today, and looked at cards, and saw that there was PCI and PCI Express, and didn't know which my computer has, so waiting til tomorrow to get it. I got home and opened the removable side panel of the tower, and it does have a PCI Express slot on the motherboard. If I get an Express card, will I have to attach any wires to that slot?
 

Shino

Now with more Writer's Block!
No they aren't - They paid for the logo and you fell for marketing FUD.
Uh, no? I've run most of those games on comprable hardware with an ATI card powering the system and they slog along like someone put peanut butter in the motherboard. Maybe it was a bad card, but every time I've worked with an ATI card, I've been dissapointed. Maybe I just have bad luck, but still...

Anywho, to each their own. I don't want to get into a flame war about this. I reccommend nVidia. You reccommend ATI. It's up to the buyer now.

Was at Best Buy today, and looked at cards, and saw that there was PCI and PCI Express, and didn't know which my computer has, so waiting til tomorrow to get it. I got home and opened the removable side panel of the tower, and it does have a PCI Express slot on the motherboard. If I get an Express card, will I have to attach any wires to that slot?
Ok, you're obviously not too familiar with hardware upgrades, so I'll break it down for you.

PCI: last-gen old connectivity standard. It's been around since the early days of GUI-based OSes. DO NOT WANT. Period.

AGP: last-gen's standard. Was good at the time, no longer useful.

PCI-Express: The sucessor to the AGP slot. Much higher performance.
PCI-Express 2.0: Upgrade to the PCI-E standard. Same physical connector, but better performance. This is what you want.

You need to check and see if your power supply will support your new card, though. I would highly reccommend when you go back into best buy, bring your tower with you, and bring the tower and the card up to the Geek Squad counter and ask if the two will work together. They shouldn't charge you anything for that. If you're not 100% confident in your abilities, it might not be a bad idea to pay the $40 (or whatever they're charging for it now) for them to put it in, cause at least if they mess up, it's their fault, not yours.

Oh, and sorry bout the double post.
 
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ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.
I reccommend nVidia. You reccommend ATI. It's up to the buyer now.

Truth
(*cough*Go ATI!*cough*)

Anyways, your choices are really between an ATI HD4870 1GB, ATI 4890 1GB, and an nVidia GTX280 1GB.

Do your homework, research (I recommend www.overclock.net for good info), and make your own decision.

Personal experience: <3 my Crossfire'd HD4850's.

EDIT: and to reiterate what Shino said and I mentioned earlier, MAKE SURE YOUR PSU IS NOT CRAP! Friend's SLI 9600 box just completely fried because he saved $10 and bought a shit PSU. Also killed his watercooling pump. Do NOT use a generic PSU, you WILL destroy shit.
 
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Ty Vulpine

Well-Known Member
Ok, you're obviously not too familiar with hardware upgrades, so I'll break it down for you.

PCI: last-gen old connectivity standard. It's been around since the early days of GUI-based OSes. DO NOT WANT. Period.

AGP: last-gen's standard. Was good at the time, no longer useful.

PCI-Express: The sucessor to the AGP slot. Much higher performance.
PCI-Express 2.0: Upgrade to the PCI-E standard. Same physical connector, but better performance. This is what you want.

You need to check and see if your power supply will support your new card, though. I would highly reccommend when you go back into best buy, bring your tower with you, and bring the tower and the card up to the Geek Squad counter and ask if the two will work together. They shouldn't charge you anything for that. If you're not 100% confident in your abilities, it might not be a bad idea to pay the $40 (or whatever they're charging for it now) for them to put it in, cause at least if they mess up, it's their fault, not yours.

Oh, and sorry bout the double post.

The power supply should support the card, since the slot came with the tower when I bought it (haven't installed anything on the motherboard). But yeah, having them install would be the safer option for me.

PSU?
 

ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.
The power supply should support the card, since the slot came with the tower when I bought it (haven't installed anything on the motherboard). But yeah, having them install would be the safer option for me.

This is very VERY important. Please read this.

99.9% of the time, the PSU is not going to support it, even if it has the slot. What you need to know are three important things:

How many total watts the PSU supports
How many +12V rails the unit has
What AMPs each +12V rail is rated for.

PLEASE post these (they should be on the side of the PSU), and we'll let you know if it's sufficient. :)

Rule of thumb: the heavier the PSU, the better. Also, if it's the same color as the case insides (gray steel) its no good. Generally speaking.

** PSU = Power Supply Unit. Same thing, less letters. ;)
 

Ty Vulpine

Well-Known Member
This is very VERY important. Please read this.

99.9% of the time, the PSU is not going to support it, even if it has the slot. What you need to know are three important things:

How many total watts the PSU supports
How many +12V rails the unit has
What AMPs each +12V rail is rated for.

PLEASE post these (they should be on the side of the PSU), and we'll let you know if it's sufficient. :)

Rule of thumb: the heavier the PSU, the better. Also, if it's the same color as the case insides (gray steel) its no good. Generally speaking.

** PSU = Power Supply Unit. Same thing, less letters. ;)

I'm looking, but don't see them.
 

ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.

ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.
I see it now. Says...

Max output shall not exceed 250 watts

D.C OUTPUT:
+5v:::/25A , +12V:::/ 14A
+3.3V:::/ 18A , -12V:::/0.8A
+5VSB:::/2A

+5V & +3.3V SHALL NOT EXCEED 165W

+5W & 12V SHALL NOT EXCEED 215W

AC INPUT: 100-127V/6A
200-240V/4A
Yeah... definitely not going to be able to push a video card. Video card alone can pull over 250W. You'll be needing a 500W card at minimum, and I highly recommend Corsair. I know its not the answer you want, but that would be the case.

:)
 

Ty Vulpine

Well-Known Member
Yeah... definitely not going to be able to push a video card. Video card alone can pull over 250W. You'll be needing a 500W card at minimum, and I highly recommend Corsair. I know its not the answer you want, but that would be the case.

:)

A new PSU? Hmmm
Or how about just a whole new tower? (Albeit, the one I have is just 6 months old...)
 

ZentratheFox

You just lost the game.
A new PSU? Hmmm
Yeah, I meant 500W PSU... my brain is jumping all over the place. Long day...

Anyways, the following is still what I recommend:


You can also get a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150394
if you want to save a bit of money.

:cool:

Or how about just a whole new tower? (Albeit, the one I have is just 6 months old...)

Sorry to double post, but...

If you're looking at getting an entirely new system, your initial bid of $300 won't be able to get you anything close to what you're using now after those upgrades. Just FYI. ;) If you're starting out new with a larger budget, say $7-800ish, you'll exceed your performance with the upgrades.
 
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Ty Vulpine

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I meant 500W PSU... my brain is jumping all over the place. Long day...

Anyways, the following is still what I recommend:

I'll look around for PSU's...see what the best deal I can get is. Then would have to figure out how to switch out the current one without destroying the tower...or the motherboard...
 
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