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View Full Version : Graphics: Single-card, best bang vs. buck?



shifty
08-01-2009, 12:56 PM
My quad 7900 GX2's are getting a little old, they're out of warranty, and one of them is pixelating a bit.

I haven't looked into hardware in ages. I am trying to figure out what has the best bang v. buck out there right now in single-card format.

I DO NOT want to spend $350+ on a video card. I am hoping to find something in the $200-$350 range that is still good, DX10 support, 10k score (or more) on 3dmark06 or whatever is current now.

Attached is a picture of the pixelation/artefacting that I am seeing with my current GX2's.

Bald_Yew
08-01-2009, 03:38 PM
Nvidia solution:

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130475) 249.99

ATI Solution:

XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150359) 199.99

Slayer
08-01-2009, 06:56 PM
One of my best friends just built a new rig and he was asking the same thing. I sent him to Tom's Hardware, since they have a nice graph with pricegrabber for the lowest price list.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/graphics-cards,1.html

shifty
08-03-2009, 12:03 AM
@by: what are you basing your claim on?

@slayer: dude, if they made that crap any more confusing...gah! no wonder people are too scared to build their own gaming rig. what happened to shoot-out reviews? jeez!

dragonash
08-03-2009, 09:14 AM
lol yeah man

What happened to "awesome card for a good price"
"Excellent card... too expensive"

stuff like that lol

Slayer
08-03-2009, 10:38 AM
I don't know. I find the charts very easy to discern. I select the 2009 (Mainstream) gaming video card chart and then narrowed the field to cards that are $100-$200 and then look at what gives me the best framerates.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-2009/Fallout-3,Prix_fpricex100b200,1173.html

If you want something on more of a high quality gaming video card, then you select the high quality gaming chart.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-cards-charts-2009-high-quality/Fallout-3,Prix_fpricex100b200,1318.html

I selected Fallout 3 with maxed out settings to see which card to get. I looked at my old 8800GT card, and it looks like I will eventually need to upgrade.

If you can't figure out Tom's hardware's chart, then maybe you shouldn't be building your own rig. I have seen people build their own rigs with little computer knowledge, and they ended up building a pile of crap.

Just my 2 cents.

shifty
08-03-2009, 10:58 AM
I'm too dumb to figure out a chart, yet I can tear down a laptop to parts and rebuild it.

Yet I shouldn't be building my own gaming rig. LOL ;)

Dude, that crap makes zilch sense. How the hell did you get that chart? I clicked on "all cards Q3/2009" and it gives me five bajillion links to different crap. I don't have all day to click through on every single benchmark that I'm interested in and do my own personal shootouts on cards.

Jank makes no sense atoll.

shifty
08-03-2009, 11:00 AM
And it seems the GTX 275 is the way to go. Thanks guys :)

http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_getprod.php?masterid=718369906&mode=toms_charts

Slayer
08-03-2009, 11:18 AM
1) I selected the "All Gaming Graphics Charts 2009"
2) I then selected the 4th Fallout 3 selection: Fraps/TH-Savefile Tenpenny (1920x1200, 8AA, 15AF, Very High Quality)
3) I then selected the price range $100-$200(at the top of the chart) to narrow the search results

Done in 3 steps! ;) :p :D

And there is that nice drop down menu to change the benchmark. ;)

shifty
08-03-2009, 12:04 PM
It's easy now that you've explained it.

You gotta understand, I am a HUGE usability junkie. That thing is about as usable as an old Motorola cell phone where they tuck the Date & Time settings in the "Network" section of the phone menu.

Ninjahedge
08-03-2009, 01:54 PM
You mean Japanese Ergonomics?

(If there was a more ironic oxymoronic statement, I am hard pressed to find it)

]LoL[Harm
08-03-2009, 02:53 PM
I'm a big usability junky as well, stupid gui programming irritates me to no end. But the web site was pretty easy to navigate from my perspective. The only jump in logic was understanding that all the links supplied under the selected year and performance level was tied to their tests, which through reading enough normal graphic card reviews you would have a large exposure to.

shifty
08-03-2009, 04:57 PM
LoL[Harm;7054']I'm a big usability junky as well, stupid gui programming irritates me to no end. But the web site was pretty easy to navigate from my perspective. The only jump in logic was understanding that all the links supplied under the selected year and performance level was tied to their tests, which through reading enough normal graphic card reviews you would have a large exposure to.

That was my main problem - and probably because I've read maybe a dozen graphics card reviews (probably half that) in the last 5 years.

Saboteur
09-02-2009, 09:49 PM
I just lost the fan on my Radeon 9800 Pro and the card was very, very hot this morning. I'm assuming its toast.

The mobo is an Asus A7N8X. (AGP 4x/8x)

This isn't my primary gaming system, but it is a backup that has been able to play TF2 in the past in a pinch.

Any of you hardware junkies have any suggestions for a reasonably priced/reasonably powerful replacement?

Zaphod
09-03-2009, 12:00 AM
lol...i know, i hate TH now. but a little further down that page is what you're looking for showing bang for buck in price ranges. much more legible...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2387.html

Bald_Yew
09-03-2009, 06:35 AM
SAPPHIRE 100228L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X HDCP Ready Video Card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102730) - $94.99

It is a good card, but fair warning, you need to install the ATI hotfix and drivers for it to work properly. IOW, if you muck up the driver install, you are in for a long and frustrating road of straightening it out.

I have used that card and a 1950pro in AGP flavor. Both worked well(the 3850 only after the hotfix and proper drivers). Of course there may be others, just recommending what I have used.

Saboteur
09-03-2009, 11:41 AM
Thanks BY. What is the ATI hotfix? I see loads links for the "hotfix drivers", but what's the back-story?

Ninjahedge
09-03-2009, 12:48 PM
The 4800's are pretty cheap now too. I think I have the 4870.....

Bald_Yew
09-03-2009, 01:01 PM
Try the latest official ATI drivers first, they may have resolved the need for the hotfix...who knows - not sure if they have updated the ones on the disc with the card.

This is what I did to get things working correctly.... Downloaded the newest drivers as well as the hotfix (http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/CatalystAGPHotfix.aspx) first. Then completely uninstalled all the old drivers by using their uninstall tool, then used Guru3d Driver Sweeper to get what the uninstaller missed. Then powered down, swaped cards, powered on and installed new driver/CCC and the hotfix.

Ninjahedge
09-03-2009, 04:00 PM
Then played Fallout 3 for 8 hours follwed by 24/7 Payload for 3.... ;)

Bald_Yew
09-06-2009, 10:41 AM
Interesting read from Tom's comparing the PCIe 4650, an AGP 4650, and AGP 3850, and an older AGP x700. Gives details about why they test, tests on a socket 939 with an Athlon64 3800+ x2, and games are: Crysis, HAWX, Fallout3, Farcry2, WIC, and L4Dead.

Gigabyte's Radeon HD 4650: Are AGP Graphics Still Good Enough? (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-4650-agp,2383.html)

Saboteur
09-10-2009, 11:47 AM
Got the HD 3850 installed last night. So far so good. I haven't put it through its paces yet, though.