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  1. #1

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    Question Graphics card confusion

    I have not been in computer gaming for a while. Come to think of it my last gaming computer had a ATI Radeon High Def 2900.

    So I have decided to build a nice computer for mid gaming on the weekends. First thing I do is go look around at what is out there.

    What happened to standard nvidia and Ati graphics cards? All i see is third part hyped up graphics cards? I see normal ati ones at best buy but even going to ati's website there is no direct products there?

    Someone mind filling me in on what happened in the past few years?
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  2. #2

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    They figure its cheaper and/or less hassle to farm them out to the likes of XFX, Sapphire, EVGA and the likes. Although I have heard rumors that Nvidia is gonna start making their own cards again.

    ATI is now AMD so they're all AMD Radeon now.

    As for whats out now, AMD just came out with the 6000 series of cards that are very good and priced well. The $275 6950 seems to be the sweet spot right now and will give you playable frame rates on any game at 1920x1080 resolution. The 5870 is down to $225 and is almost as fast as the 6950 and is a great deal. It's cheaper cause its not the "newest generation.

    Nvidia has the new GTX line but the 470, 465 and 480 are to be avoided. They were rushed to market and while they are fast they suck a lot of power and put out a lot of heat. The GTX460 is the only 400 card worth having. The GTX 560, 570 and 580 are awesome cards with the 580 being the fastest single card on the market.

    DX11 is the new thing and you want it. I poo poo'd it when it first hit but if you like eye candy, its great cause it gives more texture and shape to stuff like rocks and such. Only the AMD 5000 and up and Nvidia GTX400 and up support it.
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  3. #3

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    You are correct, neither Nvidia nor ATI manufacture their own cards anymore. BTW, ATI is now AMD. Same chips and technology, they just merged with AMD.

    Pick your price range and get one of the recommended cards:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...6990,2879.html

    The recommendations are based on a chip, not on individual manufacturers. For the most part, it doesn't matter who the manufacturer is, but there are some lower tier companies to avoid. You will be able to tell which those are.

    I guess I should say that I'm using an Nvidia GTX 460 and I'm quite happy with it as well. Price was under $100 with rebates and it plays virtually all current games at HD resolution with most enhancements on.
    Last edited by billbillw; 03-11-2011 at 10:34 AM.

  4. #4

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    I recently picked up a 6870 and am very happy with it. Great performance, relatively quiet(except while gaming), and gives off much less heat than my old NVidia card.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbillw View Post
    You are correct, neither Nvidia nor ATI manufacture their own cards anymore. BTW, ATI is now AMD. Same chips and technology, they just merged with AMD.

    Pick your price range and get one of the recommended cards:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...6990,2879.html

    The recommendations are based on a chip, not on individual manufacturers. For the most part, it doesn't matter who the manufacturer is, but there are some lower tier companies to avoid. You will be able to tell which those are.

    I guess I should say that I'm using an Nvidia GTX 460 and I'm quite happy with it as well. Price was under $100 with rebates and it plays virtually all current games at HD resolution with most enhancements on.
    Been there already thanks for the link though, and I think I am sticking to ati just like I did back in the day. To me I just like there cards more for some reason. Direct x 11 is what i want I know that as well.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigaudiofanatic View Post
    Been there already thanks for the link though, and I think I am sticking to ati just like I did back in the day. To me I just like there cards more for some reason.
    Yup I like their cards as well. Went over to an Intel CPU but still AMD on my graphics.

    Also something nice is that their 5xxx series cards and up pass lossless audio via HDMI. Their 4xxx series did as well but it was PCM'd.

    Not sure how big a deal that is for you.

  7. #7

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    You might also decide which games you are wanting to play and base your purchase off of that. Its harder to choose an overall winner at a given price for either company, but you can definitely find one that caters to the games you play based on the engine they run.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    Nvidia has the new GTX line but the 470, 465 and 480 are to be avoided. They were rushed to market and while they are fast they suck a lot of power and put out a lot of heat. The GTX460 is the only 400 card worth having.
    I'll have to disagree with you there. I've got the 480 and it runs beautifully. It gets a little warm, but I've got a good case with good cooling and have no issues with it transferring heat to the rest of my system.

    The card itself gets hot, but I've got a lifetime warranty with eVGA so I could care less.

    It uses some power, but in a gaming machine what's a few extra watts...
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  9. #9

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    I believe the 6990 is out now, or coming very soon, and it's going to be the fastest card on the market.
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  10. #10

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    Games that I am looking to play.

    Unreal Tournament 03 and 04
    Farcry 2
    Crysis "I know a lot needed for this"
    NFS Hot Pursuit
    Gran turismo 5
    Fallout
    Call Of Duity Black ops


    Convert a lot of videos as well.
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  11. #11

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    The video card really won't play much of a role in converting videos, that's a CPU task.

    I'm curious why you're limiting yourself only to AMD?

    I would just pick a manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty and go with the card of your choosing. The performance will be based more on the chip, but the quality of craftsmanship and the warranty is tied to the card builder. eVGA doesn't built ATI cards, and they're the only manufacturer that I'll stand by so don't know what to recommend on the ATI side.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I believe the 6990 is out now, or coming very soon, and it's going to be the fastest card on the market.
    I have read about this a bit however running a 1200 watt power supply just to get max performance from a graphics card, for me is a bit extreme. However I will look into it after I build my machine as an upgrade.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    The video card really won't play much of a role in converting videos, that's a CPU task.

    I'm curious why you're limiting yourself only to AMD?

    I would just pick a manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty and go with the card of your choosing. The performance will be based more on the chip, but the quality of craftsmanship and the warranty is tied to the card builder. eVGA doesn't built ATI cards, and they're the only manufacturer that I'll stand by so don't know what to recommend on the ATI side.
    AMD has never let me down in the years of lan parties and over clocking. Not to mention with their cpu's being so much cheaper than the intel i7 i will stick with them. More bang for the buck back than and still are imo.

    ATI is the same way never had a problem and I just like them over nvidia even though at work I mostly deal with nvidia.
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  14. #14

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    Heres what I did, Sapphire 6950, flashed the bios to Sapphire 6970 and unlocked the additional shaders on the card. Both cards are the same, ATI used software to lock the 6950 which can be undone using bios flash. Card is very fast. Check it out.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p?userid=73580

  15. #15

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    I just got the 6950. If you know what you're doing, you can update the firmware and turn it into a 6970 for free.

    It'll also run all those games you mentioned without much issue at 1080p.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrNightly View Post
    "Dr Dunn admitted that his research could also be interpreted as evidence that women are shallower than men. He said: "Let's face it - there's evidence to support it."
    Quote Originally Posted by mystik610 View Post
    Best Buy is for people who don't know any better. Magnolia is for people who don't know any better and have more money to spend.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigaudiofanatic View Post
    AMD has never let me down in the years of lan parties and over clocking. Not to mention with their cpu's being so much cheaper than the intel i7 i will stick with them. More bang for the buck back than and still are imo.

    ATI is the same way never had a problem and I just like them over nvidia even though at work I mostly deal with nvidia.
    i'm going to be running with a new 2500k cpu (sandy bridge) and an AMD 6950. Right now, you can't beat sandy bridge. When AMD releases Bulldozer, they might give some competition, but that's not for another few months.
    Last edited by ryanjoachim; 03-11-2011 at 11:34 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrNightly View Post
    "Dr Dunn admitted that his research could also be interpreted as evidence that women are shallower than men. He said: "Let's face it - there's evidence to support it."
    Quote Originally Posted by mystik610 View Post
    Best Buy is for people who don't know any better. Magnolia is for people who don't know any better and have more money to spend.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Also something nice is that their 5xxx series cards and up pass lossless audio via HDMI. Their 4xxx series did as well but it was PCM'd.

    Not sure how big a deal that is for you.
    This was a huge plus for me as I also use my PC as a Blu-ray player. Before this, I used a dedicated sound card that had HDMI out and had a lot of issues with the drivers.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    This was a huge plus for me as I also use my PC as a Blu-ray player. Before this, I used a dedicated sound card that had HDMI out and had a lot of issues with the drivers.
    Yeah I upgraded to a 5xxx series since I had a Denon 1610 and a blu-ray player.....

    Then I traded the Denon for the HK3490 so it was no longer an issue.

    And now I might be switching the HK for a DAC and KRK Powered speakers lol.....

  19. #19

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    I don't know if it's just the combo of my tv and my card, but when watching movies from my computer it seems like every other frame will skip for .001 seconds...not enough for the average person to notice, but enough for me to go "that doesn't look right". When I watch movies via ethernet through my tv, the picture is smooth and gorgeous as can be.

    Using a lower-end video ATI video cart at the moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrNightly View Post
    "Dr Dunn admitted that his research could also be interpreted as evidence that women are shallower than men. He said: "Let's face it - there's evidence to support it."
    Quote Originally Posted by mystik610 View Post
    Best Buy is for people who don't know any better. Magnolia is for people who don't know any better and have more money to spend.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigaudiofanatic View Post
    Games that I am looking to play.

    Unreal Tournament 03 and 04
    Farcry 2
    Crysis "I know a lot needed for this"
    NFS Hot Pursuit
    Gran turismo 5
    Fallout
    Call Of Duity Black ops


    Convert a lot of videos as well.
    What resolution is your monitor? That really plays a roll. For most of the games you listed, you will get by quite well at 1920x1080 using one of the $150 level cards. I play Crysis on high settings with my GTX460 768MB, set for 1920x1080.

    I guess if you want ATI/AMD, you would probably be looking for either the 5770 or the 6850 depending on what you want to spend.

    If you change your mind about Nvidia, its hard to go wrong with the GTX460 in either 768MB or 1GB. I can tell you that Crysis tends to run better on Nvidia. Nvidia also runs cooler and consumes less power at idle to to chip underclocking. If you ever feel the need to overclock, the Nvidia cards seem to have more headroom as well.

  21. #21

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    Ok finally decided on what I want in a graphics card.

    Requirements are:

    Must run Crysis 2 on max settings including highest resolution "dual monitors prefered if you can do that with crysis" And run at no less than 35 fps the higher the better

    Preferably quiet even if I decide to go water cooling in the future

    Dual monitor and 3 monitor support in the future

    Ready for newer games

    At our shop we had a gtx460 BNIB and asked if I could test it over the weekend. With no objections I did. With everything maxed out I was only getting 23 fps which is not bad however some of the detail was grainy or pixelated and at times was unsmooth or jerky. The card version was the 1GB version. Also I was only running the 1st Crysis and was having trouble so with 2 I think my frame rates would drop even more.
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  22. #22

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    Look at something in the ATI lineup in the 6xxx series. Higher is better but honestly your probably looking at something like 400 bucks to be able to run Crysis with max resolution if not 2 400 dollars cards.

    Here is a 6790 for ~350 with Eyefinity and 3 fans so it should run cooler with lower rpms
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125381

  23. #23

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    Nope, Crysis 2 is optimized and runs better than Crysis 1. Crysis 1 was not optimized very well and doesn't run great, Warhead was a little better, and Crysis 2 is even better.

    I have a GTX480 and have every setting cranked to the max and am running at 1900x1200 and have no stuttering whatsoever. I'm not one of those guys that runs FRAPS in the background to constantly monitor my FPS, but I can tell you that it runs great on my setup.

    It sounds like you want the best graphics card available, so why are you asking for input, just go buy the highest end card from either camp and be done with it...
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  24. #24

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    Just watch out; nVidia's "vision surround" tech requires a second graphics card for a third display. The first card will support max two outputs while the second card will support another two outputs. The only cards that circumvent this is the GTX-590 (which is a dual-GPU card).

    The AMD cards on the other hand support max two analog outputs plus DisplayPort. The only HD5000's could do triple-monitor configurations but you needed either a displayport-compatible monitor or an active displayport-to-(DVI/HDMI/VGA) adapter. Newer HD6000 cards can also chain via DisplayPort but that particular tech isn't often deployed, even on high-end monitors. The HD6870's and HD6900's have two DisplayPort outputs so can do 4 monitors at a time (provided you buy active DisplayPort-to-(DVI/HDMI/VGA) adapters).

    Also, Crysis 1 is unoptimized, especially in DX10 mode. Crysis 2 actually uses DX9, not DX10/11, at the current time. DX11 is supposed to be available in an update/patch in the future.
    Last edited by Bobsama; 05-23-2011 at 11:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    Nope, Crysis 2 is optimized and runs better than Crysis 1. Crysis 1 was not optimized very well and doesn't run great, Warhead was a little better, and Crysis 2 is even better.

    I have a GTX480 and have every setting cranked to the max and am running at 1900x1200 and have no stuttering whatsoever. I'm not one of those guys that runs FRAPS in the background to constantly monitor my FPS, but I can tell you that it runs great on my setup.

    It sounds like you want the best graphics card available, so why are you asking for input, just go buy the highest end card from either camp and be done with it...
    I have been thinking of running the beast also known as the ATI 6990 but that would require getting at least a 1200 watt power supply for max performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobsama View Post
    Just watch out; nVidia's "vision surround" tech requires a second graphics card for a third display. The first card will support max two outputs while the second card will support another two outputs. The only cards that circumvent this is the GTX-590 (which is a dual-GPU card).

    The AMD cards on the other hand support max two analog outputs plus DisplayPort. The only HD5000's could do triple-monitor configurations but you needed either a displayport-compatible monitor or an active displayport-to-(DVI/HDMI/VGA) adapter. Newer HD6000 cards can also chain via DisplayPort but that particular tech isn't often deployed, even on high-end monitors. The HD6870's and HD6900's have two DisplayPort outputs so can do 4 monitors at a time (provided you buy active DisplayPort-to-(DVI/HDMI/VGA) adapters).

    Also, Crysis 1 is unoptimized, especially in DX10 mode. Crysis 2 actually uses DX9, not DX10/11, at the current time. DX11 is supposed to be available in an update/patch in the future.
    I know about needing the adapter as the guy I work close with I set him up with three monitors and we needed the stupid 100 dollar adapter with usb power to get the third working. But who knows that may be in the cards.

    Here are the monitors I have chosen

    http://www.samsung.com/hk_en/consume...type=md-series
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    Samsung BD-C7900

  26. #26

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    Any card you get that meets your requirements is going to need a beefy power supply, you just need to factor that into the cost. If you can't afford or don't want to pay for a big power supply then you need to lower your expectations on the card.
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  27. #27

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    FWIW, I believe my power supply is 850 (but a good 850) and it runs everything just fine
    Main HT
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    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  28. #28

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bridgeton NJ
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    Any card you get that meets your requirements is going to need a beefy power supply, you just need to factor that into the cost. If you can't afford or don't want to pay for a big power supply then you need to lower your expectations on the card.
    True guess I can use the power supply I got in another machine "700 watts" It was included free when you buy a ocz ssd drive.
    HT setup
    Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ80U
    Denon DBP-1610
    Monster HTS 1650
    Carver A400X
    MIT Exp 3 Speaker Wire
    Kef 104/2
    URC MX-780 Remote
    Sonos Play 1

    Living Room
    63 inch Samsung PN63C800YF
    Polk Surroundbar 3000
    Samsung BD-C7900

  29. #29

    Member Sales Rating: (20)

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    Jan 2004
    Location
    7th Circle of Hell - aka DFW
    Posts
    10,670

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    What model is it, typically the 'free' power supplies aren't quite on par with the good ones. Don't go buy a high end card and then bottleneck it with a crappy power supply.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  30. #30

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bridgeton NJ
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    4,411

    Default

    It is a good power supply not in front of my gaming machine right now however it had good reviews and was one of the higher end ones and was not free I should correct more like a discount if you buy both.
    HT setup
    Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ80U
    Denon DBP-1610
    Monster HTS 1650
    Carver A400X
    MIT Exp 3 Speaker Wire
    Kef 104/2
    URC MX-780 Remote
    Sonos Play 1

    Living Room
    63 inch Samsung PN63C800YF
    Polk Surroundbar 3000
    Samsung BD-C7900

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