View Full Version : New GPU - Advice

Titanius Anglesmith
12-08-2007, 04:42 PM
Alright, I need a bit of tech help from the local geeks. I've been thinking I need to replace my 7300LE. I have a general idea of what kinds of cards are "good" and which aren't so "good", but I'm at wit's end when it comes to knowing which cards work best with which kinds of processors, or which cards best match whatever amount of RAM you have, or any of the other specifics. I've had NVIDIA cards in all my PCs and I've been completely satisfied with their performance, so I'd like to stick with them, and base $300 is the max I'm willing to spend.

My system is -

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E4400 (2MB L2 Cache, 2.00GHz, 800 FSB)
OS: Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 4DIMMs
Hard Drive: 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)

Now this change in GPUs isn't just because of Crysis (which I plan on getting this week). I've been thinking about upgrading for months now, and this was just the deciding factor. I've downloaded the demo, and the game works fine (other than having all settings on Low, resolution at 800x600, and getting about a regular 15 FPS). I doubt just a change in GPUs will affect it that much, but it'll be better than nothing, and like I said, this isn't just because of Crysis.

The two I've been looking at are here (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143118) and here (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130291). I don't know what the difference between a card by EVGA or BFG Tech is going to be, or which brand is better, or what the major differences between a 8800GT and 8600GTS are, and if those differences are really worth a $100 gap, so I'd love for someone to give me a bit of advice. :D

12-09-2007, 12:50 AM
dammit! I'm not a geek! I dont know about the rest of these nerds though :p

Lolz... Sabre and Niner have similar threads up - the general consensus is for a decent mid range GPU: the 8800GT or the 3850. Plenty of info/benchies at those other threads.

The 8600GT isnt a in the league of its counterparts, and probably only a decent option for those building media centric pcs - as you arent seeing as you will be buying crysis !

EVGA and BFG tech are great brands, as are XFX. Id stay away from the likes of Inno3d, xpertvision and leadtek. They generally release cards with a GPU supported by the base minimum of features/speeds, explaining their consitently lower prices.

Either of those cards(8800Gt or 3850) are a winner, IMO. Their performance and power consumption are similar - I'd daresay it'd almost come down to personal preference. Worth keeping the EVGA/nvidia option in mind, with their legendary lifetime warranty and step-up option ;)

The lifetime warranty aspect makes them fetch a higher resale price.


12-09-2007, 12:52 AM
you'd be surprised at the difference a new card will make on just about every game you play, with the exception of the 8600. if you want something that cheap, i'd go for the Radeon 3870. its priced about the same, but its performance is on par with the old 8800GTS.

the 8800GT is the best choice for the most bang for your buck if you're willing to spend between $300-350. if you want something cheaper, the Radeon 3870 is hands down the best choice since pricing starts at $220. if you're really looking to save some money, you could also go for the Radeon 3850 which starts at about $180. there's really not much of a performance sacrifice by sticking with the Radeons (less than 10% in most cases), so those cards are an excellent value in my book.

as for the performance benefit (assuming that you're running a Radeon 3870), you'll be able to run Crysis @ 1024x760 res with all settings at High. the framerate should be around 20-30 FPS which is more than acceptable for a single-player experience. tone the settings down to Medium, and you should have the game running at 40-50 FPS which should be good enough for multiplayer.

anyways, i hope that helps. :)

Negative Sun
12-11-2007, 04:47 PM
HD3870 for all the reasons mentioned above...

Titanius Anglesmith
12-11-2007, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the replies. :)

Well, it seems the general consensus is that the GT and 3870 are very similar, and seeing as how the 3870 is cheaper, I guess I'll most likely go with it. I never thought I'd stray from nvidia, but I figure I'll give it a shot, and who knows, maybe I'll turn out to be an ATI fanboy after this. :xp:

Char Ell
12-11-2007, 10:00 PM
Personally I'd go with the 8800 GT but like others have said it really comes down to a personal preference and the price point between this card and the 3870. Word on the web is that 8800 GT's were supposed to be in the USD$200-250 price range but since supply is low and demand is high the 8800 GT's are commanding a nice premium right now.

12-11-2007, 10:35 PM
Youd have to have a closer look at the benchies to understand the price difference between the 8800 and the 3870

Everyone has their different reasons for their purchase choices. For many it is money, for others it is their approval(or not) of a companies business practises, and for others its is which looks prettier in your 1337 case with perspex window :D

I have a friend who has a mediacenter/gaming pc plugged into his 42" 1080p TV. He has changed his entire case(a financially significant decision when it comes to quality home theater pc cases) simply to be able to fit in the single slot 8800GT with a riser. We sourced one from the US, and it works a treat for 1080p on mid end sports games etc, which is what he mainly plays on it :)