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Autumn 2009 Graphics Card Upgrade Guide

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ashikamlani 1st October 2009, 12:08 Quote
Excellent article, but shame about the lack of a 5850 anywhere as you mentioned.

The bang for buck graphs were pretty well rationalised, in my view.
smc8788 1st October 2009, 12:15 Quote
Yeah, really needs some 5850 results considering a lot of sites have reviews of it up already.

It looks like most places are getting stock of them in on Monday, and going by reviews they're not too much slower than the 5870 but at a much nicer price point. If I had to upgrade my card in the next few weeks/months, then it would probably be to a 5850 at current prices.
plagio 1st October 2009, 12:26 Quote
Time to upgrade from my 8800GTS 640 MB ? What do you guys think ?
rpsgc 1st October 2009, 12:30 Quote
I'll keep my eye on factory-overclocked HD5850, an 880/1400MHz overclock is all you need to match an HD5870.
Quote:
Originally Posted by plagio
Time to upgrade from my 8800GTS 640 MB ? What do you guys think ?

For higher than 1680x1050 yes.
Omnituens 1st October 2009, 12:49 Quote
Suprised you didn't use the 8800 GTX as one of the test cards.
V3ctor 1st October 2009, 12:57 Quote
I play my games at 1920x1200 (Samsung T260), and I need a fast GPU... This should be a no-brainer... I'd just buy the HD5870... but, I have a Q6600, I'll be holding the HD5870 back...

What do you think? HD5850 or HD5870?

PS: It would be nice to see an article mixing old systems like Q6600, E7200, E8500, AMD Phenom 9950, with new ones, to see how much GPU power we are loosing, and what sould be more "fit" to buy, accordingly to the CPU
flibblesan 1st October 2009, 13:03 Quote
At the moment I game at 1280x1024 due to my monitor and the 8800GT I have is not as good as it can be due to it having 256mb ram. So I'm looking to get an upgrade by the end of the year. Looking at the GTX260, I see it'll need a 700W PSU on my AM3 system and I only have a 500W PSU (and a good one). I don't want to have to buy another PSU just so I can run a GTX260 as it'll end up being quite a lot of cash. So I'm looking at the 4870 card as it has lower PSU requirements. Good choice?
Thedarkrage 1st October 2009, 13:04 Quote
Think the 4770 should have been in there as well
Omnituens 1st October 2009, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3ctor
I play my games at 1920x1200 (Samsung T260), and I need a fast GPU... This should be a no-brainer... I'd just buy the HD5870... but, I have a Q6600, I'll be holding the HD5870 back...

What do you think? HD5850 or HD5870?

PS: It would be nice to see an article mixing old systems like Q6600, E7200, E8500, AMD Phenom 9950, with new ones, to see how much GPU power we are loosing, and what sould be more "fit" to buy, accordingly to the CPU

This my reasoning for upgrading my CPU - I think while the Q6600 is an AWESOME processor, its holding back the 285 GTX - it seemed to be coping better with the SLi'ed 8800 GTX's.

Hopefully the parts I want will stay in stock until next pay day!
smc8788 1st October 2009, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
So I'm looking to get an upgrade by the end of the year. Looking at the GTX260, I see it'll need a 700W PSU on my AM3 system and I only have a 500W PSU (and a good one).

A GTX 260 won't need a 700W PSU - a decent 500W one should suffice, providing it has enough amps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
This my reasoning for upgrading my CPU - I think while the Q6600 is an AWESOME processor, its holding back the 285 GTX

Maybe you should try giving it more than a 40MHz overclock ;)
yakyb 1st October 2009, 13:17 Quote
my 9800 gtx is still serving me fine although by feb next year i may look to update although i cant see anything coming out that should challenge it at 1680
akibro 1st October 2009, 13:19 Quote
I would like to know if it would make a difference using an AMD chip set in a retest of all the cards. I have always been bombarded by friends and "experts" with the theory the ATI works best with AMD and GeForce with Intel? I do stand and want to be corrected on this matter so I have a better understanding of the truth...

:) suggestions?
Hustler 1st October 2009, 13:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by akibro
I would like to know if it would make a difference using an AMD chip set in a retest of all the cards. I have always been bombarded by friends and "experts" with the theory the ATI works best with AMD and GeForce with Intel? I do stand and want to be corrected on this matter so I have a better understanding of the truth...

:) suggestions?


Well im using a ATI 4850 on an nForce 720 Nvidia Mobo, and i havent had any issues, all my benchmark scores are within the 1-3% margin of error you get with any setup.
philheckler 1st October 2009, 13:26 Quote
Nice article , makes me love my gtx260 even more... cheers......
Veles 1st October 2009, 13:32 Quote
Excellent article, looking to do an upgrade very soon. My PC just packed in (a crash followed by some essential files corrupted) so instead of going to the trouble of getting windows XP back on there only to go to the trouble of getting windows 7 on there in a few weeks, I'm just putting up with my laptop and waiting for win7.

Seeing as I'm only willing to pay £150 max for a GFX card, I won't be able to get a DX11 one for a good few months then? Ah well, I'll probably buy a DX10 card, seeing as there's not any DX11 games around for a while it's not a huge loss and I don't really miss DX10 on my old 7800GTX right now anyway.

Looks like I'll get a 4890, only 125 on scan for the power colour one.
Scootiep 1st October 2009, 14:12 Quote
I just have to throw in my two cents here. I love how AMD/ATI released a new powerhouse and at a price point WELL below NVIDIA's flagship the 295. I'm sure NVIDIA will come out with a monster in it's GT300 series soon enough, but it will be so unreasonably priced that it won't even be worth considering for the masses. Personally, I do have the money to blow on them if i actually wanted to, but for the (typically) marginal increase in performance, why waste it? I could get more bang for my buck by throwing the extra $300 down a hole and wishing really hard. I have no specific attachment to either brand, but I can't in anything even resembling a proper state of mind justify flat out wasting that kind of money for such an insignificant gain. Now who knows, maybe NVIDIA will come out with something so spectacular it will actually be worth the drastic price hike. But mark my words, if the past has shown us ANYTHING, if there is some sort of dramatic performance increase, the monetary jump will be equally astounding.
flibblesan 1st October 2009, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
So I'm looking to get an upgrade by the end of the year. Looking at the GTX260, I see it'll need a 700W PSU on my AM3 system and I only have a 500W PSU (and a good one).

A GTX 260 won't need a 700W PSU - a decent 500W one should suffice, providing it has enough amps.

Specs of my PSU are here: http://www.be-quiet.net/be-quiet.net/data/media/_stories/220/sp_e6_500_EN.pdf

Is it enough? I'm running Phenom II X4 955 BE, 2x1Gb sticks, 1 SATA hard disk, 1 DVDRW drive. 3 120 fans, CPU fan. I want to increase the memory to 4Gb soon using 2x2Gb sticks and replace CPU fan with a Titan Fenrir.
Xir 1st October 2009, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
If you can bare the noise the HD 4890 shades it for performance, but for a fast card that you can live with, the GTX 260-216 is what we’d opt for.

The cheapest HD4890 I find in Germany is 133pounds while the Vapor X version (which should cure the noise) is 146pounds...
Omnituens 1st October 2009, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Maybe you should try giving it more than a 40MHz overclock ;)

It's actually at 3.2GHz (mobo can't take more, its a shoddy one), I just keep forgetting to change it :P
airchie 1st October 2009, 16:02 Quote
Didn't have time to read the whole article cos I'm at work but I spotted a few typos I thought I'd bring up.
Please feel free to delete this after rectifying them. :)

The link on the first page to the Bang for Buck on Page 10 is broken.
Quote:
It’s an unfortunate time for us to be running this article, as we’re on the cusp of a graphics revolution, with new ranges of cards DX11-comaptible cards from ATI and Nvidia imminent. However, we have to start somewhere, so here we go.

From the numbers we’ve seen, it’s clear that anyone with even a relatively old GTX 260-216, a HD 4870 1GB or a HD 4890 can wait and see what the future brings. These cards are fine for now, and you can sit back and watch as ATI and Nvidia scrap it out over the next few months. Oh, and feel pretty chuffed at your excellent buying acumen. Well done you!

With such exciting new releases still on the horizon, you’d be forgiven for sitting on your cash and waiting till the DX11 dust has settled. However, this probably won’t happen until decent DX11 games are released, and heaven knows when that’ll happen. If you don’t want to take the plunge with the HD 5870, you should either wait for the Radeon HD 5850 which looks like it’ll be a strong performer for around £200, or look at one of the bargain mid-range cards.

We’d recommend GeForce GTX 260-216 or Radeon HD 4890 as both perform well above what you’d expect for the price. If you can bare the noise the HD 4890 shades it for performance, but for a fast card that you can live with, the GTX 260-216 is what we’d opt for. We can’t imaging imagine either card will be around for much longer though, so you might have to act fast.
:)
Phil Rhodes 1st October 2009, 16:19 Quote
I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the highest "bang for buck" scores are actually at lower resolutions. This is kind of interesting, because it implies (accurately, in my view) that resolution has far less to do with fun factor than frame rate does, and that we should all be playing on larger, lower res displays - TVs, in other words, at higher frame rates, rather than insisting on everything being 1920x1200.

Maybe the console crowd got it right after all.
Kris 1st October 2009, 16:19 Quote
Quote:
From Nvidia's camp it's easily the GTX 260-216 that takes the win on bang for buck. The bargain basement price of just £119.59 belies the fact that it's based around the same GT200 core as the more expensive GTX 275, the only difference being that the GTX 260 is clocked lower.
umm doesn't the GTX 275 have the full 240 shaders? :)
Kris 1st October 2009, 16:20 Quote
(gah, sorry about the quote fail :P)
Baz 1st October 2009, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3ctor

PS: It would be nice to see an article mixing old systems like Q6600, E7200, E8500, AMD Phenom 9950, with new ones, to see how much GPU power we are loosing, and what sould be more "fit" to buy, accordingly to the CPU

Once we've seen more from this gen's cards it's my intention to test the Best Upgrade Ever (tm) - The Q6600 and an 8800GTX with 4Gb of DDR 2 vs whatever we recommend from this gen (likely a i7 920 with 6GB of DDR3 and whatever GPU we like the best). Should be a good comparison for all you upgraders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedarkrage

Think the 4770 should have been in there as well

4850 results -10% = done
smc8788 1st October 2009, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
Specs of my PSU are here: http://www.be-quiet.net/be-quiet.net/data/media/_stories/220/sp_e6_500_EN.pdf

Is it enough? I'm running Phenom II X4 955 BE, 2x1Gb sticks, 1 SATA hard disk, 1 DVDRW drive. 3 120 fans, CPU fan. I want to increase the memory to 4Gb soon using 2x2Gb sticks and replace CPU fan with a Titan Fenrir.

It'll be fine, that PSU supplies 40A on the +12V rail; the GTX 260 only requires 36A.
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