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  1. #1
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    Recommend me an inexpensive graphics card please?

    Help me RPS, you are my only hope.

    My loyal 9800 GTX is dying (artifacting, bsods, general tantrums) and I want to replace it. Thing is I have been out of the loop for so long I have no idea which way is up when it comes to graphics cards any more, and so I am turning to the good folk of RPS for some advice.

    I would like to get an nvidia card simply because I am familiar with their products (and slightly biased against ATi cards after a bad experience with one in my childhood) but other than that I have no idea what to look for.

    Relevant information:

    Motherboard: ASUS P5N-D 750i
    PSU: CORSAIR HX 620W MODULAR PSU
    Current card: 512mb XFX 9800GTX
    Budget: as low as possible while maintaining at least parity to my old card, like everyone I am broke as hell

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    A Geforce GTX 650 or Radeon HD 7750 should provide roughly similar performance.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    a used gtx295 goes for about $100 on ebay, much better than a new low end card.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    a used gtx295 goes for about $100 on ebay, much better than a new low end card.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40
    But used, far louder and power-inefficient.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    But used, far louder and power-inefficient.
    the gtx2xx series were not known for being loud. If the OP has a PSU that can handle the card, can you recommend a new card that can match the gtx295's performance at $100 or $130 ?
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    the gtx2xx series were not known for being loud. If the OP has a PSU that can handle the card, can you recommend a new card that can match the gtx295's performance at $100 or $130 ?
    Nope. For pure performance, second-hand cards are excellent if you pick the right card and get a decent deal. And if you have the right PSU (an old card will generally use more power to deliver the same performance as a new one).

    It's just that there are other drawbacks to buying used cards. Warranty issues etc.

    As for the GTX 295, it's a high-end card. The GTX 650 and Radeon HD 7750 are low-end cards, so they require a lot less cooling. It's not that the GTX 295 is louder than it should be, just that these low-power cards have an unfair advantage. You can even buy passively cooled 7750s (not that I'd recommend it here).

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    I recommend that you don't buy the GTX 295: It's a DirectX 10.1 card. That means that if you have pure DX11 games (which are coming), you are left out in the cold.

    Personally, I recommend this list (Although unfortunately it has changed into a format which I personally don't really like just this month) - Everything from the 7750 and faster is equivalent to, or faster then your card.

    As for my personal recommendation, I second the 650 and 7750 recommendation. But it all depends. If 20 euros over 100 euros is not that big a difference for you, get the 7770, which probably will last you a bit longer performance-wise.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    I recommend that you don't buy the GTX 295: It's a DirectX 10.1 card. That means that if you have pure DX11 games (which are coming), you are left out in the cold.
    dx11 only games are years away, most games out now are dx9 only. Any card below $400 will not be able to run any of the enhancements possible with dx11. These new low end cards may "support" dx11 features like tessellation but at slideshow framerates. Since the OP was fine with his card which was a dx10, he shouldn't waste his money on low end cards and go for a good used one.
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    In some cases, support for newer DirectX versions can improve framerates. This is the case for WoW, for example. But in most games, the DirectX 11 version is about adding eyecandy (or tessellated water under New York...), and that's obviously irrelevant when we're talking entry-level hardware that doesn't have enough performance for that anyway.

    Still, a new low-end card isn't necessarily a waste of money. It depends on priorities and what risks you're willing to take.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Still, a new low-end card isn't necessarily a waste of money. It depends on priorities and what risks you're willing to take.
    the risks are not as high if you're buying from someone with a known history of selling items in good condition. The kind of people who sell high end gear that's only been in use for one or two years are usually selling to upgrade rather than to scam. That's why it's a good strategy to join a hardware centric forum with a local audience, like http://clunk.org.uk if you're in the uk. That way you can follow a few of the more avid upgraders and check the user satisfaction rate from their sales.

    I actually used to upgrade solely from the used market in the early 2000's, and was able to have relatively high end gear on a tight budget because of this strategy. Got me a nice 6800GT, a 21" IBM monitor, a 10,000rpm scsi hard disk and later a raptor this way :)
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  11. #11
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    Terrible advice, the gtx 295 is a dual gpu card (sli problems aren't worth any price)
    It's a dx10 card (bf3 performs much better in dx11 mode and you miss out on stuff like softshadows in dirt 3 and other effects and efficiencies in modern games). It's minor but it still matters.

    It's also a power hog (don't bullshit people masha, now I just think you are trolling, even a gtx 260 uses as much power as a gtx 670, what do you think a 295 will use? do you simply not understand how TDP works?)

    Not to mention buying a second hand gpu is a huge gamble, and even if it is under warranty dealing with RMA again isn't worth any price, especially if you live in the US and your replacement is likely to be a refurb instead of a new card.
    Going used is an option if you are broke, but going for a hot ancient dual gpu card is the worst possible way to do it.

    @ op, there isn't much value to be had with modern cards at the low end, a second hand 5770 shouldn't put you back more than 40 euros, will be a decent upgrade from your current card and will be 3x higher performance/dollar than anything you can find new.
    For new cards the ones sakkura mentioned, but don't expect too much from them, the performance gap beween a 7770 and a 7850 is big, it's only about as fast as a hd6850, which in turn is only 30 percent faster than a 5770, oh amd and your naming schemes.

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