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OpenGL_Guru

Time for a new GPU - need suggestions

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well its time after 4 or 5 years now to get a new GPU. theres just some thing i need it for, including but not limited to games. i currently have a Geforce 6800. Cost is not an issue really but the limitation that i have is that the power supply has a max output of 350W. i double checked it just a second ago and its -12V / 1A Max +3.3V / 17A Max +12V-A / 18A Max +12V-B / 18A Max Combined +12V-A and +12V-B shall not exceed 336W Continuous output to not exceed 350W. i am looking for the best card i can get as an upgrade to the 6800 without going over the 350W limit. appreciate the suggestions. (btw i have my eye on a few but before i tell you it would interesting to see if someone mentions what i would like). Also i would rather it be NV since i do some linux work too as part of duel boot. thanks..

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I have no informed recommendations regarding videocards sorry, I got a computer recently and pretty much just bought 'something nice' and 'what you have in stock'.

It seems quite strange to me to make your decision about a video card with regards to your power supply though, and not other factors like your budget, what your motherboard supports, or what sort of outputs you want. Power supplies are not expensive, buy a new one if the video card you want needs a bigger one.

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9500 GT has about 40-50 W real power. 9600 GT has still under 100 W.

9500 GT could play Assassin creed without breaking a sweat (8600 GT could and 9500 GT has the same parameters).

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If you have a 6800 now, a 9500 will not be a step up for you. You need 256 bits of memory bus or more. (I'm also assuming you have PCI Express, not AGP?)

Your power budget is hard to say anything about, because we don't know what your other components are. Single hard drive, or multiple? 5400, 7200, 10000 or 15000 rpm? What CPU? What is the TDP of that CPU? How much RAM? Any other peripherals?

However, it is my experience that 350 W should power pretty much any one graphics card, except for perhaps the worst "monsters" like the GX2 and similar. I would take a hard look at the GTX 260, because it's a pretty good value for money right now, and I believe it would work fine in your system.

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Regarding the power supply you should check the amount of amps on the 12v rail you'll need for whatever card you look at. If you end up with SLI or one of those "two chips on one card" cards you might need to upgrade.

I mention this because at first I thought you only had 18A on a 12v rail. I remember having to get a psu with at least 20A to make sure my AMD64 rig worked. Rereading your post though I noticed that you have 18A on two 12v rails. This should be fine for most cards but as hplus0603 said, it depends on your other hardware and how powerful it is.

As for the card to get... IIRC the best bang-per-buck card was the recent-ish Radeon 4850/4870 cards. Phantom had some interesting journal entries about the current top end cards a few months ago. Personally I'm using a 512MB 9600GT as I wanted to switch from ATI for while, it plays TF2, Company of Heros, Dawn of War, WoW on high with good framerates so I'm happy with it so far.

TomsHardware have a nice selection of benchmarks which could be useful.

Also, what are you actually looking for? You mention games but I assume you also want one for coding. Some cards don't support certain formats etc. which may be an issue depending on what you want to do.

Hope this helps.

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350W may not be enough for many of the more powerful cards in combination with whatever else your system has. Also it is important to list what those other components actually are because there may not be much point buying a new GPU if your CPU is just going to bottleneck it.

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Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
If you have a 6800 now, a 9500 will not be a step up for you. You need 256 bits of memory bus or more. (I'm also assuming you have PCI Express, not AGP?)

It has only twice as much pixel fillrate, twice as much texture fill rate, and ten times as much shader operations per second than his current card. Yes and it has a slightly larger bandwidth. Did I mention you can find passively cooled versions?

It's not for DirectX10 games, but for a occasional playing at low settings it's quite sufficient (for 1280x1024 monitors, for larger resolutions use 9600 GSO).

BTW his PSU could be sufficient even for more power hungry monsters (some PSU manufacturers calls this 400-500 W PSU), the problem is amount of other components, and power cords required by some newer cards.

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in my oppinion a 350watt psu is going to be low for stability if you're running a decent card along with a CD/Dvd drive + 1-2 Hardrives + high watt cpu + lots of ram sticks

my 7600gs gave me problems on a 350watt psu, that as far as pcwizard was concerned only outputed 300watts. I bought my 550 watt psu for ~50 dollars and it has been running perfectly for a year now.

As for a new card I'm in the same position you are, and with money as an issue I'm looking at geforce 8600's, 512-640mb of gddr3 ram. they run rather well. my buddy has 2 8600gt's and he runs anything at full settings on 1440x900 resolution with rare stutters.

if moneys not an issue why not go all out on a gtx280 or whatever the new gpu is.

also having a 6800 are you running AGP or PCI-e, if you're running AGP, I thing the 7600 is the best you can get and it's probably just barely more capable that the 6800 to the point you probably wont notice more than the extra heat it produces.

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I would recommend a Radeon HD 4670. They are several times more powerful than your 6800 GT, have an up-to-date feature set, and don't use much power at all; they get all they need straight from the PCI-E slot. They are also inexpensive and not effected by the manufacturing flaws present in many recent NVIDIA cards which have been causing high failure rates.

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Quote:
Original post by mumpo
I would recommend a Radeon HD 4670. They are several times more powerful than your 6800 GT, have an up-to-date feature set, and don't use much power at all; they get all they need straight from the PCI-E slot. They are also inexpensive and not effected by the manufacturing flaws present in many recent NVIDIA cards which have been causing high failure rates.


Yeah I'd recommend a Radeon 4850 at least but then again you'd be cutting it close with your powersupply.
If you want to stick with Nvidia a 8800GTS was the best upgrade for a while there.

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