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I'm an idiot - video card edition


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
3ish years ago I built a system that was awesome. Now it's severely showing its age. The system is built around a Asus p5n32-e sli. There is only one processor upgrade that is in my price range for it but I'm thinking I want to get a faster video card first. My video card is a 8800gts. I know there are been several major upgrades to the vid card market. I know ATI is now producing the best cards out there (if you're rich and/or insane) But I don't know what else has changed. I mean, is having a x16 pcie port enough these days? What about power, I have a (at the time) top of the line 800w psu, is that enough? Also, if it is enough, will I even have the right connectors on the psu to power a new card? So much confusion ... I really need to stay abreast of all the changes from here on out and not just crawl into my hole after I get a system put together.
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Carbon based lifeform
Political User
even ATI's midrange stuff is doing pretty well, so you don't have to be rich or insane. Seriously, though, you are still ahead of the curve regarding PSUs we have not hit that threshold where we can actually pump a thousand watts through a board. aside from teh video card you are not in bad shape.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Thank you sir, reps for the reply. I know the 8800 was a super nice card. Easily the nicest card I have owned. I wouldn't mind staying in the mid to high end range but prices are crazy. For the XX70 from ATI you are looking at 400+. If you get one of the XX30 or XX50's you can be between 100 and 200. But I know the 30 series is their low end. So is a current gen low end model better then a older gen top o the line model. I think it might be, but not by much. Also, I did a little bit of research and it seems everything is backwards compatible, so I guess PCIe 2.0 doesn't mean jack to me. Which puts me at ease!


Political User
For what it's worth I second the assessment of your power supply, 800+ watts is more then enough for what you are wanting to put together. You might need a second PCI-E power connector for a more modern GPU, but I doubt that will be an issue if you already have a higher end PSU.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
I'm torn now....

Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-1465-AR GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card = $250

Newegg.com - XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card = $170

Pretty big gap as far as price goes, and the more expensive card ranks higher in 3dmark. So odd that the $170 5770 is at that price point. The 5850, 5870 and 5970 are $320, $550 and $700 (OMG) respectively, odd to have a $150 difference between 5770 and 5850.


The One and Only
Well, the 5850 and 5770 are targeted for two different markets. The 5850 is a slightly less powerful Enthusiast-class video card, while the 5770 is a higher end mainstream card.

As for the 5870/5890.... yea.... and people thought it was ridiculous when NVidia released the GTX 295 at a high price. Thinkt he 5790 USED to be near the price of what the 5870 is now.... but after Fermi got delay after delay, prices from ATI went up and up..... and haven't seemed to come back down yet.


The One and Only
Well..... in my opinion, i'm pretty sure that one would cool better than the rest. the enclosure, if you ask me, is more of a hinderance than a help. 9 times out of 10 the fan isn't strong enough to move the air through the entire heatsink and still out the back of the card. Hell, with the GTX 295, i think NVidia realised this was the case, and they have the ventilation going out the long end of the card, too, into the case.

In any case, i think you'd be better off with that card if you're looking for one to run cooler..... and it'll probably be quieter, too.

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