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Which graphics card should I get?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

It's that time again, it's summer, and it's upgradin' season. Well, I'm deciding between at least two graphics cards:

XFX Radeon HD 6870
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180BD4700
Pros
  • Double lifetime warranty and rather painless (costed me $30 in shipping to California though)
  • GPU cooler sucks air in and pumps heat out the back
  • Standard size for Radeon HD 6870 at 10" long.
Cons
  • The XFX letters in the vent looks flimsy and I'm afraid it might pop out and may get stuck inside the GPU causing problems
  • May not be overclocking friendly, my current Radeon HD 4850 isn't.
  • Noisier due to smaller fan.

ASUS Radeon HD 6870
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD9927
Pros
  • Factory overclocked
  • cooling pipes looks good
  • like how the PCB is built
Cons
  • Warranty is a ?. ASUS does have a Canadian repair centre about 10 blocks from where I live but I have no clue if they accept GPU repairs or not.
  • Sound card may be blocking the fan since it's located near centre
  • Due to overvoltage, GPU may be drawing more power than my PSU can deliver.
  • Card is not standard length, it is 11" long.

My budget is C$200 and NVIDIA is not out of the question (I have looked at EVGA's GTX560), but my most important thing is a balance between price, performance and power consumption. Fermi just plainly uses too much power and I don't want to change my PSU unless I absolutely need to since it's running fine right now.

I'm not a fan of the dual fan designs because they look funny and I'm afraid they might draw more power than needed. That and the fact I have no clue if my sound card has enough clearance. Best that I don't need to move the sound card, but if I must then I would do so.

I originally wanted to go with the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 because there's almost no flaws in the card, except for the warranty. I talked to their Canadian representative and they told me that not only do I have to send it to their Canadian authorized service centre, but the service centre doesn't process the repairs themselves and have to send the card to Hong Kong which is another $40 (might be cheaper for me to give my card to my parents since they go back and forth between Toronto and Hong Kong 3 times a year >.>").

I plan to order it next week since I'm getting my paycheque.

Thoughts? I'm open to any suggestions.

Thanks,
deltatux
Blutyphoon
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
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Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
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ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
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Blutyphoon
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Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Razer DeathAdder 3.5G 
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post #2 of 8
If you are concerned about warranty from XFX, youll want to pick up a black edition card.. They treat people with a BE much better than the average customer.. which is usually like crap. Personally i would choose the ASUS because i have had good RMA experiences with them, and its factory OCed.
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iSeven
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapengu View Post
If you are concerned about warranty from XFX, youll want to pick up a black edition card.. They treat people with a BE much better than the average customer.. which is usually like crap. Personally i would choose the ASUS because i have had good RMA experiences with them, and its factory OCed.
I currently have an XFX Radeon HD 4850, last time I warrantied it, the service was fine. Personally, I'm leaning towards ASUS as well. Only issue with ASUS really is power consumption and if the card would fit in my Cooler Master 690 II Advanced case. I have the OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W PSU.

Thanks,
deltatux
Blutyphoon
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
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Blutyphoon
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Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Razer DeathAdder 3.5G 
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post #4 of 8
the xfx one is not availible at that site?

guess your stuck with the asus model.
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:)
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobobearx View Post
the xfx one is not availible at that site?

guess your stuck with the asus model.
If it's not available there, I can get it at other places ... and that site usually stocks up, it was in stock yesterday. Yesterday, the ASUS was out of stock, so by the time I'm going to order next week (around Thursday or Friday), hopefully both are in stock.

Though, I'm open to any manufacturers (except MSI because of bad experiences with their motherboards) who's been proven if you guys have any suggestions.

Thanks,
deltatux
Blutyphoon
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Razer DeathAdder 3.5G 
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Blutyphoon
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Razer DeathAdder 3.5G 
Mouse PadAudio
N/A Auzentech X-Raider 7.1 
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post #6 of 8
I've had that XFX. Ran nice, but the fan is loud and it partially exhausts into the case. By the way, that XFX logo is not flimsy and nothing to be concerned about. Would go for the Asus as it's probably quieter and uses a better cooler.

If I had a choice of any 6870, I'd take the MSI Hawk TwinFrozr III. I've had other cards of the Hawk series and they have been some of the best overclocking and coolest running cards I've used. 2nd choice would be the twin-fan XFX "black".

edit: just saw your MSI comment
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, new question, should I get the ASUS card, would it:
a) work well with my PSU? I only have a 500W PSU, I've read that due to the overvoltage it uses more wattage than the regular Radeon HD 6870. The regular Radeon HD 6870 calls for a 500W PSU as is.
b) the card is 11" long, will it fine nicely in my Cooler Master 690 II Advanced?

Cheers,
deltatux
Blutyphoon
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Razer DeathAdder 3.5G 
Mouse PadAudio
N/A Auzentech X-Raider 7.1 
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Reply
Blutyphoon
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570K GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H XFX Radeon HD 6870 2xFan Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate ES.2 Samsung SpintPoint EcoGreen Samsung 830 SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Zalman CNPS8700 LED Windows 7 SP1 x64 SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2220WM 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Razer DeathAdder 3.5G 
Mouse PadAudio
N/A Auzentech X-Raider 7.1 
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post #8 of 8
a) your current PSU will be plenty.
b) yes, it will fit.
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