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Discussion Starter #1
I was a sucker the last time I bought a graphics card. I didn't know much about them at the time, and my eyes lit up when I saw the 8500GTs hit the market with 1gb memory.


Anyhow, For obvious reasons, this card isn't cutting it anymore. (It never did, for that matter). I play games like Assassin's Creed and flight simulators (FSX and X-Plane). If I try running AC at 1440x900 (Native res on my monitor) the game lags horribly, and I might get two frames per second. Even when I run it at 800x600 with the graphics turned all the way down, it still remains very jumpy. I found the same to be true in all of my flight simulators.

Now that I am slightly more educated on cards, I am looking for something to replace this worthless chunk of plastic and metal I currently have. My price range is $150, give or take a few bucks. That gives me a couple of options... but still not knowing a whole lot about graphics cards, I want some opinions.

The first option is a pair of 8800GTs. Price - $160
Next is the GTS 250, which is still 256bit 512mb, but has a clock speed of 756mhz.
Another option is the GTX 260, which is a 448bit 896mb card, but the clock speed is 576mhz.

I am still a bit fuzzy on bandwidth vs clock speed. (More to the point, I still don't know/understand which one is more important when seeking a card with good performance.)

I also looked at the 8800GTS and 9800GTS, but in all of the reviews I read, the 8800GT/9800GT cards had better performance, plus they are cheaper and easier to find.

If a single card is within my price range, I would still be looking at getting a second one further down the road... but at the same time, if a pair of lower end cards will give me better performance (noticeably) than a single card... Id rather just buy the pair for right now and see what the new cards coming out are like when I am ready to actually spend the money on something decent later on. (Money is limited for now, but won't be forever.)

Thoughts, opinions?
 

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STG3 VET
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EVGA 512-P3-N977-TR GeForce 9800 GT Superclocked Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130450
$134.99
($114.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate

250 is no more than a 9800 gt. plus this a a single slot card instead of double
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Juggalo23451 View Post
EVGA 512-P3-N977-TR GeForce 9800 GT Superclocked Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130450
$134.99
($114.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate

250 is no more than a 9800 gt. plus this a a single slot card instead of double
These overclocked editions are such a rubbish.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So the GTX 260 will give me better performance than a pair of 8800GTs?

I found a website tonight that was selling the GTX 260s for $130, give or take.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zx6r1033 View Post
So the GTX 260 will give me better performance than a pair of 8800GTs?

I found a website tonight that was selling the GTX 260s for $130, give or take.
Yep. The 260 is a very good card for the money, atm. I just bought 2 this morning! Waitaminute... you found them for 130?!? Linky!

There are 2 versions of the 260 as well... one has 216 shaders, the other has (I think) 192. I'm not sure on the older one. From everything I've read, it's pretty split as to which is better. I went 216 just because I wanted the newer ones. I don't like old stock =p
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The one I found has 192.

It's on eBay.

So, it appears my new plan is to buy a single GTX 260 for now, then get a second one a bit further down the road. Thanks guys!

Also, can someone take a stab at the clock speed vs memory interface argument for me? It's always great to have people to ask about cards, but I really want to learn so I know myself next time.
 

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TBH, I'm not so sure on the clock for clock comparisons. I do know that the 260 is a different architecture than the 8800/9800 chipsets. Newer = more efficient/powerful = better.

Oh, and if you SLI them later, you can Mix/match ANY of the 260s. You can use 192/216, or 192/192, or 216/216.

Good Luck on the auction!
 

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I don't think that now is a good moment to buy a graphics card at that price range, because the HD4890 is coming in april and the price of the HD4870 is about to drop to $149 and who knows nvidia will also cut it's prices (GTS250, GTX260).
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by TheBlademaster01
View Post

I don't think that now is a good moment to buy a graphics card at that price range, because the HD4890 is coming in april and the price of the HD4870 is about to drop to $149 and who knows nvidia will also cut it's prices (GTS250, GTX260).

Partially true, but that is always true. Rarely is there a lag where there isn't something better coming out. Right now, the 4870 and 260 core 216 are the best he is going to find in that price range. That 260 that I linked is a very good deal. If he waits for the next wave of cards, then there will be another wave after that, etc, etc. And nvidia doesn't do price cuts nearly as much as ATI, or at least they aren't as drastic.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheBlademaster01 View Post
By the way, I think that your CPU is going to bottleneck almost any card in this price range
It may hold it back a little, but I have no problems with mine and I saw a huge increase from a 4850 to my 4870. If there was a bottleneck, I would have not seen an increase. Before that I had gone from an 8600GT to my 4850 and it was amazing. So for this guy going from an 8500 to this level of card is going to be astounding.

CPU bottlenecks are partially a myth. It really depends more on the program/game and how it is coded. A game like SupCom or Sins of a Solar Empire is very CPU based whereas most FPS are graphics based, and you can always turn down the CPU settings like Post processing and particles and keep the graphical settings nice like textures and object quality.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IEATFISH View Post
Partially true, but that is always true. Rarely is there a lag where there isn't something better coming out. Right now, the 4870 and 260 core 216 are the best he is going to find in that price range. That 260 that I linked is a very good deal. If he waits for the next wave of cards, then there will be another wave after that, etc, etc. And nvidia doesn't do price cuts nearly as much as ATI, or at least they aren't as drastic.
Yes that is true, but for a period of 1 month I would wait till the price drop. But that is what I would personally do
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IEATFISH View Post
It may hold it back a little, but I have no problems with mine and I saw a huge increase from a 4850 to my 4870. If there was a bottleneck, I would have not seen an increase. Before that I had gone from an 8600GT to my 4850 and it was amazing. So for this guy going from an 8500 to this level of card is going to be amazing.

CPU bottlenecks are partially a myth. It really depends more on the program/game and how it is coded. A game like SupCom or Sins of a Solar Empire is very CPU based whereas most FPS are graphics based, and you can always turn down the CPU settings.
Well, there will be always an increase if you change your graphics card, but if I put my OC'ed E2200 next to the stock e8500 of a friend of mine, who has almost the same parts as I do (9800GT instead of 9800GTX+), you will see a much better and fluent gaming performance compared to my system.
 
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