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Thread: Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

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    Flower Child stytagm's Avatar
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    Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

    Hi All,

    My trusty old box is now showing it's age, and so it's time for an upgrade, but for various reasons, it's going to be graphics this month, and then mobo/cpu/ram next month.

    I'm currently running a geforce 6800 on AGP, but I've got one of those odd mobos that also has a PCI express x16 slot along side.

    Unfortunately I'm quickly learning that if you stop reading all the hardware reviews on the web for a mere 2 years, it's a royal pain to get your head around the current cards, with a view to figuring out the best value.

    So, for 60-80 pounds what can I get? It needs to see me through for the next 18 months at least. The box is mostly used for desktop work these days, with only casual gaming (I'm still playing Half Life2 and the original far cry as often as anything else). I also (very) occasionally use Linux, and ought to use it more.

    A quick peruse of Scan this morning suggests an Geforce 9600/9800 or GTS250 could all be on the cards, I confess I haven't really got my head around the ATI naming conventions, but 46** series seem to be about 50quid, and 48** about 100 plus (so too expensive).

    Final question, which generation of cards was it when they switch from having specialised processing units, to a shed load of general purpose cores?

    Cheers (and standard apologies for rambling post)
    Andrew.
    They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them.

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    Re: Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

    ATI wise this is probably your best bet (4830 for £65.61 delivered): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159710

    I'll let someone else suggest an nV option.

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    Re: Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

    If you want better peformance then the HD4850 is the next card up from the HD4850 already mentioned:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...VI-XXX-EDITION

    Using the free Scan postage(which you are elligible for) the card is great value for around £86 delivered. It also has a custom cooler and is mildly pre-overclocked too.

    The HD4830 mentioned has quite low idle and peak power consumption when compared to most HD4850 cards though.

    However make sure that you have a decent enough PSU in the first place.

    Also another problem is that many of the combined AGP and PCI-E motherboards run the PCI-E at 4x so it will be a big bottleneck TBH.

    If you have a PCI-E 8x slot then it should be fine.

    I have my HD4830 in an 8x slot and it will be fine for most sub £100 graphics cards.

    From the Nvidia 8 series and ATI 2000 series the shift to more general purpose processing units occurred and this was due to the arrival of DX10.


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    Re: Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

    Short answer:

    Around £60 - ATI 4670
    Around £70 - Nvidia 8800GT/9800GT
    Around £80 - ATI 4850 (if you can find one at this price, otherwise ATI 4770)

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    Re: Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

    Thanks for the tips guys, I'll have a look at all of those.

    Something I completely forgot to mention, I'd really like Dual DVI (work wouldn't be bearable without my pair of lovely 19" iiyama flat panels), is that pretty much the standard these days, or do you still tend to find one DVI and one VGA? HDMI etc would never get used, the telly's in a different room.
    They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them.

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    Re: Graphics card upgrade for casual gamer - cheap 60-90 quid

    It's not standard just yet, but on any decent discreet card, it is very common. Just watch out, because some mid-range cards are still one VGA and one DVI.

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