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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Budget friendly Graphics Card?

    My GTS250 broke down last week (couriered my CPU, and was in shambles when it reached me) and my warranty is over. Darn, I had spent quite a bit on that card, and it was a really good one. And it so happens that my Gigabyte motherboard doesn't have even an ounce of VRAM on it, so I pretty much can't use my PC for doing anything than MSPaint or Notepad at the moment.

    Well, shit happens and we all have to move on, so I've started to hunt for a low range card. I have a really tight budget, roughly equivalent to $110 (online conversion of Indian Rupees 5000)

    I found only a small selection from the shops I visited that fits within my budget. These include:

    Zotac Nvidia 9500GT ($82)
    Galaxy Nvidia 9400GT ($75)
    Sapphire ATi Radeon HD 4650 ($88)
    Sapphire ATi Radeon HD 4670 ($110)
    Sapphire ATi Radeon HD 5450 ($85)
    Sapphire ATi Radeon HD 5570 ($130)

    All of them come with 1GB VRAM. However, I've read that the 9400GT is absolutely worthless even for mediocre gaming. The 9500GT is reasonably priced, but I heard that it generates alot of heat and uses much power. I've used 9500GT which came with laptops, and it was not so great in terms of perfomance too. Somehow, none of the shops had 9600GT in stock.

    The ATi cards are suprisingly cheaper. I've personally used HD 4650 on my friend's desktop, and it was pretty good; great bang for the buck. I read that the 5450 is a card more suited for HTPCs than for gaming, so I think I'm ruling it out of the list.

    The 5570 reviews are pretty attractive, and it seems like a decent card, but its much more expensive, coming upto $120 USD, and I just can't stretch my budget that much. (1USD=45INR)

    Right now, I'm pointing my finger at the 4670HD ($110). What do you people recommend? As for my usage, I do alot of digital drawing and painting using my Wacom Intuos, then Blendering, and ofcourse, gaming. I do know that these cards cannot be used for high end gaming, but I'm fine with that, I won't always be on it.

    I also lost 2GB of my 4GB DDR2 RAM too, but that's not a big issue. I atleast have the other 2GB. My processor is an AMD Phenom X2, clocked at 3.1ghz. I immediately need a card, within the next 2-3 days or so, so any kind of help deciding is appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

    Cheers.
    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/


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  3. #2
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    If drawing is a higher priority, just go for something that can be suited for that. You can probably worry about games later.

  4. #3
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    http://www.overclockersclub.com have very good reviews on video cards.

    As for where you are buying them from, make sure you run a price check on it (just type the item in google with something like "price comparison"). Try to find a site like this one. (that's for the 512mb memory version of the card, not the 1gb one, and the prices are a year old).

    Also be aware that different aspects of your system might 'bottleneck' the performance of a graphics card (MOAR RAM!).

    I've got a Sapphire 4830, and i'm very happy with it.

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  6. #4
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    @karma
    Do you mean I need more RAM if I am to buy a superior graphics card? The 4830 was on par with my old GTS 250, but right now I don't have that high a budget

    @velderia
    Well, the obviously better thing would be trying to buy something worthwhile right? Instead of wasting money on a subpar gfx card, a medium range would be nice Plus I probably won't be buying a better one anytime soon.
    Last edited by MiladThaha; September 27th, 2010 at 08:05 AM.
    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/

  7. #5
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    Nah, I just mean that RAM is very important for things like high-res images in photoshop and you might not be able to fairly judge your new video card if you just lost 2GB RAM.

    I'm no techhead though, take everything i say with a grain of salt. I'm only dimly recalling knowledge from when i built my computer a year or two ago.

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  9. #6
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    If you can find a 9600GT green edition (no more auxiliary power needed; it draws power from the mobo), you might want to look into that. I got mine last year at roughly less than US$110 (converted to Philippine peso) and I was able to play ME2, DAO, and other 2010 games without any problem, at max settings.

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  11. #7
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    If I remember correctly, ATI updated their catalyst drivers awhile back to help with the various aspects of 2D acceleration, things a little more potentially relevant to you as an artist.

    I'd personally go with the 5570, as I don't believe you'd be disappointed.

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  13. #8
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    The 5770 is a very popular card and XFX is a very Name brand. Their customer support isn't apparently the best but at $125 it'll let you do some decent gaming if that's your interest. The 460 is talked about as one of the best Bangs for the Buck if wanted to stretch your budget.

    5770

    460

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  15. #9
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    @karma
    Thank you for the response, I understand your talking from experience. I'll keep that in mind too. So should I buy an even moderate card and extend my RAM with 2 more gigs?

    @Jie Kageshinzo
    I've been looking for the 9600GT, and that was my first choice but its nowhere to be found and I can't buy online

    @Two Listen
    Thank for your kind response, I'll look at that.

    @Bill
    The shopkeeper just informed me that 5670HD just arrived. What do you say about that card? I'll check out 5770 too, I'll see for possible ways to stretch my budget. Thank you!
    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/

  16. #10
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    I found the ATi Radeon 5770 1GB DDR5 at a shop, and I talked to my dad about it, seems like I can buy it What do you say guys?
    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/

  17. #11
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    Go for it, if you can afford it. I believe those driver updates I was mentioning earlier were largely meant specifically to effect their 5000 series cards. It might not be the most powerful thing on the planet, but no reason to complain if you can get your hands on it.

  18. #12
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    I hadn't touched my computer since my card died. However, yesterday, I got bored and simply removed my GTS from the motherboard and switched it on. The display was all low res @ 800x600, but after a few minutes Win7 started showing some drivers being installed. And after a restart, Win7 showed that I had an onboard ATi Radeon HD3200 @ 896mb O_o I was surprised, all the while I thought my motherboard didnt have onboard vRAM. It worked really well, I was able to do everything else but play games.

    But after a few minutes, I plugged in my card back and tried to switch on, I was able to use the computer for about 15mins or so until BSOD (and each time the BSOD time limit became tighter). This gets me to wonder, is this a problem with gfx card slot, or my card?
    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/

  19. #13
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    Things have turned around I took my cpu to this friend of mine who runs a computer shop. He checked it out and said that there was lot of dust on the mobo, the processor was loose and there was lack of some artic silver thingamajig. I bought a bigger and better cabinet instead Now its working perfectly, Yay!
    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/

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