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Graphics Card Upgrade


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14 replies to this topic

#1 tg1911

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 12:26 PM

Thinking about upgrading my video card, and I've got a couple of questions.
First, the 2 cards I'm considering:
HIS Hightech H387Q512NP2 Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card__$159.99
SAPPHIRE 100225-1GL Radeon HD 3870 1GB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card__$169.99

Manufacturer's Product Page:
HIS
SAPPHIRE

The card will be used for moderate gaming, image editing, viewing the ocassional movie, and future video editing.

System Specs:
OS__Windows XP Home SP2
CPU__Athlon 64 X2 4800+EE
Mobo__DFI Infinity NF570 SLI-M2/G
RAM__2 GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 800
Storage__Internal - 2 x Seagate Barracuda 250GB
External - Seagate Barracuda 500GB
Video Card__ATI Radeon HD 2600XT
PSU__SILVERSTONE ST50EF-Plus 500W

Now for the questions:
1. Does anyone have any positive, or negative comments, on either card?
Stuff like, how hot do they run, problems encountered, quality of drivers, ....

2. Best bang, for the buck?
Other than the memory, and the clock speeds, they look about the same.
While the SAPPHIRE has more memory, the HIS has better clock speeds.
The HIS also looks like it would do a better job of cooling.
Is the SAPPHIRE worth the $10 difference?

3. Does anyone have any links to independent reviews, on either card?
Can't seem to find any.

If any additional info is needed, just ask.
All comments welcome.
.
.

Edited by tg1911, 16 August 2008 - 12:29 PM.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 05:27 PM

Keep in mind that you will not be able to use SLI with the cards you selected. Your motherboard supports it, but ATI/AMD cards don't. The two cards are pretty much equal, with the exception of memory. You generally only need 1 GB of video memory if your PC's monitor is large. The GeForce 9600 GT is, in some cases, less expensive and of equal power to the 3870. Here's a review. If you decide to use the cards you've selected, go with the cheaper model unless you have a large monitor.

Edited by DJBPace07, 16 August 2008 - 05:28 PM.

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#3 Sterling14

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 07:55 PM

I'm actually an ATI fan boy, but for those prices, you might as well get an 8800GT for about the same if not less money. It's a better card also. Now if you want really good performance, go with the ATI 4850. That is currently the best bang for the buck card out, and only costs around 10-20$ more than the cards you provided. It kills the 3870 in performance also.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#4 tg1911

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 09:49 PM

Thanks for the input, DJBPace07.
Checked out the Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic from the link you provided, and it looks like a nice card.
Lots of connections, good performance, runs cool, and $20-$30 cheaper than the HIS/SAPPHIRE cards.
The only downside I found, which for me is a big one, was in the reviews on NewEgg; no support.
If it wouldn't be for that, that's the card I would probably be ordering. :thumbsup:

Keep in mind that you will not be able to use SLI with the cards you selected. Your motherboard supports it, but ATI/AMD cards don't.

Yes, I was aware of that, but have no intention of running 2 cards, so it's not a concern.
The wife is the one that uses the computer to game, and that's a game she downloaded off the net; Ricochet Infinity.
My Radeon HD 2600XT can't quite handle the graphics (occasional extreme lags), so I was looking for something with a little more "umph" to it.

In regards to the memory, I'm only using a 17" monitor at present.
Might upgrade to a 19" when needed, so the HIS should handle my needs.

I appreciate the information, DJBPace07.
Thanks again.

Sterling14,
I checked out the 8800GT, but it tends to generate a lot of heat.
Not a fan of that. :huh:
Checking out the ATI 4850 right now.
Any recommendations on a manufacturer, or the ones to avoid?
Trying to keep it to $180, or less.

Thanks for the suggestion, Sterling14.
.
.

Edited by tg1911, 16 August 2008 - 10:41 PM.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 12:41 AM

Thanks for the input, DJBPace07.
Checked out the Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic from the link you provided, and it looks like a nice card.
Lots of connections, good performance, runs cool, and $20-$30 cheaper than the HIS/SAPPHIRE cards.
The only downside I found, which for me is a big one, was in the reviews on NewEgg; no support.
If it wouldn't be for that, that's the card I would probably be ordering. :thumbsup:

No support? In what way? Graphics cards generally have good support. EVGA has very good support for their cards, here is a link to one of their 9600 GT cards. Remember, NVidia or ATI create the cards, but various companies manufacture the card. Each manufacturer has various support policies. For ATI/AMD, I suggest Asus. For NVidia cards, EVGA and Asus.

Edited by DJBPace07, 17 August 2008 - 12:42 AM.

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#6 tg1911

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 01:27 AM

Just about every review for the Palit GeForce 9600 GT Sonic (the one in the review you linked to) mentioned no support:
NewEgg reviews
That's the card I was referring to when I mentioned no support.

I've been looking at some other GeForce 9600 GT's, also.
Any opinions on this one:
EVGA 512-P3-N868-AR GeForce 9600 GT SSC Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

I'm looking to spend no more than $170, not including shipping.
What card would you recommend, in that price range?
If there's a better one for cheaper, all the better. :thumbsup:
.
.

Edited by tg1911, 17 August 2008 - 01:32 AM.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 01:55 AM

Most review sites don't review individual cards unless they've been OC'd, have a different cooling system, a new line of cards, or have some kind of unusual feature. I've never bought Palit cards, I stick to EVGA with their warranty, public forums, and their RMA policy. Since $170 is your limit, you can also look into the 9800 GT. These cards are similar to the 9600 except they have more stream processors and a slightly higher memory clock. If you're willing to spend $199 ($179 during the rebate promo) you can get the 9800 GTX+. The GTX+ is more of a gaming-centered card, I have two of these in my PC.

Edited by DJBPace07, 17 August 2008 - 01:57 AM.

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#8 tg1911

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 03:20 AM

The 9800 GT looks like it'll do the job.
With the rebate, I would like to go with the 9800 GTX, but I don't have the room.
At 9", I'll be pushing it with the 9800 GT, as it'll almost touch my chipset fan connector.
The 10.5" GTX would be way too big.

So, it looks like the EVGA 9800 GT, it is.
Now, I just need to find a good PCI exhaust fan.
Any suggestions on that? :thumbsup:

I appreciated the information, and your help, DJBPace07
Thanks.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 05:47 PM

You don't need an exhaust fan, just have a PC case with good air flow. The 9800 GT runs at about 45 degrees Celsius, depending on where the temps are taken and which cooling solution used. Here's a review from Tweaktown of the 9800 GT. One of the problems with recent graphics cards is that they are simply too long. You need a full ATX case or a case with with plenty of room beyond the PCI slots to install them.

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#10 tg1911

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 08:26 PM

Didn't mean to insinuate that the card ran hot, DJBPace07. :thumbsup:

My case has 1 120mm intake fan, and 2 (including the PSU) 120mm exhaust fans.
When I put my hand at the back, the air barely feels warm, so I think the case cooling is fine.
It can't be too hot in the case, as my dual core temps stay around 18/28C, never exceeding 23/33C.
It's just that there's a "hot spot" around the expansion slots, as the vid card blocks the rising of the hot air from that area.
Adding an exhaust fan in that area has been something I've been wanting to do, but I just never got around to it.
With the larger card, the airflow will be even more restricted, so I just want to add a little more insurance. :huh:
I've considered a card with an exhaust fan, these AEROSLOTS, from Silverstone, or a combination of the 2.
I think with my 2 120mm exhaust fans, I should be able to pull enough air through the AEROSLOTS, to do the job.

Any recommendations?

Edited by tg1911, 17 August 2008 - 08:28 PM.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 09:26 PM

Didn't mean to insinuate that the card ran hot, DJBPace07. :thumbsup:

My case has 1 120mm intake fan, and 2 (including the PSU) 120mm exhaust fans.
When I put my hand at the back, the air barely feels warm, so I think the case cooling is fine.
It can't be too hot in the case, as my dual core temps stay around 18/28C, never exceeding 23/33C.
It's just that there's a "hot spot" around the expansion slots, as the vid card blocks the rising of the hot air from that area.
Adding an exhaust fan in that area has been something I've been wanting to do, but I just never got around to it.
With the larger card, the airflow will be even more restricted, so I just want to add a little more insurance. :huh:
I've considered a card with an exhaust fan, these AEROSLOTS, from Silverstone, or a combination of the 2.
I think with my 2 120mm exhaust fans, I should be able to pull enough air through the AEROSLOTS, to do the job.

Any recommendations?

Ohhhh, I see. Adding vents will allow the air to flow out the PCI ports better. There are other items which may help also, such as the VANTEC SP-FC70-BL, Dynatron DB1206SPG, or EVERCOOL SB-F1. I've never used any PCI slot cooling so I cannot vouch for their effectiveness.

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#12 tg1911

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 10:39 PM

Since I have a negative pressure case, I'm hopping to draw cool air in the vented expansion slots, over and around the vid card, then up and out the rear.
The heatsink/fan should help direct the airflow some, since it draws air from the front of the case, and exhausts it directly into the rear exhaust fan.
I'm hoping the vented slot covers will draw in cooler air, to help with the chipset cooling, also.

Looking at this image, the new card will extend right up to the chipset fan connector, so it will basically form a "wall" between the upper, and lower case.
There'll be 2" above the "wall", for airflow.

When I mentioned earlier, "When I put my hand at the back, the air barely feels warm", that was from the PSU exhaust.
From the rear fan, the air is cool, so I shouldn't have any heat problems.
I think I'll try the vents first (cheaper alternative :thumbsup:), and if needed, I can always add a slot fan.

Thanks for the links to the coolers.
The last 2 look like what I'm looking for.
They pull air out of the case, while the first one just blows air onto the vid card.
For the price, I might just pick one of them up, anyway. :huh:

Edited by tg1911, 17 August 2008 - 11:03 PM.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#13 zedsed420

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:55 AM

I literally JUST went through the same thing. I called a buddy of mine back east about these same cards when we came across this card... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...02600XT%20512MB ... Its factory oc'ed to 830 mhz and is actually faster than the gddr 4 cards. It's a beefy card, 2 slots, but the difference it made in crysis and some of my other graphics intensive games was amazing. Check it out. You can also get 2 of these and run them in crossfire mode.

Edited by zedsed420, 20 September 2008 - 08:57 AM.

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#14 zedsed420

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:06 AM

I literally JUST went through the same thing. I called a buddy of mine back east about these same cards when we came across this card... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...02600XT%20512MB ... Its factory oc'ed to 830 mhz and is actually faster than the gddr 4 cards. It's a beefy card, 2 slots, but the difference it made in crysis and some of my other graphics intensive games was amazing. Check it out. You can also get 2 of these and run them in crossfire mode. It doesn't have as many streams, but its a solid performer. It replaced my 8800 gt nvidia and the difference was like I was using onboard graphics compared to this card


sorry bout the double post

Edited by zedsed420, 20 September 2008 - 09:08 AM.

Asus Crosshair III  Motherboard, AMD PhenomII x4 965 custom watercooled XSPC Raystorm copper block,  8g Mushkin Blackline
2 XFX Radeon 4890's in Crossfire mode custom watercooled full copper EK blocks,  XSPC rs360 triple 120 radiator 
850w Antec full modular 80plus certified,  NZXT Switch Black case  Custom Watercooled Laing DDC w/ XSPC pumptop res

Tygon black tubing,  all Bitspower fittings and clamps, 2 Samsung 1T spinpoint F1's 

Windows 7 Professional x64 dual boot Ubuntu 12.10


#15 tg1911

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:51 AM

Sorry.
Should have posted back.
Thanks for the suggestion zedsed420, but I went with the 9800 GT.

Thanks for reminding me about this topic.
Reminds me I need to update my profile. :thumbsup:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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