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Old 09-10-2010, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is a good brand for GPU?

I am wanting to buy a new GPU to upgrade from a GeForce 8800GT 512Mb to run Starcraft 2. I am thinking about the Radeon HD5770 1Gb, but wanted to know a few things before selecting a card.

1) What is a good brand for a GPU? I have bought XFX, EVGA and ASUS before, but wonder about Sapphire, MSi and PNY.

Besides the memory size (1Gb) what else is important to look for:
2) 128bit or 256bit?
3) # of Stream Processors?
4) Core clock speeds?
5) Shader/Memory clock speeds?

Basically what brands are reliable and what specs. are important to have in a GPU?

Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

I'd put xfx as a top brand.

Most of the brands are now opretty good, so look at the specific warrentees on the cards. DO NOT PAY FOR AN OVERCLOCK, you can do it free, so 50bucks for 30mhz is a total waste.

Your other points basically are factors of the model, so you dont have an option.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

agred XFX is the top dog... then EVGA and PNY and Zotac...

like patonb said, there really isnt a manufacterer that you need to avoid with graphics cards, they are all good, but these are the best.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

VisionTek has lifetime warranties on many of its cards, too. Asus and Gigabyte put out good cards, as does Sapphire, but they only have a 2-3 year warranty. Not a big deal if you upgrade regularly, though.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

For ATi Sapphire is pretty good and I've personally had great experience with Diamond cards though they aren't as popular as other brands. I second the overclocking statement, you can overclock yourself, just make sure you get a card with a good cooler and overclocking potential (I picked my Diamond 5870 because it used the reference design which has voltage control for overclocking, but even on ATi Overdrive I have it maxed at 900/1300 no problems).

As for the memory bus width it really isn't important. nVidia uses a 256 bit bus and ATi's current cards use a 128 bit bus. While people have pointed out that the 128 bit bus is slower, ATi has designed around the slow bus to still have an efficient and powerful architecture. When looking between nVidia and ATi or even just different generations you really can't use bits or shader units to compare. ATi's 5870 has 1600 shader units while the GTX480 has far less but nVidia's shader units are more advanced than ATi's so in the end performance is closer with nVidia actually taking the lead. Same goes for clock speeds, different architectures have different instructions per clock rate so comparing by clock alone is only good for comparing same-series cards (a 1GHz 5870 is faster than a .9GHz 5870 but not necessarily faster than a .9GHz GTX480 even if it has a higher clock speed). Remember that since you can overclock yourself, you don't need to look for a higher clock speed model.

As for the current lineup ATi is doing pretty well and I would recommend their cards. The nVidia GTX480 is the fastest single-GPU card but it also spews out heat and uses a lot of power compared to ATi's 5870. The 5770 is a good card for a midrange gaming build.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

Thanks for the info. I went with this card:
EVGA GTX 465
Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-1465-AR GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

EVGA offers lifetime limited warranty and cost is $205 after rebate.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

Good card, theses gf100 run abit hot, but with the warrenty..... who cares.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

This was one of the questions I have also, as I am looking to put together a build.

Question for the gurus... Is MSI a poor product now? I was looking at getting their GTX 480, and it seemed to get good reviews.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

Quote:
Originally Posted by albino View Post
This was one of the questions I have also, as I am looking to put together a build.

Question for the gurus... Is MSI a poor product now? I was looking at getting their GTX 480, and it seemed to get good reviews.
I have had an MSI card, way back when, and had no problems out of it.

The main thing I tell people is to look at the length of the warranty. Two years should be the minimum and that's cutting it short. Unless you plan on upgrading before the warranty runs out, you will be running the card much longer than that. If it dies (and they do... I have had two die on me) and the warranty is gone you are just out of luck.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is a good brand for GPU?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
I have had an MSI card, way back when, and had no problems out of it.

The main thing I tell people is to look at the length of the warranty. Two years should be the minimum and that's cutting it short. Unless you plan on upgrading before the warranty runs out, you will be running the card much longer than that. If it dies (and they do... I have had two die on me) and the warranty is gone you are just out of luck.
I have had MSI cards in the past as well, but been out of gaming for a few years now, and i've noticed that MSI cards do not seem to be in that high of demand. I just didn't know why. I will make sure to look at the warranty. Thanks.
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