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Don't Know Which Video Card to Buy in USD~$300 Range

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#1
So I got I can finally get a new graphics card but I don't know which one to get. You can already tell that I'm looking for a video card that can run a wide variety of games: from Halo to Crysis at the highest settings at the highest resolution with the best visual quality, give me graphical improvements in Windows 7, is a great option for multimedia/entertainment and general use. I need a video card:
  • that will fit in my case without difficulty (and that includes the power connectors)
  • from a manufacturer with reliable support, organized website, and other conditions that constitute a good company
  • with an excellent warranty
  • with good software/drivers and useful accessories/manuals that come with the graphics card
  • that can overclock when I play games [but clock back down when in 2D mode] moderately (enough to match the performance of an HD5870 or somewhere near it)
  • that can run Windows Aero without glitches (lol, my current one can't)
  • that has great image quality for pictures and movies
  • that won't be too loud or too hot in general (games, movies, pictures, multimedia, productivity/work)
  • that's efficient (won't be too hungry for power (meaning my current one can support it as well as a Corsair CMPSU-650TX {which I want to get}, fan control, etc.)
  • that has a good price for its performance.
  • that has a good resale value which means people would still like it if it was used so that I could sell it to them at a rational and agreed price

You can take a look at my system specs there.
The cards I have in mind are:
  1. XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD-585X-ZAFC - Total: $299.00
  2. Asus Radeon HD 5850 EAH5850 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 - Total: $324.99
  3. Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Toxic 100282TXSR - Total: $339.99
  4. EVGA GeForce GTX 470 012-P3-1470-AR - Total: $329.99

Please let me know what you think and any comments you might have. Thanks for helping me.
 

Fourstaff

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#2
XFX 5850 hands down, XFX is a good company and they offer amazing warranty, or so I am told. Some people might dispute that, and ask you to choose GTX470 but IMHO the GTX470 is not as worth it as the 5850 because it consumes much more power.

You might want this version instead:XFX HD-585X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 P...

Your list of requirements is too long and most of them are quite useless, eg: good software/drivers (any self respectable system builder will download their own) and can run Wndows Aero (it doesn't take much and even integrated solutions can run it without a sweat).

Don't bother about the resale value, the moment your rip open the package, its value drops dramatically, and if you are using it for 2 years, it will be worth only like 50% of what you paid it for or even less.
 
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#3
I agree with fourstaff... xfx is the way to go!
 
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#4
Okay so we've narrowed it down to the XFX Radeon HD 5850 models.
HD-585X-ZAFC for $299.00 vs. HD-585X-ZNFC for $308.50.

The 585X-ZNFC looks more fragile than the 585X-ZAFC because it doesn't have a full shroud. I'm not sure which card is longer because I need the shorter of the two. (Is it me or there isn't a door hanger that comes with the 585X-ZNFC?) If they're the same length, which one has better cooling and lower volume?
 
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#5
the znfc does come with a door hanger... both have identical specs jst different styles... i personally love new egg so i would go that route... you jst need to decide on what style of card you want.
 

erocker

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#6
Go with the ZAFC.

1. It's cheaper
2. Reference design - Meaning it can be overclocked with 3rd party tools and have voltage/fan control
3. The cooler is efficient and will exhaust the heat out of your computer case.
 
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#7
XFX HD5850 wins hands down
good warranty
 
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#8
I thought that HD-585A ZNFC/ZNDC/ZNBC models were reference design and HD-585X ZAFC/ZNFV/ZNFC are non-reference.
HD-585A Reference Models: 9.5" long for sure. Cooler blows heat out of case via the back. Voltage control. I really want this one, so if you can find it where it is in stock (verified) and will ship within at the very least, 3-5 days, then please tell me.
HD-585X-ZNFV/ZNFC Non-Reference. >10.0"?? Blows exhaust back into case? No voltage control? Only an egg-shaped cooler - based on Newegg reviews, the board and power connectors feel fragile/flimsy(?)
HD-585X-ZAFC/ZAFV Non-Reference Models. >10.0"?? Blows exhaust back into case? No voltage control? Full shroud - seems more durable(?)

If the HD-585X-ZAFC is indeed reference, then I am going for that one, but it seems unlikely as the reference models use the reference cooler (fan at end of card, not in the middle).
 
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#9
Yeah I would go with a HD5850 as well:toast:

I do have a HIS HD5870 1GB that Im selling for $360 (aussie dollars) thats around $313 USD, close to $300:D but then there is shipping costs:cry: I know it says in my sale thread that Im only shipping in Australia but I could make an exception:toast:, I could lower the price to around $298 USD if you could handle shipping costs:D up too you man, just thought I would let you know about it:toast:
 

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#10
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#11

Taken off of the XFX website, although the length I suppose is wrong from what the Newegg customers say. From Newegg: the ZAFC . So hence my problem. I can't find an XFX reference HD5850 and it seems I'm stuck with the HD-585X-ZAFC and HD-585X-ZNFC.
 

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#12
http://img.techpowerup.org/100620/HD585XZAFC.jpg
Taken off of the XFX website, although the length I suppose is wrong from what the Newegg customers say. From Newegg: the ZAFC . So hence my problem. I can't find an XFX reference HD5850 and it seems I'm stuck with the HD-585X-ZAFC and HD-585X-ZNFC.
Ahh, they show the wrong picture on the jr.com website...

I'll scour the webz to see if I can find one. :toast:

5850's are really sold out everywhere and there's no reference designs to be found.

The MSI Twin Frozr is not only a sexy looking card it also voltage control with MSI Afterburner. If I wanted to get a 5850 right now, it would most likely be the card I would get. MSI R5850 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pr... -pay no attention to the reviews on Newegg. Most complaints are from novice, unexperienced users in this case.
 
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#13
  1. MSI HD5850 R5850 Twin Frozr II - $320.98 Total (after tax - rebate)
  2. XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD-585X-ZAFC - $310.19 Total (Tax)
  3. XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD-585X-ZNFC - $308.50 Total (Tax)

I should note that I won't be too heavy on the overclocking. It would be nice but it's a luxury I guess. I might overclock but not to crazy speeds like 900 core 1300 mem, so I don't know if voltage control is worth it.
  1. It doesn't have a full shroud and on this one forum, I saw someone use a cereal box to serve as a full shroud...10.12 inches (exact) + 2 6-pin power connectors might not fit into Antec 300? Should I sell this card within the next 3 years or should I keep it for the next 3 years?
  2. Full shroud will help make it feel more intact than one without, however, I don't know if ~10 inches + 2 6-pin connectors can fit into my case. Double lifetime warranty could help with possible resale value. Should I sell within next 3 years or keep for 3 years?
  3. It seems that without the full shroud, the card will feel fragile and exhaust has more possibility of entering the case. Length I assume should be the same as above, ~10 inches (without the power connectors). Hoping the sample will do 5870 clocks. Double lifetime warranty could help with possible resale value. Sell in 3 years time frame or keep for 3 years?
 

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#14
Moved thread to "Graphics Cards" ....... I like to keep my drawers tidy :laugh:
 
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#15
Sorry about posting in the wrong thread. I was just used to posting in general hardware.:eek:

So which of the 3 is the best?
 

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#16
I have the HD5870 version of the ZAFC and I love it. The cooling works quite well in a well ventilated case like my HAF932...even in these warming summer months I'm seeing mid 30's idle and around 60-65c load with the fan never going above 50%. I have no voltage control, but running 1920x1080 I have yet to NEED to OC this card with any modern games I play. My friends that own HD5850's need to OC a bit, and for them and the deals they got...that was the way to go. I'm not too worried about no voltage control this time around (came from a 65nm core216 gtx260 that had voltage control I never used after I settled on 24/7 clocks).

I can say I have been impressed with the zafc version, which I've owned since March iirc...so far it's been a brute, kept my games playing smooth and looking great. I'm sure the 5850 version will too. And fwir you can modify voltage profiles in bios, though I have no need yet to even try. But for overclockers, the one that is allowing voltage mods via softmod (i.e. afterburner) would be the clear winner at only 10 more than the next closest in your list.
 

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#17
Actually Id take the ASUS 5850 DirectCu, volt-modding and a pretty nice fan at not too big of a price premium.

But out of the 3, Id take the MSI, looks great and the twin frozr fans has pretty decent temps. Besides, with the MIR, its the cheapest.
 

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#18
My EVGA GTX 470 is awesome.;)
 
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#19
I am not an avid overclocker however so I guess I don't need an MSI video card and I'll just hope I can budge my XFX HD5850 to ~850 core/~1200 mem. If not, I guess I'll be satisfied with the HD5850's performance because the only video cards my house has ever had is Intel Extreme Graphics 2, ATI Radeon 9250 PCI, ATI Radeon X300 SE, and EVGA GeForce 8600 GT 512 MB DDR2.

EDIT: Has anyone had experience with ordering computer products from J&R online?
 
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#20
Stay away from Asus. Other then that 5850 all the way.

I like the following brands.
HIS
Visiontek
Sapphire
XFX
 
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#21
Also, what if I flashed the XFX HD5850 BIOS with an XFX HD5870 BIOS? Can I revert back to the original one when I need to? And is flashing the BIOS worth the risk(s)?

Or should I try getting to HD5870 clocks by normal overclocking on stock voltage first?
 

Kursah

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#22
Try OC-ing first, don't mix and match bioses like that...dangerous without some more research. See if you can get 5870 clocks using MSI Afterburner or Rivatuner or whatever utility you want first and foremost. Most have a deal that can have them launch with windows and auto set clocks and fan speed profiles and stay minimized...set it and forget it. No need to flash a bios. Some will argue these programs take up memory...my experience with precision and afterburner wasn't bad at all, work fast, small footprints, stable, consistent. And with the average system having 3-4GB of ram...and atm afterburner is using 1,332k of system memory...no real need to do a bios flash imo. Like I said before, I may try it in the future to see if I can up voltages if my card clocks like crap...atm I don't have a need to even try to clock it as smooth as everything plays...and I do like to OC, though it's become more of a "when needed" than "let's see what this can do" situation for me.

:toast:
 
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#23

Timonthy

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#24
Stay away from Asus. Other then that 5850 all the way.

I like the following brands.
HIS
Visiontek
Sapphire
XFX
Why not? My experiences with ASUS's are pretty pleasant.
Is there a particular problem with their newer graphic cards that Im not aware of?
 

wahdangun

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#25
Also, what if I flashed the XFX HD5850 BIOS with an XFX HD5870 BIOS? Can I revert back to the original one when I need to? And is flashing the BIOS worth the risk(s)?

Or should I try getting to HD5870 clocks by normal overclocking on stock voltage first?
it will be EASY for HD5850 to get HD5870 Clock, even without voltage control. so it really doesn't matter (if i were you i will pick shapire vapor-x, its silent and cool)