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Old GFX card for an old rig

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by chevalier, May 24, 2016.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Dec 14, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I've got an old rig here, a Core2Duo (e8600 @ 3.33 GHz ex factory, but it runs 4 GHz all right) with 8 GB 800 MHz DDR2 RAM. Its graphics card no. 2 died, which was a GeForce 460GTX, so I'm back to a Radeon HD 4850 no, which is totally not bad for DX9, but there are so many inexpensive used cards available right now that I thought I might as well take advantage of it.

    The problem:

    Around PLN 250 starts GeForce 570 (1.25GB). Anything weaker/older just doesn't seem to make sense. This particular GF seems to land some serious punch in DirectX 9, unlike the higher models.

    At ~PLN 320 you can have a GeForce 580 (1.5GB) or Radeon 7850 (either 1 or 2GB, which usually makes 1 fps difference). The GF is a little more powerful but also older and hotter.

    At ~PLN 430 something to the tune of Radeon 7870XT (2GB), which is a more serious card. Or a GF 660, but I'm not interested unless it's 660ti. Or a 750ti, but I'm not really sold on that one. Or a newer Radeon 270(x).

    But at ~550, if you're lucky, you might even find a proper 280X (3GB), which is a current card, though old. Probably the only GPU in this range that actually benefit from >2GB RAM. Or the weaker but more modern and efficient GF 950 or GF670. The 280X is probably the best bang for the buck here, but it's overkill for my PC.

    So I just can't choose, because it's all so close. If you take a step up or down, you might as well take another. Then there's shipment and there are aftermarket coolers to take into consideration, so you always end up comparing on the fly, there is no cookie-cutter way out of this. And obviously time wasted thinking about it is, well, wasted, considering I could just take some overtime at work and increase my budget by whatever money I money instead of overthinking. Doesn't solve my other problems.

    Namely what I also worry about:

    – Newer cards are entirely capable of being weaker in older games. Something I really want to avoid.
    – My CPU and the rest of the junk is obviously below recommended specs probably even for GF 570. I worry about not only wasting the excess power but also making the whole right fail to work together well.
    – Hotter cards could just be too hot. PC sits in a cold corner but airflow is poor.
    – My mobo supports Crossfire rather than SLI, so perhaps taking the Radeon route and throwing in another one a couple of months down the line wouldn't be a bad option. My 650W OCZ CPU could handle two 7850s.
    – I prefer 1080p due to native res, so memory kinda makes sense to have. I don't think I could run anything that fully benefits from huge VRAM, but then I'm not entirely sold on 1GB being enough, even for older games.
    – The card probably stays in this PC, I'm not going to replace the entire box any time soon, as I have more urgent expenses to worry about, so I'm not buying the card for my future rig here, at all. This is just to give me a bit more gaming pleasure. For work, I need to buy an SSD drive, and that's gonna last me a while. So this is a gaming reprieve project.
    – Older higher-end models would normally make more sense here, but if the difference in electricity bills is going to cost me the card's worth in a year's time, I might as well put the money up front in a more modern, less power hungry card.

    Does anybody have experience with these older cards?
  2. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

    Jun 11, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I've had a GF GTX 650 Ti for a couple of years now and I'm happy with it, but then I haven't really played anything remotely demanding graphics-wise since I got it.

    Unhelpful post of the year, huh? :doh:
  3. Kiwi Gems: 3/31
    Latest gem: Lynx Eye


    Jun 19, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I cannot recall any tradition or rule against pulling up old threads to add a comment to. This is one that ended without any clear answer offered to the author. I'm not able to correct that, after this long, and just this minute, can't even recognize the author's monetary term.

    What I wanted to add is that for much of the time I've had an interest in gaming, my budget has severely restricted my options. Unluckily, in recent years, I've mostly been free of the really tightly-laced-in money times, although the unhappy aspect has been that from my point of view, new releases haven't attracted my interest.

    Back to the core, however: I chose to keep buying new games I had thought I would like, despite the currently below-requirements status of my personal PC hardware, and held onto them until the costs of things fell into my low-budget reach. I did tend to buy the high end GPUs eventually, just a couple of years or more after they'd been new.

    I did keep up with patching progress, and stored the downloads. While whatever game I planned to play was in early release, I did keep an eye on the publishers' tech forums, and stored copies of pertinent message threads for eventual reference.

    It worked for me, for a good while, until publishers cut back drastically on RPG material, and / or mislabeled a variety of action games and shooters to try to sell their products as something they were not. Bethesda, I thought, was worst in that regard, and then when they threw in with Steam, I crossed them off.

    Bioware had been a company I'd enjoyed following, until the original owners sold out. In between NWN and NWN2, they seemed no longer my kind of company, and of course after that, there was that horrible EA copy of Steam, a really awful piece of garbage. Origin is total trash.

    Sorry about that. Had to vent some.
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