Best cheap video card

heynow

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hey all, new member in need of some advice. im having crashing problems with my computer and after RMAing my RAM i know that that isnt the problem. now im thinking that the problem may be my XFX 4870 so im going to RMA it. im using an ASUS M4A79T deluxe motherboard so i dont have any onboard video.

does anybody have any insight into a really good and really cheap video card that i can use so im not without a computer for the week or so that it takes to RMA my real video card?

im looking at >>>THIS<<< newegg page and wondering what would be good for a temp/backup video card.

thanks for any help!
full specs on my Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit machine:

motherboard - ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
CPU cooler - ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise
video card - XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
RAM - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit
display - ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD
case - COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower
power supply - COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W
2 times HDDs in RAID 0 - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
DVD burner - ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X
 

flyinfinni

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Are you planning on gaming with the temporary card? If you just need something to get you by with desktop use till your card comes back, find the cheapest POS you can get. If you want to game, you'll want to get something a little better. a 4650 or 5570 (5570 could be a worthwhile buy if you ever plan on building an HTPC or anything like that). I would stick with an ATI so you don't have to worry about driver issues.
 

heynow

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i have a ton of games but i guess i could get by for the xx amount of days that it will take XFX to send me a new card. i can play solitaire though! :pt1cable:

looking at THIS list sorted by price and with free shipping. then throwing out the mail-in rebates, im seeing the POWERCOLOR AX3450 256MB for 30 bucks. is the Sapphire 3650 512 MB worth 10 more dollars in case it takes a little time for the RMA to go through?
 

heynow

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well i doubt i could get anything that i want to play and have in 'queue' (BF2142, Fallout 3, Comp of Heroes) going on any of these low end cards. although i could pull out the old copy of Max Payne 2 for the time being.
 

flyinfinni

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You know- if you get a card you could use for something else and make due with it, it wouldn't just be a waste of money. Say a 5450 or 5570 and then throw it in an HTPC or media server type of box later on.
 

4745454b

Titan
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Just a thought, try to find a card at a good price with no rebate. Get a 5750 or a 5670, or some other higher end card. Use it for your week, then dump it on your local CL for $20-$40 less then it cost you. Mention that its new, used for just a week or two, and it should sell. You get to use a card that will handle games, and it only ends up costing you about the same as the lower end cards.

Then again buying a 4350 and keeping it so you have a back up card on hand all the time isn't a bad idea either. Just throwing ideas out there.
 
G

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If I am in your shoes with such a system, I would take this as an opportunity to upgrade and get a 5850 and sell the 4870 with the lifetime warranty as a new replacement. ;)

And at those prices, if you wanted to sell the 5850 , it would sell like cake @ the same price as purchased.
 

flyinfinni

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thats actually not a half bad idea- Ebay is your friend as the 4870's are still selling reasonably well. Upgrade to a 5850 and you'll be golden, and able to sell basically a brand new/refurbished 4870.
 

heynow

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im still not sure what to do. whats the best card for the money? 4870x2, 5870, or 5850? or maybe just buy a cheap one that will allow me to use the computer and then worry about a new card once i get the RMA back.

i think ill just buy the cheapest card i can get and then worry about buying a new one and selling the 4870 while it is on its trip...

oh, just thought of something else will the 3450 or 3650 be able to play SD video OK? im about halfway through season 6 of BtVS and dont want to quit it for however long the RMA takes.
 
G

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The 5850 is the best all around, fps/$. Anyway, a cheap one can always be used for troubleshooting. Any card should play SD video LOL even integrated
 

heynow

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thats what i figured for the SD video but it never hurts to ask for a beginner like myself.

yeah, a cheap one will be used a few times a year for troubleshooting purposes or if i have any problems like this again.

was also wondering what people thought could be the crash problem that im having, is the vid card really the most likely culprit? ill put the problem here and open a new thread if needed...

random crash issues and i RMAed my RAM as i thought that was the problem, like i said. my computer will be running perfectly until, no warning it just freezes and wont come back until i hit the reset button on the case. it has happened after hours of running, it has happened after seconds of logging in, it once happened during the throbbing Win 7 logo before the log in. happened during screen saver, happened during movies, happened during games, happened when nothing was happening except Winamp playing music.
totally random, not a software issue unless its some combination of what i have as it didnt lock up right after reload of Windows but i put software back on pretty quickly. could other hardware be a more likely suspect? any tests that i should run or logs to look at that may tell?

thanks a lot for all the help so far!

*edit - i ended up going with the Sapphire 3650 for my temp card. thanks for the recommendation rolli59! and everyone else!
 

flyinfinni

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That definitely could have been the GPU. It does seem like a hardware issue as well- not software. It sounds like either the GPU or even the CPU could be unstable. Hopefully the new card will not have any crashes and you can verify that the GPU was the problem. Enjoy that 3650.
Also- just so you know- the 5850 is definitely the best card for the money right now in the higher-end range.
 

heynow

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i REALLY hope that the GPU is the problem so i can use my comp w/o wondering when the next crash is going to happen.

im looking at the 5850's now, and will prob sell the 4870 soon after getting it back from the RMA.
 

heynow

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been using the 3650 for a few days now and its great not having the computer crash. no more wondering when the next crash was going to occur, etc. thanks again for all the input!

finally some movement from XFX tech support. after a week of communicating they are finally satisfied with my troubleshooting and asked for my SN# to get the RMA going. ive asked 2 times and the support guy hasnt answered me, so ill ask here. does XFX offer any trade in program? it would be easy to send them the 4870 and some cash and have them ship me a 5850.

btw, im really happy with the 3650. been playing Max Payne (the first one) with it and it plays perfect with everything turned up all the way including the resolution. just needed a patch to get the sound working with Win7, but it was relatively easy to find.

 

heynow

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im so mad right now. the first few days of the new 3650 and no crashes. unfortunately the computer is starting to crash again. not as often as with the 4870, but still doing it occasionally.

i would guess that this brings the hardware culprits down to CPU or power supply. right? i would also guess that since its happening less frequently with the lower power consuming 3650 that the power supply is the likely culprit. right?

should i still RMA the 4870 just in case or thank XFX for their trouble and move on?
 

4745454b

Titan
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Getting near summer time now (for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyways...) any chance this is a temp problem? I would think the power draw would be low enough that even a 700W CM PSU would be able to handle it with no problems. Check your temps and dust your case if need be.

I'd also start looking at a software problem. Use your windows disk and install windows again. Use the second build to see if the problem still happens. Just install a game or two and see if it happens. Install the windows updates and see if it happens then. Perhaps you just have a software issue.
 

heynow

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im in washington (state, not where all the murders are!) and it is starting to get hot outside but as you can see the temps shouldnt be any problem. btw, i dont know why its not getting a reading on the 2nd fan but all fans are running and this is a High Air Flow 932 case...
1 x 140mm rear fan
1 x 230mm front fan
1 x 230mm top fan
1 x 230mm side fan
not to mention the Zalman 9900 120mm CPU cooler



as to the software, that was one of the first things that i tried so this is a fresh load of Win7 x64. i put back most of the programs that i use but nothing out of the ordinary. probably fewer than average and all stuff that i have and use on my laptop which is very stable.

thanks for the help. it makes this crappy problem a little easier to deal with. :)



 

randomkid

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I got to this thread too late. I would have suggested a 9500GT which can be used for PhysX along with the XFX 4870 when the issue gets fixed.

But seeing that you have gotten the HD3650 and that you also got crashes with them, the troubleshooting might go a little further...
I look at the picture in your last post. Is that XFX 4870? What is the card under it?
 

heynow

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i took that a few weeks ago before i switched out the 4870. under it is a wireless NIC card that is disabled. i used it for a while until i got around to running a cat5 to the room where i set up.
 

heynow

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this really sucks. im going out of my mind with freezing computer crap. probably crashed at least 10 times today while ive been trying things. ran with each stick of RAM by itself to rule out my newly RMAed RAM. i removed the disabled wireless NIC card to make sure that isnt causing problems.

why would the whole system run stable for about 3 days after installing the new vid card and now that its gotten used to having it, it freezes up as often if not more than with the 4870. damn thing crashed in the middle of writing this!

the problem was nonexistent when i first installed the 3650. after about 3 days of perfection, it froze up once. ran perfect for another day or so. then it froze 3 or 4 times the next day. now its happening many times a day again. just like with the 4870. i dont get the whole thing. change hardware and all plays nice and gives me hope that i found the solution and then slaps me in the face just when i get comfortable...
 

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