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Choosing a good video card

ammhardware

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Apr 12, 2010
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This is the first PC I have built, so I don't know a lot about graphics/video cards. What things should I look for, or what makes a good graphics card? What are some good suppliers? So far this is what I have picked out for my system:

-CPU: Intel Core i7-930
-Motherboard: ASUS P6TD Deluxe
-RAM: Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D G
-Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"

I'm also pricing out a system using an AMD processor. I don't know if the graphics card for that would have to be different, but here is that system:

-CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
-Motherboard: M4A79T Deluxe
-RAM: G Skill F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
-Monitor: ASUS VW266H 25.5"
 

ammhardware

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The system is for work - writing computer software, and I'll use the internet a lot. As for budget, I really don't know even what price range I'm looking at.
 

shortstuff_mt

Glorious
Moderator
So you won't be playing any games at all on the system? If not, you could go with a very cheap card since your stated use doesn't require any graphics horsepower at all.

XFX HD-545X-YNH2 Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail $44.99

XFX HD-567X-YNFC Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail $94.99

The main thing to look for with graphics cards is the warranty. XFX offers a lifetime warranty.


Edit: This isn't really on the subject of your original question, but that 6GB Corsair Dominator RAM kit is very overpriced. Here's one for $90 less:

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI - Retail $189.99
 

ammhardware

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Thanks. Would the graphics cards be good for both systems?

On the RAM, I was going off a list of RAM compatible with my motherboard. I didn't see this one listed, do you know if it is compatible?
 

ammhardware

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On the two graphics cards that you listed, one has a fan and one does not. Is there an advantage to getting the one with a fan? The reason I'm asking is because it does cost a good bit more, and I'm wondering if the case cooling/fans will be enough. If the fan on the graphics card will help a lot, I'm willing to spend more for it. If not, I'd rather go cheaper.
 

shortstuff_mt

Glorious
Moderator
The fanless card will work just fine as long as your case has decent air-flow. What case are you considering? The 5450 hardly puts out any heat, so it should be fine. They wouldn't have made it without a fan if it needed a fan. :)
 
Another way to go would be to get a MOBO with built in Onboard graphics -- since you are looking for a low cost way to go and will not be doing any heavy gaming the Video chipsets that come on the AMD MOBO's like the 790GX's hd3200 would be all that you need and then you can put the $ you would spend on the graphics card on a better CPU or extra RAM.
 

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