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Graphics Spec check: which low-end GPU should i use?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Xtrafresh, 2 Apr 2008.

  1. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    I'm building a PC for a friend. He's gunna use it as a workstation, for various tasks, but nothing heavy. He's not a gamer, so the GPU doesn't need to pump out mad HDR effects at 4xAA 16xAF or anything. That pretty much makes all the benchmarks on this site useless for this purpose (sorry Tim).

    There's two demands that te GPU must meet:
    1) it needs to be futureproof. He wants to use this computer at least 5-6 years, preferrably 10 with ome upgrades.
    2) it is going to drive a 24" monitor.

    Now comes the big question... what GPU should i stick in there?

    The budget is 1000 euro, but 350 of that is sucked up by the monitor.

    here's the specs i have so far:
    Code:
    Monitor:   TFT 24" Acer P241WD                              € 352,57 
    
    System:    ASUS P5K-V (iG33 - S775)                          € 91,39 
               INTEL Core2Duo E4500 (S775 - 800MHz - 2x1 MB)2,2 € 108,12 
               Arctic Freezer 7 Pro (Socket 775)                 € 19,16 
               PC2-6400 - 1 GBx2 - DDR2 - OCZ ATI XTC 2K C4      € 54,05 
               Western Digital 500 GB 5000AAKS (SATA300 - 16MB)  € 85,00 
               
    
    Generic:   Cooler Master Centurion 532 (Zonder voeding)      € 69,13 
               500 Watt PSU - OCZ StealthXStream Silent          € 56,10 
               DVD±RW Asus DRW-1814BLT SATA - Retail - Zwart     € 32,65 
    
    Total:                                                    €   868,18 
    
    Here's a list of the graphics cards i could put in there:
    Code:
    MSI RX3850 - 512 MB - PCIe - TV+2xDVI               € 147,95 
    MSI RX3650 - 512 MB DDR3 - PCIe - TV+2xDVI           € 83,69 
    Asus EAH3650 Silent/HTDI - 512 MB- PCIe - TV+2xDVI   € 81,98 
    MSI RX2600 XT Silent - 256 MB - PCIe - TV+2xDVI      € 86,08 
    Asus EAH2600 XT/HTDP - 256 MB - PCIe - TV+2xDVI      € 69,97 
    Sapphire HD 2600 Pro - 512 MB - PCIe - TV+2xDVI      € 61,18 
    
    
    Hey, what can i do, he's an ATI fanboi :rolleyes:
    I'm worried the 3850 is overkill, but i'm also totally oblivious of how well the other cards would be able to drive a 1920x1200 dektop for the coming 5-6 years. Again, all it needs to do is mild desktop tasks. This PC will never ever be used for games. (such a waste :sigh:)
    If the lower budget cards on the above list work, i could upgrade the CPU and/or RAM to further futureproof the PC.

    Note: he has an XP license atm. He's not so snappy about uprading to Vista yet, but he will eventually, so the hardware needs to be capable, but i don't need to buy the license.

    Aside from the RAM i think this PC is pretty future proofed. RAM, CPU and GPU can be upgraded easily and cheaply on this mobo (potential crossfire).

    My two questions:
    1) which GPU should i put in there?
    2) Am i making any mistakes?
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2008
  2. Realiks

    Realiks What's a Dremel?

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    I was planning to take the same motherboard and cpu for my sister computer.

    So the motherboard is a good chose

    Why do you take a new cpu cooler the E4500 cpu hase a stock cooler he's not planning to overclock so I dont see why.

    The Ram and hard disk are nice and a good chose. Maby you can take 3gig ram then he's ready for Vista.

    The vga is a bit difficult. I personly would take the MSI RX3650 Its not extremly overkill and its not cheapendo :p
     
  3. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    Two reasons for the cooler:

    1: I plan to make this PC as silent as i can get it. The Freezeris still pretty excellent when youtake the fan off, using it as a passive cooler.
    2: cheapest upgrade scheme ever: click the fan in place, bump the clock on the e4500, done. :thumb:
     
  4. Realiks

    Realiks What's a Dremel?

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    ach I see. Jup the freezers are pretty still.
     
  5. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    :)
    Freezer cheesecake


    Any other suggestions anyone? I'm going to order tomorrow i think...
     
  6. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    1Gb of RAM isn't particularly future proof. If you can find one 2Gb stick of DDR2 that would be better I would think. :)
     
  7. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    Even actually 4GB (just to future proof :) ) wouldn't be overkill IMO. That stuff is cheap nowadays.

    Even tho XP 32-bit cant address the full amount, but when he goes Vista (64-bit) it would be good.

    Otherwise it looks good. :thumb:
     
  8. crazybob

    crazybob Voice of Reason

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    Out of that list, I think I'd get the HD3650. For the kind of work it's going to be used for, you're not generally going to see a difference between any of those cards (and certainly not enough to justify the high price of the 3850). However, the 3650 uses the least electricity and runs the coolest, and has the most modern and up-to-date features. For that, I think it's probably worth the extra €20 over the cheapest option.
     
  9. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    thanks for that, 3650 it is :)

    and the memory is a 2gb kit. not very clear, but it sais 1 gbx2. With the cheaper GPU i can even afford 2 of those kits, i think i'll do that :)
     
  10. dazmanultra

    dazmanultra What's a Dremel?

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    I've been very impressed with my ATI 3650 - make sure you get the GDDR3 version over DDR2 though. :)
     

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