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Which low-end GeForce card?

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,773
4,952
136
I've pretty much ruled out AMD's graphics cards because of their drivers, and I'll only reconsider if NVIDIA has messed up their current range significantly (which, as far as I'm aware, they haven't).

I'm trying to find a budget graphics card for a friend, who currently has a GeForce 8400GS PCI-E and they want to play Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. They haven't tried it on their system yet (Steam issues, waiting for a response from Steam), but their system scrapes the minimum requirements, particularly with regard to the graphics card. We feel that his son's enthusiasm for gaming is only going to increase steadily, but cost is definitely a factor.

We haven't agreed a specific budget, though I mentioned £80 (UKP) as a figure I plucked out of the air based on knowing that anything below £50 is usually a waste of money in terms of gaming. Checking with my usual supplier, £80 plots neatly between a GeForce GT440 and GTS450, both with 1GB DDR5 RAM. As usual, I'm having difficulty comparing what's currently available with the same benchmark readings.

Does anyone have any advice with this end of the market, what to avoid or go for, etc.?

Unfortunately the main anandtech site seems to be down so I can't compare there yet.
 

BTA

Senior member
Jun 7, 2005
862
0
71
Have you considered an older model, something like a used GTS250? Should be able to grab one real cheap and they are honestly pretty decent cards still. I gave my buddy my old one and he plays most games out there without issue. (L4D2, SWTOR, things like that).
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,773
4,952
136
Monitor res: 1280x1024. No plans to replace it. It may have to be replaced at some point of course, but I don't think they'll upgrade it unless they have to.

BTA - Second-hand tech worries me a bit unless I know the owner.
 

Crap Daddy

Senior member
May 6, 2011
610
0
0
Get the 450. better still would be the 460 but it's over budget and probably the PSU can't handle it. For the 450 a 400W PSU is enough. My son plays Space marines on our second machine with a GTS450 on an LCD TV 720p and it runs very well. In fact all games run well at that res depending on the settings.
 

GaiaHunter

Diamond Member
Jul 13, 2008
3,606
134
106
I've pretty much ruled out AMD's graphics cards because of their drivers, and I'll only reconsider if NVIDIA has messed up their current range significantly (which, as far as I'm aware, they haven't).

I'm trying to find a budget graphics card for a friend, who currently has a GeForce 8400GS PCI-E and they want to play Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. They haven't tried it on their system yet (Steam issues, waiting for a response from Steam), but their system scrapes the minimum requirements, particularly with regard to the graphics card. We feel that his son's enthusiasm for gaming is only going to increase steadily, but cost is definitely a factor.

We haven't agreed a specific budget, though I mentioned £80 (UKP) as a figure I plucked out of the air based on knowing that anything below £50 is usually a waste of money in terms of gaming. Checking with my usual supplier, £80 plots neatly between a GeForce GT440 and GTS450, both with 1GB DDR5 RAM. As usual, I'm having difficulty comparing what's currently available with the same benchmark readings.

Does anyone have any advice with this end of the market, what to avoid or go for, etc.?

Unfortunately the main anandtech site seems to be down so I can't compare there yet.
1) What are the complete system specs of your friends PC - CPU/PSU/RAM/ETC?

2) You ruling out AMD cards because of any recent bad experiences you personally had or because of what you read on the internet? You'll find loads of people in these forums ready to vouch for AMD drivers, including myself (I've been using AMD cards, in single GPU configuration, for nearly 3 years without a problem), that will most likely say any difference between AMD and NVIDIA drivers is negligible (although I've no idea how these cards behave on this specific game).

3) At £80 (you can find them under £80 at overclockers.co.uk, depending at the rest of the system specs, a 5770/6770 (same card, different numbers) is probably one of the best choices. If you adamant on NVIDIA I would personally go with the GTS450 over the GT440, although this is without knowing the rest of the system specs.

Warhammer system requirements (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2011/06/30/warhammer-40k-space-marine-system-requireme/1).

Minimum Specs:
OS – Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7
Processor – 2.0Ghz Dual core CPU (any Core 2 Duo or AMD X2 or better)
RAM – 1GB (XP), 2GB (Vista), 2GB (Windows 7)
Hard Drive – 20 GB space free (10 GB free after install)
Video Card – 256MB Video Card using Shader Model 3 (Performance equivalent to an AMD Radeon 3850 or NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT)
Online - Steam account

Recommended Specs:
OS – Windows 7
Processor – Any Quad-core AMD or Intel Processor
RAM – 1GB (XP), 2GB (Vista), 2GB (Windows 7)
Hard Drive – 20 GB space free (10 GB free after install)
Video Card – 512MB Video Card using Shader Model 3 (Performance equivalent to an AMD Radeon 5750 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260)
Online - Steam account



Some benches:



 
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peonyu

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2003
2,038
23
81
AMD has good drivers, I really wish that myth would die that their drivers are somehow bad. AMD [ATI actually] had shitty drivers about 8 years ago before they released the 9700 Pro, since then they have had great driver support. Its only been 8 or more years since then, that myth needs to die already.
 

AyashiKaibutsu

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2004
9,306
3
81
AMD has good drivers, I really wish that myth would die that their drivers are somehow bad. AMD [ATI actually] had shitty drivers about 8 years ago before they released the 9700 Pro, since then they have had great driver support. Its only been 8 or more years since then, that myth needs to die already.
Saying they were great after 9700 pro makes me doubt that. I had the 9800 pro and the drivers were not great. That and it seems like every game that comes out nowadays needs a hotfix to run well on AMD. That's not great drivers.
 

gmaster456

Golden Member
Sep 7, 2011
1,877
0
71
Whats with all this BS about AMD having bad drivers. I've been using AMD cards since the 9000 series and haven't had any issues. AMD having bad drivers is nothing more than hearsay. If anything it varies from person to person. Just like some people have had issues with nVidia Drivers.
 

Fallengod

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2001
5,884
18
81
AMD has good drivers, I really wish that myth would die that their drivers are somehow bad. AMD [ATI actually] had shitty drivers about 8 years ago before they released the 9700 Pro, since then they have had great driver support. Its only been 8 or more years since then, that myth needs to die already.
True for the most part, but there are some differences and some reasons why some may not want AMD drivers. Id have to agree with others who say that to some degree.

Heres one quick example of why I cant use and hate AMD drivers.

They lack the ability to force a refresh rate in a sophisticated manner like Nividia drivers can. This has been an issue for a good 10 years and they still havnt fixed it. Some people may need or just want to force a refresh rate for a specific resolution. This is true for anyone with a CRT monitor and definitely true for me. I need to be able to specify refresh rates per resolution. For the time being, until I change monitors, this prevents me from going to any AMD card....

Past that I cant say Ive had any issues with AMD drivers apart from also not liking the way they make you change displays. Nvidia makes changing display outputs very easy and straight forward, not quite true with AMD.


Anyways, this a bit off topic. For the OP's question. I think a GTS 450 is a good buy, it just depends on what you can buy it for. A GTX 550ti is also a decent card, again, depending what you can buy it for. Just a heads up, most of normal prices are currently fairly overpriced imo. A GTS 450 is slower than a 5770/6770/GTX 550 ti and those have been seen in the $80-90 price range quite often. A GTS 450 is a bit slower then the GTX 550 ti and 6770. If you can find a GTS 450 for around $60-70, that is the only price range id personally buy one at. After that, its just not worth it. Get a GTX 550ti for $80-$100. Dont buy those for anymore than that either.

I suspect as soon as new gen cards start to be mainstream, all these prices will fall like crazy. Right now I hate seeing the rip off prices for a GTS 450 or GTX 550 ti. Those cards simply arnt worth more than $60-80 imo.
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
Whats with all this BS about AMD having bad drivers. I've been using AMD cards since the 9000 series and haven't had any issues. AMD having bad drivers is nothing more than hearsay. If anything it varies from person to person. Just like some people have had issues with nVidia Drivers.
no driver issues ever in 5-6 years? lol, either you have a poor memory or you do not play many games when they first come out. but yeah I guess all those hotfixes could not possibly mean there was a ever a driver issue? both companies have had bad drivers but AMD has certainly had more game issues overall especially on games when they first come out.


and the OP needs to list all of the specs of this pc that needs upgrading.
 
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Arkadrel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2010
3,681
1
0
This is true for anyone with a CRT monitor and definitely true for me.
o_O CRT....

my "eyes" litterly thanked me after I got my first LCD.
I highly recammend you try one out, its like night and day differnce.... though slightly slower refresh rates, the benefits hugely outweigh the downsides (like not as fast refresh rates).


Saying they were great after 9700 pro makes me doubt that. I had the 9800 pro and the drivers were not great.
Arnt both of those cards same generation of cards?.... potato patato...ect?
you guys are talking about the same time.

All I can say is I use their drivers now and their fine for me.


Some people may need or just want to force a refresh rate for a specific resolution.
You can force it with refreshlock. Run it as admin.

http://downloads.guru3d.com/RefreshL...nload-354.html
^ old as hell program....>_>

I think Ati Tray Tools has it too, and even AMD drivers CCC has a '3D Refresh Rate Override' option.


RefreshForce (should do same thing):
http://www.chip.de/downloads/RefreshForce-1.10_13002100.html
 
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Crap Daddy

Senior member
May 6, 2011
610
0
0
True for the most part, but there are some differences and some reasons why some may not want AMD drivers. Id have to agree with others who say that to some degree.

Heres one quick example of why I cant use and hate AMD drivers.

They lack the ability to force a refresh rate in a sophisticated manner like Nividia drivers can. This has been an issue for a good 10 years and they still havnt fixed it. Some people may need or just want to force a refresh rate for a specific resolution. This is true for anyone with a CRT monitor and definitely true for me. I need to be able to specify refresh rates per resolution. For the time being, until I change monitors, this prevents me from going to any AMD card....

Past that I cant say Ive had any issues with AMD drivers apart from also not liking the way they make you change displays. Nvidia makes changing display outputs very easy and straight forward, not quite true with AMD.


Anyways, this a bit off topic. For the OP's question. I think a GTS 450 is a good buy, it just depends on what you can buy it for. A GTX 550ti is also a decent card, again, depending what you can buy it for. Just a heads up, most of normal prices are currently fairly overpriced imo. A GTS 450 is slower than a 5770/6770/GTX 550 ti and those have been seen in the $80-90 price range quite often. A GTS 450 is a bit slower then the GTX 550 ti and 6770. If you can find a GTS 450 for around $60-70, that is the only price range id personally buy one at. After that, its just not worth it. Get a GTX 550ti for $80-$100. Dont buy those for anymore than that either.

I suspect as soon as new gen cards start to be mainstream, all these prices will fall like crazy. Right now I hate seeing the rip off prices for a GTS 450 or GTX 550 ti. Those cards simply arnt worth more than $60-80 imo.
Show us all where can we find a GTS450 for 60-70$ or a 550Ti for 80$. By the way, OP has tahe prices in British pounds.
 

Madcatatlas

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2010
1,155
0
0
I wouldnt chose Nvidia if you want a card that works. Im having loads of trouble and im apparantly not the only one. Nvidia drivers went downhill after their 400 series came out. Cards that explode, that burn, that just die because of bad drivers, is all part of that story.

AMD drivers on the other hand, are rock solid barring some flickering issues.


Add to that, that Crossfire scales better than SLI, and one would be pretty much blind to not see which is the better driver team atm.



ye, i like my bsdrink with some red in it, just like some others prefer green to give it that little extra..
 

gmaster456

Golden Member
Sep 7, 2011
1,877
0
71
no driver issues ever in 5-6 years? lol, either you have a poor memory or you do not play many games when they first come out. but yeah I guess all those hotfixes could not possibly mean there was a ever a driver issue? both companies have had bad drivers but AMD has certainly had more game issues overall especially on games when they first come out.


and the OP needs to list all of the specs of this pc that needs upgrading.
Gaming isn't my primary use for my machine. And your right, I don't buy many games on release. The last game I bought on release day was Portal 2.
 
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Fallengod

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2001
5,884
18
81
o_O CRT....

my "eyes" litterly thanked me after I got my first LCD.
I highly recammend you try one out, its like night and day differnce.... though slightly slower refresh rates, the benefits hugely outweigh the downsides (like not as fast refresh rates).


^ old as hell program....>_>

I think Ati Tray Tools has it too, and even AMD drivers CCC has a '3D Refresh Rate Override' option.


RefreshForce (should do same thing):
http://www.chip.de/downloads/RefreshForce-1.10_13002100.html
Well, yes, if youre suggesting a 120hz monitor than that is probably true. If youre suggesting a non-120hz monitor, that would not be true at all. Refresh rates matter more than whatever other benefits youre proposing. If you think that, I am guessing you do ZERO video/gaming/editing/production stuff on your computer. Keep in mind, its not like I dont own any newer flat screen monitors or use them, its just my main gaming rig is on a CRT. And I have been looking into finding a new 120hz flat screen monitor for my gaming rig. :p

And all those programs you pointed out, I am aware of and familiar with. I also do use and have access to rigs with AMD cards, so I am well aware of what I am doing and taking about. Those programs are either A) Outdated and non-working, or B) Complete garbage. On another note on ATI tray tools, that program very piss poor. I used to use it..... Id rather not have to go into specific details on why its very bad program, but unless you used it, its best not to recommend that. :)

Show us all where can we find a GTS450 for 60-70$ or a 550Ti for 80$. By the way, OP has tahe prices in British pounds.
I think you either misread or misunderstood what I was saying. I was saying they are not worth more than those prices, not that he can necessarily find them for those prices. And yes, there have been some hot deals in the past a few times with those cards for those prices, you just have to keep an eye out for hot deals.
 
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Madcatatlas

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2010
1,155
0
0
Gaming isn't my primary use for my machine. And your right, I don't buy many games on release. The last game I bought on release day was Portal 2.
What are you going to use it for then?

a 6770 probably has more htpc capability, while a 450 has more f@h going its way.
 

Fallengod

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2001
5,884
18
81
Fyi, a GTS 450 should be quite a bit slower than a 6770. A GTX 550 ti is the comparable card to the 6770. A GTS 450 is a bit under those. Thats the only issues I have with the GTS 450 and GTX 550ti is they are generally priced over what you can get a 6770 for. As I was saying a few posts above, I wish the prices of a GTS 450 and 550ti would come down to what they should be, more in the $60-$80 price range.
 

BTA

Senior member
Jun 7, 2005
862
0
71
ATI/AMD drivers do still suck, sorry guys. Gave them a shot again, failed. Back to Nvidia.

Get the brand you that you want OP.
 

IonusX

Senior member
Dec 25, 2011
392
0
0
Saying they were great after 9700 pro makes me doubt that. I had the 9800 pro and the drivers were not great. That and it seems like every game that comes out nowadays needs a hotfix to run well on AMD. That's not great drivers.
their current drivers are fantastic on single cards. anyone who makes that arguement is firmly involved in nvidia cards and doesnt have an amd card to try it with ( a modern one). it doesnt help that nvidia's drivers have been dry/lousy as of late
 

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