back to article Which top-of-the-line graphics card should I buy?

I play Crysis and Half-Life 2-based games on a PC connected to a 50in Pioneer Kuro plasma, but my ATI Radeon 1950 Pro is starting to show it's age. What should I replace it with? Sapphire HD 4850 X2 Sapphire's HD 4850 X2 I'm planning a new quad-core system but do I upgrade the graphics to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 or an …


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(Written by Reg staff)


Some reviews to check out to help you decide:

Bangs-per-buck GPU shoot-out

Sapphire 4850 Toxic

AMD Radeon 4850 and 4870

GeForce GTX 280


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Nvidia geforce 9600 gts

My nvidia 768MB 9600 gts that I bought about a year ago is still going strong. I have to play at 1920x1200 (otherwise my monitor decides it needs to stretch the image, even if I run at 960x600 (exactly half) it assumes I'm at 800x600 and I loose the edges.) and it's still good even at high res.

With most of the GFX settings on high the frame rate is occasionally a bit choppy but if you have a monitor that doesn't need such a high res it'll probably be fine. It's definitely playable.

Not very future proof though because nvidia won't do SLI on GTS cards if I read the SLI site properly.



I would go with the 4870 or 4870 x2, if you want to keep it under 200$ US go with the 4850.

Nvidia's product suffers from faulty manufacturing process.

Be aware.

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i play alot of high end games as well. i am currently working on: Pure, Far Cry 1 and 2, Bioshock, NFS: Carbon, Most wanted, High Stakes, and Underground 2; Quantum Of Solace, And a few other new just out highly graphical games. i am running the ati 4670 512 gddr3 card, and i have every game on max settings at 2048x1536 on my 22 inch viewsonic. i have YET to hit anything unfer 45 fps. i dont expect anything higher though, whats the point, graphics are smooth @ 30fps. if you went with the 4870 or 4850 series, i think you would be more than adequately covered. if you want to spend the extra bank, def. go for the 4870 x2. great cards. i made the switch from nvidia after the fx 5900 ultra i had on my old agp rig, and i havent looked back since.

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