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Another graphics card question.Follow

#1 Mar 15 2011 at 4:59 PM Rating: Good
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I'm going to buy a new graphics card. I've looked up the types I want, but now I just don't know about the manufacturer. ASUS, Gigabyte, Sparkle, EVGA, etc. They seem to vary by about 100 dollars.

Recommendations, pros/cons, etc?
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#2 Mar 15 2011 at 5:09 PM Rating: Good
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Companies I have had crummy cards (died before 1 year passed) from: VooDoo (out of business anyway), VisionTek

Companies I have had good cards (died after more than one year) from: PNY, ASUS. PNY still hasn't technically died and its been 2.5 years, although the VRAM is beginning to fry a little and it's getting retired soon.

Companies I have heard bad things about: Sparkle

Companies I have heard good things about: EVGA
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#3 Mar 15 2011 at 6:23 PM Rating: Good
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I'm pretty much brand loyal as long as that brand hasn't let me down. I typically use PNY, but have heard good things about EVGA as well.
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#4 Mar 15 2011 at 8:43 PM Rating: Good
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Well, I think I'm going with the EVGA Geforce 480 or 580. Not too bad a price from Newegg. My old 8800 died after about 3 years, and was out of warranty. The EVGA card has a limited lifetime warranty (sure other brands do too, but still).
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#5 Mar 15 2011 at 10:19 PM Rating: Good
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I've been using EVGA cards for years with zero problems. When I replace the card (Sapphire) that came with my new computer it'll be with an EVGA.
#6 Mar 15 2011 at 11:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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My company ranking in order, taking into account warranty and quality, and ignoring cost entirely.

1. EVGA
2. PNY
3. XFX
4. Asus
5. Leadtek
6. BFG (if they are still even making cards)
Gigabyte (makes decent motherboards, pretty new to the video card game)

Never ever ever buy Zotak or Sparkle cards. Ever. Period. For any reason.
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#7 Mar 15 2011 at 11:55 PM Rating: Decent
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For Nvidia EVGA all the way.

For ATi Sapphire is the way to go.
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#8 Mar 16 2011 at 7:29 AM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Never ever ever buy Zotak or Sparkle cards. Ever. Period. For any reason.


But the Sparkle Card came with a free movie ticket to see Red Riding Hood!

Really though, New Egg had them all at 9-10 ratings, EVGA and Sparkle. Does Sparkle have poor quality or poor service? (Or both?)
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#9 Mar 16 2011 at 7:29 AM Rating: Decent
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I have a Sapphire ATI Radeon HD5750 and it works great, so throw in another vote for Sapphire. PNY also worked really well when I had an Nvidia card.
#10 Mar 16 2011 at 8:47 AM Rating: Good
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I've just heard bad things about Sparkle in general, not necessarily their video cards. It was a PSU from them that I saw with a bad rating last - at least half the purchasers needed to RMA it within a week. The overall opinion of their products has been that they don't do thorough enough testing before shipping stuff, and things are sold that would have not passed QC at other companies.
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

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#11 Mar 16 2011 at 11:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR the Eccentric wrote:
Does Sparkle have poor quality or poor service? (Or both?)


Both. but they are cheap.
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#12 Mar 18 2011 at 9:37 PM Rating: Good
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Ok, another question, probably a stupid one.

I read about the GTX 580 and what I could find said you'd want at least 42A on your 12V in your PSU. I have a PSU with 4 12V rails at 18A. Adding it up, that's enough... but does it work like that? I mean, I'm a licensed electrician, I can't see 42A flowing through those little wires coming out of my PSU. In the industry, 30A requires 10AWG! (Yes, smaller voltages, but that doesn't matter, amps makes the voltage drop which creates heat on the wires, regardless of the source voltage. I've created fires on machines using 24VDC).

So is 4x18A right, or does it require more on a single rail?

Edit:
Looking closer, the max output of the 12V is 732W, or 61A.
But does the 42A recommendation for the video card need to be on a single 12V rail? If all four are only rated for 18A each, and 61A total...

Edited, Mar 18th 2011 11:59pm by TirithRR
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#13 Mar 19 2011 at 8:38 AM Rating: Good
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Some PSUs only take a 6-pin, others take an additional 8 pin , so at most there will be two. I actually chose my new GPU based on the fact that it didn't require any external power and was low-voltage.

Edit: Actually, not sure of the voltages of the 6-pin and 8-pin connectors.

Edited, Mar 19th 2011 10:42am by catwho
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

FFXIV: Katarh Mest on Lamia - Member of The Swarm and the League of Extraordinary Crafters
#14 Mar 19 2011 at 11:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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The card requires a total of 42 amps at maximum draw, Some of that will be delivered via the PCI express 16x slot power bus. the rest of it will be delivered via the 6 pin and 8 pin PCI express auxiliary power connectors. You want to make sure they are coming off different rails if each of your rails only delivers 18 amps. The bus itself delivers dedicated 12v and 3.3v auxiliary, nto sure what amperage there, whatever it is also counts. I would guess its up near 18 amps give or take, delivered via the primary power coupler into the motherboard. which may be pulling from all the other rails, or may be on a dedicaed rail.
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#15 Mar 20 2011 at 9:05 PM Rating: Good
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Saw a convert for a 6-pin from two Molex connectors (just randomly sitting on a friend's coffee table.) So if your video card doesn't have em coming off different rails - although honestly if it doesn't that's really sh*tty design - you can probably get around it with the molex converter. I also had to snag a molex to sata last week, and the part was around $5 at the local PC shop.
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FFXI: Catwho on Bismarck. Once again a top bard on the server: Dardaubla 90 on 1/6/2014
Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

FFXIV: Katarh Mest on Lamia - Member of The Swarm and the League of Extraordinary Crafters
#16 Mar 21 2011 at 10:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:

6. BFG (if they are still even making cards)

They went out of business a while ago.
#17 Mar 21 2011 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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Well, it died this morning. Tomorrow my new card will be in and I'll be happy. I'm running my old computer from 2002, with a Geforce Ti4200 I believe. It can go online, that's about it.
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#18 Mar 21 2011 at 10:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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rale wrote:
Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:

6. BFG (if they are still even making cards)

They went out of business a while ago.


That would explain why I haven't seen any cards from them recently. They always had really nice solid copper heatsyncs.
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#19 Mar 22 2011 at 5:00 PM Rating: Good
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So, what is the point of the 8 pin PCIE connector if the added two pins when compared to the 6 pin PCIE connector are just a Ground connection, which already exists on pins 4-6 of the 6 pin PCIE? Just curious.
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#20 Mar 22 2011 at 9:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR the Eccentric wrote:
So, what is the point of the 8 pin PCIE connector if the added two pins when compared to the 6 pin PCIE connector are just a Ground connection, which already exists on pins 4-6 of the 6 pin PCIE? Just curious.


I don't know exactly why, but the 8 pin connector is rated at delivering 150 watts, while the 6 pin is rated at a maximum of 75. The wires are the same gauge usually, and those extra two pins really are ground pins near as I can determine, so yeah. that.
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#22 Mar 23 2011 at 5:31 AM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
TirithRR the Eccentric wrote:
So, what is the point of the 8 pin PCIE connector if the added two pins when compared to the 6 pin PCIE connector are just a Ground connection, which already exists on pins 4-6 of the 6 pin PCIE? Just curious.


I don't know exactly why, but the 8 pin connector is rated at delivering 150 watts, while the 6 pin is rated at a maximum of 75. The wires are the same gauge usually, and those extra two pins really are ground pins near as I can determine, so yeah. that.


I was reading up on it a bit more last night, and read in a couple places that the 6 pin PCIE connector standard only required pins 1 and 3 to be powered with 12V (which explains why the double Molex to 6 pin adapter that came with my card didn't power up pin 2). The 8 pin standard had 1, 2, and 3 powered with 12V, which they said is why it was capable of 150W instead of 75W. And that users had run tests by putting 150W load on both the 6pin (with 1,2, and 3 at 12V) and 8pin and noticed no difference. All the 6 pin connectors on my PSU have 12V on 1, 2, and 3. Given that my PSU is capable of the load, and the pins are all there... I don't see any issue with me powering up the 8pin with a 6pin to 8pin/6+2pin adapter.


Edit:
I finally got my adapter today and it's the wrong one... they sent me a 6 pin PCIE to 8 pin plug that's on the motherboard (EPS?) instead of 8 pin PCIE. They said they'll refund the price, but now I have to get another one. If I could find a small enough knife/file I'd be able to make this one work and end up with a free adapter. But I'm struggling to find a way to file off the corners of this inside pin.

Edit2:
Cut/Filed the corners and it fits now. Powers up ok, everything working fine.

Edited, Mar 25th 2011 7:23pm by TirithRR
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#23 Mar 25 2011 at 8:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Be very careful with adaptors. I managed to cook an EVGA card using one of those 2x 4 pin Molex to 8 pin SATA adaptors that EVGA specifically ships with the card once. It worked for about a week, then the card failed, with noticeable browning of the adaptor at the join end. Supported by EVGA, got an RMA no problem as it was their Adaptor, but still to this day don't know how that caused a problem, but I avoid adaptors like the plague now.
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#24 Mar 25 2011 at 10:17 PM Rating: Good
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I looked up the pinout of the plugs and made sure the correct wires were going to the right areas. It looks like they made the adapter right for the PCIE 8pin, but used the wrong style 8 pin connector.

I started up Dragon Age (first one) just to put it under some load to see how things went, make sure my power supply wouldn't drop when the card was actually doing work. Everything seemed to work just fine. This card is a lot quieter than my 8800s were. So far everything seems OK. I couldn't see spending the money on a new power supply when mine is a 750W supply, as far as I can tell the only reason it doesn't have an 8pin or 6+2pin connector is because it's from 2007, before they were used a lot.

I'll keep an eye on the temperature of the card, but I'm not too worried about it. I am going to get a correct 6 to 8 pin adapter to replace my file/knife job on this one. Not that anything is wrong with it, just that I don't like the whole idea behind it, and don't want it to be permanent.

Edit:
Got a good connector in yesterday, so I swapped it out with my hand-crafted one.

Edited, Mar 27th 2011 3:57pm by TirithRR
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