Graphics card advice wanted.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Hi folks.

    I do a bit of light gaming and, for the last year or so have done well with
    a second-hand ATI HD5670 with 1024MB VRAM that I got for ~$80 on TM.

    However now the game I play the most (Path of Exile by New Zealand company
    Grinding Gear Games) is getting slightly more demanding of graphics with
    each new patch. I find my frame-rate dropping to the stage where I get video
    lag and my character dies, even with very low settings.

    Can anyone advise on what second-hand card I should be looking for to
    replace it? Maybe something a couple of years newer. Unfortunately I'm
    limited to a total wattage of 75W or less - otherwise I'd need to spend
    significant money on a bigger PSU. :-/

    As I haven't been keeping up with hardware news in the last few years (it's
    too depressing when you're broke) I'm in the dark as to what would be a good
    replacement, something that would give me a performace bump for not too much

    Any and all advice greatly appreciated. TIA....

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1).
    ~misfit~, Feb 4, 2014
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  2. ~misfit~

    Your Name Guest

    "Path of Exile" is an online game ... are you sure the "lag" isn't due
    to a slow or faulty Internet connection?
    Your Name, Feb 4, 2014
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  3. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thanks for that, I'll add them to my watchlist. Yes, I've been very happy
    with the HD5670 (with GDDR5) but since the last game patch I've had to drop
    another setting another notch to keep a semi-reasonable frame rate and now
    it's starting to look a bit 'cartoonish' compared with how it can look. Also
    less detail means it's harder to see danger.
    Ok, I wasn't aware of that. I knew the TDP was 64W and in my ignorance
    thought that was maximum current draw.

    My main computer has more headroom (although I'm currently troubleshooting
    an issue with it that I sincerely hope isn't due to a failing PSU). However,
    not being in a position where I can just go out and buy replacements I keep
    a 'guest machine' that also serves as my backup desktop. I move the graphics
    card to it and install my games, then move it back - the idea being that it
    will serve as a gaming rig for me if my main rig (started build in 2007,
    finished in 2009 when I fitted a QX9650) ever dies. <touches wood>

    Currently the spare is an ex-lease Dell Precision T3400 (E8400 / 4GB) and it
    only has the 375W PSU which, according to Dell means I can only have a 75W
    graphics card in it. (I've been unable to find the Dell optional 525W PSU
    for it.) I'm not sure if Dell have stopped their ugly habit of using a
    standard ATX power connector but with some wires interposed to stop folks
    using non-Dell PSUs. If I end up with a graphics card that pulls more power
    then I'll get the multimeter on to it and then start the hunt for another
    PSU - it works just fine with the HD5670. I'm using it now while I sort my
    main rig out.

    Thanks again for your input mate.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1).
    ~misfit~, Feb 4, 2014
  4. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I'll bite back my initial response and give you the benefit of the doubt and
    instead assume that you're trying to be helpful. ? I did say "any and all
    advice appreciated" but may have to modify that if asking questions here in

    Anyway.... I'm very aware that PoE is a MMORPG - it would be hard to have
    been playing it for over a year without knowing that don't you think? I've
    been messing about building and trouble-shooting my own computers since
    nearly a decade into the last millenium. I've also been playing on-line
    games since before the turn of the century. In that time, as you might
    imagine, I've learned the difference between connection (latency) lag and
    graphics lag.

    Not only that but GGG have a handy little set of on-screen graphs that pop
    up if you hit <F1> in game. These show me line latency, FPS and Frame Time
    going back for the last couple of minutes. This makes it easy to see where
    any issues lie. Now factor in the fact that, as GGG have progressively
    patched and improved the game over the last ~18 months I've had to
    progressively turn down graphics features to keep my FPS from dipping into
    the sub 30 FPS territory too often and for too long and, yes, I'm sure my
    current problem isn't due to my internet connecion.

    (Since about 2009 I've been using a ThinkPad for my main machine due to
    running costs and budget constraints. I only fire up the desktop when I want
    to game now. This coincides with friends moving away and no longer getting
    me to build their gaming rigs. I used to be given the ~24 month old hardware
    I was replacing in return for my hardware knowledge / advice and computer
    building skills. Consequently I stopped keeping up-to-date with the latest
    (desktop) graphics hardware about 2010 as it made me pine for what I
    couldn't afford. That about coinicides with the age of the (oldest)
    second-hand gear that I'm asking about.)

    Thanks for your input.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1).
    ~misfit~, Feb 4, 2014
  5. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thanks again for this recommendation - it made things much easier for me.
    I've 'bought' an HD7770 from TM for $140 and in the meantime have
    overclocked my HD5670 to the maximum allowed by CCC (850/1050 core/RAM, up
    from 775/1000). It meant using my emergency money which I don't like using
    for non-emergencies so I'll live lean(er) for however long it takes to
    replenish it.

    (I say 'bought' as, although I've won the auction the guy hasn't replied to
    emails asking when I can pick it up. I'll give him the benefit of the
    doubt - it is a holiday after all. <g>)

    CCC reports the HD5670 O/C as stable and it's actually made a much bigger
    difference in-game than I would have expected such a smal O/C to have done.
    So I won't mind if I don't get my 'new' card until tomorrow or so. ;) A
    bonus that I won't need to change drivers - I'd have major issues in the
    past switching between ATI and nVidia and vice-versa.

    I don't normally like overclocking video cards as my first and only
    experience with doing it years ago caused permanent corruption of the VRAM
    and bricked an expensive card. However these modern driver packages allow
    doing it and make it very very easy. No installing extra software and hours
    of testing. Also it doesn't seem to have raised the GPU core temperature at

    So it'll do until I get the HD7770 - which should be quite a reasonable jump
    in processing power: for not too many
    extra watts. (I've been using that site for years now and it has served me
    well so far.)

    Thanks again.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1).
    ~misfit~, Feb 6, 2014
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