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GeForce GTS 250 or ATI 4850 ? Or... ?

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:48 am
by Thomas
I'm helping my nephew with building a machine.

He wants to play Counter Strike Source, Need For Speed Undercover and Call of duty. Most likely some others, but definately not GTA4.

Screen: Most likely Samsung T220 (22"/1680x1050).

He also wants to watch DVD movies (not Bluray).

First: Is a GTS 250 / ATI 4850 class card card strong enough for those games at good looking game settings? And is there some headroom for whatever he wants to play tomorrow?

Second: He's not a silent enthusiast, but a reasonably quiet machine would be good, especially when watching movies.

Thus I tend to go with GTS 250, due to the lower idle power consumption. But I'm not into the movie world, and would like to know if ATI has an advantage here? Anything else to consider?

The rest of the system will be more or less like this:

Phenom II X4 810 4 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB))
Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P
OCZ 2 x 2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz ( PC3-10666 ) CL6 ( 6-6-6-18 )
WD Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640 GB
Cooler Master Centurion 590
Corsair VX450W
Pioneer DVR 216DBK

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:27 am
by ntavlas
Both cards are very close when it comes to gaming performance and should handle those games @1650x1050 with ease. Cards like the reference gts 250 or the sparkle reviewed in this site consume less power than the 4850 when idle. Some cards come with better coolers than others which is also something to consider along with local pricing.
Having said that, I would try to look for those specific cards:

HIS 4850: well regarded card with lower power usage than regular 4850`s and quiet cooler that exhausts heat out of the case
Gainward/Palit 4850: also lower power usage. Cooler is mediocre but pricing is good.
Reference gts250: low power usage, stock cooler exhausts heat and competitive pricing. Might be the best all rounder.
Sparkle gts250: again low power usage but loud. Only consider if much cheaper than the regular 250.

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:34 am
by Thomas
Great input, thanks a lot, I'll check those cards out :D

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:53 am
by Tzupy
The HIS 4850 (1GB) stock cooling isn't bad, but not SPCR-quiet IMO. Especially at load it ramps up audibly.
After I swapped the cooler for an S1 with undervolted Turbo module, my temps went down about 13C.
And at only 700 rpm in 2D and 1,000 rpm in 3D, I enjoy the (almost) silence. :wink:

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:45 am
by Thomas
Thanks for mentioning the HIS could be quiter.

Though, the goal is not a SPCR quiet system, but I try to guide him to quiet stuff, or at least stuff, which can be made reasonably quiet without too much hazzle.

Me nephew cares a lot about light, case with window on the side panel etc. etc. I think I know him well enough, to predict that reasonably quietness will be on his whising list later on, but it's not given.

And chances are that he ends up with a case, that could be better ventilated, thus the HIS4850 or reference GTS250 would be good with the exhaust heat type coolers.

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:32 pm
by Wibla
I locked the fan on my GTS250 to 25% in rivatuner, that took care of buisness for me.. max gpu temp observed is 85C, but speedfan monitors the temp and ramps up the intake fans (2x 120mm nexus) when it goes above 80, so thats probably why it doesnt go higher...

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:54 pm
by FuturePastNow
That "Or...?" is to wait for the ATI 4770, I think. 90% of a 4850's performance for significantly lower power consumption, probably. We'll see soon.