I've been doing some upgrading, so this means I have some extra PCI Express video cards. They are not too shabby, either.

  • ATI 5870 1GB
  • ATI 5870 1GB
  • ATI 5770 1GB

Now, the two 5870 cards are still fairly high end and require two 6-pin power connectors. But the 5770 only requires one 6-pin connector. All have better-than-default quiet coolers with heatpipes like so:

enter image description here

All are ATI EyeFinity (triple monitor from 1 card) capable. They have two DVI ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort so plan accordingly. All these cards are pretty darn fast, and can even handle a new game like Battlefield 3 easily, with the 5870s being only about 10-20% off the top end 6970 performance.

So, if you have more than 1000 Super User reputation, and can use one of these cards and live in the USA or Canada (sorry international folks, shipping hardware is too difficult), describe why you'd need one of these cards and what use you'd put it to.

I'll let the meta upvotes decide who gets what!

And feel free to spread the word, though bear in mind the 1000 Super User rep requirement, and USA/Canada shipping.

Edit: since only two people have come forward (c'mon!) let's open it up to the international folks. I can't guarantee these cards will make it through customs, though, so you may end up with nothing..

Edit: Contest complete! Selections are music2myear, jcrawfordor, surfasb. I did end up prioritizing those in the US because I'm just not confident I can get these cards through customs. I'll be contacting you shortly to get your addresses.

  • 1
    Not that I can use the card, but couldn't you ship it internationally through DHL and let the winner pay the shipping costs? We've let a Toshiba 18.4" laptop bag ship from America and had no problems with that. Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 17:24
  • @TomWijsman Getting things through customs is not easy and how to best do it depends on the country.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 17:38
  • 1
    If I was granted the privilege of a 5870 (for Battlefield 3, funnily enough) I would be more than happy to pay for UK shipping/handling and customs costs.
    – tombull89
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 18:40
  • 2
    +1 - for the generosity! I would love one just for regular 3 screen usage - but... a) uk, and b) it would be a waste as I don't do much gaming :( (and for what I do, my Intel HD 3000 is ample!) Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 19:37
  • 5
    Thanks Jeff for your continued generosity with donating your used hardware to Super Users. The i7 you sent me a while ago is humming along nicely, so I won't enter myself this time since it's time somebody else got something nice.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 21:09
  • @WilliamHilsum there are much cheaper ATI cards now that do eyefinity though, so worth keeping an eye out for your next upgrade!
    – nhinkle
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 23:37
  • 1
    "Valued Community Members" is a Trade Mark? Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 8:29
  • @tombull if you feel strongly you need it, make a case below. International shipping is kind of difficult. Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 16:13
  • How difficult is "difficult"? Is it just the customs costs or is there something else?
    – ChrisF
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 18:44
  • 1
    @ChrisF: I don't think cost is the main problem there, it does cost a bit more than a national delivery but should still be fair. The problem here is that it's quite possible that the hardware is lost in an intermediary place and you never see it back anymore, to counter-measure that most customs do have a tracking system which disallows individuals from stealing your stuff. If the thief says it's delivered at B but nobody picks it up there, if it is lost in a center, loses tracking id, or what else; then you also have a problem. Due to the higher amount of stops, there is a higher chance... Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 6:13
  • The only real problem with international shipping is that you have to declare the real value, and the person who picks it up has to pay customs, if that real value is larger than, let's say, $30.
    – slhck
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 16:04
  • 1
    Booo!!! I recently bought three HP 320GB SCSI hard disks in caddys from a US supplier and they arrived safe and sound after the duty was paid.
    – Linker3000
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 22:03
  • 1
    I thank everyone for voting and Jeff for giving up time and money to put up this contest and shipping.
    – surfasb
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 3:35

6 Answers 6


Ahh to freely roam the land as the suspiciously Che Guevara-like character of Just Cause, to duck and cover with Alex and her best friend Dog, to carve the streets of Burnout city, to wax the tails of young wannabe fighter jocks in their achieved SR-71's, to projectile vomit zombie puke on unwary survivors, to crawl through Kryta with the drakes. Yes, I'd enjoy getting to do all this again.

My last computer build was back when I worked in the front lines of consumer IT in a Geek-Squad-esque environment (except we were better than Geek Squad and spent a good deal of time fixing issues that had flummoxed the local Geek Squadians). It served me for several years very well, until the broken chipset heatsink and aging components finally did it in. Having hardware less fresh than the cutting edge taught me the strengths of optimizing system software to eke the last dregs of performance out of any system, whether it be the average corporate desktop or the parent with teens who passed viruses along through Myspace.

In the intervening years I from my home in northern California to Chicago (where I love the winters, call me crazy), lived with friends and found jobs, married the woman of my dreams, got fired in downsizing, had a kid, got another decent job, had another kid, and just accepted my dream job as Network Administrator for a manufacturing firm in Oklahoma.

Living in Chicago is expensive. Having kids and trying to make enough to allow my wife to stay home and care for them is expensive. Building computers gets expensive. Guess what we didn't find space in the budget for. So I graduated (de-graduated?) to console gaming due to the generosity of a brother-in-law and his old Halo Edition Xbox, but my heart and soul are still in PC-land, and sharing my wife's, albeit decent, laptop, isn't a good recipe for gaming.

  • 11
    +1 for the sheer epicness of the answer.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 13:40
  • All I've ever done is taken the best advantage I can of the opportunities available. I'm glad someone thinks that counts as epic. :) Thanks @JourneymanGeek. Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 20:37
  • 1
    +1 for use of 'de-graduated' xD
    – HaydnWVN
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 11:54
  • True story: About 2 years later I found a video card I totally did not recall in a box we'd bypassed unpacking from the move to Oklahoma. It took me far too long to remember where that card had come from. The card found a good new home then. Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 19:27

Well, I'm throwing my hat into the ring a bit late, but here goes:

My son (11) has a home-brew PC that once had an NVidia-8600 graphics card running the show, and this worked fine for quite some time until the PC started to do funny things on boot - the odd coloured block on the screen, fuzzy noise on fine lines etc and it was clear that something was wrong. A short time later the video output died completely and the PC wouldn't boot at all.

On closer inspection it turned out that he was a victim of the 'bad capacitors' plague and we had leaky, split, bulgy electrolytic capacitors on the graphics board; the only solution was to whip it out and run with the onboard graphics, which are not a patch on the (albeit ageing 8600). It looks like at least one of the capacitors on the video board has shorted out and overheated the PCB, so I am skeptical that replacing the caps will resurrect the board.

One of these graphics cards as a replacement would make his day - I'll have to probably upgrade the PSU but it would be a small price to pay.

I could work some fluffy kittys into the story somehow, but I think you get the picture!


  • If there had been fluffy kitties, I probably could have found a vote for you... ;) Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 15:21
  • did it do that cool swedish chef thing? I had a 8300GS that did that ;p
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 8:25
  • 1
    Well - the board's b0rked, if that's what you mean! Tons of fluffy, sticky stuff from the caps all over the place. No explosions or smoke - just a graceful, messy decline into failure.
    – Linker3000
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 13:29

I'll talk first about my gaming side.

Being a heavy Total War gamer, I'd make more use out of these cards. If you've never seen any Total war games, I'll share some screenshots with you.

These are easily the most graphically intensive games out there.

First I'll show you images from the older Rome Total War series, which has been modded by the famous "Ferres Mod". Keep in mind, this game was released in 2004.

Yes, this is in game footage Closer

Then you have Medieval 2, Empire, Napoleon, and then Shogun 2.

I've always enjoyed the Total War series, which gives a good mix of logistics management and battle action. On top of that, I am an enthusiast for military history and enjoy putting lessons I learn from history into practice, specifically logistics.

Recently, I've downloaded the Napoleon: All in One. You can go here for a video.


These games are also tend to have a high learning curve and the campaigns take days. No I don't play on the sissy settings. I consider myself an expert gamer so I usually select very hard on Medieval and Napoleon or legendary on Shogun 2. On Rome Total War, I gotta mod the difficulty way up, otherwise I'd run through the expanded mod map in a day.

I've recently spent more time with BF3 and MW3. I've always enjoyed CoD's single player and am a good ways into the veteran campaign. Normal doesn't even feel like war. I'll always go back and beat it on expert, just like all the past versions.

My Super User Life

My contributions to Super User has been on the Windows side, particularly NTFS questions and Group Policy. Particularly, I've enjoyed scrolling through the Unanswered questions and I am most proud of my low scored answers.

More recently, I've enjoyed helping users with UAC, possibly the most misunderstood component of Windows. Many users don't realize that programs need to be launched elevated (Run as Admin) even if their account has Admin privileges. Almost a myth I've worked hard to dispel is the Runas command providing the same functionality as Elevation. Runas only launches the program with the explicit credentials. But it does not actually elevate the process.

I joined a while back when read about the site through Ed Bott. I enjoy looking for tumbleweed questions that few if anyone will see. Those often are some of the toughest troubleshooting questions. They don't get a lot of views possibly because they involve a particularly challenging or involve an obscure component.

I hope I am chosen and enjoy this site.


tl;dr: I'm a college student and I'm going to build myself a desktop, finally.

A bit about me

I'm an undergraduate computer science student at a small university in rural New Mexico - New Mexico Tech. I'm focusing on Information Security, the specialization of this university, and plan to pursue a career in law enforcement computer forensics. I'm also taking a minor in Technical Communications. Although New Mexico Tech is small, we are well known in the security industry, being an NSA (National Security Administration) Center for Academic Excellence in education and research. Our CTF (Capture the Flag) team (Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong Deliverators) recently went to the national CSAW competition hosted by New York University - Poly.

I work for the university computer center as a Systems Programmer. I administer Red Had Enterprise Linux/RHEL (I pronounce that R-Hell) servers and Fedora desktops. I also work for the New Mexico Experimental Project to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM-EPSCoR), a National Science Foundation grant program. I work specifically with a program we sponsor called the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, in which middle and high school teams use computer simulation to analyze real-world problems. It does a lot to encourage students to go in to Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics (STEM) fields in college (and to encourage them to go to college in the first place!). I work directly with teams to help them design their projects, and because of my programming help I'm often called The Python Man.

I'm passionate about freedom. Over the last weeks I've spent a lot of time advocating against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT-IP Act, including interviews with local news organizations. I'm passionate about Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender issues (I'm hoping to start a PFLAG chapter at my university). I have nerdy hobbies, like photography and amateur radio (KE7FVF).

I like to play video games, especially Minecraft. Right now there's a lot of Skyrim, though. Also, Team Fortress 2. And Counterstrike:Source. I'm going to buy Battlefield 3 one of these days, and then I'll have to play that too. And a new Humble Indie Bundle just came out, so oh my god so many video games.

Why I want the card

I play a lot of video games... on my laptop. I only own one non-laptop, and it's the video game server, hosting Minecraft, TF2, and CS:S on-campus. It actually doesn't have a video output at all - I recently upgraded to a secondhand motherboard without integrated video, and I can't find a secondhand graphics card for it. Did I mention secondhand? I built that computer entirely off of parts bought from friends or bought from Free Geek, and although it's a great game server it's not really usable for playing those games. That and every single USB controller is smoked, that's why I got the new motherboard for free :).

So, I intend to build myself a desktop. My boyfriend built himself a nice one for a price I can afford, so I think I'll base it on his. I'm thinking about a Phenom X6, although I'm not sure I want to spend that much money. RAM is cheap these days, I can get like 8GB. Mostly, I want storage. Lots and lots of storage. I'm accumulating too many things, and although 1tb hard drives are available in 2.5" by 9mm now, keeping it all on laptops is becoming impractical.

I'll use it for all kinds of things, like putting my radio recording system on a more reliable computer, and testing long-running CS homework on a more powerful processor (I can experiment even more with multithreading!). But mostly I'll play video games on it, and the rest of the time I'll have it BOINC something.

  • Ham radio. Good stuff. I just let my license lapse as I haven't used it for about 8 years. Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 15:05
  • This site has an international audience. Not everyone might know your acronyms.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 17:44
  • 1
    You forgot to mention that you're a contributor to Blog.SU ;)
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 17:51
  • @DanielBeck I'm from the US and know jcrawfordor personally, and I still don't know half his acronyms ;)
    – nhinkle
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 18:44
  • +1 cause i can emphatise with having to work with junk ;p
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 23:03
  • 1
    Two confessions: 1) I should have mentioned blog contributions. I feel a bit guilty because I have like 3 articles in the works that I just haven't finished yet.... over Winter Break I'll have tons of time to finish those up. 2) Wow, I used a LOT of acronyms in that. My post just about needs a glossary. I edited it up a bit. Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 22:31

I've done video editing on an HP desktop for several years. The machine itself is pretty solid, but the graphics card is its weak spot, an nVidia 9300. I really could use an upgrade. I would use the card for editing videos, browsing StackExchange sites, and being awesome.

Being a student, I can't afford a new card, but this would be awesome for my video work. Also, I'm in NY, so there's no issue of international shipping.



I don't know if I qualify with my lame reasoning.
Two things:

  • I always had nVidia cards. I only owned one ATI, a mobility one, in my laptop. It's just a HD3650 which slows down from heat, and not powerful compared to a normal deskop GPU.
    I like to try ATI, but never got the money for a modern one. By modern I mean, one that you can use to try it's performance, the rendering, ease-of-use, etc.
  • Back then, I played a lot with Linux. One thing I learnt, is that ATI/AMD got a catastrophic support there. Things are changing (radeon/radeonHD). I'd like to try out these 'methods', help with the Ubuntu PPAs or just gain knowledge. If there is a question about nVidia, I know the answer, since I used it for a while. Things are not changing that fast, the installer is the same, you can pass the same arguments, use dkms, etc.

So mainly, I'd like to request a card (ATI 5870 if possible), mainly to experiment, learn.

(Why the 5870? I play with games sometimes, like Battlefield 3. So a low/mid class card would be a bit of a step backwards (like having an FPS lag all the time) if I would have to trade the Zotac card.)

  • I have a Zotac GTX AMP2 260^2 nVidia card at the moment. I am fine wit trading this beast for an ATI card. In the current Hungarian economy, no one would buy the card... even for half the price. I bought it really cheap, from a person who is a 'wholeseller' on a forum. Anyway, I can post it to you as long as the Hungarian postal service is fine with it. So if you want to trade, to experiment or something, comment / message me. (Jeff, you too.) There is a ~4 year warranty on the card by Zotac IIRC.
    – Apache
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 8:03
  • ps.: If I get a card, I guess I'll do a 'giveaway' too. Maybe someone can use the CUDA support, or just want rock-solid Linux/BSD/Solaris support.
    – Apache
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 8:12
  • Guess my reason was lame after all. :D Okay guys, I would play the hell out of the card. Now? :D (jk)
    – Apache
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 7:19
  • Here's one vote just for sympathy sake. :) Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 15:20
  • "If i get the card i'll do a giveaway." So you're going to take a giveaway and give it away? :S Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 2:21
  • Yeah well, take an ATI to experiment/code/try it, and give my nVidia, since I tried everything with it. (Video encoding, CUDA, SLi, etc.)
    – Apache
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 12:44

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