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Which graphics card is right for me?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 22, 2013 12:50:43 PM

Hey Guys,

I'm new around here and not exactly an expert, so bare with me. I will try to make this as short and to the point as I can. I am building a new PC for college. I have no set budget but I don't want to spend like 3-4k on a computer. I have pretty much picked out what I am getting, but I am unsure of that graphics card to get. I will only be running 1 display and want to play games like BF3, Crysis 3 ad high-end games like this. I am hoping that I wont have to replace my graphics card for about 2 years at least.

current parts list: http://i.imgur.com/RiUSBkY.png

I have no preference between Nvidia and AMD. I just want to get the best for what I want to do.

Thanks guys.

7970 3gb
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-11197-12-40G-HD7970-Va...

7970 6gb
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-11197-05-40G-HD7970-Va...

GTX 680 2gb
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007XJBMCG/?tag=purchrevie0b...


GTX 680 4gb
http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-NVIDIA-GTX680-PCI-E-Graphi...

More about : graphics card

a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2013 12:54:39 PM

as for the 6GB card the only time you really need that much ram is running multi-monitor systems. i would say if you have the money go for the 680 4GB card.

and why are you doing a slim DVD drive VS. the standard that the case requires?
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a c 185 U Graphics card
March 22, 2013 12:55:32 PM

Sapphire HD7970 3GB Vapor-X if overclocking if not GTX 680
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2013 1:05:23 PM

You have an interesting build. A lot of cash being spent. It depends on what you want your computer to do. As a gaming machine, you really need to up the graphics power with a budget like this. If you will be doing other things, you may need your machine as is. Let us know what you will be using this for and what your screen resolution is.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
March 22, 2013 1:14:16 PM

The 680 is a pointless card anyways. It's only 5% faster than a 670, but costs 25-30% more.

If you really NEED it, go with the 7970. That being said... a 7950 or 670 are enough to max most games at 120fps, which translates to about 60fps in 3d. Also, if you ARE going 3d, you need Nvidia, not amd. Amd's 3d technology just isn't there yet.
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March 22, 2013 1:16:42 PM

bgunner said:
as for the 6GB card the only time you really need that much ram is running multi-monitor systems. i would say if you have the money go for the 680 4GB card.

and why are you doing a slim DVD drive VS. the standard that the case requires?


I just threw that drive in there because it costs the same as the one on amazon That i Will actually be buying. Thanks for the advice :) 
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March 22, 2013 1:20:26 PM

babernet_1 said:
You have an interesting build. A lot of cash being spent. It depends on what you want your computer to do. As a gaming machine, you really need to up the graphics power with a budget like this. If you will be doing other things, you may need your machine as is. Let us know what you will be using this for and what your screen resolution is.


I will be using it for a lot of gaming, video rendering, music making etc and I will have a 1920x1080 display for now but might up it to a 2560x1440 a few months or a year down the line.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
March 22, 2013 1:35:42 PM

video rendering/encoding~ stick with CPU based programs... while NVidia's CUDA is pretty cool... and fast, it's also rather low quality, the CPU programs are best. so your video card should have nothing to do with this.

sound editing ~ sound tech was maxed out in the late 90's... current day cpus aren't challenged in the slightest by this. again, your video card has nothing to do with this.

gaming ~ best GPU out there for price/performance on one monitor is probably a 7950 or 7870 (or the varieties of cards in between like the 7870xt or 660ti)... the 7970 or 680/670 are a bit on the side of overkill for single monitor setups... so are any GPU with more then 2-3gb of ram.

As a sidenote: unless you like spending cash for no purpose, you can probably back off the CPU, down to an i5-3570k, as you'll notice zero gaming improvement between it and the i7... you also can safely back off the 1200w power supply, as your system (even with an i7 and 7970) will only draw like 400-500w when overclocked to an extreme level. a 700-800W PSU will be more then needed, even if down the road you descide to xfire/SLi your gpu.
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2013 3:27:30 PM

Thanks for the input. With that 2560 X 1440 display, you will definitely need 3GB or more of VRAM. So if you get an Nvidia, you will need a 4GB version. Speaking of graphics cards, the latest games, Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3 need more than any single board can dish out except perhaps for the Nvidia Titan. My son has a 680 and he cannot max out Far Cry 3 on his 1680 X 1050 display, and that is 15% less demanding than your 1920 X 1080 display and 52% less demanding than your proposed 2560 X 1440 display. The guys are right, the 1200W is way overkill. Get a top quality, platinum rated one that will run very cool and quiet. 850W is fine, even 1000W is overkill. Keep the 3770K processor. With video rendering, the hyperthreading will come in handy.

Water cooling is a big step. I'd recommend a Coolermaster EVO 212 for an excellent value, and a Noctua NH-C14 for water level cooling. The C14 cools as good as the famous Noctua NH-D14, but has the bonus of cooling the motherboard better and is a half pound lighter (1/4 Kg).

For actual graphics cards, its a religious decision. Either crossfired 7970's or two 670's in SLI. If you have more money than common sense, get two Nvidia Titans for the best possible graphics experience. Though you would need the large display before getting the second one.

Go for a cheaper motherboard, take the savings for your graphics cards. Asrock Extreme 6 is a good choice.

Cooler Master Storm Scout II seems to be the up and coming computer case.

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June 20, 2013 2:33:18 PM

Unless your doing a multi monitor setup then the 7970 might be overkill for you. If your really set on getting one and you can afford it then go for it but i just purchased a 7870xt and its just perfect for 1080p. Since gpu's are updated it seems like every week i would consider getting a 7870xt and don't buy a top of the line gpu until you will actually be able to utilize the component. You will be running a 1080p monitor. If your set on getting a 7970 then go with the vapor x, runs really cool and great for oc'ing it. Buy yourself an extra monitor and do a dual mirror screen setup.
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