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Upgrading my Computer (FX 8350, GTX 660 ti)

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April 8, 2013 4:47:33 PM

For a long time I've been wanting to build a custom gaming PC, one with an i5 3570K and a hd 7850, but unfortunately, my dad didn't think we'd get any benefit in doing so. We went ahead and bought a computer, the ASUS CM1745. I, of course, chose this and with some research too.

Here are all the details you need on this computer: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1688...

I bought it for it's on board graphics which beat anything in it's price range at this moment. The games I play are Minecraft and it can easily max it out at a safe FPS. This CPU can also run BF3 at Medium(Low doesn't make much of a difference) at 720p at 40 FPS, not amazing, but pretty good for a iGPU. I mean running Minecraft has always been a hassle for me with my past computers so this is a MAJOR step up.

I wish to use this Computer for Gaming, Video/Audio Editing, A bit of Animation, and Other Media Creation purposes.

Now I want to get the performance I've always dreamed of. In the future, however long that may be, I want to upgrade this computer. The first upgrade I wish to make is the PSU. The PSU on my computer right now just out of the box is only 300W...

My dream build had a 620W Seasonic, I think this was it:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I think that is enough to power all the parts all though, you can recommend another one if you like. I don't plan on overclocking and I doubt I even can, but eh. I may if I can in the future, although it's really nothing too urgent.

The Video Card I want to add to this computer is this bad boy, the MSI N660TI PE 2GD5: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I would prefer nVidia cards as the games I play are better optimized for nVidia cards so yeah. I am 110% sure I can max out BF3 with this card and still record as well. Unfortunately, the CPU I have currently (AMD A10 5700) is not strong enough and will bottleneck the card a little bit so I won't get the full performance of the card. For that reason, I have opted to also buy a new CPU.

The one I'm looking at is none other than the AMD FX 8350 8Core Processor 4.0 GHz: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Now I actually don't have that much knowledge with AMD CPU compatibility. They all seem to use the same AM3 Socket, does that mean that they are compatible for upgrade regardless of what motherboard you have as long as you have AM3? The Motherboard I have is an AMD A85 which obviously uses has an AM3 socket. Compatibility is all I really want, I don't really care about overclocking the CPU which I doubt is possible with this chipset. I have knowledge with Intel compatibility but not with AMD.

So those are basically all the necessary upgrades I wish to do in the future. I am going to buy the power supply and the video card in the same period of time, should cost $400 which I think my dad might even pay but I should be able to get that amount of money after working at a Library for 2 months. I would then add the CPU a little while later.

Here are some additional upgrades I will make:
I would also like to put in one more 1TB or 2TB Hard Drive (the system comes actually comes with 149GB and 765 GB HDD's rather than just a 1TB one, I actually like that though, I can keep things more organized). Eventually, the RAM as well, I actually have pretty good RAM right now (8GB DDR3 1600MHz), I would like to add maybe one more 4GB chip or 2 more 4GB chips, 16GB is the maximum supported on this system. I could also get an 120GB SSD when I feel like it and if I even have any more room for drives left. I also at the moment use an ASUS VH232H monitor which I actually regret buying because the VH236H is sooo much of a better deal but still it's great. I will for sure add a second monitor down the road if I can and it may be the VH236H or some other ASUS 23" 1080p monitor and if it is, then hopefully it can have a 2ms response rate and 120Hz Refresh Rate.

Thank you for reading this long post and please make sure that you read the specs of my computer in the link I've posted. I might be making a huge mistake somewhere and that would be bad. :(  I'm still pretty young and I've got a lot to learn, but I'm willing to. I plan on using this system for 3-4 years until I get into University and then I will build a fresh, new custom PC with the $1800 I will be saving. Once again, thank you in advance for any help that you may be of to me.
April 8, 2013 5:06:45 PM

The 660ti is a really good card so you made a good decision there. However the A10 APU is socket FM2, which is not the same as AM3 or AM3+. In order to get and FX you would have to buy a new motherboard. But I in my opinion the A10 is a very capable CPU and you won't really need a new one.

Another thing, 120Hz monitors are expensive, and the truth is that the difference is not THAT big to justify the price. If you'are on a specific budget I'd suggest you to forget about it.

The PSU is perfect. About the RAM, it works better it pairs so never add just one more.
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April 8, 2013 5:11:45 PM

songorocosongo said:
The 660ti is a really good card so you made a good decision there. However the A10 APU is socket FM2, which is not the same as AM3 or AM3+. In order to get and FX you would have to buy a new motherboard. But I in my opinion the A10 is a very capable CPU and you won't really need a new one.

Another thing, 120Hz monitors are expensive, and the truth is that the difference is not THAT big to justify the price. If you'are on a specific budget I'd suggest you to forget about it.

The PSU is perfect. About the RAM, it works better it pairs so never add just one more.


Thank you for the answer. Will the bottleneck be an issue though? Also, I've heard about the new A10 6800K coming out. Would that be a good upgrade?
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April 8, 2013 5:21:57 PM

I say buy everything except the CPU and try it first. I think it should handle everything pretty well except for gaming and recording at the same time, where the cp might struggle more. But try it first and if you don't feel happy about it the buy a new CPU and motherboard. You can also wait until your cpu gets older to upgrade it and then have the option to decide between AMD and Intel(this is what I would do, although I'd stick with AMD).

Going from one A10 to another will be too small of an improvement. You will pretty much waste more than $100
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April 8, 2013 6:29:02 PM

Bottleneck could become an issue. Actually the A10, and all APU's have no L3 cache on them, meaning those higher end video cards will more than likely run into bottlenecks, right at the card your talking about (660ti) is where the bottlenecks begin.

If you upgrade the CPU, you have to upgrade the MB to, which generally leads to buying a new OS, because OS licenses are tied to the Motherboard itself.

Here's what I'd recommend
Get the the I5-3470, same price as the FX 8350, but better performance
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Grab this MB (ASRock Z77 Pro4)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Then get this GPU(HIS IceQ H787Q2G2M Radeon HD 7870)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

You'll spend a little bit more, but the 7870 is on the same tier, according to Tom's charts, as the 660ti, for almost $100 less.
use that money saved on the GPU to buy the MB, and then see if microsoft would give you a new code for your OS, since your swapping MB, before ordering a new one. sometimes they are happy to do so.
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April 8, 2013 7:37:52 PM

tator_80 said:
Bottleneck could become an issue. Actually the A10, and all APU's have no L3 cache on them, meaning those higher end video cards will more than likely run into bottlenecks, right at the card your talking about (660ti) is where the bottlenecks begin.

If you upgrade the CPU, you have to upgrade the MB to, which generally leads to buying a new OS, because OS licenses are tied to the Motherboard itself.

Here's what I'd recommend
Get the the I5-3470, same price as the FX 8350, but better performance
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Grab this MB (ASRock Z77 Pro4)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Then get this GPU(HIS IceQ H787Q2G2M Radeon HD 7870)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

You'll spend a little bit more, but the 7870 is on the same tier, according to Tom's charts, as the 660ti, for almost $100 less.
use that money saved on the GPU to buy the MB, and then see if microsoft would give you a new code for your OS, since your swapping MB, before ordering a new one. sometimes they are happy to do so.


I think I'd be better off building a new system than going through all that. Just how bad will the bottleneck be? Like if I got 60fps in Battlefield normally would I get only 50? I'm okay with that. Though Battlefield is quite CPU intensive...Also, do the 560 ti or the 570 get bottlenecked with my CPU? I kind of overshot at my CPU because I knew I might have to deal with bottlenecking though I am not expert on this at all actually. I'm just trying to get the best I can with this system but I don't want to go through any major hassles. I do not wish to switch my motherboard. The combination you've recommended is very close to the one I wanted to build except with the i5 3570k and Extreme 4 mobo. I wouldn't mind an ATI equivalent card though the nvidia equivalent of the ati performs better in the games I wish to play. :(  Still help is appreciated. I could also take the inexpensive route and get a Radeon hd 6670 and crossfire it with my on board graphics which is what my initial plan was but now that I'm willing to upgrade the PSU, I'm just trying to see how high I can go. Once again, thanks for the answer.
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April 8, 2013 8:52:54 PM

I think you misunderstand the bottleneck.
When a card is bottle-necked it's not that it slows the FPS down below what you would already be getting. With that card you would still be getting better FPS at the same settings you already run, but if you decide to bump up to high or ultra, the CPU might not be able to keep up, limiting the what the card can do.

As far as equivalent to Nvidia and ATI, the ATI cards are at the moment the better cards for gaming. The drivers AMD released have pushed the hardware beyond what the Nividia cards can do right now. The Nvidia cards are more efficient than the AMD cards(Use less power), but the AMD cards are better right now. These two companies flip-flop continuously on who has the better card, but $ for $, AMD has the better cards.
As far as nvidia performing better in certain games, thats usually not the case. You wont ever really notice the difference, certain features might be enabled depending on the brand (different Anti-Aliasing and such), but no real performance difference. When it comes to video editing, that's where manufacturers matter. Nvidia cards are usually supported in video editing software(After Effects) more so than AMD cards.

The 6670 wouldn't be bottle-necked i don't believe, since it is an older card, that would probably be your best option, if you aren't trying to do a complete rebuild. It'll hold you over as a cheaper solution until you can. Also, you can find 6670's without on board fans(meaning they get all the power the require from the PCI Slot without extra 6pin or 8pin connectors). That will save you money on a PSU for the time being, considering your system came with a 300W PSU

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April 9, 2013 5:33:18 AM

I think you should still get the better GPU and the PSU 'cause if you don't want to upgrade your system in a few years, the 660ti will get you a much better gaming experience. About the bottleneck, I use a Phenom X4 II 970BE (no OC) with a GTX 660(non Ti) and I can play BF3 on 64-plaer servers around 60fps all the time. Your CPU's gaming performance is pretty equall to mine and the 660Ti is a little better, so you can expect results close to mine.
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April 9, 2013 9:12:03 AM

Like I said earlier, APU's are different from normal CPU's. Phenom X4 have L3 cache, that's why you can take advantage of the 660. His A10 does not have L3 cache, so he would not be able to take advantage of the same kind of transfer bandwidth you can. The processor wont be able to handle all that your GPU can. Even the cheaper Intel dual core Pentium processors, with a 660 or 660ti, would get that kind of performance.

I'm not saying he wouldn't get the same performance, but there is no sense in getting it, if you can't take full advantage of it, that's the way i look at things
If you going to get a high end card, don't let a FM2 socket APU drag it down. Discrete cards like the 660 ti and up can take care of all your graphical needs. Get a CPU that can take care of all your processing needs
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April 9, 2013 9:27:50 AM

tator_80 said:
Like I said earlier, APU's are different from normal CPU's. Phenom X4 have L3 cache, that's why you can take advantage of the 660. His A10 does not have L3 cache, so he would not be able to take advantage of the same kind of transfer bandwidth you can. The processor wont be able to handle all that your GPU can. Even the cheaper Intel dual core Pentium processors, with a 660 or 660ti, would get that kind of performance.

I'm not saying he wouldn't get the same performance, but there is no sense in getting it, if you can't take full advantage of it, that's the way i look at things
If you going to get a high end card, don't let a FM2 socket APU drag it down. Discrete cards like the 660 ti and up can take care of all your graphical needs. Get a CPU that can take care of all your processing needs


I've read that the lack of L3 cache lowers the performance by 20%. Does this mean 20% less fps? If I get 60 fps normally I should still be able to maintain 50 fps and that's perfectly fine with me. I can run the game right now fine at Medium settings and 720p with my APU on campaign mode. I think what I will do is exactly what you have recommended and that I will keep the system and later upgrade the rest of it. I will get the new motherboard and the new CPU Probably i5 3570K and the ASRock Extreme 4 z77 mobo. Will I need to upgrade my case too?
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April 9, 2013 9:48:13 AM

Kinda. medium and lower settings wont really affect it to bad, higher settings is where the bottleneck of that percentage really comes in.
If you plan to overclock, then a 3570k is an awsome CPU, if you dont plan to ever overclock, a locked core will save you some money, its just a thought.
As far as the case, you will have to open the case and find some identification for your motherboard to determine if its a ATX, micro atx, mini atx.
Most cases support atx and micro atx, but i would try to make sure. Sometimes you can tell by the stand off patterns on the MB itself as to what kind it is. If you truly want the Extreme 4 Mobo, it also comes in a micro atx size if your case doesn't support atx
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April 9, 2013 7:02:53 PM

tator_80 said:
Kinda. medium and lower settings wont really affect it to bad, higher settings is where the bottleneck of that percentage really comes in.
If you plan to overclock, then a 3570k is an awsome CPU, if you dont plan to ever overclock, a locked core will save you some money, its just a thought.
As far as the case, you will have to open the case and find some identification for your motherboard to determine if its a ATX, micro atx, mini atx.
Most cases support atx and micro atx, but i would try to make sure. Sometimes you can tell by the stand off patterns on the MB itself as to what kind it is. If you truly want the Extreme 4 Mobo, it also comes in a micro atx size if your case doesn't support atx


Could you give me an exact number in performance drop? If it really is 20 % less frame rate at Ultra then I could wait more and save up even more if I can on maybe an i7 as I am going to be video editing and renderring. If I really could, I could save up for maybe a year to get the Asus Sabertooth z79 and get an i7 3820 or 4820 as that'll probably be out by the time I upgrade these parts. I'd like to stay on the LGA 2011 socket for future updates. Though this is highly unlikely to happen, but it's an idea. If that is the case, then is it possible to keep this computer forever by upgrading? Well technically, it won't be the same computer anymore because almost everything (except the DVD Drive) will be upgraded.
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April 10, 2013 8:47:24 PM

I would just get the 6670. Its a cheap gpu that would improve your fps running with the APU, and you really wouldn't be taking much of a risk considering it is a cheap card. If you plan on doing a $1800 build when you go off to college, then stick it out. You'll get decent fps for the time being, not like the APU is a bad chip, its just ment as cheaper alternative to a CPU and discrete card for people looking to save some money.

If your planning on doing an $1800 build, let me know. I'm building my friends PC this weekend, we spent around $1840 and the pc has some ridiculous specs(plus some added extra's he wanted). If we hadn't got all these little extras, he'd probably have 2 7970's instead of a single card, but none the less a beyond great system.

For $1800 on a LGA2011... That wont get you as far as you think. Mobo's for that socket, cost anywhere from $200 to $400, the CPU's start at around $600, so right there is over half your budget. It's a great socket, but it's not that useful unless your running Adobe After Effects rendering out 5 to 6 videos at a time. An I7-3770k will be more than enough.
Intel is supposed to be releasing Haswell chips here pretty soon, which will lead to the new LGA 1150 socket. Maybe consider sticking it out untill then, maybe till broadwell (but those might be soldered to the board).
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April 11, 2013 7:08:54 PM

songorocosongo said:
I think you should still get the better GPU and the PSU 'cause if you don't want to upgrade your system in a few years, the 660ti will get you a much better gaming experience. About the bottleneck, I use a Phenom X4 II 970BE (no OC) with a GTX 660(non Ti) and I can play BF3 on 64-plaer servers around 60fps all the time. Your CPU's gaming performance is pretty equall to mine and the 660Ti is a little better, so you can expect results close to mine.


tator_80 said:
I would just get the 6670. Its a cheap gpu that would improve your fps running with the APU, and you really wouldn't be taking much of a risk considering it is a cheap card. If you plan on doing a $1800 build when you go off to college, then stick it out. You'll get decent fps for the time being, not like the APU is a bad chip, its just ment as cheaper alternative to a CPU and discrete card for people looking to save some money.

If your planning on doing an $1800 build, let me know. I'm building my friends PC this weekend, we spent around $1840 and the pc has some ridiculous specs(plus some added extra's he wanted). If we hadn't got all these little extras, he'd probably have 2 7970's instead of a single card, but none the less a beyond great system.

For $1800 on a LGA2011... That wont get you as far as you think. Mobo's for that socket, cost anywhere from $200 to $400, the CPU's start at around $600, so right there is over half your budget. It's a great socket, but it's not that useful unless your running Adobe After Effects rendering out 5 to 6 videos at a time. An I7-3770k will be more than enough.
Intel is supposed to be releasing Haswell chips here pretty soon, which will lead to the new LGA 1150 socket. Maybe consider sticking it out untill then, maybe till broadwell (but those might be soldered to the board).


Thanks for the suggestions. Still though, what would be the best GPU that doesn't get bottlenecked for my computer? Would a GTX 560 ti still get bottlenecked or how about a Radeon HD 7850/7870? What would you say the best GPU for me would be if I am willing to pay $300? (PSU+GPU)
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April 11, 2013 8:40:58 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

That's Tom's hierarchy charts for the GPu's. 7870( depending on whether you get the LE version or just normal 7870, is on par with the 670 or 660ti respectively, so i think they would still bottleneck there. 7850 is a tier below the 7870, then the 560ti a tier below that. 6 tiers below the 560ti is the 6670.
For $300? I'm guessing thats the price for both total

PowerColor PCS+ AX7870 Radeon HD 7870 MYST. Edition (Tahiti LE) 2GB $249

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CX600M 600W $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

about $328.. but you definitely do not wont to skimp out on the power supply. Doesn't seem majorly important, but you always want to get a trusted and solid psu.
If you want to get that card and just live with the bottleneck until you can replace the cpu, the 7870LE would fall right into the new system considering its the equivalent to the 670 price wise(a little bit slower than the 670 though)
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April 13, 2013 1:34:04 PM

tator_80 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

That's Tom's hierarchy charts for the GPu's. 7870( depending on whether you get the LE version or just normal 7870, is on par with the 670 or 660ti respectively, so i think they would still bottleneck there. 7850 is a tier below the 7870, then the 560ti a tier below that. 6 tiers below the 560ti is the 6670.
For $300? I'm guessing thats the price for both total

PowerColor PCS+ AX7870 Radeon HD 7870 MYST. Edition (Tahiti LE) 2GB $249

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CX600M 600W $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

about $328.. but you definitely do not wont to skimp out on the power supply. Doesn't seem majorly important, but you always want to get a trusted and solid psu.
If you want to get that card and just live with the bottleneck until you can replace the cpu, the 7870LE would fall right into the new system considering its the equivalent to the 670 price wise(a little bit slower than the 670 though)


So would a 560 ti be bottlenecked? I'm sorry, I don't know much about this. Does bottlenecking mean that my system is restricted to a certain amount of performance or does it mean that I'll get a certain percentage of performance drop the higher I go up in GFX cards? I don't think think I want to upgrade my CPU to be honest. Just how bad is the bottleneck for the card you suggested?
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April 13, 2013 1:54:21 PM

ok. Let's put it this way. The slowest part of your system is what determines the speed of it. So if you have a high end GPU and a low end CPU, if the CPU is still determining where someone is aiming at, how is the GPU supposed to draw it out? It can result in graphical studdering. I would try to avoid that. Go with the 6670 if you don't want to upgrade the CPU. That card is a cheap one, so its not much risk. 560ti would be pushing the bottleneck i believe
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April 13, 2013 8:06:32 PM

tator_80 said:
ok. Let's put it this way. The slowest part of your system is what determines the speed of it. So if you have a high end GPU and a low end CPU, if the CPU is still determining where someone is aiming at, how is the GPU supposed to draw it out? It can result in graphical studdering. I would try to avoid that. Go with the 6670 if you don't want to upgrade the CPU. That card is a cheap one, so its not much risk. 560ti would be pushing the bottleneck i believe


Thank you. I actually have seen someone on YouTube who commentates and his specs are an A6-3650 and a 560 ti which is why I thought about upgrading my PC to the 660 ti. I am pretty sure he gets bottlenecks too then. You said that the bottlenecks for my CPU start at 660 ti so I was just making sure. I think upgrading to the 6670 would be a last resort for me if I can't upgrade to anything better. Just how bad would the bottleneck be for the 560 ti? Would it be very noticeable or is it possible to live with it? Is it threatening or anything to my system? I won't push the settings if I am really having trouble, I don't mind playing BF3 on High Settings if I need to. If I am willing to spend the money, what's the best card that I should get? I don't really mind living with the bottleneck if it's not threatening to my system. I read that it means I will be able to still get a decent frame rate, but I just won't be able to get the full performance the card which is okay with me. Would the 7870 you recommended still be a good choice if I wanted to live with the bottleneck for another 3 years?
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April 13, 2013 8:56:33 PM

If your willing to spend the 7870 LE would be the better card. There is a difference from the standard 7870. 7870 LE runs on the Tahiti Chipset (same chipset as the 7950 & 7970), just a crippled version,compared to the older chipset, but its only about $20 more. Also make sure to get that PSU. If your willing to get it and live with the bottleneck, its a great card. It's one of those cards that you could really find where the bottleneck will happen. That card is almost on the same level as the GTX 670 for way cheaper.
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April 14, 2013 7:54:16 AM

tator_80 said:
If your willing to spend the 7870 LE would be the better card. There is a difference from the standard 7870. 7870 LE runs on the Tahiti Chipset (same chipset as the 7950 & 7970), just a crippled version,compared to the older chipset, but its only about $20 more. Also make sure to get that PSU. If your willing to get it and live with the bottleneck, its a great card. It's one of those cards that you could really find where the bottleneck will happen. That card is almost on the same level as the GTX 670 for way cheaper.


Ok. If it's not threatening or anything. I've read that this Card gets really hot and the fan makes a lot of noise? Won't be too much of a big deal though. So how do I think I'll be doing in performance regarding the bottleneck? How many frames would I be able to maintain in battlefield?
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April 14, 2013 10:13:18 AM

Not really sure as far as that's concerned. It's just depending on settings. I've never had to deal with a bottleneck. I just know of the 's performance issues it can cause. The card can get hot and make noise, but it's usually only under a full load
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April 18, 2013 6:07:02 PM

tator_80 said:
Not really sure as far as that's concerned. It's just depending on settings. I've never had to deal with a bottleneck. I just know of the 's performance issues it can cause. The card can get hot and make noise, but it's usually only under a full load


Ok thanks! Anything else I should be wary of? I still keep thinking of opting for the GTX 560 ti. I keep thinking that bottlenecking is really bad. Just how bad does the 560 ti get bottlenecked? I've read that nVidia cards are better with OpenGL. If I do get the 7870 le is there anything I should worry about?
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April 18, 2013 8:17:03 PM

Yea.. Bottlenecking is back, but you cant really compare the 560ti to a 7870 LE. 560ti is about 2 or 3 tiers below the 7870LE (same tier as the GTX 670, just a tad slower). I personally have a Gigabyte 670, so don't think I'm recommending a card because of loyalty to a certain brand. Right now though, the 7870 LE offers the best performance at the price you want, so don't change just because of OpenGL. There are other processes that AMD cards will kill nVidia cards at.
nVidia and AMD go back and forth in competition with GPU's, so there isn't really a clear leader like the competition between intel and AMD processors.
Even with a 560ti it'll start to bottleneck, so might as well get the most bang for the $
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April 19, 2013 5:35:55 AM

tator_80 said:
Yea.. Bottlenecking is back, but you cant really compare the 560ti to a 7870 LE. 560ti is about 2 or 3 tiers below the 7870LE (same tier as the GTX 670, just a tad slower). I personally have a Gigabyte 670, so don't think I'm recommending a card because of loyalty to a certain brand. Right now though, the 7870 LE offers the best performance at the price you want, so don't change just because of OpenGL. There are other processes that AMD cards will kill nVidia cards at.
nVidia and AMD go back and forth in competition with GPU's, so there isn't really a clear leader like the competition between intel and AMD processors.
Even with a 560ti it'll start to bottleneck, so might as well get the most bang for the $



Alright, thanks! :) 

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