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Want to upgrade my Alienware Aurora for SWTOR and other games.

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June 8, 2013 6:51:56 PM

Hello. I want to upgrade my Alienware Aurora so that I can get better FPS in SWTOR and other games.

I have an I7 920 2.6ghz
Radeon HD 6770
6 gigs of ram (not sure which) 6 one gig sticks.

In SWTOR my frames are fine until I enter a 16man raid and everyone starts casting spells thats when my frames drop to 15-20. I also installed Metro2033 a few days ago and I can play it fine on normal quality settings but if I turn it up to high or very high I get low frames.

I was thinking I'd start by upgrading the video card and ram. I'm thinking about the HD Radeon 7950. I read that its almost as good as the 7970 and 100 bucks cheaper.

Any info or suggestions would be much appreciated :) 
June 8, 2013 7:02:55 PM

You heard correctly. The 7950 is pretty close in performance to a 7970 and the 7950 can be easily overclocked to exceed the 7970. Just make sure your PSU is at least 500 watts or higher with two 6-pin pci-e connectors. I have a feeling your system already has that covered but always best to be sure.
June 8, 2013 7:10:37 PM

Hey Vyrisus thanks for the reply. I'm new to this site so this is my first time posting not even sure where to reply heh but I guess this will work.
So my PSU is 875 watts and it does have the two 6 pin conne ctors there. I saw it when I opened it up my 6770 is plugged into one of them. I'm not sure if they are pci-e though. The pci ports are the 2.0 ones. Someone told me I had 1.0 so I was worried about that but I looked up the motherboard and it was 2.0.
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June 8, 2013 7:12:39 PM

The best graphics card for the money page on tomshardware says the 7950 is the best card for 300 bucks. I've seen a few videos about some people saying that the 660 gtx ti is actually better. who knows. Either way I'm sure they are neck and neck.

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June 8, 2013 7:14:14 PM
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Your power supply should be fine. You have more than enough power and from what you said it sounds like you have the right connectors, I say have at it. The 7950 will be a huge improvement over your current card. I think you'll really enjoy it :) 

Edit: Didn't see the last post there about the 660Ti vs 7950. They are very close in performance. Stock. However, the 7950 has a couple of advantages that set it apart. The first being that most 7950's are typically great overclockers, the 660Ti's usually aren't. While there are a couple games that are exceptions, in general a 660Ti overclocked is not going to touch a 7950 overclocked. The 7950 also has a much wider memory bus at 384 vs 192. The 660Ti is a good card but I still think the 7950 has more potential and more value.
June 8, 2013 7:16:58 PM

That's what ill get then. Any suggestions on the brand? I know there are differences in cooling and size but I'm not sure how significant they are and some of them come with 5 new games which is nice.
June 8, 2013 7:26:05 PM

Well, I really enjoy the one I have as it has a great cooler and it is not voltage locked. I am getting great performance out of it. However, the only knock against the HIS IceQ turbo is that the VRAM they use does not overclock quite as high as some other brands (like MSI and Sapphire).

It really comes down to personal preference. I myself have been very happy with mine though and it is rated as one of the better ones out there.
June 8, 2013 7:31:44 PM

I keep hearing bad things about overclocking. stuff like oh you can fry your machine or it wont last as long. I'm hoping I don't have to overclock it anytime soon and that it will run all current games on on max settings without frame loss and without being overclocked. But it's definitely good to know that when the time comes to overclock it will be good for that. I guess it's like you said that it comes down to personal preference. I think I'll pick the one that I think looks the coolest lol or comes with the games. Thanks a lot for your input Vyrisus, much appreciated.
June 8, 2013 7:41:41 PM

Here are some links to some of the more popular 7950's out there:

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

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

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

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

Also, as far as overclocking, on the 7950's I can confidently say that 1050mhz core and 1350mhz memory will pretty much be a sure bet at stock voltage no matter which model you choose. Most go considerably higher. In the end it is the user's choice whether to OC or not, but it isn't as dangerous as some would have you believe. I think you'll enjoy the card whether you OC it or not though :) 



June 8, 2013 7:42:57 PM

Thank you very much you've been a great help. I'll check out those links now.
June 8, 2013 8:03:33 PM

Don't buy the Mac (white) one. You're paying extra for it simply because it can be used in a Mac. The other one isn't bad, and it is voltage unlocked, but it has a reference cooler design and those can get very noisy under load. If you don't mind the noise and you like the look of it (and I realize that's important for many), then it's not a bad choice.
June 8, 2013 8:26:39 PM

Pavel Pokidaylo said:
meh looks not that important :)  I do like the sleek look but im just going to throw it in my rig and never see it. I've seen a number of posts praising http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The Sapphire is good, but it is voltage locked. Honestly though, that's only important if you plan to OC the card to its limits and it doesn't sound like that's a major concern for you right now, so I would say it'd be a good choice. I think you'd be happy with it.

!