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Budget graphic card for 1600p

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 26, 2013 4:05:15 PM

Hello all.

I'm looking for some help from expert here, as my question isn't as most of the case.

I got a nice u3011 from dell that is simply terrific that I got as a gift from my last boss. Running it with my old comp I hardly get 30 fps with minimum setting at 2560x1600 and I can't simply accept using lower resolution since it looks so bad compared to 2560.

I've got a q9550 quad core not overclocked and a small 4gb ram and a gtx 280 and 550w fatal1ty power supply.

I managed to save a 325$ cad for an upgrade.

I planned spending all of it on a video card and then fix my ram in 2-3 months.

At the moment, I'm pretty much decided on the 760, but don't know if i'm right.
Saw the EVGA stock cooler with 4gb at 289 on newegg.ca (316$ shipping and tx included) which fit in my budget or 259$ for the 2bg of most brand with their aftermarket cooler. Since I'm gonna run 2560 I was thinking 4gb was worth the 30$ over the other, even if it doesn't have an upgraded cooler.

I don't like the amd at all since their early beginning when they fucked AA(kinda of sanded the image instead of putting AA and getting it all blurred) to get higher benchmark back at geforce 1 time. I know this was way back but I keep my idea of what they did back then and will always hate them :p 

Now, hating them doesn't mean I'm completly closed to the idea of one of their product if proved to be superior now, but it must be a real noticable difference otherwise I'm sold to Nvidia.

Which card would you guys go with, 760 4gb, 2gb with aftermarket cooler or something I didn't think about that would perform great at 2560 at a 325$ cad (shipping and tx included) price point ?

Thanks for your help!

a c 115 U Graphics card
June 26, 2013 4:15:15 PM

Heya,

Congrats on the U3011. I absolutely love mine, best investment that I ever made.

With that in mind, AMD's GCN architecture currently has a noticeable edge at high resolutions over NVidia's GK104 based GPUs. The GK110 based Titan and GTX 780 are better, but also much more expensive. The extra memory bandwidth is an absolute necessity to power the 2560x1600 display at a respectable resolution and the 660/670/760/770 just don't have what it takes.

I would highly recommend getting a 7970 (I have two powering mine, so I can vouch for them) or waiting a few months until the next series is released before making an investment.

What you must not do under any circumstances is get a graphics card with less than 3GiB of video memory. Many games including Max Payne 3, Skyrim, and Crysis will break the 2GiB barrier at that resolution.
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June 26, 2013 7:36:44 PM

Not going with something under 3 gb is the reason I am looking at this one : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
instead of the others 2gb version. I never pushed any game further then minimum since I got my u3011 as my gpu wont let me.

the 7970 you told me about break my limit of 325$ by almost 100, so that's a no go for me. Any other options out there ?
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June 26, 2013 8:05:26 PM

For that res you want a 780
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June 26, 2013 8:15:44 PM

780+ or 7970+ its best to just save up you won't be doing your display any favors with anything less. But with that processor you'll get a pretty bad bottleneck. I have a drastic alternative, at least its what I would do. Sell the monitor, and use the money from that plus what you already have to get a new PC and a 1080p monitor.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
June 27, 2013 6:48:41 AM

Laethageal said:
Not going with something under 3 gb is the reason I am looking at this one : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
instead of the others 2gb version. I never pushed any game further then minimum since I got my u3011 as my gpu wont let me.

the 7970 you told me about break my limit of 325$ by almost 100, so that's a no go for me. Any other options out there ?


The memory bandwidth is as important as the memory capacity. Even the 4GB GK104 based cards perform only marginally better than the 2GB GK104 based cards and both perform less than the 3GB Tahiti based cards.

There's really no offering which you can purchase for $325 that will do that display justice. A 7970 is a good starting point and it may drop in price in a few months.
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June 27, 2013 4:43:22 PM

I wasn't aware of the bandwidth vs mem capacity for the 2560x1600 but I read about it a little bit and what you say make sense. Thank you for your help. Btw I found a dealer selling open box that offer a 7950 3gb for 250 tx included or a 770 2gb msi OC for 350. You said 2gb isn't enough, is it true with the 770 too ? He had some 7970 for sale at 340 but he sold his last one yesterday damn it. Go for the 7950 3gb, 770 2gb or wait and see if I can get the same deal on the 7970?

Btw guys, I won't ever sell that marvelous u3011. I know my cpu is outdated but I plan to upgrade it in somewhere close to 6 months and get something like an i7-4770k or the like. Simply wanna make a one time purchase for the video card.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
June 27, 2013 6:59:09 PM

Laethageal said:
I wasn't aware of the bandwidth vs mem capacity for the 2560x1600 but I read about it a little bit and what you say make sense. Thank you for your help. Btw I found a dealer selling open box that offer a 7950 3gb for 250 tx included or a 770 2gb msi OC for 350. You said 2gb isn't enough, is it true with the 770 too ? He had some 7970 for sale at 340 but he sold his last one yesterday damn it. Go for the 7950 3gb, 770 2gb or wait and see if I can get the same deal on the 7970?

Btw guys, I won't ever sell that marvelous u3011. I know my cpu is outdated but I plan to upgrade it in somewhere close to 6 months and get something like an i7-4770k or the like. Simply wanna make a one time purchase for the video card.


At this point in time I would recommend waiting until the Christmas season. At that point you're much more likely to be able to pick up either a new 8000 series card, an affordable GK110 based card, or an affordable Tahiti based card. You have a glorious display and there's no point in half assing an upgrade that may be hampered by a somewhat dated CPU. That display still works quite well at 1920x1200 (same aspect ratio, don't accidentally set it to 1920x1080) which should be easier for the GTX 280 to drive.
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