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First Build; Need help with GPU choice for i5-3570k machine (Gaming)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 28, 2013 11:53:46 AM

The build so far: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xgVs

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: ???
Case: Rosewill THOR V2-W ATX Full Tower Case
PSU: Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (Purchased)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)

Most of this build is based upon suggestions from this web site, both the forums and the Best Gaming CPU/GPU for the price August 2013 blogs. I would have chosen the Intel Core i5 3350P, because I've never overclocked before(and it's cheaper), but after reading through most of the suggestions on the forums it seems to be only a slight risk if using the Cooler and Mobo listed above. The RAM and Storage seem to be easy enough choices, along with the Optical Drive and OS. The power supply I've chosen was based upon an assumption that my old PC's PSU had failed, however the damage to that machine was beyond the PSU, I've tested the system and it had no effect on bringing it back to life (hence the new build). So I have the PSU, and have chosen the Rosewill Thor Full Tower Case because my hope is that the PSU will fit will in that same brand name case. I'm open to suggestions and advice on all of the above, aside from the PSU obviously since it's already purchased.

And so I come to the GPU. At first I had hoped to only spend ~$200 on a gpu but since I've chosen the i5-3570k and hope to eventually OC, why would I not bump up my spending on the GPU? I'm now willing so spend upwards of ~$400 though obviously cheaper is still better. I tried my best to learn and decide upon an appropriate gpu based on the August 2013 best for the price guide but really have no idea how to judge which of those cards will fit into the build best, considering how many different choices there are when considering chipset, individual models, and makers available on pcpartpicker.

At the end of the day I hope to play Starcraft II with absolutely no hiccups, as well as other games on high settings.
August 28, 2013 11:58:04 AM

Well, honestly, I'd grab either a 7950 if you want to keep it cheap. But if you want to make a good investment, look into either a 760 or 7970 and OC it.
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August 28, 2013 11:59:47 AM

Then I would suggest either a GTX-760 or a Radeon 7950. You can find them both for around 250$ and their performance is pretty close to each other.
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August 28, 2013 12:03:41 PM

If you don't care about the money, go for the GTX 770 which would be better than any AMD card except for HD 7990. You're good to go!
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August 28, 2013 12:04:36 PM

In agreement with the first two suggestions. You can find deals on the Radeon 7950 various editions for at the $200 mark very regularly now. The 760 will give you similar performance with some possible higher overclocking headroom, especially if you go with a non-reference cooler designed card. If your budget is ~400 max for the GPU, go with a single now and get a second of the card you end up with in the future if future performance issues demand it.
Unless you are running 3 monitors and the most demanding games at the highest settings, there is no reason to spend over $250 for a GPU.
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August 28, 2013 12:06:42 PM

dwatterworth said:
In agreement with the first two suggestions. You can find deals on the Radeon 7950 various editions for at the $200 mark very regularly now. The 760 will give you similar performance with some possible higher overclocking headroom, especially if you go with a non-reference cooler designed card. If your budget is ~400 max for the GPU, go with a single now and get a second of the card you end up with in the future if future performance issues demand it.
Unless you are running 3 monitors and the most demanding games at the highest settings, there is no reason to spend over $250 for a GPU.


Not disagreeing with your post. But why not gettinng a GTX 770, then when needed go for a second GTX 770? That provides more performance than GTX titan. What do you think? ;) 
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August 28, 2013 12:17:34 PM

Id recommend the 7950. Its a little over budget, yes, but its a great performing card and a fantastic overclocker (we're talking 670 level) AND the deciding factor is that with this card AMD will give you 3 free games! (good games) which is incredible value.

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-R7950-TWIN-FROZR-3GD5/dp/B007...

Id personally go for this model as i believe it has a 7970 PCB.

However, if youre someone who absolutely insists on getting an NVIDIA card, id recommend the GTX 760, similar price to 7950 and about the same performance, however you only get one game - splinter cell blacklist. But obviously you get those lovely NVIDIA exclusive features like physx, adaptive vsync and soon shadow play!

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Dual-Link-Graphics-0...

Id personally go for evga, msi or asus. So which ever is cheapest.


BUT if youre determined on keeping around the price around 200 or less.... it'd have to be the 7870. You still get 2 free games with this card as well!! So still amazing value.

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Mini-Displayport-PCI-Exp...

Id go gigabyte for their quiet effiecient cooler, but if you really need that $20...

http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Mini-DiplayPort-Express-Graph...

The HIS model is still good, but bare in mind its cooler hangs over, making it more like a triple slot card.



If you're unable to get one of the first two cards, id highly recommend switching to an 8350 or 8320 instead of the 3570k. (assuming you dont already own the 3570k) so you can get a better gpu. Hope i helped. :) 
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August 28, 2013 12:20:11 PM

If you check the comparisons of card performance, the 770 performs ~10%-20% better in most games versus the 760. Link to Anandtech GPU benches: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/854?vs=829

The 770 however costs 62% more than the 760. The cost doesn't justify the result. Not knowing the Desired resolution, just say 1080 for the majority of monitors purchased, the differences perceived would be very slight if at all.
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August 28, 2013 1:29:38 PM

Thank you guys for all the advice. I like the idea of getting the more affordable 760 or 7950 and doubling up in the future should I require the added performance. I am still wondering about the specific advantages of getting one over the other. Based on bradley3103's response it seems that the 7950 has the ability to OC whereas the 760 has physx and vsync features? I'm totally inexperienced in the OC department, doing so with the i5-3750k will be my first go, and adding another oc in the form of the 7950 sounds a little intimidating. Also, are the physx and vsync features significant enough to choose the 760 on that alone? Again thank you guys for all the advice.
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August 28, 2013 1:37:58 PM

Both cards will overclock pretty well. The cooler that is built on the GPU will make the most difference with that. Keeping the GPU and memory chips cooler = more overclocking potential for the lower level/automatic overclocking. Most manufacturers include an automatic overclock feature that will do a pretty good job.

Most motherboards also include software that is similar, giving you a baseline overclock that isn't always as optimized as if you tweak all the settings yourself, but will give you a pretty solid result.

PhysX isn't in all the games, especially strategy games like SC II that you referenced, you'll mostly see it on first person shooters, maybe ~20% of them? Those are just minor add-ons, it's mostly what will give you the most bang for you buck, especially if you don't want to get into the nitty gritty settings just yet. For that, the previous comments on the games included in a 7950 purchase (look at the titles you can choose from to see if any interest you/make it worth it), otherwise the 760 makes more sense if you think you might go with a dual card setup in the future.

AMD previously had issues with dual video card setups but are improving the issues very quickly, but currently the Nvidia cards are rock solid in the dual video card performance department.
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