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Upgrading to GTX 770 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB

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September 16, 2013 9:11:26 AM

Hi there,

Since I started playing some hardcore games that really require a good system I thought I might want to upgrade it.

My current system:
-Processor: AMD FX-6100 (Six cores, stock clockspeed)
-Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 7770 (1GB, stock) (It's bad, I know...)
-Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 (It has PCI 2.0 slots)
-Memory: 8 GB RAM, Corsair XMS3-1333, 2x 4096 MB
-Power supply: 600W Coolermaster

I think the main reason why I won't get that much FPS in games like Battlefield 3 is my graphics card. I'm looking to upgrade it to an AMD Radeon HD 7970 (3GB) or an Nvidia GTX 770. Both cards are around 300 euros. Got some questions though:

Can my power supply / motherboard handle those cards?
Shoud I upgrade to the GTX 770 or the HD 7970 or do you have some better alternatives?
If I buy one of these, what brand do I choose? Like EVGA, XFX, Asus, etc.?

Hope I gave enough information, and thanks in advance!
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2013 9:21:24 AM

Your power supply is enough to handle either card. If you want to crossfire, then I'd look at upgrading.
Both are good cards, but at the same price I would probably get the 770 since AMD will soon announce their new cards (you could wait for that too :) ).
I tend to like Sapphire, Gigabyte and Asus for brands.
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a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2013 9:21:41 AM

You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829
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September 16, 2013 9:29:52 AM

lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?

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Best solution

September 16, 2013 9:44:00 AM

socialassassin said:
Your power supply is enough to handle either card. If you want to crossfire, then I'd look at upgrading.
Both are good cards, but at the same price I would probably get the 770 since AMD will soon announce their new cards (you could wait for that too :) ).
I tend to like Sapphire, Gigabyte and Asus for brands.


I was having this debate myself, and while the person above me linked some benchmarks where the 7970 pulls ahead, I found that the games I was more interested in the 770 was performing better. And the card I bought, the ASUS DCU II OC, seemed to steadily outperform the 7970 GHz edition. My card clocks itself to 1306 MHz and handles everything quite well while never breaking 69 C and being quite quiet.

Another reason I bought the 770 was I have more experience with Nvidia cards and have been happy with them, where I have had some issues overclocking and with microstuttering on the AMD card I bought for my wife. In my opinion Nvidia seem to have better and more accessible software and support. Also I am considering going SLI in the future and the AMD cards were having a lot of issues with crossfire and micro stuttering. I believe a recent update has mostly fixed that issue, but taking that long to fix such a large issue makes me lose a bit of faith.

I'm sure you will be very happy with either card, and both will perform very well, but those are my personal opinions above. The 7970 is also available for an amazing value right now, with not much lower average performance.

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September 16, 2013 9:46:39 AM

loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



He means that your CPU would be limiting the performance of your system.
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a b À AMD
a b Î Nvidia
a c 112 U Graphics card
September 16, 2013 11:57:34 AM

loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.
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September 17, 2013 7:11:48 AM

toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?
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a b À AMD
a b Î Nvidia
a c 112 U Graphics card
September 17, 2013 7:18:01 AM

loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?


Hi - Yes, even tho most CM PSU's are not of good quality, a system with either of those cards
does not need a 600w unit. If you post the model #, I can dbl check and insure you have enough+12v amps,
which is more important than total wattage. Your CPU & GPU both draw their current from the
+12v rail(s).

Yes, post model # here. There some CM 600's that do not have enough +12v amps for that
system. Older & cheaper designs didn't always put enough power on the +12v rail(s).

If that turns out to be the case & you don't have enough funds to upgrade your PSU, you could
kepp your current PSU & go with a 7970 vs a 770, as it requires considerably less +12v amps.
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September 17, 2013 7:27:06 AM

toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?


Hi - Yes, even tho most CM PSU's are not of good quality, a system with either of those cards
does not need a 600w unit. If you post the model #, I can dbl check and insure you have enough+12v amps,
which is more important than total wattage. Your CPU & GPU both draw their current from the
+12v rail(s).

Yes, post model # here. There some CM 600's that do not have enough +12v amps for that
system. Older & cheaper designs didn't always put enough power on the +12v rail(s).


Ok, here is my exact power supply: Cooler Master K-350 Advanced 3.0 Red
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a b À AMD
a b Î Nvidia
a c 112 U Graphics card
September 17, 2013 7:35:25 AM

loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?


Hi - Yes, even tho most CM PSU's are not of good quality, a system with either of those cards
does not need a 600w unit. If you post the model #, I can dbl check and insure you have enough+12v amps,
which is more important than total wattage. Your CPU & GPU both draw their current from the
+12v rail(s).

Yes, post model # here. There some CM 600's that do not have enough +12v amps for that
system. Older & cheaper designs didn't always put enough power on the +12v rail(s).


Ok, here is my exact power supply: Cooler Master K-350 Advanced 3.0 Red


Hi again - can't find that model# in PSU database. Looks like it might have been part of a prebuilt PC.
You can remove the side panel of your PC and post the #'s from the sticker affixed to the side of the
PSU. The key #'s are the +12v rail(s).


Hi again - I'm going to be out for about 4 hrs. If you can ascertain how much power your
+12v rails has, you know right away if you need to upgrade your PSU.

To run a system with a gtx770, you should have at least 38 +12v amps available,
or 456watts. For a 7970 you'd need at least 30+12v amps(360 watts).
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September 17, 2013 8:38:51 AM

toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?


Hi - Yes, even tho most CM PSU's are not of good quality, a system with either of those cards
does not need a 600w unit. If you post the model #, I can dbl check and insure you have enough+12v amps,
which is more important than total wattage. Your CPU & GPU both draw their current from the
+12v rail(s).

Yes, post model # here. There some CM 600's that do not have enough +12v amps for that
system. Older & cheaper designs didn't always put enough power on the +12v rail(s).


Ok, here is my exact power supply: Cooler Master K-350 Advanced 3.0 Red


Hi again - can't find that model# in PSU database. Looks like it might have been part of a prebuilt PC.
You can remove the side panel of your PC and post the #'s from the sticker affixed to the side of the
PSU. The key #'s are the +12v rail(s).


Hi again - I'm going to be out for about 4 hrs. If you can ascertain how much power your
+12v rails has, you know right away if you need to upgrade your PSU.

To run a system with a gtx770, you should have at least 38 +12v amps available,
or 456watts. For a 7970 you'd need at least 30+12v amps(360 watts).


Ok.. sorry for giving you the wrong information, that was actually the name of my casing, they're both coolermaster so I must've misread something.. =/

I removed my sidepanel and the PSU's #s are: RS-600-ACAB-L3. The max power for +12V is 540W so I think I should be fine! :D 
Thank you for replying so quickly and your research! The community here has been so friendly! :D 
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September 24, 2013 6:23:23 PM

toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?


Hi - Yes, even tho most CM PSU's are not of good quality, a system with either of those cards
does not need a 600w unit. If you post the model #, I can dbl check and insure you have enough+12v amps,
which is more important than total wattage. Your CPU & GPU both draw their current from the
+12v rail(s).

Yes, post model # here. There some CM 600's that do not have enough +12v amps for that
system. Older & cheaper designs didn't always put enough power on the +12v rail(s).

If that turns out to be the case & you don't have enough funds to upgrade your PSU, you could
kepp your current PSU & go with a 7970 vs a 770, as it requires considerably less +12v amps.


toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
toyftw said:
loperaster09 said:
lithuan1an said:
You should consider of getting new cpu or at least cooler to OC it, because with that high end GPU cpu will bottlekneck this system.
If without CPU bottleknecking i prefer 7970 over 770, because it most cases it is little bit better. It has 3GB VRAM too, because 2GB VRAM soon will be too less.
Here are some benchmarks - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/770?vs=829


What do you exactly mean with bottlenecking?



Hi - as mentioned above your CPU will prevent you from maxing your GPU's performance. Your FX-6100
is a tier 3 in AMD's gamer hierarchy chart by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, to get the most out of either a gtx770 or hd7970, you need to get a CPU from tier 1,
jumping 1 to tier 2 won't provide much benefit. Check FX-6350 or FX-4350 if you want to
max your GPU performance.


Hi, thanks for your help! I will upgrade my CPU to an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition and an Nvidia GTX 770, I think. But can my powersupply of 600W still handle that?


Hi - Yes, even tho most CM PSU's are not of good quality, a system with either of those cards
does not need a 600w unit. If you post the model #, I can dbl check and insure you have enough+12v amps,
which is more important than total wattage. Your CPU & GPU both draw their current from the
+12v rail(s).

Yes, post model # here. There some CM 600's that do not have enough +12v amps for that
system. Older & cheaper designs didn't always put enough power on the +12v rail(s).


Ok, here is my exact power supply: Cooler Master K-350 Advanced 3.0 Red


Hi again - can't find that model# in PSU database. Looks like it might have been part of a prebuilt PC.
You can remove the side panel of your PC and post the #'s from the sticker affixed to the side of the
PSU. The key #'s are the +12v rail(s).


Hi again - I'm going to be out for about 4 hrs. If you can ascertain how much power your
+12v rails has, you know right away if you need to upgrade your PSU.

To run a system with a gtx770, you should have at least 38 +12v amps available,
or 456watts. For a 7970 you'd need at least 30+12v amps(360 watts).


Can you tell best gpu for $420
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a b À AMD
a b Î Nvidia
a c 112 U Graphics card
September 24, 2013 6:44:57 PM

Hi - There are a lot gtx 770's in the ~ $400 range. But, AMD's new series gets announced tomorrow. Maybe something in
their new lineup will cause the GTX cards to drop in price. In any event, here are a few 770's to consider, all are good:

http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/superbiiz/gigabyte-video-car...
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/superbiiz/msi-video-card-n77...
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/evga-video-card-02gp4...
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/superbiiz/msi-video-card-n77...
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