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Purchasing a New Graphics Card and Deciding on a Power Supply: Nvidia GTX 770

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October 12, 2013 6:57:07 PM

Hello, this will be a bit long so I thank anyone reading it in advance. Essentially, for a long time I've had a GTX 550 Ti which has given me quite a few issues and has made my computer freeze very often. After having done some trouble shooting and gotten some technical support, I've confirmed that my card has basically kicked the bucket and that I'll need to get a new one.

I was thinking of getting the GTX 770. However, I currently have only a 500W power supply, 150W below the recommended minimum for the 770. As a result, this necessitates getting a new one. I was thinking of getting this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... a 850W unit. Does anyone have a suggestion on how good/expensive a power supply I should bother getting? I figure going at least 100W above the recommended 650 is good, but I'm not sure if it's worth going higher for the extra money. In terms of a brand, I'm pretty decided on Corsair, but if anyone thinks there's a better option, feel free to say so.

As for the card itself, I'm uncertain as to a few things. Regarding the difference between the 2GB and 4GB versions of the 770, the responses I've found in other threads and websites seems to be that the 4GB is necessary if I plan to do a lot of multi-monitor gaming. Despite having a second monitor, I don't anticipate playing many games that utilize this feature (it doesn't seem very common in games anyway). My monitors also only support up to 1920x1080, which seems to be a reason for sticking with 2gb. Additionally, I apparently might also be able to get my 550 Ti replaced for free and be able to use it as a dedicated card for Physx, which is a factor in this too I suppose.

So I'm wondering if the 4GB is still worth it. Some people have said that certain games are already demanding enough to make use of the extra Vram, or that it won't be long until most games are at that point. People seem split down the middle, so if anyone could clarify this for me, it'd be helpful. The 4gb version is about an extra 40 dollars or so, so if anyone can weigh in on what they'd decide if they were in my shoes, I'd appreciate it.

For reference, here are my specs: http://prntscr.com/1wyp4f
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2013 7:19:01 PM

The 850 watt psu is good, especially if you want to sli or cf your system in the future. Also, the 4gb is only good if your using multiple monitors or a high res display (1440p). I'd just stick with the 2gb.

btw - have you check out amd's "new" gpu line? the 280x is only $300 and performs better than a stock 770. Definitely worth a look.
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a b ) Power supply
a b Î Nvidia
a c 171 U Graphics card
October 12, 2013 7:25:43 PM

maybe consider the 7970ghz, it performs the same as a 770, is cheaper, and has 3gb vram. you dont need an 850w psu, unless you plan to run 2 of these cards in sli. a good quality 550w unit would be more than enough if you dont plan on overclocking and you dont have an overclocked 8 core processor. the recommended psu is overkill, they have to account for crap quality psu's, eg, a poor quality 650w psu can perform like a good quality 500w unit (or less in some cases). 2gb is fine right now, bf4 comes in at about 1750mb vram useage at 1080p ultra settings, but expect with the release of ps4 with its more ram, that games will start to use much more vram. of course you can turn down details to save some vram useage.
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October 18, 2013 1:25:09 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
maybe consider the 7970ghz, it performs the same as a 770, is cheaper, and has 3gb vram. you dont need an 850w psu, unless you plan to run 2 of these cards in sli. a good quality 550w unit would be more than enough if you dont plan on overclocking and you dont have an overclocked 8 core processor. the recommended psu is overkill, they have to account for crap quality psu's, eg, a poor quality 650w psu can perform like a good quality 500w unit (or less in some cases). 2gb is fine right now, bf4 comes in at about 1750mb vram useage at 1080p ultra settings, but expect with the release of ps4 with its more ram, that games will start to use much more vram. of course you can turn down details to save some vram useage.


After having opened up my PC, I found that my power supply is a Corsair CX500. Would you say that qualifies as a 'good quality' unit suited to handle the GTX 770 or the HD 7970? I checked out the 7970, and the 3gb at a price $140 lower than the 4gb 770 is indeed appealing. People seem to view the 770 as being the better card though.
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October 18, 2013 1:27:11 PM

TBC1 said:
The 850 watt psu is good, especially if you want to sli or cf your system in the future. Also, the 4gb is only good if your using multiple monitors or a high res display (1440p). I'd just stick with the 2gb.

btw - have you check out amd's "new" gpu line? the 280x is only $300 and performs better than a stock 770. Definitely worth a look.


I'm looking at the 280x right now, and it's got the same amount of Vram and the same price as the 7970. If it does actually preform better than a stock 770, then I think the decision is clear (as long as my Corsair CX500 power supply can handle it)

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a b ) Power supply
a b Î Nvidia
a c 171 U Graphics card
October 18, 2013 2:52:01 PM

NinSegaSoft said:
TBC1 said:
The 850 watt psu is good, especially if you want to sli or cf your system in the future. Also, the 4gb is only good if your using multiple monitors or a high res display (1440p). I'd just stick with the 2gb.

btw - have you check out amd's "new" gpu line? the 280x is only $300 and performs better than a stock 770. Definitely worth a look.


I'm looking at the 280x right now, and it's got the same amount of Vram and the same price as the 7970. If it does actually preform better than a stock 770, then I think the decision is clear (as long as my Corsair CX500 power supply can handle it)



the 280x is a 7970, it is just rebadged, so get whatever is cheaper. I would say a corsair cx500w would be pushing it, its not poor quality, but CX series are corsairs budget model. I would still be getting a 650w psu to be safe. obviously if you ever wanted to run diual cards, an 850w model would be better.
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a b ) Power supply
a b Î Nvidia
a c 177 U Graphics card
October 18, 2013 2:57:14 PM

Check the game bundle on the 7970, even if you only want one, it may be worth paying a little more for the 'old' card.
If you're not going to overclock or cramming the system with fans/HDDs the CX500 is OK, it has enough PCI-E connectors to run a 7970/R9 280/GTX770. If you're like me and work on the Victorian Steam Engine principal (build it big, built it strong) Upgrading to a 650 Watt PSU from Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, XFX, OCZ, Antec, Pc Power and Cooling or the Rosewill Capstone series should be possible for <$70 US.
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October 18, 2013 8:23:48 PM

coozie7 said:
Check the game bundle on the 7970, even if you only want one, it may be worth paying a little more for the 'old' card.
If you're not going to overclock or cramming the system with fans/HDDs the CX500 is OK, it has enough PCI-E connectors to run a 7970/R9 280/GTX770. If you're like me and work on the Victorian Steam Engine principal (build it big, built it strong) Upgrading to a 650 Watt PSU from Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, XFX, OCZ, Antec, Pc Power and Cooling or the Rosewill Capstone series should be possible for <$70 US.


I'm thinking I'd probably go for this PSU unless a find something cheaper, http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... (a solid 850W Corsair TX unit for about $90). My motherboard doesn't support sli/cf, so right now this unit would be overkill. However, I'm thinking that given the pretty compelling sale it's on till the 21st, it's worth it for whenever I get a motherboard that does support sli/cf.

I'll look around some more tomorrow, but ultimately I think I'm good unless any of you guys have particular opinions on the 770 (2gb=$400, 4gb=$440) vs. 7970/280x (both $300 for 3gb).

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a b ) Power supply
a b Î Nvidia
a c 177 U Graphics card
October 19, 2013 2:55:38 AM

Not sure about other games but I've seen Max Payne 3 exceed 2Gb of VRAM use on my single 1080 display BTW and with the new consoles carrying so much memory it seems highly likely we'll see increasing VRAM demands for 'ultra' settings in the next year or so.
If you're not too bothered about that level of detail, 2Gb will be enough for years to come-I can still get some AAA titles to run-well more walk actually-on my elderly 512Mb 8800GTS at 720 res and low settings!
If you decide on a 7970 you might want to hurry, not sure about your location but they're getting scarce here in the UK, and I'm fairly sure prices are beginning to creep up.
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October 19, 2013 7:47:46 PM

coozie7 said:
Not sure about other games but I've seen Max Payne 3 exceed 2Gb of VRAM use on my single 1080 display BTW and with the new consoles carrying so much memory it seems highly likely we'll see increasing VRAM demands for 'ultra' settings in the next year or so.
If you're not too bothered about that level of detail, 2Gb will be enough for years to come-I can still get some AAA titles to run-well more walk actually-on my elderly 512Mb 8800GTS at 720 res and low settings!
If you decide on a 7970 you might want to hurry, not sure about your location but they're getting scarce here in the UK, and I'm fairly sure prices are beginning to creep up.


Yeah I'm thinking that 3gb of vram is a good balance given the circumstances you described. And yeah, good to know; I'll make a choice about the 7970 soon

The only real concern I have left is in terms of power supply for SLI/Crossfire. Looking at this chart, http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm, it appears that if I wanted to crossfire two 280x's that I'd need a 900 or greater watt power supply.

I'm finding 1000w power supplies form what I imagine are lesser known manufacturers, such as this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., for the same price as that Corsair deal I was mentioning.

Would you say that I should go above 850 for the eventuality of cf/sli and get a 'lesser brand' unit like this? I just have very little experience when it comes to purchasing these things.

...Yeah after looking at other threads on this site, Xion seems pretty sketchy lol.
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a b ) Power supply
a b Î Nvidia
a c 171 U Graphics card
October 19, 2013 7:54:17 PM

NinSegaSoft said:
coozie7 said:
Not sure about other games but I've seen Max Payne 3 exceed 2Gb of VRAM use on my single 1080 display BTW and with the new consoles carrying so much memory it seems highly likely we'll see increasing VRAM demands for 'ultra' settings in the next year or so.
If you're not too bothered about that level of detail, 2Gb will be enough for years to come-I can still get some AAA titles to run-well more walk actually-on my elderly 512Mb 8800GTS at 720 res and low settings!
If you decide on a 7970 you might want to hurry, not sure about your location but they're getting scarce here in the UK, and I'm fairly sure prices are beginning to creep up.


Yeah I'm thinking that 3gb of vram is a good balance given the circumstances you described. And yeah, good to know; I'll make a choice about the 7970 soon

The only real concern I have left is in terms of power supply for SLI/Crossfire. Looking at this chart, http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm, it appears that if I wanted to crossfire two 280x's that I'd need a 900 or greater watt power supply.

I'm finding 1000w power supplies form what I imagine are lesser known manufacturers, such as this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., for the same price as that Corsair deal I was mentioning.

Would you say that I should go above 850 for the eventuality of cf/sli and get a 'lesser brand' unit like this? I just have very little experience when it comes to purchasing these things.

...Yeah after looking at other threads on this site, Xion seems pretty sketchy lol.


wouldnt waste my time with crossfire, too many problems, amd is working on fixing them, but i would certainly wait till there is a confirmed fix. So far they have fixed most of the stuttering problems in resolutions 1440p or lower, and for dx11 games. dx9 games still suffer stuttering/dropped frames/high frame latency and eyefinity is a right mess with crossfire.
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October 19, 2013 7:59:40 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
NinSegaSoft said:
coozie7 said:
Not sure about other games but I've seen Max Payne 3 exceed 2Gb of VRAM use on my single 1080 display BTW and with the new consoles carrying so much memory it seems highly likely we'll see increasing VRAM demands for 'ultra' settings in the next year or so.
If you're not too bothered about that level of detail, 2Gb will be enough for years to come-I can still get some AAA titles to run-well more walk actually-on my elderly 512Mb 8800GTS at 720 res and low settings!
If you decide on a 7970 you might want to hurry, not sure about your location but they're getting scarce here in the UK, and I'm fairly sure prices are beginning to creep up.


Yeah I'm thinking that 3gb of vram is a good balance given the circumstances you described. And yeah, good to know; I'll make a choice about the 7970 soon

The only real concern I have left is in terms of power supply for SLI/Crossfire. Looking at this chart, http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm, it appears that if I wanted to crossfire two 280x's that I'd need a 900 or greater watt power supply.

I'm finding 1000w power supplies form what I imagine are lesser known manufacturers, such as this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., for the same price as that Corsair deal I was mentioning.

Would you say that I should go above 850 for the eventuality of cf/sli and get a 'lesser brand' unit like this? I just have very little experience when it comes to purchasing these things.

...Yeah after looking at other threads on this site, Xion seems pretty sketchy lol.


wouldnt waste my time with crossfire, too many problems, amd is working on fixing them, but i would certainly wait till there is a confirmed fix. So far they have fixed most of the stuttering problems in resolutions 1440p or lower, and for dx11 games. dx9 games still suffer stuttering/dropped frames/high frame latency and eyefinity is a right mess with crossfire.


Yeah I'm getting the same feeling; especially after having read this a bit http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1843123/corsair-... (such a wealth of information on this site!)

I'd need a new motherboard for sli/cf anyway, and a TX850 seems like it'd be enough based on the thread i linked. So I think that I'm gonna go for the Corsair TX850 and a 3gb 280x or 7970.

Thanks a lot to all of you, you've all been very helpful.
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