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Looking to upgrade GPU in a ~3 year old build

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October 14, 2013 6:20:29 PM

Hi. I appreciate all and any help I get with the following questions. I am in the market for a new graphics card but I am not sure if my current build will bottleneck some of the newer cards.

My build is as follows:
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
4x 2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600
XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2

My current GPU is:
SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB

My budget is around 250$. Although, I am willing to go up to 300$ for a great value buy. I want a card that is not limited by my motherboard (or CPU if it can be?).

I was looking at these GTX 760s:
EVGA
MSI
Gigabyte

Thank you for your time.

More about : upgrade gpu year build

a b à CPUs
October 14, 2013 6:47:31 PM


Upgrading to a modern GPU may indeed be bottlenecked by a 955. It would help if you
can oc it a bit, though still not as effective as moving to a faster platform (best value re
used items is a 2500K with Z68; for buying new, well that's a whole can of worms to
open. :D ). However, a 760 wouldn't be too badly held back if the 955 was oc'd a bit. Do
you have a good cooler? I'd have thought 3.9+ should be doable even with a used TRUE.

Ian.

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October 14, 2013 6:48:19 PM

aeronaut19 said:
Hi. I appreciate all and any help I get with the following questions. I am in the market for a new graphics card but I am not sure if my current build will bottleneck some of the newer cards.

My build is as follows:
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
4x 2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600
XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2

My current GPU is:
SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB

My budget is around 250$. Although, I am willing to go up to 300$ for a great value buy. I want a card that is not limited by my motherboard (or CPU if it can be?).

I was looking at these GTX 760s:
EVGA
MSI
Gigabyte

Thank you for your time.



Your CPU could bottleneck the GPU a little in some games. If you can overclock the CPU to 4.5 GHz you should be fine. However my brother went from a Phenom II x4 at 4GHz to an FX 8320 at 4GHz, and his framerate doubled in some games.

He has a 7950, and in fact that is the card I would suggest you get. It is the best price/performance card out right now...
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October 14, 2013 6:50:01 PM

mapesdhs said:

Upgrading to a modern GPU may indeed be bottlenecked by a 955. It would help if you
can oc it a bit, though still not as effective as moving to a faster platform (best value re
used items is a 2500K with Z68; for buying new, well that's a whole can of worms to
open. :D ). However, a 760 wouldn't be too badly held back if the 955 was oc'd a bit. Do
you have a good cooler? I'd have thought 3.9+ should be doable even with a used TRUE.

Ian.



All I can say is: DO NOT BUY USED PC PARTS!!!
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October 14, 2013 6:51:19 PM

I think you have fairly well balanced system and upgrading the GPU would cause a bottleneck.
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October 14, 2013 7:24:15 PM

There is no GPU that is in between "not worthwhile to spend the money" and "will be bottlenecked"?

Should I then be looking to upgrade both the CPU and GPU? Or not even worthwhile with my current motherboard and just wait a year and make a new build?

Thank you for the feedback so far.
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October 14, 2013 7:34:08 PM

aeronaut19 said:
There is no GPU that is in between "not worthwhile to spend the money" and "will be bottlenecked"?

Should I then be looking to upgrade both the CPU and GPU? Or not even worthwhile with my current motherboard and just wait a year and make a new build?

Thank you for the feedback so far.


Your current motherboard is great! I would get an FX-8320 now, and then wait for the new cards to come out for a couple weeks until prices stabilize. Once they do by November, you should be able to afford a 270X or 280X just fine, and both of those cards are far better for your money than the GTX 760...
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October 15, 2013 1:38:19 AM

CaptainTom said:
All I can say is: DO NOT BUY USED PC PARTS!!!


Absolute nonsense. Choose wisely and there are plenty of good bargains to
be had. That's why I'm sitting next to a 5GHz 2700K with a Quadro 4000, Antec
300, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme, Venomous-X, etc.,
all bought used off eBay. Only the fans and RAM were new: 3x Gelid Wing Blue
120mm, two Coolermaster Blademaster 120mm PWM for the HS, and a 32GB
GSkill TridentX/2400 kit, though the Thermaltake Toughpower 850W was
unused/still-sealed via normal auction (half normal price, excellent bargain).

I have about 20 different PC benchmarking setups, more than 40 GPUs, similar
number of CPUs (to cover all possible combinations of CPU/GPU, with S775,
AM2, AM3, P55, X58, P67, Z68 and X79), SSDs for every setup/combo, almost
all of them bought used off eBay or elsewhere for my benchmarking project.
Some items I bought new (X58 and X79 mbds), but I couldn't dream of buying
such a number without exploiting the used market, especially for PSUs, cases,
RAM, CPUs, GPUs and SSDs.

Stating one should never buy used is just plain silly. I've had the odd problem
seller, but overall very few, and by proportion far less than the no. of issues
I've had buying new from ordinary commercial dealers (less than 1%).

My point still stands and is totally valid - there are numerous options in the
used market, but of course it's not for everyone and some do prefer to buy
all-new for whatever reason, eg. warranty issues (that's why I do get some
items new, usually top-end RAM kits and mbds), though in many cases
warranties persist.


aeronaut19, research benchmark results/reviews for the games you want
to play, it might be that a 3-module FX would be more than sufficient, which
would be cheaper and probaby permit a higher oc aswell, though if an 8350
doesn't break the bank then what the heck. 8)

Ian.

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October 15, 2013 2:02:30 AM

mapesdhs said:
CaptainTom said:
All I can say is: DO NOT BUY USED PC PARTS!!!


Absolute nonsense. Choose wisely and there are plenty of good bargains to
be had. That's why I'm sitting next to a 5GHz 2700K with a Quadro 4000, Antec
300, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme, Venomous-X, etc.,
all bought used off eBay. Only the fans and RAM were new: 3x Gelid Wing Blue
120mm, two Coolermaster Blademaster 120mm PWM for the HS, and a 32GB
GSkill TridentX/2400 kit, though the Thermaltake Toughpower 850W was
unused/still-sealed via normal auction (half normal price, excellent bargain).

I have about 20 different PC benchmarking setups, more than 40 GPUs, similar
number of CPUs (to cover all possible combinations of CPU/GPU, with S775,
AM2, AM3, P55, X58, P67, Z68 and X79), SSDs for every setup/combo, almost
all of them bought used off eBay or elsewhere for my benchmarking project.
Some items I bought new (X58 and X79 mbds), but I couldn't dream of buying
such a number without exploiting the used market, especially for PSUs, cases,
RAM, CPUs, GPUs and SSDs.

Stating one should never buy used is just plain silly. I've had the odd problem
seller, but overall very few, and by proportion far less than the no. of issues
I've had buying new from ordinary commercial dealers (less than 1%).

My point still stands and is totally valid - there are numerous options in the
used market, but of course it's not for everyone and some do prefer to buy
all-new for whatever reason, eg. warranty issues (that's why I do get some
items new, usually top-end RAM kits and mbds), though in many cases
warranties persist.


aeronaut19, research benchmark results/reviews for the games you want
to play, it might be that a 3-module FX would be more than sufficient, which
wuold be cheaper and probaby permit a higher oc aswell, though if an 8350
doesn't break the bank then what the heck. 8)

Ian.




I agree, you can really get some bargains if you buy used.

You get good protection with ebay on defective products (assuming you read the auction and returns policy correctly).
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October 15, 2013 3:36:18 AM


RobCrezz writes:
> I agree, you can really get some bargains if you buy used.

Yup! One just has to be careful and sensible. With eBay, the old saying, if it
looks too good to be true then it probably is, should be borne in mind. I have
a set of personal rules I follow and they've served me well, eg. for mbds
I only bid if, a) the auction is listed as, "Returns accepted"; b) the CPU socket
protection cover is included and fitted on the CPU socket; c) the seller has
provided a close-up picture of the CPU socket pins (for Intel boards); d) the
seller's feedback is good, they have a sensible summary, and so on.

Recently I've been particularly fortunate with obtaining used 3GB GTX 580s,
2700Ks and SSDs.


> You get good protection with ebay on defective products (assuming you
> read the auction and returns policy correctly).

Very true, eBay's current policies are biased towards the buyer; since I only
use eBay to buy items, that's fine by me. :D  For the novice bidder, I'd say
the wise approach is at first to only ever bid on listings that are marked with,
"Returns accepted". Also, I usually ask for model/part number confirmation
on any CPU, GPU, disk or SSD (if said info isn't already clearly visible in the pics).
Sometimes I'll ask any old question, just to gain some insight into the nature of
the seller, see if they give out a good vibe.

CaptainTom, please check my feedback and hence the item links to see the
kind of items I've bought, winning amounts, etc., you'll see what I mean.
And here's the 2700K system I mentioned (using it to type this post):

http://valid.canardpc.com/0sftm2

The 2700K was only 150 UKP, M4E was 130, Ven-X was 25, 840 Pro 128GB
was 85, Antec 300 was 25, "unused/sealed" 850W PSU was 50, Hitachi 2TB
Enterprise SATA was 85, Quadro 4000 was 205. Beat that! :D  (for gaming
GPUs, two 3GB 580s was about 270 total, faster than a 780, though of course
they're louder) I might add that with the Quadro fitted, the system is almost silent.

Note that I help to keep things running as smoothly as possible for the seller
by always paying immediately after I win an auction (why do some people
delay?? I've never understood that); my feedback shows this, it's littered with
"fast payer" comments. I suspect few things are worse for a seller than
someone who wins and then doesn't pay for ages.

In the context of aeronaut19's query, a good used GPU option is the 7970 1GHz
(yes it'll be bottlenecked by a stock 955, but the money saved vs. buying new
means he could more afford an 8350). Yesterday for the first time a 1GHz 7970
sold for less than 180 UKP on eBay UK, which is 60 less than buying new
(reference 7970s go for less of course), and that was from one of the best
sellers here (novatech), so indeed there are some good deals to be had. I'm
looking for two 7970/1GHz cards for my benching project, but I figure it makes
sense to wait until the 290X is out so that pricing has (hopefully) dropped even
further. Naturally, there are also plenty of 7950s available.


So aeronaut19, what games are you playing? Have you checked various
CPU/GPU reviews to see how said games behave? What I do is cross-ref
reviews of a target GPU with those that have used a game I'm interested in,
see how they respond to different levels of CPU power, whether they favour
AMD vs. NVIDIA GPUs (varies hugely), any driver or CF/SLI issues, etc. And
do you want to buy fully new?

Ian.

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October 15, 2013 10:17:33 AM

RobCrezz said:
mapesdhs said:
CaptainTom said:
All I can say is: DO NOT BUY USED PC PARTS!!!


Absolute nonsense. Choose wisely and there are plenty of good bargains to
be had. That's why I'm sitting next to a 5GHz 2700K with a Quadro 4000, Antec
300, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme, Venomous-X, etc.,
all bought used off eBay. Only the fans and RAM were new: 3x Gelid Wing Blue
120mm, two Coolermaster Blademaster 120mm PWM for the HS, and a 32GB
GSkill TridentX/2400 kit, though the Thermaltake Toughpower 850W was
unused/still-sealed via normal auction (half normal price, excellent bargain).

I have about 20 different PC benchmarking setups, more than 40 GPUs, similar
number of CPUs (to cover all possible combinations of CPU/GPU, with S775,
AM2, AM3, P55, X58, P67, Z68 and X79), SSDs for every setup/combo, almost
all of them bought used off eBay or elsewhere for my benchmarking project.
Some items I bought new (X58 and X79 mbds), but I couldn't dream of buying
such a number without exploiting the used market, especially for PSUs, cases,
RAM, CPUs, GPUs and SSDs.

Stating one should never buy used is just plain silly. I've had the odd problem
seller, but overall very few, and by proportion far less than the no. of issues
I've had buying new from ordinary commercial dealers (less than 1%).

My point still stands and is totally valid - there are numerous options in the
used market, but of course it's not for everyone and some do prefer to buy
all-new for whatever reason, eg. warranty issues (that's why I do get some
items new, usually top-end RAM kits and mbds), though in many cases
warranties persist.


aeronaut19, research benchmark results/reviews for the games you want
to play, it might be that a 3-module FX would be more than sufficient, which
wuold be cheaper and probaby permit a higher oc aswell, though if an 8350
doesn't break the bank then what the heck. 8)

Ian.




I agree, you can really get some bargains if you buy used.

You get good protection with ebay on defective products (assuming you read the auction and returns policy correctly).


Your funeral.
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October 15, 2013 12:13:47 PM

CaptainTom said:
RobCrezz said:
mapesdhs said:
CaptainTom said:
All I can say is: DO NOT BUY USED PC PARTS!!!


Absolute nonsense. Choose wisely and there are plenty of good bargains to
be had. That's why I'm sitting next to a 5GHz 2700K with a Quadro 4000, Antec
300, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme, Venomous-X, etc.,
all bought used off eBay. Only the fans and RAM were new: 3x Gelid Wing Blue
120mm, two Coolermaster Blademaster 120mm PWM for the HS, and a 32GB
GSkill TridentX/2400 kit, though the Thermaltake Toughpower 850W was
unused/still-sealed via normal auction (half normal price, excellent bargain).

I have about 20 different PC benchmarking setups, more than 40 GPUs, similar
number of CPUs (to cover all possible combinations of CPU/GPU, with S775,
AM2, AM3, P55, X58, P67, Z68 and X79), SSDs for every setup/combo, almost
all of them bought used off eBay or elsewhere for my benchmarking project.
Some items I bought new (X58 and X79 mbds), but I couldn't dream of buying
such a number without exploiting the used market, especially for PSUs, cases,
RAM, CPUs, GPUs and SSDs.

Stating one should never buy used is just plain silly. I've had the odd problem
seller, but overall very few, and by proportion far less than the no. of issues
I've had buying new from ordinary commercial dealers (less than 1%).

My point still stands and is totally valid - there are numerous options in the
used market, but of course it's not for everyone and some do prefer to buy
all-new for whatever reason, eg. warranty issues (that's why I do get some
items new, usually top-end RAM kits and mbds), though in many cases
warranties persist.


aeronaut19, research benchmark results/reviews for the games you want
to play, it might be that a 3-module FX would be more than sufficient, which
wuold be cheaper and probaby permit a higher oc aswell, though if an 8350
doesn't break the bank then what the heck. 8)

Ian.




I agree, you can really get some bargains if you buy used.

You get good protection with ebay on defective products (assuming you read the auction and returns policy correctly).


Your funeral.

???
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October 15, 2013 12:29:55 PM

CaptainTom said:
Your funeral.


Blimey, clearly someone who's never heard of Bayesian statistical methods. :D 

One judges risk in the light of experience. I've bought over a thousand items
on eBay in the last 8 years. Of those, only 27 had issues, and out of that 27,
just 7 turned into disputes (I won them all). Six were not in stock (sold in
error), 4 were faulty & returned for a refund, 7 were from a single guy who
AFAIK passed away (laws of probability I guess, has to happen sometime),
the rest for misc reasons.

I've had way more issues buying from normal companies. I feel sorry for
those who get caught up with dodgy outfits like WAE and the fake company
sites controlled by some guy in the middle of Nevada (plenty of those around).
Hence in later years I stick to reputable sellers such as Scan, Aria, DABS,
Ballicom, ebuyer, etc. (exception of course is where such companies have a
presence on eBay, which is handy; bought a 512GB Vertex4 refurb from
Scan today).

Ian.

PS. Can people not quote entire posts please? It's a bit wasteful & clumsy. :}

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October 15, 2013 4:17:07 PM

I appreciate the help so far, but perhaps this discussion can be brought to PMs or another thread?

With a new CPU such as the FX-83xx, what GPU options are best in the 250~ price range? Tom has suggested a 7950 or a 270x/280x and to stay away from a 760. Can anyone else offer their opinion?

Games I play are WoW, League, SC2, various steam games.
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October 15, 2013 10:08:38 PM

aeronaut19 said:
I appreciate the help so far, but perhaps this discussion can be brought to PMs or another thread?

With a new CPU such as the FX-83xx, what GPU options are best in the 250~ price range? Tom has suggested a 7950 or a 270x/280x and to stay away from a 760. Can anyone else offer their opinion?

Games I play are WoW, League, SC2, various steam games.


Those are crazy easy to run games. If you want to save money, just get a 270X.
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October 15, 2013 10:11:00 PM

The CPU you recommend does work with my mobo right?
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October 16, 2013 1:33:57 AM

CaptainTom said:
RobCrezz said:
mapesdhs said:
CaptainTom said:
All I can say is: DO NOT BUY USED PC PARTS!!!


Absolute nonsense. Choose wisely and there are plenty of good bargains to
be had. That's why I'm sitting next to a 5GHz 2700K with a Quadro 4000, Antec
300, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme, Venomous-X, etc.,
all bought used off eBay. Only the fans and RAM were new: 3x Gelid Wing Blue
120mm, two Coolermaster Blademaster 120mm PWM for the HS, and a 32GB
GSkill TridentX/2400 kit, though the Thermaltake Toughpower 850W was
unused/still-sealed via normal auction (half normal price, excellent bargain).

I have about 20 different PC benchmarking setups, more than 40 GPUs, similar
number of CPUs (to cover all possible combinations of CPU/GPU, with S775,
AM2, AM3, P55, X58, P67, Z68 and X79), SSDs for every setup/combo, almost
all of them bought used off eBay or elsewhere for my benchmarking project.
Some items I bought new (X58 and X79 mbds), but I couldn't dream of buying
such a number without exploiting the used market, especially for PSUs, cases,
RAM, CPUs, GPUs and SSDs.

Stating one should never buy used is just plain silly. I've had the odd problem
seller, but overall very few, and by proportion far less than the no. of issues
I've had buying new from ordinary commercial dealers (less than 1%).

My point still stands and is totally valid - there are numerous options in the
used market, but of course it's not for everyone and some do prefer to buy
all-new for whatever reason, eg. warranty issues (that's why I do get some
items new, usually top-end RAM kits and mbds), though in many cases
warranties persist.


aeronaut19, research benchmark results/reviews for the games you want
to play, it might be that a 3-module FX would be more than sufficient, which
wuold be cheaper and probaby permit a higher oc aswell, though if an 8350
doesn't break the bank then what the heck. 8)

Ian.




I agree, you can really get some bargains if you buy used.

You get good protection with ebay on defective products (assuming you read the auction and returns policy correctly).


Your funeral.


Your loss. Just because something has been used previously doesn't mean its going to be faulty.
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October 22, 2013 1:14:12 PM

RobCrezz said:
Your loss. Just because something has been used previously doesn't mean its going to be faulty.


Indeed! And as I said, I've bought hundreds of used parts, and I've
had fewer problems compared to buying new from normal sources.

Plus, quite often I obtain *new* items that are simply sold off as
a normal auction, eg. last week I won another unused ASUS
Maximus IV Extreme for 100 UKP, excellent bargain (received ok,
installed with a G840 test chip, working fine).

Ian.

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!