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Looking to Upgrade From GTS 250

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 23, 2013 1:24:06 AM

Hi all,

I am currently looking to upgrade my old BFG GTS 250 1 GB card. However, I believe I am very limited given the CPU I have, due to bottlenecking. Currently, I don't have the budget to upgrade the CPU, as that would mean a new Motherboard and RAM. So, my question is: can I find a GPU that is a significant upgrade over the GTS 250 for around $150? Can you recommend any? I have been eyeing the GTX 650 and 650 Ti.

I also have no idea how to overclock, and honestly don't have much confidence in doing it, so I would rather avoid that if possible. I am just a casual gamer.

Thank you!

Current set up:

Core 2 Duo E8400 @ stock speed
ASUS P5QL PRO Motherboard
8GB DDR2 RAM
INTEL 120 GB SSD
XFX 650W PSU
BFG GTS 250
Windows 7 Home

Types of games played: Alan Wake, Company of Heroes 2, Crysis, Total War, StarCraft 2 etc. Would like to be able to run COD Ghosts or BF4 (long shot given I don't have a quad).

More about : upgrade gts 250

December 23, 2013 1:27:06 AM

The best card that would work well with your system right now should probably be the 650 Ti (or the slightly weaker 7770), it's more than twice as fast as the GTS 250

However if you're looking for a GPU to place into a new build in a few months, you could consider getting the 2GB GTX 650 Ti Boost or GTX 660 if you can find them within that price range (the AMD equivalents being the 7850 and 7870/270/270x respectively)
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December 23, 2013 1:28:24 AM

7750 or 7770
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December 23, 2013 1:28:38 AM

HD 7770 and HD 7790 are also in your range.
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December 23, 2013 1:35:59 AM

they same but just have different cooling systems. asus is way better
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December 23, 2013 1:40:03 AM

Does the 2gb make a difference? Also, is the 7770 a big step up from the 250?
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December 23, 2013 1:42:26 AM

ThomasMagnus said:
Does the 2gb make a difference?


Hardly, the GPU will be bottlenecked by the CPU before it can fully use those 2GB of GDDR5.

ThomasMagnus said:
Also, is the 7770 a big step up from the 250?


Yes, big enough.

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December 23, 2013 1:42:34 AM

yes.2 gb make a difference only on a higher vram(gddr5 not gddr)3 or bus bit(256 as compared to 128)
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December 23, 2013 1:46:17 AM

If you are getting a new system within a few months, get the best GPU within your budget rather than a half half upgrade
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December 23, 2013 1:54:30 AM

You people are awesome; thanks for the quick responses! Based on this info, it seems that the 650 ti is the best option. Here is the version I am looking into buying:

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-nvidia...

Now, I have a few concerns. First of all is this compatible with my system? Does it matter that it's gddr5, or that it's pcie 3.0 when I think my mobo is only 2.0?

Also, is this model 'full powered' i.e. it's not a 'low profile' version or something right? lol

Thanks again :D 
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December 23, 2013 1:56:13 AM

A PCI-E 3.0 card will work with a 2.0 slot, no performance loss either until you're getting into the 7990/690 territory of cards

GDDR5 is the VRAM on the card, it's separate from system memory (DDR2 in your case)

I highly doubt that the 650 Ti comes in low profile variants, so you should be fine

That 650 Ti is pretty expensive tbh
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December 23, 2013 1:58:01 AM

GDDR5 is a good thing, and nothing to worry about. PCIe slots are backward compatible and you'll be fine using this GPU even on a PCIe 1.0 slot. ASUS are a known GPU brand and they make good GPUs (mostly factory overclocked), so you are ok with it.

rolandzhang3 said:

That 650 Ti is pretty expensive tbh


I agree with that, HD 7790 is a better option http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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December 23, 2013 1:59:16 AM

Lol I thought that was a good price, shows how out of it I am. How much should it be?
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December 23, 2013 2:02:46 AM

Asus products do tend to cost a fair bit more for their quality, but I wouldn't pay more than 120 for a 650 Ti (heck, you can find some 650 Ti Boost cards around the same price)

Granted you could get a cheaper 7770, but this is the cheapest 650 Ti on pcpartpicker

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You won't really notice a difference between a 7790 and 650 Ti in performance on your particular setup, so just get the cheaper of the two
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December 23, 2013 2:07:25 AM

Interesting. So the 7790>650Ti or the same? Also, need I be concerned about this 128 and 256 bit business?
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December 23, 2013 2:09:01 AM

For your system I wouldn't worry about the memory bus size, I'd take it into consideration if selecting a card for a newer system however

The 7790 is a bit quicker than the 650 Ti (you'll see a smaller difference due to your CPU holding them back)

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/776?vs=781
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December 23, 2013 2:25:43 AM

Well then, this one seems to be the winner. It's ASUS, it's the 7790 and it seems like a good price. Just to confirm again, this would be compatible with my system now?

Just about how much will the e8400 hold the 7790 back? Would I notice a substantial improvement from the gts?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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December 23, 2013 2:28:35 AM

Yes it will be compatible, just remember to uninstall your current drivers, use driver sweeper/fusion before installing your AMD card and drivers
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December 23, 2013 2:40:00 AM

ThomasMagnus said:
Well then, this one seems to be the winner. It's ASUS, it's the 7790 and it seems like a good price. Just to confirm again, this would be compatible with my system now?

Just about how much will the e8400 hold the 7790 back? Would I notice a substantial improvement from the gts?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


Yes, you should notice a substantial improvement. 7790 won't be bottlenecked in GPU intensive games, however in CPU intensive games it will be, but I don't think by much.
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December 23, 2013 3:10:34 PM

Oh Ok, I though that it had less cooling, as most have two fans. This one would also be compatible with my set up correct?
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December 23, 2013 3:19:54 PM

Yes, it is compatible.
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