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What's a good GPU for my build?

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January 16, 2014 9:26:15 AM

Hi Everybody,

After doing some research on GPUs, I'm having a little trouble narrowing it down. My budget is around $250 (obviously the cheaper the better though :) ). I was reading up on the GTX 760/660 but was wondering if I could get your opinions as well: should I go with an ATI, should I wait, or which specific brands would u recommend?

It's for my HTPC/"steambox". I have an intel haswell i5-4670K and as far as games go, in my library I have like splinter cell, bioshock trilogy, sleeping dogs, LoL. I thought I could get by with the integrated GPU, but even playing mark of the ninja gives me lag at times. Here is the rest of my build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master GeminII M4 58.4 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus GRYPHON Z87 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Seagate 600 Series 480GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Platinum 650W 80+ Platinum Certified ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDR-208DBK Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
Other: Gryphon Armor Kit
Other: Silverstone GD05

Thanks in advance!

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January 16, 2014 9:30:35 AM

the 760 is about the best card you can get for your budget
next fastest cards are the gtx 770 and amd 280x which are in the enxt price bracket and probably not for you
i would just recommend the 760 if you can find a good one on sale

next fastest card going down is the amd 270x (there is no longer such a thing as ATI, as amd bought them out) the 270x is only marginally slower than the 760, but is about $30 cheaper. The 760 also comes with a game bundle, so that's something to note.

compared to the onboard gpu of the cpu, the 760 or even 270x will be lightyears ahead of it. and for all we know, in mantle supported games, the 270x could start pulling ahead of the 760 (though honestly no concrete data on this in the real world, just PR slides and promises)
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January 16, 2014 9:33:50 AM

Brantyn Gerik said:
the 760 is about the best card you can get for your budget
next fastest cards are the gtx 770 and amd 280x which are in the enxt price bracket and probably not for you
i would just recommend the 760 if you can find a good one on sale

next fastest card going down is the amd 270x (there is no longer such a thing as ATI, as amd bought them out) the 270x is only marginally slower than the 760, but is about $30 cheaper. The 760 also comes with a game bundle, so that's something to note.

compared to the onboard gpu of the cpu, the 760 or even 270x will be lightyears ahead of it. and for all we know, in mantle supported games, the 270x could start pulling ahead of the 760 (though honestly no concrete data on this in the real world, just PR slides and promises)


+1 :) 


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January 16, 2014 10:55:49 AM

Brantyn Gerik said:
the 760 is about the best card you can get for your budget
next fastest cards are the gtx 770 and amd 280x which are in the enxt price bracket and probably not for you
i would just recommend the 760 if you can find a good one on sale

next fastest card going down is the amd 270x (there is no longer such a thing as ATI, as amd bought them out) the 270x is only marginally slower than the 760, but is about $30 cheaper. The 760 also comes with a game bundle, so that's something to note.

compared to the onboard gpu of the cpu, the 760 or even 270x will be lightyears ahead of it. and for all we know, in mantle supported games, the 270x could start pulling ahead of the 760 (though honestly no concrete data on this in the real world, just PR slides and promises)


Thanks Brantyn! Some other quick questions then. When I look at the 760s out there, there are so many different brand/types, how do you go about narrowing down which one to get? Also what is "mantle supported"?
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January 16, 2014 10:57:57 AM

One point on noise, AMD are still a bit behind Nvidia here, if you want a quiet rig, or the quietest possible, look towards a Nvidia card.
And the GTX760 is a bloody powerful piece of kit for the cash, it'll make an excellent long term choice for you small (yet perfectly formed) powerhouse.
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January 16, 2014 11:03:31 AM

Mantle is a new api that amd has come out with to replace directx. they promise performance gains that are quite impressive, but have been known in the past to vastly over inflate the numbers that are speculated to be gained vs the actual gain upon release.

Also not all games will support it.

as far as different models of 760, the ones with a single fan are called blower style and are typically louder and run hotter, but blow hot air directly out the back of your case. go with one of these if you have airflow issues (also they are slightly slower and usually cheaper, but the difference between models is minimal

the rest have 2 or more fans and are non-reference design coolers that blow hot air into your case, but are typically much cooler and quieter. msi, evga, and asus all have great non reference coolers.

non reference coolers are also typically factory overclocked due to the better cooling and so run minimally faster without having to do anything.

they are also more expensive by a little bit, but are often worth it

the msi gaming is pretty good for the price, and is about the cheapest of the good non-reference coolers

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January 16, 2014 11:03:59 AM

the evga acx cooler and asus direct cuii coolers are better than the msi, but are also more expensive
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January 16, 2014 1:09:15 PM

Brantyn Gerik said:
Mantle is a new api that amd has come out with to replace directx. they promise performance gains that are quite impressive, but have been known in the past to vastly over inflate the numbers that are speculated to be gained vs the actual gain upon release.

Also not all games will support it.

as far as different models of 760, the ones with a single fan are called blower style and are typically louder and run hotter, but blow hot air directly out the back of your case. go with one of these if you have airflow issues (also they are slightly slower and usually cheaper, but the difference between models is minimal

the rest have 2 or more fans and are non-reference design coolers that blow hot air into your case, but are typically much cooler and quieter. msi, evga, and asus all have great non reference coolers.

non reference coolers are also typically factory overclocked due to the better cooling and so run minimally faster without having to do anything.

they are also more expensive by a little bit, but are often worth it

the msi gaming is pretty good for the price, and is about the cheapest of the good non-reference coolers



Brantyn Gerik said:
the evga acx cooler and asus direct cuii coolers are better than the msi, but are also more expensive


How is this one?

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GDDR5-2GB-WINDFORCE-GV-N...

I'm assuming 3 fans = better? haha sorry for being such a noob XD
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January 16, 2014 11:13:29 PM

Brantyn Gerik said:
Mantle is a new api that amd has come out with to replace directx. they promise performance gains that are quite impressive, but have been known in the past to vastly over inflate the numbers that are speculated to be gained vs the actual gain upon release.

Also not all games will support it.

as far as different models of 760, the ones with a single fan are called blower style and are typically louder and run hotter, but blow hot air directly out the back of your case. go with one of these if you have airflow issues (also they are slightly slower and usually cheaper, but the difference between models is minimal

the rest have 2 or more fans and are non-reference design coolers that blow hot air into your case, but are typically much cooler and quieter. msi, evga, and asus all have great non reference coolers.

non reference coolers are also typically factory overclocked due to the better cooling and so run minimally faster without having to do anything.

they are also more expensive by a little bit, but are often worth it

the msi gaming is pretty good for the price, and is about the cheapest of the good non-reference coolers



Hi Brantyn,

Another quick question, is it worth getting the 4gb card over the 2gb? After looking at this (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-760-rev...) I think I'm going to go for the MSI, but just wanted to know if it is worth getting the 4gb over the 2gb version and what benefit they offer? Thanks!
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January 16, 2014 11:47:06 PM

for this card, the only benefit of the 4gb variant is if you are going to go with a dual card solution instead of a single card upgrade. you will run out of power (low framerate from graphics settings being too stressful) before you run out of video memory with a single card
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January 28, 2014 8:58:56 AM

Brantyn Gerik said:
for this card, the only benefit of the 4gb variant is if you are going to go with a dual card solution instead of a single card upgrade. you will run out of power (low framerate from graphics settings being too stressful) before you run out of video memory with a single card



Hey Brantyn,

Need help again haha. The MSI works great, but I forgot to take into account the height of my case (150 mm) so the card barely fits in and I actually have a hard time closing the case. I can fit a full sized card, but the height of the card is the issue and with the pin connectors in it's almost impossible to close the case since the wires connecting to my PSU are so thick they bulge out. Do you know any possible solution for this or are there any shorter GTX 760s that you recommend?

Best,
G
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January 28, 2014 9:04:05 AM

The MSI gaming is one of the taller card variants. It sounds like you have a rather small case though? have you thought about upgrading to a new mid size case? (i know you probably don't wanna have to spend more money though)

The evga is a much shorter (height wise above pci slot...in the way you are having troubles with)
There are a few others like zotac or umm....a few others XD
the variants usually list all their dimensions in the spec sheet though, and the number you would be looking for would not be the smallest (thickness of card) or the biggest (this would be length of the card) but would be the middle number (this would be height).
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January 28, 2014 11:30:44 AM

Brantyn Gerik said:
The MSI gaming is one of the taller card variants. It sounds like you have a rather small case though? have you thought about upgrading to a new mid size case? (i know you probably don't wanna have to spend more money though)

The evga is a much shorter (height wise above pci slot...in the way you are having troubles with)
There are a few others like zotac or umm....a few others XD
the variants usually list all their dimensions in the spec sheet though, and the number you would be looking for would not be the smallest (thickness of card) or the biggest (this would be length of the card) but would be the middle number (this would be height).


Yea I have a microATX case for my HTPC which I just built. I think the case is still within the return period. I mean I could upgrade to a larger case...but man I'd have to put EVERYTHING back together again what a pain in the ass lol. I guess...would you recommend going with the EVGA or getting the larger case? I have a grandia 05b by Silverstone so I guess I could go up to the 08b, which is only 50 bucks more, thoughts?
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January 28, 2014 11:36:12 AM

if you can return if for full refund, and you won't have to pay any shipping costs, i'd say get the evga. If you do, i would recommend getting a bigger case, as it is good practice to know the ins and outs of your system
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January 28, 2014 5:50:50 PM

Brantyn Gerik said:
if you can return if for full refund, and you won't have to pay any shipping costs, i'd say get the evga. If you do, i would recommend getting a bigger case, as it is good practice to know the ins and outs of your system


Will go with the EVGA then :) . There are two variants that I am interested in:

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-Dual-Link-Graph...

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-SuperClocked-Dual-Link-Graph...

I dont' know what the difference between the 3765 vs the 2765 are. I tried googling and when I do side by side spec comparisons on newegg they look the same. Any insights? Thanks again man I really appreciate everything you've done to help me :) .

EDIT: So I see the 3765 is for double bios. What's that do? And I'm assuming for my purposes, I probably won't need that?
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