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Rebuilding PC & looking for the best Graphics Card for Skyrim

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April 30, 2014 12:08:58 AM

Hi. It's been a long time since i last came on Tom's for some advice, and now i'm finally ready to spend some funds. I'm looking for a new Graphics Card. I've been going mad between the 780 TI KIngpIn and GTX Titan Black SC Edition. I have a 60HZ 27" 1080P Monitor with a MSI GTX 650 1GB and want to play my heavily modded Skyrim once again among games. I used to have the original GTX Titan SC but ended up selling it to get into a sport i no longer care about. I don't want to choose a card i probably don't need this time. I'm happy with just my 1 monitor and the typical 1080P resolution. I just want as much graphics horse power available out there but will the 3GB Vram be a problem for my Skyrim? I'm also rebuilding my system for some read/speed boosts.

My current PC setup:
-HP 2710m Monitor.
-MSI GTX 650 1GB (eye roll)
-Intel i7 3770K
-Corsair H100i
-Bitfenix Prodigy Case
-Corsair AX850 PSU.
-Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE Motherboard
-Corsair Vengeance 2 x 8GB (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10)
-Samsung 830 Series 128GB x2 in Raid0
-Seagate Barracuda 2TB Storage Drive.
-Can't use DVD Writer. Have to constantly open panel from side and borrow cables.

The setup i want to build:
-Same Monitor
-Graphics Card???
-Intel i7 4770K
-Same Cooler.
-Cooler Master Storm Stryker - White.
-Same Power Supply.
-ASUS MAXIMUS VI FORMULA Motherboard.
-Add two more of the same Memory and max it out to 32.
-Add two more of the same SSDs and do x4 in Raid0.
-Same Store Drive.
-Can finally fit DVD writer in it's own slot like your typical shelf-model in stores.

Please let me know if this is okay too. I value people's opinions.
a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 12:25:08 AM

It seems like a build a pc just to build one. Your current build is more than enough for skyrim with the expection of your gpu. Anything better than gtx 770 is an overkill at 1080 60HZ. For skyrim in particular, you could go with a gtx 770 4 gb, and no mods will waste more than that. Between gtx titan and gtx 780ti, I would recommend 780ti simply because titan is not really a gaming card, its meant for developers. Also, 32 gb of ram will have little effect unless you some particular purpose for it.
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 12:28:04 AM

Are you using the PC to do,other intensive applications other than gaming ? If not, a i7 won't be needed. For the GPU, since you're running a heavily nodded Skyrim, more VRAM would be needed so 2-4GB would be ideal. You could get a 4GB GTX 660, R9 270x, or GTX 760 or the 3GB R9 280X
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 2:09:19 AM

1. 32GB RAM is only waste of money for Skyrim or for other games. I would say 16GB is already more than plenty, but if you like it, why not.
2. GTX770 or higher is already more than enough for Skyrim but a good investment for future games.
3. SSDs are already super fast, you won't really notice the difference with and without RAID. I see here also a waste of money but if you like, why not.
4. Upgrading from i7 3770k to i7 4770k will only bring max around 5% extra performance. I see it also as waste of money. I would rather invest the money more on the GPU than to upgrade to proc+mobo.

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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 2:22:43 AM

As above. 3770k to 4770k is pointless. 780 Ti should be more than enough for heavily modded Skyrim.
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April 30, 2014 8:38:21 AM

Hey guys. Thanks so much for your responses. (Glad i posted this board before i went to sleep last night). I can totally understand the whole upgrading to 4770K and board situation. The reason i thought so is because these Z87 Motherboards have multiple Intel SATA III ports perfect for doing a bigger RAID. My two 128's just isn't enough space anymore and unless you guys can point to me a Z77 motherboard with 4-Intel SATA 3 Ports, i would definitely not consider the Z87/1150 series. I hear stories where third party SATA 3 Ports limit SSD's. Another thing you might suggest is "get two 256's or one 512". Sadly, attempting to sell my two 128's to buy two 256's or one 512 is way more costy than just finding two more 128's on Ebay and just rebuild the format. I don't ever loose my data because i am constantly backing it up in my Storage Drive, and i reformat Windows 7 once every 3 months and just reinstall the updates and games (I save the entire Skyrim, The Sims 3, Oblivion, and another game's root folders, saves and such) and just send them back to their places on the new format.

As for the Graphics Card, are you saying that even a GTX 770 TI 4GB will be the exact same thing as the GTX 780 TI KingPin? Won't the KingPin still provide more power, or is that 3GB Vram going to be a nuisance? Yeah i just wanted to know if it would or not on a monitor like mine. But in the future there's an old model from Samsung i do want to get my hands on called Samsung S27A950D for it's beautiful colors and 120HZ abilities. (don't care about the 3D).

Okay, sounds like the Memory thing may not be needed then. I only said that to fill the empty banks on that board. As for another question: Video Editing is fun, but i used to do it so much better with the past GTX 670 FTW, and Titan. Dont' really do video editing all that much. Just something i do here and there. Not alot. lol.

A larger case is truely a must-have for me right now. I'm so sick and tired of constantly having to install my DVD writer thanks to my H100i having it's space inside a Bitfenix Prodigy and, i really like those cases i selected. They have a handle on top and look like space ships.

Anyway, sorry for all the typing. I just wanted to put as much input as i can into 1 post. But like i said, if you guys can find me a Z77 board with 4-Intel SATA III Ports, that would be so great!. But i don't think they exist..
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 8:45:43 AM

Why not just buy a Sata 3 PCIe card? They arent very expensive
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April 30, 2014 8:50:47 AM

A what? I've never heard of that. lol
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April 30, 2014 9:07:01 AM

This is incredible! How could i not of known about this? LOL. Is this the absolute best model? No drawbacks on the SSD's like the third party Sata Ports?
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 9:14:31 AM

Have never used them with SSDs, but there are quite a lot of models out there. If I were you I would check out some reviews. Im sure there is bad cards and good cards.
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April 30, 2014 9:29:42 AM

Okay, i'll check those out. Thanks Rob.

As for graphics cards. Another question if i may:
http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=04G-P4-377...

What if i get two of these and do SLI with them? Would that be better than the KingPin or no? I've had terrible experience with SLI in the past with 2 GTX 670's FTW but i think it's because they were different from one another.
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April 30, 2014 9:44:31 AM

That's probably overkill right.. Maybe i shouldn't consider this.
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April 30, 2014 10:08:10 AM

I would suggest the GTX 780 (non ti) so you will have optimal performance for any future elder scrolls there will be even with mods and stuff ... Upgrating from 3770K to 4770K is not a good idea for the current generation of gaming... you will not benefit anything more from the 4770k as a matter of gaming specially on games like skyrim.= but in any other existing applications as well. Except maybe a few FPS in games like crysis 3 which make use of more than 4 threads... Also a memory of 8 gb is more than enough for gaming since the latests games use up to 6gb of it... you have 16 gb of memory so.... yeah. :) 
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April 30, 2014 11:24:09 AM

I'm telling you any GPU above GTX770 is way beyond the current generation of gaming so you are more than great with the KingPin... You don't have to be on budget to make reasonable decisions. Actually I'm impressed that your MSI GTX 650 1GB won't play skyrim with mods... Plus in the future you will be able to SLI one of these cards ( I suggest you do this when SLI technology will be used by every game that you like) with a lot less money than a titan or a ti... But even if you choose to buy a ti you can SLI it too an have much greater performance than a single titan.
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April 30, 2014 11:31:31 AM

Thanks Periman. Yeah i really like that KingPin so if you say i won't have any problems with it (i'm more worried about the whole 3GB Vram thing is why i'm constantly asking about it) then i will get it. But like i said, i play on a 1080p/1920x1080 resolution and maybe that won't be a problem. :p  I'm just digging around for the lowest prices i can find.
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April 30, 2014 11:37:07 AM

I understand but you need to understand that ram in GPUs isn't the most important thing. In fact any specs you can actually see isn't. You should look for real world benchmarks to see the true power of a GPU. Check this video out and it may change your mind :)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0VNiWtQqb4
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April 30, 2014 12:54:51 PM

Thanks so much Periman. That definitely helped. KingPin it is!
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April 30, 2014 1:06:23 PM

Your welcome! :) 
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 1:40:47 PM

the kingpin is the fastest video card in the world. but if your not going to bios flash, volt mod, and water block it…. then its kinda wasteful.
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April 30, 2014 2:54:01 PM

Ughhh... Glad i haven't bought it yet then. * frusteration *
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 4:23:48 PM

just get the regular 780ti classified… its the second fastest card in the world and you STILL have to bios flash, volt mod, and water block to see its true potential. but it is about $80-100 cheaper than the kingpin.

flashing the ln2 side of the classy bios is super easy, its probably best to just go get a team skynet custom bios and use nvflash. then use the classy voltage tool to manually change the core voltage, memory voltage, and the pwm frequency and you can still get well over 1.3ghz core at under 80c and be fully stable…. likely well above 1750mhz on the memory. you will have a beast of a card.
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April 30, 2014 4:28:07 PM

So if i can figure out how to do what you're saying with the KingPin, then it will be worth it? Are there instructions for this? Because i want those benefits for what i'd pay then. :p 
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 5:10:21 PM

well like i said, if your not going to waterblock, i woulnd't get the kingpin... your going to need a $125 ekwb block and a $225 240mm rad with a d5 pump and all the accessories so that you can actually push the kingpin the way its designed.... you can do the block and water to the regular classified also and go very far too. but this is really just a niche thing for people who enjoy or want to compete in overclocking.

if you want near kingpin performance on air, just get the regular classified.... but as far as bios flashing and using the classified voltage tool and then overclocking as far as you can get until you hit 80c.....
http://www.overclock.net/t/1411500/official-evga-classi...
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April 30, 2014 5:47:36 PM

I don't even know how to overclock my processor and i've had it since early 2012.. lol. I am not cut out to handle that water stuff then.
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a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2014 6:19:18 PM



that card has a reference cooler, you would be much better off with a designed cooler....

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HSY1RVC/?tag=pcpapi-20

if your not interested in overclocking then this is a great model card for a good price....

but honestly you dont need to spend that much for ultra modded skyrim. i have a 2500k and my 780 classified running skyrim modded to the teeth, about 60 texture/mesh packs, weather mod, an enb injecting dx10 "like" features, ini tweaks, and fully maxed out and im on a 2560x1440 monitor with no problems. even my older amd hd7950 would only barely struggle in a few areas like heavy forests or the rift due to the ultra high tree textures. a regular 780 for much less money is going to give you fully maxed out performance in any game at 1080p. i dont have any problems with 1440p on my 780 except if i want i drop down the anti aliasing levels to 2xMsaa or run/inject smaa if i can to save performance.

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

though my skyrim mods are fully cleaned, bashed, tagged and have memory management through the enb, boris's original enb over at enbdev.com. and i have a ram/vram memory mod too.

skyrim cannot pass 3.1gb of vram, it will crash. with the ram/vram memory mod it can but its a complex mod, and not really needed since with "good" mods and the right cleaning, bashing, and tagging, with memory management, even at 1440p, you wont(shouldnt) ever get to 3.1gb vram usage.
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April 30, 2014 6:34:42 PM

There are no drawbacks I have found while using Sata 3 PCIe card, perosnly I used http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... with a samsung EVO and it worked very well.

Just my opinion but.....
32gb of ram is not necessary unless you are storing the entire game on the ram before hand
- That can be done with this program http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/memory/ramdisk

Upgrading to an i7 4770k is also not worth it, if you really want the extra performance, you can get a nice stable overclock of 4.4 Gh/z

As for a gpu, I would not suggest replacing a stock GPU cooler with a custom one, unless you have a friend that knows what hes doing or unless you have done something like this before hand.
If you have money so spend, I would suggest a 780ti.
This one is great, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
May 1, 2014 1:12:37 AM

Angelz said:
Hey Rob, i found these

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/U3S6/

I might have to find two of them though.



That looks like a nice card mate, should do what you want. :) 

Regarding the graphics card, just go for whatever 780 Ti you like the look of for a good price:
Asus
EVGA
MSI
Gigabyte
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May 1, 2014 1:11:03 PM

Thanks Rob, and i did, i got a GTX 780 TI KingPin Edition for $700 shipped from someone today. :D 

As for everyone else, thanks so much for your help and support. I'm going to just stick with my Third Generation set up and hold on for a while. Maybe better things will be released if i wait. I just hope the KingPin will fit in my Bitfenix Prodigy case as it seems so much larger than the Titan.
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May 1, 2014 1:13:19 PM

So many of you have told me it isn't worth the hassle of going to the 4770K. I mean, that would of meant me selling my 3rd Gen stuff to add to the funds. Not that it would of been an issue. It would of been nice though to move up.
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a b U Graphics card
May 1, 2014 1:14:41 PM

Angelz said:
Thanks Rob, and i did, i got a GTX 780 TI KingPin Edition for $700 shipped from someone today. :D 

As for everyone else, thanks so much for your help and support. I'm going to just stick with my Third Generation set up and hold on for a while. Maybe better things will be released if i wait. I just hope the KingPin will fit in my Bitfenix Prodigy case as it seems so much larger than the Titan.


$700 shipped brand new from an official dealer?
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May 1, 2014 1:17:50 PM

Supposedly it was used for about a week so everything's expected to be the same way as if you just bought a factory sealed one. He said he can't make time for what he was going to do with it (water setup), so he just used it as out-of-the-box then put it up for sale.
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May 1, 2014 1:19:12 PM

Personally if that was me, i would of just sent it back to where he got it from and get all the money back. *knock knock*
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