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What graphics card should i buy?

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May 11, 2014 8:04:15 PM

Im looking to buy a new graphics card but im new to pc building and am unsure what I should go for. Im looking to get the best performance for the cheapest price ( who isn't right??). I've been looking at several GTX 760 cards because they seem like the biggest bang for my buck but what am I looking for? more dedicated ram or a faster clock speed? is there anything else I should look for? any help would be very appreciated!

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a c 105 U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:12:20 PM

depends on the rest of your system and monitor resolution.

things to remember about graphics cards. just like processors, the faster the gpu clock speed the faster it will be.
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:13:24 PM

Honestly there are a lot of different factors to look for in a GPU, and tbh those factors are some of the least important! well, maybe not dedicated memory, that is fairly important, but on the 760, I believe it has 2GB, which is perfectly fine for 1080P gaming for the next few years. Anything above 1080P, 2GB will suffice for now, but I believe that it won't be too long where you will be encountering issues due to running out of VRAM.

Clock speed is kind of arbitrary now adays, not only because it is not too key of a factor in GPU power, but because GPU overclocking is so safe and simple now. Just download a program like MSI Afterburner, adjust some sliders, run some tests, and BOOM! Your 950MHz GPU is now running at 1050MHz, as simple as that!

What you really want to look at is stuff like shader cores, memory bandwith, texel & pixel rate, etc etc. This may all seem daunting, and I couldn't explain to you every nuance of each term, but there are thankfully sites that can quickly and easily. www.hwcompare.com is an excellent site, and makes everything simple to understand, and why which product is better. This page is an example of what it looks like: http://www.hwcompare.com/15840/geforce-gtx-770-vs-radeo...

Hope I could help!
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a c 105 U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:18:52 PM

i don't like hardware compare and it's not easy as pie to over clock cores by just grabbing a slider and going. good way to ruin a card. especially a 100MHz jump just like that. depending on game and mods 2gigs isn't always enough. been proven over and over. the future is here so that "in a few years" thing doesn't hold salt anymore.
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:23:07 PM

swifty_morgan said:
i don't like hardware compare and it's not easy as pie to over clock cores by just grabbing a slider and going. good way to ruin a card. especially a 100MHz jump just like that. depending on game and mods 2gigs isn't always enough. been proven over and over. the future is here so that "in a few years" thing doesn't hold salt anymore.


Agreed on the 2GB of VRAM not always being sufficient. Also OC'ing really depends on the card, look up your card and see what OC's other people are achieving, start at the lowest you see people achieving and go from there. Personally my card is OC'd at 1200MHz Core and 1500MHz Memory Clock, it is a HIS Radeon 7950 IceQx2, at stock voltage at that, but not everyones 7950 IceQx2 is capable of such a feat. You are playing the silicon lottery essentially at what it is capable of as far as OC's go. Same goes for a CPU. But I digress, do you have any questions OP?
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:28:38 PM

swifty_morgan said:
i don't like hardware compare and it's not easy as pie to over clock cores by just grabbing a slider and going. good way to ruin a card. especially a 100MHz jump just like that. depending on game and mods 2gigs isn't always enough. been proven over and over. the future is here so that "in a few years" thing doesn't hold salt anymore.


The fact that you don't like hardware compare doesn't mean there's any issues with the site, it is accurate, reliable, and provides good, unbiased information. It actually is just that easy, as long as you don't touch the voltage of the card and make sure to test the stability of your overclock you can't hurt your card at all. The GTX 770 comes stock at 1085 MHz boost clock, and mine sits at 1267MHz when I game, so a 100 MHz overclock is completely reasonable. Yes, that's cooled on air on stock voltages, and completely stable. And on 99.9% of modern games, 2GB is more than enough video memory for 1080P gaming. The only game that brings me close to the VRAM limit is Battlefield 4, and that is on all settings set to the max including anti-aliasing. And even that doesn't push me over the 2GB limit of the card. If you are playing at 1080P, 2GB is fine. Anything higher than that, and you will need a stronger GPU to push out all the pixels anyways, and those come standard with 3GB or more VRAM, so there is no worries. Besides, a GTX 760 will run out of processing power long before it is struggling due to lack of VRAM on the card. People said the same thing about 1GB of VRAM a long time ago, yet I know some friends who still enjoy modern titles on reasonable settings at 1080P on their GPU's with 1GB of VRAM. A 2GB video card will fare very well in the future. Trust me, I've done an unhealthy amount of research on this specific topic.
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:30:48 PM

@apcs13, my modded Skyrim hit my 3GB VRAM cap and broke, so I had to remove some mods..
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a c 105 U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:31:40 PM

just sitting here thinking about monitors. Been thinking about buying another. it's 5years or so old. not going to last forever. really want to crispen up what I see on a daily basis. The next one I buy will not be another 1920x1200, it's going to be greater with better picture quality. I think, if I were going to buy a card now, I would opt for a greater amount of ram just for that reason alone. high res will need that buffer.
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:38:40 PM

patrick47018 said:
@apcs13, my modded Skyrim hit my 3GB VRAM cap and broke, so I had to remove some mods..


That's modded Skyrim with a lot of insane texture mods, of course it will break the limit. When the actual official developers start to make games that look as good as that, it will most likely be with much more efficient coding than the mod creators. An example of this is Assassin's Creed IV. While the game is terribly optimized for PC, one thing it does right is regulate great VRAM usage. On the absolute maximum settings rendering a lot of textures on the screen in a large area with intricate high-res textures, my VRAM utilization never reaches more than 1500 MB. Modded Skyrim doesn't even really count, as it is with a ton of insanely detailed mods, and even so that is really the one exception. If you want to use that one MODDED game as the reason to spend hundreds more on more GPU power and VRAM that will be wasted at 1080P, then good for you. But I'm saying, for 1080P and below, 2GB is plenty of memory on all GPUs that come equipped with it. Any more VRAM on those GPUs and they will run out of processing power before they are reaching the VRAM limits, and any GPU more powerful paired with more VRAM would be a huge waste to only use at 1080P.
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May 11, 2014 8:42:14 PM

Thanks a lot for all the info I hadn't really considered shaders etc.. But I figure I can kill two birds with one stone if I go for this? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... would the ram be overkill? would it be more worth it to find a better/faster gpu rather than the more ram? im also keeping in mind all the graphic extensive games to come
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:43:59 PM

swifty_morgan said:
just sitting here thinking about monitors. Been thinking about buying another. it's 5years or so old. not going to last forever. really want to crispen up what I see on a daily basis. The next one I buy will not be another 1920x1200, it's going to be greater with better picture quality. I think, if I were going to buy a card now, I would opt for a greater amount of ram just for that reason alone. high res will need that buffer.


Exactly, higher resolution! As I said numerous time before in this thread, anything above 1080P will benefit from having more than 2GB of VRAM. 2GB gaming won't suffer from having "only" 2GB of VRAM. It's all about the actual GPU's processing power. Take a look at this: http://alienbabeltech.com/main/gtx-770-4gb-vs-2gb-teste...

At 1080P, the two cards perform identically, even on intense games. And look, even at very high resolutions, there is a minute difference in performance between the 2GB and 4GB card.

POINT IS: The actual horespower of the processor trumps the amount of VRAM on it. Now, a 780 with 512 MB of VRAM would have some issues, but that doesn't exist. A 760 or 770 with 2GB is great for 1080P gaming, in fact, any card with 2GB of VRAM on it is!

OP, I hope I have shown you with all of the facts and whatnot why I believe what I say. If I haven't convinced you with my reasoning, I still wish you the best of luck with your purchase.
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:44:51 PM

Kingkurt360 said:
Thanks a lot for all the info I hadn't really considered shaders etc.. But I figure I can kill two birds with one stone if I go for this? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


With the price so close to a 770, I couldn't recommend it: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:47:24 PM

Kingkurt360 said:
Thanks a lot for all the info I hadn't really considered shaders etc.. But I figure I can kill two birds with one stone if I go for this? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


NO! The GTX 760 (and all other 700-series cards below the 780 level) come with a 256-bit memory bus. This means that the bandwith of the memory is smaller than, say, a 780 with a 384-bit bus and 3GB of GDDR5 memory. the 4GB 760 has no performance advantage over the 2GB model! Just look at this comparison: http://alienbabeltech.com/main/gtx-770-4gb-vs-2gb-teste...

This may be with GTX 770's, but both still have the same 256-bit memory bus, and at all resolutions, there is either no gain in performance or at most roughly 2FPS. It would be better to save up the money spent on the extra VRAM 'for a better processor or GPU or more RAM or more HDD or SSD space etc...
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:49:39 PM

@apcs13 I agree to an extent that many people have reported that the 256-bit NVIDIA cards cannot fully utilize 4GB of RAM. And also they are too expensive, hence why I recommend that GTX 770 I linked, which is the same price
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a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 8:51:21 PM

patrick47018 said:
@apcs13 I agree to an extent that many people have reported that the 256-bit NVIDIA cards cannot fully utilize 4GB of RAM. And also they are too expensive, hence why I recommend that GTX 770 I linked, which is the same price


Exactly, hence the benchmarks I provided. A 770 2GB beats the 760 4GB by a LOT.
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May 11, 2014 8:54:30 PM

patrick47018 said:
@apcs13 I agree to an extent that many people have reported that the 256-bit NVIDIA cards cannot fully utilize 4GB of RAM. And also they are too expensive, hence why I recommend that GTX 770 I linked, which is the same price


Fair enough, im also trying not to go over $400 so the GTX 770 is perfect and knowing I'd only be getting a few more fps with a 4gb card it only makes since to go with a 2gb. how do I tell what the shader quality is?
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a c 105 U Graphics card
May 11, 2014 9:28:28 PM

Kingkurt360 said:
patrick47018 said:
@apcs13 I agree to an extent that many people have reported that the 256-bit NVIDIA cards cannot fully utilize 4GB of RAM. And also they are too expensive, hence why I recommend that GTX 770 I linked, which is the same price


Fair enough, im also trying not to go over $400 so the GTX 770 is perfect and knowing I'd only be getting a few more fps with a 4gb card it only makes since to go with a 2gb. how do I tell what the shader quality is?


the extra 2gigs of ram on the board has NOTHING to do with FPS. It's there to store information so it doesn't get off loaded to the system. this makes "games" run smoother.
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