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Upgrading first build

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July 10, 2014 10:52:26 AM

Computer component beginner :)  I recently built my first gaming rig (which worked which was a good start) and looking to upgrade the graphics card. I was initially going to buy a GTX 760 (no reason for buying Nvidia over AMD except my PCs have always had Nvidia cards) and add another in a year or 2 to run in SLI. However after research it appears my motherboard only runs AMD in crossfire and not Nvidia SLI (something to do with the second PCI-E slot being 4x instead of 16x). So I'm now thinking a 770 would maybe be better. Going to have at least £200-£300 to spend at the end of the month and not sure exactly what to spend it on. I only running 1 monitor, its an Asus VE247H so after 1080p gaming, not sure of refresh rate of monitor but expect being able to get 60 fps on most modern games would be good enough. Breakdown of the rig below. Better to get a more upgradable Mobo first or stick with what I have and get a better single card? Any suggestions?

Asus P8Z77-V LX2
Intel i5 3570K
16GB DDR3 (probably more than I need)
Asus GTX 550ti - Looking to upgrade this though my PSU may need upgraded for better power to a bigger GPU, current PSU only has one 6-pin PCI-E power
650W CiT PSU
128GB SDD and 3x HDD

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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2014 11:00:43 AM

Seems to me with only one fairly basic monitor, you don't need much more than one video card. The GTX 780 is right at the top of your price range and has excellent performance.

http://www.newegg.com/global/uk/Product/Product.aspx?It...
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July 10, 2014 11:10:36 AM

Thought I might be being silly in wanting to run 2 cards. So sticking with Nvidia cards I should really just aim for the best I can afford? This may require an upgrade to my PSU but that's not an issue (cracking overtime from work coming up). Would be happy to buy something now that will run games on high spec for the next few years.

Couple of other questions if you don't mind:

1 - Is it worth getting a better monitor for gaming? Would I see a big difference if games were displaying at 80, 100, 120 FPS?
2 - Always wondered about the different GPU manufacturers and the ways they can be compared. Is the core/boost speed the best way to compare or something else?
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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2014 12:29:53 PM

As far as I know, this is the best gaming monitor around with 144Mhz refresh and 1 mSec refresh rate. It's out of stock, so there may be a similar or newer product or others may have something along the same lines.

http://www.newegg.com/global/uk/Product/Product.aspx?It...

Also know that Nvidia is working on shipping monitors with vsynch that has an adaptive refresh rate. THey're pricey, but all reviews are very complimentary.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/g-sync-v-sync-monit...

As for upgrading the PSU, the card I linked you above has this: 600 watt or greater power supply with a minimum of 42 amps on the +12 volt rail.

Yours may be OK, although I usually recommend running PSUs at 50% rated capacity and also prefer high-quality, brand-name PSUs with great components and a 5-7 year warranty.

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1804779/power-su...

I pay very little attention to small differences in clock speed within the same range. I focus on cooling solutions and noise more than the extra 5-10% performance. In the long run, you're going to sit next to that sucker for 3-4 years and if it sounds like you're running a vacuum cleaner, it ain't fun. :) 
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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2014 12:38:25 PM

1) If you're happy with it is it good.

2) Just compare reviews,it's more about which cooler than the gpu itself>There are manufacturers that just give the cards a better cooler which will keep temps and noise in check.Because of these they may be better to overclock too,again a temp thing.

Something to look at,

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card (£227.72 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.11 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £271.83
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

If you want some more watts (i don't think you need it),
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1650x...
this one is also (semi) modular.

with that first partslist is there some room for a cooler if you don't have one,
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/enermax-cpu-cooler-etst...
don't know which case you have so make sure it fits.
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July 10, 2014 12:38:34 PM

Cheers Karsten75 and Vic 40. Now to wait for pay day and figure out what to treat myself to. My current PSU may have been sufficient before I used all the spare cables to power my hard drives. I've been told not to used adaptors when powering GPUs via 4 pin (molex?) cables from the PSU. I'll look for a better quality PSU, probably a modular one to keep everything a bit tidier and make sure its sufficient for my needs.

As far as cooling goes I have the standard Intel cooler that came with the processor. I don't overclock (not sure why I wasted money on an overclockable CPU), is it worth buying a better heatsink/cooler if I'm not overclocking? Is this something I should look into in the future if I decide to start overclocking?

At the time of building I bought the cheapest case I could find with USB 3.0 so that's another thing I'll upgrade in the future.
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