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Looking to upgrade for BF3... Best value video card?

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July 24, 2011 7:23:58 AM

Hey guys!

New to the Tom's Hardware forums, but I've been a long-time reader of the site. Basically, I've been reading over the Graphics Card Hierarchy page a thousand times in preparation for Battlefield 3, and I'm wondering what you guys think would be a worthy, affordable upgrade that would allow me to run the game at mid-high settings at 1920 x 1200 resolution. I'm currently running:

Intel Core 2 Extreme X9650 @ 3.0ghz (Not well-versed in the realm of OCing, so I'm leaving it stock)
4GBs of OCZ DDR2 800Mhz
Radeon HD 5670 1GB
64GB SSD (OS and Chrome, mainly)
320GB 7200 RPM Western Digital HDD
500w Antec Basiq PSU
Windows 7 Enterprise (64-bit)

Without breaking the bank (under $150 if at all possible) what would be a decent upgrade for my rig? Also, suggestions for running Fraps and recording gameplay (YouTube weenie here) would be very appreciated.

You guys rock! Thanks in advance.

More about : upgrade bf3 video card

July 24, 2011 12:44:03 PM

Hi Ken, welcome to the forums :) 

The decent upgrade you'll want would be a good GPU. The current one is good for entry level gaming and mid to low settings and at a low resolution. For $150, I'd say a GTX 460 1GB or a HD 6850. But I should tell you this, at 1080p resolution, you'll need to have a better budget and I'd say, build a better PC. You're going to have to change your PSU, IF you're going for anything higher such as a HD 6950 or HD 6870 or a GTX 560 Ti, GTX 570 etc. How much can you expand your budget ?

NOTE: From a few system requirements blogs that I had read for BF3, it said it required at least a HD 6850 as the recommended spec.
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July 24, 2011 5:39:48 PM

Gman450 said:
Hi Ken, welcome to the forums :) 

The decent upgrade you'll want would be a good GPU. The current one is good for entry level gaming and mid to low settings and at a low resolution. For $150, I'd say a GTX 460 1GB or a HD 6850. But I should tell you this, at 1080p resolution, you'll need to have a better budget and I'd say, build a better PC. You're going to have to change your PSU, IF you're going for anything higher such as a HD 6950 or HD 6870 or a GTX 560 Ti, GTX 570 etc. How much can you expand your budget ?

NOTE: From a few system requirements blogs that I had read for BF3, it said it required at least a HD 6850 as the recommended spec.


Well, expanding my budget really depends on a number of factors between now and the time the game launches - graphics card pricing, my then current financial situation, etc. As a poor college student wanting to experience Battlefield on a PC and not my Xbox 360, it's a balancing act of performance versus price point. Check out these cards I've had my eye on, and give me your opinion!

HD 6850 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131374
GTX 460 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130567
HD 6770 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102941 (on the lower end)
GTX 550 Ti - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500194
GTX 465 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162052 (unfamiliar with the brand, but solid NewEgg reviews)
GTX 560 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121446 (if this card drops in price between now and October, I'll probably want to go with this one)

Thanks for your time, Gman!
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July 25, 2011 1:01:55 AM

there isnt much in the way of gfx cards that are more powerfull than yours at $150 look to spend about $300 for an upgrade any less and you will pretty much be swapping like for like.
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July 25, 2011 1:28:11 AM

HEXiT said:
there isnt much in the way of gfx cards that are more powerfull than yours at $150 look to spend about $300 for an upgrade any less and you will pretty much be swapping like for like.


The 5670 is fairly old, however. Sure, a $150 upgrade won't be leaps and bounds, but going from an old mid-range card to a fairly new mid-range card can't be such a negligible upgrade that it's worthless, can it?
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July 25, 2011 3:59:35 AM

5670 isnt an old card in real terms especialy when you look at prices.
for $150 your looking at 1 step over what you currently have which will be negligable in performance.
the problem stems from ati changing there numbering. for instance the 5870 which i have is actualy more powerfull than the newer 6870. the only difference between the 2 is that the 6870 scales better in xfire...
now by the time my card is 2 years old a similar priced new card ie $400 will be roughly 3 steps above my current card. because you bought a low end card to start with yours will show signes of stressing within a year. thus your asking about upgrades. the problem is that over the last year prices havent changed that much. due to the higher cost of materials.
so again i say if you want a substansial upgrade look to add another 50-150 usd. or it wont really be worth the effort. you can also sell on your old card to recoupe some of the cost of the new.
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Best solution

July 25, 2011 11:21:30 AM

KenAdamsNSA said:
Well, expanding my budget really depends on a number of factors between now and the time the game launches - graphics card pricing, my then current financial situation, etc. As a poor college student wanting to experience Battlefield on a PC and not my Xbox 360, it's a balancing act of performance versus price point. Check out these cards I've had my eye on, and give me your opinion!

HD 6850 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131374
GTX 460 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130567
HD 6770 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102941 (on the lower end)
GTX 550 Ti - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500194
GTX 465 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162052 (unfamiliar with the brand, but solid NewEgg reviews)
GTX 560 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121446 (if this card drops in price between now and October, I'll probably want to go with this one)

Thanks for your time, Gman!

From that list, I'd say you should take the GTX 560. It's the best card among the ones you listed for 1080p gaming. I would get a GTX 560 Ti, as it's more faster than the GTX 560 and would do better for gaming at high resolutions and at high settings. Also, GTX 465 is kind of like a let down, don't go for that.

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 25, 2011 6:16:22 PM

Best answer selected by KenAdamsNSA.
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July 25, 2011 6:16:52 PM

Gman450 said:
From that list, I'd say you should take the GTX 560. It's the best card among the ones you listed for 1080p gaming. I would get a GTX 560 Ti, as it's more faster than the GTX 560 and would do better for gaming at high resolutions and at high settings. Also, GTX 465 is kind of like a let down, don't go for that.

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

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


Great! Thanks for the info!
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