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Upgrading my video card?

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April 23, 2012 5:26:32 PM

So, I recently bought Skyrim for the PC so I could download mods for it. It checked my computer and gave me a default of "Ultra High" graphic settings. I was pleased to see that, started my game, and it lags terribly. I'm assuming I should upgrade my graphics card to play at this quality? I also have trouble playing Just Cause 2, even at low settings. My current specs are:

Proccesors: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Processor 3.30 GHz
RAM: 8G
OS: Windows 7 64-Bit
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 5670

Edit: Just set it to the lowest resolution and the lowest quality graphics, and now it runs almost as if sped up. It might not be, and it might be just because I'm comparing it to before, but I still don't want to have to run Skyrim at this quality. I'd like to run it at the highest quality on the large resolution, so.. yeah.

More about : upgrading video card

April 23, 2012 5:30:42 PM

You have a budget for the upgrade?
April 23, 2012 5:34:05 PM

wr6133 said:
You have a budget for the upgrade?


Really, I'm not worrying about the money. I mean, nothing obscenely expensive; I just want to know how much I will need to spend eventually to play this and other PC games at their highest quality. So, maybe a few options, like a "middle-of-the-road" and a "this is the best card, but really expensive," etc.?

Edit: Oh, and I'd like to be able to download and install basically any mod I'd like without worrying, "Can my computer handle this?"
Related resources
April 23, 2012 6:46:12 PM

Best

http://www.cclonline.com/product/78548/GTX680-2GD5/Grap...

Still awesome

http://www.cclonline.com/product/66216/025-P3-1579-KR/G...

Those will max out near anything

good

http://www.cclonline.com/product/70126/90-C1CRI0-X0UAY0...

also good but lil bit less

http://www.cclonline.com/product/72786/ENGTX560-TI-DCII...

They will run stuff pretty high and well

Entry

http://www.cclonline.com/product/78590/NE5X55T0FHD09/Gr...

That will chew through most stuff at highish settings but wont touch the more expensive cards.

My brain works in Nvidia. The 680 is currently best single GPU card there is for any maker. For equivalents to the others but AMD brand use the chart linked earlier
April 23, 2012 6:56:52 PM

wr6133 said:
Best

http://www.cclonline.com/product/78548/GTX680-2GD5/Grap...

Still awesome

http://www.cclonline.com/product/66216/025-P3-1579-KR/G...

Those will max out near anything

good

http://www.cclonline.com/product/70126/90-C1CRI0-X0UAY0...

also good but lil bit less

http://www.cclonline.com/product/72786/ENGTX560-TI-DCII...

They will run stuff pretty high and well

Entry

http://www.cclonline.com/product/78590/NE5X55T0FHD09/Gr...

That will chew through most stuff at highish settings but wont touch the more expensive cards.

My brain works in Nvidia. The 680 is currently best single GPU card there is for any maker. For equivalents to the others but AMD brand use the chart linked earlier


Why would you get a Gtx 560ti 448cuda when the 7850 is better AND cheaper?
April 23, 2012 7:02:59 PM

WatchOut said:
Why would you get a Gtx 560ti 448cuda when the 7850 is better AND cheaper?


Learn to read its a life skill that will treat you well

Quote:
My brain works in Nvidia. The 680 is currently best single GPU card there is for any maker. For equivalents to the others but AMD brand use the chart linked earlier

May 4, 2012 4:48:58 AM

Thanks so much for the help that everyone gave! However, nobody ever answered whether or not it IS the video card that needs upgrading. If I upgrade my video card to one of the higher-end ones that has been listed, will the rest of my CPU specs make it possible to run pretty much anything, I.E. Skyrim, Just Cause 2, The Witcher, GW2, etc. on max specs?
May 4, 2012 5:09:47 AM

yes your card needs upgrading. you droped the settings and the game ran propperly that says the gpu is the problem.
May 4, 2012 6:40:33 AM

babtothebone said:
If I upgrade my video card to one of the higher-end ones that has been listed, will the rest of my CPU specs make it possible to run pretty much anything, I.E. Skyrim, Just Cause 2, The Witcher, GW2, etc. on max specs?

Yes.
Make sure you've got a good enough PSU though, when you upgrade your GPU. May we know what's your current one?
June 12, 2012 2:40:34 AM

Gman450 said:
Yes.
Make sure you've got a good enough PSU though, when you upgrade your GPU. May we know what's your current one?


Wow. Sorry this is so late, but I just saw your message because I just now have gotten the money to upgrade, and I intend on doing so soon, and I wanted to check back. I hope you still get this. :) 

My PSU is a 600-volt.

Also, if I were to get a graphics card, does it work like RAM? What I mean is, typically if you put two 2 GB RAM sticks together, they'll run faster than a single 4 GB RAM stick. So, would two graphics cards with 1GB RAM running with CrossFireX run faster than one with 2GB RAM? Does it work the same way?
June 12, 2012 9:18:14 AM

No, GPU doesn't work like RAM. Crossfire is not something you should consider from the get go. Crossfire is a route you can take for upgrade down the line.

Generally 1 GB RAM cards will do fine for a single monitor 1920x1080 gaming. If you need more than 1 monitor you should consider the 2GB versions of the same card. Make sure your PSU is a good brand and of sufficient Wattage to support your graphics card.
June 12, 2012 11:33:19 AM

babtothebone said:
Wow. Sorry this is so late, but I just saw your message because I just now have gotten the money to upgrade, and I intend on doing so soon, and I wanted to check back. I hope you still get this. :) 

My PSU is a 600-volt.

Also, if I were to get a graphics card, does it work like RAM? What I mean is, typically if you put two 2 GB RAM sticks together, they'll run faster than a single 4 GB RAM stick. So, would two graphics cards with 1GB RAM running with CrossFireX run faster than one with 2GB RAM? Does it work the same way?

Well you did take your time.
Do you mean watts or volts?

Also, could we know your model/make of your PSU?

The one that I've posted above, is of CoolerMaster. Just like that, could you tell us the model/make of your PSU?

No, a GPU does not work like RAM does.
2X2GB of RAM doesn't run faster than a single 4GB stick, unless their clocked speeds are different.

And for the second question, there's a yes and a no.
If you CF two low end GPUs,(with 1GB VRAM each), it won't beat a single high end GPU with 2GB or even 1GB VRAM.
Again, it's not about having VRAM.
But if you CF two, high end GPUs, then they'd easily overtake a single high end one. :) 
June 13, 2012 5:04:14 AM

What's your current price range and what resolution will you be gaming at? We should be able to recommend a good graphics card from that point. Also, please specify if you have any preferences from where to get the card - Newegg, Amazon , Best Buy etc...
June 13, 2012 8:08:14 AM

if you have enough for a 680 then i would say get the 670 for a lot less money with less than 5% performance difference... it really isnt worth the money there asking for them as some are 25% more expensive than the 670 i think you will agree that 5% isnt really worth the extra. especially as both will give more than 60 fps in bf3 maxed out but neither will give a solid 120 so you will be running at 60 with vsync on to get rid of screen tearing and the absolute best experience from the card.
if your thinking the 580 would be cheaper then forget it the 670 and 580 are pretty much the same price within £5 the 570 is a cheaper alternative but as already pointed out the 7950 costs just a little more but you will get 580 perfomance for £50 less than the cost of a 580 if you really cant spend more than 150 then try the overclockers forum you may find a good bargain. a m8 got a gtx 580 for under 200 another gut a 560ti for 120
but always shop about...
June 13, 2012 12:28:17 PM

deepb said:
What's your current price range and what resolution will you be gaming at? We should be able to recommend a good graphics card from that point. Also, please specify if you have any preferences from where to get the card - Newegg, Amazon , Best Buy etc...


Max I'd probably want to spend is $400. As for resolution I will be gaming at, it depends. On some games, the resolutions can sometimes go over 2048x1152. I'd like to be able to handle pretty much any game that's going to come out within the next couple of years, and any current ones at max quality and size without any noticeable lag. I would prefer to purchase from TigerDirect.
June 13, 2012 3:19:04 PM

babtothebone said:
The PSU I have is, I believe, a Diablotek 600-watt (my mistake).

I think it may be this one http://www.amazon.com/Diablotek-Series-600-Watt-Supply-...

I'm considering getting the AMD Radeon HD 7850. Is that enough of a PSU to run it? From what I'm reading, 500 is enough.

It's one of the best PSUs out there, but a HD 7850 would be okay.
June 13, 2012 4:48:09 PM

I would upgrade the PSU to something other than a diablotek.. should be cheap alternatives out there with better quality. they have given everyone i know nothing but probs
June 14, 2012 5:59:16 AM

babtothebone said:
Max I'd probably want to spend is $400. As for resolution I will be gaming at, it depends. On some games, the resolutions can sometimes go over 2048x1152. I'd like to be able to handle pretty much any game that's going to come out within the next couple of years, and any current ones at max quality and size without any noticeable lag. I would prefer to purchase from TigerDirect.


This would be at the max limit of your budget - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... , but stick one of these in and I don't think you will be looking at a GPU bottleneck for the next 2-3 years.

Hard to recommend the 7950 which would save you 30-40$ when comparing performance.
June 14, 2012 11:02:18 AM

Sorry for my earlier typos.

Quote:
It's not one of the best PSUs out there, but a HD 7850 would be okay.

I should further add this, buy a better PSU if you're going for a more power hungry GPU.
June 17, 2012 5:57:05 PM

deepb said:
This would be at the max limit of your budget - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... , but stick one of these in and I don't think you will be looking at a GPU bottleneck for the next 2-3 years.

Hard to recommend the 7950 which would save you 30-40$ when comparing performance.


Sorry for so many questions, guys, but the GPU market is just so overwhelming and confusing to me.

I actually went ahead and ordered a $270 AMD HD Radeon 7850. However, if you think that spending that additional $130 will make a large difference in my FPS on high-end games and for future games, I may go ahead and splurge to keep my quality up.

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June 18, 2012 4:51:14 AM
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babtothebone said:
Sorry for so many questions, guys, but the GPU market is just so overwhelming and confusing to me.

I actually went ahead and ordered a $270 AMD HD Radeon 7850. However, if you think that spending that additional $130 will make a large difference in my FPS on high-end games and for future games, I may go ahead and splurge to keep my quality up.


The 7850 is a good card for the price at the moment. It will be able to let you play most games at high on 2048x1152 resolution for now. It won't be able to run ultra on some of the higher end games like Battlefield 3 or Metro 2033. Maybe turn down the anti-aliasing and it should go ok. Down the line, if the card gets pushed to a limit, you could always crossfire it with another 7850. It's a solid card for that price range.

Ofcourse, another option is that you end up waiting for 10 days as the Nvidia 660 is planned for release in the last week of June. It's supposed to be based on the same architecture as the 670 and 680, so might offer you better value than the 7850 for the price.
June 18, 2012 12:54:31 PM

deepb said:
The 7850 is a good card for the price at the moment. It will be able to let you play most games at high on 2048x1152 resolution for now. It won't be able to run ultra on some of the higher end games like Battlefield 3 or Metro 2033. Maybe turn down the anti-aliasing and it should go ok. Down the line, if the card gets pushed to a limit, you could always crossfire it with another 7850. It's a solid card for that price range.

Ofcourse, another option is that you end up waiting for 10 days as the Nvidia 660 is planned for release in the last week of June. It's supposed to be based on the same architecture as the 670 and 680, so might offer you better value than the 7850 for the price.


It's such a hard decision getting a graphics card, because you really do get what you pay for. You can sit looking at the benchmarks and say, "Well, if I spent another $30, I could get an average of 10 FPS more." But, the thing is, you can do that near indefinitely. You can keep justifying an upgrade in your mind until you're spending $700 on a graphics card. So, I think I will stick with the 7850 and then maybe crossfire a second in the future. The 7850 should run most of my games at the highest quality, like Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, and hopefully Just Cause 2 and The Witcher.

Would crossfiring two 7850s give me comparable speed to a GTX 670?
June 18, 2012 2:38:41 PM

HD 7850s in Crossfire can beat a single GTX670 or a HD 7970.
From the games that you play, I don't really see the need for a high end GPU. But it's your choice.

June 18, 2012 4:54:44 PM

Gman450 said:
HD 7850s in Crossfire can beat a single GTX670 or a HD 7970.
From the games that you play, I don't really see the need for a high end GPU. But it's your choice.


Okay. If two HD 7850s in Crossfire can trump the single cards, then I'm definitely going to go through getting the HD 7850.

Most games that I play won't really take a high-end GPU, but I'm also worried about future games I may get. Additionally, Skyrim has a lot of mods that make it far more graphic-intensive with DOF, high-quality textures, etc. It's the one I'm most worried about.

Thanks everyone for the help! I know it took a lot, but I've decided what to do now. :)  I wish I could select multiple best answers, because everyone has been so helpful, but I can't.
June 18, 2012 4:58:28 PM

Best answer selected by babtothebone.
June 18, 2012 5:02:21 PM

Yes, Skyrim will get more intensive, but I don't think it'll be too intensive for a HD 7850 to handle. :) 
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