A suitable GPU (for BF3)

I have a budget between £100-300 for a card. The card should allow me to play at 1920x1080 on a 32" TV at high settings. Bare in mind I mostly play BF3 which means I might download another game but only play it for1-2 hours and then uninstall it. I am not going to be buying any other PC games in the foreseeable future which should help you choose a great bang for buck card. I don't have any preference between AMD or NVidia but the system that I will be running it on will be something like: i5 2500k, a popular SLI mobo, 4GB ram etc. Yes I will overclock (first time doing it) and I don't know if a SINGLE card or 2 cards would be best for me. Ideally I would like a single card that can handle 1080 at high settings and then get the same card then put the settings up to ultra. I'm not going to be constantly upgrading parts so I'm looking to put together a great decent build which I wouldn't touch for 5 years except adding the second GPU(remember I'm not going to be buying any PC Games).
19 answers Last reply
More about suitable
  1. Maybe the 660ti would suffice or a 6870, 6870 being the cheaper of the two.
  2. 3 THings:

    1st: what is your PSU (brand model, etc). Need to know what can handle your PC.
    2nd: If you dont plan to play other games, "lasting 5 years" wont be a problem, unless it simply dies.
    3rd: There is no way to guarantee a card to last more than 1.5 years. In 1.5 years there might be a huge evolution (like the nvidia 6000 series or 200 gtx series) or can be almost no improvement at all (like nvidias 500 series after 400 or atis 6000 after 5000).

    So, since we cant see the future, its impossible to make a statement for 5 years. Maybe 3... tops. (I still need to know your PSU model before i can recommend any GPU).
  3. With the latest drivers used AMD hold a clear advantage over nVIDIA nearly across the board: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_Performance/5.html

    A Radeon HD 7950 3GB would allow you a comfortable full 1080p using Ultra settings actually even a Radeon HD 7870 2GB is good enough for comfortable 1080p gaming in BF3. A Radeon HD 7870 2GB will also offer Geforce 660 Ti-like performance for a much lower cost. Your call but this is the card I'd likely recommend: XFX Double D FX-787A-CDFC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB $209.99 after $20.00 rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150605&name=Desktop-Graphics-Cards
  4. biggest thing with BF3 is loading the insane amount of textures that the game has. Most current generation of cards have the horsepower to run very high to ultra settings, the biggest handicap is the amount of VRAM on the card itself, you will want something above 1gb or VRAM, 2 or more generally. Also for some reason Nvidia seems to yield higher benchmarks, but a card from either the red or green team can run the game just fine.
  5. rage33 said:
    biggest thing with BF3 is loading the insane amount of textures that the game has. Most current generation of cards have the horsepower to run very high to ultra settings, the biggest handicap is the amount of VRAM on the card itself, you will want something above 1gb or VRAM, 2 or more generally. Also for some reason Nvidia seems to yield higher benchmarks, but a card from either the red or green team can run the game just fine.


    As per the above poster, that is no longer true with CAT 12.11. AMD dominates across the board and especially the significant performance gains in BF3. Check: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6393/amds-holiday-plans-cat1211-new-bundle

    I also concur with the 7950. 300 uk pounds should be adequate for that card.
  6. A quick thing about VRAM:
    As rage said, it's important with this game (and almost no other game). At 1920x1080 on ultra settings it will use about 1.5GB. So 2GB is ideal. More than two is useless at this resolution.

    And I agree with either a 7950 or 7970 (7970s seem to sell slightly above 300 pounds on scan). They make great combos with the 2500k
  7. slicedtoad said:
    A quick thing about VRAM:
    As rage said, it's important with this game (and almost no other game). At 1920x1080 on ultra settings it will use about 1.5GB. So 2GB is ideal. More than two is useless at this resolution.

    And I agree with either a 7950 or 7970 (7970s seem to sell slightly above 300 pounds on scan). They make great combos with the 2500k


    Well I wouldn't say useless... it is better future-proofing and allows for multi-monitor upgrades if you so decide.
  8. dyc4ha said:
    Well I wouldn't say useless... it is better future-proofing and allows for multi-monitor upgrades if you so decide.
    slicedtoad said:
    More than two is useless at this resolution.
    Just trying to establish that more won't produce extra fps in bf3 at that res.
    not that it matters since AMD's 79xx series has 3GB and that seems to be what people are recommending.
  9. ElMoIsEviL said:
    With the latest drivers used AMD hold a clear advantage over nVIDIA nearly across the board: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_Performance/5.html

    A Radeon HD 7950 3GB would allow you a comfortable full 1080p using Ultra settings actually even a Radeon HD 7870 2GB is good enough for comfortable 1080p gaming in BF3. A Radeon HD 7870 2GB will also offer Geforce 660 Ti-like performance for a much lower cost. Your call but this is the card I'd likely recommend: XFX Double D FX-787A-CDFC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB $209.99 after $20.00 rebate http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150605&name=Desktop-Graphics-Cards


    A clear advantage: the 7950 has a .8 FPS advantage at 1920x1200 over the 660 ti. What a noticeable difference, I'm sure if he buys the 660 ti the game is going to be unplayable, unlike with the 7950. /sarcasm.

    To the OP, buy either the 7950 or the 660 ti. 7950 if you want raw power and overclockability, 660 ti if you want less power consumption and features such as adaptive V-Sync and PhysX.
  10. dyc4ha said:
    As per the above poster, that is no longer true with CAT 12.11. AMD dominates across the board and especially the significant performance gains in BF3. Check: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6393/amds-holiday-plans-cat1211-new-bundle

    I also concur with the 7950. 300 uk pounds should be adequate for that card.


    That's awesome! I hadn't seen that, interesting... thanks for the update.
  11. also +1^ to Ironslice's comment, :-)
  12. 660ti > 7950 cuz of price difference. At 1080p, I rock 60-75 fps easily on Ultra w2AA. so why buy the more expensive gpu? I only play Battlefield 3 so it was an easy choice. 660ti.
  13. Dunno, I'm running Ultra @1080P with everything turned on and get 45+ FPS.....then again it's custom cooled and overclocked. :P
  14. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006
    this is just as cheap as the cheapest 660ti on newegg. I'm not seeing any price difference....

    edit:
    scan.co.uk shows the same thing (with the exception of one 660ti manufacturer that I've never heard of).
  15. I debated between 660 ti and 7950 weeks ago and purchased the 7950 just a few days ago. (Similar price but people said 7950 was better bang for the buck).

    So far I am pleased with it.

    On stock speed, using driver 12.11, I am getting 60-70s FPS stable on ultra 4x MSAA 1080p

    I'm happy spending $300 CAD after taxes and rebates for the 7950. Also right now you get 3 free games... not the best of games.. but its free.. "Never settle bundle"
  16. slicedtoad said:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006
    this is just as cheap as the cheapest 660ti on newegg. I'm not seeing any price difference....

    edit:
    scan.co.uk shows the same thing (with the exception of one 660ti manufacturer that I've never heard of).


    I bought a MSI 660ti for $310usd, but for $270 the 7950 is king. I wish I lived in States.
  17. ^yeah, the rest of the world gets screwed on most tech.
    I'm in Canada which isn't too bad for hardware (slightly worse than the states) but our ISPs and cell phone providers lag 5 years behind.
  18. Unless the 660Ti is significantly cheaper (which it isn't checking newegg) it really is a no-brainer to go for the 7950 with the game bundles and the updated drivers. Not to mention 3GB vram IS better future-proofing.
  19. dyc4ha said:
    Unless the 660Ti is significantly cheaper (which it isn't checking newegg) it really is a no-brainer to go for the 7950 with the game bundles and the updated drivers. Not to mention 3GB vram IS better future-proofing.


    Gotta agree. Get the 7950, as it's cheaper than the 660ti, and you might want to do 3 monitors someday.
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