I use my computer mainly for music production, multitracking with myself in Nuendo.
It´s sometimes a mindtaking occupation, so as a relax, I like to play a game every now and then as well - mainly Call Of Duty, the latest three - to get some Yin for my Yang, so to speak.
I´m looking for some general information on: What is the appropriate interval to changing GFX? I have recently gone from an old Geforce 7900 GTX, that i really liked, to a HD 4770. And that was goooood! As you probably can imagine.
Now, I´ve read a lot of debates about the HD 5770 vs. the 4770. Some say it´s not worth the extra money, besides features, and others say it is. Numbers and tables are flying through the pages, some say one thing, some another.
Are there significant improvements in picture quality, that can´t be measured, but certainly seen, when you move from one card to a newer? F.ex. from a 4770 to 5770? The only thing about a game is not the framerates alone. I would sure be ready to sacrifice a few FPS for an improved quality in the pictures.
Or is it better to jump over a generation or two, if you want some real, noticeable difference? Like i did from 7900 GTX to 4770. Unless you are always hunting for one or two FPS extra, no matter the cost, that is.
You aren't going to see the same gains in performance (or close, really) and you certainly aren't going to see image quality.
I'd wait for Nvidia and ATI to have their new respective launches (Fermi is just around the corner and Northern Island is supposed to before Q2 2011, some say Q4 this year). That would give you the added bonus of being able to chose a more mature platform for DX11 both concerning hardware and software (titles and drivers).
As a rule of thumb, it's best to wait between 2-3 generations before buying another card, unless there is a huge game changer released.
The HD5770 is significantly better in terms of gaming performance(30-35%) but as far as general picture quality goes there would be no real difference compared to the HD4770. In gaming specifically it may allow for the use of higher graphical settings/more AA-AF which will make things look better but that's about it.
The rule of thumb with waiting a couple of generations makes sense
I wouldn't say there is any rule of thumb really. For example your HD4770 is one of the higher end cards of the last generation but the HD5870 is over twice as powerful and certainly a worthwhile upgrade depending on your situation. Whether an upgrade makes sense at a given time is a complex thing to figure out and can depends on what kind of performance you desire, at what resolution, in what games, how much you have to spend vs how much it will cost, and even other factors like how the HD5xxx cards are DX11 vs the DX10 HD4xxx cards.
Basically if you are happy with your current cards performance in the games you play at your current resolution then don't worry about it. It should be pretty obvious when you need an upgrade.
Thanks a bunch cscott_it, that might come in handy. It´s not that long ago I bought my first PC, 7 years now. Due to my age, the most af my life PC´s weren´t around.
Then they made their way into recording studios, and then I simply had to adapt to them if I still wanted work.
A year ago I built my first build, with trembling hands and pounding heart. And was just a little bit disappointed how foolproof and fairly easy it actually was:-)
And now these machines have come to interest me, and I spend quite a few hours reading about them and fooling around with my own, and have signed up to this forum. Where tons and tons of information is to be found and people are ready to help out, great.
Have a nice evening, in my country it´s 11 PM, so I´l retire for the night.