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Please help me decide how to pick the best GPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 22, 2011 5:50:29 PM

Hi there, I'm new here and I'm planning to build my own gaming computer sometime this year. I've already started saving money and I've been reading a lot of reviews lately - comparing specs and picking options, but it's really difficult because different people say different stories. I decided that this is the best site to ask because based on the reviews I have read, basically everyone here knows what they're saying.

With regards to the graphics display, I know that if I really want a good gaming computer, I really need to invest a lot in the graphics card, but the thing is, I don't want to spend too much or actually, I can't spend too much on this. I hope you can enlighten me, since I do have a lot of questions.

QUESTIONS:
1. I am planning to buy a graphics card, and I've been trying to research if it would be better to buy a motherboard with built in graphics card but still gives the option to add a graphics card or is it better to buy a motherboard that really requires a video card to function? I've been trying to research everywhere but I can't seem to find the answer to this.

2. The video card specifications on our area have details that I can really weigh. Please check the list of video cards I have listed. All of these have almost the same prices but they have different sets of specifications. Can anyone please tell me how to determine which one is the best and how.
a. Inno3D GTS450 512ddr5 128b hdmi
b. Inno3D GT430 2gb ddr3 128b hdmi
c. Inno3D GTS250 512ddr3 256b ddvi
d. PC HD5670 1gb ddr5 128bit hdmi

3. For my last question, is it better to invest in more affordable graphics card so I can buy 2 and use them together or is it better to have just 1 graphics card which costs a bit less than 2 cheaper cards? I'm not really sure because the only reviews I read with regards to this was something posted by someone who needs more than 1 display for work. I'm planning to use the computer mainly for games, and maybe watch a movie or two in a week. Please tell me which is better.


==================================
Part's I'm planning to buy:
Processor:
Phenom II X4 965 (3.4G) 8mb black ed. -- or probably a newer version if in case the prices go down when bulldozer is released
Motherboard:
I don't have any specifications right now but I was thinking of getting a Gigabyte board.
RAM:
I'm going to max out whatever the capacity of the mobo I pick is, and I'm eying on DDR3 1600 rams.
Graphics card:
I really have no clue.
Other:
I'm not really specific with regards to other specifications but if anyone can give me insights on which parts can give me the best experience, I'd be more than happy to know about it.
==================================


I would really appreciate it if anyone can help me out with my questions. You don't really need to answer all of them. All little insights anyone can give, I'll be more than happy to read about it. Thank you for reading my questions. : )



More about : decide pick gpu

a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 6:11:06 PM

I would go with a sandy bridge i5 2500k right now for $224 much more future proof and a better value in a gaming computer than maxing out the ram, save money on the ram by just getting 4 or 8 gigs, (4 is fine), and get the better intel cpu. As far as the video cards you listed I would say they are pretty low end, with a build like this you should at least shoot for a hd6850, gtx 460 1 gig, or best to wait a few days for the relaease of the gtx 560 which will be roughly $250 and have nearly 6950 levels... that would be your best bet, what is your budget for your card and what resolution are you playing at? what power supply are you getting? what motherboard (if you want crossfire/sli advice)?? I would say in your case probably 1 single card is better more affordable will perform better most of the time and is more reliable, also you generally need a monster psu to run high end crossfire or sli unless you are doing so with midrange or low end cards. In the end its best to go with one powerful card or at least one upper midrange card such as the gtx 460, that is usually your best value, a cusp just under the so called high end, even though the gtx 460s can deliver some damn impressive hd graphics.... bottom line wait for the gtx 560 to be released in a few days here, that will be your best bet. If your goign to get a mother board that is either crossfire or sli, I would personally go with nvidia sli, they generally have higher min frame rates and less driver issues. I know thats probably a lot to digest but just ask a question if you need to or feel free to pm me for advice on which components to choose, I will no doubt inform you on what the best bang for your buck is.

also about the cards you listed don't worry so much about specs, the gts 250 is the old version of the gts 450 (450 is dx11) the other cards you listed are not worth buying imo. with the 250 and 450 you will be able to game around 720 or a bit higher, for the level of cpu and system you picked out I would at least spend a little more on a gpu beyond a gts 450/250. So tell me what resolution you plan on playing at....?

If you want me to recommend you a complete build then pm me with your budget and tell me what you already have and Ill get back to you
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January 22, 2011 6:37:43 PM

First off, thanks for replying and for offering your assistance. I really appreciate it. With regards to the computer I'm trying to build, I don't have that much budget as of the moment. I was thinking of buying low to midrange parts then just upgrade as soon as I get enough money to by the "best". I was planning on spending roughly around $200 for the processor and about $150 for the mobo. For the graphics card, I was thinking of buying something really cheap and buy a better one after a few months. Basically, I'm not really that particular with resolutions and all that. I just want a gpu that's good enough for games like L4D2 and Lost Planet 2, but is still not that expensive. I was planning on spending around $120 for the GPU. Would you be able to help me with this?

Btw, I'm really new to this so I don't know how to PM you or how to even find out if someone else posted on the threads I commented on.
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 6:45:18 PM

for around 120 I would get a gtx 460 768mb version they are around 120 after rebate.

If thats too expensive then get a gts 450 which can be had for under $120. Lost Planet 2 is way more demanding then L4D2 for example you may only be able to play lp2 on low res as compared to LFD2 you should be able to play on high res because its dx9. Anyhow I would go with what you can afford.

for that budget you mentioned HOWEVER.... you can still afford an i52500 and a socket 1155 motherboard no problem and that would definatley be your best route then down the road upgrade your gpu and you will have a monster gaming machine. Getting the intel platform will give you better performance in games for about the same price as an am3 setup
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January 22, 2011 7:16:42 PM

Without a doubt, I believe you when you say that Intel cores really give the best performance, but I'm hesitant to spend more than $200 for the Intel core. I'm not earning that much to buy expensive cores and replace them in less than a year. I was thinking of spending money on something that I can easily replace in case it burns out quickly; hence, I chose AMD processor. Based on the reviews I have read, AMD always try to build new products which are compatible with parts that was released around 2 years before. This made me believe that the processor I'll be buying this year won't be obsolete after around 2 years or so. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

I'm using Intel Core 2 Duo right now which is the built in processor when my sister bought this, and I'm really impressed that even if the built in video card is only 64MB, I'm still able to run games like L4D, Singularity and such games. I know those games don't require high specs but I never thought I would be able to play those kinds of games in a laptop.

Please tell me what you think in relation to the processor thing and do you think that the sandy bridge will still be a good pick after 2 years?
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January 22, 2011 7:17:30 PM

===
I'm really interested in what you have to say and I think you really know a lot, so I just want to ask you something. It's okay if you dont answer this but I'd appreciate it if you could.

If you were to build a computer for gaming that's about $450 in total for mobo, processor, gpu and ram, what parts will you select?
===
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 7:25:45 PM

the sandy bridge i5 will be fine in 2 years much better of an inverstment then a 965 for sure not to mention that you can get the 2500 for 200, really for 450 dollars you are not going to have much of a better machine then what you already have...
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January 22, 2011 7:36:58 PM

Is that so.. Around how much should I invest for the computer I'm going to build this year which would last 2 years or so?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 7:42:00 PM

emmanuelxian07 said:
===
I'm really interested in what you have to say and I think you really know a lot, so I just want to ask you something. It's okay if you dont answer this but I'd appreciate it if you could.

If you were to build a computer for gaming that's about $450 in total for mobo, processor, gpu and ram, what parts will you select?
===


If your budget is 450 dollars for Mobo, Processor, GPU, and Ram, (you're going to need PSU also) the best you could do is probably this...

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

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

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

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

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

With rebates AND shipping that comes out to roughly 390 dollars.

Now honestly I have not read the thread that well so I don't know what you currently have and what not (I'm at work so I can't be goofing off too much :p ), but I don't think you can get much better for 400 dollars. I left you 60 dollars for a hard drive also, becuase I wasn't sure if you had one or not. If you already do you can get a more expensive CPU (like the 965).
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 7:46:45 PM

Sorry, I linked the wrong item the first time, please recheck the links if you already looked at them.
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January 22, 2011 7:48:55 PM

Will do. Thanks. I'll check the links first then I'll post another reply after.
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January 22, 2011 8:00:44 PM

Helltech said:
If your budget is 450 dollars for Mobo, Processor, GPU, and Ram, (you're going to need PSU also) the best you could do is probably this...

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

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

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

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

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

With rebates AND shipping that comes out to roughly 390 dollars.

Now honestly I have no read the thread that well so I don't know what you currently have and what not (I'm at work so I can't be goofing off too much :p ), but I don't think you can get much better for 400 dollars. I left you 60 dollars for a hard drive also, becuase I wasn't sure if you had one or not. If you already do you can get a more expensive CPU (like the 965).




Thanks for the suggestion but I was thinking of spending, more or less, $450 for the processor, mobo, RAM and gpu only. Hard drives and other components are not that expensive, so I can always buy them and spend a little more. I'm also open to getting intel cores now. What you said made me think twice about getting an AMD processor. For the gpu, anything basic that will allow me to play games with heavy requirements like LP2 will be good enough for me, even if I can't max out the quality.


Btw, I know what you mean by "can't goof off" because of work. I usually do that too. :pt1cable: 
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 8:05:29 PM

Well in that case if its $450 for processor, mobo, ram, and GPU only you can get a core 1155.

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

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

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

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

That comes to 458 USD after shipping and Rebates.

Also judging by your last post it sound like you plan on getting a cheap PSU, please don't you will regret it.
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January 22, 2011 8:07:43 PM

I like the set you suggested to me but I'm just wondering why you suggested Athlon instead of Phenom. From what I have read, Phenom is actually better and cost just a bit more than the Athlon. Please pardon my curiosity, but I just want to know if there's a particular reason why you chose Athlon over Phenom. I hope you don't mind me asking, because I'd really like to know more. Thanks.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 8:10:00 PM

It was becuase of your budget, thats the only reason. I was trying to fit in a PSU and leave you room for a HDD as well, but since you said you don't need those..... You can go with the 1155 build I posted above.
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January 22, 2011 8:13:36 PM

Helltech said:
Well in that case if its $450 for processor, mobo, ram, and GPU only you can get a core 1155.

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

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

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

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

That comes to 458 USD after shipping and Rebates.

Also judging by your last post it sound like you plan on getting a cheap PSU, please don't you will regret it.



Thanks for these suggestions! I was really hoping you'd give Intel as an option. If in case I spend more and decide to get the sandy bride suggested a while ago and if I get a DDR3 1600 RAM, will I have any problem if I use the mobo and gpu you suggested?
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January 22, 2011 8:14:51 PM

Helltech said:
It was becuase of your budget, thats the only reason. I was trying to fit in a PSU and leave you room for a HDD as well, but since you said you don't need those..... You can go with the 1155 build I posted above.


I thought so. :D  Thanks!
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January 22, 2011 8:24:19 PM

So that means I'll have to do a little modification.. Honestly, I'm not confident enough to do that because I don't really know much and I'm really worried that I'll break something before I even start enjoying. >,<
If it's not too much to ask, can you suggest a motherboard that is DDR3 ready and is good with the Sandy bridge processor?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 8:27:32 PM

That motherboard I linked is DDR3 ready, it only accepts DDR3 memory. For reference all 1155 motherboards are DDR3 only.
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January 22, 2011 8:36:31 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. You really helped a lot and I'll really contemplate on these options. Hopefully I'll be able to build this Q1 this year.

I'm just curious, do you think Intel core prices will go down once Bulldozer hits the market?
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January 22, 2011 8:37:04 PM

Best answer selected by emmanuelxian07.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 8:50:38 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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