Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: January 2012 (Archive)

Last response: in Reviews comments
Share
December 13, 2012 9:44:46 PM

Hey Don!
Thanks for the December update! You're "For the money" guides are a staple hardware read for me every month! Keep up the good work!

First of all, i would like to note that the comments to the November 20th article are showing up on the December article instead of the December ones...

OF OTHER NOTES:
1....
I suggest adding Honorable mentions for Triinity APUs in the low end market. If someone already has a Radeon 7660D on their APU, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy a 7670 DDR3. They would be much better served by saving up for a $100 card or waiting for the prices of 7750 cards to fall. Trinity (and to some extent )Ivy Bridge HD 4000), are truly kissing the heels of the low end discrete market, and are vastly superior than virtually all of the crap floating around the ~$50 price point on Newegg. Although detail settings and resolutions will most definitely have to be lowered somewhat, sticking with these on-die APU solutions are compelling for Casual gamers that can't afford more than a $50 card.

In the near future it will be increasingly difficult to ignore discussing APUs as they continue to get better and better. I can't wait to see how well Haswell holds up.
2....
The Radeon 7990 doesn't seem to show up on the Hierarchy chart nor mentioned in the $375 and up section. I can only find 2 Powercolor variants, but they are both in stock. For some reason, i can only find a modest amount of press coverage on Radeon 7990 overall.
Score
25
December 13, 2012 10:31:22 PM

The reason there is little coverage of the 7990 is because there "officially" is no 7990. Because AMD has yet to spec one, hardware vendors have taken upon themselves to mash two 7970s and call it a 7990. It exists, but is not very official from AMD's point of view.
Score
21
Related resources
December 13, 2012 10:32:15 PM

And big kudos for adding the Trinity 7660D to the chart!
Score
7
December 14, 2012 12:24:16 AM

@ufo_warviper if you really appreciate Don's review you should re-read it; as he wrote a paragraph about the 7990, or the lack there-of (beninichi summed up).

And there is no honor in running intergrated graphics/APU's at this point. Hense no honourable mention... ;) 

As for Haswell. As an enthusiast I'd love for the i7-2700K/3770K successor to have weak integrated graphics. Weaker than HD3000, have a TDP of ~110 watts and use fluxless solder in it's construction! Sadly though, I know that's unlikely to happen.
Score
-2
December 14, 2012 1:00:22 AM

I am confused on how the 560 SE is a tie with the 7770. The 7770 is $10 cheaper, uses less power and is rated one level higher in Tom's Hierarchy of Cards. Seems like it should be the 7770 as the sole suggestion at the price point.
Score
63
December 14, 2012 2:22:51 AM

Thanks for helping to buyers. also give very very low cost gpus for bussiness systems.
Score
-3
December 14, 2012 3:27:24 AM

DEY123 said:
I am confused on how the 560 SE is a tie with the 7770. The 7770 is $10 cheaper, uses less power and is rated one level higher in Tom's Hierarchy of Cards. Seems like it should be the 7770 as the sole suggestion at the price point.
I have given that some thought. It could be for the sake of being fair and providing options from both sides/companies as much as possible. Also, it could be because some games run better using Nvidia cards and they also have PhysX, CUDA, etc. support for whomever may value them. :) 

Take note of how, in the Best Gaming CPU series, the AMD FX-4170 is also tied with the Intel Core i3-3220 even though the latter is superior in terms of power consumption and possibly plain (gaming) performance. :) 


On a side note, aw... Even the comments posted after this Dec. update were wiped out. :( 

Score
0
December 14, 2012 11:06:24 AM

AMD Trinity APU's need to be added to the chart, above intel integrated graphics.
Score
-1
December 14, 2012 12:15:51 PM

beninchiAnd big kudos for adding the Trinity 7660D to the chart!


Thanks for adding it toms. It was added as "Integrated: HD 7660D" which will not be enough information for people to properly recognize and consider it.

It needs to be identified as "HD 7660D - A10 5800K APU." This name change would be appreciated.
Score
2
December 14, 2012 12:18:14 PM

mikenygmailAMD Trinity APU's need to be added to the chart, above intel integrated graphics.


Good, I see that "Integrated: HD 7660D" was added 4 tiers above Intel's best integrated, but it needs to be listed as "HD 7660D - A10 5800K APU" so that people can properly recognize and consider it. The change would be appreciated TH.
Score
-4
December 14, 2012 10:45:31 PM

Please fix the Hierarchy Chart.
APU's are not "Radeon" products, so a new column is needed, entitled "AMD."
Then in the appropriate tier, list each AMD APU
in the same format as this example: "HD 7660D - A10 5800K APU."
Score
-10
December 14, 2012 11:47:45 PM

mikenygmailPlease fix the Hierarchy Chart.APU's are not "Radeon" products, so a new column is needed, entitled "AMD."Then in the appropriate tier, list each AMD APU in the same format as this example: "HD 7660D - A10 5800K APU."


Nothing to fix.
APUs are, indeed, assigned Radeon-branded graphics chipsets.

Similarly, Intel graphics is listed by the graphics chipset, not the CPU that carries it.
Score
16
December 15, 2012 1:11:32 AM

CleeveNothing to fix. APUs are, indeed, assigned Radeon-branded graphics chipsets.Similarly, Intel graphics is listed by the graphics chipset, not the CPU that carries it.


Plenty to fix, actually.
Nothing similar about it, and Intel CPU's are listed - 3 of the top 5 on the chart.

Intel's column products are listed in great detail, for example:
"Integrated: Intel HD Graphics (Core i3 5x0, Core i5-6x0)"
So the name intel is listed TWICE, in the column title and in each and every single product name.

AMD's column, oh wait there is no AMD column...
Radeon's column products are listed as such:
"Integrated: HD 7660D" - with no mention of "AMD" or "APU" ever, at all!
The name AMD is listed NEVER, ZERO, not in any column title and not for any AMD product.
"APU" is listed NEVER, ZERO, not in any column title and not for any AMD product.
Come on, this is ridiculous...

I really appreciate the charts, but this needs to be fixed.
Score
-10
December 15, 2012 1:14:27 AM

Aw... What did I do to get thumbed down? :lol: 

Don, is what I said above really the reason you still recommended the GTX 560 SE? Some people are wondering.
Score
3
December 15, 2012 1:18:32 AM

Actually, Intel graphics are in fact listed by the CPU, for 3 of the top 5, for example:
"Integrated: Intel HD Graphics (Core i5-6x1), 2000"
That's a direct quote from the Hierarchy Chart.

The name intel appears twice, both in the column name and for each intel product.

The name AMD does not appear at all, there's no AMD column and no AMD product is labeled AMD!
For example, "Integrated: HD 7560D" does not contain the proper information. It should be listed as "AMD HD 7660D (A10 5800K APU)" for it to be in the same format as the intel listings.
The name APU (and AMD) does not appear at all, not anywhere in the entire Hierarchy Chart!
Score
-6
December 15, 2012 1:21:42 AM

mikenygmail said:
Plenty to fix, actually.
Nothing similar about it, and Intel CPU's are listed - 3 of the top 5 on the chart.

Intel's column products are listed in great detail, for example:
"Integrated: Intel HD Graphics (Core i3 5x0, Core i5-6x0)"
So the name intel is listed TWICE, in the column title and in each and every single product name.

AMD's column, oh wait there is no AMD column...
Radeon's column products are listed as such:
"Integrated: HD 7660D" - with no mention of "AMD" or "APU" ever, at all!
The name AMD is listed NEVER, ZERO, not in any column title and not for any AMD product.
"APU" is listed NEVER, ZERO, not in any column title and not for any AMD product.
Come on, this is ridiculous...

I really appreciate the charts, but this needs to be fixed.
Well actually...

Maybe Intel's name is listed to differentiate its HD's from the Radeon HD's? You know, because AMD's Radeon HD's are really iconic and people might confuse Intel's HD graphics for them in the chart. Plus, Intel doesn't really give a name like "GeForce" or "Radeon" to its graphics so... :) 

The "D" or "G" after the APU graphics' names are there to denote that they are APU graphics. (Some of) Intel's GPU's are technically what APU's are as well I think. Should they be denoted as well as such? :) 
Score
1
December 15, 2012 1:27:24 AM

mikenygmail said:
Actually, Intel graphics are in fact listed by the CPU, for 3 of the top 5, for example:
"Integrated: Intel HD Graphics (Core i5-6x1), 2000"
That's a direct quote from the Hierarchy Chart.

The name intel appears twice, both in the column name and for each intel product.

The name AMD does not appear at all, there's no AMD column and no AMD product is labeled AMD!
For example, "Integrated: HD 7560D" does not contain the proper information. It should be listed as "AMD HD 7660D (A10 5800K APU)" for it to be in the same format as the intel listings.
The name APU (and AMD) does not appear at all, not anywhere in the entire Hierarchy Chart!
Oh, so that's what you meant. The reason they do that I assume is because Intel names some of it's GPU's the same even though they vary in specs between processors. AMD on the other hand has specific models for different spec'ed IGP's. :)  I'd say what they did was only right. :) 

Score
0
December 15, 2012 8:59:49 AM

Hi! I'm new! Happy to be here!
I posted in the 5 year old review of the Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB video card. I hope I get some advice of you guys! I was about to post that here too, but didn't want to re-post, may not be good.

But my basic questions were: How come a 5 year old video card is only 9 tiers down below the more recent and super powerful 7970 GHz Ed.? (From this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart) And also it is 8 tiers above the pretty cool Intel HD Graphics 4000?

Does that mean its specs and 512 MB are enough to work with media and play nicely most nowadays games? (at medium-high settings?) I know that does not only depend on the video card, but that chart suggest that.

Please read the rest here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-8800-gts-51...

Thank you very much!

- L.
Score
3
December 15, 2012 10:48:20 AM

mikenygmail said:
Come on, this is ridiculous...


I'll say. You could complain about the choice of cards. You could complain about the analysis of each product. You could even go as low as complaining about grammar. Instead, you chose to complain that AMD is not listed in the column headers of a table.

You, sir, are the most petty person I've run into all day.
Score
7
December 15, 2012 2:53:51 PM

eisley said:
Hi! I'm new! Happy to be here!
I posted in the 5 year old review of the Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB video card. I hope I get some advice of you guys! I was about to post that here too, but didn't want to re-post, may not be good.

But my basic questions were: How come a 5 year old video card is only 9 tiers down below the more recent and super powerful 7970 GHz Ed.? (From this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart) And also it is 8 tiers above the pretty cool Intel HD Graphics 4000?

Does that mean its specs and 512 MB are enough to work with media and play nicely most nowadays games? (at medium-high settings?) I know that does not only depend on the video card, but that chart suggest that.

Please read the rest here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-8800-gts-51...

Thank you very much!

- L.
Hello there! :)  Welcome to Tom's Hardware and I hope you stick around and participate inn the forums. :D 

I'll have a shot at your inquiry, though if I'm wrong, I bet someone else could correct me. :) 

IMO, the chart is very general and "rough." As I know, the performance of some of the cards listed are pretty much approximations/educated guesses. Not all of them have been tested under the same benchmarks so there's no perfect comparison.

Also, you may very well be aware of how older generation cards don't support some technologies like DirectX 11 for one. I don't think this chart really takes that into account. As for the RAM amount, you may already know this but I'll say it anyway, as I know, how much RAM needed is highly dependent on the resolution and anti-aliasing levels you use, aside from a lot of other things like the game itself.

So anyway, since this chart is very general in nature (and possibly could use updates with older cards, though that's too much to ask for I would say) you'd have to take other factors into consideration like those I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

BTW, 9/8 tiers are pretty substantial in terms of a performance difference I think. Also, each tier might not represent that equal of differences in performance, though I'm not totally sure. I wouldn't know if the 8800 GTS is misplaced on the chart, but if it isn't then it looks like it was quite the performer during its time. A good performing card's merit could carry over through multiple generations past its own. :) 

I hope I helped, but feel free to say if not... :p 
Score
3
December 15, 2012 7:10:06 PM

randomizerYou, sir, are the most petty person I've run into all day.


You, sir, are the most random troll I've ever run into - but at least your name kinda fits.

Petty, if anything, is picking out 1 random thing and emphasizing it to the point of untruths.
Stop whining about my post and try responding to it in a proper manner.
Score
-7
December 15, 2012 7:13:14 PM

eisleyHi! I'm new! Happy to be here! I posted in the 5 year old review of the Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB video card. I hope I get some advice of you guys! I was about to post that here too, but didn't want to re-post, may not be good. But my basic questions were: How come a 5 year old video card is only 9 tiers down below the more recent and super powerful 7970 GHz Ed.? (From this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart) And also it is 8 tiers above the pretty cool Intel HD Graphics 4000?Does that mean its specs and 512 MB are enough to work with media and play nicely most nowadays games? (at medium-high settings?) I know that does not only depend on the video card, but that chart suggest that.Please read the rest here:http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,1743.htmlThank you very much!- L.


512 is not enough to play modern games nicely with medium to high settings.
I'd recommend getting something with at least 2 GB, or 1 GB at an absolute minimum.
Get at least an AMD Radeon 7770 or equivalent.
Score
-8
December 15, 2012 7:14:57 PM

army_ant7feel free to say if not...


not.

you did not answer the question, but luckily I did. :) 
Score
-8
December 15, 2012 7:17:34 PM

eisleyHi! I'm new! Happy to be here! I posted in the 5 year old review of the Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB video card. I hope I get some advice of you guys! I was about to post that here too, but didn't want to re-post, may not be good. But my basic questions were: How come a 5 year old video card is only 9 tiers down below the more recent and super powerful 7970 GHz Ed.? (From this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart) And also it is 8 tiers above the pretty cool Intel HD Graphics 4000?Does that mean its specs and 512 MB are enough to work with media and play nicely most nowadays games? (at medium-high settings?) I know that does not only depend on the video card, but that chart suggest that.Please read the rest here:http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,1743.htmlThank you very much!- L.


I just wanted to add that Intel HD Graphics 4000 is not "pretty cool" and in fact it's absolutely horrible compared to AMD's APU's which provide vastly superior GPU's, 3 to 4 tiers higher.

The 8800 GTS 512 is 9 tiers down because that's where it belongs. 3 tiers or more represents a significant difference.
Score
-4
December 16, 2012 3:53:03 AM

Legit.
Score
-2
December 16, 2012 5:16:16 AM

mikenygmail said:
not.

you did not answer the question, but luckily I did. :) 
I'll have to respectfully refute you there. :) 
This answer (claim) of yours is probably true for a lot of games.
mikenygmail said:
512 is not enough to play modern games nicely with medium to high settings.
I'd recommend getting something with at least 2 GB, or 1 GB at an absolute minimum.
Get at least an AMD Radeon 7770 or equivalent.
But it assumes too much IMO. For example, is Torchlight 2 not a modern game? (BTW, whether or not a game is "modern" can be highly subjective. :) ) What specs (VRAM amount for instance) does it need to run it? "Medium to high" settings are understandable, but I don't think there's a really objective way to classify resolution, anti-aliasing, and others as "medium to high." Also, some may classify 30-40FPS as running "nicely" while others may need higher. (Notice all the subjectivity to this matter?) So I worked with what the person who asked gave. 512MB of VRAM can be sufficient depending on the person, game, and other variables (I played Prototype (1) on a 512MB 9600GT a year or a few back. It was on a CRT monitor so I might've played it at 1152x864 resolution or something, but at High settings.) I wouldn't dare impose my own preferences as absolute to someone else. :)  You on the other hand said flat out "no" pretty much.

What I did was impart what I knew about this topic so that that person may be more independent and more accurate with what he/she wants to know based on what he/she chooses to run or analyze. :) 
Score
3
December 16, 2012 3:58:48 PM

@eisley on the 8800GTS

It should also be stated that you actually can't use a 8800GTS is your system anyway. It's a dual slot GPU and it's needs a 6 pin PCIe connector. Your old HP dc7900 minitower will not support it.

Did you find a 8800 on ebay for next to nothing? Seems to me like you may have been "pulling the wool" over your own eyes to justify getting it. The PC is not very old. Flash back 17 years to Windows 95. It possible to list every GPU on a single page(depending on your screen resolution or course). But dropping "only" several tiers is very decieving. As already stated the Tom's GPU hierarchy chart should only be used a rough quide. Consider the generations of old technology listed: nostalgic; for purposes of comparison only. You need to do reasearch.

There were a few different 8800GTS's. So I'll just pick the 1st one:
8800GTS(G80) - released, Feb/2007 - 90nm fab process - 143 watts - DX10.0 - 346 gigaflops of graphical processing power

Since then the many generations have passed. The fab process has gone from 90 to 65 - 55 - 40, to the current 28nm. (It should also be noted that DX 11 is current, it was preceded by 10.1).

Lets say you wanted a current 28nm GPU with about the same graphical processing power as that 8800. The closest retail card I can find is the GeForce GT 640. Power consumption is way down at only 65 watts. But it's processing power is ~double at 691 gflops. I can't accurately match a 8800GTS to a modern 28nm GPU because there isn't a retail card that weak!

And if you wanted a modern card that consumes about the same wattage. You would be looking at a GTX 660 Ti. It's rated at 2460 gflops! So as one would conclude, a large amount of electricity consumed by old graphics cards is just wasted as heat. (But in the future we're be saying that about the 28nm fab prosess too).

All you can really do is try to stay on top of technology, but stay within a budget. I think modern technology is maturing and not going obsolute as quickly. And currently there are a couple of reasons(argubably) to not upgrade to the latest tech(Windows 8 or Sandy Bridge).
Score
4
December 16, 2012 6:48:47 PM

Why the gtx 660 is not included in the 175~250 $ range? is it bad value according to its performance for the money ?
Score
0
December 16, 2012 7:02:46 PM

merandosWhy the gtx 660 is not included in the 175~250 $ range? is it bad value according to its performance for the money ?


The 7870 beat it out for less money.
Score
4
December 17, 2012 1:56:53 PM

mikenygmail512 is not enough to play modern games nicely with medium to high settings.I'd recommend getting something with at least 2 GB, or 1 GB at an absolute minimum.Get at least an AMD Radeon 7770 or equivalent.


It depends on what he plays and how he wants to play it. An 8800 GTS will play most any non-FPS just fine at lower resolutions and detail settings. I know because up until fairly recently I used basically the same card in a notebook computer (8800m GTX 512MB). It played everything I threw at it just fine at 1280x1024 at middling settings. How much longer the card would have performed at that level is an open question, of course.

Amusingly, the only problem I recall having on that rig is that SWTOR occasionally brought the processor (a Core2 Duo T9300) to its knees. That's multiplayer for you.

All of that said, though, wdmfiber gave the best answer to eisley's question, IMO. If eisley can't even use the 8800 because his rig won't support it, that's a tad bit more important than the debate over whether the card is any good. Army_ant7 covered the explanation of the heirarchy chart, though I think it's worth noting that (as of today, in my experience) DirectX 11 doesn't really offer a night-and-day difference relative to DirectX 9. There will (eventually) come a time when DirectX 11 is the standard, but right now, and all else being equal, a game played on a DirectX 9/10 card isn't going to look markedly worse to the average gamer than the same game played on a DirectX 11 card.

EDIT to add the TL;DR version: One shouldn't buy a 5-year-old card, but a 5-year-old card can work if you already have one lying around, depending on what you want to do with it. On the practical side of the issue, if eisley's power supply doesn't have a PCI-e connector, then he either needs to pick up a new power supply or he needs to pick up a card that doesn't require supplemental power. To echo Mr Woligroski's article, the HD 7750 would be an excellent option in the latter case.
Score
0
December 17, 2012 3:49:13 PM


eisleyHi! I'm new! Happy to be here! I posted in the 5 year old review of the Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB video card. I hope I get some advice of you guys! ...


Welcome to tomshardware! 8)

I shall duck & dive out of the way of the spears and arrows flying elsewhere on this thread (hehe), just to mention
that, for newer games, you would get a very nice performance boost indeed simply by obtaining a used 1GB GTX 460.
I've run hundreds of tests, the speedup over an 8800GT for newer games/features is considerable. I don't know about
typical eBay valuations in the US, but here in the UK I bagged an 800MHz Palit card for about 70 UKP, but versions
with lower GPU clocks go for a lot less. Strangely, 560 cards with entry-level GPU clocks go for quite a bit more (can't
imagine why, a 460 with a higher clock is cheaper/faster). 560 Ti cards go for much more though - at this level you're
probably better off investing in a new card entirely.

But you could certainly get a lot of mileage out of a used 460.

See:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/sgi.html#PC
http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/tests-jj.txt

Note that if at the same time as moving to newer games you also switch to higher resolutions and greater image detail,
then you will observe even more of an advantage from newer cards.

Also note though that beyond a certain point (depending on the game), performance may be bottlenecked by CPU speed
and/or RAM speed. An older dual-core system is a typical example (6000+, E8400, that sort of thing) - installing a newer
card may give little or no benefit at all if the CPU cannot cope with the load. You can find numerous examples of these
effects in my 3DMark results collection.

Ian.

Score
0
December 17, 2012 8:38:13 PM

Hi you all! :D 
I thank you each of you for your kind help! Each of you have been very kind and helpful!
I wanted to reply sooner but I'm busy, and will be for 2 more days. I'm a translator, and have a lot of documents to translate. :/ 

You have clarified some things and gave me a wider view of this complex video cards world. I wish they were easy to say one is better than the other as it's easy to say the Core i5 is better than the i3.

Just to leave you with this message and comunicate my intentions: Please, do try to help me.

I have an original HP Compaq dc7900 Convertible Minitower PC. I bought it some months ago as an upgrade to my old P3. (Yeah, Pentium 3, long story). It has been behaving totally fine. I'm not a basic user, not very advanced. And I feel it's so worthy and don't regret having picked it to a new Core i3 second generation cpu, which costs twice.
Having said that and asuming you all know of the fame, capabilities and cons of this good processor, I say what I want: what I want is an upgrade for it: a video card. (Later, more upgrades if needed)

I'm pretty sure I won't change this current PC of mine until a 5th generation of iCore's come out. Maybe.
So, in simple terms, what I need, and want is the best video card available for this rig at a price of: $ 150.00. This is kind of a maximum, as I think I won't need more than what a $150 card will offer.

I would like to spend those dollars in the best one that possibly exists for my current PC
. From $120 (preferable) to $150 will be fine. Altough, if a $170 one will give me much, much, much more, I think it'll be worthy. But try not to get that high in price :(  And also, if your knowledge says is not worthy to spend that much money for what I need and want, feel free to say it to me.
And also, give me at least 3 suggestions, and brands (Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, PowerColor, etc). Cause I plan buying it here in Lima, the capital city of my country: Peru. If over here the prices are too high compared to sites like New Egg, Ebay, etc, I'll buy it from there. So feel free to give me links to the cards you will suggest for me.

That's basically the information for you, to help me find and decide for one. I wish I had more knowledge about this so I could do it myself, but I feel lucky and happy there are guys like you to help me! :D 

Now, let's see. In terms of games and expectations for this upgrade:

I like playing with my Playstation 2 (soon PS3) games like God Of War, Alice Madness, and some Twisted Metal, etc :D . I really like the realism that games like those and BattleField, etc has, the simulations of real situations, enviroments, and of physical events (fire, wind, smoke, water, etc) they have. So I'd like my PC (with its capabilities + a video card) to present to me the best it can from those aspects. And also that my monitor displays everything (images, videos, user interface) -much more- highly defined and smoothly (FHD videos, etc). (Gaming is mostly casual, but hard when it comes).

I hope I'm getting understood :)  I'm kind of crazy for the details.

In terms of monitor/display:
I have 2 TVs, one a newer 3D and the other a Full HD 32" LCD (LG LD650). I'll use my LD650 as a monitor for my PC. Seems too big, but it's not. I had planned buying a 24" IPS FHD one, but I saved that money ($240) and decided to use this one year old super nice TV instead :D  (Good idea huh?)
So having that in count. How the situation has changed? Does it affect at something not having a "normal" monitor?

This TV has HDMI ports and the normal RGB IN connector. I don't know if I could use some adaptor to use the RGB IN connector if the card you suggest me doesn't have an HDMI port. In that case hope the RBG IN (TV) - DVI (v card) connection will do as good as the HDMI, cause there won't be another way to connect the Tv, I think. So HDMI would be preferable.
I connected the Tv to an office laptop throuh HDMI and the view was amazing! 1080p was awesome!
Ok, that's the monitor I plan to use. I hope there aren't issues due to it's high resolution. >.<

Now, my PC specs:
I start with it's power supply: 365W (the one they sell originally) and the mainboard is the Intel Q45. I have just checked and it has:
1 PCI Express X16,
1 PCI Express X4,
1 PCI Express X1
and 3 PCI slots. There seem to be enough space to mount someting big (20 centimeters, 7.5 inches).

The rest of the specs acording to DXdiag here:

------------------
System Information
------------------

Machine name: HP-PC
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_rtm.101119-1850)
Language: Spanish (Regional Setting: Spanish)
System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
System Model: HP Compaq dc7900 Convertible Minitower
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 3800MB RAM
Page File: 1159MB used, 6437MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11 (HERE IT SAYS DIRECTX 11, BUT IN THE PANNEL OF THE DRIVER IT SAYS 10.0 DON'T KNOW WHY)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
User DPI Setting: Using System DPI
System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 32bit Unicode

------------
DxDiag Notes
------------
Display Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
Input Tab: No problems found.

--------------------
DirectX Debug Levels
--------------------
Direct3D: 0/4 (retail)
DirectDraw: 0/4 (retail)
DirectInput: 0/5 (retail)
DirectMusic: 0/5 (retail)
DirectPlay: 0/9 (retail)
DirectSound: 0/5 (retail)
DirectShow: 0/6 (retail)

---------------
Display Devices
---------------
Card name: Intel(R) Q45/Q43 Express Chipset (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1)
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Chip type: Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family
DAC type: Internal
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2E12&SUBSYS_3035103C&REV_03
Display Memory: 1675 MB
Dedicated Memory: 32 MB
Shared Memory: 1643 MB
Current Mode: 1280 x 1024 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor Name: Monitor no PnP genérico
Monitor Model: unknown
Monitor Id:
Native Mode: unknown
Output Type: HD15

D3D9 Overlay: Supported
DXVA-HD: Supported
DDraw Status: Enabled
D3D Status: Enabled
AGP Status: Enabled


---------------
EVR Power Information
---------------
Current Setting: {5C67A112-A4C9-483F-B4A7-1D473BECAFDC} (Quality)
Quality Flags: 2576
Enabled:
Force throttling
Allow half deinterlace
Allow scaling
Decode Power Usage: 100
Balanced Flags: 1424
Enabled:
Force throttling
Allow batching
Force half deinterlace
Force scaling
Decode Power Usage: 50
PowerFlags: 1424
Enabled:
Force throttling
Allow batching
Force half deinterlace
Force scaling
Decode Power Usage: 0


I think this time I have explained better what I need and want, and I hope I receive steps and suggestions to get it.

I know this lengthy reply may look like homework! But I also hope you enjoy helping me! I know I'll be very glad when this ends, and very grateful to you all. I know I will be able to help other with this knowledge I'll get too.

- Leo.

Pd: I think this will help me a lot too:
What do a begginer like me should look at in the specs of a video card to decide it's more powerfull that another one? 128/256 bits? Gflops? Core clock? What are the 5 or 10 critical specs that in the paper determine a better GPU over another?

How do I interpret the names of GPUs? GT,GTS, GTX, HD, numbers. Kind of Confusing and not clear.

If you know of helpful readings about all this matter please link me to them. I'll gladly do my study. Beter if they have to do with my processor. I'm a begginer, but learn fast.

Thank you all!!
Score
-4
December 17, 2012 8:52:10 PM

Btw, I need the card to enable my PC to play lots of games I have always wished! Not only to enable my eyes to see and get the best of my monitor. :D  I'm aware of the possible limitations in gaming, don't worry.

If something needs to be changed (power supply, etc) please advice me another card that doesn't need a change of hardware. But if it will be for the best, I can consider it.
Thank you all! :D 
Score
-1
December 18, 2012 1:44:16 AM

wdmfiber@eisley on the 8800GTSIt should also be stated that you actually can't use a 8800GTS is your system anyway. It's a dual slot GPU and it's needs a 6 pin PCIe connector. Your old HP dc7900 minitower will not support it.Did you find a 8800 on ebay for next to nothing? Seems to me like you may have been "pulling the wool" over your own eyes to justify getting it. The PC is not very old. Flash back 17 years to Windows 95. It possible to list every GPU on a single page(depending on your screen resolution or course). But dropping "only" several tiers is very decieving. As already stated the Tom's GPU hierarchy chart should only be used a rough quide. Consider the generations of old technology listed: nostalgic; for purposes of comparison only. You need to do reasearch.There were a few different 8800GTS's. So I'll just pick the 1st one:8800GTS(G80) - released, Feb/2007 - 90nm fab process - 143 watts - DX10.0 - 346 gigaflops of graphical processing powerSince then the many generations have passed. The fab process has gone from 90 to 65 - 55 - 40, to the current 28nm. (It should also be noted that DX 11 is current, it was preceded by 10.1).Lets say you wanted a current 28nm GPU with about the same graphical processing power as that 8800. The closest retail card I can find is the GeForce GT 640. Power consumption is way down at only 65 watts. But it's processing power is ~double at 691 gflops. I can't accurately match a 8800GTS to a modern 28nm GPU because there isn't a retail card that weak!And if you wanted a modern card that consumes about the same wattage. You would be looking at a GTX 660 Ti. It's rated at 2460 gflops! So as one would conclude, a large amount of electricity consumed by old graphics cards is just wasted as heat. (But in the future we're be saying that about the 28nm fab prosess too). All you can really do is try to stay on top of technology, but stay within a budget. I think modern technology is maturing and not going obsolute as quickly. And currently there are a couple of reasons(argubably) to not upgrade to the latest tech(Windows 8 or Sandy Bridge).


To be fair, GFLOPS is not an accurate method for gauging gaming performance, not that your estimations are necessarily wrong. For example, although the GT 640 DDR3 is rated at about double the GFLOPS of the 8800 GTS, it's highly unlikely that you'll ever see it running twice as fast as the 8800 GTS because its memory bandwidth bottle-neck stops it's otherwise very capable GPU from embarrassing the 8800 GTS too badly. On the other hand, the much rare GT 640 GDDR5 is likely to approach being twice as fast as the 8800 GTS because its GDDR5 memory provides much more memory bandwidth than the DDR3 memory on the far more common DDR3 version.

So, the DDR3 version of the GT 640 is probably only going to be somewhat faster than the 8800 GTS, not greatly faster. It is usually comparable to the 8800 GT in gaming performance (granted the difference in DX versions between the two cards can make it a little more difficult to compare their performance than comparing more modern cards to other modern cards).

Also, TDP and power consumption are not the same. For example, it's rare for the GT 640 to get near 60W during gaming. That the Radeon 6970 with a 250W TDP consumes less power than the GTX 580 with a 244W TDP is an even better example.
Score
0
December 18, 2012 10:22:13 AM

Thanks Don and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

:) 
Score
0
December 19, 2012 12:08:11 AM

Hi dudes!

Some background explanations:
I was interested in the 8800GTS cause I saw a local seller on a online market offering it as a very good card, for like $100.00
He stated that this card is better than:
HD3850, HD3870, HD4830, HD4850, HD6670 DDR5, HD6670 DDR3, 9600GT, 9800GT, 8800GT, GT440 DDR3, GT440 DDR5 and in some cases GTS 450.

Here is the link to the article:
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.pe/MPE-402392598-tarje...

Translated into English:
http://translate.google.com.pe/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js...


He stated that this card has the Nvidia G92 Chip, which seems to be the reason of its value.

Then, I did a bit of research and came here and saw on this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart that this "old" card was on a -quite- impressive 10th tier, only 9 tiers below the top class 7970 GHz Ed card. That's why I was interested on it. Seemed like a very good card because of its price - performance range according to this Chart.
Wouldn't you have thought so too?

And, this Chart is kind of useless if someone can't count on it to make up a decision. As mostly, you said this "old" card can't compare to newer apparently more powerful ones. Also, being that the very nice 7770 HD is only 2 tiers above from it.
How can this Chart be that deceiving since the 8800 GTS is being underated by most of you?

What then?

I may have asked for too much. But, please do try to help me. Any recomendations for what I need and want will be very appreciated.
Thank you all. : )

- L.


Btw, the 7770 HD seems like a very good option. If my pc can have it.




Score
-1
December 19, 2012 4:47:14 AM

@eisley
This is a very, very general recommendation, but, since you already have a 2nd Gen. Core i3, I think you should just get the most expensive (more specifically the best performing one) graphics card that you can afford. Before that though, maybe you could check your power supply and see how many A(mperes) it supplies on its 12V rail. I think it should be listed there. I'm not totally sure about this, but you may just be able to get an auxiliary video card power adapter (if needed, which is probable in the $150 budget area) online if your PSU has some 12V headroom. :) 

At 1080p, assuming that you wouldn't want to reduce your game resolution, you might have to make quite a few graphics setting compromises (depending on the game) with whatever card you could get at that price range. BTW, maybe you could save up a bit and aim for a good deal with the 2GB HD 7850 as was mentioned (somewhat I think) in the article of this thread. :) 

I use a (2nd Gen. as well) Core i3-2120 with two 2GB HD 7850's in Crossfire. I started though with only one of them though. I remember even then it performed pretty fine with 1080p resolution. Game settings were maxed (except for AA and AF) for the most part.
I can't totally vouch for this kind of setup for you since whether performance is "fine" depends on the person, and the games we play would probably be different. :) 

I hope that helped. Ask further if you want and I'll see if I can try helping further. :) 
Score
0
December 19, 2012 1:00:02 PM

army_ant7@eisleyThis is a very, very general recommendation, but, since you already have a 2nd Gen. Core i3, I think you should just get the most expensive (more specifically the best performing one) graphics card that you can afford. Before that though, maybe you could check your power supply and see how many A(mperes) it supplies on its 12V rail. I think it should be listed there. I'm not totally sure about this, but you may just be able to get an auxiliary video card power adapter (if needed, which is probable in the $150 budget area) online if your PSU has some 12V headroom. At 1080p, assuming that you wouldn't want to reduce your game resolution, you might have to make quite a few graphics setting compromises (depending on the game) with whatever card you could get at that price range. BTW, maybe you could save up a bit and aim for a good deal with the 2GB HD 7850 as was mentioned (somewhat I think) in the article of this thread. I use a (2nd Gen. as well) Core i3-2120 with two 2GB HD 7850's in Crossfire. I started though with only one of them though. I remember even then it performed pretty fine with 1080p resolution. Game settings were maxed (except for AA and AF) for the most part.I can't totally vouch for this kind of setup for you since whether performance is "fine" depends on the person, and the games we play would probably be different. I hope that helped. Ask further if you want and I'll see if I can try helping further.


Thumbs up for the positive effort and info, keep up the good work.
Score
-4
Anonymous
December 19, 2012 2:06:13 PM

Is the 7750 better than 650 ?
Score
-2
December 19, 2012 3:08:21 PM

I'm curious, I'm currently operating off an IGP and would very much like to get a GPU. I'm thinking of going a 7850 or 7870. I'm a little worried about spending the money though. Should I just stick it out until the next series of GPU's come out, liek the HD 8K's, or would it be a decent investment to just buy one now. I want the card to last a decent amount of time, and I'd hate to have to buy another GPU in just another couple of months because the next series has outshined this series. Perhaps it'd be a better investment to stoop to a 7770, perhaps OC it, and then upgrade to the next gen of card when they're released? Then I could pass down the 7770 to my gf who doesn't require quite as much performance as me =P.
Score
-1
December 19, 2012 7:38:29 PM

BacktitsI'm curious, I'm currently operating off an IGP and would very much like to get a GPU. I'm thinking of going a 7850 or 7870. I'm a little worried about spending the money though. Should I just stick it out until the next series of GPU's come out, liek the HD 8K's, or would it be a decent investment to just buy one now. I want the card to last a decent amount of time, and I'd hate to have to buy another GPU in just another couple of months because the next series has outshined this series. Perhaps it'd be a better investment to stoop to a 7770, perhaps OC it, and then upgrade to the next gen of card when they're released? Then I could pass down the 7770 to my gf who doesn't require quite as much performance as me =P.


A 7850 or 7870 will last a couple of years yet. They're quite powerful.

Granted in 2 years you may have to lower detail in new, edge-pushing titles, but they'll handle medium settings at 1080p for a long time to come.

In general when it comes to tech: the best time to buy is always now, and the best thing to buy is midrange. The midrange tends to give you the longest life for the least money.

If you wait, you'll wait perpetually because something new is always around the corner. Tech moves too fast to offer a perfect buying time.
Score
5
December 20, 2012 3:05:43 PM

@eisley -- I spent some time writing up a monster response to you yesterday, but it got eaten, so I'll try to keep this second attempt shorter.

eisley said:

Then, I did a bit of research and came here and saw on this Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart that this "old" card was on a -quite- impressive 10th tier, only 9 tiers below the top class 7970 GHz Ed card. That's why I was interested on it. Seemed like a very good card because of its price - performance range according to this Chart.
Wouldn't you have thought so too?

And, this Chart is kind of useless if someone can't count on it to make up a decision. As mostly, you said this "old" card can't compare to newer apparently more powerful ones. Also, being that the very nice 7770 HD is only 2 tiers above from it.
How can this Chart be that deceiving since the 8800 GTS is being underated by most of you?


Keep in mind that the hierarchy chart covers a decade or more of technology. Just to pull a random example out of the air, I built two rigs in or around 2003 -- one of them with an nVidia Ti 4600, and the other with a Radeon 9800 Pro. If you consult the chart, you'll see that the Ti 4600 occupies the 8th tier from the bottom of the chart (27th from the top, if I'm counting right), and the 9800 Pro is 2 tiers higher.

So what can we divine from those factoids? One is that the chart shows seriously outdated hardware. Even if you could somehow find a Ti 4600 or a Radeon 9800 Pro in 2012, modern motherboards can't slot either of those cards. Another thing we notice is that even though the Ti 4600 and 9800 Pro are obsolete, they're listed as comparable to even relatively modern Integrated graphics technologies. That's because the chart is designed to compare raw rendering muscle; the chart ignores various rendering technologies. The integrated Intel HD 2000 video sucks by today's standards (and the chart tells us that by equating it with a 9800 Pro from the year 2003), but it's not exactly equivalent to a 9-year-old video card; it's capable of using more features in modern games than the 9800 Pro, because those features didn't exist when the 9800 Pro was designed.

In other words, the chart is a rough at-a-glance reference to tell you whether one card will run smoother than another within the constraints of each card's respective feature set; that's all the chart can do, given the format. As you yourself pointed out, understanding video cards can be extremely confusing. The chart is (over-)simplified by design; if it were detailed enough to serve as a last-word authority, it would become too complicated to serve as an easy reference.

Tom's recommends that you shouldn't upgrade your video card unless the upgrade is at least three tiers higher. That's a good rule of thumb as far as value is concerned, but remember that there can be marked practical performance differences even within the same tier.

I like to think of the hierarchy chart in baseball terms: Each tier represents ballpark equivalence; every three tiers represents a league. So if the first three tiers are the Major Leagues, then the next three tiers are the Minor Leagues, and the next three tiers are college leagues, and the next three are high school leagues, and so on and so forth. Just as you wouldn't pit a junior varsity squad against the New York Yankees, you shouldn't expect a video card halfway down the chart to offer even credible performance relative to the cards at the top.

All of that rambling out of the way, I'll address some of your other comments/questions, in no particular order:

1. A Core2Duo E8400 is a decent CPU from ~2008. It's not as good as a Sandy Bridge Core i3. That said, your CPU shouldn't be a significant bottleneck in games almost regardless of the video card you buy, unless you prefer unusually CPU-heavy games (or unusually CPU-heavy situations within games). (You'll see from Tom's Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart that the E8400 is one tier below Core i3 2120.)

2. I'm having a hard time reading your power-supply info. What matters most for our purposes is how much current your supply can provide on the 12V rail, because the 12V rail powers the CPU and the video card. Your power supply should have a sticker on it somewhere that looks something like the following:



What we're interested in is the number beneath "+12V." In the pictured sticker, that number is 15A. If you have more than one entry for +12V, then we need to know both of those numbers. Based on the info you've supplied, I'm guessing that those numbers are 12A and 14.5A respectively, but I want to make absolutely sure I'm reading you correctly.

3. Related to number 2, power supplies, especially generic OEM power supplies, are notoriously flaky. The power supply is perhaps the most important and yet also perhaps the most widely misunderstood -- misleadingly advertised, etc -- component in a computer system. If you're interested in reading about power supplies, the following link has a good primer:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1036

I'm far from an expert on the subject myself. I'm not sure off the top of my head what the max power draw numbers are on various video cards, for example. (Don't trust the vendor-supplied TDP number to tell you how much power you need; that number represents heat dissipation, not power draw.) Army_Ant might be right; you might be able to buy an adapter to connect your PSU to a video card that requires supplemental power. My only concern is that I suspect the PSU manufacturer failed to supply you with that connector for good reason. The last thing you want is to blow your whole budget on a shiny new graphics card only to find that the PSU craps out when you fire up a game.

4. If you are limited to the power the motherboard can supply through the PCIe slot, then your best option is the Radeon HD 7750, as per the article. It might struggle a bit on 1080p (that is the resolution you want to run, right?), but if you're willing to dial down the resolution a bit, it ought to play games fairly well. Personally, I'll always choose a reduced resolution with higher frame rates and/or the occasional, higher detail setting over a higher resolution. Your mileage may vary.

5. Lastly, all of your general video card questions are understandable, but there are no definitive answers. The GPU's frequency doesn't tell you anything by itself. Neither does the frequency or the amount of a card's memory. Neither does the number of shaders, or the memory bandwidth, or whatever. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and short of spending a great deal of time learning all the ins and outs of video-card architecture, the best you can hope to do is to read review sites like this one to get an idea of the current market.

BTW, your computer can take a card with GDDR-5 just fine. The memory on the video card is handled by the card itself. GDDR5 is actually very similar to the DDR3 in your motherboard. Amusingly (and confusingly), GDDR3 is very similar to DDR2 system memory. So when you're discussing video cards, you want GDDR5. When you're discussing system memory, you want DDR3.
Score
-1
December 20, 2012 5:17:13 PM

Fulgurant@eisley -- I spent some time writing up a monster response to you yesterday, but it got eaten, so I'll try to keep this second attempt shorter.


Hey Fulgurant! Thank you very much man! You were so kind attempting a second time! That has happened to me too, and I did a second attempt as well. Seems like the world does revolve! xD Btw, did you know that your ID in French means Flash, Lightning? :D  Are you French?

I'm running out of time for a more decent reply, I'll reply to you better in some hours.
I'm leaving to check prices in my local tech centers. (Lima - Peru). Altohugh I'm pretty sure I'll buy it online. Please suggest me some good site for this shopping, btw :D 

I hope you guys try to clarify more of this matter, as I'm willing to learn by your experience and my personal research.

See you all!

- L.


PD: Yeah, you're right. The numbers below the 12V rail are: 12A and 14.5A (cpu). Sorry for the mess!



Score
-1
December 20, 2012 6:44:30 PM

I just want to point out that dual card configurations listed in the hierarchy chart, in particular the 4850X2 for me, do not perform as well any more because they are not supported well by drivers, and should probably be relegated to a lower tier on the chart to reflect this.

There is simply no way my 4850X2 performs on a level with the GTX560ti my roomate has, or the HD6950 a buddy of mine has. Heck, due to glitching and stuttering. I don't even think it performs better than another friend's single GTX 460.


I know you like to make the hierarchy chart general, but factoring in a little for the version of DirectX used and the current driver support would be useful for those of us deciding whether or not to upgrade. from old, supposedly powerful configurations
Score
0
December 21, 2012 10:40:29 PM

CleeveA 7850 or 7870 will last a couple of years yet. They're quite powerful.Granted in 2 years you may have to lower detail in new, edge-pushing titles, but they'll handle medium settings at 1080p for a long time to come.In general when it comes to tech: the best time to buy is always now, and the best thing to buy is midrange. The midrange tends to give you the longest life for the least money.If you wait, you'll wait perpetually because something new is always around the corner. Tech moves too fast to offer a perfect buying time.


I respectfully disagree - the perfect buying time is when the best deal exists on one of those midrange graphics cards, such as a deal that existed about a year and a half ago when a 4870X2 was about $100, or in April 2012 when a gtx 480 was under $200. Granted, you have to be patient and move fast for those deals, but they are definitely the perfect buying time.
Score
-6
December 22, 2012 7:29:02 PM

Hello everyone! I'm back with some news.

Through CHW news I received the news that the XFX R7770 Core Edition (Model FX-777A-ZNF) AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB. Has been reduced in price :D  Only $100.00

How good news are these? Is that a good brand? Is that card compatible with my PC? *.*

Can some one advice me if this is a good card? Durable?

I was researching for v card prices here (Lima - Peru) but I saw there is a almost a $100 difference between the prices online and the prices here, and with no special offers. I found one interesting price for the 7770 HIS, How this brand compares to Asus or MSI?

A techy friend told me my since my PCIe is not 3.0 the 3.0 v cards will not work at full capacity. How much power will I be losing? Will the card be able to work at least at 80%? If this will be a major problem, I think I better go for a cheap one (7750?) till I can buy a completly new system (near future: one year and at least).
I couldn't tell if my mainboard supports PCIe 2.0, cause surely is doesn't 3.0. It's the Intel Eaglelake Q45. Can someone please help me with it? if it's not 2.0 at least. What kind of video card should I go for?

My friend adviced me to buy an FX AMD prcocessor. Seems like they are awesome! For +- $210! Any opinion? The most powerfull i7 can cost up to $1000! And this FX is quite comparable to it, he said.

Finally, I surely will have to but another PSU, a 750W will do fine I think, and will last for years, and will be able to use it on my next future rig. Any suggestions on this matter?

Well. I've been worried and excited about all this. I just want to give my "old" but nice PC the best upgrade possible within a budget range of $100 -120 - or $150 (PSU may be included at $150+- total) that can last for some, one or 1.5 years (surely more if it's still powerful enough).
Please continue helping me.


- L.


PD: A crazy question: will a 7850 work for my current PC? How well? better than 7770 xD @.@
Btw, I know, I'll upgrade my fans, and "customize" my case to add a powerful extra fan. That will be fun! And not expensive ^-^

*More replies soon.

Suggest me another branch of the forum if this matter does not belong here. Thank you.
Begginer poster here. jaja-











Score
-2
December 22, 2012 7:33:36 PM

And for me the perfect buying time is.. I mean, one should try to make sure there is no other better offer nor moment. Normally, so to say, this happens in Blackfriday, Christmas, Cybermondays, etc.

I'm going to eat. Later! :D 
Score
-1
December 23, 2012 11:26:31 AM

@eisley
I can't vouch for vendors/brands based on their reputation. I lack the experience to do so, but also, when I hear other people say like "This brand is good," or "This brand is crap," I can't tell if they just happened to get lemons (defective stuff, which even the best companies may have once in a while) or past products that weren't of so good quality. You know how some people rant freely without taking that is consideration right? :) 
Well, one thing I could say about XFX though is that they have lifetime warranties on (at least some of) their products. You oughtta investigate into this with that card also what their terms are (like what limits there are to this kind of warranty), just to be safe. Warranty should be a factor with your purchasing decisions, IMHO. :) 

Your PSU is my main concern (though someone a ways back above mentioned your case possibly not having enough space for a dual-slot card or something (didn't look into that myself). Based on what you read of your PSU, I'm guessing you have two 12V+ rails. Since the 14.5A one seems to be for the CPU's use, I'm guessing all you're left to use for your graphics card (and any other components that use 12V+) is 12A, or 144W. Because of how power efficient the latest graphics cards are, I won't be too surprised if it could run at least the HD 7770 (since it's TDP, which is not necessarily the best indicator of how much power it uses, is somewhere below 100W. You can double-check in the article of this thread.). There's also the matter of PSU degradation if you've been using it for a few years. I heard that the power a PSU can provide reduces as it's used over the years.

(BTW, "rails" are what you call the different "lines" of electricity that your PSU has. You usually have different rails for different voltages each with their own Amperages, but sometimes, there are more rails for the 12V+. This causes you to have your Amperage for the 12V+ split between these rails. In that case, I believe, you have to balance the components you hook up your PSU to, making sure that the rails are being used in a balanced manner so that 1 rail won't be "overstressed" in a way that it can't provide enough electricity to your components. BTW, (for DC electricity) Voltage * Amperes = Watts, i.e. power. So 12V+ * 12A = 144W.
Disclaimer: I could be wrong about any info above, so I suggest researching into the matter yourself if you're interested. :p )

PCIe, is just the interface which your graphics card connects to the rest of your system. The thing though is, even if you can't use PCIe 3.0, the regular 2.0 is said to be fine even for the top-end cards of this generation, at least for gaming since I have seen hints from people on the forums that GPU-compute applications may benefit from the extra bandwidth/data rate provided by 3.0 over 2.0, but that's another topic and it might just be for top-end cards...which brings back to your card selections which don't process that much data with their modest specs and all, and I have doubts that they'd benefit from PCIe 3.0 at all. This may not be the whole story behind the topic, but for your case, I think it should be good enough. :) 
Also, AFAIK, Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E (i.e. 3rd Gen) CPU's are the only (consumer) ones that have PCIe 3.0 capabilities, and I forgot which ones have some kind catch to them for enabling it (maybe something to do with your motherboard). Graphics cards also have to support PCIe 3.0 as well for it to be enabled. AFAIK, only the AMD HD 7000 and Nvidia 600 serieses support this (at least in the gaming graphics card market).
Also, if you want to find out your PCIe version, you could look up your particular mo-bo's specs online or something. Also, there are diagnostic programs out there that report this. GPU-Z can show what PCIe version your graphics card is running on your system with, at least.

Here's the thing about the AMD's latest FX CPU's, they have many "cores" but they're different from the conventional kind of cores. There are a lot of articles I bet on this topic if you're really interested. Here are two:
AMD <b>Bulldozer</b> Review: FX-8350 Gets Tested
AMD FX-8350 Review: Does <b>Piledriver</b> Fix Bulldozer's Flaws?
Anyway, only some software can take advantage of multiple cores, as opposed to just having a few better performing cores. From what I've seen, Intel's CPU's cores generally perform a lot better when we're talking about each core's performance.
Now, I have learned that a lot of games can only take advantage of 2-4 cores, so AMD's octa-core doesn't get used to its full potential in games like these. There are some exceptions I've heard of like the multi-player component of Battlefield 3 which can use up to 6 cores or something, also Metro 2033 when running the (Nvidia) PhysX effects on the CPU (in case you don't have an AMD GPU which don't support PhysX as I know). You might be able to utilize AMD's octa- and hexa-cores better, but tests have shown that even productivity applications that can utilize AMD's latest octa-core CPU still get beaten by the quad-core 2nd and 3rd Gen Core i7's if I'm not mistaken. They have this technology called Hyper-threading, which the Core i5's don't have. (The latest FX-8350 beat the i5's in a lot of productivity apps, but not in gaming if IIRC.) Though, you have to consider the upper $200 to middle $300 price tags, these i7's have.

I'm not sure why your friend would recommend that for a gaming CPU. If gaming is what you're mainly looking for, go with Intel's 2nd/3rd Gen i3's or if possibly i5's (though you're probably better of with the i3 based on the graphics cards you're interested in). That's my honest opinion based on what I've learned thus far. Also, (out of the box) AMD's CPU's are more energy inefficient (and thus would need more power from your PSU, which your current one might not be able to supply) than Intel's offerings. Don't base your decisions on comparing AMD's top-end with Intel's. That $1000 CPU isn't the best choice for gaming IMHO. Not that it would perform bad, but it's "overkill" in a way, but better yet, not best suited for the job, at least for most games these days. It's a hexa-core with Hyper-threading for one thing. I'm not sure if it'd lose to the FX-8350 in any application at all. Maybe just in isolated incidents which may occur for some "weird" reason, but highly unlikely.

I have a 750W PSU. I was surprised though when I read this: System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $<b>2,000</b> Performance PC. They chose 750W PSU for such high-/top-end components. They even overclocked (which causes it to use more power). This goes to show how power efficient hardware has become thus far. Anyway, I realized that my PSU is way overkill for my system. :( 
Choosing a PSU can be a little more complex than it seems. Aside from quality issues, which are very real (PSU's blowing up), there's also the matter of the rails which I mentioned above. The Wattage PSU's are rated by are very general. What really matters is the Amperage of the rails of the PSU--seeing if it could suffice for your system's components. There are guides out there on what to look out for in terms of quality (safety and efficiency features and stuff), (rail) ratings, etc, like this one: Picking The Right <b>Power</b> <b>Supply</b> : What You Should Know.
But yeah, if you can, maybe you could try buying whichever graphics card (and maybe other new components) out with your current PSU (using appropriate adapters if necessary, though I can't say this is recommended because if it does work fine, I can't say if it'll degrade too much soon after (as mentioned above) and not be able to suffice anymore.

Anyway, this is my take on helping you. Maybe others can provide more or better info, but I hope this helps you decide. Remember, research as well. Look for reviews, benchmarks, etc. online to see if what you're getting (whether it's graphics card or PSU) is good enough and good for its price. Maybe you can derive something from the System Builder Marathon, Q4 2012: $<b>500</b> Gaming PC. Good luck! :D 
Score
-1
December 26, 2012 8:32:13 AM

I have Gygabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 and i5-2500K Intel. If I'm correct there are some issues using some ATI (like 77XX) cards with Intel chips. Is that true?

I'm not satisified with integrated graphics, Intel HD 3000. It is ok but not for gaming. Looking at the chart, even 7750 would be much much better. 15 tiers diff :D 

Here are my options:
-7770
-7750
-650 ti

I prefer stability - should I go for nvidia? Does it really matter? Should I buy gigabyte version of the graphics, does it help? I'm tired of errors, just want to play game (WOT) on mid settings without any problems.

P.S. I have this PSU, I guess it is ok http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Score
-2
    • 1 / 26
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • More pages
    • Next
    • Newest
!