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Starcraft 2 Graphics Card

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May 29, 2011 7:50:38 AM

Hello,

I have never built a computer before, and so I don't really plan on starting for scratch. Instead I plan on buying a pretty good basic setup and then getting a better graphics card which a friend can help me install.

The two options for basic setup are:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-AMD-3-0GHz-x4-Quad-Core-...
(AMD Phenom 2 3.0 gHz quad core, 4gb ram)

or

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Core-i5-2400-Quad-PRO-8GB-RA...
(Intel i5 3.1 gHz Quad core, 8gb ram)

After that, what is a good graphics card to upgrade to? Roughly under $200 if possible, and able to primarily run Starcraft 2 at ultra settings with 60 fps+ as well as run other games well.

I have very little idea about the basics here so would really appreciate a simple suggestion.

Many thanks
a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:02:36 AM

Uhh... hmm. Would you rather just build you're own? It would come out a lot better. I can even pick up the parts for you if you give me a budget.

To answer the question at the 200 dollar range if SCII is the game you care about the GTX 560 or GTX 560 Ti are you're best options. Since SCII favors Nvidia.
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May 29, 2011 8:06:59 AM

Hi, check item number 300562063292. Much better spec than you listed above with also a decent graphic card
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May 29, 2011 8:22:24 AM

Helltech, thanks for the offer but I honestly don't have the time or know-how. My friend studied computing, but lives in England and I am in Australia, so he can give me directions as to building some stuff but can't do it for me. For example he says that installing a motherboard is pretty tough and exact, and I just don't trust myself to do it from scratch. Thanks for the info on the graphics card though.

blakmumba, checked that out and looks pretty good. I have heard that SC2 is pretty cpu dependent though too, so would the 3.1gHz quad core of the options on ebay I listed be superior, with the gtx 560 Helltech suggested, or would it not be too much of a difference? Great find though, it does seem to be a pretty sweet deal there though. Also, in terms of future games etc, it is 2 years old or so already. May be unfounded suspicion though.

Thanks
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:24:01 AM

Helltech, GTX560Tis are 250$+ and SCII does not favor nVidia.

For under 200$ i recommend HD6870, it beats GTX560, has lower power consumption and is cheaper too, or a cheaper, but a little bit slower HD5850, but i can't find them in stock anymore, before they were for around 140$.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:24:49 AM

Honestly it's a lot easier than it sounds. My old aunt just did it herself with a decent system. XD

Did you say the GTX 560 is 2 years old? Because its not, it just came out.

To shrkbay, yes it does, a GTX 460 beat out a 5850 (a card superior to it on most levels) and tied a 5870 in CF, where a GTX 470 by itself beat 5870 in CF in SCII.






And here are two GTX 560 Tis under 200 dollars. :) 

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

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

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May 29, 2011 8:25:45 AM

Helltech said:
Honestly it's a lot easier than it sounds. My old aunt just did it herself with a decent system. XD

Did you say the GTX 560 is 2 years old? Because its not, it just came out.


No sorry, I was talking about the card on blakmumba's suggestion.
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May 29, 2011 8:37:00 AM

Hi, just done a bunch of reading lol. The second item that you listed is superior to the 1 i listed and the reason to that is the 1 i mentioned is an x58 motherboard which is a dead end (cannot upgrade processor to newer models). The 1 you chose has potential of possible upgrades so that would be your best bet. The gtx 560ti is a really good card with some impressive benchmarks. Check this link http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2011/01/25/nv...
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May 29, 2011 8:43:03 AM

From a brief look-through of those suggested, the GTX 460 seems to be a good option. A really noobish question here: when I search for a place to buy them, it comes up with evGa or Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460s. Are these rip-off/cheaper brands or just the manufacturers using nVidia's technology?

Also, I am in australia so cannot use Newegg to get the cards I don't think. Also, despite the current exchange rate the prices will be different (i.e. more expensive here), but I'll worry about that, the equivalent price range in the US is still very useful info. Basically where is a good place to buy the cards in Australia if anyone knows?

Thanks again
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:44:18 AM

Thats just theoretical. The difference between the two is immense.

If you click this link you will see the GTX 275 is worse than the 6790 (the closest card to performance of the GTX 275 that is still relevant today).

http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/502403-...

Here you will see the GTX 560 Ti is 33 percent better that the 6790, which was already better than the GTX 275.
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Best solution

May 29, 2011 8:47:49 AM

Gigabyte (3yrs warranty) and evga(lifetime but card more expensive) r really good brands (im using gigabyte), Msi Lightning range are also awesum cards with great reviews. Best thing to do is choose the card that you like and just do a quick review check up on the net regarding that perticular brand/vendor and model and take it from there.

Try this site in australia
pccasegear.com.au
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:49:52 AM

Helltech, i was talking without rebates, but never mind, prices change. Btw, if you look at your own picture you will see that a single 5870 beats single 480, 480SLi and it's own CF, means SC2 has no gain from CF / SLi, also 5870 is around 10% slower than 480 and here 5870 beats 480 and you say that SCII favors nVidia?
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May 29, 2011 8:51:40 AM

Thanks blackmumba! Oh yeah forgot to say that I live in Sydney, and that PC you linked was pick up only from Melbourne, otherwise seemed a really good option. I am guessing you yourself are in Australia? Ill check that out, and I think I'll find a basic setup on ebay and then add a GTX 460. Seems like a good option for the price. Thanks everyone for your help though.
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May 29, 2011 8:52:36 AM

Good Luck and thats a wise decision.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:52:54 AM

If a GTX 260 can beat 5850 CF, yes it does. It's just when you get to high end, it all jumbles up.

At some point, all the cards do well. But The Nvidia LOW-Medium end cards do much better than ATI's low end cards. A mid-range Nvidia card can compete with the best of the best in SCII. SCII is an odd game, and the benchmarks are weird looking, I know.

I'm no Nvidia fanboy, and for the price range if the OP said he wanted to just "game" I would suggest the 6950 1GB, however he didn't, he only mentioned SCII.

Ask anyone silver/gold GPU expert, I see them say the same thing all the time.
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 8:57:50 AM

sorry, i'm blind, i cannot see 5850 CF, btw there are only few cases (and SCII is one of them) where nVidia low-medium range cards beat AMD/ATi low-mediums.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:00:19 AM

Its on the second picture. From Tom's themselves I might add. :)  And yes you are right! I'm not disagreeing with you at all on that point, as I said in my last post the 6950 1Gb is a much better card in that price range... but not for SCII. SCII is the only game the OP mentioned. So that is all that I considered, and I even mentioned the 6950 1Gb in my last post.

From another thread;

Onus said:
Check benchmarks. The HD6950 is generally the stronger card, but as matto17secs points out, certain games (e.g. Blizzard's) favor nVidia's architecture. The 560Ti also runs a little quieter and cooler, even though it consumes a little more power under load.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=330
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May 29, 2011 9:04:03 AM

Found a cheaper option, and given that I am replacing the graphics card, is probably better value as it only comes with integrated:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-INTEL-i5-2500-3-30GHZ-QU...

Does that seem a good option? Just wondering if there is anything there that I may not know about that may make it not worth it?

And yes Helltech I am mainly going for SC2, and the performance on that matters to me the most (need 60 fps without dropping in maxed fights 1v1, preferably on ultra, and in 3v3s as well would be ideal but not necessary, can turn down the settings for that). Of course given that I am getting the computer I would like to be able to play other games too, (e.g. The Witcher 2) but I do not mind about 60 fps for that so much.

Thanks
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:05:16 AM

jtt283 hasn't probably checked latest WoW Cata benches where 6950 beats 560Ti by 10% and SCII comparision between 560Ti and 6950, where 6950 is a winner too.

Btw, as i said, SCII probably does not support CF/SLi as SLi and CF does not help.
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May 29, 2011 9:07:56 AM

Also, this was my first post, and I am very pleasantly surprised by how helpful and freaking quick at replying you all are. Is there a rating system or something with which one can upvote? Or do I just choose a best answer?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:09:39 AM

Care to link those benchmarks?

And SLI does help. This proves SLI scaling does well in SCII (not sure about CF so I can't comment). And the 6970 is only a tad bit better than a GTX 560 NON-Ti version. So I don't see how a GTX 560 Ti can be worse than a 6950, when a 6970 is barely better than a GTX 560.



Here is a GTX 560 Ti doing better than a 6970...

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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:09:58 AM

OP: Cheapest option that will play SCII with 60s and witcher 2 later is 5850, but i don't know if it's available in Australia, it was for 140$ on newegg/tigerdirect a week ago, but now it's out of stock/deactivated.
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May 29, 2011 9:11:10 AM

Best answer selected by sfhancock.
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May 29, 2011 9:17:06 AM

Just checked that pc spec, besides the processor, the rest isnt really that good. The powersupply is a non high effiency brand and also the motherboard is very limited with only 1 pcie x16 slot, no pci slots and only 2 memory slots.

motherboard detail

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=H61M-VS
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:19:56 AM

WTF? Do you see that 580 is 1 FPS behind 580SLi, now i'm not even sure if SLi/CF work on it at all...
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May 29, 2011 9:19:58 AM

blakmumba said:
Just checked that pc spec, besides the processor, the rest isnt really that good. The powersupply is a non high effiency brand and also the motherboard is very limited with only 1 pcie x16 slot, no pci slots and only 2 memory slots.

motherboard detail

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=H61M-VS


Ok would you suggest one of the options in my original post then instead? Or can you find a good base setup on ebay which I can add the GTX 460 too? Thanks
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:23:27 AM

shrkbay said:
WTF? Do you see that 580 is 1 FPS behind 580SLi, now i'm not even sure if SLi/CF work on it at all...


I told you once it gets into high end cards they like all do the same performance. But SLI (and probably CF too) do scale for the lower end cards, untill they hit that "barrier" where all the cards start to the perform the same. SCII is a bunch of crap when it comes to performance. :(  It's very bad for determining the true performance of cards. It also makes it harder that Nvidia and ATI both have tried to fix it's problem many times in updates, and Blizzard has just made it worse with their own updates, which makes benchmarking it very inconsistent, however the general consensus is if you are only going to play Blizzard games, a Nvidia card is the way to go.

Check out how in my last picture after a GTX 560 Ti, it performs the same as a GTX 580 and even 6990 pretty much.
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:25:25 AM

So what's the sence of arguing? peace? XD
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:28:29 AM

Well actually it really depends on exact nVidia GPU and AMD GPU, for example 400 series probably were better than 6800 / 5000 series on Blizzard games (not sure), but 6900 series are faster than 500 series on WoW Cata, which is the most popular Blizzy game. (6950>560Ti, 6970>570)
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:29:37 AM

I'm not arguing, I just want the OP to know the reason behind the suggestion of the GTX 560 Ti, and why I still think its the best card for SCII (in that price range). The more informed he is by actual evidence, benchmark, and reasoning, the better he can make his own decision. But I don't think he is even listening to us at this point.

What were you talking about with Cataclysm? The GTX 560 Ti is a bit better, not that it matters, all of them are super over-kill anyway.

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May 29, 2011 9:37:08 AM

Helltech I'm still here :)  I initially searched the 560 and saw a price of $500 for some reason which obviously put me off. That was obviously a mistake, as I just searched it on the site blakmumba suggested and it comes in at $240 for the cheapest brand (Gainward), and up to $320 for the more expensive (Gigabyte), so that is an option if I go for the cheaper brand. What are your thoughts on the 460 though? It is cheaper, and from what I've read also runs sc2 very well.

Furthermore could you comment on the two base builds I originally listed, given that I would much prefer to get a base computer and then add a graphics card. Or any other setup you could find in Australia on ebay or such?

I did try to read most of your posts, but given my lack of knowledge decided to keep out from your discussion with shrkbay

Thanks
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May 29, 2011 9:38:34 AM

Also I am talking about the AU$ rather than US$. Despite the 1:1 exchange rate now, everything is still about 1:1.5 in terms of cost here. No recession or some-such :p 
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:41:00 AM

Well from your first two builds the i52400 build is clearly better.

I've think you have seen enough benchmarks of SCII to make you're brain hurt, you can look at them and make an educated guess of what will run the game well.
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:42:51 AM

i5 is imo better, but also more expensive, imo whole 400 series were really bad, you could get more from 6800 for less (460 was exception, but it just pisses me off that it's 200$)... Btw, Helltech, i've seen totally different on Techpowerup, but never mind.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:45:27 AM

shrkbay said:
i5 is imo better, but also more expensive, imo whole 400 series were really bad, you could get more from 6800 for less (460 was exception, but it just pisses me off that it's 200$)... Btw, Helltech, i've seen totally different on Techpowerup, but never mind.


About what? I havn't even seen TPU do SCII? I looked for it, I'd be interested to see it if you can show me. But you can't really argue with Tom's own benchmarks, you are on their site. :) 

The GF100's sucked, agreed. The GF104's were great though.
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May 29, 2011 9:53:42 AM

Helltech, if I was going to get a 560 then, given that you have shown the benchmarks and it does pretty well, I don't really understand all the finer points listed when actually buying the card. So on these pages, taking price into account what would be the options to go for for either the 460 (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa...) or the 560(http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPa...)?

Would rather not spend more than $250, limiting the 560 options
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:58:35 AM

helltech, i meant WoW :p 
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May 29, 2011 9:59:41 AM

OK thanks helltech
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 9:59:49 AM

shrkbay said:
helltech, i meant WoW :p 


Couldn't find any Cata benches from them either. =/
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 10:05:05 AM

Yeah, and there is only a 2 percent difference between the two (Just not in SCII).



So if the ten dollars matter to you you could get the 6950 1GB.
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 10:06:00 AM

Also, remember that 560Tis hardly go over 925Mhz core, and they are more expensive, consume more (a lot) power than 6950 and 6950 can unlock into 6970 beating even 570.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 10:06:53 AM

The 6950 you linked to the OP can not be unlocked to a 6970, please don't misinform the OP.

Also factor overclock 560Tis go over 925 Mhz. O.o

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...

If a factory overclock can do it, you can do it. Not that I would anyway, since the difference is only a couple FPS.
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 10:07:21 AM

Yeah, but TechpowerUp uses a lot of nVidia favoring games.
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a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2011 10:08:02 AM

every 6950 can unlock shaders, that's safer than flashing
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!