With Battlefield 3 nearly here i could really do with some Grapic Card advice before i rush out & blow £200.
Obviously I'm pretty sure after reading loads of forums that maybe an Nvidia MSI GeForce GTX 560 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card should let me play BF3 in full detail without any problems so here's my PC at the moment.
Please feel free to shoot me down if you think i'll need more that a graphics card
Intel DP35DPM "Dragontailpeak" P35 (Socket 775) PCI-Express Mortherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 CPU
4 X 1GB of Crucial Ballistix DDR2 PC2-6400 800Mhz Ram
Seagate 1GB Sata HDD
Key/b & Mouse & speakers etc
Antec 900 Gaming Case
Tagan 480Watt PSU
In my opinion if you want to run BF 3 in high detail (not Ultra High) at a minimum of 30 FPS you will need a GTX 560Ti, Im pretty sure the GTX 560 wont be enough to sustain a minimum of 30 FPS and if you buy one you will regret it. To run the game at Ultra High settings you would need a GTX 570 minimum. The reason is because BF 3 utilizes a state of the art 3D engine that takes gaming to the next level with cinematic quality graphics.
Your Q6600 is starting to show its age, and while it is enough to play the game on high detail it is only just barely and will bottleneck a GTX 560.
Even my Q9450@2.66Ghz is showing its age and paired with a Evga GTX 580-SC and 8GB of pc3 12800 im pretty sure I will just barely be able to play BF3 at Ultra High settings with a minimum of 30 FPS, because my CPU is too slow and my GTX 580-SC is being bottlenecked very badly. So imo you need to consider biting the bullet and replacing your Mobo, CPU, and Memory to the latest hardware, oh and replace that PSU because it is going to die under the pressure of a Quad core and a GTX 560. I recommend an Enermax 750w or better as a replacement. I cant stress enough the importance of a quality PSU. Sorry to tell you but imo its time to build a new rig soon if you want to keep playing the latest and greatest games.
Well thanks for your input, TBH your right I just can afford to waste more than £200 on an upgrade just to play BF3. I did see this "MSI GeForce GTX 560Ti Twin FrozR II 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card [N560GTX-TITWINFROZR2]" on overclockers site so I'll get that next month & see how i get on.
I'd get a factory OC'd 900MHZ 560 Ti with the oversized coolers. Personally I favor the Asus model as I have successfully OC'd many of them to 1000MHz w/o having to tweak the voltage up at all. I wouldn't hesitate to buy the MSI or EVGA ones if the cost savings was significant.
First let me say that I dont want you to go out and spend a bunch of money that you cant afford to spend just because im a graphics freak and I think a game isnt worth playing unless you can play it with max graphics because thats just my opinion and not everyone cares about graphics quality, some people only care about game play.
With that being said if graphics quality is important to you there are some things you need to know before you make a final decision.
1) Building a high performance gaming rig from scratch can be an expensive proposition depending on how far you want to go with it. However for First Person Shooter games running a single flagship graphics card paired with a flagship CPU with 12GB of memory using high quality hardware will get the job done with a price tag of around $1500.00 USD.
2) According to sources AMD is releasing their new 8-core bulldozer flagship CPU next month on sept the 18th which i dont know if that has been confirmed by AMD or not but if its true then Intel will probably move up the time table on an 8-core CPU of their own, if all of that happens then I feel it is very important you should wait and see whats going on with Intels 8-core before you make a decision to buy a new rig.
With that information in mind I wouldnt sell your rig just yet instead I would wait for an article to come out about AMDs new flaghip and Intels response to that release because you arent under time pressure here as BF3 is a ways off yet.
3) In my opinion it is always best to buy the most powerful gaming rig you can to extend the amount of time before your next replacement even if it requires you to be patient while you save up a little more money its always worth it.
4) Dont cut corners. Buy high quality hardware for stability, reliability and performance. Here are some brand names to look for: Asus, Evga, Crucial Ballistix and Enermax. Also for Cases look into Thermaltake and pay attention to side fan placement as extra cooling for your graphics card is important.
I could go on forever about the importance of building a quality computer and the reasons behind my recommendations but I wont bore you with it all, suffice it to say that imo quality is very important and always worth spending a couple extra bucks on and you will be happier for it.
5) Overclocking: Dont worry about buying an aftermarket cooler unless the CPU doesnt come with a cooler. The reason is you can get some satisfying results without increasing the voltage to your CPU, by just buying memory that is one or two steps faster like for instance pc3-12800 or higher.
As always recommendations are highly subjective, and usually biased, however my recommendations are from experiance with these configurations and brands and the excellent results and satisfaction I have had using them.