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Suggested Video Card Upgrade

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  • Graphics Cards
  • SLI
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 7, 2011 7:37:20 PM

Howdy,

I'm currently running the following:
ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
8GB Patriot RAM (I don't have the exact specs right now)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 Yorkfield 3.0GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80569Q9650
BFG Tech BFGR88320GTSOC2E GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails

I use my computer mostly for programming/entertainment, but I'd like to be able to play some of the new games coming out in the near future (i.e. BF3/Diablo 3). I have dual 24" UltraSharp Dell monitors each running 1920 x 1200.

I am looking to upgrade the video card now, and the rest in a couple months or so when BF3 comes out. The ASUS board has the following connections for the video card: "2 x PCI Express x16 slot, support NVIDIA SLI technology, at full x16, x16 speed (blue) 1 x PCI Express x16, at x8 speed (white)".

Is it worthwhile to do this in 2 steps, or would I be better off just upgrading all at once? I've looked at the "Best Graphics Cards For The Money: August 2011" here on Tom's, but I'm not sure whether to go with a single video card or look into SLI. If I follow the advice on the heirarchy chart, I should be looking at a GTX 560 or better. I'd rather not have to worry about another upgrade for another 2+ years.

More about : suggested video card upgrade

a c 171 U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 8:59:46 PM

Weeeell, the only thing worth upgrading (without going for basically a whole new system) is the Graphics Card.

To be honest I prefer Radeon above Nvidia, so bare with me.

Do you have a budget in mind?

Is there any application that you think will require Duel GPU's? (It doesn't sound like you would ever need an SLI/Crossfire setup)

If you were to go for Nvidia, I would say no smaller than a GTX570.

PS : Nice CPU!
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September 7, 2011 9:07:12 PM

Novuake said:
Weeeell, the only thing worth upgrading (without going for basically a whole new system) is the Graphics Card.

To be honest I prefer Radeon above Nvidia, so bare with me.

Do you have a budget in mind?

Is there any application that you think will require Duel GPU's? (It doesn't sound like you would ever need an SLI/Crossfire setup)

If you were to go for Nvidia, I would say no smaller than a GTX570.


Radeon cards seem to be getting the better reviews right now from what I've seen.

I left budget off my first message. Sorry about that. As far as budget goes, $300 - $500. The $300 would be easier to spend than $500. So for $500, it better be a hell of a video card.

I probably don't have anything that requires dual GPUs unless you count gaming. The current BFGTech card drives the dual monitors I have just fine which works fine for programming and watching videos.
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a c 104 U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 9:19:38 PM

Go for single card i think, no need for sli and if you wanne sli two high end cards your power will be just enough or maybe even become short. I would go for a hd6950 it will suite your needs fine imo.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 9:33:31 PM

You might not even need to spend that much.
Take a look. I like these two cards. (Radeon much more obviously)

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

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

You compare them and decide...

You can look at specs (don't forgot to look at price vs spec).

Or use these links if you need some help :

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_value.html

http://www.hwcompare.com/9023/geforce-gtx-570-vs-radeon...

Yes, spec for spec the GTX570 wins. But keep the price in mind. You might as well go for this for a few pop more, and its ALOT better :

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

Anyway. Have a look...
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a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 9:41:53 PM

personally i suggest the 560 Ti only because its good for the money. it has good overclock if you are into that. and has good frames at 1080p

but a 570 is also one hell of a card as well.

or you can get a 6950 i guess. those are pretty good too, especially that new Toxic one by Sapphire.
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a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 9:42:30 PM

You should get a couple of Radeon 6870 and CFX. That shold be plenty for your 2 monitors.
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September 21, 2011 5:12:18 AM

So my planned video card upgrade has turned into a full blown upgrade. There have been some weird rebooting issues and failed POSTings since my first post in this thread. I'm getting tired of dealing with the gremlins in the current system.

So, I'm looking to upgrade everything. Here is what I've picked out so far:

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS EAH6970 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I may need a new power supply, but I'm not sure. If I replace my current one, I'm going to get a modular power supply so I don't have that bundle of unused cables to mess with. I currently have the following:
Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Depending on what the total looks like with the main components, I'm thinking about getting an SSD for good measure.
Patriot Wildfire PW120GS25SSDR 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound good?
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 6:32:39 AM

Nice build if you won't be overclocking.

But why the I7? IMO it would be overkill.
I do not think you will be using its capabilities.
Rather save some there and get a really good 80PLUS rated modular power supply.
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a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 6:41:48 AM

Novuake said:
Nice build if you won't be overclocking.

But why the I7? IMO it would be overkill.
I do not think you will be using its capabilities.
Rather save some there and get a really good 80PLUS rated modular power supply.

Yeah, i7 is unnecessary. If you want a top performing cpu then look no further than the i5 2500k. Your gpu is what you need to buy ATM though.
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September 21, 2011 3:51:33 PM

Novuake said:
Nice build if you won't be overclocking.

But why the I7? IMO it would be overkill.
I do not think you will be using its capabilities.
Rather save some there and get a really good 80PLUS rated modular power supply.


The main reason I picked the I7-2600K was the larger L3 cache. I was hoping to be able to play around with some overclocking and looking around the web, I've seen it done with a similar setup.

I'll look into the PSU type you suggested.
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a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 3:53:18 PM

txpower said:
The main reason I picked the I7-2600K was the larger L3 cache. I was hoping to be able to play around with some overclocking and looking around the web, I've seen it done with a similar setup.

I'll look into the PSU type you suggested.

you will get almost the same performance out of the i5 2500k in gaming
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 6:12:01 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
you will get almost the same performance out of the i5 2500k in gaming


In gaming he will not see any performance improvement over the I5.

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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 6:13:20 PM

txpower said:
The main reason I picked the I7-2600K was the larger L3 cache. I was hoping to be able to play around with some overclocking and looking around the web, I've seen it done with a similar setup.

I'll look into the PSU type you suggested.



Most overclockers disable the threads on a 2600K anyway.
It really would be pointless for you to get it.
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a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 7:06:54 PM

txpower said:
So my planned video card upgrade has turned into a full blown upgrade. There have been some weird rebooting issues and failed POSTings since my first post in this thread. I'm getting tired of dealing with the gremlins in the current system.

So, I'm looking to upgrade everything. Here is what I've picked out so far:

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS EAH6970 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I may need a new power supply, but I'm not sure. If I replace my current one, I'm going to get a modular power supply so I don't have that bundle of unused cables to mess with. I currently have the following:
Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Depending on what the total looks like with the main components, I'm thinking about getting an SSD for good measure.
Patriot Wildfire PW120GS25SSDR 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound good?

Have you finalized your motherboard?because I think you may like this one also,its cheaper too.The main reason I'm pitching this is that it comes with the new Z68 chipset while P67 chipsets for a time went through rough waters.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

About the graphics card you may also have a look at the MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III.This specific card is a factory OC'ed one that may perform better than any HD 6970s around,smaller in size,hence fits easier in chasis with room for air-flow and no issues with that PSU either.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And for the SSD you might buy,I'd recommend the OCZ Vertex 3 120gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BTW,nice choice on the RAM kit :sol: 
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 9:44:00 PM

Dude, have you read ANY review??? HD6970 is MUCH better than GTX570 ti...

txpower, rather go for the Sapphire Cards, they are cheaper and equal in quility to Asus.
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September 22, 2011 4:08:26 AM

Novuake said:
Dude, have you read ANY review??? HD6970 is MUCH better than GTX570 ti...

txpower, rather go for the Sapphire Cards, they are cheaper and equal in quility to Asus.


I'm looking at the ASUS card over the Saphire because the slightly higher clock speed (10mhz, not much I know) and ASUS offers a 3 year warranty vs Saphire's 2 year. There are also some rebates on right now for both boards ($20).
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 6:22:46 AM

txpower said:
I'm looking at the ASUS card over the Saphire because the slightly higher clock speed (10mhz, not much I know) and ASUS offers a 3 year warranty vs Saphire's 2 year. There are also some rebates on right now for both boards ($20).


Ah well in that case, take your pick.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 9:54:07 AM

Novuake said:
Dude, have you read ANY review??? HD6970 is MUCH better than GTX570 ti...

txpower, rather go for the Sapphire Cards, they are cheaper and equal in quility to Asus.

There is no such thing as a 570ti. the 6970 and 570 trade blows depending on what game
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 10:23:57 AM

FlintIronStagg said:
There is no such thing as a 570ti. the 6970 and 570 trade blows depending on what game


My bad... Your right. The ti edition is a habit.

But I disagree that they trade blows. In AA/AF for example the 6970 is almost twice as good as the 570.
Trading blows would be defined as being close on every benchmark.

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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 11:15:20 AM

Novuake said:
My bad... Your right. The ti edition is a habit.

But I disagree that they trade blows. In AA/AF for example the 6970 is almost twice as good as the 570.
Trading blows would be defined as being close on every benchmark.

They do depending on the game. I agree ATI does have better aa/af but the difference between the two cards in regards to performance isn't by a large margin.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 1:47:49 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
They do depending on the game. I agree ATI does have better aa/af but the difference between the two cards in regards to performance isn't by a large margin.


True, but a considerable margin.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 2:25:00 PM

Novuake said:
True, but a considerable margin.

Not really.
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October 4, 2011 11:18:34 AM

Best answer selected by txpower.
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