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What to do Graphics Cards-Wise

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 17, 2011 5:42:57 PM

Hey all,

I just built my first computer. I'm at a loss as to what to do GPU-wise. I'd like to be able to run BF3 wide open. Here are my current specs:

Motherboard: ASUS Z68 VPRO
Processor: i7-2600k
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB DDR3
PSU: Corsair TX750w
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 (1024MB GDDR5)
Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos
CPU Fan: Coolermaster Hyper212 Plus

With BF3 comin' out, I'm wondering if I should buy another GTX 460 and run SLI, or if I should just sell the one I have and go for a single card like the GTX 580? Ultimately, with the system I have (and taking into account the 750w PSU), what would be my best solution here?

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a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2011 6:17:14 PM

I don't know if you've read the micro-stuttering issue with multiple cards, it's always been there but it detracts from playability significantly, that's why alot of people always go for single card, that and extra driver issues when you have more than 1 card.

What resolution is your monitor? You hit the recommended requirements spot on, and it's said to be better optimized than BC2 without THAT much graphic difference, so you should be able to runn it near-maxed with smooth framerates, unless you're one of those people that claim they can notice the difference between 60fps and 100fps on a 60hz monitor.

I'd OC the *** outta both the 2600k and the 460, plus by the release date the HD7xxx should be pretty soon to release, and see what they bring to the table.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
September 17, 2011 6:25:37 PM

wiinippongamer said:
I don't know if you've read the micro-stuttering issue with multiple cards, it's always been there but it detracts from playability significantly, that's why alot of people always go for single card, that and extra driver issues when you have more than 1 card.

What resolution is your monitor? You hit the recommended requirements spot on, and it's said to be better optimized than BC2 without THAT much graphic difference, so you should be able to runn it near-maxed with smooth framerates, unless you're one of those people that claim they can notice the difference between 60fps and 100fps on a 60hz monitor.

I'd OC the *** outta both the 2600k and the 460, plus by the release date the HD7xxx should be pretty soon to release, and see what they bring to the table.


I find it interesting that you that you wisely ask for the resolution and make note about the limits of the monitors refresh rate, then go on to suggest OCing the *** out of both the 2600k and 460. While it may or may not be wise to OC the 460 depending on resolution, he's not likely going to see any noticeable difference by overclocking that CPU. At most I'd recommend moderately overclocking the CPU. There are exceptions with some games, but most won't see a difference in performance with an CPU overclock on a CPU like that. At least today.
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a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2011 6:36:25 PM

BF3 should be pretty cpu dependant,like BC2 is, I went a little overboard with the OC part, but 4.5 ghz should be pretty achievable and may make a worthy difference on the framerates depending on his resolution, I'm not saying it's blottlenecked cause it won't even at 1280x720 or some low resolution like that, but being a well optimized game it should have a decent improvement going from stock to 4.3-4.5ghz, more so than what you'd get from a graphic OC depending on the resolution.

What I tried to say is if he finds himself wanting higher framerates then the easiest way would be OC both the cpu and gpu. I don't know if you consider 4.3ghz moderate, as some people get that even using stock voltage, but it's still a pretty damn huge porcentual increase on the clock rate, even 4ghz is, and should have a good impact on games that are taxing on the cpu.
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September 17, 2011 6:45:34 PM

Unfortunately, I'm still in the process of upgrading the monitor, so I only have a 1440 x 900 resolution. I'm going to be going for 1920 x 1080. So that's the spec I'm lookin' at runnin' in the next month or so.
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a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2011 6:56:27 PM

a 460 should do fine at that resolution, Like I said you can OC both to comfortable levels and get a good 20-some% boost in the framerates, any OC that doesn't require extra voltage is safe, and as long and you keep the temperatures under safe limits it won't harm anything.

The gtx580 is such a power hungry, hot-running card that's also not a good bang for buck, If you find yourself wanting higher framerates after OC then it'd be wise to wait, the hd7xxx are likely to come out withing the next month or so
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September 17, 2011 7:41:29 PM

So goin' SLI wouldn't add any benefit to max settings at 1920 x 1080, or should I wait for something like the hd7xxx? I've never used Radeon, only nVidia...so, it'd definitely be a departure for me. Is there something out there less cost prohibitive? That's why SLI was goin to be a good option...$150 and bam!!!
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a b U Graphics card
September 17, 2011 7:52:29 PM

SLI will likely add about 90% higher framerates on games that support it(BF3 included), but there a cons to having a multiple card setup.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut... read it up.

It's always been there since the dawn of time but some people just don't care or don't notice it enough to be bothersome.
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September 17, 2011 7:54:59 PM

@wiinippongamer thought there was a damn fly on my scxreen :) 
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