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Best GPU for 1680 x 1050

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 29, 2011 11:49:18 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Roughly over the next 3 months. I'm not in a rush to build my first desktop, so I can wait for sales/price drops.
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Purely gaming. I don't graphically intense games, but I'd like to.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Current GPU is just my laptop's radeon 6630m. Power supply will vary accordingly, but i'll most likely get the corsair builder/enthusiast series.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: I've bought the Antec three hundred illusion case, and 2 x 4gb g.skill ripjaw 1333mhz memory. I plan on getting these items:

MOBO: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
CPU: i5 2500k
SSD: Haven't nailed one down, but I do plan on getting one.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any. I'm in the US.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Since this is my first build, I haven't had any experience with these brands, but everyone seems to love sapphire and evga for radeon and geforce cards. I'm open to anything.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes.
SLI / CROSSFIRE: Not now, but in the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The main focus is finding a gpu that has the best value at the 1680 x 1050 resolution. I'm looking at this build as an investment. I understand that technology quickly becomes outdated, but I'd like a card that will still be decent about a year from now at which point I can sli / xfire a second card to keep up.

Price Range: $200-$300. I've been looking at 6850, 6870, 6950, 6970, and gtx 460, 560, 560 ti, 570.

I'm also curious if the toxic 6950 and 570 classified are just a marketing push or actually have legitimate substance.

Thanks for the input guys!

More about : gpu 1680 1050

a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 12:02:44 AM

With that price range, 6950 or 560ti are the best options to play with max settings at that resolution, they offer the best bang for your buck and you could save for something else.
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September 30, 2011 12:29:43 AM

Could you elaborate a bit? Are you basing this on experience or articles you've read? Also I'm assuming that the 1gb version would be sufficient since I'm only using one monitor and only at 1680 x 1050 res.

Thanks for the suggestion!
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a c 143 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 12:37:34 AM

yes based on experience and benchmarking and recommending GPUs every day :) 
a single HD 6850/6870 will do the job at this resolution just fine, but HD 6950/6970 will help you max out most of all the games just fine on that resolution.

so, a GTX 560Ti or HD 6950 1GB will satisfy anygame unless you're planning on future upgrades.....

for the PSU you stated Corsair, so a 650W if you're going with the HD 6950 and a 500W if you're going with 68xx.... anyway i still recommend the 650W over the 500W
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a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 12:47:18 AM

Well, I had a gtx460 1gb on a 1440x900 monitor and I had no problem with the vast majority of games. Since your resolution is more GPU demanding than mine is, a 6950/560ti 1GB will be more than enough (almost overkill, in fact a 6770 should suffice). But that extra power should allow you to run future games with better settings and framerates (and you could also upgrade to a 1080p monitor w/ no problem). And yes, most of my "experience" came from articles.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 12:50:14 AM

I just realized that you will be purchasing in ~3 months. In that case you better wait for the next generation of GPU's.
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September 30, 2011 12:51:10 AM

I wasn't trying to call you out or anything, I was just curious about where you were speaking from. This information helps a bunch though thanks. I think I'll wait for an awesome deal on the 6950/6970. Thanks again!
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a c 105 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 12:55:07 AM

I used to game at 1680x1050. There was more than one occasion that a card with 1gig of memory wasn't enough, especially if you like to crispen up the edges and turn up the graphics.
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September 30, 2011 12:55:35 AM

BlackHawk91 said:
I just realized that you will be purchasing in ~3 months. In that case you better wait for the next generation of GPU's.


Wait, are you saying I should wait for the next generation and wait for the current generation to drop in price? Also about when are the next gen gpus coming out? I heard radeon 7000 is some time Q4 this year. What about geforce?
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September 30, 2011 12:56:27 AM

I'm an Nvidia fan, but Last I checked in lower resolutions, like yours (and mine), Nvidia had the edge. Anything Nvidia over or at the 560 ti if you are going upper-class.

If you want something cheaper, go with ATI.

The approach ATI uses is very high-resolution friendly and tends to offer lesser performance at lower resolutions, giving Nvidia the advantage, but when you want max resolution the advantage shifts just as dramatically ATI's way. Massive parallelism just doesn't work when there isn't much to process, such as at 1680*1050, but at high resolutions EXCELS and this is ATI's approach to their cards.
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September 30, 2011 1:01:45 AM

Also,i think 6950 is the best choose.You can updated to 6970 by cracking!
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a c 143 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 1:03:33 AM

patapat said:
Wait, are you saying I should wait for the next generation and wait for the current generation to drop in price? Also about when are the next gen gpus coming out? I heard radeon 7000 is some time Q4 this year. What about geforce?


AMD 7K series with new XDR2 rambus technology is said to be twice faster than GDDR5 besides the 28nm process = less power & heat and the 1 GHz GPU frequency, a high end GPU such as HD 7950 is said to be close or better than HD 6990 in performance....

but the AMD 7K series will be pushed till Q1 2012
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a c 143 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 1:05:10 AM

punk100 said:
Also,i think 6950 is the best choose.You can updated to 6970 by cracking!

that was with reference designed cards only, and they are all gone from the market so unlocking them is more risky....
anyway the non-reference designs gives more headroom for overclocking with best cooling UNLIKE the reference designed ones
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a c 143 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 1:08:50 AM

swifty_morgan said:
I used to game at 1680x1050. There was more than one occasion that a card with 1gig of memory wasn't enough, especially if you like to crispen up the edges and turn up the graphics.

this happend only in one case, the new GTA game which proved to be more VRAM hungry but originally you don't need more than 1 GB if you're playing at 1080P as all the benchmarks proved.

@ OP, the 2GB will be future proof only for VRAM hungry games such as Crysis 2, and that GTA i stated and gaming above 1080P resolution
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September 30, 2011 1:27:38 AM

So looking a bit here: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011-gaming-graphics...
and comparing it to this: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011-gaming-graphics...

It looks like 6970 comes the closest to gtx 580 in terms of single-graphics performance in both cases. the 6970 xfire even sits just below the 580 sli @ 1680 x 1050 whereas there's a more noticeable dropoff in the higher resolution. I think I'll keep the 6970 at the top of my list and see how the prices plays out as the next-gen video cards start coming out.

Best answer goes to blackhawk just based on his responsiveness and reminding me of the next-gen cards coming soon.

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions, guys! Thanks!
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September 30, 2011 1:28:06 AM

Best answer selected by patapat.
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