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GPU for Battlefield 3 and SWTOR GTX 570 or Radeon HD 6950 2 GB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 4, 2011 4:17:18 AM

Hey guys, I need to upgrade my graphics card for Battlefield 3 and SWTOR. I have a Nvidia 9500GT currently, and upon looking at the Best GPU Buys article for September I was thinking about the GeForce GTX 570 or the Radeon 6950 2Gb. I'm not really sure, and I am definitely open for suggestions for other GPUs. I am not very computer literate so Ill bow to the forums judgment.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Hopefully by the end of the month before the October 25 release of Battlefield 3
BUDGET RANGE: 200-350 After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I preordered both Battlefield 3 and SWTOR. I'm a huge fan of SW and plan on losing my life to SWTOR when it comes out so the bare minimum is the GPU has to blow SWTOR away. I would like to be able to play Battlefield 3 at a 1920x1080 screen resolution with the details set to high or at least medium.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Nvidia 9500 GT and a 500w Thermaltake TR2-500nL2NH

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Tower: Smilodon Raidmax Dirk-Tooth tower
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955 Processor (4 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
MoBo: Gigabyte Technology Model=GA-770TA-UD3
Cooling setup: I have 4 fans in the tower, one in the lower front, two along the left side of the tower and 1 in the middle of the rear. (not sure if that answers that question, but i hope it helps)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Does not matter to me, as long as reputable, good pricing and trustworthy. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: Bow to your judgment, best deal for my money. I'm not loyal in either way to a certain brand or card.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (my fear is that the tower/components I own would not support/handle either SLI or Corssfire. I really do not know anything about that style of GPU)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (HP 2159M monitor)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: A friend of mine owns a computer store and I recently purchased a custom built computer from him. I'm a gamer, and I preordered both Battlefield 3 and SWTOR. Upon further examination of the computer, I realize I desperately need to upgrade the graphics card. Unfortunately, I am not very computer literate. I enjoy gaming on computers (fiancé would argue I LOVE gaming) but don't really understand how they work. I recently tried the Beta of Battlefield 3 and my computer couldn't run it. I would like to have the new GPU purchased, installed and ready to go by the official launch date of Battlefield 3 which is October 25. I greatly appreciate your help guys.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2011 12:26:38 PM

As for your choice in GPU's i would go with the GTX 570. It is faster and overall better performer than the 6950, especially at your resolution. Either way you go, though, you MUST upgrade to a better power supply, because yours will not be able to handle a card at this calibur. This means you have to add an extra ~$100 to the cost of upgrading a card.. For the PSU though, I would recommend you get something from Corsair, Antec, OCZ, Cougar, or XFX of at least 600W. You can find some pretty good deals on newegg for PSU's.

Now to answer some of your other questions.. If you wanted to do SLI or Xfire in the future, you will have to do a couple of things. For one, you will have to get a new motherboard, because yours does not support either. Also, you would have to get a 750+ watt power supply at least (which you would just buy right now instead of having to upgrade that AGAIN and will set you back more than $100).

Considering you will be running mostly just playing SWTOR, I would go with something like a GTX 560ti. I mean, yes, you will be playing some BF3, but a game like SWTOR and how much you like it, you will not have a life because of it.. so yeah, you will mostly be playing that after the few weeks of BF3. While, a 560ti may not be enough to MAX OUT BF3, it can be played at all high settings (not ultra) without much trouble and it will look great. The same card will blow SWTOR away so you should be fine in that sense again. Not to mention the fact that the GTX 560ti is MUCH cheaper than the 570.

LASTLY, I would have you overclock your CPU just a tad. That cpu that you have is SUPER SUPER easy to overclock. Literally all you have to do is go into the bios, find the CPU multiplier under the cpu settings and increase it till it says the cpu wil lbe running around 3.6 ghz. Exit and save the bios, and you are all set. That cpu is an overclocking monster, so you really should not have any problems. This will remove any bottleneck that the CPU might have while dealing with all the data that the GPU will deliver.
October 4, 2011 1:03:48 PM

Does your fiance know you plan on losing your life to that video game? haha.

I agree with the above person's comments. I'm also anticipating BF3 quite eagerly and have been considering the MSI 6950 2GB for some time. However, from what I've gathered recently, 2GB isn't really necessary UNLESS you plan to play at outrageous resolutions or with multiple monitors. One thing I am still thinking about, however, is what the demand will be in the coming years; perhaps 2GB will be more necessary with games in the next 2 or maybe 3 years... I don't know, but something to keep in mind.

Anyway, the 570 is a more powerful card; comparable to the 6970.

BUT, I also think you will need to bigger power supply, so going with a 560 ti and using the remainder of your budget for a PSU upgrade seems like the way to go for you.
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October 4, 2011 1:06:15 PM

Hi there. Well I think this game will be a eating resource monster like crysis one was on it´s time (and still today lol), so in my opinion if you want max settings on 1080p go for a gtx 560 sli or gtx 580. Regards!
October 4, 2011 1:10:38 PM

If you are looking for a specific recommendation, take a look at this card:

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

I've been reading some good things about MSI's cards: good quality capacitors and other materials, and their aftermarket cooling solution like what you see here, the "Twin Frozr III", keeps these cards nice and cool.

That card is $245 after mail in rebate at the moment. You can spend the remaining $100 of your budget on upgrading to a nice power supply like this one:

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

$70 after mail in rebate.
October 4, 2011 1:30:02 PM

In all honestly im maxing out BF3 and TOR on max with a 6850 Toxic at 1000/1200 so a 560 ti will do just fine i get between 50-70 fps on BF3 and its been awhile since i played beta for TOR. but it was well above playable
October 4, 2011 2:35:24 PM

the gtx 570 is way much better than the HD 6950 .. it will run bf3 smooth at ultra settings at 1080p
October 4, 2011 3:20:21 PM

Haha thanks all for getting back to me so quickly. I appreciate all the input, its given me alot to think about. and No, the finance doesnt know about me losing my life to that game when it comes out. I figure she has enough to worry about planning the wedding... hahah
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