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First Build Q: Best GPU to pair with A8-3870k?

Hey all, i've gotten such great advice from this forum that I just keep coming back. :)

I have almost all of the parts for my first budget gaming build. Only thing I have left to purchase is the CPU (I was waiting for the unlocked A8-3870k), cooler (Hyper 212 Evo), and the GPU.

I am ordering tonight, so I just need some last minute advice about the GPU. Here are my options/thoughts:

Option 1. I could get a 6670 for $100 and do the AMD Dual Graphics thing. I am hoping that the unlocked 3870k with an overclocked IGP will give this setup a little more "umph".

Option 2. I could get a GTX 460 for $150 (no dual graphics, but still paired with the 3870k).

Option 3. I could get a 6870 for $175

Option 4. I could get a GTX 560 (non Ti) for $190 (this is really the outer limit of my budget)

I would like to be able to do gaming at no higher/lower than 1080p on my monitor and HDTV. I don't mind turning down the settings (from max to high) and avoiding things like AA/fancy effects. I would like to play the newer games (BF3, Skywimp) but mostly I think i'll be doing SWTOR.

My question is, what option would allow me to do what I want for the least money. Yes, I am a cheapo. :) And if you have another option I haven't thought of, please feel free to show me.

btw I can't change the CPU because I already have the Mobo. Got a good deal so I pulled the trigger.

As always, any help would be appreciated, and thanks in advance. I really do appreciate all of the help I've received here.
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  1. Best answer
    You could get a Radeon 6700 series card, 6750, 6770, 6790 and do hybrid crossfire or whatever it's called now with the A8-3870K. If you don't use the Llano's integrated graphics in some way then you have just wasted your money because you can get a cheaper CPU that doesn't have the excellent IGP of Llano and has better CPU performance instead for less money or more money with much more CPU performance. Llano is intended to be a low budget platform and using it only as a CPU is a waste of money.

    You could get a Phenom quad core or an FX quad core for less money and both would be faster CPUs. If you want to use a high end video card with a CPU then you shouldn't get A8-3870K because as a CPU only it is worth $90-110. The extra money in the cost is because of the graphics and is wasted money if it isn't used.

    The IGP of even the A8-3870K only makes a 10-25% difference when paired with the Radeon 6750 so it won't make a noticeable difference paired with anything faster. Paired with the 6750 it should be enough to handle 1080p easily but don't go thinking you can possibly get a much higher end graphics solution with a Llano CPU... The lower performance of the Llano CPU cores means that faster graphics cards will become bottle necked by the Llano processor.

    Llano is not a high end processor and should not be treated as one. It is only a low budget processor and expecting anything more out of it than any other low budget processor or expecting any low budget processor to be as good as a high end one won't work and that can't really be changed.

    Llano offers excellent performance for it's price and proves that integrated graphics can be good but it is still integrated graphics... Integrated graphics is not great and probably won't be great for a long time.
  2. blazorthon said:
    You could get a Radeon 6700 series card, 6750, 6770, 6790 and do hybrid crossfire or whatever it's called now with the A8-3870K. If you don't use the Llano's integrated graphics in some way then you have just wasted your money because you can get a cheaper CPU that doesn't have the excellent IGP of Llano and has better CPU performance instead for less money or more money with much more CPU performance. Llano is intended to be a low budget platform and using it only as a CPU is a waste of money.

    You could get a Phenom quad core or an FX quad core for less money and both would be faster CPUs. If you want to use a high end video card with a CPU then you shouldn't get A8-3870K because as a CPU only it is worth $90-110. The extra money in the cost is because of the graphics and is wasted money if it isn't used.

    The IGP of even the A8-3870K only makes a 10-25% difference when paired with the Radeon 6750 so it won't make a noticeable difference paired with anything faster. Paired with the 6750 it should be enough to handle 1080p easily but don't go thinking you can possibly get a much higher end graphics solution with a Llano CPU... The lower performance of the Llano CPU cores means that faster graphics cards will become bottle necked by the Llano processor.

    Llano is not a high end processor and should not be treated as one. It is only a low budget processor and expecting anything more out of it than any other low budget processor or expecting any low budget processor to be as good as a high end one won't work and that can't really be changed.

    Llano offers excellent performance for it's price and proves that integrated graphics can be good but it is still integrated graphics... Integrated graphics is not great and probably won't be great for a long time.


    Yeah, I came to the same conclusion last night. So in the end, I ended up ordering a X4 960T Zosma http://goo.gl/duUii an ASRock 970 Extreme 4 AM3+ Mobo http://goo.gl/q5XKo and a HIS ICEQ HD 6870 http://goo.gl/1KiMU along with a Zalman http://goo.gl/B7LT cooler so I can get a decent overclock from the 960T. I may be able to unlock to 6 cores as well with the ASRock board. You're right, I was expecting too much from the llano. But the thing that really changed my mind was knowing that with an AM3+ board, I can more easily upgrade in the future.

    I am going to RMA the FM1 board that I bought.
  3. Best answer selected by Techngro.
  4. "You could get a Radeon 6700 series card, 6750, 6770, 6790 and do hybrid crossfire or whatever it's called now with the A8-3870K."

    ^false, 3870k can only be paired up to, at the most, a 6670

    "The IGP of even the A8-3870K only makes a 10-25% difference when paired with the Radeon 6750 so it won't make a noticeable difference"

    ^again, can't be paired with a 6750 anyways. Also, the improvement you get from crossfiring with a 6670 is actually pretty big, not just 10-25%. For example, you can build a 400-500$ system using 3870k+6670, overclock them both and play bf3 on high settings. Though, you have to turn off the other eye candies.


    ANYWAYS, good choice on the 960t + 6870. =]
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