Looking for a GPU, No idea what to look for.

Hello all,
I am building a gaming rig and need advice on choosing a graphics card, I am looking at a few, this build will be for around xmas time. The build I am creating is planned to have;
CPU- AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8120FRGUBOX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103961

MOBO- ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131736

I do not seem to know what I am looking for in a GPU anymore, I tried to find a general what to look for in a GPU topic and failed, this is the GPU I am looking at.

GPU- XFX HD-697A-CNDC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150531

RAM-CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233196

I am trying to go with the radeon 6900 series for this scorpius platform with the Zambezi, I do not intend to overclock the GPU, I plan on tinkering with it for learning on the Zambezi if they are related, I have never overclocked before. I do intend to Crossfire eventually, but not necessarily right away. Resolution I am shooting for is 1920X1080. The monitor is going to be chosen to suit the rig. Any advice and or suggestions would be appreciated. My budget is between $300 and $500.
15 answers Last reply
More about looking idea
  1. What power supply do you have, or, if you don't have one yet, intend on getting? I don't see a reference to the PSU, a very important part of the computer. If you intend on using CrossFire or overclocking in any form, you'll want to get at least a 750-watt PSU, higher if you're going after the highest end cards. With your budget, though, the top grade video cards are out of your reach unless that's for just a video card.
  2. My apologies, the PSU is; XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207011

    the $300- $500 is for the GPU. The rest of the rig is more or less decided, I will tweak here and there as it gets closer to Nov/Dec and I start ordering, But I want a strong Base of what I want.
  3. Have you considered an i5-2500k instead? It really is a better choice for the money.
    The initial HD7000 cards may be out in early Dec. so you may want to wait on that as far as the card goes. If not I guess an HD6950/70 is the way to go.
  4. Your PSU is sufficient enough. You sure seem to be after a very high end gaming rig. Gaming computers, unless you intend on recording your game play, don't need much in the way of the CPU. The i5-2500K is indeed the best for that and it can easily be overclocked. I've heard that those processors can get to 5 GHz!
  5. +1 to jyjjy suggestion about going intel, unless you have some sort of moral or ethical dilemma which does not allow for intel based builds.
  6. Hmm, two things, for the CPU, I am using it for more than just gaming really, but the aspect of this post was for the GPU, sorry if that was misleading, also, whenever I build my PC, I try to make it as strong as possible so as to stay more so up to date for a longer period, and to stay up to date with the tech. Is the I5/I7 that much better than Zambezi, I was under the impression that for multi thread type operations, from my understanding is the way programs games etc will be going. I am trying to find as much info on it as possible. what do you think?
  7. Hey there,

    I am happy that you are thinking about getting an AMD cpu (if Intel wins the CPU competition then they will have a monopole, which will be bad); anyway enough about that.

    I would suggest you go for the most expensive gpu you can afford...

    if you have enough for a 6990; go for it, unless the 6970 is good...

    hope i helped
  8. Heh fair enough, I was hoping to learn more about why they are better, the core clock, etc, I see lower priced cards with certain lower stats and certain higher stats, I am unsure how much those matter. For now I am planning on sticking with the Zambezi, I think I will wait for the latest cards that are to be released this month/next. I appreciate all the answers, thank you.
  9. Zambezi's gaming performance cannot match Intel. It is smart to wait, because the new graphics cards are supposed to have a big performance boost.
  10. hi

    dont buy xfx buy sapphire
  11. Quote:
    dont buy xfx buy sapphire

    XFX has nice cards too. I don't understand your problem with them. I agree though that Sapphire makes good cards.
  12. lol, this is crazy, now I am seriously reconsidering my whole build. The CPU to use is killing me haha. I have seen good ratings from both XFX and Sapphire. I will def keep both in mind. I think i might drop (another sigh) post with what I desire to do and what when or why the I7 or Zambezi would be a better bet. and then move on...again, to vid cards the build etc. thank you again for all the responses.
  13. At your stated budget, the choice that really stands out is two 900MHz 560 Ti's ..

    Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

    Two 6950 Frozr OC gets 759 fps for 480.00 or $ 0.63 per frame

    Two 560 Ti - 900 Mhz gets 862 fps for $430 or $ 0.50 per frame

    One 580 gets 616 fps for $ 480.00 or $ 0.78 per frame

    Te other choices (6970 & 570) come up either too expensive (in CF / SLI) or too far below in fps (as single cards) compared to the other choices.

    Your PSU is well sized for a heavily OC'd box with either set of cards.


    And yes, I'd also go with an Intel build for any system over $800. AMD is just not price / performance competitive in builds above that threshold.
  14. JackNaylorPE said:

    And yes, I'd also go with an Intel build for any system over $800. AMD is just not price / performance competitive in builds above that threshold.

  15. connorjiy said:
    Is the I5/I7 that much better than Zambezi

    Put simply, yes.
    The FX-8150 wins in a hand full of tests but the vast majority go for the i5, often in an extreme manner. If you overclock then it only makes the i5 even better in comparison.
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