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Price and value how do you define it

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
a c 131 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 10:47:57 AM

Just wanted to ask how people define, at a personal level what makes for good value vs performance for money ?

This is related to the new cards coming out from AMD hopefully in January and the new Nvidia cards coming later next year as well as the cards we have now.
For example and im using UK pricing as that is where I am so if you other guys don't have the same kind of issue then lucky you.
So for example what exactly makes a person want to spend £70 more on a 6950 than the cost of a 6870 ?
There may be specific cases where the card actually makes a performance difference to a certain game, I have seen one instance of this searching through 11 benchmarks.
So is it really just down to a case of because I want the biggest I can get or are there real reasons for people spending what I see as a lot of money for very minimal gain ?

I'm planning to upgrade once the third party cards turn up but im not paying silly money just because.

I'm not really including the higher end cards in this and I am aware that its possible that Eyefinity may have something to do with the answer.
I was looking at this from the perspective of someone like me who has a single 1080 Monitor.

Mactronix :) 

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a c 332 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 3:22:26 PM

Interesting question you got there mate. I've often wondered how some people formulate their purchasing criteria. :lol: 
a c 105 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 3:23:57 PM

I think all this electronic B.S. is way overpriced and ridiculous, still i pay it without a question and love the stuff
With me it's just the itch and the "exoticness" of new cards with new techniques. ( gotte have it, gotte have it ) We're just big kids with the damned tech. virus. ( most of us anyway i think )

I often can't settle for a normal card but have to have the most oc'd with a nice cooling system. ( prefarably with copper piping and some eyecandy :pfff:  )

Afraid i'm a sucker for looks and tells. Got the gigabyte 560ti soc because of the looks and the promisses from the "gauntlet" cherry picking. Also from looking at the benchmarks which showed the 560 was as good as on par with a 570. But if it was wise to pay 60 euro more for that, could have done that OC myself i think.

It's kind of good i'm allways on a budget, otherwise i probably end up buying stuff like the Mars.

Afraid this is not very helpfull :lol: 
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a c 131 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 3:32:19 PM

No that's fine Jordy,
I'm not really looking for an answer per say, just wanting to understand what drives most people. Where people are coming from with these decisions.
I guess this could have been a poll but felt that having a discussion about it might be more useful for my understanding.

I also go for looks to a point, which is why im almost sure that I will end up with an MSI card once it all shakes out at 28nm.
For me at the moment Nvidia are offering the value, I have never used Nvidia before but if the value is still with them then I wouldn't hesitate to switch.
I wonder how much brand loyalty comes into this ?

Mactronix :) 
a c 332 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 6:22:01 PM

mactronix said:
I wonder how much brand loyalty comes into this ?

Mactronix :) 

Loyalty or preference? I prefer Nvidia cards yes, but I wouldn't buy one of the 4xx series cards because I'm not loyal enough to part with cash for a partially working GPU. :lol: 
a c 326 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 7:31:37 PM

For me it comes down to what I want/need and budget. And of course it has to be good quality. Between card models there is really only a small differences in performance and there's even a decent change in price within the same model. I forked out $245 for a 560ti tf2 just for the good quality and dual fans as I live in Texas and it gets hot. The lower priced evga dual fan was $10 less at the time but had meh reviews even though I know evga is a good company and now the reviews are even with the tf2. Also vs the total price of the system $10 really isn't much. Now there are the $210 560ti out there but would still make the same decision for the same reasons.

As for company loyalty, my loyalty lies with my wallet. I've had an ati/amd system in the past, I've got intel and nvidia now, really had no problem with either. The higher cards do seem to get less and less fps/dollar so then it goes down to budget, you want to get the best you can within your budget. And again with what you need, if your games play fine, no point in upgrading.

The only looks that I care is the case because I don't see a point in case windows so never see my components.
a c 381 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 7:36:11 PM

I always find myself one notch down from the top performer .... simply because the bean counters know that peeps will pay more than is sensible to get 'the best". FZpr GPU's I like to "do the math" and I used the attached table (based upon Guru3D test suite and the prices in newegg ;last time I looked) to give to peeps when they come over and ask for build advice:

$ 155.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.49 - $ 0.52
$ 155.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 170.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.39 - $ 0.49
$ 220.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.46 - $ 0.59
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 215.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.43 - $ 0.50
$ 340.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.65 - $ 0.78
$ 500.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.81 - $ 1.05
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53

Certain choices inevitably stand out (see bold). There's usually diminishing returns on performance as price rises but the 6870 and 560 Ti (900) are exceptions to those rules so they grab ya.

For CPU's, it's been easy ..... at $800 and below, build an AMD box. For Intel CPU's the one below the flagship (now the 2500k) is usually the best buy. GPU's is less of a sure thing but below $200, I find ATI the best buy .... over $200, nVidia has been on least at 1920 x 1200.

I find it real hard of late though as the last two years it seems that the cost spread from the "acceptable" and the top end has grown out of hand. So much so that two cards in SLI / CF can give ya way more performance than the flagship in a single card configuration for LESS money. It's kinda astounding that $1500 for three 580s gets ya only 19% more performance at 350% of the cost of two 560 Ti's

As for loyalty, that's a 2 way street ..... I'm down on EVGA after a 20 month battle to get a factory OC'd GFX card working. Lifteime warranty isn't worth much if 5 RMA returns just net you more non working cards.

Antec for example, has provided superb support over the years .... when USB 2.0 came out I called and asked if I could upgrade the front ports and they sent me modules for 3 PC's free of charge. Asus support has also been a positive experience once ya get to someone who can actually help you.

But I consider myself a "hardware whore" .... loyalty goes out the window if ya can't produce the numbers. All things being equal, I'll stick with components I am familiar with but if someone else produces better numbers for a price considered worth it, I'm on to the next thing

a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 7:50:25 PM

I went the way of 384-Bit. Added another $165 EVGA GTX460 in SLI. It scaled up 175%, not as much as hoped but it will go toe to toe with GTX 570's.
Brand means a lot to me, I won't buy anything but an EVGA GPU and I don't buy the first models off the line.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2011 2:56:57 AM

In my perspective, value = high gain / low premium.
The definition of high gain is how much improvement you can 'notice' from a reference point (your bare minimum acceptable performance). This is a very subjective parameter as everyone will have their own acceptable standards and everyone will observe different improvement aspects from the same card.

Eg: For a person with 1280x800 18" monitor, a 21" 1366x768 is awesome gain for under $100 investment. For him a 24" FHD ($150+) or IPS ($300+) might not be a 'gain'.

and the premium is a simple quantity which is cost of the part.

a c 131 U Graphics card
December 7, 2011 11:40:08 AM

Some good input there guys thanks.
Is seems people are more willing to chop and change between makes than I had thought.
Jack makes a good point which certainly rings true to me
I find it real hard of late though as the last two years it seems that the cost spread from the "acceptable" and the top end has grown out of hand.

I personally believe that pretty soon we will get to a point where people wont be upgrading as freely because.
A. They don't really need to.
B. AMD/Nvidia are taking liberties with the way they raise the prices of cards up through the performance tiers.
I remember when a card that could perform at 1680 X1050 was deemed worth a premium. These days it seems anything that can perform well at 1920 X 1080 demands that same premium.
Well it seems to me that these days that should be considered the norm and cards that perform well at higher resolutions and when using Eyefinity set ups should be the ones that you pay more for.

Mactronix :) 
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2011 2:19:52 PM

As the above posters pointed out, the highest end single gpu card from each camp seems to carry a bit of a price premium over it's little brother. When you pair up 6950's or 570's (or looking back 5850's or 470's), you end up with an extremely high level of performance even at the highest resolutions. The performance difference between these setups and a crossfire/sli build of the #1 card is signficant, but only relevant in a few games.

For this most recent generation of cards, AMD seemed to me to provide more value through multi-card scaling. The 6970 and the 570 are very worthy competitors in a single card build. However, when you double up, the 6970 crossfire sometimes outperforms the substantially more expensive 580 sli. It's hard to argue with that value when you're looking at the performance benchmarks from reviews and the prices.

The missing element here is the issue of drivers. To me , the performance benefit at the relatively low cost for (high end) multi card setups is worth having to tackle any issues that crop up. Others may disagree. I'm always skeptical of the whole "NVidia has better drivers" argument, but I won't throw it out entirely.

So to me, performance to price ratio is the main driver of "value" (an odd term for high end pc components). Features aren't quite as important to me.