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Buying New VGA, Need Suggestions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 24, 2011 11:13:38 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: January 1st, 2012

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Max Gaming (Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY
VGA: XFX Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX950

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS
CPU: Intel i7-920 (Standard Intel Heatsink, 3.2 Ghz OC)
MOBO: ASrock X58 Extreme
CASE: Cooler Master Storm Sniper
SSD: Samsung 470 128Gb

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.Com

PARTS PREFERENCES: NVIDIA or AMD, dont Care

OVERCLOCKING: No (Prefer a Pre-OCed card if I am going to OC)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Prefer To keep the total at or around $600 or less of course, I can possibly go a few bucks over if its worth it, will be spending $700, using the other $100 to upgrade to 12GB of RAM (Have to replace the sticks I currently have as they dont make them anymore... boo OCZ lol :p ) and add a few Neon Cathodes :) 

I'm basically looking to set myself up for the foreseeable future in the VGA department, and really just as always I'm lookin to the people I trust most for my advice :)  You guys have never led me astray before, and i'm back at it again :) 

Two Notes :) 

One, I'd like the setup to be as pain free as possible (Aka plug em in, DL drivers, go crazy). Any and all advice you guys have is welcome! :)  The quieter the card is, the better too, any partiuclar brand and setup that works best for that? :) 

Two, I'd like to be able to keep my TV connected to my PC at all times too (42" RCA 1080P, mostly incase I'd like to stream a movie or something from my computer :)  ). The reason I note those Is I run a dual monitor setup currently, one to game on, the other for internet, facebook, blah blah, and I know my current card wont run all 3 at once, idk if that's normal with all single VGA setups or just the 5000 series, I'm no expert, its why i come to you guys :p  I dont intend on doin any 3-way monitor gaming, so please dont let that enter the equation :) 

More about : buying vga suggestions

a c 290 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 11:47:42 AM

If I were you, I'd grab two GTX 570s, their price should fall down to around $300 when HD7970 is released That's some real power! Other option would be Crossfire two HD6970s.

If you don't want to Crossfire/SLI, your best bet would be with GTX 580.

Last option would be to wait for HD7970 and get it. It's price is rumored to be around $500, and it's supposed to be the fastest single card until nvidia releases their 600 series.

Merry Christmas!
December 24, 2011 11:54:46 AM

Would the single 580 be able to do the dual monitor setup and keeping the TV connected at all times as well? I'd prefer not to disable my 2nd monitor if i can help it :)  Ty for the reply btw sunius!!! :) 
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a c 290 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 12:03:21 PM

Oh yea, I didn't notice that :<. To have 3 monitors, you have to either have SLI for nvidia, or going AMD with eyefinity (single card would suffice).
December 24, 2011 12:17:33 PM

Cool, nice to know! :) 

Just curious... everyone's been saying the 560 TI 448 is nearly as good as a 570 atm... and 50 bucks cheaper, would that be a better option for me personally? It would keep me alot tighter to my $600 Spending. Sorry to keep pestering ya lol :p  and any particular brands ya recommend? Names I continue to hear Nvidia side is EGA, ZOTAC, and MSI :) 
December 24, 2011 12:18:03 PM

Oops, EVGA lmao, holy moley batman, a EGA reference in 2011... lmao :) 
December 24, 2011 12:28:18 PM

yes the 448 core is a great buy. I picked one up about 3 week ago and loving it. Get the EVGA classified version if its still available. The MSI twin frozr would be my second choice. The MSI actually runs cooler and quieter I think, but classified comes with a beefed up power adapter for greater overclocking so I'm told.

I have mine overclocked to 925mhz from a stock clock of 722 putting it far ahead of my roomies stock evga 570.

I'm playing battlefield 3 at all ultra settings and 2x AA smooth as butter on ONE 40nm card. Eat that naysayers lol. Cheers.

p.s. I just reread your post and forgot your were hesitant about overclocking. I think ALL of the 448's come with some degree of overclocking. My evga came at 797mhz as compared to a reference clock of 722. I think in 2011 it is odd to fear overclocking, but I understand some folks are on a REAL budget and cant risk exploding hardware, so rest assured you wont have to do any OC legwork yourself when getting a 448 core.
December 24, 2011 12:35:37 PM

A Pair of MSI 560 TI 448's are startin to sound kinda nice :p  I should say... I dont necessarily fear OCing, but more or less... I dont wanna have to OC em till i'm at the point that I have to :)  Why put a extra year of stress on something ya dont need to right? :)  Thanx Kyle for the reply, you as well sunius, anyone else have an opinion? :) 

Btw Kyle, did the EVGA come with the SLI bridge or did u just use the one ur MOBO provided?
December 24, 2011 1:15:07 PM

He said NO OC. Therefore the 448 is out of the window... unless you know what you are doing, any 448 is still "only" a slightly better 560Ti / dumped down 570...
The $600 insane budget is just begging for dual 570...
But they do cost $330 a pop. Hopefully, they would fall to around $300 after the release of HD7970. ^>^"
December 24, 2011 2:35:31 PM

The 448 is indeed a 570 that didn't make the cut to be a 570. That doesn't mean quality control and testing goes out the window kelvin. Businesses don't purposefully screw over their customers for the holidays to satisfy their business model...no that's more of a autopart or cellphone tech trend lol.

Additionally...the stock OC on the 448's is modest at best and the OP stated stock OC is fine.

Buying 2x 570's is absolutely unnecessary and an extremely dumb time to suggest such a thing. 28nm cards are on the horizon from both manufacturers and there is no reason to dump premium dollar on lots of soon to be SOMEWHAT outdated tech. Regardless the 448 is also up to $50 cheaper at times than the good 570's so if you really wanted to SLI I would do the 448 first as well. $100 savings and near 580gtx performance when overclocked...how can you lose
December 24, 2011 2:55:15 PM

Most of the reason I'm choosing atm to buy the cards is that my current build has no PCI 3.0, and given my "Meh" level of computer troubleshooting, If i were to have compatibility issues with 3.0 to 2.0, I didn't want that drama to deal with lol :p 
December 24, 2011 4:36:11 PM

Jesus christ kyle382, the poster, "Nightbound" stated in his post that he doesn't want to do overclocking, have a deadline of around 1st January, 2012.

Does Mid March or April 2012 even close to his deadline? -__-"

I said he said no OC, this doesn't mean I disagree on the fact that the 448 is a great card. I didn't even common on the 448.
Besides, even if OCed, it's still a cut down GF110, NOT A FULL GF110. You just can't compare it to a 580.

Please read tomshardware review on the 448 for their OCed result:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-ti-...
December 26, 2011 11:28:00 AM

I know its been a few days, sorry for the delay, family, Xmas, blah blah, u guys prly know how it is :) 

I wanna get an opinion on something, cause my primary reason for SLI is I just wanna be able to have my TV hooked up as a third monitor simply for movies and stuff. I have ZERO INTENTION of doing eyeinfinity or NVSurround type stuff, it just doesn't interest me.

Does that change anything in terms of what I should be looking for? Again, I dont plan to merge monitors for gaming, I simply want the ability to have my TV connected to my computer at all times with my current dual monitor setup also connected :) 
December 27, 2011 1:50:28 AM


I still think that card is his most efficient choice. Is it not a geforce 580? no, lol good point.

Nightbound, I would also reconsider your choice in case. I have built a pc in a CM storm sniper and it is absolutely massive. I mean 24"x24" big. Unless you have insane internal watercooling or the need for 6 hard drives then I would recommend a different case. It does however come with totally decent 200mm fans that get the job done.

To play bf3 at all ultra settings at 1080, with that processor, you will need at least a geforce 560 ti 448 core overclocked (stock overclocked or not....)

to play bf3 at all ultra settings and at what most hardcore first person shooters would consider a decent frame rate, you will need a geforce 580.

To play bf3 at all ultra settings with absolutely zero hiccups you will need an SSD drive, a midrange SLI setup and the processor you have already chosen.

What im trying to say to you is, if an average of 45 frames/second is ok to you then dont bother with sli...if you have been waiting for bf3 for 8 years and really want to go all out right now then by all means get 2x 560ti 384 cores at 2GB (the extra ram will really make a difference in an sli rig) and run it at 80fps lol.

I am an nvidia fan as you have guessed, but 2x 6950 2gb would be the equivalent there. You will save what $40 going the amd route?
December 27, 2011 1:56:39 AM

regardless, if you can bare to use your old graphics solution in your new rig for just a few months you will have world of graphical tech open up to you. 40nm cards will likely be much cheaper and refined 7000 series AMD cards will be out as well as the first round of nvidia kepler cards. Both these new series operate on a rather large die shrink at 28nm. This is tech you will not want to miss out on. As our friend kelvin pointed out, its tough to wait and everyones different on futureproofing.

my explanation of the nvidia graphics hierarchy can more easily be explained by the chart found on "how battlefield performs tab" of this article :

http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/battlefield-3-be...

so, to recap, the ONLY reason I would not recommend an SLI setup to hardcore bf3 fans right now is that both manufacturers are on the verge of a die shrink and any $500-800 expenditure on soon to be somewhat outdated tech seems a bit daft. If money is NOT an object definitely get 3x 580's regardless or one 590, it really doesnt matter...ur rich right? lols Cheers
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