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Choosing a Video Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2012 2:22:52 PM

I'm trying to choose the best possible video card for my system without killing my wallet. I've read that you should spend as much on your video card as you did on your display, which was $320.

My current system specs are:

Intel i7 960 3.2Ghz (no current oc'ing but would like to goto 4 Ghz)
Asus P6x58d-e Mobo
12Gb G.Skills Sniper 1600
Intel 120Gb SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB HD
Cooler Master HAF 932 case
Cooler Master RS 850 PSU
Sony BluRay burner

I use my system for professional Photoshop work (I'm an illustrator) and light gaming (I dont sit and play computer games for hours on end, but when I do I play Skyrim, Old Republic and the likes).

I also plan to watercool the processor and possibly video card. I'm looking at the MSI N560GTX-Ti 448 Twin Frozr III PE/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti as a solution. Is this video card right for my system, or over or under-powered?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

More about : choosing video card

a b Î Nvidia
a c 259 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 2:43:07 PM

What are you using for graphics now?
Is it doing the job?

Skyrim recommends a GTX260 or 4890 class card or higher:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/113823-Skyrim...

GTX550ti meets that.

Nothing wrong with a GTX560ti.

I suggest you drop the water cooling idea. It is expensive, fussy, and what for?? Air cooling is as effective, particularly with a good case like you have.
A simple $30 cooler like a Xigmatek gaia or cm hyper212 will do the job.
It is easy to oc your cpu a bit.


If you want more graphics speed, get a stronger card.
If you want a stronger cpu, wait for ivy bridge in april.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 291 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 2:56:37 PM

I'd go with GTX 560 Ti, it will max skyrim out.
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January 14, 2012 4:21:25 PM

My reasoning behind watercooling is that the ambient temp of the cpu is around 50C with my home temp being at 70F. With load temps being at around 88C, which seems to be relatively high as to what I've read. I am using an Asus 1Gb GeForce 210 64 bit for my current card, but its lags and I want smooth and clean with settings Maxed out.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 259 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 5:14:44 PM

d17mc83 said:
My reasoning behind watercooling is that the ambient temp of the cpu is around 50C with my home temp being at 70F. With load temps being at around 88C, which seems to be relatively high as to what I've read. I am using an Asus 1Gb GeForce 210 64 bit for my current card, but its lags and I want smooth and clean with settings Maxed out.


That is perhaps a bit high, but not necessarily for a i7-960. Particularly if you are using the stock intel cooler.
Or, if it is mounted poorly.

You will do very well with a $30 cooler like the cm hyper212, or Xigmatek gaia. It will be quieter, cooler, and oc very well.

The GTX570 is very good for gaming on a single monitor.
I like one with a direct exhaust cooler that gets the heat out of the case quickly. Something like this evga GTX570:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 92 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 7:43:12 PM

go with a 560 ti or a 570
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