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Upgrade GTX 275 to ??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 14, 2012 3:51:59 PM

Not the biggest hardware nerd around so here's my predicament.

I run a single GTX 275

And my specs are humbly:
CPU: Core I7 920
MEM: 12GB 6x 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
OS: Windows 7 x64

My problem is that Skyrim base works fine but after I install the HD packs and such I start to stutter even when turning AA, AF , ETC down. I would like to be able to run max settings with all the HD texture packs.

Should I get another old card and run SLI or get a new card? If so which new card would give me the greatest bang vs buck vs longevity?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

**edit** I forgot to mention I use dual monitors that may have some effect on my predicament


More about : upgrade gtx 275

January 14, 2012 3:57:46 PM

Hold off for the 600 series as the 500 series will drop in price slightly. Then I would shoot for a 570. There's also that new 560 ti with 448 cores (special edition) that competes pretty well with the 570. But that won't be around for to long.

But at that point its like why not spend the extra 30-50 bucks and get the 570 you know? Depending on how long you plan on keeping it.
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January 14, 2012 4:25:55 PM

Awesome when does the 600 series come out so I can wait for the price drop
January 14, 2012 4:29:31 PM

Late Q1 or Q2 of this year.
a c 106 U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 5:33:35 PM

If it was me I'd get another GTX 275 while you can to run in SLI. If you don't mind waiting though you should see what's available in March as that's when AMDs 7xxx series cards should be fully available (you can hardly find the 7970 right now) and you should see signs of nVidias cards as well. Seems like the nVidia 6xx series cards are a bit iffy as far as launch date so we'll see. At the least if you want to stick with nVidia I expect the 78xx cards to drive down the price of the 560ti which would be a good purchase if nVidia still doesn't have a mid-range launch date by then.
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 5:44:43 PM

Do you have a budget or a time frame?

Off-topic - I recently upgraded my GPU so I have a used eVGA GTX 275 SC sitting on my desk. PM me if you are interested.
January 14, 2012 6:52:49 PM

Was planning on keeping it below $250 and no real timeframe I just want to make skyrim as pretty as possible I can run all games with 275 atm
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 8:09:24 PM

Hm ... for $250 I would recommend a nice GTX 560 Ti or GTX 560 Ti core 448. You may get similar performance by adding another GTX 275 but no DirectX 11 features and the possibility of running into the common issues associated with any SLi / CrossfireX configuration.

Just to let you know, I have a very similar computer as you and I upgraded to a GTX 580 from a GTX 275; the game still dips into the low 30's in some towns. Granted, the framerates are much more consistent and even though they dip sometimes, I notice it much less with the GTX 580. If you are looking to save some money and want an instant performance boost, try overclocking your i7-920. Mine is not overclocked which is the main reason for the low frames in some cases.

I mainly upgraded for Battlefield 3. Skyrim ran perfectly fine with a single GTX 275.

Edit - I just re-read your original post and it seems like you are running into a VRAM bottleneck with the HD textures and whatnot. In that case, the GTX 560 Ti with the additional VRAM may be worth the money for you or look into a nice HD 6950. Those come with 2GB of VRAM which is more than enough for Skyrim.
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 9:09:14 PM

I just noticed a couple of refurbished 275's on Newegg for $125. One has 192 cores, the other has 240 cores. For $125 I'd be real tempted to SLI for now and wait to see what the future brings for video cards. Drawback is high powe consumption and DX10 and DDR3 RAM.
January 14, 2012 10:13:58 PM

Is my Skyrim problems down to VRAM or just sheer GPU power? I would hate to get a new GPU with 1gb and it not solve my issues

What about the 2gb model 560 TI?

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 10:27:27 PM

Before I continue, what resolution are you gaming at?

It may be a little bit of both. If you want to stick with nVIDIA then the 2GB versions of the GTX 560 Ti are your best bet, unless you can stretch your budget to a GTX 570. If you want to try AMD, the HD 6950 is a great card.

It would be a shame to purchase another GTX 275 and still have the same issues, which I believe are due to the limited VRAM on the GTX 275. I have a used one for sale which I would let go for about 70 dollars. I would be worried about selling it to you though because it may not fix your issue.
January 14, 2012 11:22:36 PM

1920X1080 because of the native reso of the led monitor not a huge resolution
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2012 11:27:45 PM

Skyrim uses about 1.2GB at that same resolution without any texture packs installed. I do have other mods such as water and sound packs which may increase the VRAM slightly but turning on AA makes the biggest impact.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2012 12:32:44 PM

I have that mod on watch but haven't installed it yet because it's not entirely complete. A 2GB+ card would help with those high resolution textures.

It seems like the best card for you would be the 2GB HD 6950 unless you can find a cheap 2.5GB GTX 560 Ti.
a c 172 U Graphics card
January 15, 2012 9:45:31 PM

If you can find another second hand GTX275 for like $70 give or take then it will be worth it till Kepler comes out. Two of these can run Skyrim rather decently but the texture packs ect can bog down even the best of cards.
January 16, 2012 6:43:54 AM

Just to add my 2p worth, I upgraded from a 275 to a 480 and never looked back. As long as you have Win 7, you'll get the full dx11 experience. BF3 is simply awesome, ditto Skyrim, etc. They are hot cards though and run at about 80-85C when thrashed. I've just bought a second 480 for SLI and recommend them highly.
a b U Graphics card
January 16, 2012 7:22:40 AM

shep66 said:
Just to add my 2p worth, I upgraded from a 275 to a 480 and never looked back. As long as you have Win 7, you'll get the full dx11 experience. BF3 is simply awesome, ditto Skyrim, etc. They are hot cards though and run at about 80-85C when thrashed. I've just bought a second 480 for SLI and recommend them highly.

480's are old, unreliable and you could probably cook an egg on them without much problems. Whilst they are fast cards it would be stupid to reccomend one over any of the AMD 6xxx or Nvidia 5xx series cards.
January 22, 2012 1:50:00 AM

Best answer selected by Malvolio.
January 22, 2012 1:50:48 AM

Got my 2gb 560 TI solved all my problems thank you all for your help
a c 271 U Graphics card
January 22, 2012 5:46:13 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey