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Maximum bang for buck GPU for SWTOR, Skyrim and more. Max Budget $500

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 12, 2012 10:32:49 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 3 to 5 days.

BUDGET RANGE: At most $500 but I really don't feel with todays games that much is even necessary to spend right now. I am hoping you all could show me the light.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming - Skyrim, WoW, SWTOR, and other new games on their way such as GW2, etc...

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: I have no GPU for this build yet, but I am using a Corsair TX750

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Corsair 600T Case, ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen 3, i5 2500K + Hyper 212 Evo, 16GB CORSAIR Vengeance 1600, Crucial M4 128GB SSD, Samsung SpinPoint 7200RPM 500GB HD

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, amazon.com, I will shop at smaller sites if they are reputable and the price is right.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Madison, West Virginia, United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer to stick with big names even if I pay a premium price. I feel I can trust them a bit more even though thats probably not true. >.<

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (depends on best bank/buck ratio)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 depending on the monitor I decide on. (help here would be great too, 24"-27")

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I will be playing Skyrim, SWTOR, WoW and other new MMO's on their way... I would prefer to play at ultra settings getting 45-60FPS

Thank you all for the help!
February 12, 2012 10:34:01 PM

Dork
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 10:39:13 PM

pyrowipe said:
Dork


Uh duh thats why we are here, including yourself bud.

To OP. I would look at either the 7950 or wait for the Keplers to come out next month and see where ya stand. The new 7900s are very nice and currently the most powerful single GPU solution. Cant say they will be when Kepler hits, but I love my 7970.
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February 12, 2012 10:42:03 PM

I agree that they are the bet single GPU out there, I am just concerned at the performance per dollar vs my needs right now. I mean at 500 they seem way overpriced for the unnecessary boost in performance.
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 10:49:53 PM

Well with the rest of your hardware it would be a shame to stick a midrange vid card on it. You also asked about monitors, I own a Hanns-G 28inch 1920x1200 monitor. Absolutely love it. Best bang for the buck monitor there is in my opinion and the resolution is great for gaming and other uses.

Having said that, in order to power a resoltuion over 1080p you really need more than 1 gb VRAM. And here your choices are limited due to the fact that anything mid range, 6870 2gb for instance will show its age very soon. 570s are nice, but 1280 megs of VRAM. 580s are good but at that price you can get a 7950 with same amount of VRAM, and in most cases, less cash. So that leaves high end cards for your rig that will last. 6990, 590, 580, 7970, 7950, 570 is about what I would suggest you look into. Nothing less.
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February 12, 2012 10:49:55 PM

vrumor said:
Uh duh thats why we are here, including yourself bud.

To OP. I would look at either the 7950 or wait for the Keplers to come out next month and see where ya stand. The new 7900s are very nice and currently the most powerful single GPU solution. Cant say they will be when Kepler hits, but I love my 7970.


touché

...and yes I do include myself. :pt1cable: 
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a c 230 U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 10:55:03 PM

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:

$ 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
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48
$ 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
$ 450.00 7950 (603/NG) $ 0.75 - ERR
$ 550.00 7970 (675/NG) $ 0.81 - ERR

Best bang for the buck w/ your $500 budget is twin factory OC'd 560 Ti's..... 862 fps at 48 cents per frame ... the 6870 comes closest at 48 cents per frame. It also has a helluva OC headroom

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1104/pg19/asus-ge...

The Gigabyte model has 7 phase VRM and oversize cooler, suitable for great OC potential and is the cheapest at $205

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Asus also has 7 phases and great cooler .... I have had no issue getting the majority these over 1000Mhz w/o voltage tweaks .... but higher cost at $460 for the pair but still well under ya $500 budget.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI Twin Frozr II has only 6 phases which is why I haven't tried that one.

Twin 580's at more than twice the price will give ya 10% more fps (953) so I can't see going there given your "bang for buck" criteria. Similarly, at 75 cents and 81 cents per frame in single card configuration, the 79xx series (the 7950's 603 fps and7970's 675 fps are both far below the twin 560's 862) are similarly too costly for my tastes at current prices. Can't judge their CF performance as yet as the current drivers have issues with a significant number of games in the test suite.

Son No. 3 has a 120 Hz monitor and even playing in 3D mode with PhysX, it's handled every game (Metro 2033, Batman Arkham City, all the Crysis, etc) w/o issue. BF3 in single player mode plays at ultra settings plays quite well ..... multi-player has some issues and is currently cranked down to "high settings". Son No. 2 has a 580 in next room and it's not even close.
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a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 10:59:26 PM

That is all true, however with SLI you run into issues with games, same as crossfiring. Also it gives you no real upgrade path without starting over with a new card configuration. But that is my opinion :)  Either way youd have an asskickin PC.
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February 12, 2012 11:08:58 PM

Some great answers for sure! Thank you! Now given what JackNaylorPE said, I don't see a comparison between the 384 core and 448 core 560's. What would that sort of performance upgrade look like?

Also, vrumor, when a game does not utilize SLI wouldn't a 560 Ti still pack enough punch to make it worth the investment in SLI?
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a c 230 U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 11:12:28 PM

I keep reading here about these so called "issues" but not from people who actually own them ..... while I have seen such issues with the mid range cards (< $200 each) especially with AMD (which agrees w/ the THG artcle), I have not experienced same with cards in the market segment over $200. Yes, AMD is quite a bit slower getting CF drivers going ... as is evidenced with the 79xx series.... but they eventually get it going at least w/ 2 cards ..... I wouldn't do 3 or 4 way CF. Check out Guru3D's reviews for the skinny on this.

In the past I was right with ya on the upgrade path ..... but the old rules seem to no longer apply. If ya got $500 to spend ..... here's ya choices.


-Two 560 Ti's now for 862 fps from the getgo .... total cost $410.

-One 580 now for $500 and another later .... but after the extra $500, bringing my investment to $1,000 I get just a measly 10% more fps than I could have from the getgo by spending < half as much ..... I don't see it.

It would be kinda like spending an extra $100 to get the 2600k instead of the 2500k for a gaming box. Just not enough return for the extra cost investment.
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a c 230 U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 11:17:56 PM

nunyaabidniss said:
Some great answers for sure! Thank you! Now given what JackNaylorPE said, I don't see a comparison between the 384 core and 448 core 560's. What would that sort of performance upgrade look like?


The 560-448 isn't really a 560....it's a 570 w/ one of the 15 SM's disabled.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-ti-...

Quote:
Given the name, you might expect this new card to be an unlocked and enhanced version of Nvidia's existing GeForce GTX 560 Ti. But that's simply not so. Recall that the GF114 graphics processor used in the existing GeForce GTX 560 Ti is already unfettered. All of its 384 cores are functional, leaving no disabled hardware to turn on. Rather, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core is equipped with a cut-back GF110.....the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core is essentially a GeForce GTX 570 with one SM disabled.


I had high hopes for the 56-448 when it was 1st leaked .... but given it's price, and it's "short-life" due to limited production run (essentially a way to sell 570's that would otherwise hit the trash bin), I would not "go there".

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February 12, 2012 11:23:09 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
The 560-448 isn't really a 560....it's a 570 w/ one of the 15 SM's disabled.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-ti-...

Quote:
Given the name, you might expect this new card to be an unlocked and enhanced version of Nvidia's existing GeForce GTX 560 Ti. But that's simply not so. Recall that the GF114 graphics processor used in the existing GeForce GTX 560 Ti is already unfettered. All of its 384 cores are functional, leaving no disabled hardware to turn on. Rather, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core is equipped with a cut-back GF110.....the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core is essentially a GeForce GTX 570 with one SM disabled.


I had high hopes for the 56-448 when it was 1st leaked .... but given it's price, and it's "short-life" due to limited production run (essentially a way to sell 570's that would otherwise hit the trash bin), I would not "go there".


Well thank you a ton for all the help! Your insight has solidified what a friend (the guy that called me a dork) and I had come up with about the 560 Ti SLI being my best choice. Looks like this is a 'case closed'

Again thanks, you have made a tough choice for me a lot easier!!! (everyone included in that)
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February 12, 2012 11:23:23 PM

Best answer selected by nunyaabidniss.
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February 12, 2012 11:41:37 PM

Kepler is supposed to arrive in just 2 months. If the details posted at the beginning of this month are anything close to accurate, Kepler will bring you a GREAT option at the $500 price point (the GTX670 @ 20% better, according to Tom's graphics charts, the enthusiast average, would be on par with 2 GTX570's). On the other hand, Kepler will also very likely shift the prices for all the other GPU's on the market. It could easily put the 7970 and 7950 (or Nvidia's 5xx series cards too if you'd prefer them) into a much better price range, making them a better performance/$ option.

As a fellow perf/$ hunter, I don't like the idea of buying a card (or cards) now and then seeing them for $50-75 less in 2 months when I knew that'd be coming.
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February 12, 2012 11:41:54 PM

SEEEEEEEEE!
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a c 271 U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 11:48:05 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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