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What graphics card do I need for BF3

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March 23, 2012 2:02:39 PM

I am wondering what graphics card I should get for my first gaming PC I am building. I picked the Sapphire Radeon 7950 but it was $500. Is there any other graphics card that is cheaper that can play BF3 on ultra with 50+ fps? I have a Samsung LCD 1920x1080 monitor 23". These are the parts I picked:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

More about : graphics card bf3

March 23, 2012 2:05:52 PM

If you're spending that much on your system don't skimp on the GPU. Why don't you just get the GTX 680?
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March 23, 2012 2:08:00 PM

graemevermeulen said:
If you're spending that much on your system don't skimp on the GPU. Why don't you just get the GTX 680?


I agree with this.

As to your original question, I think that if you want to max out BF3 with AA, you need a 7950 minimum as your GPU. Maybe you could get away with heavily overclocking a 7870, but I dunno...
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March 23, 2012 2:08:26 PM

If you're spending that much on your system don't skimp on the GPU. Why don't you just get the GTX 680?
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March 23, 2012 2:11:25 PM

Sorry for double post. Refreshed my page
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March 23, 2012 2:17:14 PM

Check my build in my sig. I'm running BF3 at 60 fps with vsynch on with a 1080 rez monitor on Ultra. The 560Ti is about $180 now after a rebate. I'd say the 560Ti is the minimum needed for Ultra on BF3 and I wouldn't even been getting that if I didn't bump up it up to 925-950 using MSI Afterburner. You can OC it in about 20 seconds. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
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a c 105 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 2:17:38 PM

the first thing I would do is find some 2133XMP certified memory and dump the 1333. BIOS on that board should help here.

the card/ any card above a 6950 2gig will run that game flawlessly with the rest of your hardware. You don't have to buy the newest thing out there........... which made me look at this thread. I knew right away the 680 would be the first thing inexperienced builders would have suggested.

better say it.... DON'T buy a card with less that 2gigs of ram.
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March 23, 2012 2:22:36 PM

swifty_morgan said:
the first thing I would do is find some 2133XMP certified memory and dump the 1333. BIOS on that board should help here.

the card/ any card above a 6950 2gig will run that game flawlessly with the rest of your hardware. You don't have to buy the newest thing out there........... which made me look at this thread. I knew right away the 680 would be the first thing inexperienced builders would have suggested.

better say it.... DON'T buy a card with less that 2gigs of ram.


"Inexperienced builders" ?
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March 23, 2012 2:25:52 PM

swifty_morgan said:
better say it.... DON'T buy a card with less that 2gigs of ram.


This is ignorant. At 1920x(1080 // 1200), there's barely any performance hit in anything with even 1 gig of vram, let alone 2. At higher resolution the 680 may run into problems, but not at 1080p. If you're gonna claim otherwise, you gotta show some proof, because every benchmark has the stock 680 doing better than the stock 3 GB 7970 at that resolution.
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March 23, 2012 2:28:06 PM

BigMack70 said:
This is ignorant. At 1920x(1080 // 1200), there's barely any performance hit in anything with even 1 gig of vram, let alone 2. At higher resolution the 680 may run into problems, but not at 1080p. If you're gonna claim otherwise, you gotta show some proof, because every benchmark has the stock 680 doing better than the stock 3 GB 7970 at that resolution.


What he's saying is that we're both inexperienced builders and that a 1.5GB GTX 580 wouldn't run BF 3 at Ultra settings at those resolutions. Actually, my GTX 580 ran it perfectly fine at Ultra settings.

He wanted to spend $500 on a 7950, why would he not want to spend about $500 on a GTX 680?

You're right that you don't have to buy the latest hardware out there, but if you had have taken the time to see the high end components he wants to put into his machine it makes absolute sense to put a high end GPU in as well. I've been building machines for 10 years and I've never owned a card less than or equal to the performance of the top end cards available. I've been troubleshooting for just as long, and although I'm young I've been a certified Microsoft Professional for 5 years.

Yes, I'm offended.

If this forum had a block button Swifty_Morgan you would be blocked.
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a c 358 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 2:40:47 PM

I recommend that you save a little money by dropping the Core i7-2600 in favor of the Core i5-2500k. Core i7 CPUs have Hyper Threading (HT) which is great if the programs you use can take advantage of it. Games do not use HT. The Core i5-2500k has an unlocked multiplier which means it can be overclocked rather easily as long as you buy a good heatsink to cool the CPU. Intel's stock heatsink is not meant for overclocking. Many people have successfully overclocked the Core i5-2500k to 4.5GHz.

Core i5-2500k
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO heatsink
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
.
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March 23, 2012 2:42:19 PM

BF3 multiplayer is well threaded... doesn't it take advantage of the HT? I've heard that from a lot of people but never seen it benchmarked since MP is so hard to benchmark.

I do know that it uses all 6 cores on my Phenom.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 2:42:49 PM

I don't card what charts say. If you're running above 1600 resolution there are times when 1gig won't be enough unless you run at low game settings. Crank things up and you might have well spent your money on a 512 card.... useless also. Then you have to consider "new" build. Only a dumb ass would buy a card with 1gig of memory if he didn't have to. As far as performance....... if you are one of these people who thinks performance ONLY has to do with FPS......... stick your head back in the sand.

I guess the "inexperienced" builder thing hit a nerve. GOOD. What kind "experienced" builder would jump on the newest card just because it's the newest and have somebody spend $500 when it isn't needed ?

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March 23, 2012 2:44:55 PM

BigMack70 said:
BF3 multiplayer is well threaded... doesn't it take advantage of the HT? I've heard that from a lot of people but never seen it benchmarked since MP is so hard to benchmark.

I do know that it uses all 6 cores on my Phenom.


Since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 it's been a rule of thumb not to run it only anything less than a tri-core processor.

With PC being Battlefield's primary platform you've got to love it :D 
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March 23, 2012 2:46:25 PM

That link says my card isn't hitting the settings either......but it is. MSI Afterburner is pegged at 60fps with a very very rare dip down for very brief seconds.

Maybe I'm not jacking up my AA enough. I don't know, I went in to the settings and clicked "Ultra" and saved. I feel like I'm in actual battle with no jagged lines. So whatever that setting is :) .

Swifty has me torn...lol....on the one hand I agree with his point about the "new card hysteria" and those that need to tell their buddy on the bus ride to school that they have the best card made. On the other hand the 2 gb comment pretty much discredits anything else said. Now I'm not video card expert/arguer, and correct me if I'm wrong, but the memory issue on GPUs comes in to play more when running multiple high rez monitors, amirite?

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a c 358 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 2:49:10 PM

As for the graphics card... if you want 50+ FPS, then you need to buy one of the high end cards.



http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...


The above chart shows the maximum FPS so a GTX 580 and Radeon HD 7950 is capable of giving that level of performance. However, if you are looking for a minimum of 50+ FPS, then you should probably buy the GeForce GTX 680 or the other two cards after that.
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March 23, 2012 2:50:09 PM

swifty_morgan said:
I don't card what charts say. If you're running above 1600 resolution there are times when 1gig won't be enough unless you run at low game settings. Crank things up and you might have well spent your money on a 512 card.... useless also. Then you have to consider "new" build. Only a dumb ass would buy a card with 1gig of memory if he didn't have to. As far as performance....... if you are one of these people who thinks performance ONLY has to do with FPS......... stick your head back in the sand.

I guess the "inexperienced" builder thing hit a nerve. GOOD. What kind "experienced" builder would jump on the newest card just because it's the newest and have somebody spend $500 when it isn't needed ?


"I don't care what the charts say"

I rest my case. Dude, the charts are what we go by.

"If you are one of these people who thinks performance ONLY has to do with FPS stick your head back in the sand" :lol: 

What do you measure performance with? A tape measure?

Frames per second is what we measure performance with in games. He's specifically referring to BF3.

And no, you didn't hit a nerve at all. You're just making yourself look a bit silly, mate.
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March 23, 2012 2:51:45 PM

jaguarskx said:
As for the graphics card... if you want 50+ FPS, then you need to buy one of the high end cards.

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_680/images/bf3_1920_1200.gif

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...


The above chart shows the maximum FPS so a GTX 580 and Radeon HD 7950 is capable of giving that level of performance. However, if you are looking for a minimum of 50+ FPS, then you should probably buy the GeForce GTX 680 or the other two cards after that.


OP is running a 1080 not a 1200. So he can get away with a lot less.

@ Swifty.....By the way, a person can be an extremely experienced builder and still want the latest and greatest, just because it exists. There's nothing wrong with that and I'm the same way with bikes.

Conversely, you can have an attitude like me, which is buy the minimum you need to meet your current mission, and be an inexperienced builder. So don't confuse the two and there's no need to get in to ad hominem arguements to make your point.

Not everyone has to have the same mission in their hobby, and there is no "right" way to do it.
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March 23, 2012 2:52:40 PM

According to Swifty_Morgan, gamers who spend unnecessarily on hardware are "inexperienced builders".

Tell that to Maxishine and please check out some of his videos on Youtube.

http://www.maxishine.com.au/
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March 23, 2012 3:00:27 PM

Amount of ram in the gpu is directly dependent on the resolution the poster wants to run things, 1080p runs perfectly fine on 1GB, 2GB and up is only needed for higher resolutions/AA levels.

there is a form to fill out when asking what gpu to buy and its there for a reason.
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March 23, 2012 3:03:48 PM

A 1080 monitor isn't necessary. None of the cards in this thread are necessary. having a computer at all isn't necessary. None of us got into this hobby because it was necessary, stop acting like anything more powerful than what you recommend is unnecessary swift.

Calling anybody that disagrees with you an "inexperienced building" was an ad ad hominem attack.
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March 23, 2012 3:11:24 PM

KNO3 said:
A 1080 monitor isn't necessary. None of the cards in this thread are necessary. having a computer at all isn't necessary. None of us got into this hobby because it was necessary, stop acting like anything more powerful than what you recommend is unnecessary swift.

Calling anybody that disagrees with you an "inexperienced building" was an ad ad hominem attack.


+1
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March 23, 2012 3:12:36 PM

KNO3 said:
A 1080 monitor isn't necessary. None of the cards in this thread are necessary. having a computer at all isn't necessary. None of us got into this hobby because it was necessary, stop acting like anything more powerful than what you recommend is unnecessary swift.

Calling anybody that disagrees with you an "inexperienced building" was an ad ad hominem attack.


+2

not to mention that it's not very helpful to OP to give advice based on your gut feeling and not based on benchmarks... :pfff: 
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a c 358 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 3:26:41 PM

catatafish said:
OP is running a 1080 not a 1200. So he can get away with a lot less.



The difference in total number of pixels is only about 11%. However, that does not mean there will be a performance improvement of 11% with a 1080p vs 1200p monitor. It will be less that that, probably around 6%, since performance is not linear resolution.

For example, here's the chart for 1680x1050 resolution.



There is about a 30% difference in the total of number of pixels between 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. But the difference in FPS performance is 85.4 FPS vs. 70.7 FPS which translates into about a 20% improvement.

Therefore, with an approximate 6% performance improvement of 1920x1080 vs 1920x1200, my recommendation for the GeForce GTX 680 still stands if the OP want a minimum of 50+ FPS.
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March 23, 2012 3:41:28 PM

jaguarskx said:
The difference in total number of pixels is only about 11%. However, that does not mean there will be a performance improvement of 11% with a 1080p vs 1200p monitor. It will be less that that, probably around 6%, since performance is not linear resolution.

For example, here's the chart for 1680x1050 resolution.

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_680/images/bf3_1680_1050.gif

There is about a 30% difference in the total of number of pixels between 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. But the difference in FPS performance is 85.4 FPS vs. 70.7 FPS which translates into about a 20% improvement.

Therefore, with an approximate 6% performance improvement of 1920x1080 vs 1920x1200, my recommendation for the GeForce GTX 680 still stands if the OP want a minimum of 50+ FPS.


Agreed and amongst all the disagreements this answers the OP's question.
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March 23, 2012 3:56:30 PM

I guess I still don't get it. So no one was getting 60fps before 3 days ago? I'm not trying to be snarky at all. My build has a 1080 monitor. I have much less than a 680. I'm getting 60fps (more actually, I just have vsynch on).

The OP says he doesn't want a $500 card. He's asking what he can do that's cheaper. I'm saying what he needs at minimum and provided a link that categories all the equivalencies of the cards. Why does he need a 680? Or are just just saying a 680 will work? If so agree. But I disagree that he needs a $500 video card to play BF3 at "ultra" settings on a 1080 monitor with 50fps. (let alone 60).
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March 23, 2012 4:01:54 PM

You're not averaging 60fps maxed out with AA on a single 560ti at 1080p. That, or every single benchmark is completely and utterly wrong by a ridiculous margin for this game. Cards like the 560ti do fine on ultra without AA, but cranking up the AA destroys them according to every single benchmark out there.

Nobody was getting 60fps average on a single GPU (at 1080p+, maxed settings with AA), except maybe on an overclocked 580, until just the last few months in BF3.
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a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 4:10:48 PM

I think what they are saying is that if he wants to MAINTAIN a minimum fps of 60 at 1080p, a GTX 680 is the way to go. Other cards, such as a 580, 570, 560ti, can probably handle it at ultra and 1080p, but I HIGHLY DOUBT they are always at 50-60fps. I'm sure there are some times when it dips into the 40's, maybe even 30's. With a 680, you are much more likely to never drop below 50-60fps.
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March 23, 2012 4:13:56 PM

Yes, I've already stated I'm not sure what the AA is set at. When I set up the game, I clicked the Ultra button and let it determine all the subsequent fields under it. The game looks amazing and all the lines are as smooth as my eyes can detect.. Looking around at different reviews though I'm seeing 1) an OC 560Ti can perform like a stock non-OC 570. 2) A stock 570 is hitting 56/57 fps (average) on BF3 Ultra, with low amount of some kind of AA 3) thus, ...........


So anyhoo....notwithstanding all that nonesense, the OP is asking "what can I buy for NOT $500 that I can play BF3 on". Besides "OMG buy a 680!!!" what are his other options? THAT is what I'm trying to convey to him.
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a c 358 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 4:14:46 PM

As I have stated...

jaguarskx said:
... my recommendation for the GeForce GTX 680 still stands if the OP want a minimum of 50+ FPS.


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March 23, 2012 4:39:36 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/11/22/battlefield_3...

To the OP, if you haven't glazed over yet from all the sidebar bickering, I suggest you go to one of the above links (if you don't want to shell out $500) and inform yourself a bit. As you can see, you have many options between $200 and $350 that will get you BF3 at a quality level that you may not be able to discern between what you will get at $500. Good luck to you and have fun with your build.
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a c 225 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 4:45:33 PM

This should make the choice easy..... BF3, DX11, Ultra mode, 4x MSAA enabled, 16x AF enabled, HBAO enabled, Level: Operation Swordbreaker

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/21

$500 GTX 680 - 59 fps = $8.47 per frame
$560 Radeon7970 - 46 fps = $12.17 per frame
$450 GTX 580 - 43 fps = $10.47 per frame
$460 Radeon 7950 - 40 fps = $11.50 per frame
$360 Radeon 7870 - 39 fps = $9.23 per frame
$350 Radeom 6970 - 33 fps = $10.61 per frame
$280 Radeon 6950 - 31 fps = 9.03 per frame
$210 GTX 560 Ti (900Mhz) - 30 fps = $7.00 per frame
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a c 225 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 5:03:12 PM

catatafish said:
Check my build in my sig. I'm running BF3 at 60 fps with vsynch on with a 1080 rez monitor on Ultra. The 560Ti is about $180 now after a rebate. I'd say the 560Ti is the minimum needed for Ultra on BF3 and I wouldn't even been getting that if I didn't bump up it up to 925-950 using MSI Afterburner. You can OC it in about 20 seconds. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...



My son's running twin factory OC'd 560 Ti's .... boosted with Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 15 to 980 Hz (was 1020, just turned down for summer.....stays 80C or below now w/ warmer weather)

http://www.guru3d.com/news/msi-afterburner-220-beta-15-...

He runs BF3 fine on a 120Hz monitor 1920 x 1080 with ultra settings but in multiplayer and to run smoothly requires a drop to High Settings. 2600k is running at 4.8Ghz
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a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 5:30:40 PM

Ok, i read this post and needed to give my two cents.

First sp benchmarks and mp are not the same in bf3. Benchmarks (sp) are a nice way of seeing which card performs better than the other. The fps is way lower in mp.

BF3 on max settings @1920x1080 (without cranking up view distance past default for 'utlra') is not a small order.

My wc 2GB 6950 (1050/1625) that benches equivalent to a stock 580 gets 50fps avg on small, indoor maps and 40fps on larger maps. That's in 64 player games. I also get dips of about 10-15fps.

That's with my i5 running @ 4.7GHz. CPU plays a decent role in bf3 mp as well.

Conclusively, don't use benchmarks to figure out what card you will need for BF3. For 60fps with dips no lower than 5fps, I'd say you need either a 680 or 7970 or two cards. I could be wrong though because I don't have either card and sp benchmarks != mp benchmarks.


edit: one other thing is that it uses 1.5gbs of my vram. It might not need that much but it does use it.
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March 23, 2012 5:36:42 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
This should make the choice easy..... BF3, DX11, Ultra mode, 4x MSAA enabled, 16x AF enabled, HBAO enabled, Level: Operation Swordbreaker

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/21

$500 GTX 680 - 59 fps = $8.47 per frame
$560 Radeon7970 - 46 fps = $12.17 per frame
$450 GTX 580 - 43 fps = $10.47 per frame
$460 Radeon 7950 - 40 fps = $11.50 per frame
$360 Radeon 7870 - 39 fps = $9.23 per frame
$350 Radeom 6970 - 33 fps = $10.61 per frame
$280 Radeon 6950 - 31 fps = 9.03 per frame
$210 GTX 560 Ti (900Mhz) - 30 fps = $7.00 per frame



where can i find gtx 680 for $500? i am from europe. in ebay is more much:( 
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a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 5:39:10 PM

I have a pair of gtx 560s (non ti) that "should" be close to a single gtx 580 FPS wise. I got them both for just over $300.00. I only play BF3 and Skyrim right now.

At stock I can run ulta but AA can not be maxed out w/o getting choppy and FPS dips. In maps like Meto I can get kinda max out AA but it still gets choppy. BF3 on high is still really nice. Ultra is cool but that Max AA is a problem for my set up. (2500k;z86;8 gigs ddr3;ssd;560 sli)

I am still new to this, but I thought that AA and memory were correlated in some way? Can some one explain or link something that can show how more gpu memory impacts AA?
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a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 6:03:16 PM

^don't have a link but your 560s only have 1gb of memory (even when in sli) which is why aa is a problem for you. In short, AA is kind of like increasing resolution, only quite different. I'm sure someone else can give you an accurate description.
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March 23, 2012 6:44:23 PM

antonisrsx said:
where can i find gtx 680 for $500? i am from europe. in ebay is more much:( 

Go to Newegg.com, ncix.com, tigerdirect. I don't know if they ship international though.
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March 23, 2012 6:47:56 PM

THIS_RANDOM_GUY said:
Go to Newegg.com, ncix.com, tigerdirect. I don't know if they ship international though.


Newegg doesn't.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
March 23, 2012 9:14:57 PM

BigMack70 said:
But you'll notice that's without AA. If you want AA, you need a lot more GPU muscle to achieve those framerates than a single 560ti.

True, and it wasn't Multiplayer (something I should have noted). Still, the request was for "Ultra," so I did not add in the AA. I suppose in a roundabout way my point is to suggest that if just one or two slightly lowered settings are acceptable, it doesn't take a $500 (or even a $300) card to enjoy this game.
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March 23, 2012 9:17:31 PM

Onus said:
True, and it wasn't Multiplayer (something I should have noted). Still, the request was for "Ultra," so I did not add in the AA. I suppose in a roundabout way my point is to suggest that if just one or two slightly lowered settings are acceptable, it doesn't take a $500 (or even a $300) card to enjoy this game.


Forgot that OP didn't specify if he wanted AA or not.

Wanting AA basically doubles your required GPU budget.
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2012 12:37:30 AM

swifty_morgan said:
the first thing I would do is find some 2133XMP certified memory and dump the 1333. BIOS on that board should help here.


This is just wrong. Low CAS latency 1333 or 1600 MHz memory is just as good as all but the most expensive 2133 MHz stuff and will cost you half as much. See here...

http://www.thetechrepository.com/showthread.php?t=160
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March 24, 2012 1:10:54 AM

loops said:
I have a pair of gtx 560s (non ti) that "should" be close to a single gtx 580 FPS wise. I got them both for just over $300.00. I only play BF3 and Skyrim right now.

At stock I can run ulta but AA can not be maxed out w/o getting choppy and FPS dips. In maps like Meto I can get kinda max out AA but it still gets choppy. BF3 on high is still really nice. Ultra is cool but that Max AA is a problem for my set up. (2500k;z86;8 gigs ddr3;ssd;560 sli)

I am still new to this, but I thought that AA and memory were correlated in some way? Can some one explain or link something that can show how more gpu memory impacts AA?


I have two 2GB OC EVGA 560's in SLI and I can ran BF3 with all settings maxed at about 55fps in most maps but I do take a hit in some the expansion maps to 45 fps. Some maps are 60fps and higher and I do use about 1.5 gb of vram to run the settings. I have the clocks set at 900mhz and the fans at manual 70%. I'm using a FX6100 OC to 4.1ghz and 8gb of Gskill Ram 1600.
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a b U Graphics card
March 25, 2012 3:15:49 AM

87ninefiveone said:
This is just wrong. Low CAS latency 1333 or 1600 MHz memory is just as good as all but the most expensive 2133 MHz stuff and will cost you half as much. See here...

http://www.thetechrepository.com/showthread.php?t=160


while you are right about 2133 being useless, your info about timings is off. Timings with ddr3 are less important than speed. And nothing above 1600mhz makes a difference in games (even with a heavy cpu oc).

Read this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
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March 25, 2012 4:01:31 AM

Try the GTX 680 out.. it just came out as far as im aware of and get a 120 Hz... it makes the framerates smoother
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March 25, 2012 4:02:34 AM

slicedtoad said:
while you are right about 2133 being useless, your info about timings is off. Timings with ddr3 are less important than speed. And nothing above 1600mhz makes a difference in games (even with a heavy cpu oc).

Read this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...


even if you OC Ram to 2133 it doesnt make a difference?
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