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Help needed buying graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 23, 2012 2:24:38 PM

hello guys.
i need your help.
my current cpu is i3 540 @ 3.06
mobo Dh55PJ
4gb ram
screen reso 1920*1080
gpu gt240.

now i wanna upgrade my gpu.im thinking of buying gtx 560ti..right now i have a limited budget so i cant upgrade my cpu now(maybe in six months or a year).
so do you think my cpu will bottleneck the 560ti.
also right now psu is 400w.so would it be okay or it will need an upgrade.?

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March 23, 2012 7:19:09 PM

what psu? need a model number or something.

It won't be bottlenecked too bad by that cpu. Depends on the game.
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March 23, 2012 7:55:46 PM

What model PSU?

The 560ti is a good choice, though you may want to wait and see what mid-range Kepler cards come out in the next month or so.

Your CPU should not bottleneck you at all. It's not a Sandy-Bridge i5, but it still has the chops to play games on high.
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March 23, 2012 9:42:41 PM

The 560Ti wants a 500w psu to be in the computer and sometimes you can get away with less of a power supply if it's a good brand and highly rated with good amps on the rails.
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March 24, 2012 1:27:55 AM

sorry for getting back late.
so you guys are sure that 560ti wont be bottlenecked by my previous generation i3.??
or is their any other better option for my rig?
i was thinking about 550ti but 560ti was just $60 more.so i ithnk 550ti isnt worth it.i like nvidia so i dont have an option for amd.though i see 6850 and 6870 are good cards.
i dont wanna wait for kepler cuz they would be expensive in the start for the same category cards.
for psu its athena 400w.but i was thinking of getting a new psu anyway and i think ANTEC EA500D would be good enough.so would it be good enough.:D 
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March 24, 2012 1:41:46 AM

Like I said with the psu requirement that it's 500w so you would be right at the minimum and while it will work you leave yourself no extra room. But you may be limited to what you can put in that case so if the Antec 500w fits then you can get the 560Ti and everything will work.
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March 24, 2012 2:09:01 AM

inzone said:
Like I said with the psu requirement that it's 500w so you would be right at the minimum and while it will work you leave yourself no extra room. But you may be limited to what you can put in that case so if the Antec 500w fits then you can get the 560Ti and everything will work.


thanks for replying.
so i should then grab a good 550 or 600w psu.right?
plus r u really realy realy sure that my old i3 cpu wont bottleneck 560ti.??
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March 24, 2012 12:10:12 PM

wiki258 said:
thanks for replying.
so i should then grab a good 550 or 600w psu.right?
plus r u really realy realy sure that my old i3 cpu wont bottleneck 560ti.??

Whatever you can afford will be great - HD 6870, or GTX 560ti. And I definitely recommend the Antec Earthwatts EA-500D.

I mean, your CPU isn't the latest and best, but games will not be noticeably bottlenecked by your i3. It does as well as a lot of quad cores.
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March 24, 2012 11:54:16 PM

Some games will be bottlenecked by the cpu. Starcraft for example. Online BF3 might suffer a bit as well. Still a good choice as many games won't suffer.

Also bottle necking is somewhat misunderstood. Anti-aliasing is always based on the gpu. Some types of physics are only based on cpu. Many things rely on both and it all depends on how the game was programmed. Parallel tasks generally use the gpu while the cpu is reserved for calculations that can't be done in parallel (in an ideal world anyway).
SC for example taxes the cpu so much because it's running calculations based on each unit, which is hard to do in parallel since many things depend on the previous calculation.

Anyway, all that to say that bottlenecking is not a true/false thing. You cpu limits somethings and the gpu limits other things, though there is some overlap. The 560ti is a good choice.

As for the psu, I need model number not just a brand. For example AP-TFX40 is one 400w Athena psu.

Athena is not exactly a quality brand, so you will likely need to upgrade. A 560ti and an i3-540 take a total of 400W at load.That means your 12v rail(s) need at least 400W. Of course, sitting on the edge is never ideal, you should have at least 20% overhead on a decent mid-range psu. Very few PSUs function too well (or long) at 100% load.

About the cheapest i can find that will work reliably.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some extra head room:
the one gary reccomended.
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 560 and that i3 are more power hungry than newer gpus and cpus. So provided this trend continues, even my first recommendation should work for future builds (without sli).
That said, many people like extra headroom.
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March 25, 2012 1:43:00 AM

slicedtoad said:
Some games will be bottlenecked by the cpu. Starcraft for example. Online BF3 might suffer a bit as well. Still a good choice as many games won't suffer.

Also bottle necking is somewhat misunderstood. Anti-aliasing is always based on the gpu. Some types of physics are only based on cpu. Many things rely on both and it all depends on how the game was programmed. Parallel tasks generally use the gpu while the cpu is reserved for calculations that can't be done in parallel (in an ideal world anyway).
SC for example taxes the cpu so much because it's running calculations based on each unit, which is hard to do in parallel since many things depend on the previous calculation.

Anyway, all that to say that bottlenecking is not a true/false thing. You cpu limits somethings and the gpu limits other things, though there is some overlap. The 560ti is a good choice.

^This is true.
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March 25, 2012 4:19:14 AM

sorry, i'm not sure what i was smoking when i plugged those numbers in. 400W is way too high. Let's try that again.

i3-540 73W TDP (which it will always stay below).
560ti 170W TDP
together that's 243W on the 12v rail. (hdds, optical, fans, etc take very little power compared to the 12v components.)

That makes alot more sense. My psu recommendations are kind of irrelevant now too. With no more than 250W on your 12v rail, you can get a much cheaper one.

My budget reccomendation is the EarthWatts EA-380D which is down to $38 after you apply the promo code. This will run your system just fine, but without much upgrade room. This is also a very well reviewed psu.

For upgrade room look at a 500W. The SeaSonic will allow for an i5-2500k fully oced and/or a hungrier gpu. Anything but sli.

If you give me the model number of your old psu i can check if it's ok.

The recommendations set by nvidia are far higher than you need because so many people buy crap psus. Once again, sorry about my previous post, no idea why i didn't double check my numbers.

@jessterman, i love how you left out the stuff that was bogus when you quoted. Not sure if that was on purpose, but it was pretty funny.
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March 25, 2012 4:48:18 AM

It's not the watts that you have to pay attention to it's the amps. You have to know what the amps are on the +12v. The amps is the power when you look at eletricity and the watts is the heat generated by the consumption of the amps. You are much better off sometimes with a single massive rail. so when you are looking at your power supply to see if it will run a certian video card you will have to look at what the amps are that it needs to operate. The Antec psu has two rails with 22 amps on each rail for a total of 44 amps. I believe that the 560Ti requires 30 amps on the +12v rail so with a total of 44 amps you should be ok.
If you do eventually want to go with two 560Ti's in SLI then you will have to get a bigger power supply. That power supply should have around 60 to 70 amps total on the +12v rails.
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March 25, 2012 10:40:26 PM

slicedtoad said:
i3-540 73W TDP (which it will always stay below).
560ti 170W TDP
together that's 243W on the 12v rail. (hdds, optical, fans, etc take very little power compared to the 12v components.
This is watts needed on the 12v rail.

watts = amps * volts

So measuring the amps or watts across the 12v rail is identical. Usually a gpu has a tdp in watts, so I went with watts.

The eathwatts 380d has a 17a rail and a 15a rail. The 560ti uses just over 14 amps. The i3 uses 6 amps.

Additionally, the psu is rated for 380W. 243W on the 12v rail + at most 30W on the other components = 273W. That's 72% load. Perfectly acceptable.

When someone says that the 560ti needs 30 amps, they are including the cpu load. They are also overestimating for crappy psus. For example a 990x + 560ti on this psu would not be safe so nvidia can't say "you need a 380W psu". Instead they tell you the tdp, which is the maximum (excluding oc) wattage (or amps if you divide it by 12) that the unit will draw and let you figure it out for yourself.
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March 25, 2012 10:43:36 PM

slicedtoad said:
@jessterman, i love how you left out the stuff that was bogus when you quoted. Not sure if that was on purpose, but it was pretty funny.

Lol, yeah - I went to post that I agreed with your assessment of the CPU/GPU relationship, then read the last part about the 400w and was like, "well I know someone else will correct it, and it gives my post a dual-meaning." Glad you caught it yourself.

And I definitely second the EA-380D recommendation.
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March 28, 2012 2:47:07 PM

sorry for getting back late again.

i just bought antec EA 500w.and that is pretty good i guess(for future upgrades too).
and thank you guys for your help.its highly appreciated.
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Best solution

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March 28, 2012 3:29:55 PM

yeah, the ea-500D can handle anything on a sandy bridge platform exluding sli/cf of the more powerful cards. That means an i7-2600k oced with an oced 6970 (or whatever). Future platforms will likely take less power so you are good with them too.
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March 28, 2012 10:07:26 PM

Best answer selected by wiki258.
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March 28, 2012 10:07:37 PM

thanks
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