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$300-600 on Video to spend. Any recommendations?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Gtx
  • Video
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 22, 2012 7:39:57 AM

I'm about to buy a new computer and looking to spend $300-600 on my video.

I see so many possible choices so I leave it to the experts here. Please help. I was thinking of getting 1 single GTX 680 and possibly upgrade into SLI in the future if I needed it.

I guess my main problem is trying to figure out the difference of buying a lower level SLI/Crossfire setup or one GTX 570/580 or one GTX 680 or even one Radeon 6950 powercolor and crossfiring that in the future.

Please help me figure out what's the best bang for my buck. :sol: 


OC'ed 2700k to 4.5, cooler master 1000w, 240gb SSD, Cooler Master HAF 912, 16gb Patriot 1600

Most of my time will be spent on Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.

I am probably wasting money in certain places. I can use recommendations on other stuff as well.

Thank you

More about : 300 600 video spend recommendations

a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 7:47:34 AM

What are the rest of your components, monitor resolution and what would you like to use the computer for (gaming, video editing, etc.)?
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a c 84 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 8:46:21 AM

The 7970 is cheaper, available, comes with 3 free games, has vastly superior compute performance, more Vram, overclocks at stock voltage, and when both it and a 680 are overclocked to their Max its basically a tie for games.

They are both good cards but theres really no reason to get a 680 anymore at this point, especially since nvidia can't even get a decent supply going and the prices are over MSRP because of it.
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 10:53:43 AM

7950 $100 cheaper then a 7970 and clocks the same with virtually the same performance.there is no reason to get a 7970 over a 7950
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 11:14:05 AM

I'd get a GTX 680 - the fastest single GPU in the world. Why? Because you have the budget for it, it's future proof (if you run out of oomph in 3 years you can add another one), it's got low power consumption, it will max your games: Blizzard games tend to run better on nvidia chips.

By the way, did you buy that power supply? If you didn't, don't, cooler master power supplies tend to be ultra bad. Go for quality brand instead: Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX.

Source for nvidia cards running better: http://www.guru3d.com/article/starcraft-ii-wings-of-lib...
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 11:21:40 AM

Where do people get their info? Blizzard games run better on nvidia? I had 2 9800 GX2s in SLI and wouldnt run stable no matter what I did. Should leave your bias at home, the 680 is the single fastest GPU on the market, however with the price drop on the 7970s its hard to pass up 1 more gig of faster VRAM. Cant go wrong with either card, or even the 7950 due to the price drops and overclockability of the 7900s.
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 11:28:55 AM

vrumor said:
Where do people get their info? Blizzard games run better on nvidia? I had 2 9800 GX2s in SLI and wouldnt run stable no matter what I did. Should leave your bias at home, the 680 is the single fastest GPU on the market, however with the price drop on the 7970s its hard to pass up 1 more gig of faster VRAM. Cant go wrong with either card, or even the 7950 due to the price drops and overclockability of the 7900s.

It's true that GTx 680 is faster but the performance will be doubled next week which is where a GTx 690 is coming out with 4GB RAM... If you want, you can by Phantom's GTx 680 4GB version which is future proof with your 16GB RAM But I still prefer the GTx 690 since it's performance is doubled from a single GTx 680 with 2GB each GPU......
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 11:38:45 AM

vrumor said:
Where do people get their info? Blizzard games run better on nvidia? I had 2 9800 GX2s in SLI and wouldnt run stable no matter what I did. Should leave your bias at home, the 680 is the single fastest GPU on the market, however with the price drop on the 7970s its hard to pass up 1 more gig of faster VRAM. Cant go wrong with either card, or even the 7950 due to the price drops and overclockability of the 7900s.


Reviews. Blizzard games don't support neither SLI nor crossfire, but on single card setups, nvidia wins. Numerous times tom's reviews showed that.
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a c 84 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 12:52:19 PM

What is with all the inaccurate nvidia fanboyism?

legendkiller said:
It's true that GTx 680 is faster but the performance will be doubled next week which is where a GTx 690 is coming out with 4GB RAM... If you want, you can by Phantom's GTx 680 4GB version which is future proof with your 16GB RAM But I still prefer the GTx 690 since it's performance is doubled from a single GTx 680 with 2GB each GPU......


The 690 would historically be 2 680s on one card. Memory doesn't add in SLI so bad for highres multimonitor. Also SLIing 2 680s would be cheaper and better. And if they cant get chips out for a 680 they wont have chips for these.

Sunius said:
I'd get a GTX 680 - the fastest single GPU in the world. Why? Because you have the budget for it, it's future proof (if you run out of oomph in 3 years you can add another one), it's got low power consumption, it will max your games: Blizzard games tend to run better on nvidia chips.

By the way, did you buy that power supply? If you didn't, don't, cooler master power supplies tend to be ultra bad. Go for quality brand instead: Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX.


The fastest card is a tie when overclocked and AMD has better hardware. more ram and compute performance in addition to tieing the 680 in games. Never mind the 7970 is cheaper even before the markups on the 680 because nvidia can seem to produce them in any amount.

By the way coolermaster rebrands PSUs. the extreme power plus and midrange are crap. Their 1000+ Watt supplies review very well.

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a c 84 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 12:55:41 PM

Quote:
7950 $100 cheaper then a 7970 and clocks the same with virtually the same performance.there is no reason to get a 7970 over a 7950


The 7950 is $50 bucks cheaper. the 7970 has 12.5% more stream processors so 12.5% more performance. You get more performance per dollar for that last 50 bucks then you do per dollar spent on a 7950.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 1:46:46 PM

There's no fanboyism - it's fact that nvidia cards perform better in Blizzard games. Do you play them? The OP does and it's #1 criteria for choosing the card.
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April 22, 2012 3:28:12 PM

Truth be told, does he need all these monster cards to play blizzard games? A 7870 will do for years to come. OP, i am going against what is said till now, if you are planning to play at resolutions not more than 19X12, its just better you go with the 350$ 7870. Best deal\$, will play all your blizzard games at full. In rpgs from blizzard, i have seen the CPU to be as significant as the GPU. Get the lga 2011 if you can, and the 7870. You wont regret. :)  GL!!
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 3:31:13 PM

I would go with the GTX 680 personally. Faster card with better drivers.

I moved from a 9800GT to a 5670 without issue. Moving from the 5670 to the 6870 I have now has been great performance wise (noisy though). However, AMD's drivers leave much to be desired, I've had more than a few "AMD Display Driver has stopped responding" to my great annoyance, whereas with NVidia the drivers were generally much more stable.

The only other thing to consider would be if you wanted to run "Eyefinity" at some point, in which case you would want to go with AMD.

As far as Crossfire and SLI goes, it's not a bad idea to do that to equal the power of a faster card, but since you already have the budget for the fastest card, it's sort of irrelevant, other than as a possible "cost savings" measure. Additionally, SLI/Crossfire is not supported in all games, and do not scale linearly performance-wise, meaning that in some instances it is only marginally faster than a single card of the same type, and I've seen one or two instances where it was actually slower.

Finally, I would upgrade your PSU to a different brand ASAP, Cooler Masters are not known for their reliability, and if it fails, it could cost you far more than just a new power supply.
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April 22, 2012 3:39:41 PM

RE PSUs: Corsair HX850 is a great choice. AX850 if you want better power efficiency. TX850 if you don't want to pay extra for modular but I think the modularity and improved efficiency of the HX850 makes it worth the 30-40$ higher price. AX850 isn't important unless you really care about power efficiency. HX850 is more than efficient enough.

RE GPUs: EVGA is the best IMO. nvidia is the only option IMO... Wait for GTX a 6xx series card you want. Make sure you get an Ivy Bridge CPU and mobo with PCIe 3.0. I think IB CPU needs to be present in the board for PCIe 3.0 to be active otherwise it'll run at 2.0 speeds. This won't be a big deal unless you have a really high end 6xx series card, or two in SLI.
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a c 198 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 4:12:25 PM

I would n't plan on going SLI or Crossfire in three years time, by then the current gen of cards will be hard to find, even used, much less new.
There's not much between the GTX680/HD7970 in most games, although the GTX680 is often a little faster the big cevat here is AA performance with Starcraft; it currently hammers AMD cards.
If you're prepared to live with no AA in Starcraft-or want to gamble that a patch or driver change will improve matters-the HD7970 is a little cheaper, and, above all, available. If you're not prepared to put up with poor/no AA or do n't want to take the gamble,then the choice is obvious: Get a GTX680.
Yes, you can save and opt for a less powerful card, but, bearing in mind the AA issue, that's going to knock the HD78xx out, leaving you with the GTX580/570 cards, neither of which are as quick as the current gen hardware-although they are upwards o $100 cheaper.
Me I'd hang fire until the end of May, or until Nvidia release their mid-range cards and re-appraise the situation, at least by then the GTX680 might be more genarally available, and, possibly, a little less expensive.
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 4:39:50 PM

Just get a GTX 680. two 680s can run off a 750 watt power supply. So your set to run 3 if you wanted to.
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 4:58:04 PM

Always run the fastest single GPU you can, and then consider SLi or xFire down the road as a measure to keep from upgrading your whole platform. You can get better performance on your money with some SLi configurations... on some games, with specific settings, with specific drivers, at specific resolutions, and may cause issues on new games until fixes are found.

A single GPU will get you consistent no-hassle performance, and then treat SLi as an added bonus down the road for things that it works well with.

As coozie7 mentioned; it can be difficult to find your exact card after 3-4 years of time. For example: In 3-4 years I would fully expect to find 580, and 560ti cards on the market due to their extreme popularity. However, the 570 is more of a specialty card and will be much harder to find, and the 560 448core will be wiped off the map in a year or so. So be sure to only get popular cards if you intend to follow this road-map
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 4:59:21 PM

Another question to consider:
In 3-5 years will you have the money to simply purchase whatever the newest single card is?
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April 22, 2012 7:46:37 PM

Yes I will be able to buy the newest card that comes out again in 3-5 years.

I want to thank everyone for their advice.

It appears I can either wait to see what happens with the new 690 or simply get the 680 now. I can get my hands on a 680 now so I think I will.

Thank you all.

Da Noob
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a c 291 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 7:50:26 PM

Glad to help!
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a c 198 U Graphics card
April 22, 2012 10:21:57 PM

I hate you so much, you lucky *** :) 
Enjoy!
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