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Looking to upgrade my video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 8, 2012 4:14:26 AM

Hey guys, I'm new to the forums here but I've been browsing this site for a while. I've been installing video cards since cirrus logic and 3DFX voodoo, but I've been out of the loop for a while. Currently I have a GTX 295 in my rig and it's been performing well for the past several years. Lately it's been running loud and hot and the FPS seems to drop after I've been playing a GPU intensive game for a minute or so. It can't really keep up with the newest games either.

Anyone know of a good replacement in the $200-$300 dollar range? And will it be a significant improvement? I keep my monitor at 1920x1200. And my other specs:

i7 920 @ 3.6 GHz
12GB DDR3
ASUS mobo, can't remember the model

More about : upgrade video card

a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2012 4:33:28 AM

The 295 is a great card. The degradation in performance is probably due to the heat sink contact to the gpu chips becoming poor due to age.

What is the temperature of the GPU?

If it is getting very hot >90degrees, I would suggest that you consider removing the heatsink, clean it up & apply new thermal paste.
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May 8, 2012 5:00:36 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I did some looking around and am kind of considering either a 560 or a 7850. I just checked my temps: 60C idle and 107C while playing crysis 2.
a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2012 6:36:25 AM

^107C is too hot. That's definitely the reason why performance degrades. It is a waste to buy another card since the 7850 is just in the same level as the 295 & the 560 will actually be a downgrade. So just try to remove the heat sink, clean it up & apply new thermal paste & see how it goes from there.
May 9, 2012 2:38:43 AM

@randomkid

I took your advice and took the card apart today. The heatsinks were caked with walls of dust that my can-o-air couldn't reach from the outside. I replaced the thermal compound with some better stuff as well. Now the temp is at 41C idle and 63C under a full load. I guess I'll go ahead and return that 7850 when it gets here. Thanks again!
a c 153 U Graphics card
May 9, 2012 2:42:58 AM

Also, power, noise, heat, and DX11 aside, the 7850 is about on par with the 295. I'd say they are about neck in neck.

Quote:
20.GeForce GTX 480 1536MB
21.Radeon HD6970 2GB
22.Radeon HD7850 2GB
23.Radeon HD6950 2GB
24.Radeon HD6950 1GB
25.GeForce GTX 295 1792MB
26.Radeon HD4870X2 2GB
27.Radeon HD5870 2GB
28.Radeon HD5870 1GB
29.GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2GB
May 9, 2012 2:55:38 AM

I'm kind of surprised my card has held out so long. I pretty much expected to buy any current gen card and see a decent boost in performance. Glad I came here and did some research first. Am I missing out on much in terms of DX11?
a c 153 U Graphics card
May 9, 2012 2:58:17 AM

Well the GTX 295 is a dual GPU card, its quite different in that is was much more powerful at the time of release than anything else.

Unless you play DX11 games you have no reason for DX11. No game has really fully utilized it yet anyway. Some are getting there though, in my opinion those games can wait though. :p 
May 9, 2012 3:23:46 AM

So I'm thinking about grabbing another 295 for SLI. I know my mobo supports 3x SLI, but my PSU is 750w. How much power do I need to run 2 of these things?
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2012 4:54:57 AM

chrisman9009 said:
@randomkid

I took your advice and took the card apart today. The heatsinks were caked with walls of dust that my can-o-air couldn't reach from the outside. I replaced the thermal compound with some better stuff as well. Now the temp is at 41C idle and 63C under a full load. I guess I'll go ahead and return that 7850 when it gets here. Thanks again!

Welcome. Glad to be of help.


chrisman9009 said:
So I'm thinking about grabbing another 295 for SLI. I know my mobo supports 3x SLI, but my PSU is 750w. How much power do I need to run 2 of these things?

No need for 2nd 295 for SLA. Better save the money for the next grand build. Cheers!
!