Graphics card in a budget

I am building my first PC and am just learning of different things to look for when buying a graphics card and such on these threads. So I have a few questions. First is what to look for specifically when buying/browsing for a graphics card. I have looked at some benchmarks such as

Though they do not usually give me a good feel for the cards. Reviews end up feeling bias or not enough info so to say.

second is my price range. I am planning on spending 20%-25% of my budget on my PC as i would like to get a good CPU to go with it. So i would have to work within $200-$250

Third is if anyone can give me some general tips as I do not want to mess up and want this PC to last a while for me before upgrades.

Thank you everyone that will contribute as it is greatly appreciated and need. :cry: lol
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  1. Hey there! Welcome to the builders club :).

    First of all, don't cheap out on a power supply - it might not seem important, but it's one of the most important components, which is responsible for all other components doing their job.

    Secondly, that website is terrible for benchmarks. It's very inaccurate. I personally use Tom's Hardware and Tech Power Up.

    Thirdly, you never told us which country you were from, so I cannot really recommend you a card which will fit your budget for sure, prices around the world tend to differ.
  2. Hey thanks for the quick reply. First can you give me a hyperlink to the better benchmarks. Also I live in US.
  3. Okay.

    You can use Tom's Hardware graphics card hierarchy chart:,review-32442-7.html

    However, it gives you only general idea, and if you want more specific results, a quick google search on a specific card is much more specific.

    At $200-250 price range, you can get either a GTX 560 ti (around $200) or HD 7850 ($250).

    Their performance compares are follows:

    As you can see, HD 7850 is around 8.75% faster.

    Sapphire HD 7850: - $249.99
    Zotac GTX 560 Ti: - $209.99

    So for 19% increased price you get 8.75% faster card.

    That's still not the whole story. The power consumption of HD 7850 is less than the power consumption of GTX 560 Ti.

    That's 96W vs 159W. So GTX 560 Ti uses 63W more, which means 0.063 kWh more an hour. I personally pay $0.16 per kWh, so it would take me $40/($0.16/kWh * 0.063 kWh/h) ~= 4000 gaming hours to make them cost equal. That's around 2 years if you play 6 hours a day.

    Now it's all up to you which one you choose :).
  4. How does the GTX 480 fair in this? I had seen some posts in here saying it runs better then the 7870? Also if i end up with more money after picking everything out I would invest more in the video card. SO if i had $300 what should I get?
  5. With a budget of $300 I'd go with GTX 570. It performs a bit better than GTX 480 and uses less power. As you can see, GTX 480 uses 272 watts, while GTX 570 uses 210 watts.

    You can get one for $279 before rebates.

    That's my personal choice. GTX 480 is $30 dollar cheaper:

    GTX 570 is 3% faster than GTX 480, which is 17.5% faster than GTX 560 Ti and 8% faster than HD 7850.
  6. Thanks! So budget wise how much should I put towards my GPU. I have $1000 to spend (this $1000 does not include monitor or HDD as i already have). Sorry guys for asking so many questions and kinda bouncing around topic. =/
  7. The 900 Mhz 560 Ti for the easy win @ $210 .... upgraded PCB's and beefier VRM's give performance at 570 levels (In SLI, just 11 fps or 1.2 % difference) at much lower costs....$0.42 per frame as single card.....$0.49 per frame in SLI

    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:

    $ 200.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
    $ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
    $ 210.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
    $ 270.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.54 - $ 0.65
    $ 310.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.59 - $ 0.71

    Gigabyte $210
    Asus $220
  8. For your first PC build, may I suggest a CPU with built-in graphics, such as the i5-2500k? This will save you money, and you can always add a discrete graphics card later as your usage and needs become better defined.
  9. sephiroth, I'd say you should put around $300 for graphics card. GTX 570 seems like a wise choice. How do you like this build?

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.90 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Sony DDU1681S-0B DVD/CD Drive ($17.00 @ Amazon)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.99 @ B&H)
    Total: $925.70
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-01 13:17 EDT-0400)
  10. Not quite sure why people are suggesting 2 generation old cards, even if the performance is close to last generation cards. Harder to find an upgrade path down the road cause they wont be on sale at Newegg forever, and buying used stuff always has its own issues and concerns. Newer, cooler and more power bill friendly is what the newer generation of cards offers at competitive prices. Not poopooing on anyones suggestions, just oesnt make sense to me to put 3 yr old tech into a new PC.
  11. @sunis i really like the build so far question is if i chould get a better video card cause i will have more money to spend off what you listed might make some changes so only ($50) more left on the video card "upgrade" also thank you all for helping me it has been a great learning experience and ots of help. =)

    @recon-uk so you are saying the 480 is better then the 570? If so what is better than the 480?
  12. anything better than the 7850 for around $350 in your opinion? sorry for so many questions.
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