Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Buying a prebuilt - too many GPU choices! [Mid range price]

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 17, 2012 3:52:01 AM

Full disclosure: I'm purchasing a prebuilt(well a customized prebuilt). I'm purchasing it for a family member, so a multi-year warranty on the system and technical assistance - without bugging anyone in the family - is worth the extra cost to me then saving money building.

I've narrowed down most of every part for the system except for when I hit the GPU list; and I've been stuck for quite some time. I don't know if it's late or I'm just being dumb but all the numbers and letters are giving me a headache. I've checked out all the info the site has(the hiearchy chart, the value chart, the benchmarks, etc) and I'm still just as undecided as when I looked at them. I think part of the issue is that the seller has a multitude of options that I just don't see anywhere else(like 2gb versions of certain 1gb cards) and I don't know how that stacks up to a newer card with less speed(IE: a 570 2gb, or a 580 1GB). Going to spoiler the whole list and would love to have any comments. I know the really high priced ones are out of my range, (IE: brand new cards) but looking for a solid midrange card that can run anything on ultra at the moment. Not partial to any brand/manufacturer/etc(worth noting I'm going with a Gigabyte MOBO and an intel CPU I suppose).

Spoiler for huge list
Spoiler
VIDIA GeForce GT 520 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+4] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GT 620 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+10] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GT 620 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+13] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+13] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+16] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 4GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+25] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+60] More Brand ...
[Father's Day Special - 50% Off on 2nd Video] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+65] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+120] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 SE 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA) [+81] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+135] More Brand ...
[Father's Day Special! Free upgrade from GTX 560 1GB Video] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+135] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+176] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+225] More Brand ...
[Father's Day Special - Free upgrade from GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (MSI Twin Frozr II OC 750 Mhz Powered by NVIDIA) [+176] More Brand ...
[Father's Day Special - Free upgrade to Superclocked] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+359] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 4GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (EVGA Superclocked) [+487] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+540] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 4GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA) [+646] More Brand ...
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Dual GPU Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+1219] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 6450 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [-9] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+18] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 6790 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (HIS IceQ X Turbo 900MHz Powered by AMD) [+102] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+80] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+101] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+130] More Brand ...
[Father's Day Special - 50% Off on 2nd Video] AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+55] More Brand ...
[Father's Day Special! Free upgrade from Radeon 7750 1 GB Video] AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+55] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+195] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+317] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+305] More Brand ...
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+392] More Brand ...


Not sure if the list is actually organized as higher price > better card or not(nor do I know if any of these cards have serious issues or not)

Would prefer it to be able to run anything on market at 1920x1200 with ultra/etc even if it barely squeaks by. Any thoughts on top 5 recommendations from this list; as well as any comments are welcomed.
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2012 10:03:46 AM

I'm assuming you can buy any of those so get the GTX 690.
Those GTX( 690,680,670) are the best in there and the 7970 is tied with the 670.
June 17, 2012 10:12:51 AM

No need.
680 powerful enough for that resolution to run everything at max details.

You only need dual GPU card like 690 for ultra-HD resolutions like 2560x1600 or multi-monitor setups.

Also, 7970 is more than enough, if you like AMD.
Related resources
June 17, 2012 10:17:06 AM

He said he couldnt afford a high end then he said he wanted to run on ultra..Thats an oxymoron isnt it lol..Anyways go for a 570 for budget or 580 for midrange higher budget then if you have the money go for 600 series...The 670 may not be much more then the 570..but 680 is 500+
June 17, 2012 1:29:46 PM

robustus64 said:
He said he couldnt afford a high end then he said he wanted to run on ultra..Thats an oxymoron isnt it lol..Anyways go for a 570 for budget or 580 for midrange higher budget then if you have the money go for 600 series...The 670 may not be much more then the 570..but 680 is 500+


Yea, it could be asinine to say, but I know my last rig I bought years ago ran just about everything on ultra(with very few exceptions) without getting a card in the 'top few tiers'. Looking at the 670-690's look pretty overkill for todays titles, or am I wrong? I know for future proofing you would want to get the best card possible, but as this rig isn't for me(but my brother-in-law) I'll be happy as long as it can play todays titles on ultra.

The problem for me is I don't know the hiearchy of how good anything is from that last(with the exception higher numbers are better, derp). For instance, how much 'better' realistically is a GTX 560 2Gig from a 1 Gig. To be honest, I don't think I'm confortable purchasing a GTX670+ because it's nearly twice the cost of the GTX 570 1.2GB and I'm not confident it's worth the cost? It might be more beneficial to just throw in a second card in SLI down the road when the single card get's outdated? Or is a singly GTX560~ not up to par anymore?
a c 212 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
June 17, 2012 1:52:10 PM

Here's the 2012 Test Results:

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite: Hard Reset, COD-MW2, Far Cry 2, ANNO 1404, Metro 2033, ANNO 2070, BFBC2, BF3, Crysis 2, AvP, Lost Planet 2. 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:

Card - Cost ( Single / 2-way SLI /CF ) $ / Frame - $ / Frame SLI/CF
GTX 680 - $ 500 ( 989 / 1578 ) $ 0.51 - $ 0.63
680 DCII Cu TOP - $ 520 ( 1077 / NA ) $ 0.48 - ERR
GTX 670 - $ 400 ( 917 / 1539 ) $ 0.44 - $ 0.52
670 DCII Cu TOP - $ 430 ( 999 / 1679 ) $ 0.43 - $ 0.51
7970 - $ 480 ( 872 / NA ) $ 0.55 - ERR
7970 DCII Cu - $ 580 ( 924 / NA ) $ 0.63 - ERR
7950 - $ 400 ( 746 / NA ) $ 0.54 - ERR
7870 - $ 360 ( 701 / NA ) $ 0.51 - ERR
7850 - $ 260 ( 596 / NA ) $ 0.44 - ERR
7770 - $ 150 ( 375 / NA ) $ 0.40 - ERR
7750 - $ 110 ( 291 / NA ) $ 0.38 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $430 each and gets 999 fps in single card configuration at a cost of $0.43 per frame and 1679 in SLI at a cost of $0.51 per frame. The AMD cards w/ NA did not complete all games in the test suite. This should be resolved in an upcoming driver fix. The nVidia card w/ NA was not tested in SLI.

And here's the 2011

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:

$ 130.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.35 - $ 0.41
$ 150.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.35 - $ 0.43
$ 200.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.42 - $ 0.53
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 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
$ 240.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.48 - $ 0.57
$ 310.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.59 - $ 0.71
$ 450.00 580 (616/953) $ 0.73 - $ 0.94
$ 725.00 6990 (762/903) $ 0.95 - $ 1.61
$ 750.00 590 (881/982) $ 0.85 - $ 1.53

Based upon the above.....at $400ish, I like the 670, especially the Asus TOP version ..... not impressed by anything $250-350-ish ..... at $200-ish, I like the 900Mhz 560 Ti (in common games, the 7850 falls right in between the 50 Ti 900Mhz and the reference 560 Ti ) and at $150-ish the 6870
a c 212 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
June 17, 2012 2:03:43 PM

starrywisdom said:
The problem for me is I don't know the hiearchy of how good anything is from that last(with the exception higher numbers are better, derp). For instance, how much 'better' realistically is a GTX 560 2Gig from a 1 Gig. To be honest, I don't think I'm confortable purchasing a GTX670+ because it's nearly twice the cost of the GTX 570 1.2GB and I'm not confident it's worth the cost? It might be more beneficial to just throw in a second card in SLI down the road when the single card get's outdated? Or is a singly GTX560~ not up to par anymore?


One of the problems we have with the mid range cards especially is that reviewers who produce selection guides pay little attention to reference versus non reference cards. The 570 for example had a bunch of early failures because the reference cards had a rather weak VRM. The non reference models had a tweaked PCB and beefed up VRM b=ut ya almost need a paid research assistant to track down what cards have what.

At the $200 range, the non reference 560's are just $10 or so apart form the reference cards.....but they produce beastly overclocks.....as much as 30% over reference. Twin 900Mhz 5660 Ti's were an easy choice over a single 580 being 40% faster and 20% cheaper.

http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17

Asus 560 Ti DCII Cu TOP $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's how it stacks up in various games:

COD-MW 148
Bad Company 2 56
Dirt 2 80
Far Cry 2 85
Metro 2033 27
Dawn of Discovery 74
Crysis Warhead 54

To break 30 fps in Metro, you'd need a 7950, 7970, 580, 670 or 680, everything else comes up short.

The 660 / 600 Ti are rumored to be released as early as June 2012 at a cost of $250-300, tho others guessing August
Anonymous
June 17, 2012 2:15:04 PM

Given the list there are just a few stand out cards:


the GTX 560 / HD 6950 2gb cards are fine for *just barely ultra* (is high/ultra setting mix really so different?) Both cards are comparable 2gb cards that are about direct competitors to one another.

They also happen to be at the point where Price reaches upper sanity then suddenly jumps to budget unfriendly (IE 'Enthusiast') pricing.

These are a good choice as they are fairly fast and will do really well for a gamer.
However, the GTX 570 blows these two away, and isn't much higher price.. though it is less power/dollar efficient.

It's about 15-20% faster depending on the game, but it is only 1.2GB.. I'm not sure if that makes a difference. My only experience with video memory is knowing that in BF3 you can not have Ultra textures with a 1GB card. Is 1.2GB enough? I suppose it doesn't matter, I'd prefer to have to stick to merely 'high' textures but get a much faster card personally.

consider researching these three cards and I think you'll find your winner. :) 
June 17, 2012 7:17:17 PM

Thanks for the last few fantastic responses guys; I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge :) . I condensed the list to not include what I'm either priced out of; or doesn't meet my needs and could use some help thinning the herd even further.

Spoiler
[Father's Day Special - 50% Off on 2nd Video] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+65]
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+120]
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 SE 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA) [+81]
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+135]
[Father's Day Special! Free upgrade from GTX 560 1GB Video] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+135]
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+176]
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+225]
[Father's Day Special - Free upgrade from GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (MSI Twin Frozr II OC 750 Mhz Powered by NVIDIA) [+176]
[Father's Day Special - Free upgrade to Superclocked] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA) [+359]
AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+130]
[Father's Day Special - 50% Off on 2nd Video] AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+55]
[Father's Day Special! Free upgrade from Radeon 7750 1 GB Video] AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+55]
AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+195]
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+317]
AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+305]
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by AMD) [+392]

[Note: Left AMD on the list but really have no experience with them and as such no guidance]

My current furstation is if I want to take advantage of the 50% off a second card; and run a lower card in SLI or if I want to just get a better midrange card[or just fork over for a larger card]. My current thought process is this;

GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB x2 200ish
GeForce GTX 560 2GB 135ish
GeForce GTX 570 MSI Twin Frozr II OC 175ish
GeForce GTX 670 2GB EVGA SC 350ish

My build has more then enough power(850PSU), space on the mobo(up to 3sli iirc), and airflow(case is awesome) so I do have the option of running SLI with a lower card out the gate. Or running the middle ground card(the 560 2gig) and evenutally putting in a second - the price of two 550Ti's is about the same as the one 560 2gb. Or just spending the double amount of money(about 175 more then the GTX560 2gb) and getting the GTX670 2gb EVGA SClocked.

I know the previous answers were awesome; but could anyone give some percise feedback on my listed options. Thanks in advance guys, you are awesome!
Anonymous
June 17, 2012 10:16:54 PM

SLI is rarely a good first option in my opinion.

Consider that most games that support SLI/Crossfire do so in addition to supporting 1 card, not by default. Even then, there's always issues. Almost every game I played while using SLI I had to adjust my driver settings or check tech support..

Micro studdering, noise, uncomfortable increase in heat/strain for no good reason..

all kinds of things. The technology is okay for people who need to use it to keep their rig relevant, but I wouldn't consider it to be nearly as good as just getting a great single card.

ALSO, 1GB card + 1GB card in sli/crossfire = 1GB SLI/Crossfire. That's just the way technology works at the moment, unfortunately.

I'm not an expert though, and perhaps somebody here has had a great experience with SLI.. but I'm pretty sure most of what I've experienced is the norm.
Anonymous
June 17, 2012 10:31:06 PM

You can go ahead and cross out the 7750/7770. Cards are too low end to even pull high settings at 1920x1080.

The 550Ti as well, as far as I know it is actually slower than a 7770. I'm not exactly sure by how much, but either way, it's not a good choice for 1080p+ gaming.

I also do not see why a 7870 would jump ~$120 from the 7850, which is about 7% slower in benchmarks. I'd do some more research before I'd consider making that leap, but perhaps the jump is warranted by some feature i've yet heard of?
September 18, 2012 3:05:06 PM

Im thinking of buying the MSI Geforce GTX 570 1280 MB Twin Frozr II but i want to know if it can play games like crysis 2 World Of Warcraft and Star Wars The Old Republic on ultra??
!