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How about a new Graphics Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 20, 2012 3:17:27 PM

I am currently in the planning stages of upgrading my computer. I built my current PC in August of 2009 and though it has done a very good job of running my favorite games at good framerates and resolution, it is beginning to feel its age. I can run most games at high settings, for example I can run Skyrim at High, and Witcher 2 at Medium - High (no Ultra), but as newer games come out I am seeing a noticeable drop in framerates. I guess my goal for this build is to get me updated enough to ride out the next few years. I figure 3 years is a pretty good length of time for a gaming PC (for a casual type of player like myself).

Current Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 - 1792MB GDDR3 (E145-2601) (1792MB is not a typo)

This has got to be one of the rarest video cards in existance...after about 6 months I went to get a second to run it in SLI, but no one was selling them. Even today you're lucky if you can find one on eBay in any given 3 month window. When I check several of the video card calculators on the web, this card still performs well enough to make upgrading to a GTX 5 series card pointless (beating or tying most of the 5 series cards -- 550, 550Ti, 560, 560Ti, etc -- in each measure. In fact it outperforms everything below the 550 in all aspects). But now the 6 series is out...

So, I am looking for opinions. Significant enough improvement to last me 3 years or so, but won't break the bank.

More about : graphics card

June 20, 2012 3:20:15 PM

Oh. And because it might matter, I am currently running two 26 LG monitors, split screen, at 1920-1200 each.
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2012 3:35:27 PM

Full system specs and budget please.
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June 20, 2012 3:49:43 PM

patrickmcnelis said:
Oh. And because it might matter, I am currently running two 26 LG monitors, split screen, at 1920-1200 each.


Haha, I read this as "I am currently running 26 LG monitors." I was like, how the hell is he running that many monitors on one card??? It took me a second to see you were only talking about 2.

But like andrewcarr said, we need full specs in order to give advice. Depending on the setup you may want to upgrade more than the gpu.
Anonymous
a b Î Nvidia
a c 117 U Graphics card
June 20, 2012 4:10:35 PM

if you are looking at a significant improvement i am suspecting that at this time you might want to look at your CPU/motherboard platform depending on if you are running a C2D/Q or iCore series.

quite a few newer games put a heavier load on the CPU than games in the past and that might be where you are experiencing some limitations.

it might be better to spend $350 to upgrade that platform than spending $350+ for a new GPU ATM.
June 20, 2012 4:51:52 PM

roadkill922 said:
Haha, I read this as "I am currently running 26 LG monitors." I was like, how the hell is he running that many monitors on one card??? It took me a second to see you were only talking about 2.

But like andrewcarr said, we need full specs in order to give advice. Depending on the setup you may want to upgrade more than the gpu.


Sorry...should have read "two 26 inch monitors..."
June 20, 2012 5:10:17 PM

andrewcarr said:
Full system specs and budget please.


My current PC:

Tower: Antec ATX Full - Aluminum (keeping)
PS: Antec 500W (Would like to keep since it is working fine, but will replace as needed)
Motherboard: Gigabyte MA790GP-UD4H
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0GHz Black Edition
Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 1792MB GDDR3
Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro (keeping)
Memory: Corsair XMS2 Twin2X PC8500 (8GB total)
Hard drives: Samsung 830 SSD 128GB (OS), 1TB WD Caviar Green WD10EARX (storage) (keeping)

Everything, except the case, drives and the sound card, is up for replacement. The power supply is a nice-to-keep item, but I can replace that if needed. Looking to keep the price under $1000. Only want 1 video card (for now at any rate...I'm not an FPS player) Also, monitors, keyboard and mouse are all staying as well.
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2012 5:34:57 PM

7850 is a major improvement but if you insist on nvidia wait for the 660 or 660 ti (if those are the names) otherwise you are spending 450 dollars on a GTX670

Also the 580 is staring get good pricing around the 400 mark for the premium cards.
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2012 5:41:14 PM

If you overclock the CPU, all you'd need is a CPU cooler.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Then you can get a 6950 for $200 and you're good for another few years.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The 6950 is ~$50 cheaper than the 7850 at the moment and they perform similar in games (assuming you only game on one monitor).
This shows how the 6950 performs versus the 7850 at different resolutions and in different games.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...
Your current PSU is also fine to power this card with the rest of your system.
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

This is what you can do if you want to keep price lower and still have a capable gaming rig for a few more years.
June 20, 2012 6:08:52 PM

Thanks to everyonefor chiming in. I definitely appreciate hearing everyone's opinions on the matter. And sorry for posting similar threads to the GPU and CPU boards.

June 20, 2012 6:29:53 PM

The 7850 is at least at 6950 levels but gets above 6970 levels at some titles (skyrim, starcarft 2).

If I recall correctly Tom's got a defective 7850 or tested it with immature drivers, so you should check Anandtech's review that was a bit later on:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5625/amd-radeon-hd-7870-g...

I own a phenom II x4 and run it at 3.8ghz and for me it's enough even in games that benefit from higher single-core performance, so I'm with andrew, you should consider getting an aftermarket cooling for the cpu and overclock.
!