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Ideal Graphics Card for new PC (Gaming, Creative Apps)

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June 30, 2012 2:34:27 AM

I am in the process of finalizing my decisions regarding the parts that I require for a first time PC build. That said I have a few critical concerns regarding graphics cards. You can view some of my previous threads from the systems fourm with the following links.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

In addition to high performance gaming at 1920x1200 (max settings, approximately 60 fps preferable in the latest games), I plan on using the following programs for graphic design, PC Game modding, 3d modeling/animation, and beginner level game design.

Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium programs especially:
Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended
Adobe Illustrator CS6
Adobe InDesign CS6

Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate Student Programs including:
Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max
Autodesk Mudbox
Autodesk Sketchbook Designer

Pixologic Z-Brush

I have been strongly leaning towards the GeForce GTX 670 as a result of its stellar gaming performance and reasonable price point. My only concern is related its performance in the 3D graphics applications. I have heard some reports that consumer level Nvidia GPUs have deliberately crippled performance in the kind of programs I plan on using compared to AMD's offerings. There is also the specter of a professional level card. I however do not believe that the level of work for a beginner like myself will require such a card on top of the reality that such cards will most likely put my system over-budget and are poor performers in games.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Summer

BUDGET RANGE: $400 for the graphics card in order to prevent the final cost of the computer from going too far above $2200 



USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, 3D Modeling/Animation, beginner level game design, Graphic Design,


CURRENT POWER SUPPLY:

The SeaSonic Platinum-860 is the power supply I will most likely choose.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770k- Part of $544.98 combo deal with Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-H612-20PK-R3- $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro- Part of $544.98 combo deal with CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
OR
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB Dual Channel Kit- $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2410- $529.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R- $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
Corsair 600t
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States



PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer a GeForce card over a Radeon 7950 or Radeon 7970. I think a AMD Radeon 7970 would put my system to far over-budget.

OVERCLOCKING: This is compelling project to try perhaps down the road. But it is highly unlikely to happen.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I plan on starting with a single card with the option to upgrade to a multiple graphics card setup down the road.



MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200. If I decide to upgrade my monitor down the road, there might be the possibility of higher resolutions in future.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: n/a
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2012 3:02:51 AM

Best $400 nVidia graphics card is a GTX 670. Pro cards may run better on some apps, but are far more expensive. You've got a nice parts list. I have that Seasonic PSU, it is so nice it is almost a shame to put it inside the computer where you can't see it.
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 30, 2012 3:32:40 AM

if you plan on sticking with Nvidia, the 670 is still your best choice. there actually aren't that many graphics programs that can use GPU compute, and if you really are a beginner that you say you are, I doubt the "crippled" 670 will make a noticeable difference.

the thing is, the 7950 really is your best choice for your applications, it's just a bit slower than the 670 for gaming but blows the 670 in compute. however, I think you can afford to wait say 1 minute vs 30 seconds for some compute process and nag those extra frames in games. that's really all the difference this is going to make. besides, you already said you want Nvidia
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June 30, 2012 3:50:13 AM

vmem said:
if you plan on sticking with Nvidia, the 670 is still your best choice. there actually aren't that many graphics programs that can use GPU compute, and if you really are a beginner that you say you are, I doubt the "crippled" 670 will make a noticeable difference.

the thing is, the 7950 really is your best choice for your applications, it's just a bit slower than the 670 for gaming but blows the 670 in compute. however, I think you can afford to wait say 1 minute vs 30 seconds for some compute process and nag those extra frames in games. that's really all the difference this is going to make. besides, you already said you want Nvidia


Suppose I was to bite the bullet and decide to pay a little more for a Radeon 7970 if possible: What graphics card manufacturers make solid Radeon boards? What exactly is GPU compute and how does relate to the applications I plan to use?
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 30, 2012 4:04:43 AM

mesopotamian said:
Suppose I was to bite the bullet and decide to pay a little more for a Radeon 7970 if possible: What graphics card manufacturers make solid Radeon boards? What exactly is GPU compute and how does relate to the applications I plan to use?


well, I guess to just call it GPU compute is too general... anyways, AMD's OpenCl is a technology for similar purposes as Nvidia's CUDA, and is here to accelerate our work with software such as photoshop and premiere pro. here's a set of benchmarks comparing the 680 to the 7970 back in April
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...

do note that the 7970 performs even better now due to driver optimizations :) 

as for how OpenCL helps you, well, it'll make those blur effects etc that you do on Photoshop on that 20 megapixel image faster, among other things. here's a really nice article from adobe about how "hardware acceleration", or GPU assist in adobe software can speed things up for you

http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cs6-gpu-f...

as for a good manufacturer for the 7970. sapphire is currently one of the most reliable, especially for the prices and customer service that they offer
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June 30, 2012 4:12:19 AM

vmem said:
as for a good manufacturer for the 7970. sapphire is currently one of the most reliable, especially for the prices and customer service that they offer


What about XFX compared to Sapphire?
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a c 91 U Graphics card
June 30, 2012 4:23:05 AM

mesopotamian said:
What about XFX compared to Sapphire?


only thing XFX has on sapphir is their lifetime warranty vs sapphire's 3 year one, but why would you need more than 3 years warranty on a video card anyway? as far as cooling and board design sapphire's way better. XFX mostly just slap on a reference or double fan cooler and overclock their card a bit. sapphire will redesign the PCB, put heat spreaders on other components of the board such as memory and VRMs, and put on an extremely nice and quiet cooler (such as my own sapphire dual-x card).

only card that's better than the sapphire dual-x is the msi lightning, but that card's about $70 more expensive...
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July 2, 2012 11:48:49 PM

Best answer selected by mesopotamian.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 11:59:49 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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