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Suggest a future GPU please

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September 11, 2012 10:52:32 PM

Hello everyone! I just ordered the below parts from newegg. They had a great deal on the i5 3450 and also a great deal on the SSD.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.49 @ B&H)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($37.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($69.33 @ NCIX US)
Total: $487.77
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-11 18:46 EDT-0400)

I decided to wait out and see if there are any awesome deals for Black Friday on GPUs. I couldn't wait :ange: 

I was about to buy an HD 7770 but decided Ii'd be better to save up a bit and get something better. I have been looking at either an HD 7950 or a GTX 660ti as potential GPUS but I'm still not sure which. It may just come down to the price in the end.

More about : suggest future gpu

September 11, 2012 11:09:19 PM

That is a great start, I like your parts.

My rule of thumb for a balanced gamer is to budget twice your cpu cost for the graphics card.
On that basis, you are looking at a $360 graphics card.
That will be in the GTX660ti/7850 or GTX670/7970 class card.

Keep your eyes open for a great deal. But, realize that the graphics card market is very competitive, and you will get fair value for your money. For great gaming, but the best graphics card you feel comfortable paying for.
September 11, 2012 11:21:00 PM

Gigabyte's Windforce 7950 is what I got. Great gamer, will last for a while yet.
Related resources
September 11, 2012 11:23:24 PM

Here's some numbers:

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) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame @ 1920 x 1200:

660 PE gets 851 fps for $300 at a cost of $0.35 per frame
7950 gets 746 fps for $330 at a cost of $0.44 per frame

Techpowerup uses the following common games in their test suite ..... Alan Wake, AvP, Batman Arkham City, BF3, BattleForge, COD4, Civilization 5, Crysis. Crysis 2, Dirt 3, Dragon Age II, Hard Reset, Metro 2033, Stalker CoP, Starcraft 2, Shogun 2, Skyrim, WoW, Diablo II, Max Payne 3, Sniper Elite V2 in their test suite.

660 gets 1387.4 fps for $300 at a cost of $0.22 per frame
7950 gets 1348.2 fps for $330 at a cost of $0.24 per frame

September 11, 2012 11:35:43 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Here's some numbers:

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) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame @ 1920 x 1200:

660 PE gets 851 fps for $300 at a cost of $0.35 per frame
7950 gets 746 fps for $330 at a cost of $0.44 per frame

Techpowerup uses the following common games in their test suite ..... Alan Wake, AvP, Batman Arkham City, BF3, BattleForge, COD4, Civilization 5, Crysis. Crysis 2, Dirt 3, Dragon Age II, Hard Reset, Metro 2033, Stalker CoP, Starcraft 2, Shogun 2, Skyrim, WoW, Diablo II, Max Payne 3, Sniper Elite V2 in their test suite.

660 gets 1387.4 fps for $300 at a cost of $0.22 per frame
7950 gets 1348.2 fps for $330 at a cost of $0.24 per frame


What drivers? Latest 12.8?
September 12, 2012 4:56:15 AM

Thanks for the replies!
It seems that the newer AMD and Nvidia cards are trading blows pretty well based on the benchmarks. In the end, I guess it will come down to price (where I can find the best deal).

How much of an advantage is there to cards that come factory overclocked to cards that can be overclocked to similar specs but with a lower base clock?

September 12, 2012 4:58:48 AM

Get a factory OC card. They are built to be pushed further.
September 12, 2012 5:46:35 AM

chetorch said:
Hello everyone! I just ordered the below parts from newegg. They had a great deal on the i5 3450 and also a great deal on the SSD.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.49 @ B&H)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($37.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($69.33 @ NCIX US)
Total: $487.77
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-11 18:46 EDT-0400)

I decided to wait out and see if there are any awesome deals for Black Friday on GPUs.

I was about to buy an HD 7770 but decided Ii'd be better to save up a bit and get something better. I have been looking at either an HD 7950 or a GTX 660ti as potential GPUS but I'm still not sure which. It may just come down to the price in the end.



Get a full atx mobo, and also a much better quality PSU, XFX,SEASONIC OR CORSAIR as if it blows your system goes to.

I dont think you will have enough room in the case, the GPU's are quite big, unless you get a crappy low profile one.
September 12, 2012 5:48:54 AM

geofelt said:
That is a great start, I like your parts.

My rule of thumb for a balanced gamer is to budget twice your cpu cost for the graphics card.
On that basis, you are looking at a $360 graphics card.
That will be in the GTX660ti/7850 or GTX670/7970 class card.

Keep your eyes open for a great deal. But, realize that the graphics card market is very competitive, and you will get fair value for your money. For great gaming, but the best graphics card you feel comfortable paying for.


I disagree there, spend no less on a gpu than your cpu cost, but remember it is easier to replace the GPU as you dont have sockets that change every 2 years. Then when your GPU is older get a new one, use it on old rig, take it out, put on new rig, then you have a part already brought :) 
September 12, 2012 6:05:43 AM

spat55 said:
I disagree there, spend no less on a gpu than your cpu cost, but remember it is easier to replace the GPU as you dont have sockets that change every 2 years. Then when your GPU is older get a new one, use it on old rig, take it out, put on new rig, then you have a part already brought :) 


What? Get a good GPU now, not a cheap one that needs to upgraded sooner. You are not making any sense. If you spend 200 on an i5, spend at least 300-350 on a GPU for balance.
September 12, 2012 6:13:43 AM

Smeg45 said:
What? Get a good GPU now, not a cheap one that needs to upgraded sooner. You are not making any sense. If you spend 200 on an i5, spend at least 300-350 on a GPU for balance.


A i5 3570k will last 3-4 years and a 7850 2 years, buy the 7850 equivalent in 2 years and it'll last a total of 4 years.
September 12, 2012 6:17:46 AM

spat55 said:
A i5 3570k will last 3-4 years and a 7850 2 years, buy the 7850 equivalent in 2 years and it'll last a total of 4 years.


Buy a 7950 and it will last for three years. Then after 3 years look for a full system rebuild. No point getting a 7850 that way. After three years everything has changed. Your way is a waste of cash.
September 12, 2012 6:19:47 AM

Thanks, I'll be looking for factory OC GPUs then. It makes sense that they'd handle the overcloking better.

as for the case, it is able to fit GPUs up to 350mm long and has a neat hdd tray that lets you mount drives vertically. The hdd tray is removable giving more space for a super long GPU. But that's not exactly the type of build I'm going for. I wanted a small but capable gaming computer, not a full sized gaming beast. I won't be overclocking the CPU or having SLI/ Crossfire, just looking for a good single GPU. Basically, I chose the parts in this build for a reason, not just because I wanted something "cheap".
September 12, 2012 6:24:02 AM

Smeg45 said:
Buy a 7950 and it will last for three years. Then after 3 years look for a full system rebuild. No point getting a 7850 that way. After three years everything has changed. Your way is a waste of cash.


OR I CAN CROSSFIRE in 2 years, the 7850 is a good card at half the price of a 7950.
September 12, 2012 6:25:03 AM

chetorch said:
Thanks, I'll be looking for factory OC GPUs then. It makes sense that they'd handle the overcloking better.

as for the case, it is able to fit GPUs up to 350mm long and has a neat hdd tray that lets you mount drives vertically. The hdd tray is removable giving more space for a super long GPU. But that's not exactly the type of build I'm going for. I wanted a small but capable gaming computer, not a full sized gaming beast. I won't be overclocking the CPU or having SLI/ Crossfire, just looking for a good single GPU. Basically, I chose the parts in this build for a reason, not just because I wanted something "cheap".


They do rarely, but normally they OC them so little that you could easily do it yourself to their OC speeds.
September 12, 2012 6:33:56 AM

spat55 said:
They do rarely, but normally they OC them so little that you could easily do it yourself to their OC speeds.



So the only difference really between non-OC cards and OC cards is the small increase in speed?
September 12, 2012 6:37:57 AM

spat55 said:
Get a full atx mobo, and also a much better quality PSU, XFX,SEASONIC OR CORSAIR as if it blows your system goes to.

I dont think you will have enough room in the case, the GPU's are quite big, unless you get a crappy low profile one.


And btw, the PSU is made by Seasonic ;) 
September 12, 2012 6:38:18 AM

chetorch said:
So the only difference really between non-OC cards and OC cards is the small increase in speed?


Yep, sometimes if they superclock them, say increase by 15% or more they get the best chips but normally it's just luck of the drew.
September 12, 2012 6:39:27 AM

chetorch said:
And btw, the PSU is made by Seasonic ;) 


It says pc cooling on mine? Check you sure you haven't linked the wrong page?
September 12, 2012 6:47:17 AM

spat55 said:
OR I CAN CROSSFIRE in 2 years, the 7850 is a good card at half the price of a 7950.


Clutching at straws now. Crossfire is a pain and a single 7950 is still better driver wise than a pair of 78's.
September 12, 2012 6:48:44 AM

Smeg45 said:
Clutching at straws now. Crossfire is a pain and a single 7950 is still better driver wise than a pair of 78's.


Yh I agree there, but I'm not clutching at strews. A 7850 is worst but in 2 years time I can get a card much better than a 7950 for less, think we will have to agree to disagree.
September 12, 2012 6:52:08 AM

spat55 said:
Yh I agree there, but I'm not clutching at strews. A 7850 is worst but in 2 years time I can get a card much better than a 7950 for less, think we will have to agree to disagree.


Looks like. I buy a better card now, will last longer rather than the future.
September 12, 2012 6:54:05 AM

Smeg45 said:
Looks like. I buy a better card now, will last longer rather than the future.


Yh I see your point, I hate spending so much all at once though, and I don't mind playing at lower res and settings so I can get it to last longer. Also if I kill this GPU I haven't spent so much on it :) 
September 12, 2012 1:43:54 PM

chetorch said:
Thanks, I'll be looking for factory OC GPUs then. It makes sense that they'd handle the overcloking better.

as for the case, it is able to fit GPUs up to 350mm long and has a neat hdd tray that lets you mount drives vertically. The hdd tray is removable giving more space for a super long GPU. But that's not exactly the type of build I'm going for. I wanted a small but capable gaming computer, not a full sized gaming beast. I won't be overclocking the CPU or having SLI/ Crossfire, just looking for a good single GPU. Basically, I chose the parts in this build for a reason, not just because I wanted something "cheap".


VGA card vendors are wise to overclocking. They bin their chips, and select the best ones for factory overclocking so they can charge a bit more. You may get lucky with a stock card, but I think you get fair value for a factory overclocked card.
The boost you get from overclocking a graphics card varies, but the boost does not seem to me to be that great, and not worth a massive effort or price. Better to just pay more for a stronger card in the first place. A GTX670 will give you great gaming on a single monitor. Past that, you do better, but with diminishing improvements for your incremental dollar.

Since you are not exactly on a budget, and want a compact gamer, I have a few ideas:

The fractal design 100 looks like a nice case, and it is cheap. It is 16.54" x 6.89" x 13.98" and can support a cpu cooler of 135mm high.
I love small cases. I have a Silverstone TJ-08E which is 15.16" x 8.27" x 14.72". Not so different in size, but it can support full height(160mm) cpu coolers. That and the large 180mm intake fan makes the case particularly quet.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For more compactness, consider a ITX based pc. You can put your parts in a lian li PC-Q08 case which is 13.58" x 8.94" x 10.71".
There is a 140mm intake fan which provides plenty of cooling. You would be restricted to the intel stock cooler or a downdraft type cooler of 110mm max. About the best that fits is the tr AXP140, or, possibly a noctua downdraft cooler.
I use one for my backup pc. For what it is worth, the anodized red color is stunning.
Do some research, there are some long threads on building a gamer with this case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both the TJ-08E and the Q08 can accomodate any length graphics card. 11" at least.
September 12, 2012 2:27:33 PM

Thanks for the suggestions geofelt, that's just the kind of build I'm after. This Fractal case is pretty inexpensive, but if it doesn't work out for me I'll be looking at cases like the one you suggested. I actually plan on using the stock Intel CPU heatsink for a while. If the temps aren't too good, I read that Zalman sells a good heatsink that fits smaller cases.

This reminds me, I need to get at least two more case fans, one for the side (GPU ) and a rear exhaust.
September 12, 2012 8:55:27 PM

I'd get a CM Storm Enforcer of HAF 912 "Advanced" (not the stock US model, which is poor value). Both are build for high air flow (HAF) and both are very flexible.
September 13, 2012 12:11:58 AM

I'd look into those cases as well, but they are mid-tower sized. I definitely want to stick with a micro-tower sized case. I am not going to be overclocking so I don't need a big case for watercooling or SLI configs. I doubt I'd even need to replace the stock CPU heatsink with this set up.

I just read the article here on TH about the 7 gtx 660ti cards and it seems that going the HD 7950 route seems best. the 660ti seems to be closer in performance with th 7870. and the 7870 can be found at a way better price right now.
September 13, 2012 12:19:54 AM

Micro tower is poor for cooling and upgrade-ability. I've never understood the point of tiny cases. Mid towers are great all rounders with few minuses.
September 13, 2012 12:36:53 AM

I see what you are saying and in part I can agree. But I will not be upgrading components that would require a larger case. I also plan to add two more case fans for better cooling. These newer processors and GPUs seem to be getting more efficient heat and energy wise. I'm sure they will continue to do so. Heat may be a huge issue for overclockers and SLI/Crossfire enthusists but I don't have that kind of set up in mind at all.

September 13, 2012 2:19:00 AM

Smeg45 said:
Micro tower is poor for cooling and upgrade-ability. I've never understood the point of tiny cases. Mid towers are great all rounders with few minuses.


Let me explain with my example.
I needed a case that was not deep to fit my space.
Most cases are 20" deep, and I needed one 16" max. I could handle any height, or width.
I bought a Silverstone TJ-08E, a M-ATX case.
In it I have a GTX680, a 3570K @4.3 with a prolimatech megahalems cooler that is 160mm tall.

The case at stock has superb cooling. In fact, I put the switch of the 180mm intake fan on low, and undervolted so it is inaudible. 'There is room for a 120mm exit fan which I did not need.
If I ever needed more graphics capability, my plan is to replace the GTX680 with a GTX690 or whatever.

For extras, the case has a washable front intake air filter that just pushes out to clean.
I am a happy camper.
September 13, 2012 2:42:24 AM

geofelt said:
Let me explain with my example.
I needed a case that was not deep to fit my space.
Most cases are 20" deep, and I needed one 16" max. I could handle any height, or width.
I bought a Silverstone TJ-08E, a M-ATX case.
In it I have a GTX680, a 3570K @4.3 with a prolimatech megahalems cooler that is 160mm tall.

The case at stock has superb cooling. In fact, I put the switch of the 180mm intake fan on low, and undervolted so it is inaudible. 'There is room for a 120mm exit fan which I did not need.
If I ever needed more graphics capability, my plan is to replace the GTX680 with a GTX690 or whatever.

For extras, the case has a washable front intake air filter that just pushes out to clean.
I am a happy camper.


What are your temps?
September 13, 2012 8:17:25 PM

Smeg45 said:
What are your temps?

Good question. I really don't monitor them except when running prime95.
As I recall, they were about 70c.
As I type, at idle, I am looking at 24c to 35c, depending on the core.
September 14, 2012 1:41:41 PM

so I've been looking at the HD 7870 series cards, really just MSI's 7870 cards. They seem to get pretty close to 7950 performance when overclocked. I think I have narrowed down the choice between the Hawk series and the Twin Frozr.

From what I can tell, the Hawk card is able to overclock way better than the Twin Frozr. It uses the new Twin Frozr IV cooling tech but may run a bit on the loud side at times.

The Twin Frozr can be overclocked, but not to the level the Hawk can. It uses the Twin Frozr III tech and seems to be a bit quieter.

Between the two, I am leaning towards the Hawk edition card. I don't think the fan noise will bother me but then again, this is my first build in a long time!

And I also just purchased a 1080p monitor. I won't be trying to use my 720p HDTV.
September 18, 2012 4:31:54 AM

I got it all built up and she's rolling along good! I went ahead and bought Dues Ex this past weekend (Steam sale) to test out the Intel HD 2500 graphics. I lol'ed...

It'll be a painful wait to get a decent GPU I may not be able to hold out much longer! Luckly I am having fun with TF2, it runs well with the HD 2500.
I am using SpeedFan to control two case fans at the moment and I have CPU temps at 33 C idle and 45 C when playing TF2.
System temp stays at around 39 C.

BTW, this SSD is ridiculously fast. I'm booting into Windows 7 in less than 10 seconds... I can't prepare a cup of coffee while I wait for the OS to boot anymore :( 
September 27, 2012 3:35:24 AM

Not sure if I should have started a new thread since this is still relevant to my initial post...

I bought a HIS HD 7870 this morning:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Appearently just in time too. I received an email notification to let me know when Newegg had them back in stock this morning and I jumped on it. It is now sold out, less than 12hrs later..

My only concern at this moment is the GPU's fitment in the case. I was able to move my two 2.5 hard drives to the top drive cage and removed the side drive plate from the case, this gave me a good amount of room for the card length-wise I believe. what worries me the the card's height. The case I have has a width of 6.89". the card's width seems to measure 5.5"....
Its cutting it close, but I am keeping my hopes up!

I'll post pictures once the card gets here. Thank you all for the help!
September 29, 2012 7:39:51 PM

So I finally got the GPU in yesterday. It fits perfectly well in the little Micro ATX case!















So there you have it. A Fractal Core 1000 MicroATX case can comfortably fit a large GPU.
!