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New GPU search

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July 26, 2012 4:40:50 PM

So, I have recently upgraded my motherboard on my rigg and am looking for a new video card.

Now, I am running on an LGA 775 processor, so I know that if I buy some of the newer cards the bottleneck of my system will either be the RAM or the CPU itself. Since I don't want to spend any more money than I will benefit of, here's my question, how do I know which cards will be "sufficient" ?

Or, what do you guys recommend me? I Was looking to spend maybe $100-200.

My specs are the following:

ASUS P5N-D Motherboard:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5ND/

Intel Q6600 2.4 GHz CPU (Planning to overclock it, but as it stands, it is in factory settings):
http://ark.intel.com/products/29765/Intel-Core2-Quad-Pr...(8M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB)

4 GB Kingston RAM (I don't recall the name exactly, I will update this with a link once I get home, but I do know its a 1033 FSB).

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

Thanks for everything in advance, I will be checking back regurlarly, so if I missed anything, please let me know.

~Raph

More about : gpu search

July 26, 2012 4:55:44 PM

Yeah, I am planning on OCing it, however I have never done it before, and since I was having issues with my GPU I held off on it to try and fix that, so once I get settled with my GPU I will definately start researching that.

I noticed this is an ASUS card, I guess I'm not much up to date, but would you say ASUS is better than EVGA? My past 4 GPUs have been EVGA, I am by no means attached to the brand, just wondering what the differences are.
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July 26, 2012 5:04:53 PM

I personally prefer Asus because they use non-reference boards and high quality materials in general. And I really like this model because it's stock overclocked and it has a lot of headroom because of the DC II cooler. I don't know of any EVGA models that offer that :D 
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July 26, 2012 5:35:20 PM

What is your power supply at? What brand and wattage?
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July 26, 2012 6:58:46 PM

Yeah, you won't be PSU-limited for a single-card setup (which is definitely what you should get in the $100-200 range). What resolution are you playing at? I assume it's a single monitor at 1080p? What games do you play, and what kind of framerates (and settings) are you looking at? This affects the meaning of "sufficient."

The difference between the low end of $100 and the high end of $200 is significant, and you pretty much get what you pay for. I would therefore encourage you to aim high rather than low. For example, for $190 post-rebate you can get a 2GB 6950, an excellent card that will max out basically anything at 1080p at good framerates: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... There's also a 1GB Zotac 560 Ti for $180: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I would probably recommend the 6950, though; it's a slightly stronger card overall, and the 2GB of VRAM will help down the line.

Unfortunately, there aren't really next-gen cards in this price range at the moment. The 7770 is too weak, and the 7850 is too expensive. Meanwhile, nvidia hasn't released anything new and doesn't plan to (the 660 Ti, when it comes, will be too expensive). Your only hope might be a 7850 at around $200, but speculating on that price drop (which COULD happen based on the 660 Ti, I guess) seems like a bad idea. Just get the 6950 now, which has very similar performance, albeit at worse power usage.

edit: I forgot; there is a 1GB 7850 at $200 post-rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... That's a strange card, since the reference design for the card is 2GB of VRAM. I think the 2GB 6950 is definitely the better call, though.

second edit: Here's a comparison of the 560 and the 6950: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/510?vs=543 You can see that it varies quite a bit by game, but the 6950 is basically always ahead. It also has 2GB of VRAM, which is more relevant on newer games, at more demanding AA settings, and especially at higher resolutions. The 560 is still a good card, so you can decide whether you think it's money worth spending.
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July 26, 2012 7:13:39 PM

I am running a single monitor at 1080, but would like the possibility to upgrade to duals in the future.

With that said, the only game I have been playing is League of Legends, which doesn't require much to run at all, with the 8800 Ultra I had it was recommended to run everything on very high, but I had issues with the card itself and I would like better performance when I am recording/streaming content.

Basically I just want something that can run this game on max and be able to stream/record the screen while doing it.

The only thing that scares me is that it is an ATI card, and I have owned 2 of them, which were just horrible. I had so many compatibility problems and driver issues I am reluctant to come back. It was a long time ago, but the memory still lingers, and the support I received was not the best. How is CC now days?

I am willing to go a little higher if the benefits are there, however I don't know if I much, like I said, for now I am only playing League and sometimes Diablo 3.
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July 26, 2012 7:34:28 PM

That one will give you SLI/Crossfire opportunities too! The 560 is a good card for sure. If you're sticking to those kinds of games where VRAM is ok at 1 gb, go for a 560 or a 560Ti if you like. Those are regularly at the budget you prescribed. AMD is good as well, and you can get HD 6850s which do really well at 130-140 dollars.
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July 26, 2012 7:43:21 PM

Haha, well for LoL and D3, a 6950 is definitely overkill. Of course, you may wind up playing other games in the future, so you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot. And it's not that much more expensive (about $45) to get the 6950 compared to the 560. That said, the 560 is still a good card, and it will be more than enough for what you're doing now. And you can SLI them later. 1GB of VRAM is fine for 1080p, though again, it's more a question of future-proofing, and you may not care sufficiently about that for it to matter.
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July 26, 2012 7:47:58 PM

Well, I am leaning more towards the 6950 now. Like you said, the difference in price is negligible, and it seems there is quite a bit of performance to be gained. One thing I notice, however, was that the shader clock on the 6950 is half of the 560, is that relevant?

Also, Sapphire, is that a good brand? Never heard of them, but I am not very well updated and or researched on ATI cards. I don't mind spending a bit more if there is a better brand, as long as it stays around $200 hehe.
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July 26, 2012 7:58:43 PM

Doesn't make sense to compare things like shader clock (or the core clock) across different architectures. Just look at benchmarks. The only time direct comparisons make sense is within the same "family" of cards, e.g. the 6850 and 6870. (I guess direct VRAM comparisons also make sense for the most part.)

Yeah, Sapphire is a fine brand. In general the brand doesn't matter too much as long as you're buying a respectable one. There are not that many 6950s left these days, anyway, since it's a last-generation card, so you have to buy what you can.
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July 26, 2012 8:28:38 PM

Best answer selected by raph662.
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July 26, 2012 8:29:54 PM

Card has been bought, went with the 6950, will post back when I get the card hehe.

Thanks for the help everyone :) 
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