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Best graphics card to avoid bottlenecking

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 14, 2012 3:39:49 PM

I want to replace my PC with a brand new system, but I wanted to know (before I splashed a huge load of cash) if upgrading my current system would yeild large performance gains. I have read in several places that some graphics cards can suffer from "bottlenecking" because of an old and slow processor.

This is my current system:

Corsair CXV2 500W PSU
AsRock 2CORE1333 motheboard
Intel Pentium Dual Core E2200
2 GB DDR2 667MHz RAM
XpertVision 8600GT 256MB

I want to replace the graphics with a Radeon 7750 for £80. Would this yeild a performance gain?

Here is my planned new system:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£80.89 @ Amazon UK)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£26.65 @ Scan.co.uk)
Asus Sabertooth 990FX ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£122.97 @ Dabs)
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.78 @ Amazon UK)
Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card (£97.00 @ Amazon UK)
Corsair Carbide 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£59.17 @ ebuyer.com)
Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply (£46.20 @ Scan.co.uk)

Total: £467

The reason I ask is £80 for a new card is a lot less expensive than a new system. I currently play games like L4D, TF2 etc.
The machine struggles a little with Starcraft 2 and that's why I want to upgrade.
August 14, 2012 3:52:33 PM

Get at least a Radeon 6850 or GTX 550ti
August 14, 2012 3:59:08 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
Get at least a Radeon 6850 or GTX 550ti


Will that not struggle with my PSU and/or CPU?

I should mention as well that the CPU is overclocked to 2.66GHz from 1.6GHz stock
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a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2012 3:59:33 PM

The 7750 will definitely result in a noticeable performance gain. You can even go beyond that. I would recommend the 6850.

EDIT: An addition of a 6850 will be fine for your psu and your cpu. You still might have some issues with cpu intensive games that benefit from quad core, but overall it still should be good.
August 14, 2012 4:07:09 PM

no you should be fine with a 500w PSU. Unless you are gonna get some crazy 7950 card, but for the 6850 you should be good as gold. Eventually, sooner than later, you will need to upgrade your system outright. The 6850 will be a decent 'bandage' until you can save up enough for a new system. When that time comes I would build it around the i5 3570k and the Asrock z77 Extreme4 motherboard. Unless something better comes out, which I doubt will in the next year or so.
August 15, 2012 9:21:56 AM

DarkOutlaw said:
no you should be fine with a 500w PSU. Unless you are gonna get some crazy 7950 card, but for the 6850 you should be good as gold. Eventually, sooner than later, you will need to upgrade your system outright. The 6850 will be a decent 'bandage' until you can save up enough for a new system. When that time comes I would build it around the i5 3570k and the Asrock z77 Extreme4 motherboard. Unless something better comes out, which I doubt will in the next year or so.


Would I perhaps be better off just doing an upgrade?
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 10:25:15 AM

snorri788 said:
Would I perhaps be better off just doing an upgrade?

Considering that both your current CPU and GPU are fairly ancient by today's standard, might as well if you can afford to.

Since you plan to replace everything eventually anyhow, you could start by trying your new GPU in your current PC to see whether or not this is enough to let you stretch your old PC until Haswell or AMD's new CPUs come out.
August 15, 2012 10:28:21 AM

InvalidError said:
Considering that both your current CPU and GPU are fairly ancient by today's standard, might as well if you can afford to.

Since you plan to replace everything eventually anyhow, you could start by trying your new GPU in your current PC to see whether or not this is enough to let you stretch your old PC until Haswell or AMD's new CPUs come out.


Good idea. I think I'll put the new card in the current machine and see how it runs, and then move that into the new machine when that comes along.

What is the best card that I could get on my current spec that wouldn't be ancient when I move it across? The 6850 as other people have suggested, or is there something better? Don't want the card to be out of date when I move to another machine in 3-6 months time.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 11:15:32 AM

snorri788 said:
What is the best card that I could get on my current spec that wouldn't be ancient when I move it across?

I would try not lose too much sleep over that since there always is something new coming. A 6850/6870/7770 is going to be enough to play most games reasonably well for the next few years unless you want high/ultra details.

IMO, ~$150 is the ideal price point: by the time a $150 card becomes marginally playable, you can get a new $150 card that performs better than the $300 cards available at the time of the previous card.
August 15, 2012 11:35:21 AM

InvalidError said:
I would try not lose too much sleep over that since there always is something new coming. A 6850/6870/7770 is going to be enough to play most games reasonably well for the next few years unless you want high/ultra details.

IMO, ~$150 is the ideal price point: by the time a $150 card becomes marginally playable, you can get a new $150 card that performs better than the $300 cards available at the time of the previous card.


Ok.

How about a 7850? Could my power supply survive that on my current and also my future system?
August 15, 2012 11:41:37 AM

snorri788 said:
Ok.

How about a 7850? Could my power supply survive that on my current and also my future system?

better buy 600 watt psu.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 12:31:05 PM

snorri788 said:
How about a 7850? Could my power supply survive that on my current and also my future system?

If you mean the Corsair, there should be no problems if it is one of the Seasonic OEM models since you should be well under 300W peak, easily within the PSU's limits.

The majority of "normal" single-CPU single-GPU high-end systems would work fine even on a 350-380W PSUs if those 350-380W PSUs were truly designed for continuous power.
August 15, 2012 1:05:27 PM

InvalidError said:
If you mean the Corsair, there should be no problems if it is one of the Seasonic OEM models since you should be well under 300W peak, easily within the PSU's limits.

The majority of "normal" single-CPU single-GPU high-end systems would work fine even on a 350-380W PSUs if those 350-380W PSUs were truly designed for continuous power.


Great :) 

How would I get on witha 6950? Just trying to push the boat out as far as possible? Would that be ok with the future spec too?
August 16, 2012 2:38:42 PM

Ok, so I am buying a new PSU and using the 500W one I have now (which is next to new) in another compact system that I am building for a friend.

The new one is a Corsair CX750.

So now the question is: What is the best gfx card I can get for £150?
August 16, 2012 2:55:29 PM

Get the one closest to the top of this list that you can afford.
August 16, 2012 3:10:45 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
Get the one closest to the top of this list that you can afford.


Thanks, that's really useful.

What if I was Crossfire-ing or SLi? Would that be enough for 2 cards?
a b U Graphics card
August 16, 2012 3:36:08 PM

snorri788 said:
What if I was Crossfire-ing or SLi? Would that be enough for 2 cards?

500W for SLI might cut it a bit close unless you use relatively low-power cards like the 6770/7770... but then you might be better off getting a single 7870.

If you want to CFX/SLI something like a pair of 7870, you will be looking at 400-450W peak load so you might want to bump your PSU target to 600+W.
August 16, 2012 5:31:18 PM

A single card is almost always better than CFX/SLI.
!