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Looking for ~$180-250 gaming card, maybe GTX 560 Ti or HD 7850

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August 19, 2012 10:53:38 PM

First post, so forgive me if I've messed up with this...

Also, I'm really a complete tech noob, so my bad if I've done something stupid or am missing something that should be obvious (maybe blatant compatibility clashes or something).

Well, here goes.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime before the end of August, unless, a.) Labor Day sales are prevalent and worthwhile, or b.) it's worth it to wait for either prices to drop even further or new cards to release

BUDGET RANGE: USD ~$180-250 after rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Relatively high-end gaming is most important

CURRENT GPU: Integrated graphics using nVidia GeForce 6150SE

CURRENT POWER SUPPLY: 300w, though I plan to upgrade to at, the very least, a 600w power supply. Considering:

"CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Based on what friends say, Nvidia is preferable, but if ATI provides considerable competition... Also, I've been told that EVGA is probably the best way to go with Nvidia, while XFX, Gigabyte, and Sapphire are generally good for ATI. Open to all suggestions, though.

OVERCLOCKING: Only factory overclocking (assuming that it won't affect warranties)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (I think I will need a new motherboard if I ever go down this route, though)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Cards with high quality warranties are preferred that can run most modern games at respectable settings (maybe ~40+ FPS with minor 2-4x AA, etc.) Higher graphical quality and "future-proofness" is better, naturally.

There were a couple cards I was considering:

"EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

"EVGA 02G-P3-1568-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

"XFX Double D FX-785A-CDFC Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

"GIGABYTE GV-R785OC-2GD Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

While these cards may have caught my eye, I'm not unflinchingly set on getting one of these in particular, and will gladly take any and all suggestions.

One other thing.. How important is the memory? That seems to be one of the things that could influence my decision.

Thank you!

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a c 191 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 11:24:52 PM
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The 7850 is faster than the 560Ti, and those are really expensive prices for the 560Ti. I would go for the Gigabyte 7850 because of the superior cooler.

Memory is dependent on resolution. All of the cards you picked have sufficient memory.
August 19, 2012 11:26:22 PM

Deemo13 said:
The 7850 is faster than the 560Ti, and those are really expensive prices for the 560Ti. I would go for the Gigabyte 7850 because of the superior cooler.

Memory is dependent on resolution. All of the cards you picked have sufficient memory.


What prices are average for 560 Ti cards? I've seen as low as $169.99 with rebates, but from companies who supposedly have inferior customer service and warranties, among things. Are these 7850s reasonably priced?
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a c 191 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 11:33:48 PM

Those 7850's are about priced right.

You were probably looking at the GTX560 (non Ti) which will usually come in at about $170. Its slower than the 560Ti. The most I would pay for a 560Ti is $210 at the current market.

If that is your budget, then the 7850 is the way to go. Yet if your power supply needs to be in the budget as well, you need to consider that.
August 19, 2012 11:43:23 PM

Deemo13 said:
Those 7850's are about priced right.

You were probably looking at the GTX560 (non Ti) which will usually come in at about $170. Its slower than the 560Ti. The most I would pay for a 560Ti is $210 at the current market.

If that is your budget, then the 7850 is the way to go. Yet if your power supply needs to be in the budget as well, you need to consider that.


Here are some cheap 560 Ti cards:

ZOTAC ZT-50303-10M GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PNY VCGGTX560TXPB-OC-S GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, I've allocated about ~$85 to a PSU. I plan to use some money equal to rebates I'll receive, and/or leftover money, in addition to separate funds to purchase one.
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 11:43:40 PM

Huh they finally dropped the price on those. Its finally now a good price to get a 560Ti. I'm suprised. Well it depends on how much you want to spend now. If you want to spend more, get the 7850. If less, than the 560Ti will suffice.
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 11:47:20 PM

the price drop was probably reactionary to the relative price drops of 6950's that go in and out of 200$
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 19, 2012 11:48:59 PM

I'm glad, they've had those 560Ti's at a higher price for quite awhile.
August 19, 2012 11:51:55 PM

Deemo13 said:
Huh they finally dropped the price on those. Its finally now a good price to get a 560Ti. I'm suprised. Well it depends on how much you want to spend now. If you want to spend more, get the 7850. If less, than the 560Ti will suffice.


But I should only go with the 560 Ti if it's less than ~$210, at the expense of supposedly superior brands? Or are Zotac, PNY, and their ilk satisfactory, especially in terms of quality of parts, customer service, and warranties? In comparison to EVGA and the like, that is.
August 19, 2012 11:56:57 PM

Personally i would get a GTX 570 it's better than a 560 ti and a 7850 but not much better because it uses more power
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:03:16 AM

regina_49 said:
Personally i would get a GTX 570 it's better than a 560 ti and a 7850 but not much better because it uses more power



there's a tiny bit of advantages of going 7850 rather than a 570, one being that with the psu in question, OP is allowed to crossfire 7850's sometime in the future if needed (albeit, depending on how sensitive his eyes are, he will have microstuttering, which can partially be fixed by just capping you fps so the frames dont jump around as much) and if drivers evolve again similar to the 12.7 beta drivers, the fps will increase on the 7850(im not sure if any tester retested the 7850 and the 570 with latest drivers recently), Along with 2gbvram(so crossfire is legitimate as 2gbvram is kinda standard for high end game maxing at 1920x1080).


and the very minor things like being pci-e 3.0, directx11.1 compatable, newer and more efficient with larger overclocking room also helps.
August 20, 2012 12:05:53 AM

regina_49 said:
Personally i would get a GTX 570 it's better than a 560 ti and a 7850 but not much better because it uses more power


I think GTX 570s are too physically big for my limitations. But are they really that much better?
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:07:46 AM

I'd have to agree with dudewitbow, the 7850 does offer a few things that the 570 does not because the 7850 is a bit more recent, so it uses less power and a few other things.
a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:12:07 AM

Be aware that your CPU will definitely bottleneck any of those cards.
August 20, 2012 12:15:08 AM

Ironslice said:
Be aware that your CPU will definitely bottleneck any of those cards.


Yeah, I am in need of an upgrade. However, based on what I've read, a new GPU was more prudent than a CPU. If I upgrade to a Phenom II Quad, would that be better? Or would it best to upgrade my whole motherboard, perhaps to i3 or i5?

dudewitbow said:
there's a tiny bit of advantages of going 7850 rather than a 570, one being that with the psu in question, OP is allowed to crossfire 7850's sometime in the future if needed (albeit, depending on how sensitive his eyes are, he will have microstuttering, which can partially be fixed by just capping you fps so the frames dont jump around as much) and if drivers evolve again similar to the 12.7 beta drivers, the fps will increase on the 7850(im not sure if any tester retested the 7850 and the 570 with latest drivers recently), Along with 2gbvram(so crossfire is legitimate as 2gbvram is kinda standard for high end game maxing at 1920x1080).

and the very minor things like being pci-e 3.0, directx11.1 compatable, newer and more efficient with larger overclocking room also helps.


If I go with 7850, which brand is best (again, especially in terms of warranty and quality of parts)?

It looks like the GTX 570 is slightly better in terms of FPS, but again, I think my motherboard is as of now too small..
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:17:27 AM
August 20, 2012 12:22:46 AM

Deemo13 said:
The 7850 is faster than the 560Ti, and those are really expensive prices for the 560Ti. I would go for the Gigabyte 7850 because of the superior cooler.

Memory is dependent on resolution. All of the cards you picked have sufficient memory.


I'll take your word for it, but could you explain why it has the superior cooling system? To a noob like me, the way I see it is the XFX DD has two fans, which seems better than one. I'm sure there's a reason why that's not so, though. Thanks.

Also, with any of these cards, would I require additional cooling? Or no?
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:23:18 AM

Oh dang, I must have missed the link to show what your computer was. Yea I would recommend an upgrade. Your motherboard should not be too small for the card either, but I would seriously recommend an upgrade. The cards are going to be bottlenecked by your processor.

It is an AM2+ so you can get like a Phenom II 955 but what I would personally do is get the card you want, and when the funds come in, get the motheboard and processor and RAM and whatnot. Also a new case would be a very good idea.
August 20, 2012 12:30:21 AM

Deemo13 said:
Oh dang, I must have missed the link to show what your computer was. Yea I would recommend an upgrade. Your motherboard should not be too small for the card either, but I would seriously recommend an upgrade. The cards are going to be bottlenecked by your processor.

It is an AM2+ so you can get like a Phenom II 955 but what I would personally do is get the card you want, and when the funds come in, get the motheboard and processor and RAM and whatnot. Also a new case would be a very good idea.
+1 my bad :( 
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:30:41 AM

Radiant_Radiance said:
I'll take your word for it, but could you explain why it has the superior cooling system? To a noob like me, the way I see it is the XFX DD has two fans, which seems better than one. I'm sure there's a reason why that's not so, though. Thanks.

Also, with any of these cards, would I require additional cooling? Or no?


Well, the Gigabyte has larger fans, which generally means they need to run slower to cool the same as say the XFX, which has smaller fans.

The Gigabyte is also cheaper. This Sapphire also has a good cooler:

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

as well as this ASUS:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 20, 2012 12:31:48 AM

Ironslice said:
Be aware that your CPU will definitely bottleneck any of those cards.
Oops!Hes correct sorry OP i missed looking at that my bad :( 
August 20, 2012 12:33:01 AM

Deemo13 said:
Oh dang, I must have missed the link to show what your computer was. Yea I would recommend an upgrade. Your motherboard should not be too small for the card either, but I would seriously recommend an upgrade. The cards are going to be bottlenecked by your processor.

It is an AM2+ so you can get like a Phenom II 955 but what I would personally do is get the card you want, and when the funds come in, get the motheboard and processor and RAM and whatnot. Also a new case would be a very good idea.


So are you saying that I should forgo a Phenom II in favor of...?

And my RAM needs to be upgraded as well? Do I need more sticks or a different type?

Also, how badly will my processor bottleneck my computer? Surely, I'll at least get an improvement over my integrated graphics?
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:45:23 AM

If you upgrade the motherboard and processor, you will have to get new DDR3 RAM. I would say get one of the Intel Core i5 processors. They will do you well in games. If money is an issue though, the Phenom II 955 will do you very well. Although I guess they took the 955 off Newegg, because its not there anymore. This 830 should also work well:

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

The i5 is definitely going to perform better, but a nice Phenom II should suffice.
August 20, 2012 12:53:38 AM

When I upgrade my processor in the future, should that influence my selection of video cards? For example, do ATI cards function better with AMD; and, do Nvidia cards work better with Intel? Or anything like that?

regina_49 said:
Oops!Hes correct sorry OP i missed looking at that my bad :( 


No worries! :) 
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 12:53:47 AM

Not really. They all work the same. I've got an AMD with an Intel and a Nvidia with an AMD. It all works the same.
August 20, 2012 1:08:13 AM

All right, so let me get all this straight.

- If I want to pay more, I should go with a HD 7850
- If I get a 7850, I should go with Gigabyte (is part quality high, do they have good customer service, are their warranties good, and, are they reliable?)
- If not Gigabyte, then who?

- If I want to pay less, I should go with the 560 Ti
- If I go with a 560 Ti, I should only get it if it's less than $210?
- If so, again, which brand(s) is/are best in terms of reliability, part quality, customer service, and warranties?

Is this a good 560 Ti?

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support FPB Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 1:18:40 AM

That's a great 560Ti. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 560Ti as a card. If its calling your name, go for it.

The 7850 is good as well. If you do not go for Gigabyte, you can also go for ASUS or Sapphire who do a very good job with cooling.
August 20, 2012 1:19:45 AM

Deemo13 said:
That's a great 560Ti. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 560Ti as a card. If its calling your name, go for it.

The 7850 is good as well. If you do not go for Gigabyte, you can also go for ASUS or Sapphire who do a very good job with cooling.


Hm.. These are pretty much my two best options, right? Or are there any other cards I should take into consideration?

One other thing, too: are ATI's drivers really so bad? Is it enough to tip the balance one way or the other?
a c 107 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 1:24:48 AM

Radiant_Radiance said:
Hm.. These are pretty much my two best options, right? Or are there any other cards I should take into consideration?

One other thing, too: are ATI's drivers really so bad? Is it enough to tip the balance one way or the other?



it varies from user to user. some people have to switch versions alot(most due to incorrect installation of drivers). other have it fine. this 7850 is my first amd card and I havent gotten into driver problems yet.
August 20, 2012 1:29:58 AM

regina_49 said:
check this thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/366484-33-tomshardwar... if this person is correct jump on it right away hehehe.


Hm.. Certainly not seeing this deal online, though I'm probably not looking hard enough. I would be quite surprised, though, if Best Buy actually had better prices than Amazon, Newegg, or Tiger Direct...
August 20, 2012 1:31:22 AM

Get the 560 ti from best buy $129.99 they won't last great price the 7850 is better but not a lot
August 20, 2012 1:36:57 AM

Radiant_Radiance said:
Hm.. Certainly not seeing this deal online, though I'm probably not looking hard enough. I would be quite surprised, though, if Best Buy actually had better prices than Amazon, Newegg, or Tiger Direct...
True i don't know if it's for real or not :??: 
a c 191 U Graphics card
August 20, 2012 1:44:00 AM

I feel like that user must have been looking at the 550Ti. Because that's almost too cheap. Best Buy usually has there regular 560 (non Ti's) at over $200.

And I've never had any problems with ATi drivers for as long as I've had ATI cards.
August 20, 2012 2:16:29 AM

Best answer selected by Radiant_Radiance.
August 20, 2012 2:18:00 AM

Hm... Well, thank you all for your input. You've all been tremendously helpful with your advice!

Still not sure which one I'll go with, but I feel more confident in making a decision now. Not to mention that I've learned quite a bit.

So, again, I say thanks to all of you! :) 
!