I will be upgrading from a GT 430 soon. I need a new PSU as well. I am getting either a Radeon 6850 or 7770. Which is better? I don't play many games, the most intensive being Civ5. I have an FX 4100 and 8GB RAM.
I'm sort of new here ( long time lurker) but I love talking computer parts. Hopefully someone more experienced comes along to make you feel better about your purchase. ( I don't even know how to place those cool links yet). But here is my two cents.
In order of Power is the 7770, 6850 then 560.
But this is proportionate with power draw and price.
my personal choice is to go with the latest generation as long as it delivers what it promises, and the 7770 does that very well.
As for power supply, a 400ish watt respectable brand for single card and 600+ one for xfire/sli.
If you read the BF3 page(the game toughest on a gpu amongst the ones tested), you
will see that that mildly OCed xfx 7770 let them frag people online on ultra(fxaa instead of
4x aa, no motion blur both for better framerate and to better see your surroundings, and
ambient occlusion turned down a notch from horizon based to screen space) @1920x1200.
That was with launch drivers. Its faster now, and you can OC the crap out of it.
@Surgeking: I don't know how to place the really cool links either, but linking stuff
is fairly easy. If you want to refer to a web page, just highlight the url, copy, then
paste it here. For parts, you can start with pcpartpicker.com(selecting country if
need be), then hit either the system build tab or the tab for a specific component.
You can get a list of certain types of parts in a category, excluding others.
You can sort by price, cost per GB, vram, cores, etc(depending on part type).
You can specify a vendor and narrow stuff down by tons of options. Click a part to
see where it's sold and for how much. Click the vendor to see the product page there.
If you compose a build, highlight the little line at the top of the page, copy, and paste
it here. If you want to link a specific component, get to its product page(ideally at the
site where it's cheapest), highlight the url, copy, then paste it here. Not too hard.
I Don't know how to do those what look like fancy premade link lists, though.
Oh. I like to look at newegg product pages for in depth specs and user reviews, too.
I've gone with the 6850 instead of the 7770 and now regret it as f*ck. At the very moment, the 6850 was better in older games, but since then I saw the 7770 taking 20(!) more FPS in Crysis 2 than the 6850 with new drivers. So far the 7770 has:
-Lower power consumption
-It is cheaper
You can easily crossfire 2 of them in the future with a good 500w PSU. Could've done that if I would've chose otherwise...
FYI, all hd7770s are ghz edition. It was the first reference video card released by either
amd or nvidia to run all functional units on the gpu die at at least 1ghz.
Also, it is better to get one fast gpu than 2 or more slower ones. Not all games support
sli or crossfire, and you may encounter micro stuttering in the ones that do(negating any
measured frame rate increase). See gpu reviews at techreport for the last year of so to
find out more about it. You also use less power(cheaper psu), take up less space(more
case options), create less heat(requiring less extreme cooling measures) and have more
choice in mobo(you can pick one with only 1 16 lane pcie slot) when you go with a single
gpu card versus getting more than one gpu.
Edit: Hey! where did my graphics and display bronze badge disappear too?
None of my other best answers are showing up on my profile page right now either.
Maybe it's some kind of temporary system error(hopefully it's temporary...).
Sorry for not replying, I posted this right before I went to bed last night. I saw this in school today but couldn't post. I actually meant the GTX 550 as I found one for $115 on newegg. The cheapest 7770 is $125 and the cheapest 6850 is $140. My only concern about the 7770 is that it is only 128 bit and my board doesn't have a PCIE 3.0 slot. Will this decrease it's performance?
My vote would be for the 7770 as well; as others have said, it seems to run newer games much better than the 6850. Here's a brief comparison between the two, and you'll notice that Crysis Warhead (a DX9 game, iirc) runs much better with the 6850, but newer games like Skyrim and Civ5 run better with the 7770.
Not to mention, I've seen reports of some beastly (20%+!) overclocks on the 7770, though I can't vouch for their truth.
Edit: The CX500-V2 is a pretty good PSU, though not my first choice. For $50~$60, I'd rather go with either an Antec Neo Eco 520 or a Rosewill Capstone 450 (if you're willing to stretch another $10).
Among the cards you listed, the hd7770 is the best bang for your buck(lowest wattage, too). It isn't the cheapest
one you can get, though. Here's a link to a HIS model with a somewhat reference style cooler that will allow you
to overclock while quietly keeping the gpu cool. It's $114.99(free shipping) after a $15.00 MIR at newegg:
The bit width of a card matters less than the actual level of performance it can provide.
You only need pcie 3.0 if you are running a couple high end cards on a Z77 mobo with an overclocked ivy i5 and
3 monitors(I don't recommend multi gpu setups, nor do I advocate multi screen setups at this time. bezels...ugh).
A HD7770 will not be bottlenecked by your FX4100(even if you overclock the snot out of the both of them).
The Corsair cx500 is a good psu, but you don't need that much power for your build. A cx430 is more than plenty:
A 28A +12v rail(336w) will power both an OCed FX4100 and a OCed hd7770 with tons of room to spare. You can
even upgrade to the likes of a HD7850 or gtx660(non ti) later if you want. This psu has been tested to deliver
stable power beyond its wattage rating at real case temps(unlike many power supplies that simply have a bunch
of parts placed on them at room temps with no measurement of output current). $24.99(free shipping) after a
$20 MIR. You can't get much better quality and cost per +12v amp than that.
The cpu cooler you pick will depend on your case(height from cpu socket to side panel, roof clearance if psu is
bottom mount or psu clearance if it's a top mount) and the room around the cpu socket on your mobo(tall
chipset heatsinks, ram with tall heat spreaders). The best bang for your buck cooling right now is hyper 212+:
$25.56, free shipping at amazon. Quiet 120mm hi flow fan, 4 direct contact copper heatpipes and a large
aluminum heatsink. Decent thermal paste too. You can add a second fan for push/pull action if you want.
It rises 158.5mm above the cpu heat spreader when sitting on top of it. 120mm wide and 79.7mm deep by
default(deeper if you add a second fan). 37mm clearance below the fan(s).
Sorry. I am ill equipped to answer your off topic question about switching your front usb ports to version 3.
Edit: My graphics and displays bronze badge is back! Yay! My other best answers on my profile are back, too!