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GPU $160-$190

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 25, 2012 9:06:13 PM

Hello, I want to find a graphics card that will compliment my cpu perfectly,

AMD FX-4100
8gb of 1333
Stock AMD Cooler(buying an aftermarket one soon)
GT 520 (currently, lol that's why I'm here lol)
Thermaltake Commander
700w PSU with a 6pin and a 6+2pin
Here comes the embarrassing part, a GA-M68MT-S2 mini atx board

I don't want to bottleneck my GPU with my FX-4100, because I don't have all of the money in the world

So.... I was thinking of the 6870, but then I saw lowering of the 6950 to $190, plus all of the new nvidia releases have my head spinning

I plan to keep the mobo for the hassle of win7 reactivation, and do the new "piledrivers" that are coming out operate on a am3+ socket? I plan to upgrade to a high end piledriver then, if that will affect my gpu selection.

So which gpu/extra questions?

Thanks!

More about : gpu 160 190

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a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 9:08:51 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/asus-video-card-hd785...
$188 and it has a $10 MIR to bring it down to $178. This is one of the better 7850s and you probably won't find a better card anywhere in your price range. This card easily tops the 6950 in performance while using far less power and it has a 2GiB frame buffer without any tricks like Nvidia's 192 bit 2GiB cards that are actually 1.5GiB cards with the last .5GiB running at one third of the performance of the first 1.5GiB.
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September 26, 2012 3:02:27 AM

luciferano said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/asus-video-card-hd785...
$188 and it has a $10 MIR to bring it down to $178. This is one of the better 7850s and you probably won't find a better card anywhere in your price range. This card easily tops the 6950 in performance while using far less power and it has a 2GiB frame buffer without any tricks like Nvidia's 192 bit 2GiB cards that are actually 1.5GiB cards with the last .5GiB running at one third of the performance of the first 1.5GiB.


Yeah, openfire070, I also recommend the asus 7850. It's very quiet and has very good cooling, just make sure that your motherboard has enough space for this card because the card's heatsink takes up two pci slots
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September 26, 2012 5:13:02 AM

Thanks all for the recommendations, I found out that piledriver is am3+, but is it going to be worth it? I'm planning on the asus 7850 btw now.

Thanks!
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a c 92 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 7:09:26 AM

Just overclock the 4100 to 4.5 ghz, no point in upgrading to piledriver really. No real bottleneck after you OC.

the 7850 is the best card.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 1:15:43 PM

openfire070 said:
Thanks all for the recommendations, I found out that piledriver is am3+, but is it going to be worth it? I'm planning on the asus 7850 btw now.

Thanks!

we really can't say if its worth it as we have no Benchmarks to show. AMD claims it will be 10-15% Faster than the 1st gen BD chips but we won't know until they are released next month ?
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:20:15 PM

Piledriver CPUs will probably beat the Bulldozer CPUs by more than 10-15% considering that the Piledriver Trinity APUs already tend to beat Bulldozer in performance per Hz and per watt by about that much despite having no L3 cache. However, I don't make this a guarantee.
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September 26, 2012 2:40:07 PM

Thanks, but overclocking brings up this question I have

I have Easytune6 as my overclocking utility, but I can't get the multiplier above 19x. But when I use CPU-Z, it says the multiplier is 18.5x

So... is this a factor of my GA-M68MT-S2 Mobo?

Thanks
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:51:20 PM

It might be a motherboard issue. Have you checked how old your current BIOS version is? Sometimes updates are issued to fix problems like this.

It might also/instead be something with the CPU itself. Some CPUs simply don't overclock well.

Also, if you don't set the CPU voltage high enough, then the CPU might not be able to go beyond what its stock voltage allows.
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September 26, 2012 2:53:49 PM

Where Can I download a BIOS update? How, "Flashing" it?

Thanks
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 2:59:58 PM

You should be able to download a BIOS update from the website of your motherboard's manufacturer, although it would be best if you look up several versions for issues (not all updates fix problems and some have been worse than previous BIOS versions) before choosing to download and flash any version to your motherboard. The motherboard manufacturer's website should have instructions on how to do this.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 3:07:31 PM

luciferano said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/asus-video-card-hd785...
$188 and it has a $10 MIR to bring it down to $178. This is one of the better 7850s and you probably won't find a better card anywhere in your price range. This card easily tops the 6950 in performance while using far less power and it has a 2GiB frame buffer without any tricks like Nvidia's 192 bit 2GiB cards that are actually 1.5GiB cards with the last .5GiB running at one third of the performance of the first 1.5GiB.


http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-...

On that one ima have to say its 2GB but still running at 192 bus/144 memory bandwidth...Nv would of screwed them selfs actually tieing the last 512 of memory to a single 64 bit controller after 1.5 GB but they didnt go that route and ive went over 1.5 as well on a 660 Ti without any lag..Its all personal pref though on which card to get
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September 26, 2012 3:26:15 PM

Downloaded the bios, but it doesn't come with any instructions, its just a file lol

What do I do?
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 4:44:34 PM

determinologyz said:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6159/the-geforce-gtx-660-...

On that one ima have to say its 2GB but still running at 192 bus/144 memory bandwidth...Nv would of screwed them selfs actually tieing the last 512 of memory to a single 64 bit controller after 1.5 GB but they didnt go that route and ive went over 1.5 as well on a 660 Ti without any lag..Its all personal pref though on which card to get


Your link clearly shows that I am correct. Whether or not someone notices a difference when they go over 1.5GiB on the 2GiB models of the GTX 660 TI depends on the person, but the difference is there no matter what tricks Nvidia attempts to pull and your link states this. Gaming performance doesn't necessarily drop to one third when you go over 1.5GiB on a 2GiB model, but memory bandwidth does and this can hurt gaming performance significantly. Every review that I've read that compares the 2GiB and 3GiB 660 Tis and looks into this shows that this is true, although the difference generally isn't more than 15-20%.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 4:58:15 PM

openfire070 said:
Downloaded the bios, but it doesn't come with any instructions, its just a file lol

What do I do?


The website that you got the BIOS from should have instructions, not the BIOS file. I don't have your board, so I don't know if it does BIOS updates differently from mine. I've only ever done BIOS updates using floppy disks and that's probably a little outdated for you.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 4:58:50 PM

luciferano said:
Your link clearly shows that I am correct. Whether or not someone notices a difference when they go over 1.5GiB on the 2GiB models of the GTX 660 TI depends on the person, but the difference is there no matter what tricks Nvidia attempts to pull and your link states this. Gaming performance doesn't necessarily drop to one third when you go over 1.5GiB on a 2GiB model, but memory bandwidth does and this hurts gaming performance. Every review that I've read that compares the 2GiB and 3GiB 660 Tis and looks into this shows that this is true.


I guess to clear it up 48 Gb/s can go in 3 controllers =144 memory banwidth/192 bus which can be done up to 1.5 gigs adding 48 gb/s on a extra controller would slow the card down yes on memory bandwidth but the fact they did 2x256 on 2 controllers and 4x256 on the final controller means they can share the memory bandwidth without preformance lost..Btw yea its not 256-bit 192 memory bandwidth but i dont play past 1080p nor i use to much anti a so it works out for me
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:09:14 PM

determinologyz said:
Actually it doesnt..IF that 4th memory controller had 512 in it..then it would of dropped to 48 Gb/s which is what i was pointing out due to 3 controllers is pulling 144 Gb/s on memory banwidth which is why i said nv would of screwed them selfs if they would of did it that way..But that they added 2x256 on 2 controllers and 4x256 on the other controller 144 Gb/s of memory banwidth can go around all 3 controllers without hurting performance..And with the 3 gigs i imagine they add more more memory to make it 3GB still sharing 144 GB/s of bandwidth...


There are three memory controllers enabled on all GTX 660 Ti cards. Forthe 2GiB model, one has four 256MiB chips and the other two have two 256MiB chips each. The one with four chips can interleave data between its chips, but it still has a huge limitation in that if you use more than 1.5GiB of the video card's memory, that last controller is the only controller that can assess the remaining 512MiB of memory. Nvidia can try interleaving and sorting things all they want, but they can't change the fact that one controller has twice as much memory as each other controller and is thus a bottle-neck (even if not a huge one) when it needs to access memory and the other two controllers' memory chips are full. Your link clearly states this.

The 3GIB models don't have this issue because they have equal chip counts of equal capacity on all controllers whereas the 2GiB models are asynchronous. A comparable situation is when you have an X58 motherboard with two channels that have one 2GiB memory module each (each module has eight 256MiB memory chips) and a second memory channel that has two 2GiB modules (still eight 256GiB memory chips each). You have 8GiB total memory, but 2GiB of this memory can only be access by one controller and although it can interleave data and such to alleviate this issue, using more than 6GiB of memory with memory-bottle-necked programs will still show a drop in performance compared to using one 4GiB module per channel like how the 3GiB GTX 660 Ti uses 1GiB of memory per channel instead of 512MiB per two channels and 1GiB per one channel like the 2GiB GTX 660 Ti.

The drop in performance of the program might not be a full 67% drop, but the bandwidth is a full 67% drop. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can change that. You can use tricks and optimizations to minimize the performance impact, but you can not eliminate it.

If Nvidia instead gave each memory controller 768MiB with a 256MiB and a 512MiB chip, then they could have 2.25GiB without the performance loss, but Nvidia opted for 2GiB with a performance loss.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:16:19 PM

luciferano said:
There are three memory controllers enabled on all GTX 660 Ti cards. Forthe 2GiB model, one has four 256MiB chips and the other two have two 256MiB chips each. The one with four chips can interleave data between its chips, but it still has a huge limitation in that if you use more than 1.5GiB of the video card's memory, that last controller is the only controller that can assess the remaining 512MiB of memory. Nvidia can try interleaving and sorting things all they want, but they can't change the fact that one controller has twice as much memory as each other controller and is thus a bottle-neck (even if not a huge one) when it needs to access memory and the other two controllers are full. Your link clearly states this.

The 3GIB models don't have this issue because they have equal chip counts of equal capacity on all controllers whereas the 2GiB models are asynchronous. A comparable situation is when you have an X58 motherboard with two channels that have one 2GiB memory module each (each module has eight 256MiB memory chips) and a second memory channel that has two 2GiB modules (still eight 256GiB memory chips each). You have 8GiB total memory, but 2GiB of this memory can only be access by one controller and although it can interleave data and such to alleviate this issue, using more than 6GiB of memory with memory-bottle-necked programs will still show a drop in performance compared to using one 4GiB module per channel like how the 3GiB GTX 660 Ti uses 1GiB of memory per channel instead of 512MiB per two channels and 1GiB per one channel like the 2GiB GTX 660 Ti.

The drop in performance of the program might not be a full 67% drop, but the bandwidth is a full 67% drop. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can change that. You can use tricks and optimizations to minimize the performance impact, but you can not eliminate it.

If Nvidia instead gave each memory controller 768MiB with a 256MiB and a 512MiB chip, then they could have 2.25GiB without the performance loss, but Nvidia opted for 2GiB with a performance loss.


I mean i havent see a bottle neck nor any drops and i would of saw if it was 48 Gb/s on the final 512 so i guess nv did something right
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:18:43 PM

determinologyz said:
I mean i havent see a bottle neck nor any drops and i would of saw if it was 48 Gb/s on the final 512 so i guess nv did something right


Can you post a benchmark comparing performance before 1.5GiB and after 1.5GiB? Also, if you do, then please post a screen shot with each benchmark depicting graphics memory consumption. What games are you talking about in there being no bottle-neck that you see and what resolution and settings do you play at?

Every benchmark that I've seen shows the performance drop and shows that it is usually noticeable in-game compared to the GTX 660 Ti 3GiB models that don't have the issue.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:24:05 PM

Crysis 2 i know uses alot of ram from what ive seen ive been at 1600Mb+ no lag/No slowdown 60 frames and i own the card as well..At 48 gb/s i should of been taking a hit but i wasnt.. I dont have any benchmarks but if you willing go test it your self i mean im not a full geek on this but i know what ive seen..When i first bought the card i was under the impression you was as well after 1.5 the card would be limited but that wasnt the case and really could of pushed the settings up and still been in good shape.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:27:36 PM

I don't have a GTX 660 Ti and I'm not spending about $300 just to prove a point. I asked you because you claim to have one.
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September 26, 2012 5:38:47 PM

Lol I think it's funny that my thread has turned into a memory-controller debate

I downloaded it from GIGABYTE.com, and no instructions lol

I'll just forget about it for now, until I get an upgrade for my Mobo

Thanks all!!!!!!!!
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September 26, 2012 5:40:19 PM

Best answer selected by openfire070.
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 5:44:08 PM

Sorry about not being more helpful with the BIOS update.
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September 26, 2012 6:48:31 PM

it's cool, but how do close a thread lol
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a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 6:57:03 PM

A mod will come and close it for you now that you've selected a best answer. It might take a day or two, but don't worry about it.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 26, 2012 7:07:48 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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