APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: USD $150-250) Before / After Rebates
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming. Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Civ 5
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: MSI GTX 460 Cyclone 1GB 256 Bit and Corsair 750TX 750W PSU
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: I5-760 / 8GB 1600 DDR3 / P755E Pro
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg / Amazon
PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A
MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1920x1080)
Hey I've had an MSI GTX 460 cyclone 1GB 256 bit for over 2 years now and I've been thinking about upgrading.. I don't want to spend more than 220 dollars, and the main GPU intense games that I play are Skyrim (with high res mods), Guild Wars 2, and Civ 5.
So my question is will an HD 7870 be a significant upgrade? I've heard bad things about the drivers for ATI right now. This is the model I'm looking at:
This would be a great upgrade for you and that's a good price for such a 7870. AMD's drivers don't have issues with single-GPU setups, there are just a few games that don't work properly with Crossfire. SLI has some similar problems too.
If you're too weary of AMD, then you could get a GTX 660 instead. I wouldn't recommend it over a 7870 myself, but I don't know if you value AA like I do (7870 owns the 660 in 4xMSAA and 8xMSAA).
According to Tom's GPU hierarchy chart, it is a level 4 upgrade and they say if you want a beneficial upgrade that isn't wasting money then you need to at least be 3 levels above your current card, your situation is 4 levels above.
Now, concerning the "ATI driver" scenario. When talking about drivers for AMD cards, the only time you will see a major flaw in the driver is when you're running dual card or "Crossfire" configurations instead of a single card.
I recently went from a GTX 550 ti to a MSI HAWK 7870, HUGE improvement! I had an issue with the card not staying at the clock rates for 3D applications but I found a workaround and almost all the games I own that I have thrown at it are playing at max settings with a constant 60FPS @1680x1050 display.
It is and will be a worthwhile upgrade, I assure you
Don't buy HIS, their quality is liquid crap to keep it short. Go with MSI or Asus and if anything else Gigabyte. The problem with all three is their crappy fans but the overall build quality is much better than HIS.