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Graphic card for i3 2100 build recommendation

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 9, 2012 1:27:01 AM

This is probably the best community on the net -- hopefully you guys can help me out.

Currently I have an i3 2100 2nd gen cpu. I'm looking for a nice graphic card (less than $200) to match up with it.

This is my power supply:

SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2012 1:34:11 AM

What types of games will you be playing and at what resolution?
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October 9, 2012 1:37:44 AM

Thanks for responding.

Modern games (Diablo 3, Badlands 2, NBA 2K13, etc.).

I plan to match up the graphic card with a 1080p monitor. Just want solid 60 FPS at with a 1080p monitor.

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a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2012 1:39:52 AM

With that budget:
AMD: There are some nice Radeon HD 7850s and Radeon HD 6870s
nVidia: GTX 560/560 Ti

Also keep in mind that these are cards in the $190-199 USD range. You can go lower. These cards are excellent for the PSU you have.

Also, you might find some cards on sale, especially closer to the hollidays. GTX 570s and 580s will go down as well as some newer Kepler cards, if you're willing to dish out the extra cash. This is also true for AMD cards, especially with the rumored launch of their new 8000 series cards.
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a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2012 2:02:00 AM

Radeon 7850 if your budget is strict, GTX 660 if you can stretch a little above. Those should do very well in just about any game at 1920x1080.

Although if you want to guarantee 60fps at 1920x1080 at highest settings in pretty much any game, you might need to spend an extra $100 and go GTX 660 Ti or Radeon 7950.

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October 9, 2012 2:20:43 AM

Thanks again for the responses. I'm not interested in maxing...just get solid 60 FPS at 1080p (typical modern monitor).

I don't even care if it's low to medium settings.
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a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2012 2:24:56 AM

GTX 480 does not really outperform the 7850 and uses like twice the power. That would not be on my list in 2012.

There's a couple of 1GB 7850s for $160-165 on newegg right now. If you don't plan on dual monitor or higher than 1080p, then 1GB will be fine.
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a c 144 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
October 9, 2012 2:38:40 AM

gtx480 is about as fast as 570. the power consumption does not really matter since op psu is more than enough to hamdle the card. for me (personally) what matters are what kind of cooler strapped onto it. the one link above is based on reference cooler. you can keep the load temp in reasonable range but most likely you have to manually increase the fan speed to do so. the down side is the noise will increase and the reference cooler on 480 are well known for its noise. if op does not really care about the noise then he can add that 480 to his option.
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October 9, 2012 3:03:42 AM

Here's what has been recommended:

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Radeon HD 7850
Radeon HD 6870
GTX 480
GTX 560
GTX 560 Ti

For a 1600 x 900 resolution, with medium settings, at 60 FPS, what do you think is best? I haven't purchased the monitor yet .. but it will have at least 1600 x 900 (20+ In.).
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October 9, 2012 3:03:54 AM

Not a huge noise level difference unless you crank your fan speed up. OP doesn't mention silent though. Everyone knows that the 480 will kick the 7850 ass. It performs equivalent to a 570 almost. My recommendation is the 480, it's cheaper and hella lot better than the 7850.
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a c 144 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
October 9, 2012 3:15:40 AM

with such requirement (1600x900 res, 60 fps with medium setting) 560/6870/560ti are more than enough in most cases. im basing this based on my personal experience becuase my monitor also have 1600x900. my spec are exactly as my current sig. in most game i was able to push the setting to high and still have very playable frame rates
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October 9, 2012 3:22:44 AM

songorocosongo said:
Read this and pick by yourself the one that fits your budget and needs
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...


That's even more overwhelming.

I'm not a very experienced PC Hardware person. I know how to put them together, but I usually just tap into the toms hardware knowledge pool to get recommendations.

Thanks for the link though.
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October 9, 2012 3:23:19 AM

renz496 said:
with such requirement (1600x900 res, 60 fps with medium setting) 560/6870/560ti are more than enough in most cases. im basing this based on my personal experience becuase my monitor also have 1600x900. my spec are exactly as my current sig. in most game i was able to push the setting to high and still have very playable frame rates


Thanks for all of your input.
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a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2012 3:24:44 AM

I'd still get the 7850 1GB version out of that group. Not only is it the fastest card in that group, but it's not any more expensive than the other options mentioned.

Newegg has a 7850 1GB for $165 or another for $159 after rebate.
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October 9, 2012 3:31:13 AM

twelve25 said:
I'd still get the 7850 1GB version out of that group. Not only is it the fastest card in that group, but it's not any more expensive than the other options mentioned.

Newegg has a 7850 1GB for $165 or another for $159 after rebate.


I'm definitely leaning towards this card. Which one would you recommend specifically? And is the $25ish price difference worth the extra 1gb?
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October 9, 2012 3:47:50 AM

Get the Sapphire HD 7850 if you really gonna play it on 1080p.
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a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2012 4:15:32 AM

Pantleg said:
I'm definitely leaning towards this card. Which one would you recommend specifically? And is the $25ish price difference worth the extra 1gb?


They all use the same GPU, so really it comes down to coolers and whether any are overclocked. I don't have a specific recommendation, but performance will be close enough not to matter.

1GB is a lot of video RAM, 2GB would mainly come into play for high rates of AA or huge resolutions. For 1920x1080 and one monitor, 98% of the time 1GB and 2GB will perform the same. I hesitate to say you won't ever need more than 1GB of video RAM because It reminds me of the famous Bill Gates 640K quote.....

You won't regret getting more RAM, so if you can afford it, why not? But once you get to $200, then I'd consider going $230 on a GTX660 or 7870 for that next step up.
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October 9, 2012 4:36:23 AM

twelve25 said:


They all use the same GPU, so really it comes down to coolers and whether any are overclocked. I don't have a specific recommendation, but performance will be close enough not to matter.

1GB is a lot of video RAM, 2GB would mainly come into play for high rates of AA or huge resolutions. For 1920x1080 and one monitor, 98% of the time 1GB and 2GB will perform the same. I hesitate to say you won't ever need more than 1GB of video RAM because It reminds me of the famous Bill Gates 640K quote.....

You won't regret getting more RAM, so if you can afford it, why not? But once you get to $200, then I'd consider going $230 on a GTX660 or 7870 for that next step up.


Thanks for the input. I'm going to go with the 1gb version and save some money. I found this model for $165 shipped: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ... do you think I should bite now, or wait 7ish weeks for black Friday?

Also, I'm thinking of getting this motherboard:

ASRock H77M LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Does it look like everything would be compatible?
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October 12, 2012 4:27:22 AM

I was able to get the XFX Radeon 7850 1GB for $142 shipped. That was my official purchase, and I'm pairing it up with a Acer 20" LED 1600x900 that I found for $75.00

Thanks for all of your help.
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October 12, 2012 4:28:52 AM

Best answer selected by Pantleg.
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