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Having a hard time picking a GPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 4, 2012 5:39:06 PM

Ok, so with the help of this forum and lot of researching and shopping I'm pretty much set on a new build with every part except... the GPU. At this point it's going to be the most expensive part in my PC and I don't want to cut corners too much (within reason, I can't afford a $250+ GPU, I'm barely making it at $200), but I just can't decide what to get. Now price is causing me some problems because I plan to buy on Black Friday (although, I'm hearing that BF isn't all that great for parts), so I have no idea what things will be then, so I need more of a ball-park figure on my options.

Anyway, I've pretty much decided on a 7870, but now I'm not sure if a 7850 could be better if I overclock it, I've read that you can overclock it to the level of a 7950, which would be great, but I don't even know if that's is true and if it is, which cards will do it best. I'm just trying to get an idea of what card will be best (7850 or 7870), what company (PowerColor, VisionTek, MSI, etc.) is best and which of those two are the best for the money (say the best 7870 goes on sale, even if it's currently out of my price-range, I'd like to know what to look for during sales, just in case a really great deal comes up)? The build I got help with on here has an XFX 7870, but the price on that thing is going up and down all the time and now there's a VisionTek 7870 for much cheaper.

Thanks.

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a c 212 U Graphics card
November 4, 2012 5:57:54 PM

I'd also consider the nVidia options in the $200-$225 range but the 3 free games with the 7870 are a compelling argument

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...

Quote:
Nvidia's new retail GeForce GTX 660 delivers impressive performance for $230, and it easily outperforms the $210 Radeon HD 7850, falling just shy of the $260 Radeon HD 7870. It earns a recommendation between AMD's competing price points.


GTX 660

$210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

7870

$210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for brands, I recommend (in order) .... Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Zotac, XFX, EVGA .... and avoid the other "off" brands
a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2012 6:07:56 PM

You cannot go wrong with either the 660 or 7870. I would go for the 7870 as it offers more bandwidth and can be the better overclocker.
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November 5, 2012 6:59:46 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
I'd also consider the nVidia options in the $200-$225 range but the 3 free games with the 7870 are a compelling argument

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...

Quote:
Nvidia's new retail GeForce GTX 660 delivers impressive performance for $230, and it easily outperforms the $210 Radeon HD 7850, falling just shy of the $260 Radeon HD 7870. It earns a recommendation between AMD's competing price points.


GTX 660

$210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$215 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

7870

$210 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for brands, I recommend (in order) .... Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Zotac, XFX, EVGA .... and avoid the other "off" brands


Thanks! I plan to stick with AMD for now as I currently have an AMD card, but the little boost in BF3 for the 660 is nice. I'm actually more interested in playing a heavily modded Fallout 3 right now, which while I realize is an old game, I would like to run some super high-rez texture packs and ENBs, do you think these cards will do that? It seems these mods can be very taxing. Of course, I would also like to play new games, too, I'm very interested in Metro: Last Light and ArmA III, so I'm hoping I could play those, as well.

Also, is VisionTek one of those "off" brands? $201 for a 7870 is a shocking price to me, there must be a reason for this and I'm guessing it's not good.

redeemer said:
You cannot go wrong with either the 660 or 7870. I would go for the 7870 as it offers more bandwidth and can be the better overclocker.


About overclocking, while I want to do it, would you recommend it? Is it worth it to do and how far can I take it with these cards? Thanks.

November 7, 2012 6:46:40 PM

Oh, I also have one more question. Does anyone have any experience with buying used cards? I'm considering it as a possible option, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea.
!