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What 3D Card should I get for my new rig?

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December 23, 2012 5:08:09 AM

I'm a feel a bit iffy about Radeon after I witnessed the RAGE launch.. I know that's a bit silly from one perspective but I've never had driver problems with nvidia on par with that catastrophe, and yes I realize RAGE is a very peculiarly scripted game. I guess there's just a fanboy-ery aura about me that makes me a bit radeon-skeptic.

Anyways, the cards I have my mind set on are;
GTX 690 (I don't like the airflow layout on this one but admittedly it's so overpowered I probably shouldn't give a ***, also overpriced and overperforming)
GTX 680 (I could drop the bucks for this one easily, the selling point for me is the adaptive V-Sync technology and TXAA, GPU boost is a bit "meh")
GTX 670 (I could consider this if there is some third-party software I can use for adaptive V-Sync and/or TXAA, I mean how much difference is there really between 680/670?)
Radeon 7970HD (like I said I am skeptical about radeon drivers and customer support, between nvidia and radeon there are a lot of differences especially in terms of software support, also I will admit I know very little about this card and what it's capable of, please inform me, a dimwitted nvidia fanboy)

Will be playing at 1920x1200 and 1280x800 (when oculus rift releases (omg omg omg))

Edit: Copypasta from sticky post.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within 30 days from now.

Budget Range: My comfort-zone is 4900 NoK (877 USD) and lower

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1. GAMING! priority number one.
2. 3d work (zbrush, 3ds max, UDK, photoshop, ndo, all sorts of madness)

Are you buying a monitor: Nopes

Do you need to buy OS: Nopes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have no preferred websites, this is my first build, I've always gone with stock computers.

Location: Country; Norway, State; Rogaland, City; Sandnes

Parts Preferences: Prefer Nvidia but I am welcome to conversion attempts to the darkside known also as ATI Radeon.

Overclocking: Yes (coolermaster HAF XB case with positive air pressure, air cooling only)

SLI or Crossfire: nopes, well maybe if the price is right.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1280x800 and 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I don't really care about noise levels, if I'd have to put a number on it I'd say around 35-37 dBA I use a headset pretty much all the time.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Cause I'm so ******* tired of my retarded ass Dell XPS h2c with its' retarded ass BTX form factor, heavy chassis, retarded cooling system that's clogged with dust and a thousand lost souls and it randomly restarts whenever it ******* feels like, it's just bad. It doesn't even perform well anymore. I mean if I didn't allready have you at BTX, I just don't know.. I hate my current computer. I love the case design but it's so mother ****** heavy it's like carrying a funeral coffin containing the lifeless body of the person you love the most. Not just physically draining but it tears away at your very emotions. I hate my PC.

More about : card rig

December 23, 2012 5:26:44 AM

It's kind of hard to recommend cards that don't exist yet. I'm not expecting the 7XX series to make an appearance until late next year.
December 23, 2012 5:37:15 AM

Wow, that's embarrassing. I obviously meant 670, 680 and 690.

In my defense it's 8:36 where I live and I haven't slept for about 26 hours and I was very emotionally perturbed by one of my PC's random restarts.

I'll tell you what, I'm going to take a five hour nap and when I come back I want some brilliant answers that cover all the things I was wondering about and my faith in humanity and computers will be fully restored anew.

Again, the things I really want to know:
1. Third party support for TXAA and/or adaptive V-Sync (possible/impossible) and 670 viability in regard to it.
2. General Radeon stability, performance and features in comparison to nvidia and would you recommend the 7970HD?
Related resources
December 23, 2012 6:12:38 AM

Quote:
Wow, that's embarrassing. I obviously meant 670, 680 and 690.


In my defense it's 8:36 where I live and I haven't slept for about 26 hours and I was very emotionally perturbed by one of my PC's random restarts.


That happens. :lol: 

I'd go with the 670. The 670 and 680 use the same graphics processor - the GK109. The 690 is essentially a video card with dual GK109 processors on it. Dual 670s in SLI will give you the same performance for less money.

I'll have to check it out later and see what kind of system I can come up with. What store are you buying from? If you post that I can suggest parts.
December 23, 2012 11:29:10 AM

What I've sort of got my mind on at the moment would be the following set up.

Case:..........Coolermaster HAF XB
PSU.............Corsair AX750 PSU
GFX Card:....EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB 3d card
RAM:............Kingston HyperX Genesis 32 GB DDR3
Mobo:..........Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe ATX
CPU:............Intel Core i5 3570K
CPU HS:.......Phanteks PH-TC14PE Blue

I'm considering going with a silverstone case instead simply because they seem to advocate positive airflow and their cases seem to be specifically build with that in mind, I feel like the HAF XB is so well ventilated I'll probably lose a lot of pressure but with the interior layout I will probably do well with a windtunnel effect in simply that all the airflow will be going pretty rapidly across the mobo and in one singular direction, it won't be twisting and turning or recycling inside the case.
December 23, 2012 11:54:27 AM

mohfuu said:
I'm a feel a bit iffy about Radeon after I witnessed the RAGE launch.. I know that's a bit silly from one perspective but I've never had driver problems with nvidia on par with that catastrophe, and yes I realize RAGE is a very peculiarly scripted game. I guess there's just a fanboy-ery aura about me that makes me a bit radeon-skeptic.


I guess you haven't seen/have ignored the reviews stating nVidia driver issues. They do happen on both sides. I've used cards from both but never personally experienced any problems. Then again I don't really care about playing the newest games on day one, which is when usually problems arise. Having owned cards from both manufacturers I'd say fanboyism isn't worth it - just go for the best price/performance.
mohfuu said:

Anyways, the cards I have my mind set on are;
GTX 690 (I don't like the airflow layout on this one but admittedly it's so overpowered I probably shouldn't give a ***, also overpriced and overperforming)
GTX 680 (I could drop the bucks for this one easily, the selling point for me is the adaptive V-Sync technology and TXAA, GPU boost is a bit "meh")
GTX 670 (I could consider this if there is some third-party software I can use for adaptive V-Sync and/or TXAA, I mean how much difference is there really between 680/670?)
Radeon 7970HD (like I said I am skeptical about radeon drivers and customer support, between nvidia and radeon there are a lot of differences especially in terms of software support, also I will admit I know very little about this card and what it's capable of, please inform me, a dimwitted nvidia fanboy)

Depending on pricing the Radeon is well worth it. To more accurate, its performance can match - even surpass - a GTX680 while its pricing is usually closer to a 670.
mohfuu said:

Will be playing at 1920x1200 and 1280x800 (when oculus rift releases (omg omg omg))

Edit: Copypasta from sticky post.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within 30 days from now.

Budget Range: My comfort-zone is 4900 NoK (877 USD) and lower

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1. GAMING! priority number one.
2. 3d work (zbrush, 3ds max, UDK, photoshop, ndo, all sorts of madness)

Are you buying a monitor: Nopes

Do you need to buy OS: Nopes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have no preferred websites, this is my first build, I've always gone with stock computers.

Location: Country; Norway, State; Rogaland, City; Sandnes

Parts Preferences: Prefer Nvidia but I am welcome to conversion attempts to the darkside known also as ATI Radeon.

Overclocking: Yes (coolermaster HAF XB case with positive air pressure, air cooling only)

SLI or Crossfire: nopes, well maybe if the price is right.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1280x800 and 1920x1080

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC. Please also list specific software or games you're using)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Cause I'm so ******* tired of my retarded ass Dell XPS h2c with its' retarded ass BTX form factor, heavy chassis, retarded cooling system that's clogged with dust and a thousand lost souls and it randomly restarts whenever it ******* feels like, it's just bad. It doesn't even perform well anymore. I mean if I didn't allready have you at BTX, I just don't know.. I hate my current computer. I love the case design but it's so mother ****** heavy it's like carrying a funeral coffin containing the person you love the most. Not just physically draining but it tears away at your very emotions. I just hate my PC as it is now.

Thanks for using the sticky. I'll check the site you posted and get back to ya.
December 23, 2012 12:08:24 PM

mohfuu said:
What I've sort of got my mind on at the moment would be the following set up.

Case:..........Coolermaster HAF XB
PSU.............Corsair AX750 PSU
GFX Card:....EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB 3d card
RAM:............Kingston HyperX Genesis 32 GB DDR3
Mobo:..........Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe ATX
CPU:............Intel Core i5 3570K
CPU HS:.......Phanteks PH-TC14PE Blue

I'm considering going with a silverstone case instead simply because they seem to advocate positive airflow and their cases seem to be specifically build with that in mind, I feel like the HAF XB is so well ventilated I'll probably lose a lot of pressure but with the interior layout I will probably do well with a windtunnel effect in simply that all the airflow will be going pretty rapidly across the mobo and in one singular direction, it won't be twisting and turning or recycling inside the case.

Isn't that way over budget?

That RAM is probably 1.65 V which the new i5s don't like. I recommend (2x if you want) these https://www.dustinhome.no/product/5010621881/corsair-16...

No need for such a big, expensive PSU since you're not interested in SLI/XFire. Perhaps get this https://www.dustinhome.no/product/5010611134/corsair-tx...

Expensive mobo is expensive. Get this https://www.dustinhome.no/product/5010656813/asus-p8z77...

The 7970 is only 50 kr (2 %) more https://www.dustinhome.no/product/5010621917/gigabyte-r... However as you can see it's circa 4% more powerful, i.e. better price/perf. http://tpucdn.com/reviews/HIS/HD_7950_X2_Boost/images/p...

Perhaps a SSD?
December 23, 2012 12:10:24 PM

Thanks FinneousPJ.
I've been able to deduct that GTX 670 does support all the features of GTX 680 and 690, at least the features I care the most about, adaptive V-sync and TXAA.

Does the Radeon card support those technologies? If it outperforms 670 the I'm willing to give Radeon a chance. Though I don't like their usual red color scheme :c
TXAA is really the selling point for me, I don't usually get tearing but on some games I do, and I can't stand it. I'm pretty sure Radeon has some kind of adaptive V-sync software so it's just up to the TXAA, I mean I'm guessing such a generic feature would be covered, if not now then probably added later with a driver? right? It's just post processing.

What are the dimensions on the 7970HD? it looks large.

Edit
I can just double down on that 2x ram though, right?

I want a lot of ram so I can make use of higher polycount in Zbrush, as of right now it doesn't matter much but when Zbrush 5 releases I'm guessing it will be able to utilize more ram since it will be 64bit by then. And it doesn't hurt having it for other programs. Are the dimensions fitting so that they can snugly get under the phanteks cpu cooler?

Edit2
I think I'll go with that PSU you suggested. I was a bit curious if I'd maybe upgrade to SLI at a later point but upon the stark realization that I has bills to pay I think your choice is a bit more apt.

Sorry that I'm so worried about dimensions but it's pretty much the only concern I have right now because the phanteks cooler is so huge and awesome, and the case is a fairly small one which is important to me.

The clearance between the mobo and the phanteks cooling should be around 40mm height. The max supported GFX card length for the HAF XB is 334mm in length.

edit3

I think I'll take my chances with the XM3's they look small enough, look like they're barely 30mm.
The HD 7970 is 285mm in length so that works out just fine.

Thanks a ton for your help FinneousPJ, you've helped me cut down the price considerably and I'll be trying out my first radeon card ever now. But just in the interest of future proofing, wouldn't it be wise to get a stronger more efficient PSU? If I get a really good one, for how many years can I expect to use it?

I've been thinking about getting an SSD, I'd probably go for a pretty cheap one. I'm only interested in a fast startup for my PC.
December 23, 2012 5:46:10 PM

Quote:
I can just double down on that 2x ram though, right?


I want a lot of ram so I can make use of higher polycount in Zbrush, as of right now it doesn't matter much but when Zbrush 5 releases I'm guessing it will be able to utilize more ram since it will be 64bit by then. And it doesn't hurt having it for other programs. Are the dimensions fitting so that they can snugly get under the phanteks cpu cooler?


You can but it's not necessary. You most likely won't use beyond 16GB of RAM. I don't think I would go with that Phanteks cooler - get the Noctua D14 instead.

Quote:
I think I'll take my chances with the XM3's they look small enough, look like they're barely 30mm.
The HD 7970 is 285mm in length so that works out just fine.


I'd get this over the Corsair XMS: http://www.dustin.no/product/5010598525/corsair-8gb-ddr...

Or this: http://www.dustin.no/product/5010589740/kingston-ddr3-h...

Quote:
I've been thinking about getting an SSD, I'd probably go for a pretty cheap one. I'm only interested in a fast startup for my PC.


Here's a good one: http://www.dustin.no/product/5010625936/ocz-vertex-4-2-...
December 23, 2012 5:52:05 PM

Radeon has no adaptive v-sync - it's purely nVidia at the moment. Radeon 8000 series might add it (they kinda need to really) but it's not an option yet. They also won't do PhysX or TXAA (and never will - those are nVidia tech), though they do morphological anti-aliasing, which is comparable to FXAA, but corrupts the HUD text / crosshair in games.

EDIT: Good idea on the SSD - I'd recommend a 120GB Samsung 830 for best price/performance balance. If you're feeling spendy, the Samsung 840 Pro (not to be confused with the normal 840) is the best there is. The Vertex 4 suggested is an excellent choice also.
December 23, 2012 7:10:00 PM

double post
December 23, 2012 7:10:01 PM

Wow lots of text.

mohfuu said:
Thanks FinneousPJ.
I've been able to deduct that GTX 670 does support all the features of GTX 680 and 690, at least the features I care the most about, adaptive V-sync and TXAA.

Does the Radeon card support those technologies? If it outperforms 670 the I'm willing to give Radeon a chance. Though I don't like their usual red color scheme :c
TXAA is really the selling point for me, I don't usually get tearing but on some games I do, and I can't stand it. I'm pretty sure Radeon has some kind of adaptive V-sync software so it's just up to the TXAA, I mean I'm guessing such a generic feature would be covered, if not now then probably added later with a driver? right? It's just post processing.

What are the dimensions on the 7970HD? it looks large.

You can find the dimensions on your friendly retail site/manufacturer site.

You can currently get third party software for adaptive vsync on Radeon. As for AA I'm not an expert but I believe TXAA is just a marketing term. AMD drivers have multiple levels and choices regarding AA too, and rest assured in the name of competition everything nvidia does will be added in time by amd, and vice versa.
mohfuu said:
Edit
I can just double down on that 2x ram though, right?

I want a lot of ram so I can make use of higher polycount in Zbrush, as of right now it doesn't matter much but when Zbrush 5 releases I'm guessing it will be able to utilize more ram since it will be 64bit by then. And it doesn't hurt having it for other programs. Are the dimensions fitting so that they can snugly get under the phanteks cpu cooler?

Yes you could buy two sets of the 2x8 GB if you wanted to.
mohfuu said:
Edit2
I think I'll go with that PSU you suggested. I was a bit curious if I'd maybe upgrade to SLI at a later point but upon the stark realization that I has bills to pay I think your choice is a bit more apt.

Sorry that I'm so worried about dimensions but it's pretty much the only concern I have right now because the phanteks cooler is so huge and awesome, and the case is a fairly small one which is important to me.

The clearance between the mobo and the phanteks cooling should be around 40mm height. The max supported GFX card length for the HAF XB is 334mm in length.

edit3

I think I'll take my chances with the XM3's they look small enough, look like they're barely 30mm.
The HD 7970 is 285mm in length so that works out just fine.

Yeah the XMS modules are quite small which is why I like them. Any respectable gamer case will fit a 7970.
mohfuu said:
Thanks a ton for your help FinneousPJ, you've helped me cut down the price considerably and I'll be trying out my first radeon card ever now. But just in the interest of future proofing, wouldn't it be wise to get a stronger more efficient PSU? If I get a really good one, for how many years can I expect to use it?

I've been thinking about getting an SSD, I'd probably go for a pretty cheap one. I'm only interested in a fast startup for my PC.

Cool mate. Nah don't overspend just because you maybe might some day use it. That PSU will run any single GPU system well for years.
December 23, 2012 7:17:42 PM

TXAA is most definitely not a marketing term - it's a unique AA method.

http://www.geforce.co.uk/landing-page/txaa

The effect is has on temporal aliasing is unmatched by any other method. That said, your best quality/performance option for AA will still be MSAA + TrSSAA / adaptive AA, provided you're not too bothered by temporal aliasing.

But yeah, I'm not sure it's as strong an argument for nVidia hardware as adaptive v-sync, more consistent framerate delivery or (to a slightly lesser extent) PhysX.
December 23, 2012 9:00:05 PM

Well if it isn't a trademarked marketing term then I don't see a reason why AMD couldn't use it in the future. If it is they'll just use a different name for the same thing and you'll be right - AMD will never have TXAA. They'll have Super Uber AA which will be the same thing :lol:  That's how these these things work. Like my phone has a Super AMOLED+ display, that's all marketing talk you know.
December 23, 2012 9:55:59 PM

Agreed - they'll need to start catching up with this stuff. But fact is that they haven't done yet - they still have no equivalent to adaptive v-sync, and they really need one. Maybe in the future, but that's just speculation. Who knows when it will arrive?
December 23, 2012 10:04:41 PM

I'll just say now (because it's bound to come up) that with regards to RadeonPro, Mautari did some really impressive work there. Makes you wonder why AMD have been unable to do this for their own cards (they seriously need to hire this guy!).

There are some drawbacks though compared to the nVidia solution. Most notably the fact that you need to benchmark each game individually and then calibrate RadeonPro for that game according to your benchmark results. Tom's Hardware said in the review that it's a complicated and time-consuming procedure. Do it wrong (even if you're off by just 10fps) and you get some massive lag spikes (right up to 100 millisecond frames, which equates to a drop to 10fps).

With nVidia on the other hand, you don't need to do a thing - the hardware is already designed to deliver consistently smooth performance out of the box. So a Radeon with RadeonPro is definitely an improvement over normal Radeon performance, but it's still not as good as normal nVidia performance, which doesn't require you to recalibrate it for each game.

If you do end up going with a Radeon though, you'll definitely want to use this software.
December 23, 2012 10:16:23 PM

Yeah perhaps they should hire the guy to do his development work in-house.
December 23, 2012 10:21:35 PM

They really need to, even just to keep him out of nVidia's hands if nothing else.
December 23, 2012 11:39:00 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Radeon has no adaptive v-sync - it's purely nVidia at the moment. Radeon 8000 series might add it (they kinda need to really) but it's not an option yet. They also won't do PhysX or TXAA (and never will - those are nVidia tech), though they do morphological anti-aliasing, which is comparable to FXAA, but corrupts the HUD text / crosshair in games.

EDIT: Good idea on the SSD - I'd recommend a 120GB Samsung 830 for best price/performance balance. If you're feeling spendy, the Samsung 840 Pro (not to be confused with the normal 840) is the best there is. The Vertex 4 suggested is an excellent choice also.


Yeah I have a Vertex 4 - it's a really solid drive, I really recommend it.
December 24, 2012 9:43:29 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah I have a Vertex 4 - it's a really solid drive, I really recommend it.


How's it been stability-wise? Did you flash the firmware? In the past I'd always recommend Vertex 4 at least as much as the 830 (where I am they're near enough the same price), but after seeing one or two people getting issues with them, I became more reluctant to recommend them. That said though, I've only seen one or two people with issues, nowhere near as many as with the Vertex 3s. I'm wondering if maybe we've (I've) just become a little bit less trustful of OCZ since Vertex 3.

Interms of performance, Vertex 4 is at least as good as the Samsung 830 (except in compressible 128KB sequential reads, but matches or beats the 830 in everything else) so if they're similarly-priced, and you're happy to update the firmware if necessary, it's a really strong choice.
January 1, 2013 11:06:21 PM

I have a dell proprietary PSU, I'm not sure about the exact specifications of it but I do know it has 1000 watt. Could I perhaps just swap that into my new build? I don't know if it's single rail or what. But I have been running two 8800 GTX cards with it for years. My old computer was prone to crashes and random shutdowns and I do believe it was due to the PSU (unconfirmed) which is why I'm a bit iffy about using it in my new system. Any advice?

Also; What are the drawbacks of having a stronger-than-you-need PSU?
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