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GeForce GT 430 or GeForce GTX 550 Ti?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 5, 2012 4:59:42 PM

Wondering which graphics card I should get, this is my first build. I'm looking between these two cards, but I'm also open to suggestions...

GIGABYTE GV-N430-2GI GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card


EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Here's the components I already have(budget build, about $330 so far)
ASRock 770iCafe AM3+ AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Sempron 145 Sargas 2.8GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Desktop Processor SDX145HBGMBOX

Pareema 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model MD313C81609L1

Rosewill RNX-G300EX IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless Card Up to 54Mbps Data Rates 64/128bit WEP WPA WPA2 802.1x, 802.11i, AES, ...

LOGISYS Computer PS575XBK 575W ATX12V SLI Ready Power Supply

COOLER MASTER Elite 330 Upgraded RC-330U-KKN1 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

ASUS VE198T Black 19" LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers

I'm wondering which graphics card I need, since I don't game all the time, but I want to be able to play Dragon Age at least. How much is the single-core cpu going to limit gaming, regardless of how good the graphics card is?

Thanks for your time:) 
Anonymous
November 5, 2012 5:20:45 PM

The GTX 550 Ti is a definite "yes" if you need the performance. It performs much better than the GT 430. The only problem is that you have a single core processor which will bottlekneck your GPU massively. You could buy the GTX 550 Ti and if you get a better CPU in the near future then you can take advantage of it. Meanwhile your PSU is probably good enough even though it's not 80+ certified.

All I can say is that your CPU will not allow you to take advantage of a good card. You may want to consider updating your CPU and possibly RAM first before getting a good card.
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November 5, 2012 5:24:22 PM

Thanks! I admittedly went for the cheap processor, so I totally get what you're saying. I have heard that it is possible to unlock a second core on this CPU/MOBO combination, is this true? Also, my case has room for like 5+ fans, so is there any overclocking I can safely attempt with this cpu?
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a c 102 U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 5:34:23 PM

If I were you, I would get an hd7770 which will be better than the 550ti and use much less power. Your CPU will still bottleneck pretty bad. I would recommend hitting ebay or looking for OEM chips on newegg and looking for a phenom 2 x4 chip. New they are like $80-$90 and i'm sure you could get a lightly used one for half that.
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November 5, 2012 5:40:40 PM

Thanks for the tip, I'll look into the phenom IIx4. Unfortunately, all the hd7770s seem to be PCI 3.0, and my mobo only has 2.0.

Edit: Duh, they're backwards compatible:)  Can you tell it's my first build?

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a c 102 U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 5:49:26 PM

There is currently no difference between a 3.0 and a 2.0 slot. Any 3.0 card will perform the same in your 2.0 slot. I have a 7770 in a 2.0 slot myself.
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November 5, 2012 6:22:17 PM

Awesome! Thanks dude. What about this card, it's only $64 on newegg after rebate: GeForce GT 640 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
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Anonymous
November 5, 2012 6:29:22 PM

tristmegistus said:
Awesome! Thanks dude. What about this card, it's only $64 on newegg after rebate: GeForce GT 640 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card


Still, that card won't give much graphics performance. You need to be looking at the GTXs. If you're not planning to update your CPU then it should be a fine GPU, but don't expect miracles.
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November 5, 2012 6:33:00 PM

Oh, didn't notice that. You're right, and there's not enough of a price difference to go for the GT.
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Anonymous
November 5, 2012 6:38:02 PM

All I can really say is that a GT 430 will be quite slow, along with the GT 640 quite a bit faster but still slower than a GTX 550 Ti. With your system you can't really take advantage of good graphics. Most new games will not run with a single core so until you've upgraded your CPU there is real point of a new GPU. I'm not trying to discourage you from getting a new GPU because you could get more out of it once you have a newer CPU (if you get one).
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 6:44:20 PM

tristmegistus said:
Thanks! I admittedly went for the cheap processor, so I totally get what you're saying. I have heard that it is possible to unlock a second core on this CPU/MOBO combination, is this true? Also, my case has room for like 5+ fans, so is there any overclocking I can safely attempt with this cpu?


Take a look here... http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...


I'm not sure what your total budget is, but even a Dual Core Sandy Bridge CPU is leaps and bounds better than what you have and wont bottleneck your GPU.

If you arent seriously gaming, then an i3/i5 is probably overkill.
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November 5, 2012 6:47:26 PM

I'm definitely going to upgrade my CPU within the next year, so I'm leaning towards the hd7770. How much better is it over the GTX 550ti? Money is kinda tight right now, but I don't want to haveta upgrade my VGA soon as well. I'm also praying that I can unlock the second core on that AMD CPU(it's on the way right now). Kinda kicking myself for going that cheap on the CPU, but if I can unlock that core I'll be fine for awhile(at least until quad or hex cores are a little cheaper)
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 6:50:34 PM

tristmegistus said:
I'm definitely going to upgrade my CPU within the next year, so I'm leaning towards the hd7770. How much better is it over the GTX 550ti? Money is kinda tight right now, but I don't want to haveta upgrade my VGA soon as well. I'm also praying that I can unlock the second core on that AMD CPU(it's on the way right now). Kinda kicking myself for going that cheap on the CPU, but if I can unlock that core I'll be fine for awhile(at least until quad or hex cores are a little cheaper)


Depending on the game a 7770 is about ~5-10%(if that much) faster. In some titles its a little slower, in some its a bit faster than a 550ti. It really depends on the title.

I wouldn't put any stock into "unlocking a locked core". You can ruin your CPU and void any warranty. Better to spend the extra $30-40 now then regret it in the future. Its not a smart decision at all.
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November 5, 2012 8:54:34 PM

All right, ya sold me guys:)  That sandy bridge looks nice, but I've already got the amd mobo... Whadya think of the AMD FX-6100, seems pretty good for only $120. WAY cheaper than I thought a six-core would be.

Also, what's your opinion on cpu/gpu combos? If I install a dedicated video card later, will there be a benefit to using both, or will it just drain more power?

I'm really tempted to get the AMD FX-6100 and GTX 550ti, but I only have about $200 budget left, might have to wait for something to go on sale.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 9:25:46 PM

Hi:
HD7770 beats the 550Ti hands down.
I just compared these two cards for someone else. The HD7770 performs BETTER in games, is quieter, consumes less power, and is newer so it will also perform even better (compared to 550Ti) in future games as certain features are optimized.

Get dedicated card later?
What do you mean? If you're referring to APU's (CPU + GPU) stay away from them completely. Unlike CPU's, even ones from Intel that have a GPU installed, APU's can NOT disable the onboard graphics.

I'll say it again, when you buy an APU you can't simply add any graphics card you want to the system, you have to use an IDENTICAL (and low-end) card to the GPU portion of the APU in a Crossfire setup (also not desired to to Micro-stutter).

Budget gaming rig:
On an extreme budget the advantage goes to AMD:
AMD CPU + HD7770

Cheers.
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