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Upgrading from Radeon HD 6670: Power/Bottleneck Q's

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 9, 2012 6:18:23 PM

As the title says, I'm planning to upgrade from the Radeon HD 6670 in the near future. Performance has been okay but it was always a "tide me over" part until I could put some real power in it. I intend on going to Nvidia this time and I have my eyes set on either the GTX 550 ti or the GTX 650. According to benchmarks and specs I should a pretty decent performance increase.

I'm pretty sure I won't have issues with power when it comes to the GTX 650 since it is only 64 watts as opposed to the HD 6670's 63 watts. The 550 ti on the other hand is making me a bit uneasy with it's higher power needs. Currently I'm sporting a Corsair Builder Series CX430 430W. So can my PSU handle the 550 ti? Since these models are mostly in the same price range, and the 550 ti appears to have slightly better performance (correct me if I'm wrong on that!) it might be in my best interest to get it. I'm not terribly concerned about energy efficiency as long as I don't burn anything out!

My last question is more simple. Currently I've got an AMD Athlon II X3 450 and I'm wondering if that'll be a bottle neck for either of the Nvidia cards. In February I'll most likely be bumping myself up to a Phenom II X6 1045T so that ought to preclude anything limitations. Any advice in this area would be much appriciated.

Thanks in advance
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 7:35:47 PM

As far as your CPU goes - some of the more cpu-intensive games may show less improvement versus the graphics-bound games. All the cards under consideration should still run well enough with your chip although upgrading the cpu would still be worthwhile.

Your PSU should be fine with a 550 ti or it should also handle a 7770 (despite the 500w requirement they list). Personally I'd go with a 7770 since it beats each of your other choices (and yes, I also realize the price is a little higher).

If you are uncomfortable with the 7770 with your PSU or if you insist on Nvidia, then compare the benches on games you will play between the 550 ti and the 650. They are similar, the 550 ti seems to edge out a win in most cases but not in every game (see the review): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...
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a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 7:46:05 PM

The GTX 650 draws ~ 180W at peak, depending if you're overclocking or not and the specific model. The Radeon 7770 hits ~155W at peak while the GTX 550 Ti can hit ~175W at load. Your PSU matters.
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a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 7:57:42 PM

dscudella said:
The GTX 650 draws ~ 180W at peak, depending if you're overclocking or not and the specific model. The Radeon 7770 hits ~155W at peak while the GTX 550 Ti can hit ~175W at load. Your PSU matters.

Not disputing you, but where did you get those numbers? The gtx 650 that Tom's reviewed was no where near the 7770 in peak system draw (agreed that system draw is different but...they are praising it as having less draw than the 7750...): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...
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a c 117 U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 8:13:47 PM

you'll be fine. the CX430 will handle ANY cpu and single graphics card that needs ONE 6 pin power connection.

don't believe me? though i am not a fan of online calculators . .
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

the recommended PSU wattage is 347 with a 550ti and a PIIx6 1045t overclocked to 3.6 Ghz . . .
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a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2012 8:29:49 PM

larkspur said:
Not disputing you, but where did you get those numbers? The gtx 650 that Tom's reviewed was no where near the 7770 in peak system draw (agreed that system draw is different but...they are praising it as having less draw than the 7750...): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-gef...


I got the info from Realworldlabs.com. They're a partner site of Anandtech.



Edit: I don't how "trustworthy" they are in terms of their benchmarks and what not, but they have a lot of very detailed reviews.

Edit #2: After reading Tom's they have a very different story to tell. GTX 650: 238W Load 7770: 262W Load Unless I'm reading it wrong (if I am please correct me) Tom's has the power draw almost 60W higher on the GTX 650
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November 9, 2012 9:43:03 PM

larkspur said:
Your PSU should be fine with a 550 ti or it should also handle a 7770 (despite the 500w requirement they list). Personally I'd go with a 7770 since it beats each of your other choices (and yes, I also realize the price is a little higher).


I have to keep it in this range because it's being gifted to me. I forgot to mention a pretty rigid budget as a result. You'd think I'd have remembered the forum etiquette of listing that!

Quote:
you'll be fine. the CX430 will handle ANY cpu and single graphics card that needs ONE 6 pin power connection.

don't believe me? though i am not a fan of online calculators . .
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/7284/capture8h.jpg
the recommended PSU wattage is 347 with a 550ti and a PIIx6 1045t overclocked to 3.6 Ghz . . .


Thanks for this tool, it appears to be rather helpful. If it is anything to go by as a "rule of thumb" I'm well in the safe zone. I prefer to run everything at stock frequencies. Hitting a recommended 325W for a 90% load case. Glad I took the time to pick a decent PSU!

So, it's looking like now I'll need to look at some game benchmarks to see which of these cards would be best for my use cases.
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