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Is a gtx280 really an upgrade for me?

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Last response: in Systems
January 23, 2013 5:36:22 PM

well just as the title says...
some details:
2 gx280's to replace my gts450
8gb ddr3 1600mhz
cpu is tbd at this time. currently tho is a regor 240 @ 3.2ghz
i just wasnt happy with the performance of my system in games and without really doing anything as far as testing goes i went ahead and bought 2 gtx 280's for 155$ thinking how could i go wrong. i know they dont have dx11 vs the 450gts but i thought that would be an ok trade off for better performance. i game at 1680x1050 and the occasional 1280x1080 (when the family relinqueshes control of the tv) and i like the graphics set to the max. i play bf3 crysis far cry civilization for now but would like my computer to handle really any game pretty good; and stay that way for a while. so; are they really a big upgrade? and what cpu would you recommend to pair with them? i just got an am3+ board (ga-990fxa-ud3) so good to go with a new series cpu... ive been eying the 4300.. what do you think? any input is greatly appreciated. waiting for memory to be shipped and test it out with what i have. thanks!

More about : gtx280 upgrade

a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 5:47:33 PM

I would at least get a 7770. The real gaming sweetspot is the 7870. Pair that with a fx-6300 and you will have a very nice build
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January 23, 2013 5:59:11 PM

so... no theyre not good enough? and my cpu could use an upgrade? are these cards really not going to run newer games like crysis3 farcry3 maybe black ops 2...?
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January 23, 2013 6:02:40 PM

Radeon HD 7870 is the best upgrade for you.

Nvidia GTX 280, 450, 650 or 660ti they don't match its performance in gaming

Even Tom agrees!
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January 23, 2013 6:26:20 PM

Blah... i can still return but i really figured two gtx280's for 150$ was ok and nothing was as good in that price range. 150$ or less... and that a second gts450 was not sufficient. i hear about all these driver problems with amd/ati cards and ive always used nvidia with no issues. kind of partial to nvidia.is the regor sufficient or no?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 6:26:44 PM

A pair of 280's is considerably more powerful than a 450. a single gtx280 is better than a 450 by itself. Even though SLI scaling was poor with the 200 series, and a second 280 only gives you about 50% more performance, it's still a big jump over the 450.

That Having been said, your $155 is still muhc better spent elsewhere. After rebate, you could pick up a 1gb HD 7850 for $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That card is considerably more powerful than the pair of 280's, and uses much less power .

The reports of AMD driver issues are greatly exaggerated. AMD's current drivers are very stable. I'm running a pair of Asus 7850's oc'd to 1200mhz core right now w/o a hiccup.

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January 23, 2013 6:35:58 PM

what about cpu? reading reviews and getting very mixed feedback.
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January 23, 2013 6:42:46 PM

thacondor said:
what about cpu? reading reviews and getting very mixed feedback.


Depends on your price range but the i5-3570k is the most recommended, you can't go wrong with it.
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January 23, 2013 6:47:30 PM

would like to not spend more then 130$ staying amd... board is fairly new as well.
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January 23, 2013 6:48:00 PM

quilciri said:
A pair of 280's is considerably more powerful than a 450. a single gtx280 is better than a 450 by itself. Even though SLI scaling was poor with the 200 series, and a second 280 only gives you about 50% more performance, it's still a big jump over the 450.

That Having been said, your $155 is still muhc better spent elsewhere. After rebate, you could pick up a 1gb HD 7850 for $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That card is considerably more powerful than the pair of 280's, and uses much less power .

The reports of AMD driver issues are greatly exaggerated. AMD's current drivers are very stable. I'm running a pair of Asus 7850's oc'd to 1200mhz core right now w/o a hiccup.



yup, just one 280 is better than a 450

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

280's in SLI might give you 560/650Ti like performance

good upgrade!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 6:56:34 PM

Your CPU most definitely needs an upgrade as well for the games you want to play. Between your CPU and your video card, the video card was *slightly* weaker, but a athlon x2 240 and a gts 450 are pretty well balanced.

If you want to be able to play crysis 3 and farcry 3, buying a 7850 now and saving up at least $80 for a better CPU is the best option.

However, If you have $155 total to spend on system upgrades, and you want to be able to play farcry3 and crysis3 right now, here is what I suggest

Athlon II X3 455 ($69.98 @ SuperBiz)

Buy a second 450 of the same make and model and RAM amount as the one you have and SLI them. (the 400 series SLI scales MUCH better than the 200 series. Even though one 280 > one 450, two 450's > two 280's.

A GTS 450 will be around $80 now.

good luck!
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January 23, 2013 7:06:02 PM

i can do 280$ tops, would even like to be under that a bit. so what say a gts450 and fx4300? will i be able to max at 1680x1050 and close to max at 1920x1080? save some money. wait for the new gen cards to drop in price...
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 7:15:35 PM

thacondor said:
i can do 280$ tops, would even like to be under that a bit. so what say a gts450 and fx4300? will i be able to max at 1680x1050 and close to max at 1920x1080? save some money. wait for the new gen cards to drop in price...


No, a pair of 450's won't be anywhere near max at 1920x1080 on those games, and it won't max them at 1680x1050 either. those are very demanding games. You won't be able to get near max on crysis3 on your budget, but we'll get you as close as possible for the money.

What is you motherboard? Assuming it's an AM3, and not an AM3+, for $280, I'd reccommend

$160 - HD 7850
$85 - Phenom II 965 Black
$25 (after MIR) - Hyper 212 EVo CPU cooler

I'm also assuming you already have at least 4gb of RAM.
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January 23, 2013 7:41:42 PM

Ga990fx-ud3 am3+...
8gb DDR3 1600
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 8:07:03 PM

Very nice motherboard. OK, sell the 450. You can easily get $50 for it.

FX 6300 ($140 @ newegg)
Hyper 212 EVo CPU cooler ($25 @ newegg after MIR)
HD 7850 ($160 @ newegg after MIR)

Overclock the 6300. There are tutorials all over the place on overclocking.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclocking-guide,...

Download Asus GPUtweak (works with any manufacturer) and overclock the 7850 to 960 mhz core. The card should be stable at that speed, download Uniengine heaven dx11 benchmark and let it run in a a loop for several hours to test. If it crashes, use a slight voltage bump (1.10-1.12v should do the trick without stressing temps)

have fun!
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January 23, 2013 8:28:23 PM

What about the 965be and a 2gb 560ti 256bit total 270$?
Will that get me close to where I want to be? Can sli down the road a little ways but for now will I be max or close to at 1680x1050?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 8:37:54 PM

thacondor said:
What about the 965be and a 2gb 560ti 256bit total 270$?
Will that get me close to where I want to be? Can sli down the road a little ways but for now will I be max or close to at 1680x1050?


7850 > 560ti. Charging $185 for a 560ti is a ripoff.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

The 965/7850 combo is a good one, especially once you overclock. The 6300 will give you a bit more longevity, though. If you're able to stretch your budget a bit more by selling the 450, I highly reccomend going with the 6300, as it's effectively the best gaming processor the AM3+ platform will get.

The reason I reccomend the 6300 over the 4300 is because there's only a $10 difference between them, giving you another 2 "cores" for $10.
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January 23, 2013 9:01:18 PM

Cool thank you for the advice. Going to get the 965 and 7850. Is that 7850 going to max out 1680/1050? Will 2? How about 1080?
Will get the 6300 down the road a bit.
Which 560 ti is that tho? 1gb? 192bit. I'm talking 2gb 256bit... They don't differentiate on the chart.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 9:40:12 PM

thacondor said:
Cool thank you for the advice. Going to get the 965 and 7850. Is that 7850 going to max out 1680/1050? Will 2? How about 1080?
Will get the 6300 down the road a bit.
Which 560 ti is that tho? 1gb? 192bit. I'm talking 2gb 256bit... They don't differentiate on the chart.


Crysis 3 will reqire a ridiculous rig to max out, you should forget about that one. My pair of 7850's won't be able to max it out at 1920x1080.

It will max out nearly game in existence at 1680x1050, though, especially when you tweak the clock a bit. It *may* not max out farcry3, but it'll get pretty damn close.

If you get the 965 now, you shouldn't bother getting the 6300 later. It's not really worth ditching the 965 for. At that point, you should scrap the platform and go for a new build.
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January 23, 2013 9:49:29 PM

guilciri is spot on...

I'd aim for a fx chip and a 7850 2 gigs and call it a day. To max out games like Far Cry 3 can cost over 1k in hardware. I am not sure that maxing it out is a good goal when your budget is so low.

Return the 280s (btw not all that bad a move but not ideal). Sell the 450. Maybe get a gpu in the 7xxx range with a game code and sell the game to max out your budget.
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January 23, 2013 9:50:20 PM

Best answer selected by thacondor.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2013 10:14:53 PM

thacondor said:
Which 560 ti is that tho? 1gb? 192bit. I'm talking 2gb 256bit... They don't differentiate on the chart.


Both 560ti's are there in the chart - same performance tier - they differentiate by core count, which makes a bigger difference in performance. the cards are listed as the 560ti and the 560ti 448 core.
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