Need help deciding on gpu

I have pretty much become set on this build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AI0h
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AI0h/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/AI0h/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Thermaltake VL800P1W2N (Black/Red) ATX Mid Tower Case ($37.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $486.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-31 17:04 EST-0500)

I just can't decide what gpu to get. I will at the absolute most not a dime more spend 300, but obviously the cheaper the better. I plan on playing all the latest and most graphic intensive games, and I would like to be able to play them maxxed out or atleast on high. I know on paper amd gpu's are better, but nvidia seems to do better at some games and seems to have more technology along with nvidia keeping the drivers up to date better. Any reply would be great, thank you.
18 answers Last reply
More about need deciding
  1. 6950
  2. nooo, get the 7950! why get last gen tech? The 7950 is only $40 more and is much better

    If you want cheaper try the radeon 7870 or 660ti
  3. The 6950 seems a bit outdated, for the same price I could get the 7870 xt. But even though most people recommend amd I feel nvidia is the safer buy but I'm really not sure.
  4. If you are not planning on overclocking, then the unlocked i5-3570k isn't that useful, unless you can get it cheaper than the locked -5-3570, which at the moment appears to be the case. As long as you aren't overclocking, then the bundled CPU cooler will be fine, otherwise you will need a good aftermarket cooler (hyper 212 plus/evo; xigmatek dark knight hawk edition). If not overclocking you could save $40 by getting the i5-3470 at Microcenter, as its only 200 mhz slower than the i5-3570.

    That said, for what you want, spend as much as you can on the GPU. If you budget is $300, then I would recommend this MSI 660 ti, esepcially since you seem to be leaning toward Nvidia anyway.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127697

    Alternatively, if you want to try AMD, look at this 7950:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006


    Also, swap your case for the Corsair 200R, it is a much better case, in terms of airflow, layout, and design.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139018
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Corsair/Carbide_200R/6.html
  5. Azn Cracker said:
    nooo, get the 7950! why get last gen tech? The 7950 is only $40 more and is much better

    If you want cheaper try the radeon 7870 or 660ti


    What are the pros to nvidia over radeon and vice versa? Is there any reason to go with the gtx 660ti over the other options?
  6. aebome said:
    If you are not planning on overclocking, then the unlocked i5-3570k isn't that useful, unless you can get it cheaper than the locked -5-3570, which at the moment appears to be the case. As long as you aren't overclocking, then the bundled CPU cooler will be fine, otherwise you will need a good aftermarket cooler (hyper 212 plus/evo; xigmatek dark knight hawk edition). If not overclocking you could save $40 by getting the i5-3470 at Microcenter, as its only 200 mhz slower than the i5-3570.

    That said, for what you want, spend as much as you can on the GPU. If you budget is $300, then I would recommend this MSI 660 ti, esepcially since you seem to be leaning toward Nvidia anyway.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127697

    Alternatively, if you want to try AMD, look at this 7950:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006


    Also, swap your case for the Corsair 200R, it is a much better case, in terms of airflow, layout, and design.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139018
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Corsair/Carbide_200R/6.html


    I am not sure if I plan on overclocking, but I definitely want to keep the option out there, of course if I decide to overclock I will buy an aftermarket cooler. Is there a big pro to going nvidia over amd, because everyone on here tends to recommend amd, but for some reason I feel nvidia is a better purchase. Thanks
  7. AMD is working on addressing the issues, but TechReport identified frame buffering problems with the 7950 that led to potential stuttering in gameplay (quick overview w/ update: http://techreport.com/review/24218/a-driver-update-to-reduce-radeon-frame-times). The comparable 660 ti did not have these issues, but as I said, AMD is quickly working on addressing this (how many grains of salt you take this with depends on your feelings toward AMD).

    I think generally speaking the 7950 is recognized as having more potential power than the 660 ti, but isn't making full use of do to the above.

    Also, the 660ti is somewhat more power efficient. Nvidia's extras (physx, 3d vision) only matter if you actually care about them.
  8. aebome said:
    AMD is working on addressing the issues, but TechReport identified frame buffering problems with the 7950 that led to potential stuttering in gameplay (quick overview w/ update: http://techreport.com/review/24218/a-driver-update-to-reduce-radeon-frame-times). The comparable 660 ti did not have these issues, but as I said, AMD is quickly working on addressing this (how many grains of salt you take this with depends on your feelings toward AMD).

    I think generally speaking the 7950 is recognized as having more potential power than the 660 ti, but isn't making full use of do to the above.

    Also, the 660ti is somewhat more power efficient. Nvidia's extras (physx, 3d vision) only matter if you actually care about them.


    I've heard of physx before, but not sure of what exactly it is/does? Also are you implying that the 660ti is the better purchase, or would you recommend to go for the 7950?
  9. I think both would be good purchases. The 660 ti is cheaper (and the MSI i linked above has great reviews) but the 7950 has more potential power if it can get over the frame buffer problem.

    It comes down to personal preference (both cards are very capable) and what kinds of reviews you can find on individual cards.

    Personally, I would highly consider the MSI 660 ti, but thats just because I wouldn't want to wait for the potential AMD fix.

    EDIT: and I WOULD get the Corsair 200R. Best case in the $50 and under category and its only $35 after MIR ($45 before).
  10. From what I've heard, the 7950 is a slightly better overclocker, so that may be considered if your going down that route.
  11. aebome said:
    I think both would be good purchases. The 660 ti is cheaper (and the MSI i linked above has great reviews) but the 7950 has more potential power if it can get over the frame buffer problem.

    It comes down to personal preference (both cards are very capable) and what kinds of reviews you can find on individual cards.

    Personally, I would highly consider the MSI 660 ti, but thats just because I wouldn't want to wait for the potential AMD fix.

    EDIT: and I WOULD get the Corsair 200R. Best case in the $50 and under category and its only $35 after MIR ($45 before).


    Alright, I'm really leaning on the 660t ti because its only 270 and without the worries of the amd drivers. I plan on buying a 1920x1080 monitor. Will I be able to run all games on ultra? Even games like Metro 2033, BF3, GW2...
  12. This should demonstrate what the 660 ti can do, generally. It is presented with 7950 data as well, fyi.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/550?vs=647
  13. Alright, last question, you recommend the msi version, would it be worth going with the evga version to have the lifetime warranty? Also for like 10 for I could get an overclocked msi version, worth it?
  14. My thoughts: I don't put much stock in the "lifetime warranty" personally, because by the time the lifetime warranty would cover what the MSI warranty didn't (~3 years) wouldn't you rather just spend the money to update your GPU? You will be paying to ship the card to EVGA, and be out the weeks, probably, of having it fixed. just my opinion though.

    As for the overclocked MSI. Me, I'd be willing to see what I could to with the non-OC card and overclocking it myself using Catalyst Control Center or MSI Afterburner. Some people like knowing they have the good binned cards though. Again my opinion would be to stick with the stock MSI. Feel free to do different if you value what I don't.
  15. A 660ti will not be able to max out all games - a 670 will.

    By the way, drivers are NOT an issue with AMD, and haven't been for a very long time; since about a month after release, in fact. The 7950, considering it's insane overclocking headroom, is by FAR the better card - it'll match a stock 670.
  16. Would it be worth saving 70 bucks and getting the msi gtx660 twin frozr, the performance isn't that much worse. I was somewhat hearing that the 660ti was a rip off for the price. And 220 sounds alot better than 290 if you ask me.
  17. DarkSable said:
    A 660ti will not be able to max out all games - a 670 will.

    By the way, drivers are NOT an issue with AMD, and haven't been for a very long time; since about a month after release, in fact. The 7950, considering it's insane overclocking headroom, is by FAR the better card - it'll match a stock 670.


    I've decided that I don't want take my budget to the 660ti/7950 level, so basically its 660 vs 7870. In alot of games the 7870 will have the edge stock. The 660 I chose comes stock overclocked so I believe that will atleast be on par if not better in all ways with the 7870, that is why I am fairly sure I will go with the 660. If I spend the extra on a 7950 or 660ti, they'll become outdated in the same amount of time, and at that point I won't have to worry about building a whole system, so I'll probably just have to buy a gpu, meaning I could get a future get gtx770 or gtx 780 or whatever is top of the line at that point. I believe what I'm saying is logical, although maybe not.
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