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Need GPU for gaming rig

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December 18, 2012 2:04:33 PM

I need a good GPU for gaming pc build. I know nothing about them and need your guys' help. My budget for my whole computer will be roughly $1000 Canadian, I'll be buying a monitor, keyboard, and mouse with that too. Just lemme know what a good graphics card is for games such as:

Black Ops II
Minecraft
League of Legends
Runescape

I want to be able to run these games on nice graphics and have a smooth frame rate (50+)

More about : gpu gaming rig

a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 2:19:36 PM

so how much do you have to spend on the graphics card? I think a radeon 7870 or a radeon 7950 will suit your needs. Will be able to max out black ops

7870: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

7950: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Or if you are a fan of nvidia gpus. Get the gtx 670. Although it is on par with the 7950 but costs a little more. The only advantage on the nvidia card i can think of is phys x
compatibility.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 2:22:49 PM

I would say either the GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, or GTX 670 depending on how much you want to spend. The radeons will give you very slightly higher FPS but the nvidias will be smoother.
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a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 2:27:45 PM

Derza10 said:
I would say either the GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, or GTX 670 depending on how much you want to spend. The radeons will give you very slightly higher FPS but the nvidias will be smoother.

do you mean smoother as in more fps? Because i think the only thing nvidia has over amd is phys x. The graphics itself depend on the game engine.
a c 290 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 2:35:31 PM

At 1000 CAD with monitor included, you're looking at GTX 660. Something like this would work great:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($220.90 @ Amazon Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.16 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1035.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-18 11:34 EST-0500)

Also, I'd advice getting an aftermarket CPU cooler later (in 1 year maybe?) so you could overclock the CPU to get extra performance.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 2:39:30 PM

Derza10 said:
No i mean as in a lot less frame latency. I'll find you the benchmarks.

EDIT: http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

You can watch the videos of the 2 here also to see the difference.

http://www.techpowerup.com/177173/HD-7950-May-Give-High...

hmm wouldn't you only notice that if you slow if down like the videos? I go down to the comments of that article and everyone says they don't even notice it.

But it just sounds like a compatibility/driver issue and skyrim is not one of the games op listed.
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 2:42:23 PM

Azn Cracker said:
hmm wouldn't you only notice that if you slow if down like the videos? I go down to the comments of that article and everyone says they don't even notice it.

But it just sounds like a compatibility/driver issue and skyrim is not one of the games op listed.


Did you look at the other link? The one that showed the results from 7 different games? I would much rather have smoother gameplay then 1-3 fps...

And the comments are from people that have radeons and not Nvidias, when you have nothing to compare to sure you won't know the difference.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:07:16 PM

Derza10 said:
Did you look at the other link? The one that showed the results from 7 different games? I would much rather have smoother gameplay then 1-3 fps...

And the comments are from people that have radeons and not Nvidias, when you have nothing to compare to sure you won't know the difference.

Ok i did read the second article. The bench marks do indeed show that the latency is higher on the radeon. But the first comment of the article tells you why the test might be wrong/flawed. It has a lot of thumbs up so unless you are accusing that site to be full of fanboys, i think he MAY have a valid argument.

Anyways i giggled up some more forum pages and people switching from amd to nvidia, and nvidia to amd did not notice anything. So i think this latency issue is only noticeable if you put the game in slow motion.

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=372262


Also I know you did not accuse me of being a fan boy, but I want to make it clear that I am not one for I am currently using a nvidia card.
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 3:14:13 PM

Azn Cracker said:
Ok i did read the second article. The bench marks do indeed show that the latency is higher on the radeon. But the first comment of the article tells you why the test might be wrong/flawed. It has a lot of thumbs up so unless you are accusing that site to be full of fanboys, i think he MAY have a valid argument.

Anyways i giggled up some more forum pages and people switching from amd to nvidia, and nvidia to amd did not notice anything. So i think this latency issue is only noticeable if you put the game in slow motion.

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=372262


Also I know you did not accuse me of being a fan boy, but I want to make it clear that I am not one for I am currently using a nvidia card.


What is your link showing? I'm not sure how you are coming to the conclusion that its only in slow motion... You can read many older articles where the testers will mention these issues but don't have the benchmarks to prove it till now... It isn't unplayable by any means but it is there, and can be seen in normal gameplay.
December 18, 2012 3:14:16 PM

Derza10 said:
No i mean as in a lot less frame latency. I'll find you the benchmarks.

EDIT: http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-vs-ge...

You can watch the videos of the 2 here also to see the difference.

http://www.techpowerup.com/177173/HD-7950-May-Give-High...


Turn the flip quenue to 1, and there is a huge improvement in ltency and spikesl. Its likely a skyrim problem

Before quenue 1



After quenue 1




Just a minor technical oversight/driver issue it look like. Easy to fix


Personal tests: R7970 downclocked to R7950 level and no such stuttering detected: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2289641&hi...



http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2289641&hi...



To op get a Radeon hd 7870, that sthe best perform for your $
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 3:16:34 PM

burntpizza said:
Turn the flip quenue to 1, and there is no stutter at all. Its a skyrim problem

Before quenue 1

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/ICDP/FlipQueuedefault_zps109368db.png

After quenue 1

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b58/ICDP/FlipQueue1_zps815a7e95.png


Just a minor technical issue it look like.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2289641&hi...


What about the other 6 games they tested?... it isn't just skyrim. And i know its driver issues... but that changes nothing... its still there and drivers need to be fixed. I have a feeling when they do "fix" it the FPS of the radeon cards will suffer some.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:20:47 PM

sunius build is quite decent. id say go with this unless u prefer amd :) 
December 18, 2012 3:23:03 PM

Derza10 said:
What about the other 6 games they tested?... it isn't just skyrim.



Their old results which says radeon hd 7950 is as smooth as GTX 660 ti completely contradicts their new findings.
Most likely cause

1. Driver issue, 12.11 is still in beta, AMD says there is some work needed


There are many tests floating around say that it is a flip quenue error that causes the latency.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:28:14 PM

eh its always bugs or performance issues that need to get fixed, nothing new here.

both cards are great, to me its whatevers cheaper atm that counts.

because either way ur gonna have a solid card.

a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:28:32 PM

Derza10 said:
What is your link showing? I'm not sure how you are coming to the conclusion that its only in slow motion... You can read many older articles where the testers will mention these issues but don't have the benchmarks to prove it till now... It isn't unplayable by any means but it is there, and can be seen in normal gameplay.

The link i posted is a forum thread where some of the members say that they did not notice the latency issue when they switched from amd to nvidia or when they switched from nvidia to amd. I posted that link because you said people have nothing to compare their cards to, thats why it isn't noticeable. Im coming to the conclusion that you only notice the stutter in slow motion because people say they don't notice it. I can claim i don't notice it either. I played on my cousin's rig which has an amd card and compared it to mine, which has an nvidia card and did not notice any of the latency issues.
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 3:29:23 PM

burntpizza said:
Their old results which says radeon hd 7950 is as smooth as GTX 660 ti completely contradicts their new findings.
Most likely cause

1. Driver issue, 12.11 is still in beta, AMD says there is some work needed


There are many tests floating around say that it is a flip quenue error that causes the latency.


Even with the flip quenue setting changed you still see those big spikes in those graphs..
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:30:14 PM

eh its possible of this error, but amd card or nvidia has nothing to do with it, mostly a bug in drivers or the game and videocard having issues.

but for the most part cards seem to be lag free here if u got the right gear.

a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:37:34 PM

What's significant here is not the inconsistency of the Radeon (that's nothing new) but how well the GTX660 Ti does (which is something new). It was pointed out that previous testing showed both delivering inconsistent performance. In some games, Radeons were more consistent and in others GeForces were. Now, the situation has changed. Radeons didn't get any worse - GeForces got better.

When TR approached AMD and nVidia about a year ago to discuss the stuttering, both companies said they were aware of the issue and working hard to resolve it. nVidia said they actually had a project specifically aimed at more consistent framerate delivery. What we're seeing here may be the effect of that project, delivered through drivers. That's purely a guess, but I can't see any other way that hardware that previously delivered inconsistent performance is now silky smooth.

AMD may be able to achieve the same effect, but there's no way of knowing for certain. What we do know is that nVidia has already achieved it.
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 3:40:15 PM

sam_p_lay said:
What's significant here is not the inconsistency of the Radeon (that's nothing new) but how well the GTX660 Ti does (which is something new). It was pointed out that previous testing showed both delivering inconsistent performance. In some games, Radeons were more consistent and in others GeForces were. Now, the situation has changed. Radeons didn't get any worse - GeForces got better.

When TR approached AMD and nVidia about a year ago to discuss the stuttering, both companies said they were aware of the issue and working hard to resolve it. nVidia said they actually had a project specifically aimed at more consistent framerate delivery. What we're seeing here may be the effect of that project, delivered through drivers. That's purely a guess, but I can't see any other way that hardware that previously delivered inconsistent performance is now silky smooth.

AMD may be able to achieve the same effect, but there's no way of knowing for certain. What we do know is that nVidia has already achieved it.

^ exactly!
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 3:45:57 PM

And with regards to an inability to tell the difference, I think it's important to consider longevity / 'future-proofing'. A 7950 will look absolutely fine in most of today's games, but the frame latency problems will become much more noticeable as games become more demanding and framerates on these cards get lower with future games. To illustrate:

Today's games
- GeForce is rendering frames consistency at 12.5ms (equivalent to 80fps).
- Radeon is rendering frames inconsistently, varying from 10ms to 15ms (average is 83fps, range is 66fps to 100fps).
- Both cards are flawless.

Tomorrow's games*
- GeForce is rendering frames consistently at 25ms (equivalent to a consistently smooth 40fps).
- Radeon is rendering frames at between 20ms and 30ms (equivalent to fluctuations between 30fps and 50fps).
- GeForce delivers a much smoother, more consistently responsive experience.

* obviously nobody can predict the rate at which hardware requirements in games will increase, only that they will increase. Maybe the most demanding games of next year require double the muscle, or maybe that happens the year after. We know from history it's not a smooth progression anyway - look at the sudden jump in requirements when Crysis 1 was released!
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 4:18:55 PM

meh its all of ur needs and so on, for the most part u gotta upgrade a graphic card atleast once every 1year+ to get the max juice in ur games, but if ur sastified with lower settings no need to upgrade.

December 18, 2012 4:31:21 PM

Sunius said:
At 1000 CAD with monitor included, you're looking at GTX 660. Something like this would work great:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($220.90 @ Amazon Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.16 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1035.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-18 11:34 EST-0500)

Also, I'd advice getting an aftermarket CPU cooler later (in 1 year maybe?) so you could overclock the CPU to get extra performance.



i agree with most of these except imo a $1000 build needs a ssd. figure out a way to shave $90 off and get a 128GB ssd.
December 18, 2012 4:39:20 PM

sam_p_lay said:
And with regards to an inability to tell the difference, I think it's important to consider longevity / 'future-proofing'. A 7950 will look absolutely fine in most of today's games, but the frame latency problems will become much more noticeable as games become more demanding and framerates on these cards get lower with future games. To illustrate:

Today's games
- GeForce is rendering frames consistency at 12.5ms (equivalent to 80fps).
- Radeon is rendering frames inconsistently, varying from 10ms to 15ms (average is 83fps, range is 66fps to 100fps).
- Both cards are flawless.

Tomorrow's games*
- GeForce is rendering frames consistently at 25ms (equivalent to a consistently smooth 40fps).
- Radeon is rendering frames at between 20ms and 30ms (equivalent to fluctuations between 30fps and 50fps).
- GeForce delivers a much smoother, more consistently responsive experience.

* obviously nobody can predict the rate at which hardware requirements in games will increase, only that they will increase. Maybe the most demanding games of next year require double the muscle, or maybe that happens the year after. We know from history it's not a smooth progression anyway - look at the sudden jump in requirements when Crysis 1 was released!


you can always play the in the future game. what about in the future when games start using more then 2GB of vram?
a c 290 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 4:49:30 PM

^
Doesn't really matter. Games will still launch, though the fps will drop a little bit (nothing significant). Even though Battlefield 3 supposedly uses more than 1 GB of VRAM, but it works perfectly fine on my GTX 560 Ti 1 GB at 1920x1080, high settings preset and 60 fps.
December 18, 2012 5:17:19 PM

Sunius said:
^
Doesn't really matter. Games will still launch, though the fps will drop a little bit (nothing significant). Even though Battlefield 3 supposedly uses more than 1 GB of VRAM, but it works perfectly fine on my GTX 560 Ti 1 GB at 1920x1080, high settings preset and 60 fps.


doesn't really matter? that's funny. ever tried playing skyrim with the texture packs on a 1GB card?
a c 290 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:20:28 PM

Works fine.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:20:42 PM

jonjonjon said:
doesn't really matter? that's funny. ever tried playing skyrim with the texture packs on a 1GB card?


You're getting a bit side-tracked here. We're talking about 2GB limits. Sunius was using 1GB to illustrate a point, not to argue that 1GB is ample for everything. And I think we're a very long way off games requiring 3GB. Are game developers really going to cut out GTX680 owners? I can't see that happening for a long time.
December 18, 2012 5:25:29 PM

sam_p_lay said:
You're getting a bit side-tracked here. We're talking about 2GB limits. Sunius was using 1GB to illustrate a point, not to argue that 1GB is ample for everything. And I think we're a very long way off games requiring 3GB. Are game developers really going to cut out GTX680 owners? I can't see that happening for a long time.


just like we are a long way off from worrying about frame latency issues crippling a 7950. games may not require 3Gb but they might release texture packs for people with 3GB cards. especially if the 7XX cards come with 3GB of memory.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:30:56 PM

jonjonjon said:
just like we are a long way off from worrying about frame latency issues crippling a 7950. games may not require 3Gb but they might release texture packs for people with 3GB cards. especially if the 7XX cards come with 3GB of memory.


Are those texture packs actually from the developer or fan-made? And I'm pretty sure nobody said the 7950 would be 'crippled' (term is way overused anyway), but simply that the experience won't be as smooth as with nVidia hardware. For the money being spent, why not demand the best?
December 18, 2012 5:45:33 PM

i was just pointing out looking into the future doesn't make a lot of sense. especially when you are just guessing about it will be like. so why do gtx cards have 2GB of memory if it doesn't matter and they could just use 1GB? i guess there will also never be a use for 3GB of memory that the amd cards have.
a c 290 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:46:49 PM

I never said there wasn't use for it. Instead, I said that the performance penalty for running out of VRAM isn't that big.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:49:01 PM

And looking to the future always makes sense unless you upgrade every 6 months. I prefer for my hardware to last. Just because a 7850 for example handles most of today's games, does that mean it will handle GTA5 or Crysis 3? They're not far off. I always buy a bit more than what today's games need.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:53:09 PM

well sunius pc build is quite nice for the budget, were going with what the user asked for at the budget he needs to stay under :) , of course for more money u can always get faster but its a matter of budget and how much u can spend.

December 18, 2012 5:53:50 PM

sure if you have actual facts and numbers. not just making uninformed guesses.
December 18, 2012 5:55:03 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5805/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6...

Quote:

Wrapping things up, there is one question left I feel like we still don’t have a good answer to: how much RAM a $999 card should have. NVIDIA went with a true equal for the GTX 680 SLI, right down to the 2GB of VRAM per GPU. Looking back at what happened to the Radeon HD 5970 and its 1GB of VRAM per GPU – we can’t even run our 5760x1200 benchmarks on it, let alone a couple of 2560x1600 benchmarks – I’m left uneasy. None of our benchmarks today seem to require more than 2GB of VRAM, but that much VRAM has been common in high-end cards since late 2010; the day will come when 2GB isn’t enough, and I'm left to wonder when. A GTX 690 with 4GB of VRAM per GPU would be practically future-proof, but with 2GB of VRAM NVIDIA is going to be cutting it close.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 5:58:06 PM

yeah of course newer games are gonna require more than 2 gigs of v-memory but also

u need a card that can keep up and utilize the full 3-4 gigs of v-ram, and those cards are alot more pricey than the best bang for ur bucks 170-250$ cards.

December 18, 2012 6:06:18 PM

yea i agree. i never said he should get a card with 3GB. especially for a $1000 pc that also needs a monitor, keyboard and mouse.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 6:44:52 PM

jonjonjon said:
sure if you have actual facts and numbers. not just making uninformed guesses.


Facts and numbers from the future? And if you're not arguing the case for a 3GB card, why are you arguing? Just for the enjoyment of trolling? Seriously, I thought you were actually arguing for 3GB, not arguing for the hell of it.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 6:52:30 PM

look we can all agree the future will require more vram, but for the moment 2 gig seems nice, yes some games on ultra and all out anti aliasing might require u to tone down graphics but for 99% of the time is fine just make shur ur card can supply the beefy power required to run such settings
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 7:02:20 PM

Sounds like a level-headed response there :-) Moving on to other components/peripherals then?
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 7:08:37 PM

sunius build is great dude, what keyboard and mouse u need?
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 7:11:47 PM

Hope this new forum system is gonna do something about these... does Tom's even CAPTCHA? Better still, use reverse CAPTCHA. Or both!
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 7:13:34 PM

But but if they do that how will we ever find out about these great deals where we can make over $4k in 10 hours of work!
Or is that what it is saying? so hard to read the broken english.
December 18, 2012 7:22:15 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Facts and numbers from the future? And if you're not arguing the case for a 3GB card, why are you arguing? Just for the enjoyment of trolling? Seriously, I thought you were actually arguing for 3GB, not arguing for the hell of it.


yes if you know what requirements futures games will need. instead of just guessing. all i said was a 2GB card in the future could also be a issue and you said it wont be.

like this
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/12/03/crysis-3-system-requi...
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 7:25:50 PM

Derza10 said:
But but if they do that how will we ever find out about these great deals where we can make over $4k in 10 hours of work!
Or is that what it is saying? so hard to read the broken english.


LOL well mods were on it anyway :-) Best of luck to Jessica or whatever her name was...
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 8:02:49 PM

lol. am i missing something...
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 8:11:00 PM

Yes, a bot posted about making over 4k... a mod removed it shortly after.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 8:18:41 PM

good :)  damn spambots
December 18, 2012 8:24:26 PM

I'll just come in and say that you won't have a problems with either game since they are quite not heavy. the 660 and the 7870 will be more than enough. I would go with the 660 unless you are willing to spend I bit more and get a 670 or the 7950-7970, but that will go a bit over budget.
!