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Graphics card for first time builder

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December 18, 2012 6:21:14 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of the year
Budget: $200-$350 before rebate

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:Gaming, streaming games on pc, tv/movies

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: First build so no graphics card. psu is a Corsair HX850 gold certified

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sR7f

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg is preferred. Other websites such as ncix or amazon is alright. ( I dont know these sites well enough)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: California, US

PARTS PREFERENCES: not enough knowledge to have a real preference but I have read Asus has a great custom fan config.

OVERCLOCKING: maybe, still new to pc building

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: possibly in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION:at the moment 1920x1080 considering a 2nd monitor of the same resolution

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: do not have the gpu,cpu and mobo as of yet. I have tested the other products on my friends rig and it works fine.


thank you for your time and help :D 
a c 109 U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 6:32:39 PM

Budget for the card ?

You can get a 670 gtx asus or 7970 asus matrix(if you prefer amd).
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December 18, 2012 6:42:59 PM

It's all going to depend on your budget.
Here's some helpful charts,

Overall Performance Summary
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Club_3D/HD_7870_joke...

Performance per Dollar Summary
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Club_3D/HD_7870_joke...

Scroll down to the 1920x1200 resolution, that's about the same pixel count as 1080P.

Don't buy a card with the promise of overclocking (they don't all do it well).

Don't buy a card with SLI or Crossfire in mind, multi card setups only work as well as their driver support and when they don't work you only get as much performance as a single card(sometimes worse).
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December 18, 2012 6:52:23 PM

I'm terribly sorry. I knew I was missing something when I posted this. My budget is around $200-$350
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December 18, 2012 6:57:29 PM

Looks like you can get into a nice 7950+Boost card for $299.

(This card will exhaust heat outside of your case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(This card will exhaust heat into your case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Stepping down the stack a little is a 7870 $260
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Obviously you could grab an Nvidia card. I'm a bit more of a fan of AMD though.
I'd take a peek at the chart I linked you earlier and see where the cards stack in the chart and find the best price you can. I'd personnally suggest cards from Asus, HIS, Sapphire and MSI.
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a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 6:59:45 PM

djangoringo said:
Budget for the card ?

You can get a 670 gtx asus or 7970 asus matrix(if you prefer amd).


+1.

These are 2 excellent cards especially if he plans to run 2 monitors at 1080p.
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December 18, 2012 7:02:51 PM

dannoddd said:
Looks like you can get into a nice 7950+Boost card for $299.

(This card will exhaust heat outside of your case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(This card will exhaust heat into your case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Stepping down the stack a little is a 7870 $299
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Obviously you could grab an Nvidia card. I'm a bit more of a fan of AMD though.
I'd take a peek at the chart I linked you earlier and see where the cards stack in the chart and find the best price you can. I'd personnally suggest cards from Asus, HIS, Sapphire and MSI.



Is there any note worthy nvidia video cards? I was considering increasing my budget to get a gtx 670. what are the pros and cons of a blower style fan compared to duel fans that blow inside the case?
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a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 7:14:55 PM

Bag the i7 and get an i5 instead. Theres a $100 saved that wont do yo a single bit of good in gaming unless you are an avid FSX user (and then I doubnt you'd be asking for help here) I5-3570k is a really sweet gaming processor.

You might be able to save another 10-20 bucks by dropping to 1600mhz ram.

heres 8gb low profile kit because 16gb is just way to much for gaming
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $46

and heres the 16gb kit if you really want it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $70
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December 18, 2012 7:17:09 PM

Looking at Nvidia cards you're looking at a 660ti or a 670. The AMD options are both faster overall, however depending on the game you're playing you may be better suited with the Nvidia cards. If you plan on adding a 3rd monitor down the road, you're again better off with the AMD option, as they're a bit more solid with Eyefinity configurations.

Regarding the fans, your GPU is going to produce X amount of heat, regardless of the heatsink or the fans on the card. The heatsink and fans only transfer the heat out of the GPU, then it goes somewhere. With a blower style fan it's going to push that heat outside of your case. With the radial fans it's going to blow that heat into your case, driving up the temperatures on everything in your case.

The main drawback to a blower style fan is that they can be noisy, the HIS ICE-Q are pretty quiet however. Even quieter than some of the radial solutions out there.

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December 18, 2012 7:18:12 PM

If you can, bag the i7 then get a radeon hd 7970
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December 18, 2012 7:25:50 PM

dannoddd said:
Looking at Nvidia cards you're looking at a 660ti or a 670. The AMD options are both faster overall, however depending on the game you're playing you may be better suited with the Nvidia cards. If you plan on adding a 3rd monitor down the road, you're again better off with the AMD option, as they're a bit more solid with Eyefinity configurations.

Regarding the fans, your GPU is going to produce X amount of heat, regardless of the heatsink or the fans on the card. The heatsink and fans only transfer the heat out of the GPU, then it goes somewhere. With a blower style fan it's going to push that heat outside of your case. With the radial fans it's going to blow that heat into your case, driving up the temperatures on everything in your case.

The main drawback to a blower style fan is that they can be noisy, the HIS ICE-Q are pretty quiet however. Even quieter than some of the radial solutions out there.


With the radial fans if you have good airflow within the case it wouldn't really matter would it?

As for amd cards. I've heard there have been issues with stuttering. With the new drivers that have come out recently is this still an issue?
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December 18, 2012 7:32:03 PM

Proper case airflow will certainly negate the issue. You might still be a few degrees hotter than a blower but it's usually not an issue. Plenty of people use them and are very happy.

I've never noticed a micro-stutter issue with my AMD cards. I'm pretty sensitive to framerates below 60 (i play with v-sync on a 60hz monitor). I however, haven't been privileged to step up to an HD 7 series, i'm still on a 6970.

I read this article on TPU! about this very statement.
http://www.techpowerup.com/177173/HD-7950-May-Give-High...

I didn't notice any different between the video, and a lot of people are calling biased BS on the whole situation. I'd look into it yourself and see if there's merit. I certainly don't see it.

Regardless, AMD responded to the article saying that the variance they tested will be resolved in the next driver update.
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December 18, 2012 7:56:02 PM

dannoddd said:
Proper case airflow will certainly negate the issue. You might still be a few degrees hotter than a blower but it's usually not an issue. Plenty of people use them and are very happy.

I've never noticed a micro-stutter issue with my AMD cards. I'm pretty sensitive to framerates below 60 (i play with v-sync on a 60hz monitor). I however, haven't been privileged to step up to an HD 7 series, i'm still on a 6970.

I read this article on TPU! about this very statement.
http://www.techpowerup.com/177173/HD-7950-May-Give-High...

I didn't notice any different between the video, and a lot of people are calling biased BS on the whole situation. I'd look into it yourself and see if there's merit. I certainly don't see it.

Regardless, AMD responded to the article saying that the variance they tested will be resolved in the next driver update.



I have researched many times and my verdict is that it is an opinionated answer. I have always known to be an nvidia fan personally until I had an AMD 4600 series card which I was fascinated at the performance it had. this was back and radeon was ATI of course. If I were to go AMD which manufacturer would you prefer based on their cooling system?
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a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 7:56:33 PM

stevenk92 said:
Is there any note worthy nvidia video cards? I was considering increasing my budget to get a gtx 670. what are the pros and cons of a blower style fan compared to duel fans that blow inside the case?


If you have a good case with good ventilation I recommend to have dual fans that will blow inside the case (the hot air will be taken out by the huge case fans anyways). The "blower style" that is supposed to blow only outside tend to run hotter and be more noisy.
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a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2012 8:02:26 PM

stevenk92 said:
I have researched many times and my verdict is that it is an opinionated answer. I have always known to be an nvidia fan personally until I had an AMD 4600 series card which I was fascinated at the performance it had. this was back and radeon was ATI of course. If I were to go AMD which manufacturer would you prefer based on their cooling system?


You are right that it is an opinionated answer, both ATI and Nvidia have great products on each side.

Good manufacturers for ATI are: Sapphire, XFX, MSI, etc...

Good manufacturers for nvidia are: EVGA, Asus, MSI, etc...
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December 18, 2012 8:11:01 PM

I would recommend ASUS, Sapphire, MSI and HIS. I would not recommend XFX, I've never had a good card from them since the HD4870 I had. They've been junk ever since.

I've never had a bad ASUS card. Here's a link to a Toms article comparing some of the big names on a 7950. The fan noise youtube links are the most interesting part.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-revi...

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December 18, 2012 8:41:17 PM

MC_K7 said:
If you have a good case with good ventilation I recommend to have dual fans that will blow inside the case (the hot air will be taken out by the huge case fans anyways). The "blower style" that is supposed to blow only outside tend to run hotter and be more noisy.



I have the CM storm trooper with all its fan slots filled. 200mm top fan, rear 140mm both exhaust. 2x120mm front fan, 2x120mm bottom, 2x120mm side fan all intake.

I hear MSI has coil whining issues?
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