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Wanting a new graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 23, 2012 2:38:42 AM

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month, definitely by 1/31 BUDGET RANGE: USD $100 max before rebates would prefer 90-60

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
I'd like to be able to still play Crysis 2, I play Minecraft and L4D2 mostly but seeing as a new GTA is coming out soon I know I will be playing that. I am also looking for blu-ray support. Past that I watch a lot of Netflix, but i think that is covered by previous demands :) 

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
BFG 260GTX oc ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and a
Thermaltake 750( http://www.microcenter.com/product/383021/SMART_Series_... )

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Antec 300 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
i5-750
Gigabyte mobo with PCIe 2.0 ( http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... )
OCZ 1333 8Gb ram
two front fans, two top rear fans

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg or microcenter COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Colorado, US

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference, I always look at specific models review what not to make the best choice within budget.

OVERCLOCKING: nope. I like to buy and use things as is :)  SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Nope, one card to rule them all

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Torn between passive and active cooling, will not go to liquid. I have room for a fan that would point right at the card, though. So I could put a nice large fan that would provide some air flow. I also am looking to reclaim some of the space lost due to the size of my current card but given my price range I think that is a given. I got this card from a guy on Craigslist as a part of the build I got from him, so I didn't exactly "want" the 260GTX, but given he asking price i was getting a helluvah a deal.
I am also trying to just use less power since I think I can get similar performance to my 260GTX with non"Gamer" cards (tell me if i am wrong)

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I have looked at these ones
Sapphire Tech AMD Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate
http://www.microcenter.com/product/402916/100326UL_AMD_...

ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GT 520
http://www.microcenter.com/product/385044/ENGT520_SL-DI...(LP)_NVIDIA_GeForce_GT_520_2048MB_DDR3_PCIe_20_x16_Video_Card

XFX NVIDIA GeForce GT 520
http://www.microcenter.com/product/377027/GT-520M-CNF2_...

XFX AMD Radeon HD 6450
http://www.microcenter.com/product/402803/HD-645X-CNHV_...

Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce GT 620
http://www.microcenter.com/product/391184/GV-N610SL-1GI...


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Credits: This post was inspired by, and modeled on, theAnimal's How to Ask for New Build Advice Thread in the Home Build forum. Big thanks to him for his hard work on that thread, which made this one much easier.

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a c 134 U Graphics card
December 23, 2012 3:48:20 AM

I'm more towards active cooling on card I feel you will have a longer lasting card by going that route. The issue I have with the cards you are looking at with the exclusion of the 6670 is that you are looking at lower end cards which may be able to play the games that you are looking to play they wont play them well. The cards you have listed are more aimed towards home theatre pcs that need HDCP compliance and also for general consumers who want things like multi displays on the cheap.
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a b U Graphics card
December 23, 2012 3:48:20 AM

I would be looking at a HD7770 if you can get one within your budget, else if you could afford I would be looking at moving upto a HD7850/7970 money permitting
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a c 134 U Graphics card
December 23, 2012 3:52:57 AM

Agreed a 7700 being the starting point and onward. There are also NV cards you could consider on the way as well.

7850>660>670(at the moment because of price just my thought)=7970
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December 23, 2012 4:17:10 AM

So, bigshootr8, what you are saying is that if I want to keep enjoying my games as i have been I would need to consider another high-end card? Going down the 7770 direction: what is the difference between a 7770 and a 7750 (aside from what a comparison on newegg tells me) and likewise for a 660 over a 650 ( considering there a double in price?)
Also I am unclear on what the advantages to more RAM are. I understand how it effects the computer itself but in terms of graphics how does RAM affect things?
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a b U Graphics card
December 23, 2012 5:02:47 AM

lol the current gpu that you own is a gtx 260 which is much superior than the cards you are looking for . which means you are actually downgrading.
the minimum upgrade i would suggest over the 260 is the 7850. even the 7770 is not much of an upgrade.
get the 7850 its the best mid range graphics card of this generation
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a c 141 U Graphics card
December 23, 2012 5:03:18 AM

I think you should seriously save up some more money before upgrading your graphics card. $100 will only really buy you a sidegrade from a GTX 260, and not a real upgrade. The Radeon HD 7750 is the best card available for $100 right now. It performs similarly to your GTX 260, but uses a lot less power, and has DX11 support (though it really isn't fast enough to really take advantage of DX11 features). The 7770 is a better choice, but wouldn't be a huge upgrade for you either, approximately 10% faster than what you have now.

You probably should be looking at a Radeon HD 7850 or GTX 660 at minimum for a really worthwhile upgrade.

More graphics memory means more room for high resolution textures and the like. More and more games are incorporating high res textures, and other features that use lots of video memory. If you have a higher resolution display, eg. 1080p or higher, it is worthwhile to get a 2GB card, though most cards that are powerful enough to benefit from more than 1GB of memory will come with 2GB as a standard feature, the notable exception this generation being the 1GB version of the Radeon HD 7850. The extra memory can really help with performance, because if the GPU needs more memory than it has available, it goes to the system memory, which is much slower, leading to degraded performance.
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December 23, 2012 5:18:10 AM

Best answer selected by designdroide.
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December 23, 2012 5:19:20 AM

I only looked at those ones because I was hoping to reclaim some space, and therefore airflow improvements. If I hold off another month I can easily justify a 7850 or GTX 660.

Thanks for all the help, guys!
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