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Graphics Card Opinion

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 25, 2012 2:24:55 AM

Hi, I was building a PC a few months ago but stopped because I moved. Well now I'm wanting to finish my project. It's a complete PC but it has some cheapy parts that need to be upgraded, such as the graphics card. I've been looking around the internet at so many cards, it's making my head spin... :pt1cable: 

I will post all the specs of my rig when I get home, but regardless of specs, what is the best graphics card for $100-$150? I've also heard that anything over 2gb is just a waste of money and a marketing trick. Therefore, I would prefer opinions on 2gb graphics cards. I'd also like an opinion on whether or not GDDR5 or DDR3 would be best for me. I don't play very many games, but the games I would play would be games like GTA4, Skyrim, and... Minecraft :p . I'm not so much worried about MC because the graphics card I have installed now can beast through it. HAHA.

Let me know your opinion, and like I said, I'll post the specs of my rig when I get home tomorrow.

Thanks in advance!

More about : graphics card opinion

a c 127 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 2:36:42 AM

Well, at that budget the best card you can afford would be a 1GB HD7850.
XFX 1GB HD7850. $170 ($20 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For 1080p gaming, you dont need above 2GB yes. But once you start hitting higher resolutions (1440p, Eyefinity/surround gaming) and cranking up the Anti-Aliasing, then the extra VRAM does help.
You are somewhat right though, manufacturers often do include too much VRAM on low end cards to make them seem better. The higher end cards that have double the usual RAM (4GB 670's for example) do have their uses in the situations above, but it is largely aimed at people who think more must be better.

Also if DDR3 was the memory used in graphics cards, you would see much less performance. GDDR5 is much faster and is what prety much all modern cards use nowadays.
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 2:43:22 AM

Hi. The best graphics card in that range is either the GTX 650 Ti or HD 7850 1GB depending on the price. You most likely won't find a card with over 2GB in that price range. GDDR5 is better. Depending on which resolution you play at you might not see any real improvement from 1 to 2GB. Here's some more information on that topic:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6359/the-nvidia-geforce-g...
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 2:52:15 AM

The card manofchalk linked to is what I meant by price range and had in mind. Make sure you have a quality PSU with enough power and cables.
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December 25, 2012 2:54:09 AM

So, from the info given above, I've gathered that I need to find a 1gb GDDR5 card. I dont mind paying over $150 for a card if it's just that worth it. My budget isn't set in stone. I just don't want to buy a card that has far more power than I really need. I would like to have my settings up, but I don't think they'll have to be maxed out. As long as there's no lag.. I HATE LAG.
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 2:58:42 AM

Well you can find more powerful 2GB graphics cards above $150 starting with the HD 7850 2GB then HD 7870, GTX 660, etc.
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 3:00:13 AM

At $150 and below go with that XFX 1GB card since it is the best card in that range.
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 3:02:48 AM

Your max budget, resolution, system spec, settings, titles, etc. will determine which card is best for you.
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 3:26:24 AM

Not that the card needs to be 1GB, just that at your budget that's all you can get.
My advice, get the best card you can afford (as in, you dont have to compromise something else in the rig too badly to afford it).
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December 25, 2012 5:25:52 AM

And, with the ShopRunner free 30-day trial I can get free 2-day shipping! Also, I kinda have a thing for orange. :)  I think this is the one, boys.
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 5:33:43 AM


That shows the overall performance of pretty much any graphics card of note at what chances are is your resolution. As you can see the 7850 comes out with 17% more performance overall. You could lower it a bit considering that result was likely based off the 2GB model, but you can see that it still comes out ahead.

Also consider that the 7850 comes with Far Cry 3, so you get a game either way.

EDIT: Here's the review I pulled the graph off, just realized that may be good to show.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 5:37:12 AM

If you can spend $25 more, I recommend this. Much better performance for a small price increase. And for $5 for than that GTX 650 Ti, you can get the HD 7850 2GB.

ZOTAC ZT-60901-10M GeForce GTX 660 2GB ($195 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You'll need to make sure you have a good PSU for it though.
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December 25, 2012 6:22:50 AM

How much better is the HD 7850 2gb than the Zotac 60901? I like the Zotac 60901, maybe even enough to reach a little out of my budget for it...?
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 6:30:30 AM

That Zotac is a GTX660, so 10% better performance according to the graph I posted.
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December 25, 2012 6:44:09 AM

Well it's settled then, I'm about 95% sure I will be ordering the Zotac GTX660 this week. I appreciate all of the help from you guys.

I'm new to this site, is there some kinda Like/+1/Thank button that I can press for y'all? I see a select as best answer, but I want to give credit to both of y'all.
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a c 127 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 7:36:45 AM

Just best answer, and you can only pick one.
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 4:59:09 PM

You're welcome and good luck with your build!
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!