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Choosing a graphics card for $200-275

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  • Nvidia
  • EVGA
  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2012 8:17:54 PM

Hi everybody!
I'm building a rig with the Amd fx350 and have everything chosen except for a graphics card. I am planning to use it for a mix of autodesk inventor 3d modeling, programming(once i get into it), and some light gaming. I have about 200-275 dollars allocated for the GPU but I would like to keep it in the low 200 range. I don't have the money for a workstation card to use for the 3d modeling so have decided on the following options listed in order of price:

EVGA GTX 480 $199.99

EVGA GTX 570 $239.99

EVGA GTX 660Ti $269.99

Does anyone know which one I should buy or have any other suggestions that beat these in benchmarks or price vs performance?
Thank you!

More about : choosing graphics card 200 275

a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2012 8:27:22 PM

7950's are good and are right in your price range as well. But, since the 660Ti's have dropped in price a little bit I'd go with one of them. Even though, with the new drivers the 7950's run much better in certain games than they used to. The 480, and 570, are more or less phased out now by the 660.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/550?vs=647
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a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2012 8:28:45 PM

You can also look at the 7870 if you decide you don't want to spend quite so much, they cost around $240 and I'd recommend one of them over a 480/570.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 135 U Graphics card
December 27, 2012 8:36:44 PM

Out of the ones you have outlined the 660Ti will provide the best performing card for you.
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December 28, 2012 4:45:55 PM

Thanks for the advice! I'll look around some more and make my final decision.
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December 28, 2012 6:54:07 PM

I looked around some more and am still not sure, many of these benchmarks such as passmark (which I was looking at) seem to be more geared towards gaming. Since I'm only doing light gaming, and am more worried about 3d modeling, I was wondering if there was a workstation card or something similar in my price range. Thank you!
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 135 U Graphics card
December 28, 2012 7:03:59 PM

Well you do get CUDA processing with the nvidia cards the only issue at hand here is that workstation cards can be quite pricey in comparison how expensive of a workstation card would you be willing to go.

here is something in that range price wise. You probably won't get much gaming out of the card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 28, 2012 8:00:10 PM

I was thinking, since gaming cards are cheaper, will I get as good performance for 3d cad from a gaming card?
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December 28, 2012 8:46:29 PM

gabsillis said:
Hi everybody!
I'm building a rig with the Amd fx350 and have everything chosen except for a graphics card. I am planning to use it for a mix of autodesk inventor 3d modeling, programming(once i get into it), and some light gaming. I have about 200-275 dollars allocated for the GPU but I would like to keep it in the low 200 range. I don't have the money for a workstation card to use for the 3d modeling so have decided on the following options listed in order of price:

EVGA GTX 480 $199.99

EVGA GTX 570 $239.99

EVGA GTX 660Ti $269.99

Does anyone know which one I should buy or have any other suggestions that beat these in benchmarks or price vs performance?
Thank you!


Don't even mind about older cards just go for the current serie. 660Ti is very good when it's OC'ed but you will get better results by removing AA .... 660Ti isn't the best card to run that kind of thing. I wouldn't personnally go with AMD as opposed to everyone say here because the FPS on a amd card tends to be unstable while Nvidia cards are more stable, optimized for games. It's just my opinion :p 

- The Brownie
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Best solution

December 28, 2012 8:55:59 PM

gabsillis said:
I was thinking, since gaming cards are cheaper, will I get as good performance for 3d cad from a gaming card?


The thing about gaming cards is though they have a lot more horsepower for the money, they're not optimized for 3d CAD.
Workstation cards are optimized through specialized driver support to perform CAD very well.

Look at this way:

A gaming card is like a muscle bound guy who uses brute force to lift a heavy weight.

A workstation card is a like a skinny weakling who uses his understanding of physics to build himself a machine to lift the same heavy weight.

Will a gaming card work? Depending on the program, yes. I my 7870 for gaming and CAD. Will it be ideal or efficient? Not by any means. Will it probably be slower at the task? Likely. It can however be a good deal cheaper.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 135 U Graphics card
December 28, 2012 8:58:57 PM

I like your metaphor disc. That paints the picture quite well for what to expect when you get a workstation card versus a regular graphics card.
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December 29, 2012 12:37:58 AM


Thanks for all the help everybody!
I have decided to go for the gtx 480 because it's the cheapest of the ones I looked at and I am not yet using CAD enough to justify a workstation gpu. I might have more money for a better workstation gpu in the future anyways. Once again, thank you for all the advice and for the great learning opportunity!
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December 29, 2012 12:39:19 AM

Best answer selected by gabsillis.
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