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Imprtance of CUDA cores vs Bit-rate at ~$200

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December 31, 2012 3:13:09 PM

Hi Everyone!
:hello: 

I need to buy a new graphics card for my system and haven't been able to decide what specs I should be looking for in a card. Is it CUDA cores? Bit rate? Bus speed?

I don't really know what to look for in a card these days but I always had the opinion that bit rate is king when it comes to raw gaming power. Is this really the case? I don't think I want to settle for anything below 320-bit card and I've been looking at GTX 560s on new egg.

Can anyone help guide me in the right direction as far as what to look for in a card? I want to spend no less than $200 and would like to keep it around that price range.

I would consider spending a LITTLE more if there were significant gains to be had or if it would increase the useful life of my system.
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System specs (graphics card non-inclusive):
AMD Phenom II X4 840 3.2 GHz
8 GB GDDR3 RAM
ASUS M4N68T-M V2 motherboard with one pci-e x1 and one pci-e x16 slots

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I am mainly looking for raw gaming performance on this. My display isn't big (19") and I don't plan on powering a larger one.

Thanks for anyone's input!


Best,


Joshua


:bounce: 
December 31, 2012 3:24:39 PM

Cuda Cores, vRam, BitRate.... They are all factors that contribute to the thing you actually care about, performance. So why not look at performance to make your decision?

Check out the Bench over at Anandtech. You can compare various cards performance in the games (and the resolutions) that matter to you.

Good Luck!
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December 31, 2012 3:26:49 PM

The only way to make a purchase decision for graphics cards is to read a lot of reviews or ask for advice from people who have read a lot of reviews. Naming conventions, spec sheets, etc, are nearly useless for making a purchasing decision on their own.

You'd be OK on a 660 (non-ti), 7850, or 7870. All of those are better options than the 560 or 560ti.
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December 31, 2012 9:28:38 PM

subasteve5800 said:
Cuda Cores, vRam, BitRate.... They are all factors that contribute to the thing you actually care about, performance. So why not look at performance to make your decision?

Check out the Bench over at Anandtech. You can compare various cards performance in the games (and the resolutions) that matter to you.

Good Luck!



Thanks!

That makes sense. I'll check out the benchmarks. I see a lot of selections in the drop down menu for GPU12 benchmarks, which ones would you recommend looking at?
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December 31, 2012 9:43:31 PM

BigMack70 said:
The only way to make a purchase decision for graphics cards is to read a lot of reviews or ask for advice from people who have read a lot of reviews. Naming conventions, spec sheets, etc, are nearly useless for making a purchasing decision on their own.

You'd be OK on a 660 (non-ti), 7850, or 7870. All of those are better options than the 560 or 560ti.


Thanks for keeping it real. I will do my homework. Just looking for some easy answers where they can be had. No sense in spending hours reading material and getting confused if someone else already knows and is happy to share, right? :D 
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a b U Graphics card
December 31, 2012 9:48:43 PM

Hi :) 

Easy answer... and I sell graphics cards in my shops...

Answer = The MORE you pay , the BETTER you get...

I have the best card in he world (7990) which is also the most expensive...

All the best Brett :) 
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a b Î Nvidia
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December 31, 2012 10:15:14 PM

Brett, you bother to read his specs or his needs?

OP, I owned a couple of 560's ( various ). they were never worth their short time they were in my possession.

a 660 would be way more than enough. maybe even a 650. check out the benchmarks if you're into that sort of stuff.


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December 31, 2012 10:23:17 PM

swifty_morgan said:
Brett, you bother to read his specs or his needs?

OP, I owned a couple of 560's ( various ). they were never worth their short time they were in my possession.

a 660 would be way more than enough. maybe even a 650. check out the benchmarks if you're into that sort of stuff.


Hi :) 

Yes, I read the whole thread...I always do....

I am giving him GENERAL advice on graphics cards...

All the best Brett :) 
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January 1, 2013 12:24:40 AM

swifty_morgan said:
Brett, you bother to read his specs or his needs?

OP, I owned a couple of 560's ( various ). they were never worth their short time they were in my possession.

a 660 would be way more than enough. maybe even a 650. check out the benchmarks if you're into that sort of stuff.


Good point. My concern right now is the pci-express lane width difference between pcie x16 and pcie x16 3.0... If I buy a pcie x16 3.0 will I be wasting money since my mobo is only x16? Will that extra performance ever be seen if I only have an x16 lane width on my mobo?
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January 1, 2013 1:13:58 AM

only measurable by the anal retentive.
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January 1, 2013 1:40:15 AM

swifty_morgan said:
only measurable by the anal retentive.


In that case, the question still stands - in your opinion is bit-rate / memory width king? I don't see how looking at the benchmarks will help me because all of those card are tested using different system specs than I have... With a slower transfer rate is it going to be advantageous to have more cuda cores? more memory width? more onboard RAM?
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January 1, 2013 3:30:32 AM

Not sure you get it... for example, my old 8800 GTS had a 320 bit memory bus, but it's orders of magnitude slower than even a 660ti which has a 192-bit bus.

You need to read reviews and stop looking at spec sheets. They're meaningless. More or less only reviews tell you anything.
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January 1, 2013 3:47:33 AM

hanyue1989 said:
In that case, the question still stands - in your opinion is bit-rate / memory width king?

Within a given product generation, it is a significant factor.

Across product generations, changes in how the GPU is organized, how drivers schedule the workload and how applications/games leverage new capabilities can drastically change that so memory width across generations is far less relevant.

Today's low-end GPUs with 128bits RAM interface can beat 4+ years old GPUs that had 256-384bits interfaces because DRAM interfaces have become faster, GPUs have become more efficient and drivers/software has been improved/optimized to work with more efficient structures.

Within a given GPU generation, RAM interface tend to get wider along with the GPU containing more shader units so for most intents and purposes, you simply cannot get wider RAM interface without getting more shaders and higher-end GPUs from the same generation will therefore necessarily beat lower-end models from the same generation. In many case, they will also beat previous-gen GPUs that used to be one or two notches above them.
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January 1, 2013 7:17:29 PM

swifty_morgan said:
Brett, you bother to read his specs or his needs?

OP, I owned a couple of 560's ( various ). they were never worth their short time they were in my possession.

a 660 would be way more than enough. maybe even a 650. check out the benchmarks if you're into that sort of stuff.



I know you didn't have a high opinion of the 560s, but do you mind me asking what specs your running it with(mobo, proc,RAM)? Do you have anything to say about the 570/580? seems like the 570s are at a competitive price point to the 660 and also have higher minimum frame-rates in the benchmarks.
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January 3, 2013 1:28:25 AM

BigMack70 said:
Not sure you get it... for example, my old 8800 GTS had a 320 bit memory bus, but it's orders of magnitude slower than even a 660ti which has a 192-bit bus.

You need to read reviews and stop looking at spec sheets. They're meaningless. More or less only reviews tell you anything.


Got ya. Thanks a lot for your help guys. I just gotta look at the benchmarks I guess!
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January 8, 2013 5:47:58 PM

Hey guys, just thought I would post a follow up. I decided to go with the GTX 670. I found a refurbished evga on new egg and it should be here on thursday. Paired it up with a corsair CX 750 watt psu so I can upgrade to dual 670s later if I need to.

Thanks for all your help. Hopefully it'll blow my mind!
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