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Upgrading- what current cards are legitimately futureproof?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2013 11:05:56 PM

I've been intending to upgrade my GPU from a Asus 6870 for a couple of months now at least, but whenever I finally settle on the replacement, I get a sense that it might be wise to wait and see what is on the horizon a bit longer. The 6870 was picked up just as it was starting to fall out of the top-tier of cards, and I really would prefer not to see its replacement only last six months before being literally lapped by the majority of popular cards on the market.

The original idea was to make the move to a 7870 2gb card, but I get the sense recently that it's not going to be long before that model is considered a handicap to be running as well. If I were to jump off the AMD/Radeon ship, the 570 seems tempting on paper, but seems to be less popular than the 660 Ti as a choice for those planning new builds at the moment. Is any one of these cards really a strong enough performer to at least still be thought of as a legitimate performance card at this time next year?

The rest of my system was built as a platform for growth. Asus M5A99FX Pro R2.0 board with a new Seasonic M12II 620w PSU and 16gb 1866mhz Corsair memory. Am just anticipating the day that my overclocking experiments finally fries my Phenom 965 that runs 24/7 at 4.3ghz before that gets replaced with a FX8350 (I can't kill this stupid CPU, and I can't bring myself to scrap it when it's running those frequencies)
a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 11:31:42 PM

First off, there is no such thing as futureproof because the technology is always improving and as it improves the software developers find ways of taxing the new hardware even more. If you want to upgrade pick what you want and just do it. The best way to avoid upgrading every few months is to get the best you can afford now and then continue using it until it no longer keeps up with your current games.

That said, the Radeon HD 7870 and the GTX 660 ti are both excellent cards that can play the vast majority of current games at high to ultra high settings. If you want a current rating of the comparative performance of modern grahics card look here: Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart. You can also get relative performance info from here: AnandTech Bench.

I am impressed with that OC on a Phenom II 965. 4.3 GHz 24/7 is quite good. Personally, I just upgraded from a Phenom II 1090T to the FX-8350 a few months ago and the difference is quite noticeable. If you really want to upgrade then just go for it and enjoy the benefits. Right now is a great time to upgrade to the FX-8350 because the price has dropped by around $30 from the time it was released.
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a c 86 U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 11:48:06 PM

Also, 1) The next series of video cards will be coming out in a few months, and
2) how in the world would a 570 be future proof, when it's already beaten by mid-range cards?

But yeah, you're not going to find a video card that's future proof - there's simply no such thing. You can find a very good one, but for what you're asking, you'd have to spend $400 or so... doesn't it make more sense to spend $200 now and $200 later? The end result would mean you'd have more power for longer.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2013 11:59:07 PM

If I were you I would wait for the HD8000 series if you have the budget for them when they come out
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January 2, 2013 6:53:14 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I do get that there is no literal "futureproof" and that technology just moves that fast, but I guess I was hoping for information that really is unknown- such as whether or not the next gen of Radeon cards will offer the same size leap that the 7000's did over the 6000's. I suppose it's always hit or miss- nobody was bummed to have picked up a Phenom instead of waiting for the Bulldozer lineup, and the wait for the Piledriver chips really did validate the choice by those of us who picked up X4 or X6 CPU's back then.

With reference to the 570- I've just seen a lot of different places where that card has been pegged in the hierarchy order. Some benchmark sites have it beating the 660 and even the 660 Ti, and some have it below the 7850.

Unless there is a firm ETA soon for the 8000-series along with some retail prices, I may just pick between the 7870 and 660 Ti. I guess the benefit of having two performance rigs is that I can always move the card to the lesser of the two if I feel inclined to upgrade again in the near future. Does anyone know how the 2D graphics are handled comparatively between the two cards?
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a c 145 U Graphics card
January 3, 2013 4:06:24 AM

i have been using 460 for two years now and i still see life in it for another year. what is the exact reason you want to upgrade from your 6870?

btw i dont think the performance jump will be big between 7k series and 8k series mainly because both are based on the same node and architecture. if they want big increase in performance over current flagship (7970) they need to increase the die size. i already heard about the next flagship will have around 2500sp (compared to 2000 for current 7970) but i wonder what the tdp will since 7970 with 2000sp already have tdp of 250w. honestly i'm interested how wil amd going to tackle the power consumption with their next flagship.
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January 3, 2013 5:05:24 AM

renz496 said:
i have been using 460 for two years now and i still see life in it for another year. what is the exact reason you want to upgrade from your 6870?


Truthfully? I would imagine the same reason no car has ever remained stock long enough to see the dealer plates come off. Just a tinkerer and performance geek by nature I guess. Can't really say I it's a rational urge motivating the idea.

I very much intend to dive back into computer gaming at some point in the near future for the first time since before I was in college (talking MechWarrior2 days). Assassins Creed III has drawn my initial attention, but don't know if I have the legitimate system power to get the full experience if I started as-is. Beyond that, the HWBot OC'ing competitions are seriously appealing to my aforementioned tinkering compulsion.
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