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Potentially Upgrading GPU within one month, $300 budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 20, 2013 9:02:00 PM

Looking to potentially upgrade my GPU in the next month or so. I am currently budgeting $300 or so.

My current specs:

Intel i5-3570K
ASRock Extreme4
8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 PC1600 RAM
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ cooler
Cooler Master HAF 922 case
Corsair 650w Bronze PSU

MSI Twin Frozr II nVidia 560ti 2GB model

What I'm looking at (HIS IceQ Radeon 7950 with blower-style cooler):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The use of this computer is solely for games. Currently, I'm playing Guild Wars 2, SWTOR, Sleeping Dogs. I will be playing the new DMC, possibly Far Cry 3, and will probably at least try out most big AAA RPG/action game releases, as well as any new MMOs that pop up. I play games on a single 1980x1020 screen and will not be upgrading resolution at any point.

My concerns for games are all in graphics quality and frame rate. I like to move sliders to the right as far as I can, including AA.

My only reservation in ordering the new GPU listed above is that AMD does plan to release the 8xxx series of video cards sometime this year, most likely around June. Does it make more sense to wait until July-August (when non-reference boards start trickling out from third-party manufacturers) or will the 7950 continue to last me for a few years?

Thanks in advance!

More about : potentially upgrading gpu month 300 budget

January 20, 2013 9:20:18 PM

The GPU you currently have is very good. i would wait for the 8000 series to come out for a significant upgrade to your current GPU. By that time you might have more money to spend as well.
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a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2013 9:42:43 PM

Another option is to pick up a second 560ti. By turning off adaptive v-sync, microstutter is pretty much a thing of the past. I'm currently running a pair of oc'd 7850's (same CPU and mobo as you). vsync off, no micro.

cheers!
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January 20, 2013 10:02:30 PM

quilciri said:
Another option is to pick up a second 560ti. By turning off adaptive v-sync, microstutter is pretty much a thing of the past. I'm currently running a pair of oc'd 7850's (same CPU and mobo as you). vsync off, no micro.

cheers!


Yeah, I was thinking that too. A 560Ti is still a decent card so it seems a shame to replace it with something only marginally better. I would get another one and SLI them.
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January 20, 2013 11:23:01 PM

voiidwulf said:
Yeah, I was thinking that too. A 560Ti is still a decent card so it seems a shame to replace it with something only marginally better. I would get another one and SLI them.


Would I need to upgrade my PSU in order to do that? I also can't seem to find another MSI Twin Frozr II 560 ti model. Would I be OK subbing in an EVGA or other model?
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a c 90 U Graphics card
January 20, 2013 11:43:23 PM

I personally wouldn't go with SLI - even without microstutter, there are too many issues for it to be worth it.

You would probably have to upgrade your power supply, yes, but you can use a 560ti of any brand. Just keep in mind that both will run at the specs of whichever runs slower.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend you follow plasmj's advice - we're perhaps two, maybe three months away from the release of the 700 and 8000 series graphics cards. There's really NO sense in upgrading now, when you could either get a better card or the other one for way cheaper a month later.
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January 21, 2013 12:06:17 AM

Best answer selected by lhaygood1983.
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January 21, 2013 12:06:33 AM

Thanks all. I'll hold off for the 7xx/8xxx series in a few months.
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a c 180 U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 12:31:13 AM

*Be aware that prices often start HIGH when new models arrive. It's likely the 28nm process will be used for the HD8000 series, so make sure to get the best DEAL whether it's an HD7000 or HD8000 series.

The HD7000 was a HUGE step up from HD6000 (28nm and other) but it's likely the HD8000 series will be more of a "tweak".

Of course NVidia will also have its GTX700 series at some point as well so things will be interesting.

**Basic points to look for:
1) 2GB of 3GB of Video RAM
2) Good cooling solution (possibly a 3-slot solution which usually is less noisy like an Asus DC2T)
3) Ensure VALUE, including GAME COUPONS etc (make sure to compare Apples to Apples)
4) Wait for BOTH NVidia GTX700 and AMD HD8000 series prices to stabilize?
5) Investigate FEATURE differences (PhysX, GPGPU, TXAA)
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January 21, 2013 1:47:42 AM

photonboy said:
*Be aware that prices often start HIGH when new models arrive. It's likely the 28nm process will be used for the HD8000 series, so make sure to get the best DEAL whether it's an HD7000 or HD8000 series.

The HD7000 was a HUGE step up from HD6000 (28nm and other) but it's likely the HD8000 series will be more of a "tweak".

Of course NVidia will also have its GTX700 series at some point as well so things will be interesting.

**Basic points to look for:
1) 2GB of 3GB of Video RAM
2) Good cooling solution (possibly a 3-slot solution which usually is less noisy like an Asus DC2T)
3) Ensure VALUE, including GAME COUPONS etc (make sure to compare Apples to Apples)
4) Wait for BOTH NVidia GTX700 and AMD HD8000 series prices to stabilize?
5) Investigate FEATURE differences (PhysX, GPGPU, TXAA)


I definitely won't be going less than 3GB of VRAM. I've got 2 now; no reason to sidegrade for just better architecture.

My case right now handles the Twin Frozr II cooler pretty well, but it does dump a lot of hot air into the chassis and I've got one that doesn't have a side fan to pull it out. Luckily my top fan pulls enough air out to keep it cool. That's why I liked the blower cooler on the HIS model so much: it could take the relatively cool air from inside my chassis (being blown up by my PSU fan and my bottom intake fan) and push it out the back of the chassis. Hopefully HIS will have a similar solution; or I can go for another MSI cooler.

And I'll wait a few months for prices to stabilize. I don't mind lowering the settings in games for a few months if my upgrade is smarter mid-summer or so.
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a c 180 U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 2:50:10 AM

lhaygood1983 said:
I definitely won't be going less than 3GB of VRAM. I've got 2 now; no reason to sidegrade for just better architecture.

My case right now handles the Twin Frozr II cooler pretty well, but it does dump a lot of hot air into the chassis and I've got one that doesn't have a side fan to pull it out. Luckily my top fan pulls enough air out to keep it cool. That's why I liked the blower cooler on the HIS model so much: it could take the relatively cool air from inside my chassis (being blown up by my PSU fan and my bottom intake fan) and push it out the back of the chassis. Hopefully HIS will have a similar solution; or I can go for another MSI cooler.

And I'll wait a few months for prices to stabilize. I don't mind lowering the settings in games for a few months if my upgrade is smarter mid-summer or so.


Hi,
2GB of VRAM is plenty for a single monitor. The 2GB vs 3GB issue has been tested to death. All you need do is look at BENCHMARKS. It's very unlikely that the amount of VRAM is going to increase much for games in the next few years, in fact it may DECREASE slightly as Tessellation and other tweaks are actually LESS demanding.

All things being equal, get more VRAM; however don't get more VRAM if a card with less is actually performing better. The main exceptions appear to be heavily modded games such as Skyrim.

(I suspect NVidia will offer 3GB versions of high-end cards simply to counter AMD not because it's actually the ideal configuration... such as a GTX780 3GB).

Cooling:
a) make sure you have at least one front case fan (the INTAKE airflow is ideally the same as the EXHAUST; most people ignore the INTAKE)

b) cover any unused fan mounts on the top or side (leaving them open makes air flow less efficient)

c) use BIOS and Software where possible to control fan speed, especially for CPU (3-pin fans use "Voltage" control which most motherboards no longer support; 4-pin fans use PWM. An ideal ramp is something like "25% fan speed until 40degC and ramp up to 80degC).
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 6:27:25 AM

lhaygood1983 said:
Thanks all. I'll hold off for the 7xx/8xxx series in a few months.


wise choise
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