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choose card for gaming and HTPC in new PC build

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
January 21, 2013 2:37:58 PM

i recently finished building the following PC (my first build):

Lian Li HTPC case
MSI z77a gd65 MB
intel i5 3570K processor 3.4GHZ
16 GB DDR3 Ram
corsair tx550m power supply
(for now) using a Mitsubishi wd65835 65" DLP TV as a monitor at 1920x1080

would lke to purchase within 2 months

I am thinking in the $200-250 range for a video card?
what brand of card is most reliable and good customer service?

new to gaming but currently playing WoW using the on-processor graphics. I certianly see problems with the graphics in the game but im not really sure what to expect. I have an old radeon 3450 512MB card from my last computer which I tried but couldnt see any difference over stock processor/mb graphics.

other uses are movies (of course), music, fractal searching, and the usual - lots of web surfing, word, spreasheeets, etc.

Thanks for your time

More about : choose card gaming htpc build

a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 2:57:52 PM

Radeon HD7870 ($240)>GTX 660 ($230 though most can be had for $200-210 after rebate)>Radeon HD7850 ($190-210)

Take your pick
January 21, 2013 6:17:53 PM

get the gtx 690
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January 21, 2013 6:18:54 PM

or just wait couple months for next gen geforce cards
January 21, 2013 6:22:29 PM

I can wait a couple of months - whats the deal with next gen geforce?
January 21, 2013 6:31:21 PM

gtx690, nice - would have been funny if I wasn't GPU challanged.
January 21, 2013 6:49:08 PM

a c 137 U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 7:11:29 PM

He is building a HTPC not a uber gaming rig with all the bells and whistles. I would say for World of Warcraft that a GTX650Ti/ or GTX660 would be a good option as well. You really don't need much more GPU power then that for a Home Theater build you get HDCP compliance with any of the modern cards. And the reason why I would recommend a Nvidia card for you is that from what I've seen blizzard games react more to Nvidia cards then there AMD counterpart. I wouldn't spend more then $220 on a card. Here is a price breakdown of 650Ti's and 660's. I believe the ASUS 660 is probably the best option I know in a home theater build silence is something pretty strive to have and I know you will get it with them.,114&sor...

Cards I would recommend:
EVGA: You get amazing customer service with them and warranty. If things go wrong you want to have a good company on your side and EVGA is solid. For a 650Ti I wouldn't go off buying a aftermarket cooler it should be fairly quiet and not draw much heat.


ASUS: This is what I would recommend for a HTPC super silent can't even hear it I'll link a 670 video so you can hear the cooler.

a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 7:30:54 PM

I will add from most of the bench I've seen nvidia is a better card for Wow so if thats your going to be playing probably should lean towards maybe a 660 over a 7850/7870. Either way all those cards would do a heck of a lot better than your on board or your old AMD card. If you plan to be more of a gamer then I would make sure you pick a card with 2 Gigs but really a 1gig card is still good at 1080p though you may have to lower the settings in some games.
a c 137 U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 7:34:26 PM

I would honestly just prefer to get a 2 gigabyte card you can't help but getting a 2 gigabyte 660 because when you go beyond the 650Ti and the 7850 the 1 gigabyte option disappears. But you could get away with it yes. WoW isn't all that intensive really you will find there isn't much lag hardware. SSD's really help with MMO's and and good processing which you have there so maybe when you are done and are still looking for a boost I would look towards SSD's.
January 21, 2013 9:04:52 PM

a c 137 U Graphics card
January 21, 2013 9:08:15 PM

As that may be he isn't trying to power up battlefield 3 with his system its a home theater pc which means he doesn't need as meaty of a graphics card and with world of warcraft he doesn't need anything beyond a non ti 660.
January 21, 2013 9:28:56 PM

January 21, 2013 11:43:20 PM

As far as other games, not sure. When choosing the other parts for this build I intentionally bought better than I thought I would need so that I wouldn't be dissapointed. so at this point i am leaning to the 660ti.

p.s. I have a 120GB ssd for the system drive plus 4TB disk storage.
a c 137 U Graphics card
January 22, 2013 1:57:54 AM

Oh okay yea they you should be just fine. A 660Ti is a great card its a skimmed down 670 and sometimes can be found at a great price. You won't be disappointed with what you are doing. I think you will find that your current build on its own is quite stronger then you think.
January 22, 2013 2:39:22 PM

I live about 5 miles from a frys store. I like to get stuff there even if it is a littli more expensive because it is so easy to return - no questions. They have the OC version of the Asus 660ti. Is there any downside to the OC version? Stability? Can it be reset to normal clock settings?
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2013 2:44:53 PM

rc123 said:
Is there any downside to the OC version? Stability? Can it be reset to normal clock settings?

Usually none. It's been tested at the factory. You can still downclock it using overclocking software like MSI Afterburner though there's really no need.
a c 137 U Graphics card
January 22, 2013 2:50:33 PM

I would seriously consider going to pcpartpicker and comparing the price of that card before going to frys since they do price match internet prices. Typically if a card as Ez says was factory overclocked it was tested to work at that frequency.
January 22, 2013 7:59:48 PM

Asus 660ti installed. Working like a champ. Install was simple. WOW set all to ultra and smooth as a whistle. Everything looks better and smoother action. I am mucho happy with my computer now. Well worth the ~$300 to finish it off perfectly. Of course that ssd coul be a bit bigger...

thanks for the help
a c 137 U Graphics card
January 22, 2013 8:48:34 PM

Lol, could of purchased the 256 gigabyte model ;)  But hey with the os taking up about 20 gigabytes and wow taking up 20-30 gigabytes you have breathing room and that should be enough for now :) . Glad it is working well. Is your computer running pretty cold/quiet
January 22, 2013 9:15:21 PM

It is very quiet. With WOW it is running at 39 C. Is that OK?

edit: now up to 67 C
January 22, 2013 9:23:35 PM

When I take the fan control off of auto and run it up to 100% I still dont hear the fans at all. The only fan noise is very slight and it is comming from the processor fan.
a c 137 U Graphics card
January 22, 2013 9:25:36 PM

Yea that is very very cold for a gpu on load. I would leave it on auto because it will adjust to temperature and then up the fan speed. But 39 C is very impressive. In games like BF3 I get from 50-60's C.
January 22, 2013 9:31:40 PM

up to 67 C now
a c 137 U Graphics card
January 22, 2013 9:35:57 PM

That is fine it will change over time but it probably won't go beyond 70 C I'm sure. Glad that you are happy though with WoW performance. No reason with current hardware now that anyone shouldn't be able to enjoy the high/ultra performance in that game.