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7870 2GB or 7850 1GB for skyrim ultra at 1680x1050 on an i3-2120?

Title is self explanatory. Theres no doubt I will get an i5-2500 if I decide to play skyrim on 1080p, but I was wondering how the i3-2120 will be able to handle the ultra settings on 1680x1050. I will just be playing vanilla skyrim with no texture mods at all. My desktop is an OEM hp one so I wont be able to overclock anything either.
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  1. Best answer
    The cpu will handle, get the 7850 1GB it will for for that resolution.
    You might, though, want the 2GB version, since some games are pushing beyond 1GB vram.
  2. Thanks for the advice. I just started pc gaming a year ago, and I still need to catch up and play a lot of great games on it. Im mostly going to be playing games mid 2011 games or before. I just want to play those games maxed out on my cpu and my monitor native resolution, so I thought the 7850 1GB will do the job.
  3. The 7850 certainly will do the job...what's the price difference between the two cards? I would go for the 7870 if the price was considerable.
  4. If you keep anti-alliasing (read: MSAA) off, and use other things (FXAA etc) 1Gb should be enough.

    If you have an OEM PC you need to be sure that the power supply will handle the new card. On the side of the power supply should be a sticker detailing itself. In the least there should be a product number on the PSU (The desktops model number won't help much).

    Resolutions don't push CPUs (unless there are more units on screen), it pushes GPUs. You are able to get ultra settings with a 1GB card for Skyrim, but if you ever want to play more modern games, or use mods, 1GB might force you to lower detail (which isn't a deal breaker for most people).

    If the price is close, get the 2GB version, if it is a significant amount, go with 1GB.
  5. I definitely want to use msaa. I want to play all games maxed out.
    Im definitely gonna need a new psu, so Ill buy a nice corsair around 600w. Checking prices here and there I found these 2 cards at newegg:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202025
    7870 that after rebate costs $210 but no reviews at all.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202004
    7850 1GB that costs $165 after rebate, with only 5 star reviews.

    Difference is only $50, but like I said I jut want to play pre 2011 games AND skyrim at max settings ( antialiasing, etc ... ). Ill use dx9 only by the way, and 1680*1050 with an i3-2120 cpu.
  6. I just remembered that I may have ommited a very important remark when I made this thread. By handling/playing games on max settings I meant I want to play with an average of 60fps.

    Does this drastically change the direction of the discussion? :(
  7. Since the 7870 is Factory OCed, I'd go for it. At 1920x1080 you should be able to get minimum 30 frames with that CPU and that GPU, so your 1680x1050 shouldn't be an issue.

    (Probably both do) The 7870 has a 2 year warranty, which isn't spectacular, but it is much better than 1 year (or less).

    You can probably save the $50 and still max it out, but you are better off with the 7870, IMO its a much better card.

    Edit: It does change things, but not for the CPU.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5625/amd-radeon-hd-7870-ghz-edition-radeon-hd-7850-review-rounding-out-southern-islands/13

    The first slide have every setting turned to the max (at a huge resolution) and the 7870 is able to average over 60 FPS in Skyrim. Unfortunately, Skyrim will be held back by your CPU. I recommend upgrading to the 7870GHz now (The one you selected), and upgrade your CPU later. In the between time, you should be good, but not quite at the 60FPS you demand.

    On a side note: Skyrim isn't as sensitive as online FPS, so 60FPS isn't totally required, but I do see its appeal.
  8. Ummm, no on the 1gb 7850, your gonna want 2gb vram.

    If your gonna play skyrim, your gonna wanna mod it. Thats the only way to play the game on the computer, there are soo soo many quality mods that make the game experience so much better. Your gonna wanna run high quality textures as well and the more vram the better.

    skyrim with mods is the ultimate vram killer and with s.t.e.p enhancements mods and texture pack combiner mod and an enb mod running high MSAA at 2560x1440 will push close to 4gb vram.
  9. According to this benchmark, using an i3-2120 with 4xmsaa and 16xaf I will get 57fps average at 1680x1050. That was made using a gtx 580 which is the equivalent of a radeon 7870. Hopefully the ati card will push those final 3+ frames in order for me to get 60fps.

    http://static.techspot.com/articles-info/467/bench/CPU_2.png

    Here is the full page: http://www.techspot.com/review/467-skyrim-performance/page7.html
  10. That's with older drivers, you can maxout skyrim at that resolution with the 7850 : http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_Performance/images/skyrim_1680_1050.gif

    You might, though, want the 2GB, if you want some high texture mods and other stuff, or if it's too close to a 7870, get the 7870, you can't go wrong with neither.
    Both will offer two games, bioshock infinite and tomb raider.
  11. Yeah, I will get the 7870 just to be sure. If I decide to play some modern games maxed at 1080p I could just get an i5-2500 and it will be a perfect match for the 7870 (Ill buy a new monitor of course).
    Thanks for the heads up.
  12. yeah, good choice, besides battlefield 4 and crysis 3, bio shock infinite is an uber most anticipated game. you could probably sell the steam code for $35-40, and tomb raider for like $30-40, bring some of that money back in your pocket.
  13. nikoli707 said:
    yeah, good choice, besides battlefield 4 and crysis 3, bio shock infinite is an uber most anticipated game. you could probably sell the steam code for $35-40, and tomb raider for like $30-40, bring some of that money back in your pocket.


    Noooooooooooooooo ... Im looking forward to play those games, thats another reason why I want to get a 7800 series card right now! I may not play them now, but maybe in a few months when I have the money to get a quad core i5.
  14. i jumped on an msi tf3 7950 just to get crysis and bioshock, i love the deal also
  15. If you want a 7870, there's a cheap one : http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=69828&vpn=FX787ACNFC&manufacture=XFX&promoid=1312
    Free shipping and with the games in question, the sapphire in newegg is also a good option.
    But if you can spend a bit more you can get the 7870 tahiti le : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131484&Tpk=7870%20le

    It has more shaders than the standard 7870, it's basically a 7930.
  16. Best answer selected by k4ever.
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