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Upgrading GPU, advice needed please

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 19, 2013 8:24:14 PM

Hi,

I am looking at upgrading my GPU to a EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4096 MB.

My Current PC specs are:

CPU - AMD Phenom II Six-Core 1100T 3.3GHz/3.6GHz Turbo Core 9MB cache Socket AM3 125W Black Edition OC to 3.7GHZ ( I am looking at OC to 4.0GHZ)
MOBO - GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD3 AMD 990FX SB950 ATX Socket AM3 DDR3-2000 USB3.0 SATA3 1394 eSATA RAID
Ram - 16GB Special Kingston DDR3 1600MHz Gaming Performance HyperX CL9 Non-ECC Dimm
GPU - ASUS EAH5750 Formula
PSU - Cant rememeber off the top of my head, i think 650W
HD - Currently looking at an SSD upgrade


I have read the the PCI 3.0 on the GTX is backwards compatible with PCI 2.0 - Is this true?

Will my CPU cause any type of bottleneck for the GPU?

Any other issues or concerns with this setup, power consumption etc?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

a c 143 U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 8:33:21 PM

PCIE 3.0 is backward compatible and causes NO issues or performance drops.

Yes your CPU are gonna bottleneck in most CPU intensive games such as Skyrim, WOW, and FPS games such as BF3 when playing online. Overclock your CPU to 4.0 GHz it's easy..it won't avoid the bottleneck but it will help gain some improvements.

Why GTX 680? And why 4GB? You can get GTX 670 it's only 7-8% slower than GTX 670 and $100 less.
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 8:36:40 PM

I would agree that with you that your CPU will hold you back in the higher end cards more then likely without a decent overclock. However with that being said Nvidia cards tend to be a little bit less reliant on a stronger CPU. What kind of games are you playing? And at what resolution are you playing your games at?
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February 19, 2013 8:52:27 PM

I was looking at the 680 as it would most likely hold me over for the next 2 years before needing another upgrade and save me money in the long run if i spend a little more now. The next Upgrade in 8- 12months would be MOBO and CPU so i also wanted a GPU to match that upgrade but if you think its not worth it i will consider a 670.

Im playing everything from Wow, LOL, Planetside 2, Crysis 3, Skyrim and dont really have any issues with them at the moment (obviously not running ultra though) but I am upgrading for future games.

Just ordered a new screen so will be at 1920×1080
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 8:57:41 PM

Well, I'll tell you from experience that I have had no issue with Skyrim the only mod I was using though was the High Texture pack that Steam promotes. Planetside 2 is fine and WoW will be blown away by a GTX670. I played the BETA/and ALPHA of Crysis 3 my GTX670 did just fine. And any of the cards in the high tier market will just fine with a 1920x1080 display. This is the card I have.

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

although if you are looking to do 3d or perhaps multi monitoring you may want to look toward a 4 gigabyte card.
for example
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 20, 2013 2:12:23 AM

Okay Great, thanks for the Info and help!
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a c 143 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 3:02:25 AM

Neither multi monitor setup nor 3D modeling will benefit from the extra VRAM, so you can save up to $100 by going with the Gigabyte and put that money on a nice SSD.
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February 20, 2013 6:42:57 AM

I can tell you from immediate personal experience that Skyrim heavily modded uses more than 3GB. I would totally spend the money on the 4 GB version if you play Skyrim that way and the game is worth the extra money to you. That's the only thing I've run into that needed more than 2
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 7:51:31 AM

Yea I'm with you there there are reasons why you would get a card with more ram and I know for certain that having more ram at your disposal when multi monitoring helps.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 3:51:14 PM

Skyrim is the only game that uses extra VRAM just because of the high textures and packs used in the modding. However the game chokes even on a 4GB card with the heavy modding. Except for this;
Quote:
The 4GB -- Realistically there was not one game that we tested that could benefit from the two extra GB's of graphics memory. Even at 2560x1600 (which is a massive 4 Mpixels resolution) there was just no measurable difference.

Now the setup could benefit from triple monitor setups at 5760x1080 (which is a 6 Mpixels resolution), pb]but even there I doubt if 4 GB is really something you'd need to spend money on
[/b]
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 6:44:37 PM

That isn't testing with mods I'm sure. The game will use up vram pretty quickly with mods. Also, other games that use beyond 2 gigabytes would be Max Payne 3. Also BF3 gets pretty close to 2 gigabytes. Point is there are places where 4 gigabyte makes a lot of sense.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 7:39:56 PM

The review did confirm that Skyrim is all beefed with VRAM. VRAM doesn't boost the performance and that's the point so it doesn't worth the extra money. 2GB is enough for 1080P gaming. MP3 chokes when enabling 8X MSAA whether on a HD 7970 or GTX 680, Bf3 is very optimized with a GTX 570 which is 1.25 GB And when the VRAM doesn't make any difference, sometimes it reduces the performance a phenomenon observed with HD 6950 1GB and 2GB, GTX 580 1.5GB and 3GB.
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 7:50:20 PM

Its not about boosting performance. One thing that really irritates me is when people assume by people saying that more ram helps that in some way that they are insinuating that it improves performance. Its more or less giving you more ram to draw from. If he is looking to get heavy into modding skyrim the 4 GB will come in handy. However if he is just going to play the game with maybe just the high texture mod then yes he should be fine with a 2 gigabyte card.
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February 20, 2013 9:39:50 PM

After reading through the comments I think i am going to go for an

EVGA GeForce GTX670 FTW 2048MB

Price difference is nearly $230 once i convert currency (live in NZ) from what i was looking at.

Since the performance difference is only 7-8% and I dont think I will need the extra Ram. (Not into heavy modding on skyrim) it should be fine until I'm ready to do my next big full upgrade in 1.5- 2 Years.

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February 20, 2013 10:37:11 PM

Yeah they are, everything is in comparison to US lol.
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 20, 2013 10:41:34 PM

True that its like half the price here well close to :X
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February 21, 2013 8:50:39 PM

Might have run into a slight hitch.

I double checked my PSU last night and its only a 500W - OCZ500SXS - I read the minimum for a 670 is 500W - Should i upgrade this or will it be okay?
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 21, 2013 8:59:09 PM

Well I would still say you are okay. Based on the total power output of the card it should read around 170 watts from the wall to the card.
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt...

And your 12v rail power is 481.5 Watts. I love newegg for there pictures that is how I got the number.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The only thing that concerns me is that the earlier models of the OCZ power supplies were not very good and not very well regarded.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/101922.aspx
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a c 143 U Graphics card
February 21, 2013 10:06:09 PM

Fenrigg said:
Might have run into a slight hitch.

I double checked my PSU last night and its only a 500W - OCZ500SXS - I read the minimum for a 670 is 500W - Should i upgrade this or will it be okay?

It's okay as stated above, but ASAP try to change this unit. The StealthXtream, ModXtream, GamerXtream series from OCZ have some crappy PSUs, OCZ Fatalty and ZT are the best from OCZ. However, quality PSUs are acquired from Antec, Seasonic, Silverstone, NZXT and Seasonic.
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February 21, 2013 11:40:31 PM

Yeah i am looking at getting a 750W, brand depends on price, this upgrade is getting a bit expensive lol.

Thanks for the advice!
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a c 133 U Graphics card
February 21, 2013 11:46:08 PM

No problem and I agree with ilysami I would look towards those brands for a 750w if that is what you are after typically though I would stick to Corsair, XFX, and Seasonic. NZXT, ANTEC, SILVERSTONE can all be very mixed bags in terms of quality all dependent on the series of PSU you purchase.
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!