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Graphics card for new build

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Computers
  • New Build
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 3, 2013 6:38:18 PM

I've been working on building a new computer, but its been quite a long time since I've done this. I was planning on using a graphics card from the new series that were supposed to be coming out before they were delayed. So I was hoping to get some opinions from people with better and more up to date knowledge than me on what might be a decent card to use temporarily until the new cards come out. The last time I built a computer it had a 128mb card in it and that was considered reasonably good at the time, so you can imagine how long ago that was. I'm trying to get something in the $250-300 range for now. Would AMD or nvidia have better cards at that price? Any help would be appreciated, I'm trying to get back into this stuff but I'm so far out of the loop I have a lot of catching up to do.

More about : graphics card build

March 3, 2013 6:47:49 PM

Amd boasts better frame rates in most niches, however, I have always experienced screen tearing ,frame lag and just general inconsistency with them. The software (catalyst) always seems hard to get to work correctly and drivers always seem to come out with problems....

Therefore it is imo that nvidea is the better option for smooth graphics and trouble free gameplay.
At that price range I would look for a good sale on an asus,evga,or msi 660ti !

Just make sure you go with an ivy bridge cpu and a 77 series chipset on your mobo
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a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2013 6:53:01 PM

Your best options would be the 7870 or a 7950 on sale. You can find a 7870 for anywhere from $200 - $250, and 7950s go for $300 - $350. The 7950 would provide the best performance, but the 7870 is a solid card and would free up some cash for a different part. AMD's gpus are the best in that price range in terms of performace and overclockability.
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a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2013 6:54:26 PM

Price and power goes hands down to amd/ati cards. But as said before some experience problems with catalyst in certain games and some do not.but hey a 400 dollar card that competes with a 690. I'll take some issues any day than paying 1000+ for a 690.
but look at game benchmarks of different cards to pick a good card. NVIDIA does make some decently priced cards
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March 3, 2013 7:23:24 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys. What I have so far i believe is ivy bridge and z77 chip set:
i7 3770k cpu
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 mobo
Corsair Vengeance 8x1 mem
Antec Neo Eco 620 psu

I'm looking at 2 cards from your suggestions, would these be good prices for these cards?

http://www.microcenter.com/product/405812/HD7870-DC2-2G...

http://www.microcenter.com/product/402992/N660Ti_PE_2GD...

Also do you think that psu will be ok? I would like to use it at least until the new cards are released.
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a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2013 7:28:13 PM

Yeah either of those cards are good, but you can get a better deal on newegg for a 7870, and get the same performance. If you overclock the 7870 it will do as well or better than the 660 ti (amd's gpu's oc well), and you would save some money, so could go that route.
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March 3, 2013 7:36:58 PM

tkeegan1 said:
Thanks for the suggestions guys. What I have so far i believe is ivy bridge and z77 chip set:
i7 3770k cpu
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 mobo
Corsair Vengeance 8x1 mem
Antec Neo Eco 620 psu

I'm looking at 2 cards from your suggestions, would these be good prices for these cards?

http://www.microcenter.com/product/405812/HD7870-DC2-2G...

http://www.microcenter.com/product/402992/N660Ti_PE_2GD...

Also do you think that psu will be ok? I would like to use it at least until the new cards are released.


Your psu should be fine...plenty of power to spare...
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March 3, 2013 8:49:36 PM

I'm having a tough time making a decision. How noticeable will the difference be between a 7870 and a 7950 with new games? Which specs are generally viewed as most important, like clock or memory? The 660 ti is 192 bit and the 7950 is 384 bit. Does that have any effect on performance? Sorry for all the questions, I would just like to learn more about these things.
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March 3, 2013 9:03:44 PM

tkeegan1 said:
I'm having a tough time making a decision. How noticeable will the difference be between a 7870 and a 7950 with new games? Which specs are generally viewed as most important, like clock or memory? The 660 ti is 192 bit and the 7950 is 384 bit. Does that have any effect on performance? Sorry for all the questions, I would just like to learn more about these things.


The 7950 is better than both of the others.
Picture 1000 cars trying to get down the road... the 192 bit is a 2 lane highway, the 384 bit is a 4 lane highway...which one will get the cars through quicker?
The 7950 will outperform the 7870 by prob 10 to 30 fps depending on your game being played...

That being said.It is my opinion that nvidea cards make for smoother game play and less artifacts,screen tearing etc.
I would just get a gtx 670 and be done with it.Avoid the tearing out of the hair...lol :cry: 
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March 3, 2013 9:50:11 PM

rmiiirusty said:
The 7950 is better than both of the others.
Picture 1000 cars trying to get down the road... the 192 bit is a 2 lane highway, the 384 bit is a 4 lane highway...which one will get the cars through quicker?
The 7950 will outperform the 7870 by prob 10 to 30 fps depending on your game being played...

That being said.It is my opinion that nvidea cards make for smoother game play and less artifacts,screen tearing etc.
I would just get a gtx 670 and be done with it.Avoid the tearing out of the hair...lol :cry: 



The GTX 670 looks like it might be around $100 more than I was hoping to spend. However, hypothetically if I was to buy one and then maybe in some months or a year I buy a second would that be comparable to what a 770 or 8950 (or whatever numbers they use) next gen card could do? I'm pretty sure my mobo has SLI which from what I understand lets you run 2 nvidia GPUs. And would they have to be identical models or do they just have to be 670s? Thanks for all your help guys, I'm trying to get a handle on all of this.
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March 3, 2013 10:04:27 PM

tkeegan1 said:
The GTX 670 looks like it might be around $100 more than I was hoping to spend. However, hypothetically if I was to buy one and then maybe in some months or a year I buy a second would that be comparable to what a 770 or 8950 (or whatever numbers they use) next gen card could do? I'm pretty sure my mobo has SLI which from what I understand lets you run 2 nvidia GPUs. And would they have to be identical models or do they just have to be 670s? Thanks for all your help guys, I'm trying to get a handle on all of this.


Yes, just get one... they perform extremely well and will probably impress you by itself.

Yes you can sli them in the future if the need or desire arises. so long as you have 2 pci.express slots on your mobo

It is by itself compareable to the 7950-7970, there are no 8000 series yet...

There are only two nvidea cards better... the 680 and 690... I am pretty sure that the new Titan card is just a suped up 690.....none of them are worth the extra cost jump compared to the performance of the 670.

Don't be fooled by the radeon lovers hype about better fps than nvidea. They (radeon cards) come with their own whole set of potential problems. Nvidea is so much smoother and have a much better driver success rate, that they are worth much more in my opinion!!!

Also, to sli, you need two cards that are the same size ie.670 +670 they don't always have to be the same, but you will have better results if they are.

You could also back off of the i7 and get i5 3570k. It will be more than enough for gaming!!! Unless you will be doing allot of video editing.

I also noticed that you mentioned earlier that you had in your plans 1x8 gb ram. This will prob work in your pc, but you should either get another 8gb and run them dual, or get 2x4b instead, as ram runs better in dual channel mode

One other thing you could do to save some cash for the 670, is back up from the extreme6 mobo to the extreme4 mobo
It is a great mobo and will serve you well. I like asus better myself but asrock will do nicely
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March 3, 2013 10:22:13 PM

Why all the AMD hate? If are going to be making such extreme statements, please back them up with evidence.

For example, "AMD has more screen tearing". Ever heard of V sync? I'm really questioning your knowledge base.
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March 3, 2013 10:41:49 PM

shellls45 said:
Why all the AMD hate? If are going to be making such extreme statements, please back them up with evidence.

For example, "AMD has more screen tearing". Ever heard of V sync? I'm really questioning your knowledge base.


Not hating, just speaking from a knowledge base of experience...
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March 3, 2013 10:55:56 PM

rmiiirusty said:
Not hating, just speaking from a knowledge base of experience...

Any hard evidence?
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March 3, 2013 11:06:35 PM

shellls45 said:
Any hard evidence?


You have a radeon, You gonna say you never experienced any problems especially catalyst updates supposed to fix an issue,that don't work so you have to revert back to your old driver and wait for a future update.

Its ok I'm not saying that amd is trash, just not as good as nvidea... just the same as amd cpu's arent as good as intel.

Just like I'm a good dad, but there is a guy down the street who is a better dad than me. Its ok I can live with it! lol
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March 3, 2013 11:27:36 PM

I have had melting nvidia cards, as well as bad drivers. AMD drivers have caused problems too. In all honesty I have had many fewer problems with my AMD cards.

If you didn't already know the latency issues have been addressed in some games with the recent update, and will be fixed for all direct x 10 and 11 games soon.

Best price to performance card for the OP is the 7950 OCed (although the 670 is a good buy too)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
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March 3, 2013 11:35:26 PM

rmiiirusty said:
Yes, just get one... they perform extremely well and will probably impress you by itself.

Yes you can sli them in the future if the need or desire arises. so long as you have 2 pci.express slots on your mobo

It is by itself compareable to the 7950-7970, there are no 8000 series yet...

There are only two nvidea cards better... the 680 and 690... I am pretty sure that the new Titan card is just a suped up 690.....none of them are worth the extra cost jump compared to the performance of the 670.

Don't be fooled by the radeon lovers hype about better fps than nvidea. They (radeon cards) come with their own whole set of potential problems. Nvidea is so much smoother and have a much better driver success rate, that they are worth much more in my opinion!!!

Also, to sli, you need two cards that are the same size ie.670 +670 they don't always have to be the same, but you will have better results if they are.

You could also back off of the i7 and get i5 3570k. It will be more than enough for gaming!!! Unless you will be doing allot of video editing.

I also noticed that you mentioned earlier that you had in your plans 1x8 gb ram. This will prob work in your pc, but you should either get another 8gb and run them dual, or get 2x4b instead, as ram runs better in dual channel mode

One other thing you could do to save some cash for the 670, is back up from the extreme6 mobo to the extreme4 mobo
It is a great mobo and will serve you well. I like asus better myself but asrock will do nicely



I think I'll give the 670 a shot. I just read the best graphics cards for the money reviews on this site and the 670 was on the list. Everything I listed I already have. I tried to take advantage of sales when they came along to build a piece at a time, the last big thing left to buy being the GPU. Thats a good tip with the ram. I got that free with the mobo. I will get a second stick. The i7 I got on sale for $230, which looked like a pretty good price when I shopped around. I'm looking forward to getting this thing together and seeing what it can do.
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March 4, 2013 2:13:16 AM

Best answer selected by tkeegan1.
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