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Need opinions for Graphics card upgrade.

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  • Gaming
  • Graphics Cards
  • Monitors
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 9, 2013 2:35:12 PM

I am having a hard time deciding on a graphics solution to my problems at the moment and would like some advice from you guys/gals.

I am upgrading my current monitor setup:
(1] 27" 2560x1440, 2] 46" 1920x1080)
to dual 27" 2560x1440 + the 46"led tv. I have been gaming on the single 2560x1440 panel for about a year now and would like to upgrade my Radeon HD 5850 that I have had for 3+ years.
I still plan on gaming on that single monitor, not expecting to go for eyefinity, but it is definitely time for a graphics card upgrade for this resolution nonetheless.

My main goals are to future proof running these 3 monitors and gaming at 2560x1440.

1)My first question is how much would adding the tertiary 27" 2560x1440 monitor affect my gaming in general(to my current 5850, i pretty much have to run on medium or lower settings at this resolution now in games like Dark souls, Neverwinter online, Path of Exile)? this will affect how soon I will be purchasing the new graphics card.

I have been looking at a couple graphics cards thus far, and I am mainly looking at 7970 Ghz, 7970 Ghz 6GB, GTX 770 or GTX 780 in an effort to future proof as much as possible at this point.

My budget is realistically about $400, with the ability to spend more, but I would like to spend less if possible.
I had placed an order for a used Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 WF from amazon a few days ago for ~$270 which I thought was a pretty good deal, but I ended up canceling it because I found out that none of the 7xxx series Radeons support 2x dual link DVI outputs, which is a requirement for me because both my korean 27" panels only have dual link DVI capabilities.

2)Question 2: need opinions on buying the $70+ active mini displayport to dual link DVI adapter + 7970, Vs. buying a Nvidia which has 2x dual link DVI capabilites. Do you think there is still enough value in the 7970s lower price point to justify the $70+ adapter purchase?

3)Question 3: Just some deals I have been looking at for reference of what I am expecting to pay,

~$270 for Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 WF(used amazon warehouse)
~$300 for Various new 7970 GHz on sale
~$380 Sapphire Radeon Vapor-X HD 7970 GHZ OC 6GB(used amazon warehouse)
~$400 new GTX 770(never seen these go on a notable sale yet)
~$461 new GTX 780 from rakuten deal last week($650-30% rakuten points)

Another option i researched was not replacing my 5850 but leaving it in my PC as a second video card to drive one of the secondary 2560x1440 monitors, thus allowing me to buy a 7970 still. The problem here is I would almost certainly have to upgrade my 650W PSU to run these 2 cards.

So there it is, opinions? What would you do with 270-400(460?) bucks (all of this in USD)?

Edit: Current computer Specs:
My Rig: i7 920 @3.4Ghz | Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Cooler | Foxconn FlamingBlade GTI LGA 1366 X58 | XFX HD-585X-ZAFC HD5850 1G | CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3x2GB, Triple channel) | 128 GB Samsung 470 SSD (OS) | 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD (Programs) | 2TB Samsung HDD | Azza Solano 1000 Case | XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W PSU

More about : opinions graphics card upgrade

a c 683 4 Gaming
a c 212 U Graphics card
a c 88 C Monitor
August 10, 2013 2:26:03 AM

Short answer as I need to run, go with a 770, it will work with your proposed set up, better than the 7950, real close to 7970....irt can drive 3 monitors by itself
a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 10, 2013 2:40:54 AM

specify your max budget? we can give you some better deals. your 5850 will take performance hit at that high resolution
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a b 4 Gaming
a c 198 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 10, 2013 4:08:20 AM

If you're gaming on one monitor what will you be doing on the other?
There's very little between the GTX770 and HD7970GHz (the GHz is a faster edition of the 'stock HD7970 BTW, don't mix the two up) in games, although the HD7970GHz just edges the GTX770 at your resolution, so don't be too concerned about loosing performance with either choice.
I don't think you'll be any better off getting a cheaper HD7970, by the time you've added the adaptor and messed around hunting up the best dual deal you'll be older and not much better off.
Long post I know just to detail why I agree with Trasesman1: Get a single GTX770 ;) .
August 10, 2013 3:16:01 PM

Thanks for the replys,
My max budget is going to be about $450 USD if warranted, but I would like to spend under $400.

On my secondary monitors I use them to watch TV, streams, all my monitoring software and some informational websites while I game. I just need more screen space for my background programs, which is why I am getting a second 27". I will keep the streams and TV on the 46" 1920x1080.

I do like the idea of a single GTX 770, but I wish they were more than 2GB 256-bit from a more future proofing standpoint.
August 10, 2013 7:09:01 PM

trobb said:
Thanks for the replys,
My max budget is going to be about $450 USD if warranted, but I would like to spend under $400.

On my secondary monitors I use them to watch TV, streams, all my monitoring software and some informational websites while I game. I just need more screen space for my background programs, which is why I am getting a second 27". I will keep the streams and TV on the 46" 1920x1080.

I do like the idea of a single GTX 770, but I wish they were more than 2GB 256-bit from a more future proofing standpoint.


There is a 4GB model of the GTX 770 for only $50 more then the 2GB model so that would handle any potential VRAM bottlenecks. However your setup is pretty demanding with dual 2560x1440 monitors and an LED TV. Regardless I've had great results with the 770 at 1080p with a 42 inch plasma and a 27 inch LED but I don't have any experience with it at higher resolutions.

I'm tempted though to recommend a 7970 mainly because I've heard it does better with multi-monitor setups and eyefinity then the 770. Of course then you would need to make sure it had all the outputs you needed to run your setup.

However if you would be able to SLI a second 770 4GB model in the future you would probably be set for a while.
a c 683 4 Gaming
a c 212 U Graphics card
a c 88 C Monitor
August 10, 2013 10:17:13 PM

Eyefinity stinks next to nVidia
a b 4 Gaming
a c 198 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
August 11, 2013 4:12:33 AM

@ Trobb: There's no need to worry about a second card for the extra screen, the graphics load for those uses is minimal so a single card will barely feel its presence.
You're right about the 4Gb memory, 2Gb is usually enough at 1080 res but I've already seen Max Payne3 push beyond that with my 7950 so you'll be making compromises fairly soon without the extra memory because of your higher resolution.
Downside is that a 4Gb card is going to be pushing in excess of $450 and you can definitely get a HD7970+adaptor for less, and it's 3Gb of memory is going to be enough for quite a while.
Neatest solution: 4Gb GTX770-no messy adaptors and possible issues with same.
Cheapest (probably) solution: HD7970+adaptor: possible issues with the adaptor and the HD7970 needs a good cooler to keeps its noise and temperatures under control-Sapphires' VapourX setup is particularly well liked BTW.
One point of warning: stay away from refurbished or used parts, when you're paying so much for parts it's false economy to sacrifice a decent warranty to save a few dollars.
!