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GPU Advice Needed - (~£160 GPU Budget)

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June 7, 2012 11:01:21 AM

So far I've been give a lot of help setting up this build (specs below) , but the last hurdle is the GPU. So far I have been recommended a EVGA GTX 480 which is obviously a powerful unit. Yet I'm looking for something slightly cheaper, unless this bang for buck is REALLY worth it. I was thinking something along the lines of the XFX HD 6950 or even something as cheap as the XFX HD 6870

Specs

PSU : XFX 550Watt Core Edition 80 Bronze

GPU : ???????

Mobo : Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 1155 Set

Case : Antec Three Hundred Two

Fan : Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo

CPU : Intel i5-2500k

Optical : Liteon-ihas123

RAM : Patriot G2 8gb (2x4gb) 1600


HDD + SSD : 1TB Seagate Barracuda 5900 RPM 32mb Cache + 120gb OCZ Agility 3 SSD

Many thanks in advance :) 
June 7, 2012 11:25:44 AM

You're going to get what you pay for. I wouldn't go lower than a 6950. This will give you decent framerates for gaming (assuming you'll be using it to game?).

A 560 TI or 570 would also be a good choice. Are you trying to stick in the $250 range?

If so, this GTX 570 card is practically a steal for the performance you're going to get out of it:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 7, 2012 12:21:01 PM

ubercake said:
You're going to get what you pay for. I wouldn't go lower than a 6950. This will give you decent framerates for gaming (assuming you'll be using it to game?).

A 560 TI or 570 would also be a good choice. Are you trying to stick in the $250 range?

If so, this GTX 570 card is practically a steal for the performance you're going to get out of it:

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


The cheapest I can get a good GTX 570 is £10 more than the GTX 480 here , worth it?

Unfortunately I can't go any higher in cost without making sacrifices elsewhere in the system! This is looking right at the top of my GPU budget, but I would be willing to spend £200 MAX if it will make a big difference. Unless you have suggestions to downgrade elsewhere in my system (keeping the SSD ;)  )?

I'm going to be using it mostly for graphics programming with a decent bit of linux emulation, yet also intend for it to play games well (MMOs such as the new Tera). I don't need it to run the highest graphics, but want things to run smoothly on high settings. So I think the budget is fitting....
June 7, 2012 12:42:53 PM

Don't make any sacrifices anywhere else in your system. The 480 is a great performer which will provide almost the same performance as the 570. If you can't spend the £10 extra, don't. If you can, get the 570.
June 7, 2012 1:35:32 PM

ubercake said:
Don't make any sacrifices anywhere else in your system. The 480 is a great performer which will provide almost the same performance as the 570. If you can't spend the £10 extra, don't. If you can, get the 570.


Out of interest, what kind of frame rates would my system look like achieving on high-ish settings, 1920x1080? I find it hard to judge! 80-ish FPS on most new titles?

Mkay, well I think I may need to settle with the 480 anyway as unless I can do research and find an alternative affordable 570, I'll be having to wait on a pre-order etc. I hope it'll be fine and I can rock the 570!
June 7, 2012 1:43:15 PM

With the 570 i'd say maxed out on many games but late 2012> games will only run on high. BF3, GTA IV would run maxed out :) . And if you turn the resolution down to 720p it would be even better :) .
June 7, 2012 1:43:55 PM

There aren't many reviews out there for newer titles with regard to the 480, but I imaging you can expect between up to somewhere around 5% less performance from the 480 than peformance listed for the 570. They are both good cards.
June 7, 2012 1:47:32 PM

I'd try and stretch ya budget a tiny bit to get a better bang for ya buck ... the Asus 560 Ti DCII TOP @ 900MHz would be my choice.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-asus-gtx-560ti-direc...

Guru3D uses the following games in their 2011 test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 125.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.40 - $ 0.42
$ 130.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.35 - $ 0.41
$ 155.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.36 - $ 0.44
$ 200.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.42 - $ 0.53
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 200.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 210.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 270.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.54 - $ 0.65
$ 310.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.59 - $ 0.71

Guru3D uses the following games in their 2012 test suite: Hard Reset, COD-MW2, Far Cry 2, ANNO 1404, Metro 2033, ANNO 2070, BFBC2, BF3, Crysis 2, AvP, Lost Planet 2. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

GTX 670 - $ 400 ( 917 / 1539 ) $ 0.44 - $ 0.52
670 DCII Cu TOP - $ 420 ( 999 / 1679 ) $ 0.42 - $ 0.50
7970 - $ 480 ( 872 / NA ) $ 0.55 - ERR
7970 DCII Cu - $ 580 ( 924 / NA ) $ 0.63 - ERR
7950 - $ 400 ( 746 / NA ) $ 0.54 - ERR
7870 - $ 360 ( 701 / NA ) $ 0.51 - ERR
7850 - $ 260 ( 596 / NA ) $ 0.44 - ERR
7770 - $ 150 ( 375 / NA ) $ 0.40 - ERR
7750 - $ 110 ( 291 / NA ) $ 0.38 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $420 each and gets 999 fps in single card configuration at a cost of $0.42 per frame and 1679 in SLI at a cost of $0.50 per frame. The AMD cards w/ NA did not complete all games in the test suite. This should be resolved in an upcoming driver fix. The nVidia card w/ NA was not tested in SLI.

June 7, 2012 3:25:07 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
I'd try and stretch ya budget a tiny bit to get a better bang for ya buck ... the Asus 560 Ti DCII TOP @ 900MHz would be my choice.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-asus-gtx-560ti-direc...

Guru3D uses the following games in their 2011 test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 125.00 460-768 MB (314/592) $ 0.40 - $ 0.42
$ 130.00 6850 (371/634) $ 0.35 - $ 0.41
$ 155.00 6870 (434/701) $ 0.36 - $ 0.44
$ 200.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.42 - $ 0.53
$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 200.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.44 - $ 0.51
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 210.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.42 - $ 0.49
$ 270.00 560-448 (501/835) $ 0.54 - $ 0.65
$ 310.00 570 (524/873) $ 0.59 - $ 0.71

Guru3D uses the following games in their 2012 test suite: Hard Reset, COD-MW2, Far Cry 2, ANNO 1404, Metro 2033, ANNO 2070, BFBC2, BF3, Crysis 2, AvP, Lost Planet 2. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

GTX 670 - $ 400 ( 917 / 1539 ) $ 0.44 - $ 0.52
670 DCII Cu TOP - $ 420 ( 999 / 1679 ) $ 0.42 - $ 0.50
7970 - $ 480 ( 872 / NA ) $ 0.55 - ERR
7970 DCII Cu - $ 580 ( 924 / NA ) $ 0.63 - ERR
7950 - $ 400 ( 746 / NA ) $ 0.54 - ERR
7870 - $ 360 ( 701 / NA ) $ 0.51 - ERR
7850 - $ 260 ( 596 / NA ) $ 0.44 - ERR
7770 - $ 150 ( 375 / NA ) $ 0.40 - ERR
7750 - $ 110 ( 291 / NA ) $ 0.38 - ERR

In the table above for example, the Asus 670 Cu DCII TOP costs $420 each and gets 999 fps in single card configuration at a cost of $0.42 per frame and 1679 in SLI at a cost of $0.50 per frame. The AMD cards w/ NA did not complete all games in the test suite. This should be resolved in an upcoming driver fix. The nVidia card w/ NA was not tested in SLI.


Wow, now that is brilliant research! But, I'm slightly unsure about your recommendation considering the cost of seemingly higher performance alternatives!

For example, the 7850 seems to have better performance in sum fps on newer games than the 560ti. And it is available on Scan for a similar price, see these links MSI and XFX . Maybe I am missing something here, are these two 7850s poor quality?

Thanks again for the advice :)  Brilliant!
June 7, 2012 6:53:42 PM

If the 7850 is the same price as the 560 ti and the 560 ti is not a 560 ti 448 core, then go for the 7850.
June 7, 2012 6:55:38 PM

The 7850 has more OC headroom, so it can match a 580 when Oced to 1000 MHz AND still use less power.
June 7, 2012 7:35:00 PM

Massive thanks to everyone so far!

I have two finals request ;) 

Firstly... I'm still planning on using the 550W supply at the top of the post, I'm assuming that needs upgrading now that I'm hitting up very strong GPUs? *edit, here is the psu

FINALLY! I'm aware most of you are pushing me towards the HD7850, and obviously battling the other corner is the GTX 570. I am choosing between the following GPUs now, which is the winner? I'm saying the MSI HD 7850?

£187.96
MSI GTX 570 4000mhz - GPU 770mhz - Shader 1540mhz

£179.74
MSI Radeon HD7850 4800mhz - GPU 900mhz (OC)

£184.54
XFX Radeon HD7850 4800mhz - GPU 860mhz
June 8, 2012 12:18:34 AM

570s performance is going to get you just under a 7870 in performance. If it's in your budget do it.
!