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What makes a good GPU

post #1 of 12
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My friend is interested in getting a new GPU for his system and he's asking me for advice but idk what to tell him other than looking for higher clock and enough vram. Anyone can enlighten me on what makes a good gpu? And how it affects the gpu. Thanks in advance smile.gif. I've done some research and i found out that size of memory bus also affects the performance. But idk how it affects.
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post #2 of 12
What makes a good GPU? It'll have AMD in front of it smile.gif

Seriously though:

1) Higher bitrates (e.g. 64, 128, 256, 384-bit)
2) More shaders
3) Higher memory and GPU processor clocks
4) Lastly, memory size.
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post #3 of 12
ATI and Nvidia both work differently.

Just tell us his resolution, budget and brand preferred. System specs and We'll do the rest. tongue.gif
Edited by 5ILVgeARX - 5/31/11 at 7:29pm
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post #4 of 12
A lot of the time people think that a card with more video memory always is faster than a card with less but that is not a true and not a good way to pick cards.

Basically he needs to know what resolution he is going to game at(I assume he plays games), what games he'll mostly be playing, then look at reviews to see how well the main cards out today perform in those games at his native resolution. Which ever gives him his desired performance for the best price is generally the winner.

OR, if he doesn't mind dropping some serious cash he can just buy a 6950/6970 or gtx570/580.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmRose;13706218 
1) Higher bitrates (e.g. 64, 128, 256, 384-bit)
2) More shaders
3) Higher memory and GPU processor clocks
4) Lastly, memory size.

I know where you are going with this but honestly raw specs are not a great way to pick a gpu. Otherwise the HD2900 would have been the best card ever, which as someone who owned one I can tell it certainly was not.

In the end only two metrics really matter for gamers, performance and price. Secondary considerations like noise, heat, power can matter for some form factors though.
Edited by Mygaffer - 5/31/11 at 7:30pm
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post #5 of 12
You can't always compare GPUs clock for clock since they use different architecture. An example of this is a ATI 6850 vs a GTX 570. The 6850 has 775 - 800 MHz core clock depending on the brand while the GTX 570 has ~ 732 MHz clock. Yet nobody will question that the GTX 570 is faster.

I know it's not a perfect comparison because they don't have the same amount of vram etc. But it was a quick example for me to give since I'm familiar with the cards.

Honestly I just look at benchmark scores and reviews for the cards. I see what FPS they can actually deliver in games when tested by the pros under controlled and fair conditions (tested on the same system against other comparable cards, same game settings etc).
Edited by Epitope - 5/31/11 at 7:39pm
    
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post #6 of 12
Should added series in there too...as in (with the exception of some 5k series cards) the higher the series number the better. e.g. 6>5>4>3>2. It also really matters what you want to use it for. If you're going to do nothing but watch YouTube on a 800x600 display then you really wouldn't need a 6950.

The biggest factor is price you're willing to pay. Once you narrow down a price range you can limit it to the cards in that range and widdle it down from there.
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post #7 of 12
To put it simply: if it'll run the set of applications you want it to at your preferred settings, it fits your description of a "good GPU". Google the cards in your budget and see which one has the best bang/buck ratio in games/applications you want and if it's sufficient, no need for your friend to learn the jargon behind it.
    
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post #8 of 12
it depends on a bunch of things......some people want price to performance.....some worry about heat, power consumption and noise......i stop as soon as i can get playable frame rates at max visual settings.....i don't care about 150fps.....60 vsynced is all i need
    
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post #9 of 12
I would say any AMD/ATI 5850, 5870, 5970, 6850, 6870, 6950, 6970, 6990 and for Nvidia 460, 470, 480, 560, 570, 580.
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post #10 of 12
Looking at benchmarks is the only good way to measure a card's performance.
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