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Yet another "help me choose a video card" thread.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Maybe you guys can help me out here.

I have recently been upgrading my computer, the one in my sig. I am still using the video card from my old build a BFG 9600GT.

My new computer consists of a ASRock 970 Extreme 3 with AMD 4170, Antec 620w PSU. (And 16Gb of ram if that matters)
So far I am happy with my system, I admit I did not research it at all when I bought it, it was an impulse buy based on a build similar to someone else that I know. If I had researched it, I may have ended up with something different, but as I said, so far it's nice. That's why I want need a little help deciding as this purchase will likely be online, lots to choose from. When I go the 9600GT, it was basically what was available locally and in my price range.

I was debating buying new monitors as well, but for now I think the best bang for my buck would be upgrading the video card. I was envisioning going to a triple screen setup, but I think if I do upgrade monitors down the road,I will go dual again, but bigger.
I currently am using two HPw2007 monitors,(1680x1050) which I really like. Even though they are 60Hz I don't think I am using them to their full potential with my 9600GT.

I am not a heavy or serious gamer, but when I do game I'm like everyone else and want decent performance. As far as games, I play a bit of WoW now and again, and similar games.

I usually game in one full screen and use the other for "computer" things. I'm not sure if I require any "surround" type capabilities, although I certainly would not turn it down if it was in my price range.

I use Google (Trimble) Sketchup and sometimes Blender, so it would be nice to see a decent improvement in this department. My 9600GT is functional with Sketchup, but I can imagine a fairly substantial improvement with a newer card, especially with large drawings.

My computer is also my HTPC, I usually watch TV and movies in one full screen. I don't know if I will see any improvement in this department given the smaller file size of most of my shows, if I do it would be a bonus. On a side note, there is one episode of Seinfeld where Kramer is swimming in the Hudson river. The picture seems to struggle in this particular scene, similar to water in a game.

I have been reading the article at Techspot.com that is in a thread here http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-cards/ It has made me consider getting an AMD card as they seem to bee the better value. I am not a fanboy either way, just this morning I was thinking nVidia, now I am not so sure. (My old nVidia has worked 100%, so it was natural to give this brand consideration.)

So I guess it all comes down to budget. Around $300-$350. I could maybe spend more, but hopefully I will be satisfied in that price range and it seems appropriate for my system. I'm assuming my computer would be the bottleneck with a top of the line card. So I think my budget pretty much rules out a 680, 690, 7970 etc, unless someone knows of a deal or a good reason why I should step up.

It would be nice if it had dual DVI outlets, I notice some have one DVI and one HDMI outlet. I don't mind using a HDMI-DVI adapter on one side, as long as the outcome is identical on both monitors.

Here is an example of something I think I might want. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006 or a 660ti etc. Something along those lines, upper-middle performance.

It would be nice if it was quiet side, as I use my computer for HTPC purposes daily.

I am overwhelmed by all the different manufacturers of these cards and places to purchase them, so I am open to any suggestions based on the info above, let me know if I missed anything. Thanks.thumb.gif
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post #2 of 18
Since you're not an heavy gamer, I'll consider a 7800 series card that can easily be found around 200-250$. They'll be able to run WoW to the max, and are fairly decent for the latest games. I don't think you really need more that this.

If you really want to spend more money and keep the card for a longer time, you can go with a 660Ti. They are little powerhouses that runs latest games easily and that can be found for 280-300$. But, if you can wait to the christmas deals, I'm sure a GTX 670 will drop down to 320-350$ !

For the 7870 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125418 Great card, great cooler, great company. You can't go wrong with this one!

for the 660Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127696 The MSI cooler on this one is really quiet and its a great card IMO! All the MSI card I had (about 3) always ran like a charm (I'd go with this, personally)

Hope it helps smile.gif
Edited by 99Cookies - 11/28/12 at 7:03pm
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post #3 of 18
A 2gb 7850 for ~$215 is what I would get to match a cuadcore FX..
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK I will look into those cards. Actually it's kinda nice to see suggestions a little under my budget.

As far as waiting until Xmas, it's hard enough for me to wait for the mailman, lol. I thought I should try and beat the xmas rush. Something to consider.
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Looks like I am leaning towards the 660 Ti. I found a comparison that verifies what you say about the MSI cooler. I also like the fact the it has two DVI connectors, not a big deal, but it's nice.

Actually the next town over has a proper computer store with the MSI 660 Ti in stock. If I can't get there I will order at their online store or newegg.ca
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_559&item_id=051482

I did a quick search to compare 660 Ti's, it appears that the MSI is one of the preferred versions, so I don't know if there is any point in exploring other versions of the 660Ti or not.

I will sleep on it tonight, and update with my decision. Thanks I feel have made progress.
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post #6 of 18
The 7850 at 300 ish dollars would destroy pretty much everything, it overclocks well too, even past a gtx 680 when its overclocked. A stock 7950 is comparable to a gtx 670.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by All3n View Post

Here is an example of something I think I might want. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006

OP you already picked the best card for your usage and budget. this card destroys a GTX 660 Ti. the HD 7950 boost matches GTX 670. max out the power option to +20% and this card will run at 925 mhz without clock throttling and is faster even at stock . but once you overclock the HD 7950(1.15 Ghz) is faster than GTX 670(1.3 Ghz) . clock for clock HD 7950 is 3 - 6% slower than HD 7970.

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/34761-amd-hd-7950-vs-hd-7970-clocks/?page=3

the sapphire hd 7950 boost card comes with 1.25v stock voltage. easily overclocks to 1.1 - 1.15 ghz at stock voltage. the user reviews for this card are very positive.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/11/12/fall_2012_gpu_driver_comparison_roundup/8

"Middle pricing band – This pricing band was far less competitive as the Radeon HD 7950 with Boost simply demolished the GTX 660 Ti across the board with regards to raw frame rates and overall game play experience across our suite of testing. "

http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-cards/page12.html

"At 1920x1200 the GeForce GTX 670 is 12% faster than the Radeon HD 7950 and just 2% faster than the 7950 Boost. However the GTX 670 is 27% more expensive than both cards, so whichever way you slice it the Radeon HD 7950 Boost is the better proposition and things just get worse for the GTX 670 as the resolution is increased."
Edited by raghu78 - 11/29/12 at 1:40am
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post #8 of 18
I think raghu78 is right, since the release of the latest drivers, the 7800 and 7900 had a significant boost in performance, and are better than the 660Ti.
I would +1 for raghu's post!
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I looked online to see what the "local" store has for 7950 s. Unfortunately the in store stock is limited for this model. (I have terrible luck that way, lol)
I know I said I was going to order online, but now I have decided I would go to the next town over, sometimes it's nice just to buy something.

Would you mind checking these 7950 s out? (I do have concerns about the Asus DC2, did they sort out the issue with the cooler?)

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_558&item_id=049785
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_558&item_id=055475

They have a better stock of 660Ti

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_559&item_id=051482
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_559&item_id=051602
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_559&item_id=051603
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_559&item_id=051660

At this point in time I am leaning towards the 7950, however if the ones I linked are not desirable, I will go with one of the four 660 Ti I linked, or have to revert back to ordering online.

I'm not trying to be a pain, but I have cash for this and sometimes get tired of ordering things through the mail. I am semi-rural, most times the mailman just leaves a slip in the mailbox and I have to drive the hour trip to pick it up from the post office anyways. If I can get one the next down over, the drive is not that much longer then going to the post office anyways.

Thanks again to all that have helped.
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post #10 of 18

the card you linked is the Sapphire hd 7950 boost. manufacturer code 11196-16-20G is the correct model. also newegg has the card with never settle game bundle. can you get this game bundle from the local store.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006
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