Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

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Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:53 pm

My graphics card has died atlast! Been holding off an upgrade for quite some time now. So its time.

I've got a budget of $400 for a new graphics card. So been looking at GTX 670 (had shortlisted this card over a month back - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130787) but here is my problem - my current system is quite dated. I have plans to upgrade (in the distant future actually) so i'm not sure if i should start my upgrade cycle with a good graphics card or hold out even longer (its going over 5 years now!) and get a cheaper alternative.

My current system is -
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
Asus p5n-e sli - [pci-x 16x version 1.x - will this have an impact?]
8 GB ram
WD 2TB x 3
Corsair VX450 - [will this power supply suffice? GTX 670 need 2 x 6 pin connectors, so would this have to be upgraded?]
XFX 8800 - [RIP]

Currently on 1080p, with no plans to upgrade my display.

So is it worth future proofing with GTX 670 or is it an overkill for my existing system. My old card churned out playable framerates for Skyrim, MF 3 but not for BF3, LA noire, witcher2. Or should i just face reality & go for a $150 card instead.

any comments appreciated!
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:59 pm

I'd got with a $200 card instead and spend the rest on upgrading your system (starting with the PSU).
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:25 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:I'd got with a $200 card instead and spend the rest on upgrading your system (starting with the PSU).


This is probably the best overall advice, but it really depends on what you want to do.

If you're willing to clock the hell out of that CPU, say 4.5GHz+, then the GTX670 should show a marked improvement, but it won't by any means be running to it's potential. Thing is, it'll give you a boost now, and when you get around to upgrading your system, it'll give you a boost then as well. Since the GTX670 is quite overkill for 1080p it should also last you longer which might fit into your upgrade schedule better.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:29 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:I'd got with a $200 card instead and spend the rest on upgrading your system (starting with the PSU).


Any suggestions? GTX 550 Ti? Radeon alternatives?


Scared that i might hold out on major upgrade cause of stopgap purchase!
/rant
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:36 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Thing is, it'll give you a boost now, and when you get around to upgrading your system, it'll give you a boost then as well. Since the GTX670 is quite overkill for 1080p it should also last you longer which might fit into your upgrade schedule better.


This was my initial thought process too... but then was wonder if my actual upgrade cycle was not planned for another 6 ~ 8 months, was i starting little too early with no major benefits at all!
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:06 pm

Of course your available budget plays into things quite heavily, but I would jump on the ~$200-250 bandwagon here as well. Something like a 7850 or an upcoming GTX 660 marks the highest amount of GPU power that most people will ever realistically need for 1080p gaming IMO. ANY decent GPU is going to give you the double performance improvement that Airmantharp mentioned. Have a look at this chart and find your (roughly) equivalent C2D E6400 way down at the bottom. That article uses a GTX 460 which costs $130 now, so you can see that by moving up to a SB processor you can double your FPS in CPU dependent scenarios with the same graphics card.
Also, as Usacomp2k3 mentioned, the savings can make up a pretty decent chunk to your system upgrade in 6-8 months....Basically just seconding and thirding things others have said.
Last edited by DPete27 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:06 pm

This, granted I have a toxic 6850, but its the best money I have ever spent on a video card, I have it at 985/1200.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:08 pm

aunlead wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:Thing is, it'll give you a boost now, and when you get around to upgrading your system, it'll give you a boost then as well. Since the GTX670 is quite overkill for 1080p it should also last you longer which might fit into your upgrade schedule better.


This was my initial thought process too... but then was wonder if my actual upgrade cycle was not planned for another 6 ~ 8 months, was i starting little too early with no major benefits at all!


You'll notice the benefits immediately, and be able to enjoy the increased performance for the next 6-8 months, where the performance will jump even more.

I was mostly looking at the age of your current parts, say 2-4 years, and thinking that if you upgraded the rest of your system in the next 6-8 months the GTX670 should last you another good 2-4 years at 1080p.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:10 pm

DPete27 wrote:Of course your available budget plays into things quite heavily, but I would jump on the ~$200-250 bandwagon here as well. Something like a 7850 or an upcoming GTX 660 marks the highest amount of GPU power that most people will ever realistically need for 1080p gaming IMO. ANY decent GPU is going to give you the double performance improvement that Airmantharp mentioned. Have a look at this chart and find your (roughly) equivalent C2D E6400 way down at the bottom. That article uses a GTX 460 which costs $130 now, so you can see that by moving up to a SB processor you can double your FPS in CPU dependent scenarios with the same graphics card.
Also, as Usacomp2k3 mentioned, the savings can make up a pretty decent chunk to your system upgrade in 6-8 months....Basically just seconding and thirding things others have said.


An HD7850 or GTX660 would also be great; they should both last quite some time. Granted we haven't seen just how much GK104 will be gimped for the GTX660, but I doubt Nvidia would make it uncompetitive.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:14 pm

What I would buy if I only had 400 bucks to spend and wanted to game at 1080 with some good detail in latest titles:

Intel Pentium G620 Sandy Bridge 2.6Ghz - 65$
Z68 Board - 90$
2x4Gb 1333 Ram - 45$
500W PSU (Corsair Builder Series) - 60$
Radeon HD 6850 - 150$

Later on you could buy a faster processor (maybe a quad-core and add a more powerful VGA)

Just sharing my thoughts :wink:
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:17 pm

Use a power supply calculator to determine you PSU wattage needs. (Make sure you throw in 25-30% capacitor aging in that one I linked to be conservative) PSU calculators generally take whatever the expected power draw of the system and double that to give you a recommended PSU wattage since peak efficiency occurs around 50% load. So just because a PSU calculator may recommend 500W (example) doesn't mean an existing 400W unit wont be able to power the system.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:02 pm

A $130 Radeon HD6850 is going to be fast enough that your CPU is still the bottleneck, as will an old GTX460 if you can find one cheap.

Put the remaining $270 in a savings account and spend it on a new GPU when you do the rest of the upgrade. If you spend $400 now, you'll get a GTX670. If you spend $270 in a year from now, you'll probably get a GTX760Ti* which beats a GTX670, supports DX12, only uses 125W instead of 170W and runs quieter too.

* - Of course I made this up, but whatever happens, you can bet that a GTX670 won't be the best card to buy and it certainly won't still be worth $400.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:55 pm

If it were me I'd drop $300 on a 7870 and be pretty much set for the foreseeable future.

Everything should run smooth as butter at 1080p. I never advocate getting a small "filler card" with the intention of upgrading later. Buy something you will be happy with and will carry over to your next build. It will be cheaper that way.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:21 pm

Airmantharp wrote:An HD7850 or GTX660 would also be great


Yeah, I thought I'd seen you post about the GTX660 twice in one night!
What planet are you living on where the GTX660 is anything more than speculation? Do you work for Nvidia and have inside infomation on performance and launch prices? ;)

aunlead wrote:my current system is quite dated

An expensive graphics card is a wise investment if you plan to upgrade the rest of the system soon, but if you end up using the E4300 for another couple of years, it's a complete waste of money. The E4300* will be holding you back, even with a relatively cheap card.

* The E4500 is as low as Anand's CPU Bench goes. Hopefully you get the message, anyway... ;)
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:38 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:What planet are you living on where the GTX660 is anything more than speculation?


Yes, GTX 660 talk is just speculation at this point. But, I read enough tech news and reviews from various websites to know that the GTX 660 and 660Ti are in the works for later this year. (though I can't think of that reference/s at the moment but here's a quick stand-in) Seeing as though the DDR3-based GT 640 is woefully overpriced and underpowered, Nvidia has a lot of open ground between the $400 GTX 670 and the $100 GT 640 to fill in. (a DDR5 GT 640 might be more worth $100 it seems)
That being said..based on "traditional Nvidia naming schemes," the GTX 660 Ti (purportedly to launch in August at ~$300) will be the next rung down on the ladder below the GTX 670 and the plain GTX 660 will sit slightly below that both in terms of price and performance. Which leaves room for a GTX 550 Ti and maybe a GTX 550 to fill out their numbering. Given that THEORETICAL lineup, the GTX 660 is the most likely (in my opinion) to be the the card positioned to do battle against the 7850 which will probably drop closer to the $200 mark at that time. Of course, if the OP is looking for a purchase now, we are obviously bound to what is currently available. I am amazed that Nvidia is able to keep their heads above water with this GPU generation seeing as though they still have no market presence aside from "high-end-enthusiasts" and fanboys whereas the 7870/7850 have been out for over 4 months
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:52 pm

aunlead wrote:My graphics card has died atlast! Been holding off an upgrade for quite some time now. So its time.

I've got a budget of $400 for a new graphics card. So been looking at GTX 670 (had shortlisted this card over a month back - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130787) but here is my problem - my current system is quite dated. I have plans to upgrade (in the distant future actually) so i'm not sure if i should start my upgrade cycle with a good graphics card or hold out even longer (its going over 5 years now!) and get a cheaper alternative.

My current system is -
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
Asus p5n-e sli - [pci-x 16x version 1.x - will this have an impact?]
8 GB ram
WD 2TB x 3
Corsair VX450 - [will this power supply suffice? GTX 670 need 2 x 6 pin connectors, so would this have to be upgraded?]
XFX 8800 - [RIP]

Currently on 1080p, with no plans to upgrade my display.

So is it worth future proofing with GTX 670 or is it an overkill for my existing system. My old card churned out playable framerates for Skyrim, MF 3 but not for BF3, LA noire, witcher2. Or should i just face reality & go for a $150 card instead.

any comments appreciated!


I havent seen anyone ask or if they did I missed it, but what is your time frame before you do a complete system rebuild? I think that could be relevant to the discussion. If your looking at less than 4 months before starting over I could see you picking a high end card. If your looking at more than 4 months I would go with a $200 card and probably look to getting a beefier PSU . Jon1984, I think also did a good job playing devils advocate where he gave you a basis for 400 build that looks decent and easily upgradeable.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:06 pm

^What Dpete27 said. Still, I'd advocate going with an HD7950 or GTX670 if a system upgrade is in the works.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:46 pm

What they said. Radeon HD7850 2GB or Radeon HD7870 is an attractive choice for 1080p gaming in the $220-$280 range. If NVidia ever comes out with a competitive card in this price range (GeForce GTX660 is still rumored), you could consider that, as well.
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Re: Gfx woes - best 1080p card for ancient system

Postposted on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:49 am

Just as JAE said......drop in a 7850 or better yet a 7870....they sip power with there pinkies out, but they still overclock like champs :D leaving broken teacups in there wake.

Whenever you upgrade your platform down the road to ivy or perhaps haswell say a year from now and you need more graphics horsepower. You could always crossfire the 7850-70, they scale very well with the probability a year from now they will be a good bit cheaper. Also with a platform upgrade say to ivy bridge even sandy bridge will make the 7857-70 run a bit faster without a possible/probable cpu c2d bottleneck that might limit very high frame rates. But I bet you will be able to run gobs of AA and AF along with V-Sync and get a pretty dang good ride.
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