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SmallinJeck
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High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:00 am

I want to buy a new graphics card card but i'm wondering: Does it mean the more expensive and sophisticated a card is the better the quality of the video? I have seen so many cards being advertised on the internet but I'm a little hesitant to spend all that money on a card. Are there any low-end cards that perform just fine?
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:07 am

What is your idea of high-end? What games and resolution will you be playing at? 

The default "I have no idea what to buy and I have a 1080p or lower monitor" choice now is the RX470 4GB. 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:18 am

As a start, I would suggest reading some of the graphics card reviews here on Tech Report and specifically look at the performance in the games you intend to play at the resolution you intend to play them. That will give you an idea of which cards meet your needs. 

The question you are asking is very broad, so it's hard for the posters to guide you without knowing more details. 
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DPete27
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:27 am

strangerguy wrote:
The default "I have no idea what to buy and I have a 1080p or lower monitor" choice now is the RX470 4GB. 

+This.  RX470's can be had for around $135 on good sales.  The RX470 will push near 60fps @ 1080p on high-max settings.

Had to dig a little, but MSI RX470 4GB = $172 - $25 promo code TRIPLE15 - $10 MIR (MSI-17304) = $135ish
Last edited by DPete27 on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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ptsant
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:54 am

SmallinJeck wrote:
I want to buy a new graphics card card but i'm wondering: Does it mean the more expensive and sophisticated a card is the better the quality of the video? I have seen so many cards being advertised on the internet but I'm a little hesitant to spend all that money on a card. Are there any low-end cards that perform just fine?

The quality of the images you see depends on the settings you use. If your card can manage a given game at "high" settings, the image quality will be similar (although not always identical!) to another card running at the same settings. Some games offer "ultra" or "extreme" or "crazy" or some other tier of settings that are usually visually not worth it, but mostly serve for bragging rights. You can usually safely ignore the need to run "extreme" in your purchase decisions.
The biggest variable, however, is the fluidity of the game, estimated by the number of times the screen is redrawn per second (frames per second). If you have a card that can do 30 frames per second (fps) and upgrade to one that does 90 fps, the new game will feel much snappier and real. For most people and games, there is not a big benefit from going over 90-100 fps. I usually game just fine at 70-90fps, but that is my personal preference.
So, for your given processor and given screen resolution, there is no point in getting a card that can drive more than, say, 90-100 fps at high or mostly high settings. If your resolution is the exceedingly popular 1080p, the RX470 suggested above is the price/performance king, although I would probably go for a RX480 4GB on sale (some models at $160 after rebate on newegg right now).  If you want to spend less than $150, the best option is probably the nVidia 1050Ti, although the difference in performance from the RX480 is quite big.
If you have a higher screen resolution (1440p) and can't live with anything less than "high" quality settings, you may need to upgrade to the nVidia 1070. Frankly, I don't consider the difference between the RX480 4GB and the nVidia 1060 sufficient to justify the price increase. If you really need the speed, a 1070 can be found at $370 approximately and, in my opinion, is already an expensive card.
If you have ultra-wide 1440p or 4k, then you need an nVidia 1080 or a Titan X. You would probably already know if you needed these. Usually very bad price/performance decisions, if you don't value your entertainment very highly and need the performance today.
Finally, don't think it's better to buy a $800 card today and keep it 5 years.
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:05 am

SmallinJeck wrote:
the more expensive and sophisticated a card is the better the quality of the video?
If by "video" you mean movie playback, also low-end cards will likely suffice.
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:14 am

SmallinJeck wrote:
I want to buy a new graphics card card but i'm wondering: Does it mean the more expensive and sophisticated a card is the better the quality of the video? I have seen so many cards being advertised on the internet but I'm a little hesitant to spend all that money on a card. Are there any low-end cards that perform just fine?

There's a few things we should ask before we can give you advice:
-most importantly, what games do you want to play? If you want to play older or less demanding games, then there's no point in buying a super high-end card.
-what is your monitor like? If you only have a 1080p (or smaller) monitor, then there's no point in buying a super high-end card.
-what is the rest of your system like? If your CPU/RAM is slow, then your games will run slow regardless of how good your graphics card is... and then there's no point in buying a super high-end card.
Important thing to note- avoid any card which is called "Quadro", "Firepro", or "Titan". These are overpriced professional cards, and won't make your games any faster; in fact they're the same graphics chips as the ones in a Geforce or Radeon card. 
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:20 am

What resolution is your monitor? This is what you need for CURRENT games like Battlefield 1, Forza Horzion 3, Dishonored 2, Deus Ex MD etc.
If you are playing older games then you can get away with a cheaper card. If you don't mind turning down the graphics settings you can also get away with a cheaper card.
Here's the current best options depending on your monitor resolution:

Lower than 1920x1080?
GTX950 or GTX1050Ti - whichever one you can find cheapest ~$100 deal usually

1920x1080 or 1920x1200?
RX 470 for ~$150 or RX 480 8GB for ~$225

2560x1440?
RX480 for ~$225 or a GTX1070 for ~$375

4K or 2560x1440 at 144Hz?
GTX 1080 for ~$$$$$$$
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:36 pm

DPete27 wrote:
strangerguy wrote:
The default "I have no idea what to buy and I have a 1080p or lower monitor" choice now is the RX470 4GB. 

+This.  RX470's can be had for around $135 on good sales.  The RX470 will push near 60fps @ 1080p on high-max settings.

Had to dig a little, but MSI RX470 4GB = $172 - $25 promo code TRIPLE15 - $10 MIR (MSI-17304) = $135ish

+++!
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:55 pm

Generally for gaming the lowest card you want to consider buying new is an RX 460 (or maybe the GTX 1050 if you need nVidia-specific tech, but the 460 is generally the better buy).

The models below them are generally older cards with substantial performance reductions for not much saving. An GT 740 GDDR5 or R7 250 GDDR5 is half the performance, but often 80% of the cost.
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:50 pm

EndlessWaves wrote:
Generally for gaming the lowest card you want to consider buying new is an RX 460 (or maybe the GTX 1050 if you need nVidia-specific tech, but the 460 is generally the better buy).

The models below them are generally older cards with substantial performance reductions for not much saving. An GT 740 GDDR5 or R7 250 GDDR5 is half the performance, but often 80% of the cost.


Isn't the GTX 1050 subsantially faster than the RX 460 in older games and about the same in newer ones? They're within $10 of each other most of the time as well.
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:21 am

Well not always, but in general the more expensive and sophisticated the card is, the more high end and high quality it is. As a start, like the previous posters mentioned I would read through the reviews on here and check them out on Amazon. 
 
SmallinJeck
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:28 am

By high-end I meant the ones that come with some exorbitant price tags. I appreciate the replies. Very useful!
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:41 pm

Exorbitant price tags? 

Well, AMD don't have anything that fits that category yet. The RX 480 is about $200+ and is the highest sensible buy right now until Vega launches later this year.

The GTX 1080 is basically 3x the price of midrange cards but offers maybe 75% more performance. It's lousy value and it can barely do 4K gaming in 2015 titles. The only 2016 title that a 1080 can handle at 60FPS (just about) is Doom, and you'd need to overclock to stay above 60fps most of the time. I guess that's where G-Sync comes in.

The Titan X (Pascal) at $1200 is even more ridiculous. For a start it's almost impossible to buy, most major retailers don't even have one. Secondly, it's only about 35% faster than a GTX 1080 despite costing double again, so it's even worse value than the already poor value 1080. You might be able to get 4K@60FPS if you're lucky in some games, but you'll find many of them are going to give you only 55-60FPS average, which means there will be framerate dips much lower that that. 

I think 4K gaming is still next-gen, unless you're happy with lower framerates. Hell, displayport 1.2a and HDMI 2.0 don't support more than 4K@60Hz yet. If you're running at 1080p or 1440p, you really should be dropping the graphics settings a little instead of throwing money at hardware. Those Ultra settings sometimes halve the framerate without any obvious image quality changes; You look at those Ultra/High/Med/Low screenshot comparisons and the difference between High and Ultra has you playing a very difficult game of spot-the-difference (other than the FRAPS counter in the top left shows a much lower number).
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:51 pm

SmallinJeck wrote:
By high-end I meant the ones that come with some exorbitant price tags. I appreciate the replies. Very useful!

I think most people caught your drift.  However, the majority of comments were asking what resolution your current/future monitor is.  It would be nice for you to comment on that.
There's no use buying a GTX1080 if you're gaming on a 1920x1080 monitor with no intention of getting a new one in the next 3-4 years.  That would be exorbitant spending: spending a large amount of money on something you'll never fully utilize.  Likewise, as Chrispy outlined, if you're playing on a 4k monitor, then a GTX1080 is a reasonable purchase and an RX470 or RX480 is under-spending.  Certainly there are components that offer a good price/performance ratio vs the field, but ultimately each user's needs are different. 
And lest you think you want to vastly overspend on a GPU to last you longer, consider that the RX480 4GB can be had for $155 and is equivalent to the GTX970 (last generation from Nvidia) which was something like $280 in it's heyday, or the R9 290 which was $225-250 at it's cheapest.  That's a 1 year time difference (granted it also accompanied a process node shrink).  I firmly believe in getting hardware that slightly exceeds your current needs, but each builder needs to take consideration of the line between enough and too much.
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ptsant
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:32 am

DPete27 wrote:
SmallinJeck wrote:
By high-end I meant the ones that come with some exorbitant price tags. I appreciate the replies. Very useful!


And lest you think you want to vastly overspend on a GPU to last you longer, consider that the RX480 4GB can be had for $155 and is equivalent to the GTX970 (last generation from Nvidia) which was something like $280 in it's heyday, or the R9 290 which was $225-250 at it's cheapest.  That's a 1 year time difference (granted it also accompanied a process node shrink).  I firmly believe in getting hardware that slightly exceeds your current needs, but each builder needs to take consideration of the line between enough and too much.

I absolutely agree on the RX480 4GB. It is a bit excessive for 1080p but the price difference from the 470 can be as little as $20-30, which buys ~10% more performance. I think this little bit of future-proofing is probably worth it. On the other hand, the move to the RX480 8GB or the 1060 is probably not "cost-effective" in my opinion.
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:35 am

ptsant wrote:
I absolutely agree on the RX480 4GB. It is a bit excessive for 1080p but the price difference from the 470 can be as little as $20-30, which buys ~10% more performance. I think this little bit of future-proofing is probably worth it. On the other hand, the move to the RX480 8GB or the 1060 is probably not "cost-effective" in my opinion.


Actually, I think the move to the RX480 or 1060 (6GB) is cost-effective. Look at the Fury X; Phenomenal compute power and memory bandwidth hampered by the fact that it's only a 4GB card and thus unsuitable for its target resolutions with 2016 and 2017 games. Sure, it'll beat lots of other cards at 1080p where 4GB is ample VRAM but the cheaper, cooler, quieter, newer, more advanced cards are already getting hundreds of fps without any of the Fury X's disadvantages. At 3440x1440 and above where it ought to shine, it chokes compared to the 8GB competition due to a shortage of VRAM.
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:42 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
ptsant wrote:
I absolutely agree on the RX480 4GB. It is a bit excessive for 1080p but the price difference from the 470 can be as little as $20-30, which buys ~10% more performance. I think this little bit of future-proofing is probably worth it. On the other hand, the move to the RX480 8GB or the 1060 is probably not "cost-effective" in my opinion.


Actually, I think the move to the RX480 or 1060 (6GB) is cost-effective. Look at the Fury X; Phenomenal compute power and memory bandwidth hampered by the fact that it's only a 4GB card and thus unsuitable for its target resolutions with 2016 and 2017 games. Sure, it'll beat lots of other cards at 1080p where 4GB is ample VRAM but the cheaper, cooler, quieter, newer, more advanced cards are already getting hundreds of fps without any of the Fury X's disadvantages. At 3440x1440 and above where it ought to shine, it chokes compared to the 8GB competition due to a shortage of VRAM.

I don't consider the RX480 to be made for 3440x1440, even though I bought it for 2560x1440p myself. Which is why I got the 8GB model. But if you play 1080p, I don't think you'll need 8GB soon and, meanwhile, the only performance benefit is the 7 vs 8 GHz RAM speed. So, you may not run into RAM limitations, but if you absolutely need 8GB, it's also quite probable that you need a faster card.
The 8GB model makes sense for people like me who want a little bit more for 1440p but who can't afford the huge jump to the 1070. I see it as a bit of a compromise, while the 480 4GB is almost overkill for 1080p.
Anyway, it all comes down to monitor resolutions and the relative utility of $40-50 (jump from 4GB to 8GB) to you...
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:15 pm

ptsant wrote:
if you absolutely need 8GB, it's also quite probable that you need a faster card [than an RX480].

I agree here.  For 1080p a current gen 4GB graphics card like the RX480 is likely plenty for it's useful lifetime (3ish years).  

Not to stray from the thread topic, but I too bought an RX480 8GB for $205 because I plan on upgrading to a 1440p FreeSync monitor in the near future.  I would've waited for Vega, but I wanted to play Rise of Tomb Raider on my brother's 2560x1080 FreeSync monitor (he plays trombone on cruise ships for 4 months at a time so he let me borrow it) and my GTX660 wasn't going to cut it.  The way it's shaping up now (I'd really like to get a FreeSync2 monitor but they don't seem to be coming very quickly) I'm regretting my decision to spend $50 more on the 8GB RX480.  In all honesty, a 4GB RX470 for $135 like the one I listed earlier would've suited me better with my current 1080p monitor for a couple more years until the monitor market matures to the point I'd like.  Time will tell if I'll be able to hold out for my dream monitor though.  FreeSync was awful nice.
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:22 pm

I agree that the RX480 4GB is plenty fast enough for 1080p. When I was talking about 3440x1440, that was in the context of the Fury X rather than the RX480.

I'm also running 2560x1440 with my RX480 and I think 8GB is a better long-term investment, not in terms of the memory speed, but in terms of the capacity; 
When the Fury X launched, 4GB was enough but 12 months later, there were already games on the market using more than 4GB of RAM on ultra settings at 2560x1440. At 3440x1440 the Fury X just chokes compared to a 1070 or even 980Ti.

At some point in the near future, new games (how about the Fallout 4 HD texture update as an example?) will need an 8GB graphics card. Saving $20 to get the 4GB variant seems like a false economy at that point, doesn't it?
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:33 pm

This is interesting w/ respect to the RX cards and some DX11 titles:

6:55 in:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-aP0JqJkJ0
 
SmallinJeck
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:42 am

I guess I will have to go for RX 480 4GB although it still looks a bit exorbitant to me. 
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:59 am

Mid range cards have typically hit the $200-$250 mark with high end generally being greater than $400.  In no way is a RX 480 4GB price exorbitant unless perhaps you're a non-U.S. resident.

It's always been my philosophy that if one isn't willing to spend at least $200 on a graphics card they might as well stick to a console.
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:33 am

SmallinJeck wrote:
I guess I will have to go for RX 480 4GB although it still looks a bit exorbitant to me. 

Well, I bought a Radeon 9800 Pro in 2004 for $270 and I was a poor student back then. My nVidia 6600GT (epic card) cost me a little less, in 2005. Both were mid-high cards. Not high-end cards. Prices for cards with good price/performance have slightly gone down since then, but I'd say that the $200 point is always a good reference.
The space below $150 used to be quite bad (excluding very special, limited offers and the like) but with the RX470 it starts to make some sense.
Only you know how much your money and your gaming is worth to you but paying $150-200 for a GPU is not at all extravagant spending.
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:08 am

SmallinJeck wrote:
I guess I will have to go for RX 480 4GB although it still looks a bit exorbitant to me. 

$155 is pretty cheap for that level of performance.  Certainly an RX470 for $135 (see my post from Feb. 3, MSI RX470 4GB = $172 - $25 promo code TRIPLE15 - $10 MIR (MSI-17304) = $135ish) is also a solid choice for 1080p gaming if $155 is too much.
[add]  if you see this in the next 7 days, head over to newegg for that same RX470 = $130 after MIR + free game

PLEASE COMMENT ON YOUR MONITOR RESOLUTION AND THE TYPE OF GAMES YOU PLAY.  Are you playing League of Legends / Team Fortress 2 / Warframe / etc or more demanding games like Witcher 3 / Rise of Tomb Raider / Battlefield / Call of Duty / etc
Last edited by DPete27 on Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:31 am

You haven't told us what games you play or what your monitor resolution is yet.

It's possible that you do not need anything more expensive than $99. Without knowing more, we can only suggest cards that are in the price/performance sweet spot.
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:41 am

SmallinJeck wrote:
I want to buy a new graphics card card but i'm wondering: Does it mean the more expensive and sophisticated a card is the better the quality of the video? I have seen so many cards being advertised on the internet but I'm a little hesitant to spend all that money on a card. Are there any low-end cards that perform just fine?

as reiterated so many times... what resolution is your monitor?
if 1080p... a GTX 1050ti 4GB will do great and is about $150US (or $200CAD)
As you go up in resolution from there the price goes up fast.
 
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:21 pm

Arvald wrote:
if 1080p... a GTX 1050ti 4GB will do great and is about $150US (or $200CAD)

I don't mean to poo poo any opinions, but if you look at reviews and consider the GTX1050Ti and RX470 cost the same...
Obviously some people have personal preferences for Nvidia/AMD (I don't), but if you're looking at pure price/performance, the GT1050Ti isn't a strong contender unless you absolutely need a GPU that doesn't require aux power.  Clearly that's the driving force behind GTX1050Ti pricing.  Heck, for all we know, the OP may need a card without aux power...  Of course that would insinuate it's going into an OEM machine, so we'd need to talk about UEFI graphics cards and so on...
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Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:28 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Arvald wrote:
if 1080p... a GTX 1050ti 4GB will do great and is about $150US (or $200CAD)

I don't mean to poo poo any opinions, but if you look at reviews and consider the GTX1050Ti and RX470 cost the same...
Obviously some people have personal preferences for Nvidia/AMD (I don't), but if you're looking at pure price/performance, the GT1050Ti isn't a strong contender unless you absolutely need a GPU that doesn't require aux power.  Clearly that's the driving force behind GTX1050Ti pricing.  Heck, for all we know, the OP may need a card without aux power...  Of course that would insinuate it's going into an OEM machine, so we'd need to talk about UEFI graphics cards and so on...

I just took a check and for Canada at least the RX 470 is $50-100 more.
My preference is AMD for video card. The GTX 1050ti is what I just bought to use with an NVidia Shield so it was a price I know for sure.
 
CScottG
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:53 pm

Re: High-End Graphics Card for Video Games

Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:33 pm

Canadians are definitely getting corn-holed on video card prices.  Average price is way beyond the 25% currency difference with the US dollar, particularly when looking at those lower-priced "deals".  It's at that point where you should start considering importing for yourself.

Ex. 
US:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 076&cm_sp=
Canada:
https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.a ... 6814137076



(though rebates don't transfer, so you'd have to find a cherry-picked deal that isn't dependent on a US rebate):

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