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GFX Card Advice

darkcircuitdarkcircuit LondonPosts: 211Member

Hey all,

Well it's that time again, but instead of for myself this time, it's for the missus. I'm planning to get her the following setup, but my knowledge of GFX cards is a little waining now-a-days so I was wondering if I could get your advice about which would offer the best bang for buck:

Case:  Antec 300

PSU: Antec True Power 750W

MB: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H

Memory: 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz

HD:  120GB Corsair Force 3 SATA III

       Seagate 1TB Hard Drive SATAIII 7200rpm 64MB Cache

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K (OC'd to 4.5Ghz)

Cooler: Corsair H80i

OS: Windows 7 Professional

The two GFX cards I am weighing up are similar prices, and my gut instinct says trust Nvidia as they seem to be more regular in releasing driver updates, however I don't want my own personal bias to overweigh value for money. My understanding is that the 7870 is more powerful than the 660 GTX, but how is driver support for the 7870?


Please bare in mind that noise levels are important for me, which is why I went for cards sporting these style of coolers.


  • miguksarammiguksaram Fort Meade, MDPosts: 826Member Uncommon

    Just a quick note, if you are looking for quiet and cool I'd highly recommend you check out Asus' DirectCU II line-up.  The cooler is specifically designed to offer both (and thus tend to cost a bit more than others).  Such as the following:

  • darkcircuitdarkcircuit LondonPosts: 211Member
    In fact I usually do buy the Asus cards, I have the direct cu ii 570 in my machine ;) The Asus 7870 is significantly more money though :(
  • miguksarammiguksaram Fort Meade, MDPosts: 826Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by darkcircuit
    In fact I usually do buy the Asus cards, I have the direct cu ii 570 in my machine ;) The Asus 7870 is significantly more money though :(

     Haha, that's kinda funny but it also means you have a standard that you are used to which should you decide to not go that route you can expect all others to produce more noise at a given temp level.  That's the price we pay to keep quite/cool systems running.

  • darkcircuitdarkcircuit LondonPosts: 211Member
    Thats a good point, but I reckon that cos it is in the missus PC I shouldn't notice too much and due to the reviews I read, the Asus seems pretty comparable to the XFX in sound levels (a little noiser, but not much). If people recommend the 660 GTX over the 7870 then I'll grab the Asus Direct CUII edition, but if the 7870 is recommended then I'll stick to the XFX as its £50 cheaper.
  • kalum2k7kalum2k7 DurhamPosts: 1Member
    If I was you I'd spring the extra 50 or so quid and get a 660 ti, the 660 ti at stock decimates an oc'd 7870.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I recently bought a sapphire 7950 factory overclocked to 900mhz with a custom cooling system for £205 off ebuyer. So shop around.

    General speaking for us in the UK I would go for AMD, nvidias are too overpriced over here (they're not in the usa where they price them more competatively) - cheapest 660ti I could find was £215 and that's slower than my 7950. Cheapest 670gtx I could find was £290 nearly 50% more cash for a similar benching card to the 7950.

    I'm not that keen on xfs as a brand though. Look for iceQ, sapphire, gigabyte, asus etc.. imo.

    If you shop around you can get 7870 for around £170
  • karmathkarmath Posts: 832Member Uncommon

    Neither IMO.

    Get a ATI 7950 or a Nvidia 670 gtx.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    As you already have a 570gtx

    A 7870 or a 660gtx isn't really much of an upgrade. I would wait another year or so when you can "feel" the difference with a new card
  • darkcircuitdarkcircuit LondonPosts: 211Member

    Thanks for the advice guys :)

    I'm afraid I would want to look at max around £200 so any AMD card above the 7870 is out of my price range and anything above the 660 GTX is the same. This GFX card is actually replacing the one in my missus new PC which is an old 4870, the 570 GTX is in my machine :)

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Depends what mmo you play then.

    Rift likes AMD (as do other games with same engine Tes, fallout3, war)

    Tsw and Aoc like nvidia
    As does planetside 2

    Other mmos gw2 etc.. aren't arse one way or the other. Most fps and stuff arent bothered either, exception being bf3 that likes AMD.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Although either of those cards will play all those games on high settings, except for ps2 with the 7870. Ps2 is a hardware chewer
  • KabaalKabaal Edinburgh, ScotlandPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon

    Dunno what you're smoking Mo, even a 7850 maxes PS2 our comfortably.

    OP, if you can stretch to it the 7950 ICEQ Boost £239

    If £200 is set in stone then the 7870 XT for £191 is the best you'll get, it sits between the normal 7870 and the 7950

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,849Member Uncommon

    A Radeon HD 7870 is a little faster than a GeForce GTX 660.  It's not a big difference, but if it's also cheaper, that makes the 7870 an easy choice.  They're both good on drivers.

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