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Upgrade from 260

AethaerynAethaeryn Woodstock, ONPosts: 2,474Member Uncommon

I am considering a new GPU.  I have the 260 (896MB).  Should I grab something now or is something just on the horizon I should be waiting for.   I almost bought something boxing week and maybe I should have.

Reasons why I want to upgrade (non urgent but they are adding up)

- I was going to download the high res texture pack for sleeping dogs.   It says I need 1 gig. . I enjoy the game as is.

- I wouldn't mind HDMI out

- I want to turn up some settings, I generally stick to default settings on games and I think I have been missing out.  I cranked some up on game I liked and had some hitching issues etc.


Here is my current system:

2500K (not overclocked yet)

8 Gig Ram

260 GTX (896MB)

1920X1080 and 1680 X 1050 monitors


I was looking at the 660 or 660Ti as well as the 7870.

Thoughts?  I think I can ignore the itch for a few more months if something else is coming out.  From what I have read it seems like anything more than the 660 or 660Ti won't do much for me due to the resolution I play at.  Does having two displays change that?

Thanks in advance.


Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!


  • grndzrogrndzro Reno, NVPosts: 1,120Member Uncommon
    Let me guess BF3?
  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 5,548Member Rare

    If your just using the desktop on the second display (like for a web browser or whatever), then no, that doesn't significantly increase the demand on the GPU. If you want to stretch your game across both (like Eyefinity), then yea, that will put some extra load on there.

    Performance Hierarchy roughly goes:
    660 -> 7870 -> 660Ti (with the 7870 -> 660Ti much closer together than the 660 -> 7870)

    Pricing doesn't necessarily go that way though, and changes nearly daily. If your system ran a 260 without issue, it should handle any of those cards without any issue.

    As for anything new or significant coming out soon...
    We'll probably see the 8000 series (Sea Islands) from AMD sooner than later, but I don't think it will have much that is really worth waiting for (no real new features, mostly just iterative improvements on GCN architecture we already have in the 7000's) - and it's still months out by my best guess (we haven't seen "leaked" screenshots/benchmarks yet, etc) - most rumor sites are pegging 2Q12 at this point. nVidia still has the GK110 in it's pocket that it could throw out as a 685GTX, or even rebrand most of their existing 600 series and throw out 2 bins of GK110 as a 770/780GTX - and that could happen any time now, but the GK110 will be expensive, and won't make anything that exists today any less expensive. Maxwell (the real next generation nVidia) probably won't come out until 2014 (and probably as an 800-series).

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,373Member Epic

    There's nothing terribly important coming in the next generation.  Nvidia will have a new high end GPU, but I expect them to charge about $800 for the top bin and $600 for the next bin down.  AMD will have a new low end card, and Nvidia probably will too, but those will only be about as fast as the top end integrated graphics, and slower than your current card.

    If you're playing games and seeing some slowdown when you turn settings up but great performance when you turn settings down, then your video card is probably what's holding you back.  At max settings, Sleeping Dogs is among the most hardware-intensive games on the market, so yeah, you're not going to be able to max settings there.

    Compared to a four year old card, one would expect to have much faster options today, and there are.  My standard recommendation when upgrading a video card is to at least double the performance of your old card, and that means at least a Radeon HD 7850.  Either a Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 660 is somewhat faster than that, so that's plenty of performance to justify an upgrade.

    It's really a question of how much you're willing to spend.  You could readily justify a GeForce GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7870:

    A GeForce GTX 660 Ti, not so much.  It's a lot more expensive, but not much faster.  If you want to grab something faster, then a Radeon HD 7950 is nice:

    If you're a fan of high resolution texture packs, those can use a ton of video memory regardless of your monitor resolution.  In that case, you might want to note that a standard 7950 has 3 GB of video memory.  At the other end, while a GTX 660 nominally has 2 GB attached, the mismatched memory channels means that you can only get the full use out of 1.5 GB, and if you go over that, you lose a lot of memory bandwidth--and in a card already heavily constrained by memory bandwidth.  Nvidia apparently felt like if a 7870 had 2 GB, they needed 2 GB, too, for marketing reasons, even if a 192-bit memory bus called for either 1.5 GB or 3 GB for engineering reasons.

  • grndzrogrndzro Reno, NVPosts: 1,120Member Uncommon

    Some games love having more threads and some love having a core all to itself. You could try getting an add on sound and network card to offload some of the processing requirments helping to eliminate cache thrashing.

    Also turn off background processes.

    And get a better video card.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member Common
    If you shop around you can get 7950 fairly cheap.

    I got mine for £10 LESS than the slower 660ti
  • AethaerynAethaeryn Woodstock, ONPosts: 2,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by grndzro
    Let me guess BF3?

    I do see this in my future. . but no . . not yet.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • AethaerynAethaeryn Woodstock, ONPosts: 2,474Member Uncommon

     The 7870 looks like the card for me.  $204 after a $20 rebate is nice. . and free shipping.

    And yes.. the second monitor is just desktop stuff.



    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,373Member Epic

    Ordinarily, the only reason a second monitor would affect your GPU needs are if you're going to spread a game window across both monitors at once.  Displaying the desktop on a second monitor isn't much of a strain on a GPU.

    Needing to plug two monitors into a video card can be a meaningful restriction on which card you get to have the right monitor ports.  But that's usually not too restrictive.  If you want three or more monitors, then you have to be a lot more selective.

  • AethaerynAethaeryn Woodstock, ONPosts: 2,474Member Uncommon
    At some point I might try the whole eyefinity thing or something but not anytime soon.   Next time I decide to build a new machine again maybe.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

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