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Looking for an up-to-date Techie

LostarLostar Johnstown, PAPosts: 901Member

So I have my old rig I got back in '10...haven't done much with it except slap in a bit more ram when Cosair sticks were on sale.

Here it is:

Windows 7 64 bit

Intel i5 760 @ 2.80GHz

8GB DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250

 

Suprisingly I'm able to play Skyrim at slightly above Ultra settings with an FPS of 25-60 (25 cities/60 interiors/30 wilderness)...but that was only due to some tweaking (using mods that increased performance and allowed the user to run at ultra with little performance loss)...

 

So, other than the fact I don't have a fancy i7 and half of what I could have in RAM, I am looking to upgrade my video card with the intent of running GW2 at max-ish. I know the really top end recently came out but I'm not looking to lay down $600 bucks for the newest GTX 6XX series. I do however have my eye on the moderatly priced EVGA GTX 550 2GB edition...I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or other advice on what my new video card should be. 

It has to be under $200...It has to have a good chance of running max (or close to) settings in GW2.  I all about nVidia so it may take some persuading for me to consider ATI.  I'm really looking for that bang for my buck that my current rig was back in 2010.  Thank you in advance. :D

«1

Comments

  • KyelthisKyelthis Phoenix, AZPosts: 284Member

    As far as video cards go, in that price range, I think the GTX 560 is probably the best choice. That or the 6870 from AMD, both are great and only slightly less than $200 currently. What resolution do you play at?

  • LostarLostar Johnstown, PAPosts: 901Member

    1920*1080

    probably should have mentioned that I was looking at the GTX 550 Ti version (2GB edition)...which I *think* is more performance than the regular 560 or am I wrong? The 2GB Ti version of the 560 is well over the $200 while the regular 560 looks to be around $130 (the EVGA GTX 550 Ti 2GB is around $170)

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    This may be helpful. The performance levels for GW2 are estimated, but the chart does accurately show the relative performance of the cards listed.

    (Click image for full resolution):

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    I found a a couple GTX 560TI and HD 6950 cards for around $230 on Amazon US, if you could afford to exceed your budget by $30.

    There are also a number of GTX 560 and HD 6870 cards for under $200. A couple nice deals there, if you look.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    Originally posted by Lucrecia

    1920*1080

    probably should have mentioned that I was looking at the GTX 550 Ti version (2GB edition)...which I *think* is more performance than the regular 560 or am I wrong? The 2GB Ti version of the 560 is well over the $200 while the regular 560 looks to be around $130 (the EVGA GTX 550 Ti 2GB is around $170)

    A GTX 560 will offer more performance than the 550Ti. The extra GB of video ram probably won't see any use in GW2 or just about any other current game, from what I understand.

    EDIT: Just to quantify, I checked some benchmarks and the GTX 560 would outperform the GTX 550ti by roughly 50%.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • kileakkileak dallas, TXPosts: 31Member

    if you can wait until the nvidia 660's come out then the price should drop more on the 560's and 560 ti's. tho there are some nice rebates on them allready, but as the next gen gets out the prices will drop further.

    So my advice wait as long as you can and look for a really good deal or the next price drop on the current gen cards. unless gw2 comes out before said time then just get the best you can afford at the time.

     

    tigerdirect has some great rebates on the 560's right now

    160$ for standard 560 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=555335&CatId=3669

    can get a ti for around 200 tho the best ti's the 448 core one's are still around 250

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    Originally posted by kileak

    if you can wait until the nvidia 660's come out then the price should drop more on the 560's and 560 ti's. tho there are some nice rebates on them allready, but as the next gen gets out the prices will drop further.

    So my advice wait as long as you can and look for a really good deal or the next price drop on the current gen cards. unless gw2 comes out before said time then just get the best you can afford at the time.



    Prices have already started to drop and may not go much lower than they are now, if you deal shop. We also don't really now when the GTX 660s will start shipping in quantity. It could be a few months. I guess if the purchase is looking towards GW2, where you land on release date speculation will influence how much time you think you have to wait. :)

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    GW2 is not gonna be very taxing graphics wise..

     

    The 560 or 550ti should be more than enough for it :) or the ATI 6870 or 6950s..

  • kileakkileak dallas, TXPosts: 31Member

    Aye, too bad we dont know when gw2 is gonna ship either, unless she's trying to get her system ready for the beta weekends.

  • poweruopoweruo MallingPosts: 30Member

    As mentioned above if you can afford it i would definitely recommend either a 560 ti (msi twin frozr ii /oc for example) or a 6950 from AMD. Going to budget is going to hurt you in the long run. Ive been running with my 560 ti from msi now for a loong time and been extremely happy with it.. playing everything except Battlefield at full fluff and even Battlefield 3 can be played at a fairly high setting.

    While you may not care about high or ultra details it is a way of insuring yourself for the future and thereby saving money in the long run. In my example i just bought another MSI GTX 560 ti twin frozr ii /oc edition to run the system in SLI (SLI and crossfire scaling today are very good in general) and im getting close performance to the new 680 where my MAX FPS are at times a bit above but lagging alittle when it comes to the minimum FPS (frames per second). This was measured in battlefield. Now for a setup that has costed me around 3300 DKK versus a new card that cost at the moment 4000DKK or more i think i got a good deal and my system will be able to last another 1½-2 years minimum on an already 2½ year old i7 platform.

  • umie214umie214 TOronto, ONPosts: 123Member

    get a 570 for $300, and overclock it to 580 levels. done deal cuz thats wut i did =)

    also, overclock your i7! i overclocked my 2.6ghz 720 to 3.55ghz, but with better cooling it can easily be oc'd to 4ghz. i7's are still very powerful.

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    Originally posted by umie214

    get a 570 for $300, and overclock it to 580 levels. done deal cuz thats wut i did =)

    also, overclock your i7! i overclocked my 2.6ghz 720 to 3.55ghz, but with better cooling it can easily be oc'd to 4ghz. i7's are still very powerful.

    For people in that price range, but no immediate need to buy asap, continually watch for deals on on the 570s. I bought one for $269, (after a $20 rebate, free shipping), a couple weeks ago and now it's back up to $335! I usually shop Amazon and Newegg. Pick a few sellers you feeel comfortable with and search the models you are interested in daily. You'll get an idea what normal prices are and will be better able to quickly recognize a good deal when one pops up. :)

    EDIT: Here is a good price on a GTX 570 currently on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GeForce-mini-HDMI-Graphics-GV-N570OC-13I/dp/B0056GJLA8/ref=pd_cp_pc_0

    It's a Gigabyte for $255.99 after $20 rebate. Just make sure you have room in your case, it looks a little long with the three fans.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • VortigonVortigon PerthPosts: 723Member

    If you want anything above medium settings especially during WvW fights you should be aiming for AT LEAST a gtx 570.

    Anything less than a 570 will be stuck with medium settings at best during large scale pvp.

    Wait for the last possible moment before upgrading as they optimise the game more and the price of cards will fall more to.

    Also rem GW2 does NOT support dual cards (sli / Xfire) and it could be a year or never before they do so take that into account to.

  • srpssrps SetubalPosts: 116Member

    You kinda forgot to mention which PSU you own. I don't think it's a good idea to get a card like a gtx570 with a weak PSU, as they need lots of power (around 200W on load, more if OC'ed).

    Around the same price you should look into a HD 7850 which gives the same average performance while consuming almost half the power (typical 115W in games), and overclocks like ****.

    Both of these surpass you budget anyway, but if you want to break it for extra perf. the AMD card is a better option overall.

     

    Aise from that, I think the 550ti are a terrible idea, they're "useless" overpriced crap and the performance boost from yours would be small.

    I'm not sure about other cards' prices in USA, but HD6870 GTX560 ti used to be sweet on priceperformance range. From some info on newegg the 6870 is way cheaper now (170$ vs 210$) but if you can find a 560 ti for around 170$ it's a pretty good option as well.

     

    Unless you do GPGPU compute, the price difference for a HD6950 doesn't justify the performance delta. If you can find one (maybe used) at 180$ or below then go for it, else stick with the above choices.

  • IPolygonIPolygon ViennaPosts: 707Member Uncommon

    My Radeon HD 5770  is able to render 64 player battles in BF3 easily without ever dropping below 25 frames per second. I am sure it can handle GW2, which is by far less taxing than BF3. GW2 might not be optimized for those cards in the next BWE, but it will be on release.

    You won't need a gpu with more than 1k MB memory to enjoy all of GW2 on the highest settings.

  • srpssrps SetubalPosts: 116Member

    Originally posted by IPolygon

    My Radeon HD 5770  is able to render 64 player battles in BF3 easily without ever dropping below 25 frames per second. I am sure it can handle GW2, which is by far less taxing than BF3. GW2 might not be optimized for those cards in the next BWE, but it will be on release.

    You won't need a gpu with more than 1k MB memory to enjoy all of GW2 on the highest settings.

    This also, at 1920x1080 resolution you won't need more than 1GB of VRAM for sure.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Vortigon

    If you want anything above medium settings especially during WvW fights you should be aiming for AT LEAST a gtx 570.

    Anything less than a 570 will be stuck with medium settings at best during large scale pvp.

    Wait for the last possible moment before upgrading as they optimise the game more and the price of cards will fall more to.

    Also rem GW2 does NOT support dual cards (sli / Xfire) and it could be a year or never before they do so take that into account to.

    Not sure if that last bit is true... if it is then a single 560 will really do the job fine.. cant say more than that..

  • VortigonVortigon PerthPosts: 723Member


    Originally posted by Caldrin


    Originally posted by Vortigon
    If you want anything above medium settings especially during WvW fights you should be aiming for AT LEAST a gtx 570.
    Anything less than a 570 will be stuck with medium settings at best during large scale pvp.
    Wait for the last possible moment before upgrading as they optimise the game more and the price of cards will fall more to.
    Also rem GW2 does NOT support dual cards (sli / Xfire) and it could be a year or never before they do so take that into account to.

    Not sure if that last bit is true... if it is then a single 560 will really do the job fine.. cant say more than that..

    Well its a known fact that GW2 does not officially support SLI/Xfire in any way at the moment unfortunately :(

    And a 560 will not run GW2 at max settings during large scale combat such as WvW.

    I wish it did, as I would save a lot of money on my new build :)

    But its beta and a lot can change that's for sure.

  • CaponestyleCaponestyle Belleville, ONPosts: 112Member

    Get a gtx 680 like i did and stave for two weeks. lol

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Lucrecia

    1920*1080

    probably should have mentioned that I was looking at the GTX 550 Ti version (2GB edition)...which I *think* is more performance than the regular 560 or am I wrong? The 2GB Ti version of the 560 is well over the $200 while the regular 560 looks to be around $130 (the EVGA GTX 550 Ti 2GB is around $170)

    Let's put it this way:  which would you expect to run games better:

    A dual core Core i3-2120 together with 16 GB of system memory, or

    A quad core Core i7-2700K together with 8 GB of system memory?

    The answer is, if you only actually use about 3 GB of system memory, then it doesn't matter whether you have 8 GB or 16 GB available.  But the faster processor will help, so the latter option is better.  And for video cards, the extra "cores" would make a much bigger difference, as graphical computations trivially scale to thousands of shaders, while programs that run on a CPU often don't.

    So how much video memory do you actually need?  Unless you're playing at a resolution above 1920x1200, 1 GB is probably enough.  If you are playing at a higher resolution, then you should seek out a card with at least 2 GB.

    -----

    So what does that have to do with video cards?  The GF116 GPU chip in a GeForce GTX 550 Ti is basically a GF114 chip from a GeForce GTX 560 Ti, except cut in half.  That's not really true on some things that don't affect gaming performance (e.g., they'll probably have the same video decoding hardware), but it's half the shaders, half the TMUs, half the polymorph engines, etc.

    A 2 GB version of a GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a completely stupid card.  If you genuinely need more than 1 GB of video memory for gaming purposes, then it's pretty unlikely that a GF116 GPU chip can keep up.  Then again, the 1 GB version of a GeForce GTX 550 Ti is also a stupid card.  The mismatched memory channels in a product that is heavily dependent on memory bandwidth (as all video cards are) makes it not at all clear whether the card performs any better than if it had 768 MB of video memory wired in and the other 256 MB were duct taped to the outside of the card and not electrically connected at all.

    The 1 GB and 2 GB are there for marketing reasons.  Nvidia should have made it a 768 MB card, but then they feared that people who wrongly think that more memory is always better would shy away from the card.  But then, Nvidia isn't actually trying to sell the card to anyone who knows about hardware.  Pretty much continuously since the GTX 550 Ti launched, AMD has offered the Radeon HD 5770/6770 (two different numbers for the same card) that gives comparable performance for cheaper.  And can put the full 1 GB of video memory to good use, too, if you're worried about that.

    More recently, AMD launched a Radeon HD 7750 that gives the same performance as those cards.  It also offers a much better feature set and much lower power consumption.  And look at the price:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396

    Note that you don't have to mess with rebates to get that price, either.  The older Juniper-based cards seem to be on clearance now, too, as they're surely discontinued by AMD.  Some underclocked versions of the card have recently appeared, so you will lose a bit of performance.  But if you like rebates, they're sure cheap:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396

    Note the promo code there:  $104 before rebate, $84 after rebate, free shipping, and you maybe lose 10% of the performance as compared to a stock 6770 or GTX 550 Ti.

    So why buy an AMD card?  Because Nvidia doesn't have anything serious to offer below $200.  Well, unless you don't mind paying an extra $20 or so for an Nvidia logo on the card, without any real advantages.  If you're fine with paying more for the box to say Nvidia on the side, then it's your money, not mine.  But it's not something that people who shop on a price/performance basis would seriously consider.

    Now, the trouble with the cards I've just mentioned is that, while they're faster than a GeForce GTS 250, they're not very much faster.  I'd generally recommend against upgrading a video card to anything less than double the performance of what you had.  That would take roughly a Radeon HD 6870, which isn't that expensive, as AMD is trying to get rid of them.  You could get this if you like big rebates:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396

    Or this if you won't do rebates:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948

    With the promo code, that's about $158 before rebates.  Performance is perhaps a little better a GeForce GTX 560.  Good luck finding a GTX 560 for those prices, though.

    So if you really want an Nvidia card, what do they have to offer?  Further up the performance scale, performance per dollar goes way down.  That means that even Nvidia's disastrous Fermi architecture is able to be competitive on price, and so Nvidia is able to compete.  A GeForce GTX 680 or Radeon HD 7970 will roughly double the performance of a Radeon HD 6870, but those cards cost over $500--meaning, more than three times as much as the 6870.  If that's the sort of performance you need, then you pay what it costs.

    The other problem with the GeForce GTX 680 is, well, click the link and you'll see:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600315498&IsNodeId=1&name=GeForce%20GTX%20600%20series

    So what if you want something faster than a Radeon HD 6870 but don't want to pay $500?  The intermediate cards, at prices that are kind of all right values for the money, are roughly:

    GeForce GTX 560 Ti:  $200

    Radeon HD 7850:  $250

    GeForce GTX 570:  $270

    Radeon HD 7870:  $350

    GeForce GTX 580:  $370

    Radeon HD 7950:  $400 (you won't find one at this price, by the way)

    If you want any of those cards, you'd better check your power supply and case to make sure they can handle them.  Or perhaps rather, say what they are so that I can check to see if they can handle the video card upgrade.  Fermi cards are really power hogs, and even the GTX 560 Ti will use a lot more power than the Radeon HD 7870, in spite of the lower performance.

    So what does it take to run Guild Wars 2 on max settings?  That depends greatly on how high ArenaNet lets you turn settings up.  It also depends some on what frame rates you consider acceptable, as it takes a lot more graphical power to get a steady 60 frames per second than it takes for an average of 30 frames per second with a lot of hitching.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by kileak

    if you can wait until the nvidia 660's come out then the price should drop more on the 560's and 560 ti's. tho there are some nice rebates on them allready, but as the next gen gets out the prices will drop further.

    So my advice wait as long as you can and look for a really good deal or the next price drop on the current gen cards. unless gw2 comes out before said time then just get the best you can afford at the time.

     

    tigerdirect has some great rebates on the 560's right now

    160$ for standard 560 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=555335&CatId=3669

    can get a ti for around 200 tho the best ti's the 448 core one's are still around 250

    That GTX 560 is seriously overpriced, even with the rebate.  The 448 shader GTX 560 Ti is a completely different card from the normal GTX 560 Ti.  Nvidia probably should have called it a GTX 565, but they didn't want to remind people of how bad the GeForce GTX 465 was.  Regardless, if you're paying enough to get a Radeon HD 7850, then there's no sense in grabbing a worse card for the same price.

    We really don't know when the GK106 and GK107 cards will arrive.  I'd expect Nvidia to try to put the first ones into laptops, as Ivy Bridge is due in 13 days, and OEMs are going to refresh their lineups for that.  If you don't have video cards ready when they want them, then they're not going to refresh their lineup again a month later just because you're ready.  I'm guessing June on GK106 and GK107, but that's just a guess.

    Unlike the disaster that was Fermi, Nvidia's new Kepler architecture is actually competitive with AMD's latest.  I don't expect GK106 and GK107 to drive prices down much if at all.  But once Nvidia can get the cards out in good volume and with good yields, they'll probably mean that you can buy an Nvidia card or an AMD card and get about as good of a deal either way, rather than having to pay $20 extra for an Nvidia logo.

    But "good volume and good yields" likely doesn't mean launch day.  A lot of cards are overpriced at launch because the company doesn't have that many of them ready.  Once they're able to deliver a lot more cards, prices fall some.  Look at the Radeon HD 7770, for example.  You can buy one now, but you shouldn't unless reduced power consumption or new features are a huge deal to you., as the older 6850 is a better deal.  Soon the 6850s will disappear and the 7770s will fall in price to fill that market segment.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by umie214

    get a 570 for $300, and overclock it to 580 levels. done deal cuz thats wut i did =)

    also, overclock your i7! i overclocked my 2.6ghz 720 to 3.55ghz, but with better cooling it can easily be oc'd to 4ghz. i7's are still very powerful.

    If you have a reference GTX 570, then you'd best revert that overclock or you'll run a serious risk of killing the card.  It's not a heat problem.  The issue is that Nvidia went cheap on the power circuitry.  It's nothing more than adequate at stock speeds, and dangerously inadequate if you give the card a substantial overclock.  And it would take an enormous overclock to get GTX 580 performance out of it.

    For a non-reference card, it's harder to tell.  If it's got a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCI-E power connector, then the board partner probably did put beefier power circuitry into it.  If it's just two 6-pin connectors, it won't take much of an overclock to push it outside the PCI Express specifications, and then you'd have to hope that your power supply and motherboard are rather overengineered.

  • MMOman101MMOman101 Posts: 1,274Member Uncommon

    I will probably be in the minority, but I think you should wait for the game to come out. You should be able to play GW2 with your PC and after the game comes out you will have better info on what you will need. 

    The worst thing to do is upgrade now and when the game comes out not have the performance you desire.

  • srpssrps SetubalPosts: 116Member

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by Lucrecia

    1920*1080

    probably should have mentioned that I was looking at the GTX 550 Ti version (2GB edition)...which I *think* is more performance than the regular 560 or am I wrong? The 2GB Ti version of the 560 is well over the $200 while the regular 560 looks to be around $130 (the EVGA GTX 550 Ti 2GB is around $170)

    Let's put it this way:  which would you expect to run games better:

    A dual core Core i3-2120 together with 16 GB of system memory, or

    A quad core Core i7-2700K together with 8 GB of system memory?

    The answer is, if you only actually use about 3 GB of system memory, then it doesn't matter whether you have 8 GB or 16 GB available.  But the faster processor will help, so the latter option is better.  And for video cards, the extra "cores" would make a much bigger difference, as graphical computations trivially scale to thousands of shaders, while programs that run on a CPU often don't.

    So how much video memory do you actually need?  Unless you're playing at a resolution above 1920x1200, 1 GB is probably enough.  If you are playing at a higher resolution, then you should seek out a card with at least 2 GB.

    -----

    So what does that have to do with video cards?  The GF116 GPU chip in a GeForce GTX 550 Ti is basically a GF114 chip from a GeForce GTX 560 Ti, except cut in half.  That's not really true on some things that don't affect gaming performance (e.g., they'll probably have the same video decoding hardware), but it's half the shaders, half the TMUs, half the polymorph engines, etc.

    A 2 GB version of a GeForce GTX 550 Ti is a completely stupid card.  If you genuinely need more than 1 GB of video memory for gaming purposes, then it's pretty unlikely that a GF116 GPU chip can keep up.  Then again, the 1 GB version of a GeForce GTX 550 Ti is also a stupid card.  The mismatched memory channels in a product that is heavily dependent on memory bandwidth (as all video cards are) makes it not at all clear whether the card performs any better than if it had 768 MB of video memory wired in and the other 256 MB were duct taped to the outside of the card and not electrically connected at all.

    The 1 GB and 2 GB are there for marketing reasons.  Nvidia should have made it a 768 MB card, but then they feared that people who wrongly think that more memory is always better would shy away from the card.  But then, Nvidia isn't actually trying to sell the card to anyone who knows about hardware.  Pretty much continuously since the GTX 550 Ti launched, AMD has offered the Radeon HD 5770/6770 (two different numbers for the same card) that gives comparable performance for cheaper.  And can put the full 1 GB of video memory to good use, too, if you're worried about that.

    More recently, AMD launched a Radeon HD 7750 that gives the same performance as those cards.  It also offers a much better feature set and much lower power consumption.  And look at the price:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396

    Note that you don't have to mess with rebates to get that price, either.  The older Juniper-based cards seem to be on clearance now, too, as they're surely discontinued by AMD.  Some underclocked versions of the card have recently appeared, so you will lose a bit of performance.  But if you like rebates, they're sure cheap:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396

    Note the promo code there:  $104 before rebate, $84 after rebate, free shipping, and you maybe lose 10% of the performance as compared to a stock 6770 or GTX 550 Ti.

    So why buy an AMD card?  Because Nvidia doesn't have anything serious to offer below $200.  Well, unless you don't mind paying an extra $20 or so for an Nvidia logo on the card, without any real advantages.  If you're fine with paying more for the box to say Nvidia on the side, then it's your money, not mine.  But it's not something that people who shop on a price/performance basis would seriously consider.

    Now, the trouble with the cards I've just mentioned is that, while they're faster than a GeForce GTS 250, they're not very much faster.  I'd generally recommend against upgrading a video card to anything less than double the performance of what you had.  That would take roughly a Radeon HD 6870, which isn't that expensive, as AMD is trying to get rid of them.  You could get this if you like big rebates:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125396

    Or this if you won't do rebates:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948

    With the promo code, that's about $158 before rebates.  Performance is perhaps a little better a GeForce GTX 560.  Good luck finding a GTX 560 for those prices, though.

    So if you really want an Nvidia card, what do they have to offer?  Further up the performance scale, performance per dollar goes way down.  That means that even Nvidia's disastrous Fermi architecture is able to be competitive on price, and so Nvidia is able to compete.  A GeForce GTX 680 or Radeon HD 7970 will roughly double the performance of a Radeon HD 6870, but those cards cost over $500--meaning, more than three times as much as the 6870.  If that's the sort of performance you need, then you pay what it costs.

    The other problem with the GeForce GTX 680 is, well, click the link and you'll see:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600315498&IsNodeId=1&name=GeForce%20GTX%20600%20series

    So what if you want something faster than a Radeon HD 6870 but don't want to pay $500?  The intermediate cards, at prices that are kind of all right values for the money, are roughly:

    GeForce GTX 560 Ti:  $200

    Radeon HD 7850:  $250

    GeForce GTX 570:  $270

    Radeon HD 7870:  $350

    GeForce GTX 580:  $370

    Radeon HD 7950:  $400 (you won't find one at this price, by the way)

    If you want any of those cards, you'd better check your power supply and case to make sure they can handle them.  Or perhaps rather, say what they are so that I can check to see if they can handle the video card upgrade.  Fermi cards are really power hogs, and even the GTX 560 Ti will use a lot more power than the Radeon HD 7870, in spite of the lower performance.

    So what does it take to run Guild Wars 2 on max settings?  That depends greatly on how high ArenaNet lets you turn settings up.  It also depends some on what frame rates you consider acceptable, as it takes a lot more graphical power to get a steady 60 frames per second than it takes for an average of 30 frames per second with a lot of hitching.

    Just a small adjustment here: For the HD7850 she wouldn't need to change the power supply, as the HD7850 actually uses less power than the GTS250 (and the HD6870, gtx560, even gtx550ti, etc), especially while idle where the difference is enormous.

     

    I still think that the best bang buck resides in the HD6870 for around 170$ (and probably getting some rebate in there after), and breaking budget the 7850 is the first best option as for banguck rules (+- same power as gtx570 between hd6950-hd6970, while highly overclockable and trouncing their power consumption meters).

     

    If the NVidia logo should feel like a necessity, the gtx560ti should be the best option for around 200$. Being too expensive, the gtx560 will suffice, while weaker than the HD6870.

     

    Anything less than 6790 (AMD) or gtx560 (NVidia) is a sort of waste of upgrade money IMHO nowadays.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by srps

    Just a small adjustment here: For the HD7850 she wouldn't need to change the power supply, as the HD7850 actually uses less power than the GTS250 (and the HD6870, gtx560, even gtx550ti, etc), especially while idle where the difference is enormous.

    It would probably be hard to find a clean comparison of cards four generations apart.  From memory, I think Nvidia officially gave the GeForce GTS 250 a TDP of 150 W, but that was a huge overestimate.  The card used about the same power as a Radeon HD 4850 with an honest TDP of 110 W.

    There's no harm in listing a TDP that is too high, of course.  It would be kind of like Nvidia claiming that their new GeForce GTX 680 is faster than a Radeon HD 7950, while not mentioning that it's typically also faster than a 7970.

    What I don't like to see is going the other way around, as Nvidia did with Fermi cards.  The TDP there was basically wishful thinking on their part.  But at 55 nm, AMD and Nvidia were pretty competitive on performance per watt, so Nvidia didn't feel any great need to lie about power consumption.

    You're right that newer cards will use less power at idle than a GeForce GTS 250.  That saves you money on your electricity bills, but doesn't affect how strong of a power supply you need.  If you have a power supply that is safe up to 250 W and unsafe above that, then a system that pulls 240 W at load and 100 W at idle is safe, while one that pulls 270 W at load and 50 W at idle is not.

    Does a Radeon HD 7850 really pull less power under heavy loads than a GeForce GTS 250?  I'm skeptical.  My mental ballpark approximations chained together across generations are that a 7850 should give about 2 1/2 times the performance of a GTS 250, while offering only about double the performance per watt.  That would come to 25% more power consumption.  There is a fair bit of rounding there, so if it were actually 20%, I'd say, aha, my numbers are right.  But I'm skeptical that it's enough rounding errors all in the same direction to make it go below 0%.

    Regardless, one should still check the power supply.  The original poster might well be running something that is unsafe with a GTS 250 and be lucky that nothing has fried yet.  Or it might be plenty of power to handle any single GPU card on the market, but it's still nice to know that rather than just buying something and hoping it works.

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