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Posted by Fobwashed (1900 posts) 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: What tier of video card do you currently use? (304 votes)

Radeon 7000 Series 12%
Radeon 6000 Series 15%
Radeon 5000 Series 7%
Radeon 4000 Series 2%
Radeon 3000 Series 0%
GeForce 600 Series 23%
GeForce 500 Series 24%
GeForce 400 Series 10%
GeForce 200 Series 3%
Older or Integrated On-Board Video 5%
SLI / CrossFireX 4%
Purchase console version of games when available 3%
Purchase PC version of games when available 18%

If you could please put down what card you're currently running and comment on how well games seem to run on your systems, that'd be awesome =) Trying to figure out what the average range of cards is at this point in time among other gamers.

My card is a GTX 560 Ti that I purchased a few years back and has been running everything swimmingly at high settings (minus the high end of those Anti-Aliasing like settings) until just recently. SimCity of all things causes my system to chug a bit so I'm thinking it may be time for an upgrade and looking online, my card might sorta be old at this point in the game. Wondering what the rest of the community is running on, and whether I should upgrade to just a higher 500 series or wait a bit and make the jump to the 600 series once they drop in price.

#1 Posted by Demoskinos (14563 posts) -

I use a Radeon 5570 and its served me relatively well so far. Most games I can get at least a solid 30 out of with fairly high settings granted I use my TV as my monitor and my TV is only 720p so I'm limited to like 1280x768 but its a serviceable level for my PC gaming needs ATM.

#2 Posted by RawknRo11a (552 posts) -

I have a 560 Ti as well. Haven't had any problems with it. I too have been thinking about upgrading as well. Seems like the best bang for your buck right now would be a 660. Thats the direction I'm headed I think.

#3 Edited by hidys (1029 posts) -

7970

#4 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

Mine's a radeon 5770, which is fine for my desktop resolution (1366x768)

#5 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

Your tiers don't make much sense a GeForce 295 is better than a GeForce 650.

If you are having problems with Simcity, you will want to take a look at your CPU just as much as your GPU, I don't know much about the new simcity but sim games in general are extremely CPU dependant.

#6 Posted by Fobwashed (1900 posts) -

Totally forgot to mention, I run my games at my pc monitor's native resolution of 1080x1920. 900x1600 is the next step down while maintaining the proper aspect ratio but I feel like I'd rather sacrifice some bells and whistles over dropping resolution. =\

Online
#7 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

5850, can play most games in high. Won't upgrade for a while with the next gen coming out.

#8 Posted by Mirado (990 posts) -

2x6950s unlocked to run as 6970s.

1920x1200, and we're just starting to hit games that it cannot keep at 60FPS while maxed out. Thinking about dumping them and going over to a GTX 690, but I might wait and see what AMD's response to Titan is.

#9 Posted by Butano (1728 posts) -

9800 GTX+. Still runs modern games just fine around medium settings. Had it since 08/09 when I built my desktop. I'm gonna be upgrading pretty soon, but still undecided on what to get.

#10 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2945 posts) -

Sorry if I didn't really understand the last two options... I picked them both. O.o

I have a GT440 and I'm generally pretty happy with it. My monitor is 1920x1080 but I'll usually run games in 1600x900 which allows me to play them on what I think is pretty high settings so long as AA is low/off and Bloom isn't around (dynamic lighting and shadows OK). Normally I'm pretty impressed at what I'm seeing, considering the computer is 6-7 years old now too. Most console games look a little better, run smoother for sure, but it's hard to tell to be honest.

It's funny you posted this, I just made a poll asking people what they thought "current PC" meant.

#11 Edited by Azteck (7449 posts) -

Running a GeForce GTX 570. If only I had a 6XX card, then I'd run a third monitor. ):

Edit: To add to the thread, games run great for me but DX11 tends to give me issues if my voltage isn't high enough on the card.

#12 Posted by Fobwashed (1900 posts) -

I have a 560 Ti as well. Haven't had any problems with it. I too have been thinking about upgrading as well. Seems like the best bang for your buck right now would be a 660. Thats the direction I'm headed I think.

Yea, that's what I've been eyeballing but it might be too much of a stop gap. Thinking about dropping a little more and going for the 670. . . but then again, you could say the same about the 670 =\

Your tiers don't make much sense a GeForce 295 is better than a GeForce 650.

If you are having problems with Simcity, you will want to take a look at your CPU just as much as your GPU, I don't know much about the new simcity but sim games in general are extremely CPU dependant.

Weird. I'm probably the wrong person to come up with the list, but it seemed the easiest way to do it as a broad look at what people might have. I basically went with the categories for video cards at newegg. =(

My CPU is an i7 920 which seems sufficient to run SimCity but maybe I'm wrong. The thing is that I could get it to run smoothly once I turned down the visual settings a bit so I figured it must be my video card because otherwise it should still chug a bit even with the reduced video card work load. *shrug* I did also look into upgrading my CPU but I felt like at this point, my video was a larger bottleneck than my cpu or ram (9 gigs)

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#13 Posted by mrcraggle (1823 posts) -

I'm rocking a GTX 280 in my comp. I'm hoping to upgrade at some point this year and just stick a bunch of RAM in there too so I can do some actual work on it. It's been fine for a large majority of games but really struggles with extra bits and bobs like AO, Bokeh and very high textures. It's also limited in newer games with the lack of DX11. I can't even play Crysis 3 on my comp due to the lack of DX11 but it's not a huge concern for me as it looks pretty but not too fun which is what I can probably say about the whole series.

#14 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

MSi GTX 470 - The One with the Insane Cooler Edition

Overclocked makes it faster than a stock GTX 570. I can run Witcher 2, Battlefield 3, Arkham City and such maxed out at 1080P constant 60. (I think I use 2xAA on Witcher 2 and FXAA on BF3, forgot about Arkham City)

A pretty rad investment, got it in a sale like 2 years ago and it still rips through everything. Only problem is I want to get a 30" monitor but I can't because there's no way 2560x1600 will work well on this card.

#15 Posted by Fobwashed (1900 posts) -

@mirado said:

2x6950s unlocked to run as 6970s.

1920x1200, and we're just starting to hit games that it cannot keep at 60FPS while maxed out. Thinking about dumping them and going over to a GTX 690, but I might wait and see what AMD's response to Titan is.

Didn't list the Titan because. . . thing is freaking $1000 and I don't even think you can buy it yet. Or maybe you can with the purchase of a new desktop? I dunno. Thing looks super nice and hopefully AMD will respond and cause the lower tier cards to drop in price sooner than later =)

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#16 Edited by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

nVidia GeForce 8600 GT, nearly 6 years old at this point.....I'm a console gamer so I haven't bothered upgrading, and when I do play PC games I only play old ones or indie games that low end machines can run like Hotline Miami (which I could play just fine)

#17 Posted by Grimluck343 (1148 posts) -

I have an nVidia 550ti that's been trucking along for years now.

#18 Posted by marbleCmoney (453 posts) -

I'm on a GeForce GT 440. It was a budget purchase after my older card died. It still gets the job done when I play on low settings, but I'm definitely looking to upgrade to a 500/600 series card at some point.

#19 Edited by Triumvir (459 posts) -

I just put together a new PC in the fall. I'm currently rocking a Radeon 7870. It's pretty damn solid. The only thing that gives it any trouble is stuff like Witcher 2, outdoors, with everything on the maxed settings. Even then we are talking a frame rate in the low 20s at worst. Indoors, on Ultra, it runs a relatively solid 30fps. It can run it at 40-50fps on high though, even with some anti-aliasing in effect. I've been meaning to overclock it a bit, but it runs a bit on the warmer side.

I'm also rocking a 3.3ghz i5 Sandy Bridge that I've overclocked to 4.5ghz. Its temps are currently 35-45 C during normal usage and gaming, so I've got a bit of headroom left. I reckon I can push it to 5ghz without any appreciable jump in temperature. I also have 16GB of DDR3 RAM.

#20 Posted by Jrinswand (1695 posts) -

I've got an HD 7850. I've been running it since sometime in the summer. August, maybe? It's a pretty great card and I haven't really had any problems with it. It's going to have to last me several more years. I'm not one to upgrade video cards constantly and, when I do, I'm not one to spent more than $250 on a card.

#21 Posted by Triumvir (459 posts) -

@jrinswand: That's the way to go. Besides, the graphics card arena is looking pretty barren for the next year or so. I'll probably start looking into upgrading in 12-18 months. I'd probably just end up getting a 7900 series.

#22 Posted by Wacomole (815 posts) -

I have a GTX 670 in my system and I'm pretty happy with it, even though I don't play many games on my PC.

The ones I have played have looked great and I've had no framerate issues or the like. This could, of course, also be down to the rest of my hardware as an otherwise average video production setup makes for a cracking gaming system.

#23 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

I run triple GTX 670s (the superclocked 4gb version -- not because of the overclocking, but the double VRAM). I play games almost entirely at 2560x1600 with everything maxed out and rarely run into situations where I can't maintain well above 60fps (and if that happens, it's usually shitty optimization, like the PC version of NFS: Most Wanted).

For most people who are not a little nuts and impulsive like I am, I would suggest they go for a single 670 or 680 and save the $1,000 for the other two cards and put it toward a brand new system another two years down the road.

#24 Posted by Pr1mus (3813 posts) -

I have my good ole trusty GTX 460. Still runs anything just fine at 1080p. Will see by the end of the year if i upgrade the card or pick up a PS4.

#25 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

660 ti PE. Just built my first PC and am figuring out overclocks, but I've boosted it up a fair amount. All I've tested it with so far is Sleepy Dawgz, which is maxed out 60 fps with 2XMSAA.

#26 Posted by Triumvir (459 posts) -

@branthog: That's a monster rig, dude. How do you even cool set up like that? I figure a tri-sli setup with overclocked 670s would run pretty hot when you start to push them.

#27 Edited by shinboy630 (1133 posts) -

I got a 670 slightly overclocked to 1150mhz. I can max out pretty much anything I want at 2048x1152. Was originally thinking of getting a 680, but I got this card for $280 AR and overclocked it's almost as good as a 680 anyway.

#28 Edited by Bubbly (251 posts) -

Bought a 570 when it was released. I have to lower settings on the more demanding games to hit 60fps (or at least close to it for those games), but that isn't a problem for most games and the games with lowered settings still look amazing. I'm actually really glad I bought the card when I did. I'll only have to upgrade once next gen actually gets going and newer cards come out and by then I will have gotten 3+ years out of the card.

#29 Posted by Lydian_Sel (2480 posts) -

I think it's a GeoForce 560 in my home pc, works like a charm & I've never had trouble with it. Played Sleeping Dogs with the High res pack on full without a hitch.

#30 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

@triumvir said:

@branthog: That's a monster rig, dude. How do you even cool set up like that? I figure a tri-sli setup with overclocked 670s would run pretty hot when you start to push them.

The CoolerMaster Cosmos II is a massive, roomy, aluminum chassis and has a ton of room for both air and water cooling options. Not wanting the expense or risk and maintenance of water cooling, I opted for air. Tore out all of the stock fans and replaced them with high CFM and low dB 120mm 1850 RPM Scythe Gentle Typhoons and 140mm Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-3s and a similar 200mm fan. A total of 10 or 12 fans, overall. The CPU uses a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO HSF, which I eventually used to replace the Noctua NH-D14 which I found to be too heavy for the motherboard, too huge for the GPUs to cram in next to, and not high enough performance at the clockspeed I was running my i7-3770K at (it's an HSF which really shines when you're doing heavy overclocking, though). With a dab of Prolimatech PK-1 Nano Aluminum thermal paste, it really helps manage the CPU heat dissipation (which goes right out through the bank of top-mounted fans).

Even though these are EVGA's GTX cards (which means they stay very close to the perhaps non-optimal air-flow of NVIDIA's reference GPUs), they do quite a good job of discharging heat with the on-board fan and back exhaust. There are perhaps better solutions with MSI and other manufacturers, but what drew me to EVGA's cards were that they were the first to have 4gb. Not necessary in a lot of situations, but at 2560x1600 most of the time for gaming and wanting to have the option to go with three displays at some point, it seemed worthwhile. Between that, the enormous cavity of the Cosmos 2's chassis, and the dozen high CFM fans, it keeps a pretty cool air-flow in there. Enough that I generally don't even run the fans at full speed, no matter what I'm doing.

The GTX 600s scale very well. The second card tens to offer something like 90+% and the third card only about 50%, if I recall. It doesn't really do much at a lower resolution, but above 1920x1080, you really see it make a meaningful contribution (especially at 2560x1600, when you need everything you can get). I get some use out of the third card, but it depends on the game. Generally, I wouldn't advise anyone spend the money for triple-SLI right now, unless they had the $500 burning a hole in their pocket. We're still at the point where a lot of games barely even properly support dual SLI, optimally and without totally fucking it up on their end.

#31 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I have a Radeon 6950 w/ 1GB RAM (wish I'd gotten the 2) at 1080P. It really runs everything very happily. I see some ocassional drops, but I've yet to encounter anything that ran at an irritating framerate.

EDIT: Oh, I generally crank games. I've had to turn off AA for a select few games, but usually I just turn all the sliders up and never touch them again,

#32 Edited by Triumvir (459 posts) -

@branthog said:

@triumvir said:

@branthog: That's a monster rig, dude. How do you even cool set up like that? I figure a tri-sli setup with overclocked 670s would run pretty hot when you start to push them.

The CoolerMaster Cosmos II is a massive, roomy, aluminum chassis and has a ton of room for both air and water cooling options. Not wanting the expense or risk and maintenance of water cooling, I opted for air. Tore out all of the stock fans and replaced them with high CFM and low dB 120mm 1850 RPM Scythe Gentle Typhoons and 140mm Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-3s and a similar 200mm fan. A total of 10 or 12 fans, overall. The CPU uses a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO HSF, which I eventually used to replace the Noctua NH-D14 which I found to be too heavy for the motherboard, too huge for the GPUs to cram in next to, and not high enough performance at the clockspeed I was running my i7-3770K at (it's an HSF which really shines when you're doing heavy overclocking, though). With a dab of Prolimatech PK-1 Nano Aluminum thermal paste, it really helps manage the CPU heat dissipation (which goes right out through the bank of top-mounted fans).

Even though these are EVGA's GTX cards (which means they stay very close to the perhaps non-optimal air-flow of NVIDIA's reference GPUs), they do quite a good job of discharging heat with the on-board fan and back exhaust. There are perhaps better solutions with MSI and other manufacturers, but what drew me to EVGA's cards were that they were the first to have 4gb. Not necessary in a lot of situations, but at 2560x1600 most of the time for gaming and wanting to have the option to go with three displays at some point, it seemed worthwhile. Between that, the enormous cavity of the Cosmos 2's chassis, and the dozen high CFM fans, it keeps a pretty cool air-flow in there. Enough that I generally don't even run the fans at full speed, no matter what I'm doing.

The GTX 600s scale very well. The second card tens to offer something like 90+% and the third card only about 50%, if I recall. It doesn't really do much at a lower resolution, but above 1920x1080, you really see it make a meaningful contribution (especially at 2560x1600, when you need everything you can get). I get some use out of the third card, but it depends on the game. Generally, I wouldn't advise anyone spend the money for triple-SLI right now, unless they had the $500 burning a hole in their pocket. We're still at the point where a lot of games barely even properly support dual SLI, optimally and without totally fucking it up on their end.

Yeah, for my current set up, it wouldn't be worth it to tri-SLI anything, given that both my monitor and TV only render 1080p. However, I've been eyeing those 4gb 670s in case I fell into a bit of extra cash (the extra VRAM is pretty sexy, as you say). It's good to hear that their on-board cooling sounds adequate for single-card use, which is what I would most likely be using one for.

I also asked because I'm looking for some ways to get some better temp control in my rig, in general. I wouldn't mind having some better temps to really push my CPU to the max or to add another 7870 to the rig, if I can get one on the cheap. I actually already have a Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus, which is probably why my CPU temps are doing well despite the OC (dammit if the thing wasn't a bitch to get on, though). I certainly wouldn't be able to fit 10-12 fans in my current case. I've maxed out all the slots with five right now, although I'll be checking out some of those fans you have mentioned. Overall my airflow seems pretty good for my current needs, but some of the fans are still stock, so they could stand to be more powerful and quieter. First of all though, I'll have a look for some of that thermal paste; I was planning to reapply when I spring-clean my case in the next few months, anyway.

My current rig is more than adequate for what I need, but it never hurts to get a little more out of what you have. This stuff will definitely help me get more our of my PC. I appreciate you taking the time to lay this out in detail, dude.

#33 Edited by BigBoss1911 (2413 posts) -

6870 w/ 1GB video ram, get the job done for now at 1080p, would love to upgrade to a 7000 series but my shit old motherboard doesen't have a pci 3 slot.

#34 Posted by mellotronrules (1172 posts) -

i have hd 6870 running at 1680x1050- and for the types of games i play (mostly indies, blizzard games, and whatever's on steam sale) it suits me just fine. i'll upgrade when i either a) buy a new monitor or b) can't play a new game i really want. whichever comes first, but i figure i have at least a year or so left.

#35 Posted by zenmastah (877 posts) -

Palit GTX 670 Jetstream, ive been really happy with this one and the card can downsample very well, looking forward how Crysis 3 runs with this and i5 3550 with 8gigs of 1600Mhz RAM.

#36 Edited by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

I have a shit tier graphics card, only 128mb Vram.

Thankfully, indie games fill my pc gaming void.

#37 Edited by Slax (894 posts) -

I have dual 5770s running. Got them a few years ago, but lately i've been thinking about upgrading.

#38 Edited by atomic_dumpling (2458 posts) -
#39 Posted by MonetaryDread (1993 posts) -

I am currently running a GTX 680 4Gb and I feel content with my purchase so far. I feel like computer games do not run as smooth as I would want them to, but I feel like I made the right choice in hardware when it comes to performance vs. longevity.

Every time I buy a mid-tier PC things run great for a year, then I am forced to start sacrificing features like AA. After two years I am running games at low-medium settings while struggling when the game becomes frantic. Years three and four, games are playable but I wish they were running 5fps faster.

I guess the ideal solution would have been to spend $300 now, then $300 in two or three years, but things don't always work according to plan. I also like being able to run Crysis 3 with full detail - a task that the Giantbomb PC (670) couldn't do.

#40 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

Intel HD 4000 (2012 MacBook Pro).

#41 Posted by JJOR64 (18910 posts) -

GTX 580 here.

#42 Posted by Fobwashed (1900 posts) -

I got a 670 slightly overclocked to 1150mhz. I can max out pretty much anything I want at 2048x1152. Was originally thinking of getting a 680, but I got this card for $280 AR and overclocked it's almost as good as a 680 anyway.

The 670 is the one I'm currently eyeballin'. Where'd you get so cheap for? Best I can find is around $350 -_-;;

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#44 Posted by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

I bought a GTX 670 as soon as it came out to get the most value out of my money. No regrets really, first time I went close to high end instead of just getting the mid range card.

#45 Posted by AndrewB (7496 posts) -

GTX 670. No regrets either. I knew it was kind of a crazy purchase to begin with. It's pretty much been my next-gen console though, and one of the few splurges I've made. Plus I have plenty of overclocking room for the future.

#46 Posted by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -

570

#47 Edited by prontopup20 (30 posts) -

I'm using a GTX 550 Ti 2 gb. Its great for all of my games, with high settings for most (cept planetside 2, thats medium).

#48 Edited by Caustic_Fox (112 posts) -

I got a GTX 260 55nm version. It's been doing good until something called Direct X 11 came out and some of the newest game flatout refuse to run. I blame Microsoft... bastards.

#49 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (944 posts) -

ASUS version of the 6850. Got it because it was quieter and consumed less power than it's kins. I play mostly few years older games and it handles the job well. However I am thinking of changing it to Nvidia card, because things like Adobe's programs and Blender's Cycles rendering engine can take use of the CUDA -compatibility.

#50 Edited by buft (3301 posts) -

@animasta said:

Mine's a radeon 5770, which is fine for my desktop resolution (1366x768)

Mines the Radeon 6770 which is essentially the same card, ive had no problems running it at 1600 x 900 most games run on high if not ultra which is fine for what i need, been able to play most of the new releases on high, sleeping dogs and DMC ran fantastic.