Choosing a video card?!?!

#1 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

So I picked up this PC for pretty great price - $90.


3.2 GHz core i5 650

Nvidia geforce 210

8GB 1,333 DDR3 SDRAM

Running windows 7 ultimate 64bit.

I'm hoping to be able to run some newer games on decent settings here without spending a ton of cash.

I'm looking at the Radeon HD 6670 1GB DDR3, its only 66 bucks on amazon. I've seen some videos of sleeping dogs supposedly running on good settings with this card. (although not at HD resolution)

I don't want to overlook something about my system though and underspend and not be able to do HD textures and whatnot. Anyone have any advice about this card or ideas about a good alternative??

#2 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: What is the PSU wattage in that system? And you need to put up a budget; since we're talking a $90 PC and a $66 upgrade, I assume you don't have $600 to spend on a GPU, but can you do $100? $125?

Honestly, when we're talking this far down the low end, my usual advice is to save your money until you can gather enough to do more with it. The jump from $70 to $150 is massive, as is the jump from $150 to $300. Past that it's a bit less drastic. How far can you go on this, and what PSU do you have?

#3 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: Not sure about the power supply model but it is supposedly 1000W. As far as budget, I could probably go up to $100 but only if it would be really worth it with my current setup. I'm trying to run games on my HDTV at HD resolution.

#4 Edited by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: I really somehow doubt that you have a 1kW PSU in a system which has a 210 in it, but hell, who's to say? As for the GPU, I'd go for a GTX 650. It's right at $100, and it'll more or less double your FPS over the poor 6670. Seeing as you have the RAM and a halfway decent processor to back it up, the GPU is going to be your biggest bottleneck and anything you can do to alieveate that is going to be a major plus.

It'll get you 720p on some newer games. Not pretty 720p, mind you, at least not if you want to keep your framerate above 50, but you'll at least get there where as the 6670 doesn't have a chance in hell of doing that without dropping your FPS to 20 or below.

#5 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: Great, thanks, I will check this one out. This PC was upgraded by the guy I bought it from. Not really sure why he felt the need to put in such a huge power supply.

#6 Edited by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: Yeah, that's a bit silly. To put it in perspective I run two 6950s in Crossfire with an overclocked CPU, and I have a 850W PSU (which doesn't really draw more then 550 from the wall). I bet your system could get by on 250W tops, but who cares? $90 is a great price for a system and all that zany PSU means that you won't have to worry about drawing more then your PSU can handle...ever.

I think you'll find that the 650, while also being more powerful then the 6670, is also quite a bit newer; that usually bodes well for things like heat output and noise, although I have to confess I'm not too familiar with the lower end of the market.

#7 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: So I notice the GTX 650 is PCIe 3.0. My motherboard has only PCIe 2.0. I've heard that 3.0 is backwards compatible to 2.0, but do you know if there would be a drop in performance because of that?

#8 Posted by ShockD (2393 posts) -

I'm all for GTX 460.

#9 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: Absolutely not. Not even a single frame. The 650 just doesn't have the oomph to even utilize all of a PCI-E 2.0 x16 lane. Even something completely insane like the 680 won't even display a hiccup when used in a 2.0 x16 slot.

#10 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: Cool. Man you are super helpful on this!

#11 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: I enjoy sharing what I know. I feel like I've wasted enough time learning it that keeping it to myself isn't enough of a return on my investment. The terminology is so thick and the numbers are at times deliberately misleading ("So I bought a Radeon 9800 years ago, but you just bought a 7870? Why are they going backwards? Is it worse?") to the point that I've stopped telling people "Go and do some research!" and just impart what I know. Yeah, teach a man to fish and all that, but these fish are expensive and I'd rather someone come to me instead of potentially blowing their money thanks to confusion and misinformation.

#12 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: That has always been the problem for me with the model numbers and crap. I'm glad there are people out there willing to help!!

Bonus, the 650 supports 3 concurrent displays.

So if I might pick your brain a bit more, will I get 5.1 audio output on the HDMI from this card?

#13 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: Well, this is pulled right from Nvidia's site:

Support for HDMI including GPU accelerated Blu-ray 3D support (Blu-ray 3D playback requires the purchase of a compatible software player from CyberLink, ArcSoft, Corel, or Sonic), x.v.Color, HDMI Deep Color, and 7.1 digital surround sound will be added in a Release 260 driver.

So I'd approach that with a tacit yes, but seeing as most reviews don't focus on video playback and I've never had one on hand, I don't want to rubber stamp it. Still, if the manufacturer is to be believed, that driver update will have done the trick.

#14 Posted by Phyrlord (171 posts) -


The 600 series has been quite good. I just picked up a 660 GTX Ti and it blows my 460 GTX out of the water. I prefer MSI, I'm not sure what @n1Nj4d00m would recommend.

#15 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: So I just ordered the GTX 650 from amazon and got a downloadable copy of Assassin's Creed 3 for free!!

#16 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: The card was already good value for the money; with the addition of AC:3 thrown in, you've really got a good deal on your hands.

Let me know how everything goes, if you wouldn't mind; I love hearing feedback from people that go through with my advice, positive or negative.

#17 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: I just received the card in the mail today. I have yet to hook it up to my TV at home because im still at work but it appears to be a great investment. I tried Skyrim running on ultra settings and ther were no noticeable framerate drops or anything. I also tried sleeping dogs and it runs just as well even with the high res textures enabled. We'll have to see how it goes once its running at full resolution on my tv but I think its going to be great!

#18 Posted by Ninjafern (381 posts) -

@Mirado: So I got it all hooked up last night to my TV and dual monitors. The 3 monitor support is really nice for running XBMC on. I dont have to switch between monitor setups to get HD Video on my TV. I played Dishonored last night at its highest resolution and graphics and it played flawlessly. Did the same for Sleeping Dogs and it didn't go quite as well. With the High-Res textures it was running a little slow at 1080p so I bumped it down a couple notches on the resolution and it runs great and still looks beautiful. This was a great investment!

Thanks a lot for your advice and input on this!!

#19 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@n1Nj4d00m: No problem; glad to hear it all worked out and we made the right choice. Lower-mid range cards such as the 650 have made great leaps over their predecessors in terms of performance for value, and you should be able to get the most out of your games with a little slider adjustment (such as Sleeping Dogs) for a good amount of time in the future.

Congrats on the purchase and happy gaming! Feel free to PM me if you run into any problems/have any other questions about either the 650 or other part choices.

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