Console preorder canceled, help me with a video card upgrade

#1 Edited by MB (12283 posts) -

This machine is a few years old by this point, but I think I can salvage another year or two out of it at least. Here are the basic specs:

AMD FX-8150 8-core CPU at 4.0ghz on M4A79 XTD EVO motherboard (manual OC)

16gb of RAM DDR3 1600 at 7-8-8-24

2x Crossfire Twin Frozr II HD 6950 2gb cards, conservative 10% OC

Multiple platter type HD's

Corsair Force 3 SSD for OS and games

I'd like to ditch the dual card setup and go for a single card, something I wish I would have done when I built this thing. Open to either ATI or Nvidia, whatever is going to give me the best price to performance ratio - probably looking at the third card down in current hierarchy or so, definitely not the biggest, newest, most expensive card on the block. I'd like to spend somewhere between $300-$400 USD.

What kind of upgrade do you suggest, and what kind of performance increase do you think I can expect from it?

PC master race 4 lyfe.

Moderator Online
#2 Edited by Kidavenger (3534 posts) -

770 or a r9 280x are the cards to get right now, they are pretty much even performance wise on most games. The 770 has much better pack in games right now though so depending on price and your interest in those games that may be the one to get, AMD will probably offer pack in games with the 280 in the new year if you are willing to wait a few months.

I don't think you are looking a huge gains though, maybe 20% better frame rate, it would be more of a quality of life upgrade not having to deal with a dual card setup anymore.

The next step up to a 780 or a r9 290x is a pretty expensive jump and probably not needed if you are gaming at 1080p.

#3 Edited by Troispoint (267 posts) -

@mb said:

This machine is a few years old by this point, but I think I can salvage another year or two out of it at least. Here are the basic specs:

AMD FX-8150 8-core CPU at 4.0ghz on M4A79 XTD EVO motherboard (manual OC)

16gb of fast RAM

2x Crossfire Twin Frozr II HD 6950 2gb cards, conservative 10% OC

Multiple platter type HD's

Corsair Force 3 SSD for OS and games

I'd like to ditch the dual card setup and go for a single card, something I wish I would have done when I built this thing. Open to either ATI or Nvidia, whatever is going to give me the best price to performance ratio - probably looking at the third card down in current hierarchy or so, definitely not the biggest, newest, most expensive card on the block.

What kind of upgrade do you suggest, and what kind of performance increase do you think I can expect from it?

PC master race 4 lyfe.

What the hell do you mean by ''fast RAM''? Just say its actual frequency. And it won't matter anyway (except maybe for BF4, I've heard higher frequency on the RAM actually improves performance). And for the GPU, whats your budget? I never understand why people expect good advices when they're not talking about the price range they're looking for.

#4 Posted by Budwyzer (576 posts) -
#5 Posted by MB (12283 posts) -

@troispoint: Price isn't really that critical, but a good price to performance ratio is. I'd like to spend $300-$400 USD.

I edited in my ram specs after looking it up from a previous post. DDR3 1600 Ripjaws at 7-8-8-24.

Moderator Online
#6 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

GTX 670s have hit dirt cheap levels recently too, if you can get 2 of those at a stupidly low price it'd be pretty sweet.

#7 Posted by Doctorchimp (4074 posts) -

Is that 770 deal still going on where they give you Batman, AssCreed, and SC for like 300 bucks?

Cause that's the best deal right now for sure.

#8 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@mb: AMD cards are quite good nowadays: I have a Gygabyte 7950 No complains whatsoever: I have a dual screen set up with (2) 24 inch display, I can play Battlefield 4 ultra 1080p 60fps and watch videos full screen in the second monitor. No hassle and it is actually a silent card.

Pretty awesome stuff.

#9 Edited by TyCobb (1966 posts) -

My vote is for the 770. I couldn't be happier with it and BF4 looks amazing. I went ahead and used the GeForce Experience auto settings and haven't touched the graphic settings once.

I should not that I will always recommend nVidia until they screw up or release shitty series like FX again.

#10 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

@kidavenger said:

770 or a r9 280x are the cards to get right now, they are pretty much even performance wise on most games. The 770 has much better pack in games right now though so depending on price and your interest in those games that may be the one to get, AMD will probably offer pack in games with the 280 in the new year if you are willing to wait a few months.

I don't think you are looking a huge gains though, maybe 20% better frame rate, it would be more of a quality of life upgrade not having to deal with a dual card setup anymore.

The next step up to a 780 or a r9 290x is a pretty expensive jump and probably not needed if you are gaming at 1080p.

I'll endorse this.

Personally, unless your current setup is getting too old for you, I would stick with what you got until Nvidia's new line of cards are out. If Nvidia already almost caught up to AMD's new line of cards with just a ti version of the 780 (although it is $700) then I'm fairly confident that their new cards will be a step above which would be the ideal time to get a high end card from that line instead of one from the line of cards that are out now.

#11 Posted by Korwin (2851 posts) -

If you're looking to match the maximum performance of your existing crossfire then you will want to take a look at the recently price dropped GTX780 (non Ti) or the R9 290. In either case everything will at least look a lot smoother, the 6950 was a pre AMD frame metering card (pretty sure they haven't rolled those fixes back into non GCN cards). Un-metered crossfire stutter is just the worst.

#12 Posted by Kidavenger (3534 posts) -

that 360 controller is bugging the hell out of me

#13 Posted by TyCobb (1966 posts) -
#14 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@kidavenger: haha is there to Spelunky at nights, really no other use for it. @tycobb: like 30% of that book is actually quite good, the rest is Framework specific references and Docs.

#15 Edited by ikilledthedj (279 posts) -

@donpixel I was so confused as to why your keyboard was backwards then considered that you might be left handed and thought wait.. no that's retarded do they even make left handed keyboards? OHHHHHHHHHH.

+1 for an nVidia card

Online
#16 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@donpixel I was so confused as to why your keyboard was backwards then considered that you might be left handed and thought wait.. no that's retarded do they even make left handed keyboards? OHHHHHHHHHH.

+1 for an nVidia card

ya sorry, flipped the photo accidentally

#17 Posted by Kidavenger (3534 posts) -
#18 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@mb: If you want the best go with one of the new ATI cards. In reviews even the 500$ one beats a titan card and if you go one tier lower with I think 2GB Vram you will end up with 300$ for the card.

#19 Edited by MB (12283 posts) -

@kidavenger: Dealing with Crossfire performance and driver issues does bug me, I've really wanted to go to a single card solution for the last couple of years but couldn't justify it because the slight performance increase just wasn't worth the cost associated with an upgrade.

If I'm still only looking at a 20% increase in performance over my current setup, it's really difficult to justify spending $300-$400. I don't have a problem running most modern games at 1080p, maybe I should just wait another season and see what the video card market looks like next year.

Moderator Online
#20 Edited by Brendan (7778 posts) -

If you go to anandtech you'll see a lot of users praising at the Altar of AMD (to the point of raising pitchforks against Nvidia) for the price/perf ratio of their 290 card. The heat is noise is apparently rotten, however, so you should wait a few weeks to get a non reference card with a better cooler.

#21 Edited by MB (12283 posts) -

@brendan: Thanks, I definitely do not need more noise coming out of my PC case, which already sounds like a 747 on takeoff.

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