Graphics Card Advice Needed

#1 Edited by Vestigial_Man (311 posts) -

I'm building my first PC and am stuck when it comes to picking a graphics card. I don't really know what brands are likely to be poor quality or whether a performance increase is really worth the cost.

My build has changed slightly from this but the rest of the build can be found here.

#2 Posted by Kidavenger (3610 posts) -

PNY is the only one I don't recognize, the rest are all fine, not saying anything about PNY other than I've never heard of them.

EVGA is a premium brand, they are probably overpriced for what it is.

XFX used to have a very good warranty program, no idea if it's still in effect, but they were the best in that regard.

#3 Posted by kadash299 (282 posts) -

i'd get the PNY 670 personally

#4 Edited by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

Uh... I wouldn't go with a reference model. The TwinFrozr models from MSI are great, though a bit expensive. The 7970 is technically the best of the lot, but I've heard way too many "AMD horror stories" to trust them with my money. It's probably overblown, but still...

Either 670 will be fine. I'd personally go with the EVGA one, though.

#5 Posted by Mirado (1050 posts) -

@Vestigial_Man: First off, the UK really seems to get raked over the coals when it comes to hardware pricing. That EVGA card, for instance is only about £215.99 here in the US (after conversion, obviously). Alas, not much we can do about that, but I'm bringing it up because it sort of skews the value proposition end of things. Usually I'd have a very clear answer about going with a 660TI vs a 670, but the higher prices imbalance things a bit.

Anyway, my money goes to the 670. It punches harder then the 660TI and if we're tossing around this kind of money, I think the 660TI starts to lose its appeal. Now, which one? Probably the PNY, but I would suggest you look up how well each company handles warranties and their customer service in general. As far as I can tell they both have the same length of warranty (3 years), and ANY manufacturer can give you a bad card, so if PNY checks out I'd probably go with them.

But when I want a 670, I'm not slinging £250+ around, so that's up to you. :D

#6 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2527 posts) -

Id go with the 7970. Never heard anything bad about XFX.

#7 Posted by AlexW00d (6389 posts) -

@Mirado said:

@Vestigial_Man: First off, the UK really seems to get raked over the coals when it comes to hardware pricing. That EVGA card, for instance is only about £215.99 here in the US (after conversion, obviously). Alas, not much we can do about that, but I'm bringing it up because it sort of skews the value proposition end of things. Usually I'd have a very clear answer about going with a 660TI vs a 670, but the higher prices imbalance things a bit.

Anyway, my money goes to the 670. It punches harder then the 660TI and if we're tossing around this kind of money, I think the 660TI starts to lose its appeal. Now, which one? Probably the PNY, but I would suggest you look up how well each company handles warranties and their customer service in general. As far as I can tell they both have the same length of warranty (3 years), and ANY manufacturer can give you a bad card, so if PNY checks out I'd probably go with them.

But when I want a 670, I'm not slinging £250+ around, so that's up to you. :D

Welcome to Europe? £250 for a 670 isn't that bad tbh. Usually anything under £300 is a good deal. Also £260 for that 7970 is a ridiculous deal.

#8 Edited by Jams (2965 posts) -

PNY has been around for a long ass time. One of my first graphics cards was from PNY Verto Geforce 4 MX440.

God damn. I remember I got it because I was tired of running Counter Strike in software render mode. Sorry for the sudden burst of nostalgia.

#9 Posted by Mirado (1050 posts) -

@AlexW00d: AMD cards always seem to be way better on paper then they are in practice, usually thanks to some driver issues. At least in my experience. Either way, the 7970 cannot keep up with the 670 in most games, so with the similar prices of the PNY 670 and the 7970, my choice remains the same.

As for Euro pricing....well, that sucks. I never pay any attention as I have no reason to, so to see a 670 go for 680 money is kinda odd.

#10 Posted by AlexW00d (6389 posts) -

@Mirado: I meant in terms of money for the AMD, I wasn't actually recommending it.

And if you think paying an extra 20% or so on PC components is bad, you should try paying more than 100% extra for fuel :(

#11 Posted by granderojo (1792 posts) -

I've had horrible experiences with AMD drivers. I would go with either 670.

#12 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

PNY would be my vote, or the EVGA. Those are the most consistently solid nVidia brands you can go with. If you wanted to go a little crazier I'd suggest looking for an MSI, but it sounds like you want more of a solid reliable purchase, so either the PNY or EVGA. Either way, you'll be happy.

#13 Posted by Grasu (42 posts) -

Geforce 2 Ultra is what I recommend. You will need the extra power to run Quake 3 at a stable 60 fps in 32 bit. And remember, Halo will come out built with Geforce 2 in mind.

#14 Posted by Kidavenger (3610 posts) -

@Grasu:

#15 Posted by kadash299 (282 posts) -

yep, get the pny as i said.. cheaper for the same product!

#16 Edited by Vamino (215 posts) -
@Vestigial_Man

I'm not keen on the coolers they use on EVGA. They tend to run louder and hotter than others you can get, in my experience. I like Asus and Gigabyte's dual (or triple) fan coolers if you can get those (and fit it in your case).

Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II       

Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 

Clearly a bit more expensive though.. No idea if those are the cheapest ones on the site though, just quick finds as examples.

#17 Posted by MorkaiTheWolf (185 posts) -

I own an XFX 7970 and I've had only one hang up since buying it, my power supply almost couldn't support it. When I bought my current one (some 775W model, forgot the manufacturer at the moment), I didn't plan on getting a higher end video card that would need so much power. I lucked out and had the right connections but definitely make sure you have the proper connections before dropping the money for it (That one needs a 6-pin and an 8-pin to properly power it). Beside that hang up, I'm loving it. I've been able to play all my games and do video editing no issues at all. (Should also note I installed the beta AMD drivers just cause I wanted to try them with Far Cry 3 and it works beautifully)

#18 Edited by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

I got the GeForce GTX 570 Jeff got on that tested live stream years ago. It still runs everything perfectly. Far Cry 3 is literally the only thing on my Steam list that I can't run at full settings. Just get that (and watch that Tested video for other hardware advice) it's probably dirt cheap now.

#19 Edited by Pr1mus (3959 posts) -

Personally i'd take an nVidia card over an AMD one. As for the brands all three you listed are good reliable brands.

#20 Edited by Slaegar (737 posts) -

I know I'm a bit late, but PNY is not the greatest of brands. I would avoid them. They may have gotten better since yesteryear, but it only takes one image of a GPU cooled by a piece of tinfoil with a fan glued to it once to avoid them.
 
EVGA is a good brand. 
 
Vamino mentioned Asus and Gigabyte which are also very good brands. He also pointed out brands with non-stock cooling that tend to be cooler and quieter than reference model cards.
 
XFX is a fine brand. An AMD 7970 should be pretty comparable to an Nvidia 670. AMD's drivers are fine and all that, Nvidia does have the advantage of supporting 3D games out of the box as well as their new adaptive V-sync.
 
edit: The disadvantage of the 7970 compared to the 670 is the length of the card and the power draw are higher. Not by a lot, but if you have a tiny case in mind, it might be worth looking into.

#21 Edited by Franstone (1149 posts) -

I'd go for the 670 (either one), keep an eye out for the best warranty/support reviews.

No personal experience w/ either brand but they've both been around for a while.

#22 Posted by ajamafalous (12129 posts) -
@Kidavenger said:

PNY is the only one I don't recognize, the rest are all fine, not saying anything about PNY other than I've never heard of them.

EVGA is a premium brand, they are probably overpriced for what it is.

XFX used to have a very good warranty program, no idea if it's still in effect, but they were the best in that regard.

Wait, how the hell have you never heard of PNY? They're one of the 3-4 major nVidia manufacturers. They've been around forever.
#23 Edited by Ben_H (3413 posts) -

Can't go wrong either way. EVGA, PNY and XFX are all well known brands. For AMD vs. Nvidia, it doesn't really matter anymore. AMD if fine now. I've been using them for 8 years and never had an issue with them at all, or with the drivers. My first ATI card was an X800 and prior to that I was running a BFG Nvidia GeForce 2 for many years. Most of the bad press around AMD/ATI is just remnant from a very long time ago.

#24 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

7950 all day plus they throw in some good games, last I checked it was Sleeping Dogs, Far Cry 3 and Hitman Absolution

#25 Posted by Fredddi43 (353 posts) -

I'd also recommend the 7970. It was the best single GPU consumer graphics card in the world until the 680 came along and that only beats the 7970 by about 5-10 frames but comes with a heftier price tag. Performance will be a lot better than what you get from a 670, but not much really stresses the GPU nowadays anyway, so that will be an investment for the future.

Online
#26 Posted by Daveyo520 (6931 posts) -

I have an XFX Radeon 7850 and it does the job alright.

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#27 Posted by OldManLight (905 posts) -

i bought the mid range AMD (7770) recently and it runs about every game that came out this fall very smoothly at High settings at 1920x1080. i'd imagine the 7970 would be even nicer.

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