Have to buy new graphics card. Suggestions?

#1 Posted by Rodent (263 posts) -

My wife spilled coffee all over our tower and Nerds on Site looked and said we need a new card.

I'm not looking to go broke buying a new one but I'd like one that might keep up with the current ps4 and XBone games that'll be coming out.

I've got my eye on a Sapphire Radeon HD 7950. Have heard it's really good, also read that it's been crapping out after two days usage.

Looking for a mid to low high end card. Thoughts, suggestions?

Thanks.

Oh and one more thing, basically I'm a complete idiot with PC stuff, is installing a new power supply and video card something someone like me could do?

#2 Posted by Rodent (263 posts) -

Am replacing my Radeon HD 5670.

#3 Posted by Nightriff (5240 posts) -

What's your budget?

#4 Edited by Rodent (263 posts) -

Well I'm guessing a new power supply is gonna be around $100, so I'd like the card to be no more than $300 before taxes.

Edit: Tiger Direct has the 7950 for $299.

#5 Edited by Vuud (2035 posts) -

The 7000 generation is a really solid platform, but I think it's beginning to show it's age. My 7850 can take most things I throw at it, but some games still gum up the works; like Rome Total War 2, Arma 3, Witcher 2 chunks up when running around, etc.

I'm looking to build a new PC soon and really want to get out of the 7000 series.

#6 Posted by Rodent (263 posts) -

The 7950 gonna hold out on A game like Witcher 3?

The PS4 has a 7000 series card in it. Hopefully a 7950 would see me through the current console cycle...

#7 Edited by Zelyre (1256 posts) -

I'm running a 7950. It's a good card, runs everything nicely. It is hot and loud, but I also have it overclocked and overvolted.

However, if I were going to buy something today in that price range, I would get a 760.

I'm just getting tired of AMD's Catalyst Control Center. The actual video drivers are ok. But I need to make specific changes from time to time, and the Catalyst Control Center has this habit of never working.

Power supply will be no big deal to install. It's just time consuming if you want to do it right. Get some velcro ties for cable management.

#8 Edited by Corevi (4401 posts) -

I would recommend an Nvidia card unless you do a lot of emulation, games are better optimized for them than their AMD counterparts, even if the AMD has more raw power. The GTX 760 EVGA Windforce is right in your budget and will allow you to easily overclock it without fear of overheating, downside is that the fans can be a bit loud..

Installing a new video card is just putting the card in the slot. Installing the power supply is a bit more time consuming but not more complicated, just plug the wires into the things where the wires say they go.

For the PSU make sure you get a fully modular one, otherwise you will have a ton of wires you have no use for just flopping around.

#9 Edited by Kidavenger (3602 posts) -
Online
#10 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1467 posts) -

None, because you put your wife on blast.

#11 Posted by andmm (213 posts) -

I'd go with a good R9 series card

#12 Edited by Rodent (263 posts) -

Yeah I won't be over clocking it...I'll be lucky to to install it correctly!

So you guys think Nvidia over AMD?

Since my PC was built with an AMD card would I need to change anything if I dropped an Nvidia card in there?

#13 Posted by avantegardener (1144 posts) -

Personally would never buy another AMD card, had a lot of trouble with them in the past, Nvidia have been far more reliable in my experience.

#14 Edited by mikey87144 (1811 posts) -

@rodent: No. The card will come with a disk that has all the drivers you need. Installing a GPU is really no more complicated than putting a cartridge in an SNES. Once in you connect 2 wires and you're done.

#15 Edited by Rodent (263 posts) -

Alright.

How would I go about finding a Radeon 7950 comparable Nvidia card?

Edit: Zelyre is right. The 760 seems to be in line with the 7950

#16 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

GTX 770.

Nvidia > AMD

#17 Edited by Corevi (4401 posts) -

@rodent: Amazon currently has it for 260$ with shipping, with a steam code for Watch Dogs.

#18 Edited by Rowr (5824 posts) -
@rodent said:

The 7950 gonna hold out on A game like Witcher 3?

The PS4 has a 7000 series card in it. Hopefully a 7950 would see me through the current console cycle...

Consoles are also made for efficiency. Whether you go a 760 or a 7950, don't have any allusions that these cards will carry you through the console cycle. From what I can understand, 760 is slightly on the lower end of things and 770 is closer to the sweet spot for cost vs performance at the moment, but It depends on what money you have obviously.

The general consensus is Nvidia cards are better supported, but really it's a bit luck of the draw with the games you play. I have a top end Nvidia card and company of heroes 2 for example runs better on an AMD card worth half the price.

#19 Edited by kindisaurus (2791 posts) -

I'll always be an advocate for nVidia over AMD/ATI. nVidia's customer support, site, and the way they handle their video cards post purchase is wonderful. I've had a Radeon HD 5750 for 2 years now, and can't stand how they update drivers, their website looks and feels (in terms of navigation). Let's just say I am super excited right now to get my nVidia 780 later on.

I saw that my local Bestbuy had an nVidia 770 on sale for $179 earlier. A lot of different cards, actually. Maybe check your local one out and see if they are having a special?

#20 Posted by MB (12915 posts) -

For around the $300 mark, I'd go for a GTX 770. Super fast, runs cool, low power requirements, stable drivers, should last you a few years at least. It will kick Witcher 2's ass. Don't forget that nvidia cards have the Shadowplay feature as well, on-die h.264 recording. Pretty cool if you ever want to capture gameplay or stream.

Moderator
#21 Edited by Rodent (263 posts) -

Alright you guys have talked me into Nvidia.

Now I just have to decide between the gtx 760 or the 770...

Are there certain brands that are better than others?

I'm noticing Zotac, evga, gigabyte...

#22 Posted by Rodent (263 posts) -

One more question, should I be using vga cables or hdmi?

#23 Edited by FritzDude (2279 posts) -

I cannot speak for Zotac or EVGA, but I can personally recommend MSI's TwinFrozr gaming series. It's cool & quiet and it comes with the super useful clock/monitor-utility called Afterburner. And your best bet would probably be a GTX 770, though personally I would update to a GK110 (780/Titan), but that's more expensive. As for your question: VGA is analog and you want to use digital which would be DVI or HDMI (Unless you have reasons to still use VGA). DVI having better width for higher refresh rates, but HDMI have audio aswell.

#25 Posted by MB (12915 posts) -

@rodent: @fritzdude: I like Twin Frozr cards also. My last pair of 6950's were the 2gb Twin Frozr variety and they were excellent for overclocking and low temperatures. This time around along with my switch to the GTX 780 3gb, I went with Asus after checking out temperature and overclocking benches and the Asus came out on top even over MSI's offering.

Definitely read reviews and check out benchmarks before buying, even after you decide on a specific card. Not all all created equal...some are going to run hotter or louder than others, and some will have more room for overclocking if you should ever go that route.

Moderator
#26 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2071 posts) -

@rodent said:

One more question, should I be using vga cables or hdmi?

Depends on the card's output and your monitor's input. If your monitor has an HDMI port, definitely use that over VGA. I'm pretty sure none of the new cards still support VGA but you can always get an adapter to change whatever to VGA if that's the only thing your monitor supports. Most of the older monitors will also have a DVI port though, and since the modern tech is all digital it will be easier and cheaper to convert from a modern source to DVI rather than VGA (which is analogue).

#27 Posted by Unilad (579 posts) -

gtx 770. Solid card.

#28 Posted by Tan (425 posts) -

I got a GTX 760 from here for $250 free shipping. It's been super good, super quiet and doesn't get too hot. It also comes with a bunch of fancy monitoring gizmos and overclocking software that I haven't put any time into understanding.

#29 Posted by Bollard (5749 posts) -

@rodent said:

One more question, should I be using vga cables or hdmi?

You'll want to either use DVI or HDMI depending on what your monitor has ports for. If it has HDMI probably just use that for ease, I wouldn't use VGA though.

#32 Edited by MB (12915 posts) -

Can you guys stick to giving relevant and useful advice to Rodent and leave the whole AMD vs Nvidia nonsense for other topics, please? Talk about going off the rails...people have a difficult enough time choosing video cards without having to sift through all of that, too.

Thanks

Moderator
#33 Posted by ottoman673 (558 posts) -

I was just going to post this same topic, as I'm looking to replace my dated GTX 460 SE. Definitely looking towards the 760, but would it be that much of an improvement?

#34 Edited by Slaegar (737 posts) -

@rodent said:

Alright you guys have talked me into Nvidia.

Now I just have to decide between the gtx 760 or the 770...

Are there certain brands that are better than others?

I'm noticing Zotac, evga, gigabyte...

Don't count out AMD in the graphics card race. Nvidia does more marketing than R&D and AMD currently has the most powerful card available; more powerful than a card Nvidia was going to release (Titan Z) this year at twice the price.

Both the 760 and 770 are totally fine. The 770 will cost more and run better. So that's up to you. Of those three brands none of them are outright terrible, but EVGA has the best reputation. Avoid PNY like the plague.

I'm worried about your power supply and CPU bottleneck, though. If you had an old 5670 that would use much less power than a 760 or 770. If you only have like a 350 Watt power supply you will not be able to run a new full powered card. If you only have a weak power supply you may want to look into the Nvidia 750 Ti instead as its claim to fame is efficiency.

If your CPU is also on the weak side you may only use like 30-50% of the new graphics card's power. Of course you would have a nice GPU to put in a later build if go that route. My current GPU went into an older computer and was getting 20 fps on Crysis no matter what settings I used. I checked a GPU monitor and the GPU was going less than half power because the old CPU couldn't keep up. I put it with a shiny new i5 and got up to 60 fps.

I was just going to post this same topic, as I'm looking to replace my dated GTX 460 SE. Definitely looking towards the 760, but would it be that much of an improvement?

A 760 is going to beat a 480 and the 460 SE is an underpowered 460 (I had an SE myself for a year and a half before it blew up) so I'm going to pull this out of my ass, but you are probably looking at 70-90% more fps in most games if you go with that upgrade.

#36 Posted by UlquioKani (1159 posts) -

I have a GTX 760. It's a really good card. It can run most games on high settings at a constant 60fps. With your budget, you should get a 770. It's performance increase is significant enough for the price and will last you longer.

#37 Posted by insane_shadowblade85 (1494 posts) -

I'm going to have to make a thread like this one day. I need to upgrade my PC.

#38 Edited by Snizza (13 posts) -

I just bought an sapphire r9 290 Tri-x today since it was on sale at tiger direct. You could pick it up for around $345 with a $15 discount and mail in rebate. Tiger direct link

#39 Posted by DonMFJohnson (153 posts) -

I usually go with what Tom's Hardware recommends when I'm updating my PC, it seems Radeon R9 280X / GTX 770 are the ones to get in the $300 price range. AMD's Radeon reference coolers tend to be on the loud side, something to consider when you're selecting your card.

#40 Posted by andmm (213 posts) -

@rodent

@snizza said:

I just bought an sapphire r9 290 Tri-x today since it was on sale at tiger direct. You could pick it up for around $345 with a $15 discount and mail in rebate. Tiger direct link

Whoa, totally recommend this deal. Right in your price range and the R9 290 is a beast.

Go for it!

#41 Posted by ripelivejam (4590 posts) -

how do you pour coffee on just the video card?

#42 Posted by Rodent (263 posts) -

@ripelivejam:

It seems the coffee poured over top of the tower and splashed in through the air vents.

I ain't questioning it because this means I get a newer graphics card!

#43 Edited by OurSin_360 (941 posts) -

Well i have a 7950 and it's pretty good still, but it's old now and if you really want to upgrade i would go with a new gen card. Last i checked the R9's were being priced up too high due to all the currency mining, so probably one of the newer Nvidia cards would be a better deal. If you do go with a 7000 series, get the 7970 at least since it was the high end version and won't require as much overclocking.

#44 Edited by Rodent (263 posts) -

This sound okay with my my i5?

MSI Geforce GTX 770 Video Card - 2GB GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0 (x16), 1x Dual-Link DVI-D, 1x Dual-Link DVI-I, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, DirectX 11.1, SLI, Dual-Slot, Fan, (N770 TF 2GD5/OC)

#45 Posted by ripelivejam (4590 posts) -

@oursin_360: weird i just got an r9 290 from tigerdirect for $370 so i don't know if that's inflated. thought they got marked down actually...

#46 Edited by andmm (213 posts) -
#47 Posted by Rodent (263 posts) -

Well I just went and ordered the video card that I posted the specs about in my last post up there.

Thanks you guys for all your input and if it doesn't turn out it's all your fault!

Thanks guys!

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