Upgrading my graphics card

#1 Posted by ElectricBoogaloo (352 posts) -

I currently own a 5870 and it's starting to show its age with games like Far Cry 3. I was looking at upgrading to the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 for £180 ($288) so I was just wondering if the upgrade is significant enough for the price? Otherwise I could wait a bit longer and get a 670, or something similar, but I would rather spend less.

#2 Posted by Devildoll (877 posts) -

I jumped from a 5870 to a 7970.

I think the 660 is about 25-30% faster than the 5870.(check some benchmarks to make sure)

Itscup to you if thats worth the money or not.

#3 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

I would say it would be far more than 25-30% of an upgrade:

Note that the 6870 is averaging 22FPS, with a terrible min of 6. The 660 MINIMUMS out at 37FPS.

#4 Edited by deox (210 posts) -

I recently bought a 660 TI and I have no complaints. It performs great with all current games and it's decently priced.

I've never used AMD so I can't speak for their line-up.

#5 Posted by Mirado (992 posts) -

@murisan said:

Note that the 6870 is averaging 22FPS, with a terrible min of 6. The 660 MINIMUMS out at 37FPS.

*psst* A 6870 is actually slower then the 5870. AMDs marketing department hard at work!

But a 660 will still be a good boost up.

#6 Edited by perniciousdistortion (32 posts) -

i actually just bought a GTX 650 and im not here to nitpick but im pushing way more frames than 16.00/19.00. im playing everything i have on max (Sleepy Dogs, Darksiders 2, BF3 MP, Diablo 3 etc.) all running beautifully no hiccups zero lag.

#7 Posted by myketuna (1655 posts) -

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I do have a quick question about benchmarks. How much of a "boost" would one get if AA and AF were turned off? I always turn them off on my games when I can run them at my monitor's native resolution. I don't really see too much of a difference, so I figure I'll gain some frames that way instead. Whenever I look at benchmarks, I see how a card I'm thinking about performs with everything maxed out and see if it's reasonably close to where I want it. For example, I have a 570 right now and it seems in BF3 with everything maxed out, I'd get around 33 min FPS. So without AA and AF, I imagine I'd get around 40 min FPS. Am I fucking crazy?

But back on topic, I would say the 660 is a pretty good bump compared to your 5870, OP. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/511?vs=647

#8 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Mirado said:

@murisan said:

Note that the 6870 is averaging 22FPS, with a terrible min of 6. The 660 MINIMUMS out at 37FPS.

*psst* A 6870 is actually slower then the 5870. AMDs marketing department hard at work!

But a 660 will still be a good boost up.

Well that don't make a LICK 'a sense. Thanks for the heads up though. I have a 6870.. I wonder if it's time to upgrade..

#9 Posted by Mirado (992 posts) -

@myketuna: AF doesn't really harm all that much in terms of frame rate, at least not to the extent that AA does. Depending on the kind of AA you choose (and there are tons of them anymore) you will see various hits to your FPS, in accordance to the age and power of your GPU. I can't give you hard numbers, but the difference between maxed out AA and no AA at all could vary well be a double digit FPS increase.

@murisan said:

@Mirado said:

@murisan said:

Note that the 6870 is averaging 22FPS, with a terrible min of 6. The 660 MINIMUMS out at 37FPS.

*psst* A 6870 is actually slower then the 5870. AMDs marketing department hard at work!

But a 660 will still be a good boost up.

Well that don't make a LICK 'a sense. Thanks for the heads up though. I have a 6870.. I wonder if it's time to upgrade..

The only time to ever upgrade is when you feel the effects of the GPU on your gaming experience for the negative. It doesn't matter if the machine is putting out 25 or 125 FPS, if it's running well enough to your eye that you aren't thinking "Man, this is going all slideshow on me", there's no reason to sink any money in just yet.

For some people who play less taxing games, they can go four or five years without an upgrade. For a guy like myself who wants 60FPS @1920x1200 with everything cranked up on the latest FPSes, I usually don't last two years. That's why I threw as much cash into my GPUs as I did when I built the system I'm using currently; no properly optimized game has yet averaged below 60 for me, and once I start seeing that happen more and more often, I'll probably toss out what I have again.

#10 Posted by warxsnake (2639 posts) -

Just keep in mind where we are at in the cycle.  
"Next gen" consoles are around the corner; for PC's people think this means nothing but it will. Developers haven't taken full advantage of DX11, or been anywhere close to its full potential, just cheap effects here and there for a side PC port. Only a few like Metro have done something meaningful with it.  
Once consoles enter DX11 territory, you will see way more full use of DX11 and mainly tessellation, more complex shaders, and advanced post processing such as more accurate DOF/Bokeh and Mblur, stressing GPUs way more than they ever have.   
 
So i'd still always go for mid range cards for now which are still more than enough (although depends on your resolution output of course), until ~6 months after the new consoles come out, that's when I spend on a serious upgrade. 

#11 Posted by myketuna (1655 posts) -

@Mirado said:

@myketuna: AF doesn't really harm all that much in terms of frame rate, at least not to the extent that AA does. Depending on the kind of AA you choose (and there are tons of them anymore) you will see various hits to your FPS, in accordance to the age and power of your GPU. I can't give you hard numbers, but the difference between maxed out AA and no AA at all could vary well be a double digit FPS increase.

Double digits, eh? I mean, like you said, not "hard" numbers, but that's pretty great. I do see a difference in that link you posted between no AA and even some AA, but usually when I'm playing a game, I don't notice. Glad I do gain some frames and I am indeed not crazy.

@warxsnake said:

Just keep in mind where we are at in the cycle. "Next gen" consoles are around the corner; for PC's people think this means nothing but it will. Developers haven't taken full advantage of DX11, or been anywhere close to its full potential, just cheap effects here and there for a side PC port. Only a few like Metro have done something meaningful with it. Once consoles enter DX11 territory, you will see way more full use of DX11 and mainly tessellation, more complex shaders, and advanced post processing such as more accurate DOF/Bokeh and Mblur, stressing GPUs way more than they ever have. So i'd still always go for mid range cards for now which are still more than enough (although depends on your resolution output of course), until ~6 months after the new consoles come out, that's when I spend on a serious upgrade.

I agree with this. I don't plan on upgrading my 570 for a while. Still runs everything the way I want it to (1080p, no AA or motion blur, etc. High shadows and stuff though). I imagine I'll upgrade it when I have to start setting things on low-medium in games. Hopefully, my processor holds out until then (i5-2500K).

#12 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@myketuna said:

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I do have a quick question about benchmarks. How much of a "boost" would one get if AA and AF were turned off? I always turn them off on my games when I can run them at my monitor's native resolution. I don't really see too much of a difference, so I figure I'll gain some frames that way instead. Whenever I look at benchmarks, I see how a card I'm thinking about performs with everything maxed out and see if it's reasonably close to where I want it. For example, I have a 570 right now and it seems in BF3 with everything maxed out, I'd get around 33 min FPS. So without AA and AF, I imagine I'd get around 40 min FPS. Am I fucking crazy?

But back on topic, I would say the 660 is a pretty good bump compared to your 5870, OP. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/511?vs=647

That is such a cool tool. Thanks for the link.

#13 Edited by Devildoll (877 posts) -

@murisan: just to be safe in the future.

never compare cards just based on their names, unless they are in the same family, ex 6870 6850.

the first digit is the generation, following digits is how good this card is, within the generation, goes for both nvidia and amd.

i hope you didn't "upgrade" from a 5870 :O

another good site, is techpowerup. they have really big lists of graphics cards whenever they try a new one. example

very beginner friendly imo.

tad more relevant tests than anandtech's, although that site is great in other ways.

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