Video Card Recommendations

#1 Edited by MikeyL (13 posts) -

Hey guys, first time poster here. I've recently gotten back into pc gaming and built myself, what I consider, to be a pretty sweet rig. The only thing that's holding me back is an old GTS 450 I bought a few years ago (and never ended up using) and just threw it in there for the time being. I plan on getting a new video card in a couple of days, and have been eyeing these two at my local computer store http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_1200_557_559&item_id=061697 and http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_1200_557_558&item_id=045607. There's also an EVGA model for the 760 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_1200_557_559&item_id=061674. It's worth noting that the 7950 comes with 3 free games, and my newly made steam account is looking pretty bare in the games department, but I'd be willing to ditch the games if the 760 performs considerably better.

Now, I've done a ton of digging through forums, hardware sites, benchmark sites and youtube videos, some have favoured the 760 for it's uncut, out of the box power - others the 7950 for it's overclocking potential. I have very basic, rudimentary knowledge of pc's, so I turn to the GB community for advice. What card would you choose to future proof your machine? Which one will run the slew of upcoming next-gen titles at optimal settings? If SLI/Crossfire is a future possibility, which one works better? Also, with AMD having their hardware in the next gen consoles, will future cross platform titles be more optimized for AMD cards than NVIDIA?

Any advice or personal accounts with these cards will be much appreciate.

cheers.

#2 Posted by TheHBK (5407 posts) -

I would go with the 760. That EVGA one is super nice and can be overclocked too, thought not much. However the exciting thing is from the reviews I have seen, 760s in SLI are amazing and can perform better than a 780. So if you ever feel like an upgrade later, just throw in another 760.

#3 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

I'm biased towards Nvidia so I can't speak much for AMD but if you want to be ready for the beginning of next gen then don't settle for anything less than a 770 if your idea of optimal gaming is playing on high at 1080p. I personally wouldn't bother with SLI, it's gotten better (Nvidia SLI>>AMD's) but I prefer to have more reliability with just a single powerful video card.

The stuff about AMD parts being in next gen consoles equating to better PC optimization is bullshit, if there was truth to that then this gen should have seen a boost on AMD's side considering what's inside the PS3/360.

Here's my card

#4 Posted by believer258 (11039 posts) -

Also, with AMD having their hardware in the next gen consoles, will future cross platform titles be more optimized for AMD cards than NVIDIA?

Neither brand is guaranteed to work absolutely perfectly with every game. Sleeping Dogs had more issues with NVIDIA than with AMD cards, but most things seem to be as good or better on NVIDIA. Also, if things were going to be more optimized for AMD next gen, then they would have been more optimized for AMD this gen. This particular detail doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.

I agree with @colourful_hippie; the 7950 came out early last year, and getting the 770 will probably be way better than SLI. Some people really like SLI and get a lot of extra power out of it. I'd rather depend on a single very good card, since some games have issues with SLI. If that's out of the question, though, then go for a 760. That EVGA 760 seems pretty good.

#5 Edited by Winsord (1066 posts) -

Another user was looking at the same two cards recently, just not the exact same models. I'd suggest poking through that thread to help you get a better idea. This site seems to mostly have an NVidia bias, but personally I'd just say go with the best deal you can find; if you find a card on sale for $50 less than the other, the difference in performance is negligible enough that you should just go with the cheaper card. I genuinely don't think there's a 'better' or 'right/wrong' choice between the 7950 & 760 if they're similarly priced (even when doing Crossfire/SLI).

Also, with AMD having their hardware in the next gen consoles, will future cross platform titles be more optimized for AMD cards than NVIDIA?

I doubt that will yield much of an advantage for AMD, unless it simply increases their revenue enough to do more promotions with developers/publishers. Graphics hardware will move away from what the consoles are using fairly quickly anyways, so even if that did manage to somehow have some benefit at the start, it'd probably be lost in a couple of years. As far as SLI/Crossfire goes, if you've got the case, the motherboard, the power and proper cooling to do it it's usually great, but it's so much easier to just buy a single card. You might get the performance of a $1000 card at $650, but the rest of your rig has to be able to meet that demand (cooling was always the worst part in my experience).

#6 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -
@winsord said:

Another user was looking at the same two cards recently, just not the exact same models. I'd suggest poking through that thread to help you get a better idea. This site seems to mostly have an NVidia bias, but personally I'd just say go with the best deal you can find; if you find a card on sale for $50 less than the other, the difference in performance is negligible enough that you should just go with the cheaper card. I genuinely don't think there's a 'better' or 'right/wrong' choice between the 7950 & 760 if they're similarly priced (even when doing Crossfire/SLI).

If anything he should wait till AMD refreshes their line of cards at the end of the year if he's still considering that brand, no way would I pass on Nvidia's new line for AMD's older line especially if I was planning on being next-gen capable for a while.

#7 Edited by MikeyL (13 posts) -
@colourful_hippie said:

I'm biased towards Nvidia so I can't speak much for AMD but if you want to be ready for the beginning of next gen then don't settle for anything less than a 770 if your idea of optimal gaming is playing on high at 1080p. I personally wouldn't bother with SLI, it's gotten better (Nvidia SLI>>AMD's) but I prefer to have more reliability with just a single powerful video card.

The stuff about AMD parts being in next gen consoles equating to better PC optimization is bullshit, if there was truth to that then this gen should have seen a boost on AMD's side considering what's inside the PS3/360.

Here's my card

That evga model is going for $430 over here. I was willing to drop a little extra cash if need be, but that might be a little too much for me right now. I'm not really doing any intense gaming at the moment, so a new card isn't pertinent just yet. Perhaps I'll wait and see if it goes on sale?

@winsord said:

Another user was looking at the same two cards recently, just not the exact same models. I'd suggest poking through that thread to help you get a better idea.

Thanks, I'll do some digging through there.

#8 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

@mikeyl said:
@colourful_hippie said:

I'm biased towards Nvidia so I can't speak much for AMD but if you want to be ready for the beginning of next gen then don't settle for anything less than a 770 if your idea of optimal gaming is playing on high at 1080p. I personally wouldn't bother with SLI, it's gotten better (Nvidia SLI>>AMD's) but I prefer to have more reliability with just a single powerful video card.

The stuff about AMD parts being in next gen consoles equating to better PC optimization is bullshit, if there was truth to that then this gen should have seen a boost on AMD's side considering what's inside the PS3/360.

Here's my card

That evga model is going for $430 over here. I was willing to drop a little extra cash if need be, but that might be a little to much for me right now. I'm not really doing any intense gaming at the moment, so a new card isn't pertinent just yet. Perhaps I'll wait and see if it goes on sale?

I'm fairly confident that you'll be good for next gen games for the first couple years of the new cycle with a 770, I can't say the same for the 760 unless you're going SLI, but yeah it all comes down to what you're willing to spend.

#9 Edited by Nictel (2312 posts) -

@mikeyl said:
@colourful_hippie said:

I'm biased towards Nvidia so I can't speak much for AMD but if you want to be ready for the beginning of next gen then don't settle for anything less than a 770 if your idea of optimal gaming is playing on high at 1080p. I personally wouldn't bother with SLI, it's gotten better (Nvidia SLI>>AMD's) but I prefer to have more reliability with just a single powerful video card.

The stuff about AMD parts being in next gen consoles equating to better PC optimization is bullshit, if there was truth to that then this gen should have seen a boost on AMD's side considering what's inside the PS3/360.

Here's my card

That evga model is going for $430 over here. I was willing to drop a little extra cash if need be, but that might be a little to much for me right now. I'm not really doing any intense gaming at the moment, so a new card isn't pertinent just yet. Perhaps I'll wait and see if it goes on sale?

I'm fairly confident that you'll be good for next gen games for the first couple years of the new cycle with a 770, I can't say the same for the 760 unless you're going SLI, but yeah it all comes down to what you're willing to spend.

The Gigabyte one is 30$ cheaper and is basically the same card.

#10 Posted by Devildoll (831 posts) -

It's is a kind of crappy time to buy a new graphics card in some aspects.

Both southern island and kepler are over a year old at this point, you still get pretty good value for money, but it is not as exciting as it could be.
I hate thinking about buying stuff just before a new generation is revealed.

While most roumors about AMD's next series point to it being another 28 nm release, with the possibility of the highest end card being manufactured with 20 nm tech, the performance probably wont be mind blowing for the rest of the series.

It is slated to be be released in tune with BF4 however, so it's not that far off.

760 seems to have an egde on 7950, both in power and energy efficiency.

atleast out of the box.
760 is clocked higher out of the box. and they both are capable of reaching about 1200 MHz if you have the cooler for it.
I'm not sure who'd win performance wise if you set them up like that though.

i'd probably go with a 770.

The stuff about AMD parts being in next gen consoles equating to better PC optimization is bullshit, if there was truth to that then this gen should have seen a boost on AMD's side considering what's inside the PS3/360.

What are you getting at here? ps3 has an nvidia solution and the 360 has an amd solution, it's 50/50, compared to homogenous hardware that we see in this coming generation.
Although i agree with you in saying that it probably wont affect PC gaming notably.

#11 Posted by Humanity (7946 posts) -

@mikeyl:

As an AMD user I can tell you that most games at least appear to be better optimized for Nvidia cards. Some games make interesting use of PhysX as well and on an AMD card there is no equivalent - a good example of this is Warframe where with PhysX you get really nice particle effects whenever you use special abilities. For years I had gone with Nvidia and had great performance and moderate stability. I'm only using an AMD card now because my last card died after quite a lengthy run and my brother gave me a spare AMD card as a temporary replacement.

#12 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

@colourful_hippie said:

The stuff about AMD parts being in next gen consoles equating to better PC optimization is bullshit, if there was truth to that then this gen should have seen a boost on AMD's side considering what's inside the PS3/360.

What are you getting at here? ps3 has an nvidia solution and the 360 has an amd solution, it's 50/50, compared to homogenous hardware that we see in this coming generation.

Although i agree with you in saying that it probably wont affect PC gaming notably.

You're right, but the point still stands because the 360 became the clear lead console for this generation because of the stumbles Sony had out the gate on the dev side. If the hardware differences meant anything then the 360 being the lead console should have translated into games running better on AMD hardware which is clearly not the case.

#13 Posted by MikeyL (13 posts) -

Thanks for the advice all, I may just hold out until I can grab a 770.

#14 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

Another thing to consider on the pro Nvidia side is that Nvidia released this "Geforce Experience" interface that actually does a great job at picking the best settings for your games based on your hardware and automatically updates drivers. I haven't had any issues with their game setting optimizations apart from a couple AA settings that needed to be tweaked in some games.

#15 Posted by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

I don't understand why GPU recommendation threads ever include SLI/crossfire discussions; anyone looking for basic advise is never going to go there, you guys are just makign things more confusing.

I usually recommend AMD cards because they are better priced, come with better games packed in and I personally haven't had any compatibility issues and I play a lot of PC games; but the current crop of AMD cards are getting pretty old at this point, they are still good but I would go for a 760/770 right now unless you find a really hot deal on a 7970/7950.

#16 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1681 posts) -

Cost/Preformance ratios are usually better with ATI/AMD, so I would recommend going that route. You can get 7970s for relativity cheap.

#17 Posted by MikeyL (13 posts) -

Another thing to consider on the pro Nvidia side is that Nvidia released this "Geforce Experience" interface that actually does a great job at picking the best settings for your games based on your hardware and automatically updates drivers. I haven't had any issues with their game setting optimizations apart from a couple AA settings that needed to be tweaked in some games.

Co-sign. Seems great from what little i've used it.

I don't understand why GPU recommendation threads ever include SLI/crossfire discussions; anyone looking for basic advise is never going to go there, you guys are just makign things more confusing.

I usually recommend AMD cards because they are better priced, come with better games packed in and I personally haven't had any compatibility issues and I play a lot of PC games; but the current crop of AMD cards are getting pretty old at this point, they are still good but I would go for a 760/770 right now unless you find a really hot deal on a 7970/7950.

AMD cards are currently on sale at my local store, so now would be the time to get one. Any thoughts on this? http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_1200_557_558&item_id=060003

#18 Edited by andmm (165 posts) -
Online
#19 Posted by MikeyL (13 posts) -

Is there really any difference between the 7970 and the 770? The cheaper price and bundle games seem pretty enticing...

#20 Posted by Darkstorn (461 posts) -

760 is freaking rock solid, I say go with that.

#21 Edited by noizy (637 posts) -

How much do you want to spend? How large is your screen?

#22 Posted by OurSin_360 (755 posts) -

Well, i can't speak for nvidia cards but if you get a 7950 with a good fan/heatsink you can overclock it pretty well, sometimes better than a stock 7970 if your lucky. Even with the reference model i can overclock ok, and most games work perfect but i do have some issues in some games (more likely related to my psu and/or ram though, i'm just too broke to upgrade them atm).

#23 Edited by noizy (637 posts) -

How much do you want to spend? How large is your screen?

#24 Posted by MikeyL (13 posts) -

@noizy: I'd prefer to not go over $400. I'll be on my 42" lg tv for the time being.

#25 Posted by MikeyL (13 posts) -

@oursin_360: I have a cx500 and I'm wondering if that's gonna be enough.

#26 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

@mikeyl said:

Is there really any difference between the 7970 and the 770? The cheaper price and bundle games seem pretty enticing...

770 won't age as fast.

@noizy said:

How much do you want to spend? How large is your screen?

screen size isn't that much of a factor unless you meant resolution which is the more important thing to consider

#27 Edited by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

@mikeyl said:

AMD cards are currently on sale at my local store, so now would be the time to get one. Any thoughts on this? http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_1200_557_558&item_id=060003

I don't think you'll find a better deal than that, 7970 is basically equivalent to a 770, it really comes down to the games and price, I think nvidia is giving away the new Batman game (http://www6.canadacomputers.com/nvidia/) while AMD are giving away older but more games: Blood Dragon, Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider

#28 Edited by noizy (637 posts) -

@colourful_hippie said:

@noizy said:

How much do you want to spend? How large is your screen?

screen size isn't that much of a factor unless you meant resolution which is the more important thing to consider

I meant resolution. I suspect he's planning to run it on a TV (42" LG), so 1080p.

@mikeyl It's almost antithetical with electronics to futureproof; but there's better buys than others. If you're gonna be sitting on the couch and play on your TV it's a bit different than being 12 inches away from a monitor to be honest. I run a 30 foot HDMI to my TV in the living from the computer, and the gaming I do there is more "casual" and I'm tempted to say that I don't even mind running in 720p if necessary. When it comes to next-gen, it's really hard to predict I'd say. I think you'll be fine with either AMD or NVidia top of the line cards for a little while. Will the ports be good? Will the engines be optimized correctly? Will the next generation of cards be optimized for new engines? I don't know. That being said, if you look at benchmark sites and compare generations of cards, it's evolving at a fairly linear pace, and the raw specs as well; what I mean is that there aren't huge leap forward, it's a fairly linear progression. So, the real question is; do you want it now or next year. Next year your current card will be cheaper and worse off than the newer cards. Personally I just spend about 250-300$ roughly every 3-4 years on a graphic card. I wouldn't sweat it too much.

Personally, I'd be tempted to crank it all the way to 120 frame per seconds to get smooth smooth gameplay, but is it really worth 1000$+? Not for me. The other thing I'm tempted is to get a 27" or 30" monitor and run at 2560x1440. I have a 7850 right now and I fear that it might be pushing it a bit; so I might wait for the next-gen to be well on its way before I upgrade again.

As for AMD vs NVidia, I don't know, for some reason I've almost always bought AMD. Maybe I'm missing something.

#29 Posted by andmm (165 posts) -

@mikeyl: 770 is a bit newer and performs a little better. But I'd go with the 7970. Seriously you will run every game on max without a hitch for a long while.

Online
#30 Posted by OurSin_360 (755 posts) -

@mikeyl said:

@oursin_360: I have a cx500 and I'm wondering if that's gonna be enough.

Should be enough for a single 7950 stock, overclocking is a maybe depending one what else you have on the system. 500 watt is the minimum requirement. At stock i think the card works great as well honestly.

#31 Posted by MikeyL (13 posts) -

Thanks for the replies guys. Unless another deal catches my eye, I think I'll settle with 7970.

#32 Posted by Devildoll (831 posts) -

@mikeyl: what about newegg, i think you might save a couple bucks by buying through them.

7970 770

this review is kind of new, and has both cards in it, look up any games you might fancy and decide whether the extra performance that the 770 offers is worth the money.

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