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Video Card Assistance for new gaming rig


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#1 JMSaviour

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 05:24 PM

Hello, I recently purchased a new gaming rig for under $500. Being this cheap, I had to compromise a few things, but I made sure it was upgradable. Really the only thing keeping it back right now is the video card, which I'm about ready to upgrade. I've been looking through a few and read through a couple guides, but I'd like some input if you guys don't mind, here are my full specs:

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
Biostar AM3 AMD 870 ATX Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X 4 955 BE 3.2 Processor (oc'd to 3.8)
G. Skill Sniper 8GB (2x 4) DDR 1600 SDRAM
OCZ Agility 3 60GB Sata III SSD (with a backup HDD)
Corsair Builder Series CX430 V2 430W 80 plus certified PSU
HIS Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR PCI-E x16 video card

I was looking through some cards and I noticed something like this only has a 1300 MHZ Memory clock, which is one of the most important things right? Does that get multiplied by the stream processors? Or is something like This (3800 MHZ memory clock but exponentially less stream processors) actually better?

Edit~ I don't really NEED 2 GB at the moment, but I don't plan on upgrading again for a good while and would prefer to have 2 GB just in case for the future.

Edited by JMSaviour, 18 December 2011 - 05:30 PM.


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#2 killerx525

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:41 PM

The 6950 is faster then the 550TI. 2GB of VRAM is not necessary unless your playing at high resolution. You will need a higher wattage power supply to power up a 6950.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:27 PM

Actually, depending on what you play, a 2GB card could be beneficial especially if the games you play have large resolution textures or you use a VRAM intensive operation like SSAA. It takes more than the sheer number of stream processors and memory clocks to make a card fast. If you are going for any of the Radeon 69xx or GTX 570/580 cards, that case may be too small. For those cards, a full ATX case is really needed.

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#4 JMSaviour

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:36 AM

Actually, depending on what you play, a 2GB card could be beneficial especially if the games you play have large resolution textures or you use a VRAM intensive operation like SSAA. It takes more than the sheer number of stream processors and memory clocks to make a card fast. If you are going for any of the Radeon 69xx or GTX 570/580 cards, that case may be too small. For those cards, a full ATX case is really needed.


Nothing that I currently run would require 2GB, but again, I really want 2 GB so that it will be forseeable-future-proof. I haven't looked into full details on any card yet to fit into my case/work with other components, I'm mainly just trying to ask how to compare and contrast potential cards. Like, for the two I posted above, whether having exponentially more stream processors is better, or having exponentially more memory speed is better? I'm aware I'll more than likely have to upgrade my PSU, might even go for dual cards or something. Just trying to find what I should be looking for.

#5 ReviverSoft

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:41 AM

I'm aware I'll more than likely have to upgrade my PSU

Avoid the CX and GX series from Corsair. They are entry level and made my OEMs with relatively poor reputation.

Top brands: Corsair, Seasonic or XFX.

In addition to your power requirement, you also need some extra headroom for upgrades and to account for capacitor ageing and loss in efficiency. Add 25%-30% to your overall power requirement.


As for the GFX card, do you have a rough idea of how much you're willing to spend on it? That could help us suggest a card that offers the best bang for the buck.
ReviverSoft - Happy to help!

#6 killerx525

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:32 AM

If your planning to use dual graphics card in the future, then you would need a high wattage power supply.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 JMSaviour

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:21 AM

I'm aware I'll more than likely have to upgrade my PSU

Avoid the CX and GX series from Corsair. They are entry level and made my OEMs with relatively poor reputation.

Top brands: Corsair, Seasonic or XFX.

In addition to your power requirement, you also need some extra headroom for upgrades and to account for capacitor ageing and loss in efficiency. Add 25%-30% to your overall power requirement.


As for the GFX card, do you have a rough idea of how much you're willing to spend on it? That could help us suggest a card that offers the best bang for the buck.


Yeah I agree, I shouldn't have cheaped out on this power supply, but I did get it on sale for practically nothing so not too big of a waste (Except for time). When I do this upgrade, I'll definitely be getting an SLI/Crossfire capable PSU and probably a single SLI/crossfire capable video card then upgrade in the future with a second one. My price range is pretty flexible.. I don't want a $500+ card, but I want something that will not be obsolete next month. Probably spending between 200 and 300 on the video card alone, with means to get a second one in the future. I'm just really not sure exactly what makes a video card better- again I ask, assuming memory capacity and everything else is the same, would you prefer exponentially more stream processors or exponentially more memory speed?

Edit- figure I might as well post it, have the phenom II x4 955 overclocked to 4.0 with stock cooler right now. Going to get an aftermarket cooler on it when I do the rest of the upgrades in hopes of reaching 4.5 or 4.6 and am looking for a video card that will keep up. Any recommendations for the heatsink/fan combo for a phenom II 955 (am3 socket)?

Edited by JMSaviour, 21 December 2011 - 12:26 AM.


#8 killerx525

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:54 AM

Your gonna have to use a AMD graphics card because your motherboard does not support SLI, just Crossfire. You can still use a single Nvidia card but it won't work when in SLI. A card like this would do and it scales well in Crossfire mode. How much do you want to spend on the cpu cooler?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#9 JMSaviour

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:32 AM

Your gonna have to use a AMD graphics card because your motherboard does not support SLI, just Crossfire. You can still use a single Nvidia card but it won't work when in SLI. A card like this would do and it scales well in Crossfire mode. How much do you want to spend on the cpu cooler?


I'm pretty open again, I was looking at something like this. Read a few really good reviews on it and it has a blue LED which is going to be my theme. A little worried about how big it is as my case is a mid case not a full case, any other recommendations?

#10 killerx525

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:55 AM

A new case since high end graphics card are much longer and when there is a second graphics card in the case, it would be pretty cramp.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png





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