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New rig or just upgrade my GPU?


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#1 aviken

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 12:13 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Been following here for a while and would like to ask for your help with making a decision whether I should build a new rig altogether or just upgrade my GPU.

 

Some background details: my aim is to be able to run games (such as Crysis, Battlefield etc. as well as less high-graphic games such as NBA 2K) for the next couple of years on high settings (the higher, the better) with good FPS [NBA 2k16, for example stutters on my computer for some reason].

I'll be playing on a 1080p full hd monitor and don't expect to upgrade to a higher resolution soon.

I hardly play online (too addictive for the small amount of free time I have).

 

The hardware I have now:

 

Proc: Intel Core i5-3470 @ 3.2GHZ

Mobo: Intel DH77KC (Chipset: Intel Ivy Bridge Rev. 09 ; Graphic Interface: PCI-Express x16)

RAM: 8GB DDR3 (2 empty slots)

PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W

 

I currently own a GTX 660 and was thinking about upgrading to a GTX 970. I think going 1070 or 1080 will be overkill for a 1080p resolution and my processor - do you agree?

 

As far as I can tell the GTX 970 should not create a bottle neck with my processor so I was thinking about maybe just getting the GTX 970 and increasing my memory.

Alternatively, if you think it's preferable, I could get a new processor + motherboard etc (or a completely new rig).

 

What are your thoughts? If buying new - do you have specific recommendations?

 

Many thanks in advance!!



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 01:47 PM

CPU is good enough, at least for now. Anyway no reason tu upgrade anything else than GPU and perhaps memory. I cannot recommend GTX970 if you cannot get it 30$ discount https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/340705-nvidia-settles-graphics-card-false-advertising-class-action/

 

AMD RX 480 is much better choice.



#3 SEANIA

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:46 PM

Your CPU would bottleneck the 1070/1080, but it'd be fine with a AMD RX480 or Nvidia GTX 970. There'd still be a little bit of a bottleneck going on in very CPU intensive games, but for the most part there wouldn't be any problems.

 

I wouldn't bother getting the 970 unless you can find it for 200$ USD or less though. As the RX480 is 200$ and performs a little better then it. While the next up GTX 1060 is also more powerful then the 970 and costs 250$. So unless you can source a 970 for 200$ USD new it won't be worth getting.

 

This is all assuming you're in the US. If you're in another country pricing can be much different.


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#4 aviken

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 06:41 AM

Thank you both very much for replying!

 

Should I opt for the 1060? Wouldn't my CPU bottleneck it?

 

Thanx again!



#5 SEANIA

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 10:19 AM

Should I opt for the 1060? Wouldn't my CPU bottleneck it?

 

You should. Most the 970's I can find are still 250$ USD, and for that price you could get a entry level 1060. The 1060 also brings some newer features the 970 doesn't have, and it'll get more support seeing as it's newer.  

 

For bottle-necking, it'd depend on the game, but that's the case for much any CPU today. Even the newest i7-6700k, which has been shown to be the best CPU for gaming, when overclocked has been able to push a higher FPS out of top end cards in standard DX11. 

The RX480 and GTX 1060 would both be a good match, and though occasionally they'd be bottled-necked in DX11, are still the best cards to be paired with it. I wouldn't go any higher, but there are plenty of not-so-CPU-intensive games where the cards could stretch their leg.

 

I think something important to consider would be how developers are implementing DX12 and Vulkan. Both of which bypass a lot of the work the CPU would normally have to do. Dropping CPU requirements and making bottlenecks less apparent. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#6 aviken

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 10:25 AM

SEANIA - Thanks for the detailed response. This kind of reply is one of the things that makes this forum great.

 

If I understand your last comment correctly, what you're saying is that if DX12 and Vulkan become more and more of a standard, the 1060 will give me extras the 970 can't, while making the CPU issue much less of an issue - right?

 

If I can trouble you with two more question:

1) which entry level 1060 would you recommend and where would you recommend to buy one (in the States)?

2) RX480 or GTX 1060?



#7 SEANIA

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 12:36 PM

If I understand your last comment correctly, what you're saying is that if DX12 and Vulkan become more and more of a standard, the 1060 will give me extras the 970 can't, while making the CPU issue much less of an issue - right?

 

The 1060 doesn't benefit more from DX12/Vulkan then the 970 does (the architecture is mostly unchanged), but since it's newer Nvidia will give it better driver support and has newer things added to it in general. It has a ton of VR optimizations added to it for instances. Making it much faster for that. The 1060 is also more blatantly powerful then the 970 is. 

 

The RX480 on the other hand.. I'll get to that in a minute. 

 

 

1) which entry level 1060 would you recommend and where would you recommend to buy one (in the States)?

 

Anything from MSI or XFX. They don't make the best cards, real middle of the road, but their customer support is legendary. In the future if your card failed (under warranty of course) they'd either send you a brand new one, or send you a newer model GPU if the one you bought isn't manufactured anymore.

Where as any other brand would do a 6 month legal battle of them sending you re-furbed "fixed" (but still broken) cards, you sending them back, and the continuation of doing this until your warranty expires and they refuse to continue contact with you after said warranty.

EVGA is somewhat between those two. 

 

Physical store- MicroCenter

Online store for best reliability/price ratio- Newegg

Online store for best support period- Amazon (directly from amazon. Not someone using Amazon as a store front). 

 

 

2) RX480 or GTX 1060?

 

Let me start with both cards are near impossible to find in stock anywhere. It'll be another month before you could order one of either easily, or a week or two if you put in a pre-order to auto buy it when they get in stock. You'd have better chance finding them in a physical store if that matters to you. 

 

Which one you choose is more of a personal preference.

 

Nvidia GTX 1060- 250$

The GTX 1060 is 10%-15% stronger then the RX480, in all but a select few games, at a price of 250$.

It's Nvidia so you get all the Nvidia only features such as Ansel, PhysX, Multi-Projection, ETC

It by default comes with HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI (digital DVI only). 

 

However-

in DX12 and Vulkan it actually gets worse performance then it does in DX11 (if the CPU is strong enough). All driver "improvements" to make it run faster under said APIs, force disables them to run in the older mode. 

Nvidia has a sort of "make and forget" approach. Meaning they're quicker to drop support for a card. They'll still officially "support" them, but there'll be a weirdly bigger then normal performance gap between them and the newer stuff then their should be on paper. 

 

AMD RX480 (4GB variant)- 200$

It's architecture is built from the ground up to utilize the new graphics APIs DX12 and Vulkan meaning-

  • anything that uses it, will get a huge performance jump letting it outperform the 1060. 
  • will have better long term support then the 1060.

At the 200$ price point, it's the best price to performance ratio card to date. Making it a must-buy if you want to maximizing money spent on a build. 

AMD has their own variants of most of the "Nvidia only" tech. 

Their architecture for their cards is more scale-able. Meaning any performance improvements added into drivers for new cards, also works for older cards from 4 years ago without much issue on their end. (better long term support)

 

However-

Most of their variants of Nvidia tech have to be added in by developers to use it. If a game uses the Nvidia stuff, an AMD can not (though technically possible) be run through a kind of converter to use their variant of said tech.

Its performance is worse then that of the GTX 1060 in DX11 based games.

It has no DVI out video port by default. Only uses HDMI and Display Port. 

AMD has a lower market share then Nvidia, and thus less games are optimized for AMD cards then Nvidia cards. 

Vulkan/DX12 has only been implemented in a small number of games as of right now. Making the 1060 the better "right now" choice performance wise. 

 

 

I think I covered all the ups and downs of both. I probably missed some, but I think you get the gist of what they both are. Oh and the AMD brands to get are still MSI and XFX, but with Sapphire instead of EVGA.


Edited by SEANIA, 31 July 2016 - 12:39 PM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#8 aviken

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 01:12 AM

Thank you so much for the details!

I'll give this some more thought and decide soon.

I don't live in the states and the RX480 is available here (though everything is much more expensive). The 1060 is unavailable at the moment. So, I might just get the 480 due to impatience but as I said, all your information requires some thought.

 

Thanks again!



#9 aviken

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 01:31 AM

Did some searching and I see that what we have available here at the moment is:

 

1) Gainward 1060 (non-phoenix or phoenix GS or non-GS).

2) Gigabyte 1060 g1

3) Gigabyte rx480

3) Sapphire rx480

 

Price differences are not huge (though again, much pricier than the US).



#10 SEANIA

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 02:52 AM

Not being in the US changes things a lot. Even if not GPU sticker price, the price of the 2nd hand market and how vendors mark down older cards can be much different. I know in a lot of regions older cards are never marked down in price at all. 

 

I think one of the most important parts of being inside a different country, is warrant support.

In countries, like Germany, where warranties are required by law to a certain extant. Manufactures tend to have very terrible support, taking month to process a RMA.

A lot of manufactures also may have good support in the country they're based in, but be terrible everywhere else. 

 

Warranty may not seem important to you, but hardware (depending on what's in question) in general can be expected to have at least a 5% fail rate (defined as failing or otherwise having been returned within the first year of purchase). Meaning if you bought from a company with bad support for your region. You're playing the lotto that you don't get that 1 in 20 bad card, because if you did get that card there is no way you're getting your money, or a replacement, back. 

 

 

2) Gigabyte 1060 g1

3) Gigabyte rx480

 

Gigabyte, in the US at least, has been known to have terrible support over the past few years. They won't repair your card, and best case scenario will send you some other guys used card that *hopefully* has less problems then the one you sent in. However if this is different for your country... I don't know. 

They make some of the lowest fail rate hardware, but Gaben forbid anything does goes wrong. 

 

 

1) Gainward 1060 (non-phoenix or phoenix GS or non-GS).

3) Sapphire rx480

 

Gainward does sell things in the US, but their market share is very small. I rarely see anyone with one of their cards so I can't speak of them. Trying to research them doesn't bring up much. I heard they're more popular in the EU though. From what I can tell the hardware quality is good, but have no idea on what their warranties are like. That said, smaller companies tend to have good support to try to win people over to them.

 

Sapphire is a pretty safe bet for countries all round. They're the closest thing to a first party seller of AMD Graphics cards, and only make AMD cards. They don't have the best support by any means, but seeing as they're global they're the most trusted world-wide bet of anything AMD.

 

 

I don't live in the states and the RX480 is available here (though everything is much more expensive). 

 

Have you looked into the 2nd hand market for your country? Picking up a used GTX 970/980, or AMD R9 390/390X (or 290/290x), could be a valid upgrade option if found for less then the price of a new RX480 or GTX1060.

If your country has mandated warranty, checking to see if that transfer between owners would be nice. (if not mandated, varies from brand to brand)


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#11 aviken

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 04:16 AM

I'll look into the warranty details etc.

And the 2nd hand market but I don't think it's very developed here (Israel).

Thank you!!!






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