Jump to content
CLG

Graphics Card Upgrade Recommendation

Recommended Posts

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card and have a budget of $325 or less. Here is my current setup:

AMD 1090T

ASRock 990FX Extreme4

8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600

XFX HD6870

60 GB OCZ Solid 3 SATA III SSD

1.0 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM SATA III

600W Coolermaster Silent Pro M600 ATX12V power supply

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Most of my use is with Adobe photo development products (photoshop, indesign, and illustrator), scientific imaging software (e.g. Imaris), and a few games (e.g. Guild Wars 2) using a dual-monitor (Dell U2312HM) setup. I have no loyalty to either AMD or Nvidia, I'm just looking for the best card given my budget and system. That said, if PhysX or Mantle provide any worthwhile benefit for what I may be using, please let me know. If my graphics capacity is going to be bottlenecked by other components, such as the processor or memory, I'm willing to upgrade those as well, but would prefer to start with the graphics card.

Any insight is appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the recommendation. Pardon my ignorance, but what is the 3.5GB issue? Not that I've seen fractional RAM on anything before, but is it problematic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed with TonytotheB. GTX 960 has a good bang for buck. Although, i'm a little worried if the CPU's going to bottleneck your system a bit. You could narrow the bottleneck by throwing a bit of OC on the X6 CPU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The GTX 960 is really good. And yeah, he's right, the CPU is likely to be more of a bottleneck than the GPU at that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> The nVidia GTX-970 will be a little over 300% faster than your AMD HD-6870. Also, the GTX 970 consumes less power than your AMD card, by about 6 watts; so your power supply will be okay.

The GTX-960 is around 230% faster than your AMD HD-6870. Power consumption is even lower at around 120 Watts.

The GTX970 since being nVidia has proprietary CUDA cores, some 1664. Adobe Creative suite tools for video like Premier and other graphics apps use a feature call the Mercury Engine. The Mercury Engine is a dedicated core language that runs specifically on the CUDA Cores making real-time photo and visual fast. To enable this, you will need to find a file in the CS directory of Premier and other apps called GPUSupport.ini and simply add the name of your card like GTX 970. Adobe Creative Suite originally only includes support listing for the professional Quadro series with CUDA. But the GTX 9800 and up also have CUDA and work fine. There’s a GPU sniffer files to help you find the exact listing you’re your video card.

As to the CPU, the AMD’s have always had a cache speed and system memory bandwidth than the Intel Core “I” series.

You CPU (6 core 1090T) is about 40% slower at memory executions and transfers than the Intel Core i7 4790 for example.

Cost of the GTX 970 4GB cards will put you over $325 US for a decent card.

Cost of the GTX 960 4GB cards will be a little over $225 US.

Cards to look for are those with an open large fans and a good heat pipe solution. Gigabyte and ASUS make some good models that run pretty cool. ASUS is one of the few that always put their patented power regulation circuits on rather than using the lower level stock design from nVidia.

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not compare the 2 cards like that. the gtx 970 runs newest(2014,2015 and upcoming) games on1080p ultra with 60 fps easily most of the time. with the 960 you are limited to medium textures and medium settings because of vram size and bandwidth. There is no point in buying the gtx 9604gb version because the bandwidth and process power is not enough for 4gb vram anyway...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buyed a GTX980

It replaces my old GTX560 Ti

The performance plus is amazing.

i dont choose the gtx970 cause of the 3,5GB and 0,5GB GDDR build with the low bandwith at the 0,5 -.-

I really dont know what nvidia builds tehre ^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For this price i recomended Gigabyte R9 390 Gaming G1 ; R​adeon R9 390 establishes effective competition with the GeForce GTX 970 , at least if we look at the standard clock of both devices. And big + for Fall in your budget :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For about 320$ you can't go wrong with a MSI GTX 970 GTX 970 GAMING 100ME MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 100 Million Edition OC 4GB GDDR5 2DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card - NVIDIA GeForce - SuperBiiz.com, that whole 3.5GB+0.5GB GDDR has been proved to have little effect on real life performance. The alternative would be a Radeon R9 390X, it has been tested to have similar and sometimes better performance to the 970 but while consuming more power and having higher temps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GTX970 is a good choice for the money I recon. Gigabyte GTX970 (3 fans) is well worth the money

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to back up other people's recommendations, GTX 970.

I picked up a MSI Tiger version of the GTX 970, and I'm loving it.

Don't mind the 3.5GB VRAM issue unless you're gaming on 4K.

If you're running on 2560x1080 like I do now, then it's going to be more than enough!! :69:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go with the 970. It has the benefit of utilizing your budget properly and you do end up getting quite a bit more performance than the 960. The new versions of the adobe products have gotten more and more GPU intensive. I'd expect to have a longer return on investment with the 970 than the 960 and a hundred bucks of cash :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hands down 970. It shouldn't even be a choice.

A 980 is not worth the extra bucks. 970 is one beast of a card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most here, the 970 is a great card with low power draw and great 1080p performance. as for clarification of the 3.5gb VRAM issue. It was basically because it has 4gb of vram but only 3.5gb of the 4 is high bandwitdth, so once you hit over 3.5gb of use (which is nearly impossible at 1080p) performance will drop. One consideration though is that your cpu will most likely be a bottleneck, so you might want to upgrade that and get a 960 which also a great card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah... I'd get the 970 if I were you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

970 or a R9 390, i'd personally get the 390 because it does perform slightly better than the 970 (unless it's a game with nvidia technologies like hairworks) but if you want the nvidia technologies the 970 is also a great card, and the AMD cards also have hardware-based Async implementation vs the software based implementation nvidia has, which gives the AMD cards a clear edge in future games using DX12 or Vulkan.

Edited by intuxikated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How long can you wait? I am a laptop user for years waiting on AMD to step up their game and now it seems with ZEN and the new RX cards I will finally make a build somewhere (hopefully Q1) next year and live in peace :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.