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 Post subject: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:18 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:43 am
Posts: 132
Location: Central IL.
Hello All,

I'm getting ready to upgrade my system (for gaming, BF3, DIABLO III, Crysis 2 & Metal of Honor Warfighter etc) & have a few questions about some of the video cards I'm looking at.

I've been looking at new graphics cards & I'm a "little" confused. lol

Why is it that some of the 500 series are more money than some of the 600 series cards.. & why are some of the 400 series more than the 500 series?

I thought the higher number, 660 GTX would be better than a 580 GTX no.. what makes the 580 GTX better than a 660 GTX?

I've looked at the specs on the cards & I just don't get it.. BRAIN FART!!

What are the specs to look for?

Core Clock?

Boost Clock?

Cuda Cores?

Effective Memory Clock?

Memory Size?

Memory Interface?

What is the best Geforce card I can get for $250.00 & be able to play the above games on ULTRA @ around 30+ FPS?
Thanks All, Phil B.

Current System Specs:
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922
Motherboard: EVGA 680i SLI A2 122-CK-NF68
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz
Graphics Card: EVGA 8800GTS 640MB
Hard Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB SATA 6 Gb/s 32MB Cache16MB Cache
RAM: OCZ 2x512 & 2x1GB Gold GX XTC PC2-6400.
Power Supply: CORSAIR TX650W


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:48 pm 
Team Member Top 500
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:45 pm
Posts: 2942
Location: Central Florida
In the current lineup of nVidia cards, the first number is the generation of the card, the second number is it's relative performance within that generation. For the most part a generation jump will not overcome a lower 2nd number, i.e. a 670 is not better than a 580 in performance, though it is better in efficiency. Oddly enough, even 2 or 3 generations are sometimes not enough to overcome a smaller performance number. i.e. a 650 does not perform as well as my GTX 460, and if the generational performance increase continues as has been happening, the 750 when released still won't perform as well as my 460 :(


Breaks down like this for nVidia cards:
x10, x20, x30, x40 = Budget / extremely low - low performance cards (Not gaming cards unless you're rockin 1024x768 resolution or lower)
x50 = entry level mid performance
x60 = mainstream performance
x70 = upper level high performance
x80 = premium performance
x90 = Ultimate Performance

And the only letters you want to see after the number is Ti i.e. GTX-660 = mainstream performance, while GTX-660 Ti = enhanced mainstream performance. All "Ti" really means is that the card doesn't have as much stuff dissabled as its non-Ti counterpart.

Best card in the $250 price range Radeon 7870 like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814102983 Better performance than a GTX-570 & at lower power consumption, heck it's even better than the GTX-580 in certain games & setups.

Radeon's are on a similar system but with an extra number... 1st number = generation, 2nd number = performance segment, 3rd number = relative performance within a given segment.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:55 pm 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4530
chaosdm pretty much sums it up. You're not supposed to look at the whole model number, you're supposed to look at the last two (NVIDIA) or three (AMD) digits of the video card to determine its relative performance. Otherwise, you cannot cross compare specs between companies, because they take different approaches to the same problem.

The only quick and dirty method without extensive research is its price point, because the two companies are trying to fight the best performance for a given price segment. So start with how much you're willing to spend on the latest generation, then figure out which cards fall into that category and weed out the ones with the lower performance tier. That should narrow your selections down to a handful of GPUs.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:46 am 
[Team Member]
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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:31 am
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Location: Home Sweet Home
I like benchmarks to help me select a video card. If you are a gamer and really like gaming, don't cheap out on the video card at all. I always buy two of the same cards and either crossfire or sli them, depending on the cards I buy. It does make a big difference in graphics performance! Don't let anyone say otherwise!

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2012 ... ,2932.html

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:57 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4530
Nastyman wrote:
I like benchmarks to help me select a video card. If you are a gamer and really like gaming, don't cheap out on the video card at all. I always buy two of the same cards and either crossfire or sli them, depending on the cards I buy. It does make a big difference in graphics performance! Don't let anyone say otherwise!

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2012 ... ,2932.html

Nasty

I'm going to say otherwise because:

  • For high end GPUs, if you're gaming on a single monitor of 24" or less, you're wasting power. Even for Metro 2033, the usual GPU stressor, the GTX 680 was able to get 59FPS @ 1920x1200.
  • For lower end GPUs, you might be paying more for the same performance of a higher end card. I think the only time it ever really made sense to do SLI for non-ultra-high resolution setups was the GTX 560 Ti, which outdid a single GTX 580 by about 10% and cost about the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:04 am 
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Sounds like you never ran sli or crossfire. If you do, turn off one of the cards and play a graphics intensive game and watch the fps drop by 30 to 40 % on the same settings. I prefer to have the extra fps and all the eye candy I paid for. If you don't care, that is your prerogative.

Nasty


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:12 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4530
Nastyman wrote:
Sounds like you never ran sli or crossfire. If you do, turn off one of the cards and play a graphics intensive game and watch the fps drop by 30 to 40 % on the same settings. I prefer to have the extra fps and all the eye candy I paid for. If you don't care, that is your prerogative.

Nasty

I have SLI, two GTX 560 Ti's. And I don't need to do that, I have other websites that did that for me.

I'm just saying in the high-end, trying to put more into your rig so you'll be pumping out more than 60FPS on average, assuming the monitor is 1920x1200@60Hz tops, is a waste of money. In the lower end, if paying for two cards is more expensive than the performance tier it matches, it also is a waste of money (which is often the case at low-end cards). But does having two high-end cards do good for your benchmark scores and e-penis? Hell yes it does.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Card Upgrade Confusion?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:04 am 
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I am not worried about benchmark scores or ego trips, just great performance and that is what I get out of my rigs when I build them.

Nasty


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