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GPU Upgrade. The right choice?

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#1 Brad74

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 06:48 AM

Hi knowledgeable people of the PC world, I need some advice.

 

So I've had my gaming PC for about 2 years now, and I'm beginning to notice my framerates to be not up where I want them to be with some newer games. My current graphics card is a Gigabyte Radeon HD7870 2GB. Along with wanting to run at the higher graphics settings on new games, I do a fair bit of modding in Skyrim and am noticing that it really starts to struggle at times. I've played with overclocking but without much noticeable improvement.

 

So, time to upgrade I figure! I'm looking at a GeForce GTX 970, seems to be the best in my price range.

 

Okay, questions.

 

What sort of improvement can I expect going from my old card to new one? Will it be able to run all my pretty Skyrim mods and most newer games on ultra?

 

Is there any issue with me swapping out my AMD card for NVIDIA?

 

There are a few different versions of the GTX 970, such as GTX 970 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte) and GTX 970 Gaming (MSI). Are there any differences or are these just the different names given by the different named brands?

 

My system specs are:

CPU - Intel Core i5 3570 3.4GHz

RAM - Kingston DDR3 8GB

OS - Windows 7.1

Storage - 1 x 128GB Sandisk SSD, 2 x 2TB Toshiba HDD

Power Supply - Corsair 600W

 

Sorry for long post! Any help or advice would be awesome! Cheers!



#2 Dasa

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 09:29 AM

skyrim is rather cpu incentive since it only uses one core so upgrading the gpu may not help it much unless your using enb type mods which did seem to be made more for nvidia last i looked

 

you can expect fps to double in any gpu limited games

http://www.anandtech...ct/1034?vs=1355

 

the gigabyte g1 is one of the largest and most overclockable gtx970

gtx970 have some false advertising and only have 3.5g of usable\full speed memory but there still a efficient card that is great for somebody running 1080p

 

290 4g is the other option if you wanted to save some cash up front but it uses more power

performance is lower at 1080p but catches up at higher res


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#3 Tiptopperoo

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 10:03 PM

Dasa to the rescue again!

 

I'm in pretty much the exact same position as Brad74, almost identical PC specs.

 

I did a post on my build back in 2012 and in short went with:

 
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K
MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini ITX 
RAM: Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9W 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 - low profile and low voltage

 

GPU: Gigabyte Windforce GTX670 OC 2GB
 
I'm also looking at the newer GTX970's but am a bit stuck on which model. I was excited to see that they now make the shorter ITX compatible cards, but surely if my case takes a full size GTX670, I may as well get a full size 970. These are likely to run cooler and quieter and faster? What are peoples thoughts on brand preferences these days? I've heard Gigabyte have the best warranty, but that the eVGA FTW cards have the best cooler. I see the gigabyte cards all have 3 fans vs 2 on the EVGA's.
 
Also if I'm looking to potentially upgrade my screen size to run 1440p will this card still run at max FPS in WoW? Looking at benchmarks I may not actually get much more than 60fps (I have a 120Hz monitor at the moment so was hoping to get 120fps steady at ultra settings) how accurate do we think these benchmarks are...?


#4 ordinal481

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 03:56 PM

Choice is rather easy TBH:

http://www.geforce.c...orce-gtx-bundle

 

EDIT: I picked up this recently myself -

https://www.ple.com....ryItemId=616413

Was on sale for $499 though

 

Double EDIT:

The brand doesn't matter too much really, they all use the same reference board, it's just what they do via factory overclocking + software afterwards.


Edited by ordinal481, 08 April 2015 - 04:00 PM.


#5 noskcaj

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 07:31 AM

Most of the top brands coolers are comparable (only a few degrees and decibels difference). I just bought a evga 970 of amazon for $450 and its working great. When you go to buy the card, it's length (and therefore case compatibility) should be listed, but if you have no needed for the longer ones, an itx sized card might be better as it gives you room to change PC size later


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#6 Master_Scythe

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 09:23 AM

skyrim is rather cpu incentive since it only uses one core so upgrading the gpu may not help it much unless your using enb type mods which did seem to be made more for nvidia last i looked

 

 

While right in theory, it may interest you to know my best friend just saw a DOUBLE in frame rate (well above 100 now) going from a 550Ti to a GTX 970.

He's only on an i3 2120. Maxes out at about 65% load in skyrim (and only 30% in dying light, go figure....)

 

Though I might have overclocked his system, turning the Base Clock up to... wait for it.... 101 !!!!!! lol (stock is 100)

 

If you, yourself, are not an overclocker, always try and find a card with OC in the title, or claiming its already overclocked.

Its often the same price, or within $10 and soemtimes you'll see as much as 20% performance boosts (plus, you're guaranteed a faster and stress tested chip!)

 

the 970 is a good choice. Its a 3.5GB card, the last half a gig is 'slow' for video memory (NVIDIA made a boo boo) but unless you intend to game at 4K (even 1440p is OK) you wont know (and even then the real world performance hit is in single digit percentages).


Edited by Master_Scythe, 10 April 2015 - 09:24 AM.

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#7 SquallStrife

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:44 PM

While right in theory, it may interest you to know my best friend just saw a DOUBLE in frame rate (well above 100 now) going from a 550Ti to a GTX 970.
He's only on an i3 2120. Maxes out at about 65% load in skyrim (and only 30% in dying light, go figure....)


That's because the 550Ti is ancient and shit compared to the GTX970.

He would've seen a similar boost going from the 550Ti to OP's 7870.
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#8 Dasa

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 01:44 PM

i3 2120 is still a good cpu for games that dont use multiple cores just like i5 2500 is still fine for games that can
i3 2120 would only be ~20% slower than a i7 4790 in skyrim

but as mentioned above the 560ti is a lot slower than a 7870

as for dying light provided the view distance is turned down a bit a i3 should manage over 30fps
http://translate.goo...l/art60136.html

 

oops clicked report instead of reply


Edited by Dasa, 15 April 2015 - 01:47 PM.

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#9 Master_Scythe

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 10:27 AM

I know the 550ti was slow, that wasn't the point of my post.

It was to highlight to the OP how much difference a GPU can make.

 

Not just that, but also, that with a GTX970 (reference design) with an i3 processor, that Dying Light and Shadows of Mordor were able to be Maxed out, view distance and all, with less than 50% total CPU load.


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#10 gokufighter

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:50 AM

yeah, a 970 is in your best interest, something like zotac's AMP card, it has 3 fans and a beefy VRM cooler, gigabytes g1 gaming card with their amazing processors since they bin some, or evga's with their simplistic look and decent cooler.

 

out of the 3 there, the evga is the hottest and loudest, but the shortest, also it is the only one here w/o a backplate   (msi's comes with a backplate and has similar performance)

the gigabyte one is the coolest gpu wise, quietest, and longest, the cooler is longer than the card which can cause compatibility issues

the zotac one is the second longest, has the coolest vrm, and is quite quiet. also its backplate is gray, but a thermal conductive paint is a simple solution to that

 

http://www.newegg.co...0-372-_-Product

http://www.newegg.co...5-684-_-Product

http://www.newegg.co...7-088-_-Product







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