New video card recommendations?

Discussion in 'Video Cards and Displays' started by zacharyt1122, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. zacharyt1122

    zacharyt1122 Obliviot

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Hey guys, long time lurker but I'm always on the site, really good articles. Anyway, my computer was once a mighty behemoth, able to take anything I could throw at it. Unfortunately those days are long gone. I have an Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 OC'd slightly to 3.2 GHz, 4 gigs ram, and an Nvidia Geforce GTS 250. I used to have 2 Geforce 8800 GTX's in SLI, but both burned up so I settled for the GTS.

    So now I'm looking for a replacement video card. I have full intentions of building a new system in the next couple of years, ideally when the next generation of consoles come out. But I probably have another few years left in my system. I'm pretty sure the limiting factor is my video card. I do a wide variety of gaming, most major releases I purchase after a few months when the price goes down. I do not do a lot of online gaming, very rarely if ever.

    Anyway I've been eyeballing the Geforce 560 series. I've seen a few cards a little at, below or over $200. Price isn't too big of an issue, but I don't want to buy a card that will be too much for the system. I play on a small monitor right now, one with a native resolution of 1440x600, but I may buy a bigger one soon as well, one in the 27 to 30 inch range. I also like to max out settings when possible. What do you guys think? Is that card too much for my system? I really don't want to upgrade anything else since I will be getting rid of this system in a few years.

    Also, I'm sticking with Nvidia. No ATI. Nothing against ATI, but I've been a Nvidia fan ever since they bought out 3dfx, and have owned 6 cards since then. So I have no intentions on switching now. Same thing with Intel, I've never owned an AMD personally and will never own one. I've always been Intel since day one. Just my thing. Sorry to rant too btw.
     
  2. Doomsday

    Doomsday Tech Junkie

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    the GTX560 Ti is a good choice! :D
     
  3. zacharyt1122

    zacharyt1122 Obliviot

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    Aug 23, 2008
    So you don't think that card would be hampered by the rest of my system? I know I've got a decent system, but I know the older Quad chips are pretty outdated now. Plus only having 4 gigs of ram is kinda low now too, but I really don't want to dump a lot into a system thats going to be tossed to the curb soon. I'm also running a duel boot of Vista and XP, I wanted to toss that out there since I've heard 7 is better for gaming.
     
  4. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    Nov 25, 2009
    UK
    A 560 is overkill for a resolution of 1440x900, but not a bad choice either (you'll be able to turn up the AA settings now), it'll effectively remove a bottleneck and could be used in the next system till you acquire more funds. I know for a lot of online games, the Core 2 series are begging to show their age, it's not horrific, but certain games are becoming a little too liberal with their processing while still being strapped to 2 threads. Run-away physics is what causes a number of problems in non-mmo games.

    Dumping Vista for Win7 would be a good idea too, you'll regain some ram, as well as some better memory management, but it's not a terrible OS. XP is losing favor for a lot of games now, even with companies going so far as to reduce time spent optimising for XP (The demographic is ever shrinking, plus you forego a lot of modern software advances that do not work under XP).

    4GB of ram is fine, so long as it's under a 64-bit OS. Some of the 560s have 2GB or RAM, that effectively removes 2GB of system RAM under 32-bit, and Vista is a bit of a Hog with RAM.

    NVIDIA is due some new cards out at some point soon, though it'll likely open with the higher end cards, don't know for certain. So prices may drop soon enough.
     
  5. zacharyt1122

    zacharyt1122 Obliviot

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I've cought wind the 600 series are slated to be released soon, so I might pick up a 560 when they do come out. I'm going to hold off on upgrading to 7 for now, and I am running a 64 bit Vista, I only keep XP around for those older games that don't quite want to run properly on Vista, and for nostalgic reasons. I just wanted something that could hold me over for about another year or 2.
     
  6. RainMotorsports

    RainMotorsports Partition Master

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Of course he never said whether he was eyeballing a 560 or a 560 Ti. Depending on the game and at that resolution either would be fine.
     
  7. zacharyt1122

    zacharyt1122 Obliviot

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Actually I've been eyeballing all the 560's, the Ti seems to carry a slightly higher premium, and I've seen 2 gb versions. Would it benefit me to splurge on the 2 gb version over the others? My GTS is 1 gb right now.
     
  8. Brett Thomas

    Brett Thomas Senior Editor

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    Apr 10, 2009
    The main benefit to the 2GB on board is mostly larger textures and a bit for AA (though throughput matters more for that) - playing at 1440x will not really require all of that, I don't *think*. To give you an idea, I run a GTX560 w/1GB of RAM on a 22" monitor (1650x resolution) and am able to run at pretty much max settings for all games I play, including Deus Ex 3 and Skyrim.

    Above all, it will depend on the cost and your potential upgrade path. I'm not a fan of SLI and I personally believe a lot of the top-line cards are overkill for what most people want to do and end up just as obsolete by the time you could actually stress them, so bear that in mind. But unless your next monitor move is going up to 1950x1200, I don't think 2GB is even necessary.

    Personally, if the difference between the cards is <$20, I'll take the extra RAM - the GTX560 is hardly maxed out by most games at lower resolutions and having the extra bit might keep you from needing one more thing to buy as you upgrade your system later. Is it a touch overkill? Maybe, but it's also not a waste of money (as it will likely hang around for you to upgrade other things) and you'll possibly need it if that very next upgrade is a 24"+ monitor.

    HTH, but keep in mind I'm probably the LEAST gear-centric of our staff which means I also know the least about the limitations of my suggestion. I just know that a 1GB 560 works great for me at a resolution one step up from yours, and I'd probably want the 2GB if I went up one step above that. ;-)
     
  9. TheCrimsonStar

    TheCrimsonStar Tech Monkey

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    Apr 12, 2010
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    I'm with Brett and Doomsday. The 560 Ti would probably be a better choice since you get another gig of ram for around $20. As for your older CPU being a bottleneck, I wouldn't worry about it unless you tried to get something like a GTX 580 running max @ 1080p or above. My clan leader is running dual GTX 460SE with a Q2Q and he nearly maxes out BF3 @ 1080p and it's playable.

    I myself used to be an AMD fanboy until my 955 Black Edition became a bottleneck for BF3 when I tried to record. I'd get ~35 - 40FPS maxed at 1440 x 900, and when I engaged FRAPS that dropped to ~15. I dumped the AMD chip for an i5-2500k and I never went back. Also got an AMD HD 6970 and I can play anything (and I mean that) maxed out on my tv @ 1080p very smoothly. Now I get 50-60fps on BF3, and when I engage FRAPS that only drops ~5fps :D
     
  10. Doomsday

    Doomsday Tech Junkie

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    He said he'll be moving to a bigger screen, so the GTX560 Ti would be a good choice! :D
     
  11. marfig

    marfig No ROM battery

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    May 15, 2011
    Not just that, but even on a 1440x900 screen the 560 Ti may pay off sometime in the near future, as games become more demanding; especially concerning the quite possible widespread adoption of tessellation.
     
  12. zacharyt1122

    zacharyt1122 Obliviot

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Wow guys good advice! I appreciate it all. I think i might go with a 2 gb 560 ti, and if the framerates are good enough I might just hold out on a new system for a little longer. Plus that'll be reason to get a bigger monitor until then! So any recommendations for a good monitor?
     
  13. TheCrimsonStar

    TheCrimsonStar Tech Monkey

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  14. Doomsday

    Doomsday Tech Junkie

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    What Crimson said.. A freind of mine recently bought that 3D Asus model and man its Awesome! Still, i'll go for the non 3D one. The extra price on the 3D is waaay too much. Hope the non 3D one becomes available here asap! :D
     
  15. zacharyt1122

    zacharyt1122 Obliviot

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    Aug 23, 2008
    That looks perfect! I'm skipping the 3D thing for now, I haven't liked it too much when I played with it last. It'll take time for me to make the jump to 3D, but I'm not going to adopt it until its a lot more mainstream.
     
  16. TheCrimsonStar

    TheCrimsonStar Tech Monkey

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    3D is a little too pricey for a lot of people, including me. :p

    I still play on a 19.6 inch widescreen Acer. lol
     
  17. Doomsday

    Doomsday Tech Junkie

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    What blasphemy is this?!?? :D :p
     
  18. Brett Thomas

    Brett Thomas Senior Editor

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    Apr 10, 2009
    hahaha I'm not very far off - 21" here...and no interest in upgrading, as it's an 8-bit Samsung T-series.
     
  19. Doomsday

    Doomsday Tech Junkie

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    *Facepalm* :D
     

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