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Old 11-02-2012, 11:26 PM   #1
FireFreak111
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Default Need Enthusiast level graphics card

System Specifications:

I. Processor/CPU:
i7 870

II. Current Graphics Card:
Nvidia GTS 450 (had 6850 1 week ago)

III. Display Resolution:
1080p (planning 1440p next year)

IV. Power Supply Unit Specification (Brand, Wattage, Ampage, Age). If possible, please provide a link to a website containing the power supply specifications:
Silverstone ST50F-ES 500W
http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...id=248&area=en

V. Case Specifications(N/A, Model, Length, Low Profile, Cooling, HTPC, Water, Silent):
Coolermaster Storm Scout 1
http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/chassis/scout/ 10.6" card limit

Purchase Details:

I. Budget? Please be sure to include currency (If not USD), retailer preferences & specify whether rebates are a viable option.
All up, $600-650 AUD. Thus includes the GPU, and any other components to make it work (new case, new PSU, etc). http://www.umart.com.au (Gold Coast store) would be the cheapest/best AU store (I can drive 20mins and pick up stuff with no shipping/delivery fees).

II. Any particular preferences (Manufacturer[nV or AMD], Brand[XFX, Sapphire, EVGA, etc], Cooling Solutions)?
This is my biggest battle. A week ago I was using a 6850 which died, despising AMD drivers, and constantly looking over at Nvidia which had the Nvidia Inspector tool, and all those driver graphic setting options. If AMD has supremely better performance for the price and fits my case, then I am willing to consider them. Preferably reliable brands , ones who give VBios updates and more,

III. Do you plan to have any Multi-GPU solutions such as Crossfire or SLI?
I am considering it lightly next year if I get a 1440p monitor.

IV. Have you previously looked at a product(s) which you feel would fit your needs?
Evga 670 4GB SC+

V. What are your needs for this GPU? Which games(If any)do you intend to play? If you have this information at hand, what are the desired detail levels?
3-4GB VRAM. Intent on using super high res texture packs with Skyrim, Crysis 2 with MaldoHD, high levels of Ambient Occlusion, ENBSeries where applicable, etc.
My game choice is very, very varied. It goes from BF3, Skyrim, Total War (All), Mass Effect 3, Fallout 3+NV, Crysis 2, Planetside 2, and much more. All games should be Maxed.
Anti-Aliasing is a major concern for me, especially at 1080p. So BF3 4xMSAA, Skyrim Supersampling, ME3 Supersampling, etc.

VI. Do you plan on overclocking the card you intend to purchase?
Definitely, as much performance as possible.

Additional Notes
1440p is very likely next year, getting Haswell next year too. Got 2 HDDs and a SSD, used PSU for a year, consider in power calculations. Enthusiast quality graphics needed.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Can you wait a few months?

Honestly, I would just buy a placeholder like the 7770 or gtx650 for around $120 and turn down IQ settings to playable levels until the 28nm refresh cards come out and you can see what they offer. You could even just try using the gts450 for a little while with settings turned way down.

I'd buy a gtx650 because you don't necessarily have to try and resell it to recoup the cost. You can keep it for a Physx card in whatever rig you put together to run 1440p for the few titles a year that have physx.

Waiting for news on the new cards coming out around March 2013 is probably your best bet at this point especially if you are considering going 1440p and the kind of Image Quality you are talking about.

Last edited by VulgarDisplay; 11-02-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VulgarDisplay
Can you wait a few months?

Honestly, I would just buy a placeholder [...]
what? the FireFreak had a GTS 450 and then a 6850, and now wants more power and obviously has some budget to throw around; this is not a person in need of a stand-in card until sometime later... anyway.

Well -- and I say this without checking out relative pricing on that "best-store-for-you-but-halfway-around-the-world-website-to-me" Umart thing -- well, you're certainly looking at 680/7970/670/7950 at that price point. Or maybe used dual-card options, I guess (I've seen some interesting posts from that side of the globe in the past; which, for me, were obviously way too far off, but for you on the other hand...) those however most likely wouldn't come close to the VRAM you want per card.

Anyway, the 4GB 670 is a nice card for sure, although it is probably too high on both cost and memory. Frankly, I just got some 7950 3GBs and have been looking around for games I could get my hands on which would really leverage that 3rd GB of memory, but the market simply isn't there yet (note to self: maybe if I mod Skyrim in the sole objective of using up as much video memory as possible...). In fact, at those resolutions, the large majority of things would be alright with 1GB while only a select few would currently eat a healthy amount into a second GB with high AA / HD texture mods.

I guess that AMD was stuck in something of a Goldilocks scenario when deciding on memory; with 1.5 being too little and 6 being way too much. In fact, Nvidia went with assymetrical memory configurations on many of it's current cards because 2GB is a sweet spot at the moment for longevity with 3GB being somewhat overblown (particularly for the smaller-bus cards to which this comment pertains). In any case, I can't see you needing 4GB of VRAM during the lifespan of any card which you might eventually decide on purchasing at this point. Not at those resolutions, in any case.

Speaking of awkward mid-points; I need to mention that PSU: while a competent unit, able to power any single high-end card which you might choose within the budget you put forward, it could bear some upgrading... If you're just aching to spend your full budget, that is...

In case you don't feel the need to spend the max amount of $ which you're potentially willing to, I blindly recommend the 7950. Not because I've closely examined the price/performance points from the one particular store you posted, but rather because around here they're so dominating that it reflects on my entire world-view :p and also because the left-over money could just as easily serve to upgrade it to whatever is the latest, next next-to-greatest in 10-18 months or so.

edit: Looking it over, and considering that your $ is stronger than ours (canada, btw) I have trouble believing how expensive all of these are over there! Then again, not so long ago, Canada also had to pay a substantial premium over the U.States.
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Last edited by Plimogz; 11-03-2012 at 01:15 AM. Reason: Good Grief @ Aussie pricing!
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:33 AM   #4
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Well, if you look at the benchmarks, like anand bench, the 450 and 650 only have 1-5 FPS difference, sad for a 2 gen upgrade. But I forgot to mention, waiting for the next generation was one of my other considerations. In fact, I just now was thinking dumping $250 on a 660. Runs 1080p Ultra. But then again, that $250 could be used next year.

Would their really be that much worth in the next Generation?
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:42 AM   #5
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OP: http://www.pccasegear.com/

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=20827

One of the cheapest enthusiast card in the AUS/Asia market $299. Beastly card, quiet cooler, excellent OC.

Compare to gtx670 $415-550 lol!: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...cPath=193_1387

NV pricing in Oceania and Asia is rediculous. Don't touch the 660 when 7950 prices are that low.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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Assuming you have a 2nd gen core quad, and get a better psu. Go for 7950-7970 ghz.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Yup i would second the recommendation of a 7950 and it would be a good upgrade over the 6850.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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More than 100% faster.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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Personally i'd wait for a black Friday sale if budget is a concern, and just go with whichever 670/7970/680/7950/etc has the best price.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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He's in Australia, prices aren't reflective of US markets. Asia/Aus market is wacked with NV cards going well above retail pricing.

Srsly, great custom cooled 7950 $299 AUD vs gtx670 $500.. wtf.!!

In EU its worse than USA but not anywhere as bad as these markets.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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7950s on the new 7970pcbs are 11" long. Op said he has a 10.6" limit.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverforce11 View Post
He's in Australia, prices aren't reflective of US markets. Asia/Aus market is wacked with NV cards going well above retail pricing.

Srsly, great custom cooled 7950 $299 AUD vs gtx670 $500.. wtf.!!

In EU its worse than USA but not anywhere as bad as these markets.
I'd recommend HD 7970, not 7950 since he seems really intent on having highest IQ settings, and upgrading later on to 1440p.

A 7970 oc'ed to GHz Edition would save some $$, rather than buying the GE.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaydq View Post
7950s on the new 7970pcbs are 11" long. Op said he has a 10.6" limit.
My old msi twin frozr 3 7850 was really short at 7.5'',the evga gtx670 ftw being on the full size gtx680 pcb is 10''.

Is there even a 10.6'' or shorter 7950?As you mentioned the 7970 is a big card which won't fit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150588 Not a fan favorite its 10.5'' .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127667 10.28'' and more then likely gonna be the obvious choice and the smallest period.

Last edited by skipsneeky2; 11-03-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
FireFreak111
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I'm just wondering, one of the guys in here suggested something that looks interesting.
Get a 650 Ti or 660 (non Ti, both reasonably priced on umart), use it until the next generation, and then get a 780 or 770 and use the 650 Ti/660 for PhysX (Going NV due to its Ambient Occlusion profiles and SGSSAA, better SLI, and Nvidia Inspector (MSAA in Guild Wars 2, and more), faster driver releases for new titles (1 year to fix BF3 performance??)).

AMD does look good this generation, but none of their cards (7970 included) can drive 1440p with Anti-Aliasing and Max Details on games like BF3, future Crysis 3, Rome 2, and more. Since Nvidia was well priced in Australia last generation, hopefully the next generation doesn't get into this price issue again.

Any Opinions?

Edit: And another thing, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130785 $429 in US??? $600 AUD here? WTF??

Last edited by FireFreak111; 11-03-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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It looks like you've already convinced yourself mate.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:33 PM   #16
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Op,i honestly think you should consider purchasing a 7850 like the msi twin frozr 3 i had,it was a excellent card and once oced around 1100 core outruns the gtx660 non ti and hits 7870 performance.

Check prices and if the 7850 falls in your price range,its as good as it gets.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #17
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7950/7970 are it, unless Nvidia does some major price cuts. I have a 670FTW 2GB and I loooooove this card, but at current prices recommend 79XX. 670 needs to be at 7950 pricing, and 680 needs to be around 7970 pricing.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkaign View Post
7950/7970 are it, unless Nvidia does some major price cuts. I have a 670FTW 2GB and I loooooove this card, but at current prices recommend 79XX. 670 needs to be at 7950 pricing, and 680 needs to be around 7970 pricing.
I love mine too!Just received mine yesterday and its pretty sweet.

Using msi afterburner,i put the core at 45+ and the memory clock at 195+...i do feel i am being a bit of a pu$$y with finding the maximum oc.

Low asic quality of 76% so hope its not a stinker like my 7850 was.....were is your 670 at clockwise Ark?
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #19
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If you absolutely want something now, I'd say a vanilla 7970 or a 7950 if you can get it cheap. If you want to be able to max everything out at 1440p next year, then I'd recommend waiting until the next generation of 28nm cards come (by or before March) and either making due with what you have or getting a cheap upgrade to tide you over.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:49 PM   #20
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To be honest, if you don't live in North America, nVidia will literally take you to the cleaners with their pricing. In the UK, you can get a Sapphire Vapor-X cooled 7970 GHz Edition for the same price as the cheapest reference 680, it's madness. Reference 7970 cost 70 less than reference 680s (from OcUK).

The bottom line is you need 7950+ or 670+ performance. Depending on pricing a 7950 or a 7970 (not Ghz Edition) would be your best options.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipsneeky2 View Post
My old msi twin frozr 3 7850 was really short at 7.5'',the evga gtx670 ftw being on the full size gtx680 pcb is 10''.

Is there even a 10.6'' or shorter 7950?As you mentioned the 7970 is a big card which won't fit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150588 Not a fan favorite its 10.5'' .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127667 10.28'' and more then likely gonna be the obvious choice and the smallest period.
The measurements on the MSI card are wrong. Those measurements are with the old 7950 6+6 pcb. I own the new one with the 8+6 7970 PCB and it is a hair shorter than 11". I don't know about the XFX card, it'd be a gamble.

I'd suggest a GTX 670 if they're under the space limit. Even at 1440p they are still great performers.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireFreak111 View Post
I'm just wondering, one of the guys in here suggested something that looks interesting.
Get a 650 Ti or 660 (non Ti, both reasonably priced on umart), use it until the next generation, and then get a 780 or 770 and use the 650 Ti/660 for PhysX (Going NV due to its Ambient Occlusion profiles and SGSSAA, better SLI, and Nvidia Inspector (MSAA in Guild Wars 2, and more), faster driver releases for new titles (1 year to fix BF3 performance??)).

AMD does look good this generation, but none of their cards (7970 included) can drive 1440p with Anti-Aliasing and Max Details on games like BF3, future Crysis 3, Rome 2, and more. Since Nvidia was well priced in Australia last generation, hopefully the next generation doesn't get into this price issue again.

Any Opinions?

Edit: And another thing, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130785 $429 in US??? $600 AUD here? WTF??
Don't know where you're seeing this, the 7970/7950 get even better compared to the competition as you increase the resolution and you're applying AA and ultra presets. The nVidia cards of this generation tend to suffer once you increase these details. This has generally been the consensus.

AMD also had a new architecture which is why this gen of cards performed rather crappy at their respective old price points. nVidia's wasn't exactly brand spanking new and didn't suffer from such terrible performance due to their respective software.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:56 AM   #23
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OP get a HD 7950 , new case and PSU.

Gigabyte HD 7950 - 334
http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products...id=4&sid=84731

ANTEC 302 - 77
http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products...id=4&sid=88268

ANTEC HCG 520 - 83
http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products...id=4&sid=65239

TOTAL 494

The Gigabyte HD 7950 (900 Mhz) has one of the best coolers. excellent for voltage overclocking. With the 12.11 beta drivers the HD 7950 (1.15 Ghz) is beating GTX 680 (1.25 Ghz). There are users on ocn who have compared their previous GTX 680 with their current HD 7950 and given this feedback. And if you go for 1440p monitor in future the HD 7950 performs even better with its huge bandwidth which really helps it shine at higher resolutions.

The ANTEC HCG 520 is a high quality PSU with 40A on +12v rail . thats sufficient for an overclocked HD 7950 and a i7 PC.

ANTEC 302 is a quality case which is very spacious. supports graphics cards with 12.5 inch length. tool-less 5.25 inch bays.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5462/a...et-enthusiasts

All this comes within 500 bucks. what more do you want.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:24 AM   #24
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FWIW, the TF3 7950 (7970 pcb, 6+8 power connectors) is a hair under 10.6" long. (I make it out to be 10.59375".

These are pretty big, so I'm sure there are other 7950s out there under 10.6.
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