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Old 11-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
riversend
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Default Thinking about a new GPU

Thinking about a new GPU, but not %100 certain I will pull the trigger. Answers to sticky first:

System specs: i5 3570k, Hyper 212+ cooler, 8gb ram, XFX 5770 (1GB), 1680x1050, Corsair HX 520 (about 5.5 years old, still going strong as near as I can tell), all inside an Antec P182 (just over 10in available to the edge of the upper hard drive case which will stay in the system).

Purchase details: In the neighborhood of US %200, but could go higher if although probably not necessary for the 1680x1050. I have always cashed in rebates.
No preference for manufacturer, but quieter fans are a plus.Single GPU only.

Have been looking at Sapphire and MSI 7850 2GB, some of the 7870 offerings as well. Have taken a peek at nVidia 660s, as they seem to be back and forth with the 7850. (Have used both company's products in the past, no bad experiences either way).

Currently playing Skyrim, Shogun 2. Future holds TW:Rome 2, maybe the Crysis series since my brother is really enjoying them, probably the next CoH. I generally purchase games only at half-price, so well after initial release. I like high quality or better on graphics, but that is not a show stopper for me. I usually keep my cards for 2-3 years. Not likely to overclock.

Additional: Just thinking about the upgrade, particularly since AMD is running the games teaser right now. If I could sell those for $30 or more then that would help make the decision. Otherwise I am not incredibly unhappy with the 5770, but it is starting to show its age a bit. I did some looking at 7950 3GB (for the possible future utility of the VRAM), but most of those cards seem pretty long.

Thanks for any additional thoughts.

Last edited by riversend; 11-03-2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Format
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
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A 7850 would be a nice choice for 1680x1050.

Oc it to 1100 core and its faster then the gtx660 and its touching the more expensive 7870.

The msi twin frozr 3 7850 would be a nice choice i believe,i know i loved mine and at a petite 7.8'' long,it makes for a fantastic fit in that case of yours as well.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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I literally did the same upgrade that you were thinking of, 5770 to 7850. Long story short, pretty much doubling of performance out of the box. The 7850 comes with a stock core clock of 860MHz (though mine was upped by MSi to 950Mhz). I was able to push mine to 1.1GHz on stock voltage; OCed the memory to 5500MHz also.

One factor is deciding whether you are willing to overcock. If no, then the nVidia cards are more appealing. If you are, then the AMD cards have so much more performance waiting to be unlocked.

The 7850 which I chose was MSi 7850 Power Edition 2GB.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend View Post
.......

Have been looking at Sapphire and MSI 7850 2GB, some of the 7870 offerings as well. Have taken a peek at nVidia 660s, as they seem to be back and forth with the 7850. (Have used both company's products in the past, no bad experiences either way).
........
The 660 is abit faster than the 7850 (not back and forth in gaming benchmarks) and is priced abit higher at $230. The 660 reference model load temps is little on the high side in the mid-70s.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:24 AM   #5
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XFX HD 7870 is selling for 210 after rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150605

there is no competition at this price point. GTX 660 loses even at stock and when both cards are overclocked the HD 7870 pulls ahead even more due to superior performance scaling because of a 256 bit memory system and 32 ROPs. Add to it 3 free games , one of which is the highly anticipated Farcry3 game. its a no-brainer. Length 9.5 inches. so should fit in your case.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:50 AM   #6
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With 7870 prices so low now, dont bother with 7850 TBH.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:57 AM   #7
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That XFX is pretty tempting all right. Looks like the price to performance increase with the rebate is right on target as well. If I can get a couple of bucks for the games then all the better, but that is not a deal breaker. Hmmmm......
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:32 AM   #8
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Stay away from XFX its garbage.Check Sapphire.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #9
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As others are saying,avoid xfx.

Complete junk.Know it from experience.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

That particular XFX card looks like it has pretty good reviews. What are the issues that you are citing, just out of curiosity?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend View Post
Thanks for the replies.

That particular XFX card looks like it has pretty good reviews. What are the issues that you are citing, just out of curiosity?
Crap ass quality control,from my experience.

My worst experience was with a 6790....would crash and lock up my system watching a dvd.

Checking reviews on newegg it seemed only like a problem with that particular model that many had and personally after having overheating issues with a 6770 as well,i kissed xfx goodbye.

There are other reasons,ask around.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:11 AM   #12
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2 8800Gts 320mb,2 5870 from XFX died within a month.I am not going back to them again.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:27 AM   #13
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Ok, thanks. Right now even with a few 7870s coming down in price it looks like there are a couple of 7850s sub $200 with the Sapphire at $185 and free shipping.

I have read about driver issues on the AMD cards. Any difference in stability between the current crop of nVidia and AMD?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #14
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Nah they are about the same.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend View Post
Ok, thanks. Right now even with a few 7870s coming down in price it looks like there are a couple of 7850s sub $200 with the Sapphire at $185 and free shipping.

I have read about driver issues on the AMD cards. Any difference in stability between the current crop of nVidia and AMD?
12.11 for the most part seems like a stable driver.

Slight chance that you play Combat Arms?That game ran like complete crap on my 7850,which is more of the games fault but had me switching back to nvidia.

For current games,amd has much more to offer per buck and their drivers are much improved,as someone who has ranted enough in the pass about buggy drivers,my thumbs up approval can convince a jury of 12.

Last edited by skipsneeky2; 11-04-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #16
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Basically looking at 660 vs. 7850 vs 7870, which now that I have looked at the Anandtech bench it looks like 7870 and 660 are closer, with the 7850 just behind but with OC room.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend View Post
Thanks for the replies.

That particular XFX card looks like it has pretty good reviews. What are the issues that you are citing, just out of curiosity?
The XFX DD cards looks good but they are the worse, even worse than reference design. The twin fans are small 80mm ones, not 92mm high rpm low noise. So it gets really noisy. Also, the VRMs are not covered by heatsinks, a fatal flaw for an aftermarket card, as it limits OC potential.

Best custom cooled: Sapphire 2x 92mm design, Asus, Gigabyte windforce, Powercolor PCS 2x 92mm, MSI TF etc. The PCS is the quietest while i recall the Windforce is the best cooling, but it gets noisier.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #18
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Alrighty then.... stiff arm the XFX. Good feedback, thanks.

Any issues with AMD drivers? Seems like my brief scan indicates that there are driver issues depending on games, but that nVidia has escaped those issues this time around. Realize that the 12.11s have really helped AMD.

Found this card, MSI 660 TF 2GD5/OC for $215 AR. Free shipping on Amazon for me as well. Given that I play the TW series quite a bit there may be an advantage to going nVidia this time around.

Can't say my quandry is a bad one.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:06 PM   #19
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Couple things:

Most of the 7870s are over ten inches long. The XFX and the reference designs are the only ones under ten inches, IIRC.

The sapphire 7870 is on sale but has a serious defect. Don't buy it.

The 660 is nice, but if you can get a 7870 to fit, I'd go for that, even if it's a reference card, like the Powercolor. The 7870 is simply better than the 660.

9.5" (closer to 9.7 actually) 7870: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131467
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #20
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The smallest card with the most performance under 8'' is the zotac amp edition gtx660ti at 7.53''.

The second runner up is the twin frozr 3 7850 like i mentioned earlier sitting pretty around 7.8''.

The 660ti makes no sense over the 7950 unless case clearance is a major issue then just perhaps its a worthwhile consideration.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #21
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Thanks Termie. I'll look around tonight, but it looks like most of the 7870s are running a bit more. And while I will run a rebate to ground, I have not done a promotional game resale, so I can't really count that I would follow through on that to bring the price down a tad.

I assume that most of the reference design cards are the single fan type, and the noise levels will be a bit higher in that case. That is also a bit of a concern as my PC runs fairly quiet (not silent), and the 5770 I have in there now is the noisiest component.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipsneeky2 View Post
The smallest card with the most performance under 8'' is the zotac amp edition gtx660ti at 7.53''.

The second runner up is the twin frozr 3 7850 like i mentioned earlier sitting pretty around 7.8''.

The 660ti makes no sense over the 7950 unless case clearance is a major issue then just perhaps its a worthwhile consideration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by riversend View Post
Thanks Termie. I'll look around tonight, but it looks like most of the 7870s are running a bit more. And while I will run a rebate to ground, I have not done a promotional game resale, so I can't really count that I would follow through on that to bring the price down a tad.

I assume that most of the reference design cards are the single fan type, and the noise levels will be a bit higher in that case. That is also a bit of a concern as my PC runs fairly quiet (not silent), and the 5770 I have in there now is the noisiest component.
Skipsneeky is right, but here the OP has way more room to work with. Almost every 660 model is under ten inches, except the Asus, I believe. On the flipside, not a single 7950 has any chance of fitting, although they are also above budget.

If noise is a serious concern, then you can't do much better than the MSI 660 you've already found. It's 8 inches, similar to the MSI 7850 (a bit longer but still an easy fit). I'm still drawn to the 7870 for those new drivers and the nice OC ability. At stock it's a near toss-up, but the really good 7870 overclocking models will be too long. Tough call. Awesome 660 or so-so 7870.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:54 PM   #23
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Thanks all.

The beauty is that there are good choices. The problem is there are good choices. Leaning toward the 660 now for noise reasons. I'm not likely to go above 1680x1050 anytime in the near future so powering the machine for the next couple of years should not be an issue.

The game bundle is a good deal if you want the games (I do not) or it was clear what they could be sold for (have yet to see that). A bit more searching and then I'll pull the trigger.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:22 PM   #24
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lol people are saying xfx is junk... then suggesting sapphire which has the absolute worst quality control? I'm a bit confused, go with asus, gigabyte, or msi, they are the top dogs and you will always get something good
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the inputs. Went with the MSI 660 TF for $215 AR. Wanted the quiet and I'm not likely to OC the GPU.
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