Swap GTX 660 Ti for GTX 970?

Jan 30, 2006
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#1
I want to boost my gaming rig's performance a bit. I currently am running
the following:

Corsair Obsidian 650D
ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155
650W Corsair PS
Intel Core i7 3770
16 GB Corsair RAM
Samsung SSD
MSI GTX 660 Ti
Win 8 Pro

I was thinking of upgrading to a GTX 970 rather than building a new rig (that can wait until late next year). My PC runs smooth as silk for normal, everyday use, but is getting a bit slow with some newer games at 1080p with the details cranked. Will swapping out my 660 Ti with a GTX 970 make enough of a difference to tide me over another year and a half? If so, are there any compatibility issues with my current rig and that card?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
Sep 5, 2003
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#2
A GPU upgrade to an R9 290/290X or a GTX970 (Gigabyte Windforce 3X or MSI Gaming) should easily tie you over for 1.5 years. In fact, that CPU is good enough for another 1-2 GPU upgrades after the 970. If your CPU is a K version, you might also want to consider getting a $40 cooler and overclocking it. Honestly 3770 is still an excellent CPU. :)
 
Jan 30, 2006
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#3
Okay, thanks. I don't have a K CPU, so no overclocking for me.

I'm trying to hold out on a full upgrade until AMD or Nvidia push a reasonably priced card that can handle 4K.
 
Sep 5, 2003
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#4
I'm trying to hold out on a full upgrade until AMD or Nvidia push a reasonably priced card that can handle 4K.
That's going to be a long time. Historically speaking a next gen mid-range card is roughly as fast or slightly faster than last generation's flagship. That means a 14nm/16nm mid-range Pascal should be as fast as the Titan X or slightly faster. However, the Titan X isn't good enough for 4K gaming in today's titles, nevermind games in 2016-2017. Realistically, we are looking at Volta when a $300-350 GPU will be ready for 4K gaming.
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,408
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#5
You can overclock your 3770 4 bins still. The locked models still got limited overclocking support provided your motherboard supports it. I'd still go for it.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
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#6
The way things are going, you might have a decade left in your CPU.

You might consider a Radeon 290, which has better performance:dollar, but a 970 isn't a bad buy and should drop in with no issues.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,529
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#7
The way things are going, you might have a decade left in your CPU.

You might consider a Radeon 290, which has better performance:dollar, but a 970 isn't a bad buy and should drop in with no issues.
 
Jan 30, 2006
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#8
Okay, so now the question is: which 970 is best? I see they range from about $300-$400. I'd like to spend less than $350. There are so many options, even within the same brand, it's hard to tell.
 
Dec 3, 2009
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#9
Okay, so now the question is: which 970 is best? I see they range from about $300-$400. I'd like to spend less than $350. There are so many options, even within the same brand, it's hard to tell.
If you do not plan on overclocking. Then the only significant difference on the models is the warranty.

I would buy one of the cheap EVGA models. The more expensive models are a few percentage points faster but you will likely not notice much difference.
 

raghu78

Diamond Member
Aug 23, 2012
3,999
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#10
If you want only Nvidia GTX 970 then get the MSI GTX 970 Gaming or Gigabyte GTX 970 Gaming. MSI is quieter and Gigabyte comes with higher clocks out of the box. both are very good overclockers.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127832

But personally I recommend the R9 290X Tri-X . its a very good card with no quirks like the weird memory partition on GTX 970 which is already showing limitations in games like Rome Total War Atill at 1080p with stuttering and uneven frametimes.

http://www.pcgameshardware.de/Total-War-Attila-PC-259548/Specials/Test-Benchmarks-1151602/

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202079
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,408
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#11
Also consider that you can get an aftermarket R9 290 for $250 AR and its 0-10% slower than a 970 for quite a bit less money, and it has the full 4GB of highspeed RAM.
 
Jan 30, 2006
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#12
Thanks for all the responses. I ordered the MSI 970. My current card is MSI and it has been great for the past 2.5 years.
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
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#13
TBH, those differences in performance between the models you can smoke in a pipe. All those "super clocked" models etc. add like 100mhz or so..which you could do anyway with MSI Afterburner or modifying the BIOS. Saying, "in theory", all 970s are the same.

Differences are more in regards to their cooling, a poorly cooled card might hit temp limit and thus throttle...and also "coil whine"...whereas almost all 970 have coil whine to some extent. I personally think it's nonsense to spend big money on some super-duper 970 model.

That being said, MSI, EVGA, Gigabyte are all good cards. I chose an EVGA not because it's the "best" but simply because I found someone selling one to me for a decent price and they have 5 years warranty. So if something should ever be wrong I send the card to EVGA and get a new one, no sweat.

As for R290x vs. GTX970....I toyed with the idea to get a R290X and I am sure it's a great card...but I am also 100% sure I might regret it and then want a GTX 970 instead... let's be honest, DX12, lower power usage, "better" drivers, PhysX, DSR etc...make the GTX 970 overall more attractive to me. I can't lie there.
 
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Sep 5, 2003
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#14
Okay, so now the question is: which 970 is best? I see they range from about $300-$400. I'd like to spend less than $350. There are so many options, even within the same brand, it's hard to tell.
I would say Gigabyte G1 Gaming 970 for $315 is a solid card. Another one is MSI Gaming 970. Can't go wrong with either of those.
 

Morbus

Senior member
Apr 10, 2009
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#15
TBH, those differences in performance between the models you can smoke in a pipe. All those "super clocked" models etc. add like 100mhz or so..which you could do anyway with MSI Afterburner or modifying the BIOS. Saying, "in theory", all 970s are the same.
I don't know about the 970, but my Gigabyte 760 is not the same as a stock 760. In fact, the PCB is quite different. Even the power plugs are more (2x8 instead of 2x6). As a result, you can get far more stable overclocks.
 

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