Video Card and Monitor Recommendations

Mar 21, 2007
116
2
76
#1
Our family started playing Fortnite last year. My kids got a PS4 and we took turns on that. 2 months ago we picked up a second PS4 so we could play together. It still left one of us out and my son started talking about getting a gaming PC. Before he spent a bunch of money on a computer I thought I would see if I could come up with something he could try out before he made the plunge or getting a 3rd PS4. I ran across a Dell XPS8700 with the following specs:

i7-4790 @ 3.6GHz
12GB Ram
1 TB HDD that I swapped for a 128GB Samsung SSD
NVidia GT 720 4GB

He has been using this for about a month now, using a PS4 controller plugged into the front of the PC (don't have a good keyboard and mouse yet either). The monitor is a cheapo. Computer runs around 30-40 fps on low to medium settings at 1280x800 or something similar. He's done pretty well with it considering, but I'd like to pick up a video card and new monitor for him as I believe the rest of the machine is fine for now. After some digging it looks like a lot of what I've read recommends a GTX 1060 as a good starting point for replacing the GT 720. The question is, are we buying smart? Will we be OK with it for a while or will it be a purchase where we wish we had spent a little bit more for something better? Also, the PSU in the Dell is 460W. Will that be big enough for the recommended card? Needs to fit in the existing XPS case too. This motherboard is PCIe 2.0 only? Any performance issues we will see from this?

Also, any monitor recommendations? As this is our first venture into a gaming PC I don't want to go all out on anything just yet. So a good budget gaming monitor, maybe in the $200-$300 range.

At some point we may play other games as well, but for now he's still enjoying Fortnite.

Thanks in advance for any insight.
 

Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
1,699
126
126
#2
1660 or 1060 6GB - 1660 a little faster (it's newer) but you might find some really cheap deals on 1060's (because it's older) in which case it's still plenty fast enough. Both use about 120W which should be ok with your psu.
You don't even need to go that high if you don't want too - even a 1050Ti is a massive upgrade on a 720 and will play fortnite fine, although a lot slower then a 1060. Check out ebay - plenty of second hand cards kicking around, just be a bit careful of 1060's used for mining.
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2010
183
18
81
#3
The question is, are we buying smart? Will we be OK with it for a while or will it be a purchase where we wish we had spent a little bit more for something better?
Your CPU + RAM combo is sufficient. You can always add more RAM if there are spare slots on the MB or Swap higher capacity modules if required. You'd be fine with 12GB RAM and 6GB Graphics RAM combo..

I'd second the 1660 or 1660Ti as well, instead of a 1060. However, don't purchase an old card. You never know how it was used/abused.. Not worth the hassle.

Also, the PSU in the Dell is 460W. Will that be big enough for the recommended card? Needs to fit in the existing XPS case too.
Both 1660 & 1660ti use 120 watts, so that PSU will be sufficient. You can always replace that Dell PSU with a $40 Quality PSU later.

Also, most of these cards have small coolers (single & twin fan) models that would easily fit into your case. Just check the dimensions beforehand.

Also, any monitor recommendations? As this is our first venture into a gaming PC I don't want to go all out on anything just yet. So a good budget gaming monitor, maybe in the $200-$300 range.
To purchase a monitor, you'd need to consider: Resolution and Refresh Rate.

Resolution first.

Almost all new LED monitors in the market now are at the minimum full HD 1920x1080, 60Hz. Would also recommend you to not purchase anything lower than this.

1660 would be good enough for gaming in FHD/1920x1080 @ High Quality.

FHD/1920x1080 resolution is sufficient for 22"/24" monitors. There are FHD 27" Monotors as well, but I'd advise you to look at one up close, to check if you are comfortable with the screens pixel size.

27" Monitors look best with 2560x1440 resolution (WQHD or 1440p)

For this 2560x1440p resolution, you'd need a 1660Ti.

Refresh Rate:

Most monitors sport 60Hz refresh rate and it's very easy for a graphics card to generate 60fps @ 1920x1080 resolution.

Monitors Branded as Gaming Monitors, also sport 120 or 144Hz refresh rate, which makes it double difficult for a graphics card to generate 120 or 144fps.

Should you choose to purchase a 120 or 144Hz monitor with 1920x1080 resolution, would advise you to purchase a 1660Ti, instead of 1660.

for a 120 or 144 Hz monitor with 2560x1440 resultion, you'd need to purchase an even powerful graphics card such as a 1080 or 2060, which would require a better PSU and eventually, a better CPU as well. So, I would not go this route.

Furthermore, most of these 120 or 144Hz monitors have TN panels (poor viewing angles), whereas, most 60Hz panels are IPS.

You can also purchase a Freesync enabled Monitor, which will offers a variable refresh rate; such as 40Hz-60Hz, instead of a fixed refresh rate of 60Hz. Benefit being, even if your graphics card is unable to maintain 60fps for any particular game, the gameplay experience will still be smooth, compared to a non Freesync monitor. You could easily find a FHD, IPS Monitor from Dell/LG/Asus/Samsung for $200-$300.

Gsync also works along the same lines, but they are usually a lot more expensive. Now that Nvidia graphics cards support Freesync monitors, you can buy one without any second thoughts.
 
Mar 21, 2007
116
2
76
#4
1660 or 1060 6GB - 1660 a little faster (it's newer) but you might find some really cheap deals on 1060's (because it's older) in which case it's still plenty fast enough. Both use about 120W which should be ok with your psu.
You don't even need to go that high if you don't want too - even a 1050Ti is a massive upgrade on a 720 and will play fortnite fine, although a lot slower then a 1060. Check out ebay - plenty of second hand cards kicking around, just be a bit careful of 1060's used for mining.
Thanks for the response!

Your CPU + RAM combo is sufficient. You can always add more RAM if there are spare slots on the MB or Swap higher capacity modules if required. You'd be fine with 12GB RAM and 6GB Graphics RAM combo..

I'd second the 1660 or 1660Ti as well, instead of a 1060. However, don't purchase an old card. You never know how it was used/abused.. Not worth the hassle.
I plan to purchase new.


Both 1660 & 1660ti use 120 watts, so that PSU will be sufficient. You can always replace that Dell PSU with a $40 Quality PSU later.

Also, most of these cards have small coolers (single & twin fan) models that would easily fit into your case. Just check the dimensions beforehand.
I will definitely check the size.

To purchase a monitor, you'd need to consider: Resolution and Refresh Rate.

Resolution first.

Almost all new LED monitors in the market now are at the minimum full HD 1920x1080, 60Hz. Would also recommend you to not purchase anything lower than this.

1660 would be good enough for gaming in FHD/1920x1080 @ High Quality.

FHD/1920x1080 resolution is sufficient for 22"/24" monitors. There are FHD 27" Monotors as well, but I'd advise you to look at one up close, to check if you are comfortable with the screens pixel size.

27" Monitors look best with 2560x1440 resolution (WQHD or 1440p)

For this 2560x1440p resolution, you'd need a 1660Ti.

Refresh Rate:

Most monitors sport 60Hz refresh rate and it's very easy for a graphics card to generate 60fps @ 1920x1080 resolution.

Monitors Branded as Gaming Monitors, also sport 120 or 144Hz refresh rate, which makes it double difficult for a graphics card to generate 120 or 144fps.

Should you choose to purchase a 120 or 144Hz monitor with 1920x1080 resolution, would advise you to purchase a 1660Ti, instead of 1660.

for a 120 or 144 Hz monitor with 2560x1440 resultion, you'd need to purchase an even powerful graphics card such as a 1080 or 2060, which would require a better PSU and eventually, a better CPU as well. So, I would not go this route.

Furthermore, most of these 120 or 144Hz monitors have TN panels (poor viewing angles), whereas, most 60Hz panels are IPS.

You can also purchase a Freesync enabled Monitor, which will offers a variable refresh rate; such as 40Hz-60Hz, instead of a fixed refresh rate of 60Hz. Benefit being, even if your graphics card is unable to maintain 60fps for any particular game, the gameplay experience will still be smooth, compared to a non Freesync monitor. You could easily find a FHD, IPS Monitor from Dell/LG/Asus/Samsung for $200-$300.

Gsync also works along the same lines, but they are usually a lot more expensive. Now that Nvidia graphics cards support Freesync monitors, you can buy one without any second thoughts.
Excellent info on the monitor! Currently he is playing on an old Dell IPS monitor that I use for photo editing. Not ideal in the least. I had been considering a 24" 144Hz monitor, not realizing that it may not even pair well with the 1060 or even the 1660. The price difference between the 1660 and 1060 seems minimal, but if I go with a 60Hz monitor is it really worth the difference?
 
Sep 13, 2010
183
18
81
#5
Crrently he is playing on an old Dell IPS monitor that I use for photo editing. Not ideal in the least. I had been considering a 24" 144Hz monitor, not realizing that it may not even pair well with the 1060 or even the 1660. The price difference between the 1660 and 1060 seems minimal, but if I go with a 60Hz monitor is it really worth the difference?
CPU and PCI 2.0 would start to factor in at 144Hz as generating more frames requires more CPU power along an even robust graphics card, which would in turn cap the most powerful GPU that you can utilize, before PCI 2.0 limitation starts to factor in.

Also, neither 1060 or 1660 are able to generate above 100 FPS @ Full Quality settings.

You can check out how these cards perform in various modern games @1080p : https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_1660_Twin_Fan/12.html

1660 is faster than 1060 in every game and sports Nvidia's latest architecture. 1660Ti is in a different league.

Also, performance gap would widen in 1660's favor with future games. At similar price, always go with the newer / latest graphics card.

Your monitor upgrade itself would provide a significant jump in gameplay experience. I presume that 720p monitor must be 15/17". A new 24" monitor itself would provide enough WOW factor.

The higher refresh rate monitor you can get, the better. However, you should plan this purchase with your budget and requirement in mind.

These 120/144 monitors are TN which is inferior compared to IPS that your coming from. As you do photo editing as well, an IPS monitor with 60/75Hz refresh rate, along Freesync would be the best way forward.

Should you go for a 144Hz monitor, get the 1660Ti and turn off addition graphics quality settings such as Anti Aliasing, Depth of field, SSAO etc to generate more FPS and choose a freesync monitor with higher range such that gameplay experience does not suffer even if the GPU is only generating 100-120fps.
 

Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
1,699
126
126
#6
1660Ti is about 15% faster then a 1660 - that's not really a different league.

As for 120hz+ monitors - they are well worth it for gaming (even if you don't run at 144hz all the time). For gaming it's also worth considering input lag (delay in drawing an image), and image sharpness (how fast it can switch between images). Both are something TN's are better at then IPS although TN will loose out to ips on colours (they tend to look a bit more faded).

Freesync/gsync - they are great, however... Gsync is more expensive but you know it will work, freesync is a free for all - basically as long as it does something you can slap a freesync sticker on it, it doesn't actually need to work. So buyer beware there - check the reviews carefully.
 

Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
659
35
106
#7
I would definitely recommend a 144Hz monitor for games like Fortnite, and use a good gaming mouse!
 
Mar 21, 2007
116
2
76
#8
CPU and PCI 2.0 would start to factor in at 144Hz as generating more frames requires more CPU power along an even robust graphics card, which would in turn cap the most powerful GPU that you can utilize, before PCI 2.0 limitation starts to factor in.

Also, neither 1060 or 1660 are able to generate above 100 FPS @ Full Quality settings.

You can check out how these cards perform in various modern games @1080p : https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_1660_Twin_Fan/12.html

1660 is faster than 1060 in every game and sports Nvidia's latest architecture. 1660Ti is in a different league.

Also, performance gap would widen in 1660's favor with future games. At similar price, always go with the newer / latest graphics card.

Your monitor upgrade itself would provide a significant jump in gameplay experience. I presume that 720p monitor must be 15/17". A new 24" monitor itself would provide enough WOW factor.
Actually the monitor is a Dell 2209WA which is a 22" with 1680x1050 resolution, but my son plays in windowed mode at 1280x800 to increase FPS.
The higher refresh rate monitor you can get, the better. However, you should plan this purchase with your budget and requirement in mind.

These 120/144 monitors are TN which is inferior compared to IPS that your coming from. As you do photo editing as well, an IPS monitor with 60/75Hz refresh rate, along Freesync would be the best way forward.
There are 2 different computers in this area so I would continue to use the IPS for my photo editing computer and use the new monitor for his gaming computer.
Should you go for a 144Hz monitor, get the 1660Ti and turn off addition graphics quality settings such as Anti Aliasing, Depth of field, SSAO etc to generate more FPS and choose a freesync monitor with higher range such that gameplay experience does not suffer even if the GPU is only generating 100-120fps.
I was starting to lean this way with the monitor. I was also looking at this site for benchmarks and it shows an average FPS of 95 using max settings at 1080p with a 1060 and my i7-4790 CPU. https://www.userbenchmark.com/PCGame/FPS-Estimates-Fortnite/3954/153864.10002.Max.1080p.0 Is that realistic or out in left field?
1660Ti is about 15% faster then a 1660 - that's not really a different league.

As for 120hz+ monitors - they are well worth it for gaming (even if you don't run at 144hz all the time). For gaming it's also worth considering input lag (delay in drawing an image), and image sharpness (how fast it can switch between images). Both are something TN's are better at then IPS although TN will loose out to ips on colours (they tend to look a bit more faded).

Freesync/gsync - they are great, however... Gsync is more expensive but you know it will work, freesync is a free for all - basically as long as it does something you can slap a freesync sticker on it, it doesn't actually need to work. So buyer beware there - check the reviews carefully.
So look for a gsync monitor if it's in the budget? Any recommendations in the 24" size?
I would definitely recommend a 144Hz monitor for games like Fortnite, and use a good gaming mouse!
The mouse and keyboard will come eventually as well. Still using a PS4 controller for now until we get the PC squared away.
 

Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
1,699
126
126
#9
So look for a gsync monitor if it's in the budget? Any recommendations in the 24" size?
Not necessarily, if you are on a budget then freesync can work too (Nvidia cards support both), but just saying you have to be careful and pick a good one - seeing the freesync label alone is not badge of quality. Sorry no idea what are the best monitors at the moment.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,106
708
126
#10
I'd second the 1660 or 1660Ti as well, instead of a 1060. However, don't purchase an old card. You never know how it was used/abused.. Not worth the hassle.
I would third that.

Basically, I would suggest a 1660ti (if in the budget), and a 144Hz 1920x1080 TN "Gaming monitor", there was a 27" Dell on Newegg for like $200, mentioned in another thread, that had DP and HDMI 2.0, maybe also speakers.

Together, that would be around a $500 upgrade. The rest of your parts are fairly good, although I would see about connected the SSD as the OS drive, and the 1TB HDD as a Steam game storage drive, rather than just one or the other. The mobo should support multiple SATA ports, assuming that you have the tower model.

I just upgraded a friend's machine a week or so ago, with a 4K UHD HDR 28" freesync LCD monitor (BenQ factory refurb) and an Asus RX 570 4GB card (better than the 1050 ti 4GB, but not quite as good as the 6GB GTX 1060 cards), bought new off of a member here.
 
Last edited:
Mar 21, 2007
116
2
76
#11
I would third that.

Basically, I would suggest a 1660ti (if in the budget), and a 144Hz 1920x1080 TN "Gaming monitor", there was a 27" Dell on Newegg for like $200, mentioned in another thread, that had DP and HDMI 2.0, maybe also speakers.
Thanks, I'll check it out.
Together, that would be around a $500 upgrade. The rest of your parts are fairly good, although I would see about connected the SSD as the OS drive, and the 1TB HDD as a Steam game storage drive, rather than just one or the other. The mobo should support multiple SATA ports, assuming that you have the tower model.
I actually reconnected the 1TB already. The SSD was filling up quick.
 
Mar 21, 2007
116
2
76
#12
Thanks to everyone again for their recommendations. I decided to pick up a GTX 1660 and the Dell 2719HGF monitor (1080p, 144Hz). My son is super happy with the new set up! I ran some benchmarks before and after and figured I would share the results in case anyone else reads this down the road.

Original GT720
Uningine Heaven, 1280x800 windowed, low settings, 41.0 fps, 1032 score
FRAPS on Fortnite after adjusting some settings, 1280x800 windowed, medium settings, Avg: 54.767 - Min: 0 - Max: 105
Userbenchmark - 17% on Gaming, 7.74% on video card

New GTX 1660
Uningine Heaven, 1920x1080 full screen, high settings, 130.0 fps, 3275 score
FRAPS on Fortnite, 1920x1080 full screen, high settings, Avg: 168.537 - Min: 81 - Max: 248
Userbenchmark - 76% on Gaming, 81.4% on video card

One thing I will point out is that I am unable to use the G-Sync function on the GTX 1660 due to running Windows 7. Fortunately the settings we have set up in Fortnite are allowing my son to run above 144fps most of the time. Will likely "upgrade" the OS at some point.
 

Similar threads



ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS