• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

When to Upgrade from my GTX 280

PCJake

Senior member
Apr 4, 2008
319
0
0
Hey guys, I've been itching to upgrade lately, and my graphics card seems the logical target since I've been struggling to keep a solid 60 FPS in Bad Company 2 and Dragon Age: Origins at 1920x1200. In Bad Company 2, for example, I have to turn several graphical settings down (like object detail and shadow quality) to have a stable 60 FPS for online play. I'd really like to be able to turn those settings back up!

My current system is in my signature, and as you can see I have a GTX 280. I'm willing to spend $500-$600 (so basically any single card out there, since I don't have the option of doing SLI). I'm coming to you all for advice; Is it worth upgrading right now? If so, what should I upgrade to?
 

evolucion8

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2005
2,867
3
61
Don't buy anything that's under the GTX 480 or HD 5870, otherwise the performance difference will be dissapointing. The biggest leapfrog in performance in terms of single GPU would be a GTX 480 or the 15% slower HD 5870, or a HD 5850 in Crossfire.
 

happy medium

Lifer
Jun 8, 2003
14,387
475
126
Don't buy anything that's under the GTX 480 or HD 5870, otherwise the performance difference will be dissapointing. The biggest leapfrog in performance in terms of single GPU would be a GTX 480 or the 15% slower HD 5870, or a HD 5850 in Crossfire.
Yes what he said.
 

PCJake

Senior member
Apr 4, 2008
319
0
0
Don't buy anything that's under the GTX 480 or HD 5870, otherwise the performance difference will be dissapointing. The biggest leapfrog in performance in terms of single GPU would be a GTX 480 or the 15% slower HD 5870, or a HD 5850 in Crossfire.
Excellent, I was looking at the GTX 480 all along anyway. Is there any reason I should wait before buying one? If I were to order one soon, I would probably go for the EVGA Superclocked one once it's back in stock somewhere.
 

happy medium

Lifer
Jun 8, 2003
14,387
475
126
Excellent, I was looking at the GTX 480 all along anyway. Is there any reason I should wait before buying one? If I were to order one soon, I would probably go for the EVGA Superclocked one once it's back in stock somewhere.
MSI gtx480

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127502

MSI VGA Products are warranted for 3 year limited warranty (Two (2) years Parts & Labor, and the third Year Parts ONLY, shipping and handling fee will be required).
 

Sylvanas

Diamond Member
Jan 20, 2004
3,752
0
0
Does anyone else care to comment on MSI? I have no experience with anyone but EVGA, but I'm willing to try MSI if I can be assured that they're on par with EVGA.
All cards from every vendor are pretty much manufactured and assembled in the same place (probably one of Foxconn's facilities) and the 3rd party vendors bin the cards for speeds and burn-in (stability testing) then slap a sticker on it and call it an EVGA/MSI/BFG/Asus etc. So essentially, they're all the same 'quality' (reference design all use the same components) what you can use to differentiate between them is warranty and service (if in the case you RMA or Step-up). MSI are one of the big 4 manufacturers out there that make everything (just like Asus, Gigabyte and Foxconn) so quality should not be an issue. I had an MSI 8800GTX which I OC'd and modded like mad and it still kept soldiering on. EVGA do have good service and excellent warranty though so you can't go wrong. If the MSI is significantly cheaper then get it, if not get the EVGA is what I'd do.
 

PCJake

Senior member
Apr 4, 2008
319
0
0
All cards from every vendor are pretty much manufactured and assembled in the same place (probably one of Foxconn's facilities) and the 3rd party vendors bin the cards for speeds and burn-in (stability testing) then slap a sticker on it and call it an EVGA/MSI/BFG/Asus etc. So essentially, they're all the same 'quality' (reference design all use the same components) what you can use to differentiate between them is warranty and service (if in the case you RMA or Step-up). MSI are one of the big 4 manufacturers out there that make everything (just like Asus, Gigabyte and Foxconn) so quality should not be an issue. I had an MSI 8800GTX which I OC'd and modded like mad and it still kept soldiering on. EVGA do have good service and excellent warranty though so you can't go wrong. If the MSI is significantly cheaper then get it, if not get the EVGA is what I'd do.
The MSI and the EVGA ones are the same price, but the EVGA one is sold out on Newegg. If they were both available right now I would get EVGA, but I don't have the slightest idea when they will be back in stock. Plus the EVGA looks cooler. Argh, decisions, decisions.
 

Grooveriding

Diamond Member
Dec 25, 2008
9,082
1,224
126
If BFBC2 is your concern, 5870 is faster than a GTX 480 in that game, 5850 is also faster at 1920x1200.


 

PCJake

Senior member
Apr 4, 2008
319
0
0
The score is abnormally low for a GTX 480 and an HD 5870 at 2560x1600, Anandtech review shows more consistent results.
The AnandTech review was a good one. 10-15% performance advantage across multiple games outweighs the greater cost, heat, and noise of the GTX 280 in my mind.
 

bunit

Member
Apr 25, 2010
78
0
0
If you're looking for a larger performance leap but can wait you could wait until September/October when the ATI 6 series (SI) is rumored to release. A Fermi update is probably coming along around that time period as well. Otherwise have fun with your gtx480/5870.
 

bunit

Member
Apr 25, 2010
78
0
0
If you're looking for a larger performance leap but can wait you could wait until September/October when the ATI 6 series (SI) is rumored to release. A Fermi update is probably coming along around that time period as well. Otherwise have fun with your gtx480/5870.
 

evolucion8

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2005
2,867
3
61
The AnandTech review was a good one. 10-15% performance advantage across multiple games outweighs the greater cost, heat, and noise of the GTX 280 in my mind.
GTX 280? I think you meant GTX 480. I doubt that someone with a two finger forehead will think that the 10-15% performance advantage across most games except Crysis, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and other games will outweight the greater cost of the GTX 480 which is considerably higher ($100+), heat dissippation (188W vs 275W), and noise of the GTX 480 which unbearable loud.
 

jbh545

Member
Jun 10, 2008
45
0
0
Unless you're gonna go dual GPU and get the 5970, I say wait for better single gpu cards. Your best upgrade path right now is just getting another 280 at a good price...the pair should be faster than a 5870 for the most part and you'll probably take less depreciation when it's time to sell.

It's probably a tossup between 5970, 280 sli, and waiting, but I think any of those options are better than buying overpriced single gpu cards now. The 5870 is more now than it was at launch, that means you're getting screwed out of 6 months of use with no compensation. Normally it would be like $300 after rebate by now. I think the 480 is a good value right now at $450 or so after cashback, but only if you want to make a $900 sli monster. I definitely consider dual 480 the best high end solution (why i bought it of course), but a single GTX 480 is a mediocre midrange solution.
 

evolucion8

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2005
2,867
3
61
Two GTX 280 in SLI will be slighly faster than a single HD 5870. The GTX 280 in SLI can't touch the HD 5970.
 

PCJake

Senior member
Apr 4, 2008
319
0
0
Unless you're gonna go dual GPU and get the 5970, I say wait for better single gpu cards. Your best upgrade path right now is just getting another 280 at a good price...the pair should be faster than a 5870 for the most part and you'll probably take less depreciation when it's time to sell.

It's probably a tossup between 5970, 280 sli, and waiting, but I think any of those options are better than buying overpriced single gpu cards now. The 5870 is more now than it was at launch, that means you're getting screwed out of 6 months of use with no compensation. Normally it would be like $300 after rebate by now. I think the 480 is a good value right now at $450 or so after cashback, but only if you want to make a $900 sli monster. I definitely consider dual 480 the best high end solution (why i bought it of course), but a single GTX 480 is a mediocre midrange solution.
I don't have an SLI board, so a 5970 would be the only dual card option. We can't all have dual 480s, but thanks for rubbing it in ;) Still, judging by the benchmarks I've seen I would hesitate to call a single GTX 480 a "mediocre midrange solution."

GTX 280? I think you meant GTX 480. I doubt that someone with a two finger forehead will think that the 10-15% performance advantage across most games except Crysis, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and other games will outweight the greater cost of the GTX 480 which is considerably higher ($100+), heat dissippation (188W vs 275W), and noise of the GTX 480 which unbearable loud.
I did mean the GTX 480.

The 5870 may have had a higher average frame rate in the BC2 and Crysis tests in the Anandtech review, but in the same review it is also stated that the GTX 480 has higher minimum frame rates. I'm more concerned with minimum frame rate than I am with getting anything over 60 FPS at any time. I'm not too concerned with the heat and power (NVIDIA says the card can handle it), but I'm curious about the noise. Can anyone else who owns the card agree that it's unbearably loud? (Keep in mind that I have a Cosmos 1000 case with is pretty good with noise dampening).
 

dust

Golden Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,339
1
71
It seems to me jbh545 is right, you were asking for solid 60's with the settings at max,but none of them can give you that. Another 280 would probably be better for you or going dual 5870/480's.

IMO you shouldn't bother with any upgrade other than another 280 as the price/performance ratio might not be convenient. I would wait for the Fermi refresh first.
 

dust

Golden Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,339
1
71
Oh so you don't have a SLI board. Seems that 5970 is the way to go atm. It's a little too expensive for my taste.
 

jthunderloc

Senior member
Dec 28, 2009
606
0
0
I run everything at max settings, turning off HBAO and bloom (bloom is massively annoying and it don't really see much difference with HBAO on) and I average 90s with a CF 4890 setup. CF 4890s generally perform slightly better then a single 5780. Crank up all the detail settings, turn off HBAO and open up the settings file and set bloom to false and enjoy.

-Wes
 

Sylvanas

Diamond Member
Jan 20, 2004
3,752
0
0
PCJake

The 5870 may have had a higher average frame rate in the BC2 and Crysis tests in the Anandtech review, but in the same review it is also stated that the GTX 480 has higher minimum frame rates. I'm more concerned with minimum frame rate than I am with getting anything over 60 FPS at any time. I'm not too concerned with the heat and power (NVIDIA says the card can handle it), but I'm curious about the noise. Can anyone else who owns the card agree that it's unbearably loud? (Keep in mind that I have a Cosmos 1000 case with is pretty good with noise dampening).
Most reviews state that it's not unbearably loud (not like an FX5800) but if it's in the 90c range you can expect the fan to be on 75%+ constantly. The cooling solution actually does a pretty good job for the massive power output is has to dissipate. If minimums are important then the 480 has a clear advantage there, dual GPU cards or CF/SLI solutions will all suffer from abnormal minimums compared to single GPUs from time to time. I'd say get the 480....if you can find it for sale anywhere.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY