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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 11


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


I have the new Samsung S23A750D, 120Hz-capable monitor and now need a new GPU, suggestions?

Question asked by Daniel from Spain | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 28, 2012 5:34 am

I just bought a new monitor (Samsung S23A750D) and I want to upgrade my graphic card.

 

Current config:

  • Samsung S23A750D
  • AsRock Z77 Extreme4
  • Intel I5 2500k @4,5Ghz
  • 16GB of DDR3 1600Mhz G.Skill Ripjaws CL9
  • Palit GTX 470
  • CoolerMaster GX 750w

 

What card should i get? (cost ~650$)


Hi Daniel,

 

The 120Hz monitors are great for gaming - so first off, nice choice! I have the 27-inch model from Samsung and absolutely love it. Since your new monitor is capable of 1920x1080 and 120Hz, if you want to hit that 120 frames per second for the monitor to look silky smooth in games, you're going to need a decent GPU.

 

i_have_the_new_samsung_s23a750d_120hz_capable_monitor_and_now_need_a_new_gpu_suggestions_05

 

For a $650 budget - you have enough to play around with to achieve that - so I would recommend something from NVIDIA. For $529.99 from NewEgg, you could get yourself's MSI GeForce GTX 680 Twin Frozr card, which features 4GB of RAM and an awesome custom cooler.

 

Alternatively, since your motherboard supports SLI and your PSU is beefy enough - you could go for two-way SLI GeForce GTX 670s. NewEgg sells Galaxy-branded GeForce GTX 670s for $359ea - just over $700. This would give you plenty of power to reach 120fps in most games, and would beat the single GeForce GTX 680 in terms of performance.

 

The last alternative, is to grab the GTX 680 and down the track grab another one for SLI action.

 

Edit: Some people have wondered why I haven't recommended an AMD Radeon-based GPU - well, that is definitely an option so I'll add that in here now. NewEgg sell some of the HIS- and Sapphire-branded Radeon HD 7970s for just $379.99. You could also two-way CrossFire them up for some extreme performance.

 

The reason why I recommended NVIDIA here is because I've (personally) had a better run with them with 120Hz monitors. I will be running some more tests and providing some walkthroughs of this in the near future, so keep checking back to see how we go!

I want to upgrade my AMD-based system, what should I get?

Question asked by Nicholas from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Nov 27, 2012 6:15 am

I'm looking for my next upgrade.

 

I have the following currently:

 

Yamakasi qHD monitor.

AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE @ 4.3Ghz.

32GBs of DDR3-1333MHz G.Skill Ripjawz.

M4N98TD EVO (with the built in GPU turned onfor PhysX.)

EVGA GTX 670 @ Stock everything.

Samsung 830 for OS.

Some WD Blues for storage.

 

Where do I go from here? I don't really play that many 3D game as I used to, Skyrim is pretty much the only real 3D game I play anymore. I ask because I always feel the need for more power. I understand that anything from Intel will be better, but I haven't had any Intel desktop products since the Pentium 3 days. Should I wait for whatever is coming out from AMD or jump ship while I can?

 

P.S. - I'm a bang-for-your-buck kind of guy.


Hi Nicholas,

 

First off - I'd keep your RAM, GPU and storage. The two things you can spend the money on would be the motherboard and CPU.

 

I'd suggest upgrading to the Intel Core i7 3770K and a third-party HSF, something like the Corsair H80 cooler, or the H100 if you feel a bit hardcore and want to push the CPU to 5GHz with some overclocking. If you want to save some money here, you could grab the Core i5 3570K which is just $219.99 - compared to the $299.99 cost of the Core i7 3770K.

 

i_want_to_upgrade_my_amd_based_system_what_should_i_get_07

 

Motherboard wise, you would be best grabbing something that is SLI-capable, in case you want to throw in another EVGA GeForce GTX 670 for some awesome SLI performance. You could go with something like the ASRock Z77 Extreme 9 motherboard - which is quite feature-packed but has a great price on it.

 

ASRock's Z77 Extreme9 is only $299.99 on NewEgg - but is capable of overclocking that Core i7 3770K to some extreme clocks, will support your current 32GB of RAM, and sports 4-way SLI and CrossFire support - giving your GPU upgrade paths some huge legs.

 

I use this board in my system here at my AU-based TweakTown lab, and it is a truly awesome motherboard. I use the Core i7 3770K and Corsair H100 and have my CPU sitting at 5GHz without an issue - best of all, this combo will cost you under $1000 and will give you an absolutely huge injection of performance over your current AMD-based setup.

What's the best GPU I can buy for under $200 that can play most games at decent settings?

Question asked by Ronald from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 23, 2012 5:10 am

What's a GPU (costs under $200) that can play any games on the market at decently high settings?


Hi Ronald,

 

For just over $200, you could get yourself a GeForce GTX 660 - which should play games at medium-high settings without a problem. You'd most likely get lower frame rates at a higher resolution such as 1920x1080, but if you reduced down to 1280x720 (still higher than consoles) and get decent (30-60fps) if you mix the details right.

 

what_s_the_best_gpu_i_can_buy_for_under_200_that_can_play_most_games_at_decent_settings_02

 

For the same price ($209.99) - you could get Sapphire's Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC, which comes with a free copy of Far Cry 3, can't complain about that! That would play games at the same kind of frame rate.

 

On top of the GPU, your CPU will come into play - especially in newer games like Battlefield 3. Battlefield 3 with a high-end GPU, even the GTX 670, and a mid-range GPU, such as Intel's Q6600 from a few years ago, really does stink. Sub 30-40fps, and skips in the frame rate. A better CPU, even a newer Core i3 or i5 runs it much, much better.

I want to possibly upgrade to SLI'd MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti HAWK GPUs, which PSU should I buy?

Question asked by Nicholas from Indonesia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Nov 22, 2012 6:11 am

Hi TweakTown !

 

I've MSI GTX 560-Ti Hawk, i want to change it to MSI GTX 660 Hawk or maybe SLI my GTX 560-Ti Hawk. And then if i want to SLI GTX 560-Ti Hawk what PSU should i choose ?


Hi Nicholas!

 

Well, I would recommend getting two of the MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti HAWK cards, that's for sure - two of those in SLI will rip up any game out right now and run them without a problem.

 

i_want_to_possibly_upgrade_to_sli_d_msi_geforce_gtx_560_ti_hawk_gpus_which_psu_should_i_buy_07

 

Power Supply wise, you could future-proof yourself and purchase something like the HX850 from Corsair, which would handle two GTX 670s if you were to upgrade in the future. You could probably get away with Corsair's HX650, too, if your budget can't stretch for the HX850.

 

Hope this helps!

Is Corsair's TX850 PSU enough to drive EVGA GeForce GTX 670 Superclocked GPUs in SLI?

Question asked by Wesley from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Nov 22, 2012 2:47 am

Will a Corsair TX850 power supply be able to power dual EVGA GeForce GTX670 Superclocked cards? CPU is an Intel Core i7-2600K running stock voltage settings.


Hi Wesley,

 

Your Corsair TX850 is more than enough PSU to power your two EVGA GeForce GTX 670 Superclocked GPUs in SLI. The GTX 600 Series from NVIDIA is one of their most power-efficient designs, and the Corsair brand is very powerful.

 

is_corsair_s_tx850_psu_enough_to_drive_evga_geforce_gtx_670_superclocked_gpus_in_sli_04

 

Both of the GPUs would barely push over 250W per card, even under extreme load - and the rest of your system should be fine, even with the overclocked Core i7 2600K. If you were to be talking about tri-SLI, then you might run into some troubles with the PSU - but two-way SLI will be absolutely fine.

 

That's a nice system you have there, with those EVGA cards!

Will the MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti Power Edition work on my ASUS P8H61-MX motherboard?

Question asked by Elliot from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Nov 21, 2012 5:37 am

Would the MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti Power Edition be compatible with the ASUS P8H61-MX motherboard? Please answer, I cant find this anywhere.


Hi Elliot,

 

You'll be glad to know that the MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti Power Edition will work on your ASUS P8H61-MX motherboard. Your motherboard has a PCI-Express x16 slot, which will house the Power Edition GPU quite nicely.

 

will_the_msi_geforce_gtx_660_ti_power_edition_work_on_my_asus_p8h61_mx_motherboard_05

 

It'll mainly come down to your power supply unit (PSU), whether it has enough power to properly power your GPU - but the GTX 660 Ti PE doesn't chew through that much power anyway, so you should be fine. I hope this has helped you!

What is the main purpose of the new Retina MacBook Pro, and can it handle this years games?

Question asked by Sushant from Indonesia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Laptops Content | Posted: Nov 15, 2012 3:36 am

What is the main purpose of the MacBook Pro with Retina display, can it handle 2012 games?


Hi Sushant,

 

The main purpose is to give users a very powerful mobile computer, which is lighter than previous designs and gives users a very high-resolution display. Most Windows-based notebooks sport resolutions of around 1600x900, with only a select few ramping up to Full HD at 1920x1080.

 

what_is_the_main_purpose_of_the_new_retina_macbook_pro_and_can_it_handle_this_years_games_02

 

The Retina display-powered MacBook Pros sport a resolution of 2880x1800, which is far higher than any Windows-based notebook screen on the market. This gives the rMBP the distinct advantage of having super sharp images, text and pictures on screen.

 

As for playing 2012 games on it, you should be fine - you won't run them at the native resolution of the screen, but at 1280x720 or 1920x1080 (medium-high detail) you should get decent frame rates. Keep in mind it comes with OS X, not Windows - so you'll have to use Boot Camp if you want to run Windows and most Windows-based games on it.

Can any current-generation laptop have its DVDRW drive removed for a Blu-ray drive in its place?

Question asked by Jean-Paul from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Laptops Content | Posted: Nov 14, 2012 3:33 am

Can any current-generation laptop handle switching out the internal optical drive for a blu-ray drive? Is it chipset-dependent, or something else?

 

Thank you!


Hi Jean-Paul,

 

This should be fine, but it does come down to the system you have. Current-generation notebooks are fine, because the GPUs inside the notebook should handle the encoding required for Blu-ray. If not, you can get very slim, USB-powered Blu-ray drives.

 

can_any_current_generation_laptop_have_its_dvdrw_drive_removed_for_a_blu_ray_drive_in_its_place_06

 

Current-generation notebooks should be fine, and I would be very surprised if any recent notebook couldn't handle an internal drive. If you'd like to shoot me an e-mail with your notebook model, I can look into it more for you.

What's the best GPU for gaming at 1600x900?

Question asked by Dude from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 13, 2012 8:49 am

I have a question, What is the best GPU for my 1600x900 resolution monitor?

I will use it mostly for gaming and video editing in the future. And i want decent amount of FPS while playing BF3 on single player about 45-50fps is ok on me! :)


Hey... dude!

 

Well, it would really depend on what GPU you've got, considering the game you want to play is Battlefield 3 as the game is really CPU dependent, but we'll help out as much as possible.

 

what_s_the_best_gpu_for_gaming_at_1600x900_01

 

For 1600x900, you could go for a mid-ranged card, and depending on which team you like to game on, you could go for an AMD Radeon HD 7850, or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660. I'll use Scorpion Technology as a site for price references since you're based in Australia.

 

You could get the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II card for $275, or the ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU II for $235. Both GPUs come with 2GB of RAM, and both GPUs are ASUS' kick arse DirectCU II versions - overclocked and sport better heatsink fan combos to boot.

 

These cards would comfortably run BF3 at 1600x900 @ 50-60fps in single-player without a problem!

My Radeon HD 7850 can't run the latest Need for Speed: Most Wanted at 1080p on high graphics

Question asked by Daris from Indonesia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Gaming Content | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 2:56 am

I just bought NFS Most Wanted (from criterion, the new one) and I was amazed that my 7850 won't cut the game at high settings. I would get frame drops that could get my frames to go below 30 per second. So I'm forced to get the settings to medium and then it's playable but still, I got drops that put my fps to the mid 30s. Yes the game has got excellent graphics, but I thought my Graphics would run every game at 1920x1080 High settings?

 

My Question is, is this normal? I would probably wait until they release the 12.11 Catalyst driver for download, but I don't think it'll fix this significantly when there is a problem in my system.

 

My system:

  • FX-8120
  • M5A99X Evo
  • Corsair 4GBx2
  • HD 7850

 

Thank you.


Hi Daris,

 

I would say that your video card is beginning to meet its match when it comes to performance. NFS: Most Wanted is pretty graphics heavy, and it might be a little too much to run 1920x1080 at high graphics on your GPU.

 

my_radeon_hd_7850_can_t_run_the_latest_need_for_speed_most_wanted_at_1080p_on_high_graphics_10

 

You would have two options here, upgrade - to something like the HD 7950 or 7970, or drop the graphics settings. Within this option, you could split into two again - drop the resolution to say 1280x720 and keep the graphics up on high, or keep the resolution at 1920x1080 and drop the graphics settings to a mix of medium/high.

 

I would say it's normal, and as new drivers come out (as you've stated) there should be performance improvements, but they're usually limited to around 5-10% boosts.

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