Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 3
I have a PCI-E 2.0 mobo and a Saphire HD 6960 2GB video card that is running 3x27" screens. It can pull most games on medium in an Eyefinity, however, I would love to upgrade so that I can run it at High or Ultra settings.
I have been considering getting a new video card, however, I don't know whether I should go all out and buy a whole new PCI-E 3.0 setup, seeing that it is x2 the speed of a PCI-E 2.0 or just buy a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti for my PCI-E 2.0 mobo and deal with whatever performance I get out of it.
This is a great question, and one that I can answer quite easily: no, you don't need to upgrade, your motherboard will be fine.
Sure, there are benefits to upgrading to a fresh new motherboard, but the bandwidth required, and what you will get out of it isn't worth it. There are some very, very slight performance improvements that the third generation of PCIe offers, but it's not worth the $200+ on a new motherboard.
My recommendation: Buy that awesome NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti, and leave your motherboard upgrade for after Computex, which kicks off in June.
I have been thinking about buyingupgrading a new monitor for a while and a mate has always told me to go for the 120Hz monitors, which I have been considering, but with the new 4K monitors coming out at a relatively decent price, what would you guys recommend?
I'm going to answer your question two ways, because either way is going to be a great upgrade for you. There are benefits of shifting over to 4K, but there are also benefits of 120Hz monitors, too.
Going 4K: I have a 4K TV sitting to my left, which goes mostly unused due to its mammoth size. At 39 inches, it's a little too big for a PC monitor, but there are some very nice looking 28-inch 4K-capable monitors coming out very shortly, for under $1000.
These monitors will do 3840x2160 @ 60Hz, which is perfect for gaming and general desktop use. The only issue is having the GPU horsepower to drive all of those on-screen pixels. Do you have enough GPU grunt to do so? Do you enjoy high resolution versus high fRAMe rate (120FPS minimum)? If the answer is 'yes', then you should grab one of the upcoming Dell 4K monitors.
The 120Hz route: On another desk here in my office, I have a 27-inch 120Hz-capable Full HD monitor. I love that it is capable of 120Hz, and if you're playing first-person shooters like Battlefield, Call of Duty or Counter-Strike, then a 120Hz monitor might be a better idea.
But the performance requirement comes into it again. Sure, you don't need to drive the massive amount of pixels that 4K requires, but you need to be doing 1920x1080 at 120FPS minimum in order to get the best out of a 120Hz monitor.
Sideline discussion: The 4K monitor will give you a better picture, colors, and sharpness. The 120Hz monitor will give you fluidity and smoothness. There's a tradeoff for each monitor, so you have to decide which is better in your camp - the higher resolution, or higher refresh rate. Both monitors are going to impress you.
Hi guys. My rig:
Intel Core i5 3450, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD Racer from VisionTek, Hadron Air case (with its own 500W PSU). My GPU now is a AMD Radeon HD7850 2GB. I play mostly hack 'n' slashes (Torchlight 2, Diablo 3), and occasionally something up to Deus Ex: Human Revolution but not too often. I use to play those high graphics games at 1600xsomething resolution, to keep FPS high.
I got a ASUS GTX670 Mini DirectCU for 249 dollars. My reasons to choose it was: 1. size, it's the perfect match for the EVGA Hadron Air small size. 2. Still future proof for my gaming profile.
My question is... Was it a waste of money for my gaming profile? Besides the fact that I can crank up my playing resolution now... What you guys think?
Upgrading from your Radeon HD 7850 to the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 is quite the move, you should be seeing some improvements in performance, but I think your resolution and the games you're playing are holding you back.
This is most likely why you might be thinking its a waste of money - what I would recommend, for the games you're playing, is crank everything else up. Increase the anti-aliasing and anistrophic filtering, as well as all of the in-game details.
You have plenty of GPU horsepower that isn't being used, especially if you're playing at resolutions less than 1920x1080.
As for the GPU, the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DC Mini is a great card, a super-small card that packs a serious performance punch. I don't think you've wasted money at all! Once you move into higher resolutions, you'll still be able to play games without sacrificing too much in-game quality.
I want to replace my current GPU - MSI 6950 TFIII PE OC. My configuration is:
- Core i7 4770k @ 4.5GHz
- ASUS Maximus VI Hero
- 8GB G.Skill RAM
- 1x 60GB SSD
- 1x 1TB HDD
- DVD/CD burner
- Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced
- Seasonic SS-620GB
As I mentioned, I want to change my GPU, but don't know which one to buy. My biggest dilemma is should I buy NVIDIA or AMD? Budget is around 400 euros.
Thanks for your help.
You have a great system there! Once you've acquired your new GPU, you'll be enjoying games in a whole new light. But, it's a hard decision between NVIDIA and AMD, isn't it?
I would say that the new AMD Radeon R9 290X is the best bet, but you have a 400 euro budget - which is around $550 US or so. The R9 290X is $599, which is a bit out of your budget. If you want to go on Team Green, and get the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, it would cost you just $499.
For $499, the GeForce GTX 780 is an amazing GPU, and would play any game at 1080p at 60FPS with high/ultra graphics settings. I think I'm confident in recommending the GTX 780, you won't regret it!
What CPU/MB do you think would be best for a video editing workstation?
I will be running the Adobe tool set. From my reading it seems that video editing benefits from more cores/threads that does gaming. Would an 8-core AMD CPU be better than a 4-core Intel part, for example? What other factors, besides the obvious like lots of RAM, should I consider?
Thanks for your help.
Update: Our own Chris Ramseyer has some wisdom in this subject, so I'll paste in his input here - which is very valuable:
While CPU performance makes a difference in most of the progRAMs we use today, Adobe has implemented new rendering techniques that use your computers video card. AMD is well ahead of the competition in this area but the flagship models with two processors are slower than a single GPU.
The current flagship from AMD is the R9 290X and it would have a significant impact on your render times.
If you are already running a high-end video card for rendering and want to know just about CPUs then you need to look at the thread efficiency. Intel's Haswell, or 4th Generation Core architecture has the highest threaded efficiency to date. In some enterprise applications Haswell's 4 cores outperform 8-core Xeon processors.
First off, if it's a video editing workstation, completely scrap the idea of getting yourself an AMD CPU. AMD's CPUs in that type of use, do not begin to compare with an Intel CPU. The Intel Core range of processors are heavy hitters, that's for sure.
If you want the best, without really breaking the bank, you can go for the 12-thread (6 cores, 6 HT cores) Intel CPUs, which come in the LGA 2011 socket. These are more expensive, but you do get the joys of enjoying 12 threads for video editing. This option would result in you choosing between two processors, the Core i7-4930K, which is $579 on Newegg, or the Core i7-4960X processor, which is $1049.
From those two CPUs, I would find it hard to recommend the 4960X because of its massive price, but the 4930K would do the job just fine.
Stepping below that, we have the 8-thread (4 cores, 4 HT cores) Intel CPUs which come in the LGA 1150 variety. These are known as "Haswell" and you can get something like the Intel Core i7-4770K for $325 from Newegg.
At the end of the day - it's up to you. The LGA 2011 socket would last much longer, but the LGA 1150 option is around $200 cheaper, and then you'll also save another $100-$150 on the motherboard.
If the decision was up to me, I'd recommend the 4930K and a mid-range motherboard. RAM is cheap these days, so you could load the board up with 32GB of RAM, too.
I am planning to buy a mobile and here are my choices:
- Galaxy s4 mini
- Nexus 4
- Nexus 5
- Xperia SP
I am not a big gamer, but I am looking for a good battery life and does a lot of browsing and WhatsApp. The S4 mini has QHD screen and the rest have HD screens, so when coming to the application support will I face the problem of non supported apps with S4 mini?
You have a great selection of smartphones there, but I think I would definitely have to choose the Nexus 5 out of them all. The Nexus 4 is old now, so that is erased straight away form the decision table. The Sony Xperia SP, same rules apply.
The decision comes down to the Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. The fight then goes into the OS, the Nexus 5 device is pure Android - and version 4.4 KitKat at that - while the Galaxy S4 mini won't have 4.4 KitKat for a while yet.
The S4 mini also has Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top, which is something you'll have to consider - but that is more of a personal choice. I don't like it, and I find the pure Nexus experience to be much better. If it was my help that pushes you into the arms of one of those devices, get yourself the Nexus 5 - you won't regret it.
I'm looking to do a small upgrade just a PSU and Video Card to keep up with some of the latest games that I have like BF4 and COD: Ghosts. Not looking to SLI or Crossfire setup otherwise would mean I need a whole new PC as my motherboard is not quite adequate for that.
My current system is:
- Intel Core i7 870
- ASUS P55A
- 16GB Corsair RAM
- DVD/CD Burner
- 1 x 128GB SSD
- 1 x 256GB SSD
- 2 x 1TB WD Black running in RAID0
- 1 x 2TB WD Green
- Antec 902 V2 (4x120mm FAN's and 1x200mm FAN)
- 1 x 24" DELL (running at 1920x1200 (landscape))
- 1 x 22" DELL (running at 1050x1680 (portrait))
My current GPU and PSU is an ATI 6870 and a Corsair 650W.
I'm looking at buying either the R9 280X or the 7970. Since the price is almost the same what would be the ideal GPU to be running some of the latest games that I have mentioned above? Also what would be the ideal PSU size to accommodate the above set-up and also the GPU I am looking at?
Both of those GPUs are going to give you a kick-ass upgrade to your Radeon HD 6870 GPU, but it'll come down to how much you want to spend.
Originally, I read that you were after a comparison between the R9 290X and HD 7970, but it's the R9 280X and HD 7970. Sorry for the confusion in my original answer: but I would definitely recommend the new R9 280X over the HD 7970 - as its is $379 with Scorpion Technology, not a bad price for a new GPU!
Hi currently my processor is the AMD FX 8320 and my GPU is the Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT (LE). I was thinking to do a dual graphic setup in future.
My question is should i change my GPU to GeForce GTX 760(SLI) or stay with my HD 7870 XT (LE) to do crossfire? I can get a GTX 760 at additional $40+ trading in my old Sapphire 7870 XT. Which setup is more future proof?
Most people would've purchased another Radeon HD 7870, but I would recommend ditching it, and getting yourself the GTX 760 SLI setup. For one, AMD is about to launch its next-gen GPUs, and secondly, the GeForce range of GPUs works great in virtually all titles in SLI.
You should see a nice improvement in games, too, between the GTX 760 SLI setup versus the HD 7870 CF setup. I would say that the NVIDIA way is the more future proof path, but nothing is really future proof these days.
i am planning to buy a smartphone but confused between Galaxy S4 mini and Google Nexus 4.
S4 mini is quite costly, if we look for features comparing both. But the Nexus 4 is not dual-SIM capable and it also doesn't supported micro SD expansion. The rest of the features are better than the Galaxy S4 mini... kindly suggest me which one I should buy.
Is there any other phone which has features like Nexus 4 and also having dual-SIM capabilities?
I think you make this decision easy on yourself, because you want dual-SIM functionality. That is something that the Nexus 4 doesn't do, and I was going to suggest waiting for the Nexus 5, but I would be willing to lay down money that the Nexus 5 won't support dual SIMs either.
I would suggest grabbing the Galaxy S4 mini, as it does arrive in a dual-SIM model, which is something you're after. There aren't many phones that are as capable as the Galaxy S4 mini that feature dual SIMs, so you have kind of found the perfect smartphone for yourself. The Galaxy S4 mini is a great phone, and yes it's not a pure Android experience like the Nexus line of smartphones, but it is still a very, very capable and spec-heavy smartphone.
Let me know how you go with the Galaxy S4 mini if you end up grabbing one!
I have two choice in GPU:
1. Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB
2. MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 1GB.
- Intel Core i3 530 @ 2.93GHz
- Intel Desktop Board DH55TC motherboard
- 6GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
- XFX GeForce GT 240 1GB
- No-brand 500W PSU
- Samsung 18.5-inch monitor
That's a hard decision! First off, both GPUs are good value for money. They're both going to give you a big increase in performance over your GeForce GT 240. The biggest difference between them is going to be the price.
The Sapphire HD 7770 GHz Edition sells on Newegg for $104.99 while the MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST is priced at $154.99. This is nearly 50% more expensive, but does it provide 50% (or so) more performance? No. It provides around 10-15% more performance on average over the HD 7770.
Our own GPU Editor Shawn Baker took a look at the MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST GPU, with some of his benchmark charts comparing the HD 7770 to it. I would suggest checking out his review, which might swing your decision.
My advice, would be to get the HD 7770 as it's $50 cheaper and provides nearly the same experience at lower resolutions (which your 18.5-inch LCD would be). If you were talking about 2560x1600 (or so) then I would suggest buying a completely different GPU altogether.