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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 5


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


Which GPU should I buy for $300?

Question asked by Josh from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 19, 2013 4:46 am

Which graphics card should I get for around $300, I can go a bit above if I need to.


Hi Josh,

 

The $300 mark for a GPU upgrade these days is a damn good position to be in - because you can start choosing some seriously fast GPUs. Something I'd recommend for the $300-or-so price point is AMD's Radeon HD 7950 GPU. This gives you a high-end part, with 3GB of fast on-board GDDR5 to play with.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/139_06_which_gpu_should_i_buy_for_300.jpg

 

Sapphire's Radeon HD 7950 can be had for $309.99 from Newegg, which fits your budget perfectly (you did say you can go a bit above, so $10 is only a little bit above that $300 price point).

 

This GPU will allow you to play all of the latest games at medium-to-high graphics at 60fps or more, easily.

I play mainly FPS games and want to upgrade, should I want for Intel's Haswell or get Ivy Bridge now?

Question asked by Wayne from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Mar 13, 2013 4:30 am

I am looking at upgrading to a new system. I will be mainly playing 1st person shooters but also some virtual servers. Should I buy an Ivy Bridge CPU or wait for a Haswell CPU?


Hi Wayne,

 

This is tricky, but I still recommend Ivy Bridge. Sure, when Intel release Haswell it'll bench better than its predecessors and the competition - but will the cost involved be worth it? Maybe.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/138_02_i_play_mainly_fps_games_and_want_to_upgrade_should_i_want_for_intel_s_haswell_or_get_ivy_bridge_now.jpg

 

If you were playing with a multi-GPU, multi-monitor setup - most likely. The CPU bottleneck would be removed some what with the extra grunt, but again, by how much? 5-10% maybe? 15-20% would be my guess on a high-end, multi-GPU, multi-monitor gaming rig in say, Battlefield 3. But then, you'd not be worrying and just buying it when it hits.

 

I'd recommend getting an Intel Core i7 3770K, that'll see you through the next year or two at least. You can overclock them easily to 4.5GHz, which will remove most bottlenecks from a single-GPU rig, too.

I'd like some advice on my motherboard and RAM choice!

Question asked by Gary from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Mar 12, 2013 4:43 am

I'm building a new PC I have everything I'm looking for but I'm not sure about my mobo and memory selection would a GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD4H and G.SKILL Trident 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 work fine or would it be better if I got a diferent memory?


Hi Gary,

 

The choice of motherboard and RAM there with the GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H and G.SKILL Trident 8GB of DDR3 2400MHz RAM is fine. They'll work great together, especially the motherboard. GIGABYTE's range of Z77 motherboards are truly some of the best on the market, and G.SKILL make some of the best RAM on the market.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/137_08_i_d_like_some_advice_on_my_motherboard_and_ram_choice.jpg

 

Depending on the CPU you have, you should be able to squeeze a decent overclock out of your system, too!

Which GPU is better? Galaxy's GeForce GTX 660 or MSI's GeForce GTX 660 Twin Frozr?

Question asked by Ty from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 8, 2013 5:44 am

Which card do you think is better? The Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 or the MSI GeForce GTX 660 Twin Frozr? Right now I'm really leaning MSI.


Hi Ty,

 

This one is easy - MSI's GeForce GTX 660 Twin Frozr. Sure, Galaxy cards are great, but MSI's Twin Frozr-based GPUs are really kick-ass. The cooling on them is not only great for keeping the temperatures down on your GPU, but they come factory overclocked, and still have wiggle room to move in the OC department.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/136_09_which_gpu_is_better_galaxy_s_geforce_gtx_660_or_msi_s_geforce_gtx_660_twin_frozr.jpg

 

I would definitely suggest getting the Twin Frozr card, you truly won't be sorry!

My OCZ Vector SSD is having issues, is it the SSD or something else in my system causing the problems?

Question asked by Ben from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Storage Content | Posted: Mar 6, 2013 3:58 am

I have an OCZ Vector 128gb SSD and I have reinstalled windows on it several times, yet it keeps failing, AND I keep getting the the blue screen of death, so now I am back on my western digital 2tb hard drive, and I am wondering, did I waste money on this OCZ?


Hi Ben,

 

This could be quite a few things, but you didn't state whether the problems disappeared when you started using your WD drive. The way the question is written, it sounds like it's all back to normal. If this is the case, then it could be a faulty SSD - the best way to test this would be to take it back to the retailer you purchased it from and get them to RMA it for you.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/135_05_my_ocz_vector_ssd_is_having_issues_is_it_the_ssd_or_something_else_in_my_system_causing_the_problems.jpg

 

Before you send it away for warranty, you can try a few things. Try the SSD with a new SATA cable if you haven't already. Take out all your sticks of RAM and just try a single stick. Take out all of your HDDs and use just the SSD.

 

If you find the same results, then send it back. From what you've told me, it sounds like the drive is faulty.

 

As for if you "wasted money" on the OCZ drive, definitely not! All components will fault eventually, and I have plenty of friends and family members with OCZ drives who have never had an issue, ever. Sometimes, it just happens.

Which NVIDIA GPU should I get for my multi-purpose system?

Question asked by Peter from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 5, 2013 4:15 am

Hi. I would like your suggestion on which graphics would suit a 30 to 32in full high def single monitor, using Cuda, PhysX, tessellation, 3D, 3D surround at max settings. I play BF3. I have read many articles on the new Titan which were compared to GTX690, and in most cases, the 690 was slightly better.

 

However, the Titan has 6GB ram, while the 690 only has 4GB. I know the Titan runs cooler, quieter and uses less power than the 690, and that running 3D requires plenty of RAM. I do not want issues such as stuttering, micro stuttering, bottle-necking etc. Which would be better 1 x Titan or 1 x 690, or 2 x Titins or 2 x 690's.

 

Thanking you Kindly

 

Peter


Hi Peter,

 

If you're only running a 30- to 32-inch Full HD monitor for games, then you would be fine with a single GeForce GTX 680 - but you mention you want to use it for CUDA, PhysX, Tessellation, 3D and 3D Surround Vision. All of this is very, very stressful on the GPU - and requires more than one to get playable (30-60fps) frame rates in most games.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/134_03_which_nvidia_gpu_should_i_get_for_my_multi_purpose_system.jpg

 

You mention just one screen, but 3D Vision Surround - which would limit you to 27-inch monitors, and then three of them. If you were going to do this, spend as much money as you can. Obviously two GeForce GTX Titan's would be the best choice - so if this is within your budget, do it.

 

The GTX 690 cards are pretty crazy - but as you said only have 4GB of RAM. The Titan's 6GB of RAM will be great for the multi-monitor gaming, so you're kind of stuck there. I would still recommend Titan's, but the GTX 690s will give you effective 4-way SLI which would be nearly 50-75% extra performance over GTX 680s in SLI.

 

Micro-stuttering is very case-to-case, I find I don't experience it - but I am using 120Hz monitors. You would also be using 120Hz monitors since you'd be getting 3D Vision-capable screens, which are 120Hz by default. You might not experience it with 2-way SLI, but if you were to go down the GTX 690 SLI route, the 4-way solution might inhibit problems.

I'd like some suggestions on a GPU upgrade!

Question asked by Igor from Bosnia and Herzegowina | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 27, 2013 3:30 am

Some suggestions on upgrading my system?

 

Hello, I'm currently planning to upgrade some stuff on my rig. Currently I have:

  • PSU: FSP AURUM GOLD 700W
  • Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V
  • CPU: Intel i7-2600
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz (2x 4GB dual channel)
  • GPU: ASUS HD6770 (EAH6770)
  • HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB

 

I'd like some suggestions on which gaming GPU to get with cost of under 400$. Also, I've been planning to get 16GB (4x 4GB) of Kingston's HyperX Genesis DDR3 RAM. Is this RAM a good choice?

 

Thank you!


Hi Igor,

 

$400 is a great budget to spend on a new GPU as you're not limited to the low- or mid-range GPUs and can really stretch your legs in terms of getting a great GPU. You could go for either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670, or AMD's Radeon HD 7970.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/133_01_i_d_like_some_suggestions_on_a_gpu_upgrade.jpg

 

I use HD 7970s at home and I've come to really love them, they offer some insane performance and have a bunch of overclocking headroom included, which is always a great thing to have. You can grab Sapphire's Radeon HD 7970 for around $400-$450 (depending on the model) - Newegg sell the stock HD 7970 from Sapphire for $409.99.

 

You could also go for the GeForce GTX 670, which you can get for the same $400-$450 price range. It all comes down to which side you want to barrack for. The HD 7970 would allow a drop-in installation, not having to remove your drivers and install NVIDIA's drivers, if that helps your decision.

 

If it were up to me, grab the Sapphire HD 7970.

 

As for the RAM, the Kingston kit that you're eyeing off is fine - you'll enjoy that for sure!

I recently asked about a GPU upgrade, but I've increased my budget, does that change your recommendation?

Question asked by Andrew from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 26, 2013 4:25 am

Hi i recently asked a question concerning Radeon graphics cards, and iv'e decided to up my budget. I'm looking at the 7970 and 7870. The 7970 has almost twice as many stream processors. the 3GB versus 2GB isnt a huge factor since i think either would be more than sufficient for my 27 in monitor. I like the idea of a 384 bit as opposed to a 256 bit but once again the core clock speed confuses me. I know i won't be able to overclock myself, and the cards sold on newegg say something about a boost. is the boost already activated, and is that the same same as overclocking? and do cards sold come pre overclocked? IN addition i don't know what CrossFireX is, which is listed under most of the cards I'm looking at. IS the 7970 worth the extra money, and is there a preclocked version i can buy, install and get to gaming right away?


Hi Andrew,

 

With the increased budget, you should definitely get yourself the AMD Radeon HD 7970. The 3GB of VRAM on the card itself won't do much unless you're cranking the anti-aliasing, so it does come in handy for some titles.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/132_06_i_recently_asked_about_a_gpu_upgrade_but_i_ve_increased_my_budget_does_that_change_your_recommendation.jpg

 

384-bit versus 256-bit is just the internal bandwidth - think of it as the higher those numbers, the more numbers the GPU can crunch inside of itself. The higher the number it can crunch, the more performance it provides.

 

As for overclocking, some of the GPUs come with a pre-overclocked state. Some of them are advertised with "Boost", which is what that means - it has been overclocked for you.

 

CrossFireX is multi-GPU action, more than one Radeon working together to increase performance. CrossFireX (CFX) can work with up to 4 GPUs, and this type of setup is only for those with super high-res monitor setups, or multi-monitor configurations.

 

I would look at getting Sapphire's Radeon HD 7970 3GB OC with Boost - this card is $409.99 from Newegg.

Should I buy the Radeon HD 7770 or the HD 7850 for gaming?

Question asked by Andrew from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 25, 2013 2:20 am

I'm getting pretty heavy into gaming and my graphics card just can't handle these new games, even on low settings.

 

My current card is an ATI Radeon HD 4650

 

Would you recommend the Radeon HD 7770 or the Radeon HD 7850? the 7850 has a 256 bit memory interface while the 7770 has only 128. However, the 7770's clock speed is 1020 Mhz while the 7850 is only 860 Mhz! Which would be optimal for high graphics gaming.


Hi Andrew,

 

Both GPUs are great, but the Radeon HD 7850 definitely edges out the HD 7770 by a decent margin in most games. The better 256-bit memory interface helps in virtually all games - as for clock speeds, that's what overclocking is for!

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/131_03_should_i_buy_the_radeon_hd_7770_or_the_hd_7850_for_gaming.jpg

 

The HD 7850 gives you a superior memory interface, but lacks the clock speed. If it did have the higher clock speed by default - not only would it absolutely kill the HD 7850, it would use more power. The biggest reason is that it would cannibalize the HD 7770's sales. I would definitely go with the HD 7850!

 

You can grab Sapphire's Radeon HD 7850 from Newegg for $185 - this is the 2GB GPU variant, and is just $20 more than the 1GB version.

I need a hand upgrading my PC, what should I do next?

Question asked by Kimir from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Feb 18, 2013 3:36 am

I currently own:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K overclocked to 4.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V8 69.7 CFM Rifle Bearing CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard: MSI P67-G45 (B3)
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • Storage: Corsair Force Series GT 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
  • Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
  • Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6990 4GB Video Card
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case
  • Power Supply: NZXT HALE 90 1000W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
  • Optical Drive: Samsung SH-B123L/RSBP Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit)
  • Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Wired Gaming Keyboard
  • Mouse: Razer DeathAdder Wired Optical Mouse
  • Monitors: SA350H x2
  • Other: Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo

 

I plan on upgrading my motherboard to the ASUS Maximus V Formula Z77 for better OC of my 2600k, purchasing a single 6970 for Tri-fire, then possibly getting a premade liquid cooling system for my CPU.

 

If I do what I described above, will I see a significant performance boost? Is this a good decision, or should I sell my 6990, not purchase a 6970, and get another GPU?

 

Also, what liquid cooling system (premade) would you recommend (Swiftech 220) for overclocking 5 ghz, or would you stick to the Coolermaster V8?

 

Thanks!


Hi Kimir,

 

Nice system you have there! It already kicks enough ass, so the upgrade I'll suggest is quite tame. Sure, you could upgrade your motherboard or cooler and get a little bit more out of your CPU - but that's all - a little bit.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/3/130_03_i_need_a_hand_upgrading_my_pc_what_should_i_do_next.jpg

 

If you're after more gaming performance, upgrade your GPU. Sell your current GPU, which would get a couple of hundred dollars and yourself two new fast single-GPUs. Two Sapphire Radeon HD 7950s, or two new GeForce GTX 670s.

 

You'd see a near doubling in gaming frame rates, easily. I wouldn't bother upgrading your CPU until you're completely bottlenecked by your GPUs. You're already running a Core i7 at 4.5GHz - that's more than enough. Cranking up to 4.8-5GHz won't give you any gains at all in games from 4.5GHz.

 

Third-generation Core processors are of course better, and they will give you slightly better performance in everything (including games), but the investment would be better injected into your GPUs - in my opinion. If you were running a stock 2600K, then I'd suggest overclocking or maybe an upgrade - but you're already sitting on 4.5GHz.

 

Get some new GPUs! :)

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