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

TweakTown's Ask the Experts

Will my 500W power supply be sufficient for a Radeon HD 7950 upgrade?

Question asked by Grant from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Apr 29, 2013 5:28 am

Hi, I have an Aerocool Strike-X 500W PSU


My specs are:

  • Core i5 3570k, not oc'd
  • 500GB 7200RPM HDD
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM


I would like to add GIGABYTE's Radeon HD 7950 non-OC to it.


Will the PSU be ok?

Hi Grant,


Definitely. The 500W power supply you have will be more than enough for the GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7950 GPU, even if it were the OC model, or any other HD 7950 for that matter.




The GIGABYTE HD 7950 requires two 6-pin PCIe power connections, which the Strike-X 500W has. The HD 7950 is a very efficient GPU, and a system under load would only pull around 400W with this GPU cranking along inside of it.


The Aerocool Strike-X 500W will be fine, so have fun with your new upgrade!

I need helping choosing between the Samsung S27A950D and ASUS VG278HE monitors!

Question asked by Rashid from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors Content | Posted: Apr 23, 2013 5:02 am



Story is, I'm buying a new computer after five years or so with my laptop, chose to buy a PC since a laptop has a very few upgrade possibilities ( or so I think ).


These are the specs:

  • CPU: Intel i7-3770
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77 V
  • Memory: 2 Corsair Vengeance 8GB
  • GPU: XFX HD 7970 3GB/384bit


I'm torn between the Samsung S27A950 and ASUS VG278HE.


I'm mainly using this computer for movies and games ( League of Legends, Dragon Age, Witcher, Guild Wars 2, Star Craft, Diablo 3, the likes, I play rarely to none FPS games, because it makes me dizzy and gives me headaches ). I might plan to do some little photoshop and video editing, but that's very far from being a professional.


So, with that said, would you mind helping me with these ( bare with me here, some of the questions might sound noobish ):

  • 1. I'm more inline with the picture and color quality than the response time, I'm far from being a pro player but I play-to-win.
  • 2. Both of the monitor have a Dual Link DVI-D but the GPU hae a Dual Link DVI-I, what cable should I use to get a 120hz/144hz refresh rate.
  • 3. Is there any huge difference if I played a 1080p in a 60hz, 120hz and 144hz, will I notice it? ( I'm aware that films are recorded in 60fps, TV shows in 24fps, just talking about the quality of the image)
  • 4. I'm not yet a fan of 3D gaming, I heard that 3D shutter glasses can give you headaches, so is there any other alternatives.


Thanks in advance!

Hi Rashid,


Both of the monitors that you're torn between are going to be great. Both monitors are pretty much on par with each other apart from a few things, something you already know. The Samsung has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and the ASUS, with 144Hz.




For everything I've read on the ASUS, the 144Hz isn't really noticeably better than 120Hz - so if you were going to use this as the selling point, you might want to hold on. Even if 144Hz was something that was noticeable, you would require the fRAMe rate to notice it - thus, you'd need to be pushing 144 fRAMes per second in order to justify the 144Hz monitor.


I don't think you'll see this, and I don't recommend the ASUS over the Samsung.


Samsung's S27A950D - which is the monitor I'm looking at while I reply to your question - is an excellent monitor. One of the more standout features over ASUS' VG278HE, is that the S27A950D has DisplayPort. Your video card has a DP connector, so this is something that is useful to you.


Sure, there's no difference to you whether you use dual-link DVI or DisplayPort, but it's there, just in case. You might want to upgrade and buy a second, or third 120Hz-capable monitor, and you'll need DisplayPort for that.


As for your breakdown in questions:


1.) If you are after picture and color quality, you might want to look at IPS-based panels, Samsung make a few and so do Dell.


2.) You'll need to use the dual-link DVI connector, or if you go for the S27A950D, you could use DisplayPort.


3.) This depends on the content you're playing - movies and TV are filmed and played back at 24 FPS, but games - if you're able to reach 120 FPS - will look absolutely amazing (in terms of fluidity) compared to 60Hz.


4.) I wouldn't bother with 3D gaming if you're not going to jump right into it. In my opinion, NVIDIA's 3D Vision is a superior technology because of the active shutter glasses - but this would require you to buy a 3D Vision-capable monitor, as well as a new NVIDIA GPU.

Should I go CrossFire HD 6870's, or purchase a HD 7790?

Question asked by Tony from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 16, 2013 5:09 am

I want to improve my gaming performance although I have very empty pockets, I currently have a Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 1GB Super Overclocked now. I have enough money to buy a Gigabyte Radeon HD7790 2GB Overclocked, but I'm hesitating because I can also buy another Radeon HD6870 1GB. I'm not sure whether the CrossFired cards would be much better although I'm having trouble finding another HD 6870 but i can find a HD 6850 (can the two diff cards be used in CrossFire?)


So help me, should I CrossFire the two cards for now to increase performance, or upgrade to the HD 7790. Although, I don't think it will improve my PC... I have a 750W power suppy and a CrossFire-enabled motherboard.


Also if you can help - where can I buy a Radeon HD6870 1GB Super Overclocked - LOL LOOKED EVERYWHERE!

Hi Tony,


The video card you've already got would do a good job keeping up with the HD 7790, so upgrading to the new card won't do much for performance. You could go two ways here - upgrade to the HD 7790, and sell your card - trying to secure as much money as you can to put toward another HD 7790 and CrossFire those GPUs together.




Alternatively, hunt the Internet for a second GPU identical to yours and CrossFire it with your current card. You've asked where to find one, so I'd suggest the Overclockers Australia forums. They have a Shop & Swap section, where you could either sell your GPU - or put up a Wanted to Buy ad for another GPU identical to yours.


If that fails, then reconsider your options again and maybe sell your card to raise some funds, and spend the $50-$100 you'd get for your GPU and put it toward a HD 7870 or HD 7950.

I want to get a new GPU for my system but want to make sure there's no CPU bottleneck

Question asked by Ahmad from Malaysia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 13, 2013 1:02 am

Here's my spec:

  • MB: MSI 7636 H55M E33 Chipset AMI BIOS v10
  • PSU: Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 500W
  • CPU: i3 530
  • RAM: 2 X KVR1333D3N9/4G (8GB)
  • HDD: 1 X ST3320418AS Seagate Barracuda 320GB and 1 X WD 500GB
  • GPU: ASUS GT 440 1GB DDR5
  • OS: Win7 64bit ultimate
  • DISPLAY: 32" Sony Bravia EX65 1080p


Im thinking of upgrading my GPU to 7850, will it be any problem especially on CPU bottleneck, the PSU (since Cooler Master Power calculator tells me i need 550w ones). What do you guys recommend?

Hi Ahmad,


If you were thinking of upgrading to the Radeon HD 7850, that's a great move - it's a great GPU for the price. Have you also looked at the Radeon HD 7770? You might want to take a look before you dive in. Not only the HD 7770, but the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, too.




As for the CPU bottleneck, your Core i3 processor should be fine. You've got 8GB of RAM sitting there, too. I would say that your current Cooler Master 500W PSU is enough, as these mid-range GPUs do not consume that much power. I think you'll be fine, don't worry about upgrading your PSU just yet.


Of course, an i5 or i7 processor would help - but you should be okay for now. I would pencil in a CPU upgrade for the future, though.

Should I go for Radeon HD 7950's in CrossFire, or a single HD 7970 on my Samsung S27A950D 120Hz monitor?

Question asked by Daksh from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 11, 2013 2:25 am

Looking for new graphics card setup everything else is up to date with latest hardware.


I am confused between 1x AMD Radeon HD 7970 or 2 x HD 7850's, I'm using the Samsung S27A950D 120Hz-capable monitor. What is your preference?

Hi Daksh,


You could not have asked a better question, as I have pretty much the identical setup right here, on the PC I'm replying to your question on. I run the same Samsung S27A950D monitor, and maintaining 120 FPS in the latest games is hard on any system.




A single Radeon HD 7970 will be ok, but you won't be pushing 120 FPS in games like Battlefield 3 or Crysis 3. I would definitely, without a doubt, recommend the CrossFire HD 7950 solution. I take it your motherboard is CrossFire compatible, and your power supply has enough juice to run the two GPUs.


You won't be sorry with that setup, and you should push very close, if not over 120 FPS in most games. Crysis 3 is hard on systems, but if you scale the graphics down a little (no anti-aliasing, etc) then you should be fine. Enjoy!

I'm looking at buying an SSD, what would you recommend?

Question asked by Riyaad from South Africa | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Storage Content | Posted: Apr 10, 2013 5:55 am

Hi guys, I am ready to purchase an SSD! I'm looking at 256gb as the capacity, what would you recommend?


I am running:

  • Core i7 950 @ stock
  • MSI X58-Pro motherboard
  • 3gb DDR3 1333mhz ram
  • MSI's GeForce GTX 680 Lightning Edition

Hi Riyaad,


I'm a huge fan of Corsair SSDs, running a bunch of them across multiple machines. They are damn fast drives, and they don't cost an arm and a leg also. Backed up by this we have some impressive drives from Samsung and OCZ, too.




Newegg sell these awesome SSDs at the 240GB size for $219.99. This is not bad considering you get up to 550MB/sec reads and up to 470MB/sec writes. They are simply amazing value for money.


Alternatively, you can take a look OCZ's Vector 4 in 256GB, which sells for $269.99. This has read speeds of up to 550MB/sec and write speeds of up to 530MB/sec. It's a little under 20% more, but this gives you some options between some of the top SSDs on the market right now.

I want to upgrade my system, and run all games at 1080p at a minimum of 45fps - what do you suggest?

Question asked by Duarte from Portugal | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 2, 2013 3:33 am

I would like to upgrade my system, I have an MSI N670 PE/OC and an Intel Core i7 2600k OC to 4.6ghz. I want to run all recent games at 1080p with all graphics settings set to maximum (for example Crysis 3).


Also I don't want anything below 45 fps. Should i get another GTX 670? Or sell this one and buy lets say two AMD Radeon HD 7970s (more vram)?


I would appreciate your opinion, thanks.

Hi Duarte,


For your system to be capable of running games maxed out at 1080p and at a minimum of 45fps, you shouldn't need to do too much. I would suggest one very fast GPU instead of SLI for 1080p, so maybe you could go towards a GeForce GTX Titan, or an AMD Radeon HD 7970 GPU.




Either of these would max out every game out on the market at 1080p @ 45fps, without an issue. SLI and CrossFire would push out your power consumption (something like ~600-650W+ is what I'd recommend) and then your motherboard would need to be SLI- or CrossFire-capable.


I'd suggest the GTX Titan, or HD 7970, which will set you back just as much as a pair of HD 7970s.

What is the best brand to buy if I wanted a GeForce GTX 660 or 660 Ti?

Question asked by Simon from Croatia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 27, 2013 3:09 am

What is the best brand to buy for a GeForce GTX 660 or 660 Ti? ASUS, Gigabyte or MSI?



Hi Simon,


This is a bit hard, because NVIDIA just released their GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost GPU. This will force NVIDIA's partners into pushing out new GPUs in the coming weeks and months. This will also hopefully drive the price down of the GTX 660 and 660 Ti.




If you still wanted to buy a GTX 660 or 660 Ti, then out of those companies I would probably take a closer look at MSI's Geforce GTX 660 Ti Power Edition. It comes with a Core clock of 1019MHz, and 2GB of RAM and a very nice dual-fan cooler.


MSI make some great products, but I would really wait a couple of weeks and let the dust settle on the GTX 650 Ti Boost GPUs.

Which PSU should I buy for my SFF PC build?

Question asked by Peter from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Mar 22, 2013 2:36 am

I am building a SFF general purpose PC and want to know how large a PSU I need. I want a modular unit to minimize cable clutter.


The components are:

  • Coolermaster Elite 120
  • Asrock FM2A85-ITX mobo
  • A10-5800 CPU
  • Gigabyte 7770 1GB OC GPU
  • Probably 120-240GB SSD (Don't need larger drive, I store on my NAS)
  • 4-8GB RAM (1333 or 1600)
  • Blue Ray drive

Hi Peter,


You don't need huge amounts of power for that system, but what I would recommend is getting something that both acts as a future-proof PSU, and a quality PSU. I don't like recommending cheaper PSUs as I've seen so many people over the years lose parts of their PC to a PSU going rogue.




We've just opened up our new Tweakipedia section of TweakTown, where we've built a BitFenix Prodigy using a modular PSU, with the Prodigy being a SFF case - so this is a perfect example. I'd recommend Corsair's AX760 PSU, which you can get from AU retailer Scorpion Technology for $269.


This might sound expensive, but you could use this as your PSU for years to come. Even in a high-end ATX build, 760W of power is more than enough even for the fastest, power-hungry GPU out there.


Corsair's AX760 is fully modular, and quiet - something very important for a SFF build.


Edit: Another PSU I will recommend is Corsair's CX430M PSU, which Scorptech sell for just $79. This has more than enough power for that system, but I would not recommend using this in another system that is more powerful.

I want to get a GPU capable of CrossFire in the future, should I get the Sapphire HD 7870 XT, or the HD 7950 Vapor-X?

Question asked by Gaelan from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 4:06 am

I'm buying a new system and trying to choose a single GPU for now and upgrade to crossfire later. Between the Sapphire Radeon HD7870 XT Edition, Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X 3GB or a card for a similar price which would you say is the best one.


I know the HD 7970 is better but I don't know if its really worth the extra money. Thanks.

Hi Gaelan,


I think the most important thing to take away from your question is the fact you're considering CrossFire, this definitely changes the way I'd answer the question. Because you're already thinking of CrossFire, you're obviously somewhat of a power user, heavy gamer or enthusiast. This makes things easier.




If you weren't going CrossFire, the single HD 7950 would be fine - but because you are going CrossFire, this opens you up to two paths. Getting a single HD 7850 from Sapphire now, and then throwing another one in for some CrossFire action in the future, or you could go even higher end and slap down the notes for that HD 7950 Vapor-X.


This way, you're opening up your multi-GPU path, so that you could have HD 7950's in CrossFire in the future. This would give you plenty of GPU to play virtually all games maxed out, no matter what game - Battlefield 3, Crysis 3, etc - at 1080p at a constant 60fps.


I wouldn't really bother with the HD 7970, sure it's a faster GPU - but the HD 7950 Vapor-X from Sapphire is a kick-ass card on its own. The extra money upgrading to the HD 7970 is better of saved toward CrossFiring your card later down the track.

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