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


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


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.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/4/141_09_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.jpg

 

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.

Will an AMD Radeon HD 7970 work on the ASUS M5A97 motherboard?

Question asked by Lewis from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 20, 2013 5:28 am

Is the AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card compatible with the ASUS M5A97 motherboard?


Hi Lewis,

 

This is actually a question close to something we've answered previously, I had to double check that I wasn't answering this question twice. But, yes - your ASUS M5A97 is definitely more than capable of taking an AMD Radeon HD 7970 GPU.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/4/140_05_will_an_amd_radeon_hd_7970_work_on_the_asus_m5a97_motherboard.jpg

 

You can even CrossFire the HD 7970 if you wanted to, but a single HD 7970 is actually more than capable for most games out right now, even games like Battlefield 3 or Crysis 3.

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.

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