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I'm after some new GPUs for my 2560x1440 gaming, help!

Question asked by Clint from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 6, 2013 5:19 am

I currently have an i7 920 @ stock and tri-sli GTX-280's. What would help out gaming@2560x1440 the most from these options: get a good closed loop water cooler and OC the CPU to ~4GHZ and a single hd7970/gtx-680 or save the money from the water cooler leaving cpu @ stock, 2x hd7950's / 2x gtx-670's. My budget is around $650 and time frame for upgrading is going to be in April.

Hi Clint,


Definitely overclock your CPU, but whatever you do, do it on air and save all of the cash for some GPUs. Your biggest bottleneck is going to be the GPUs and the higher the resolution, the more GPU grunt you're going to require.




I would go down the route of some CrossFire AMD Radeon HD 7950s myself, after using them for some testing, they're incredible pieces of hardware for the money. You could check out something like Sapphire's VAPOR-X HD 7950 3GB OC with Boost. Two of these in CrossFire would be insane, and would give you 60fps minimum in any game out right now.


The other thing to remember is, you're only on a 60Hz screen. Any frames above 60fps are wasted, so ideally, you want to be maxing out at 60fps. Two Radeon HD 7950s would allow you to reach this with all eye candy cranked to maximum, anti-aliasing (AA) included.


Alternatively, you could push for the HD 7970, or overclock the 7950 itself and get yourself a Corsair H100 cooler, too. Newegg sell the Corsair H100 for $99. Then you could overclock your CPU, which would become the new bottleneck with the new GPU setup.

I'd like to know about the advantages of 120Hz monitors

Question asked by Bryan from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors Content | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 5:09 am

Hello. :D


First this my Gaming PC:

  • Intel core i5 3570K
  • Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Z77
  • Corsair H80
  • 7870 or GTX 660 (coming soon on 2 weeks)
  • Samsung MV3V-4G3D/US DDR3 2x4GB 1600MHz
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
  • Cooler Master 690 II Advanced


I have a question about is necessary use 120Hz (1920x1080) monitors for more smooth movements and better peformance for gaming over 60 FPS without activate V-Sync.


And so if using their monitors improve on Full-HD movies. (all formats)


I seen on many forums but don't sure about buy a 120Hz monitor or 60Hz monitor and 60GB SSD.


PD: Not interested in using 3D, just a Full-HD monitor with more frequency than 60Hz.

Hi Bryan,


You'll be glad to hear that we'll be featuring many articles on 120Hz monitors here at TweakTown in the near future, as that is what I personally use at home. I have four of the bad boys on my desks, and it's very hard for me to use anything but 120Hz monitors now.




Fluidity in games is very important, especially for first-person shooters, but the biggest issue is achieving 120 frames per second to enjoy that smoothness. Sure, a 120Hz monitor is smoother by default than a 60Hz monitor, but you get absolute perfection - as close to a CRT as you can get - by getting a minimum of 120fps on a 120Hz-capable monitor.


Enabling V-Sync on a 60Hz monitor helps, but it doesn't even begin to come close to the fluidity of a true 120Hz monitor. I would definitely recommend getting a 120Hz monitor, but the GPU you have chosen won't be capable of pumping out 120fps at 1080p in most games like Battlefield 3, for example.


I personally run a Core i7 and a Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC, and if I overclock it and reduce my details down a bit in Battlefield 3, I can reach 100-120fps average. An HD 7850 or GTX 660 will require you to drop the resolution down to something like 1280x720, but you would hit 120fps pretty easily.


That's the problem with 120Hz monitors, they'll always have you buying new GPUs to keep up with game releases!

What's the best GPU for gaming at 1366x768?

Question asked by Rumy from Bangladesh | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 4, 2013 3:26 am

Suggest me the best GPU for 1366x768 gaming.

Hi Rumy,


For gaming at 1366x768, I would suggest something like Sapphire's Radeon HD 7850 GPU. These bad boys can be acquired for less than $200, with NewEgg selling them for $169. The 1GB of on-board RAM will be enough to crank most games up to medium or even high detail at 1366x768.




So while you won't be gaming at Full HD resolutions, you'll be able to enjoy some high detail in your games with the GPU's extra unused bandwidth.

Is there much difference in performance between high-end motherboards?

Question asked by Toni from Denmark | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Jan 27, 2013 4:39 am

How much difference is between high-end motherboards in performance? lets say asus sabertooth z77, Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X. i want to overclock them but i dont know which to buy.

Hi Toni,


This will probably get me a bunch of comments saying I'm wrong - but at the end of the day, the performance difference between high-end motherboards is not that great. I'm talking strictly performance here, not features - but pure, raw numbers.




Sure, there'll be a few percentage points between motherboards on benchmarks, but it's not like motherboard A versus motherboard B is a 30% difference in performance. You're looking at BIOS differences, PCIe slots, overclocking headroom, 3- or 4-way GPU support, board quality (transistors, cooling, etc) and then finally, SATA controller/s, etc.


So there are differences between high-end motherboards, but performance you'll find will be in the same 5-10% range of any board in its class. Anything from ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and others will give you some seriously great performance.

I want to get some new RAM for my computer but want to make sure its compatible first!

Question asked by Oded from Israel | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | RAM Content | Posted: Jan 26, 2013 5:05 am

Hi, i want to buy a new 2x4GB RAM kit to my computer. I have a GA-EP45T-UD3LR mobo and wanted to know if when choosing the memory i gotta stick to the supported chipset of each company and model.


For example, i really wanna get some G.skill set of memories but the product details says that the supported mobo chipsets are P67/Z68/P55/AMD7xx.....


Will i be able use it on my mobo? If so, then will it run at max speed supported by my mobo?

is there any risk or other issues that might pop up?



Hi Oded,


Most RAM manufacturers won't state that their memory will be compatible with all boards, but at the end of the day it's still just RAM. By using that rule, if your board takes DDR3, then any DDR3 from any company, will work. As long as it's around the same speed (anything faster will run its clocks lower to work), and the same pin count (200-pin, 240-pin, etc).




You can buy any of the G.Skill kits, as long as it's the same DDR type as your motherboard. Your Gigabyte EP45T-UD3LR takes DDR3 memory, so you'll be fine. Get any of their dual-channel DDR3 kits and away you go!

Should I get Corsair's H110, or the H100i for my NZXT Phantom 410?

Question asked by Severus from Romania | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Jan 25, 2013 3:58 am

Hello again Tweakers,


I'm going to get some watercooling for my rig and wanted to know if the new Corsair H110 will fit in my NZXT Phantom 410 without additional hole modifications (like the Kraken X60), or if I should just go with the H100i which I know fits.


Thank you

Hi Severus,


The NZXT Phantom 410 should be able to house Corsair's H100 cooler, but it would be up to you if you want to go for the newer H100i. From what I've read in preparation for this question, Corsair's H100 will fit into the NZXT Phantom 410.




For peace of mind, I would go for the Corsair H100i, as you said - you know it works. That way you won't be worried when installing it. Let us know how you go! Definitely comment back here when you finish the build and let us know how you went!


Edit: I read the question wrong, and presumed you wrote "H100". The H110 is a 280mm unit, so by the looks of the Phantom 410, it will not fit. The H100i, however, will fit - so my recommendation is the same - go for the H100i!

I have an EVGA GeForce GTX 680 and a Silverstone 450W PSU - is this enough?

Question asked by John from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Jan 24, 2013 2:41 am

I have a EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB w/Backplate GPU card. Do you think a SILVERSTONE ST45SF-G 450W SFX12V PSU is enough to power up for a M-ITX setup? Because I have a SILVERSTONE FT-03 MINI case which only fits a SFX 12V PSU.

Hi John,


Normally I'd be fearful of recommending a 450W PSU for a video card like that, but from EVGA's own website, the maximum power draw of that GPU is 195W. If you don't overclock the EVGA GeForce GTX 680, then the rest of your system - let's say it's a Core i7, 8-16GB of RAM, SSD and a few days - should be fine.




The actual power draw is always different to what people think, and companies like EVGA will state that the requirements are a 'minimum of 550 Watt power supply', but that is usually an older PSU, or a non-brand name PSU. Silverstone make some great power supplies, so you should be fine.

My computer shuts off whenever I try to play a game, what could be going wrong?

Question asked by Cory from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Jan 23, 2013 5:22 am

My computer shuts off completely when i try to play a game, it lets me play for a few then shuts off. Also, I have checked all the hardware and put fresh gel on the heat sink and in the video card, and it is still doing it. What else could it be?

Hi Cory,


This is a hard one, as it could really be anything. Our previous question was very similar to this, so I'll give you similar advice. Step-by-step elimination. You say it only happens when gaming - does it happen in every single game? Have you tried re-installing Windows? Defragging your hard drive?




I would try disconnecting all of your external devices - speakers, ethernet cable (or turn Wi-Fi off), external storage, etc. Go down to just bare monitor, keyboard and mouse cables being plugged in. From there, test out a game in single player and see if it crashes - if it doesn't - reconnect things one by one.


I would also suggest getting some temperature monitoring programs like MSI's Afterburner and Real Temp or Core Temp for your CPU.

My HP desktop is having issues, is there something you can do to help?

Question asked by Jeff from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Jan 22, 2013 4:00 am

I have a HP Pavilion desktop that I purchased in late 2009. All of a sudden it has started shutting down. I have rebooted, I have cleaned out all the dust, Windows 7 has been rebooted with a disc. I carried to a computer technician who kept it for a week and it ran fine with him. No shut downs! I brought the computer back home and it started shutting down all over again. Windows will come up and a few seconds later it will say "logging off" and "shutting down". I have done everything I can think of. It ran fine with computer tech. it stayed on the whole time with hiim. What's wrong?

Hi Jeff,


I hate these problems, I really do. I worked at a computer retailer for nearly ten years, and we had plenty of these cases. I always found that most of them were something at home with the user, and it is usually network- or power-related.




The best advice I can give is trying multiple things, even if they sound ridiculous. Here's a list:

  • Connect only the keyboard, mouse and monitor - disconnect everything else (speakers, USB devices, etc).
  • Completely disconnect from the Internet, through Wi-Fi or ethernet.
  • If you're connected through an ethernet cable - change this cable.
  • If you're connected through an ethernet cable - disconnect the cable completely.
  • Try a different power board, or plug it directly into the wall.


The system must be okay if the computer technician had it working, where at home it's not working. Try turn off all other computers in the house, desktops or notebooks. Turn off all Wi-Fi devices, tablets, consoles, smartphones, baby monitors, etc. Eliminate everything so your PC is the only thing on and connected to the network and go from there - eliminating options as you go.


It could be a conflict on the network, a virus, malware - something hitting your computer from another computer. The best advice is just going back to basics - disconnect everything and get it to work, then one-by-one start connecting everything and see what is causing the fault.


I hope you get this sorted!

I currently have an AMD Radeon HD 5870 and want to upgrade, help!

Question asked by Jim from Cambodia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Jan 20, 2013 4:52 am

I've recently upgraded the majority of the components in my rig, i7-3930k, SSD's, etc., but have held off upgrading the GPU. Currently I have an ASUS HD5870, and while it runs most games pretty decently, would like to explore high end single GPU options for gaming. I've looked at the Radeon HD7970 GHz, GTX 680, GTX 670 and Radeon HD7970. Help please!

Hi Jim,


If you're wanting to upgrade your system and continue to go down the single GPU path, then I would suggest two of the four GPUs you've got listed there. The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. Both of those GPUs are the best-in-class for their respective single GPU categories.




I've been a huge NVIDIA fan for years, usually preferring them to AMD just for their compatibility with 120Hz screens. But, I've been so pleasantly surprised with the HD 7950 that I run now. I would suggest getting a decent brand such as MSI or ASUS with their aftermarket coolers, and get whichever one you want.


I leave this open as both choices are going to give you a huge increase in performance, and an even bigger smile on your face. You have the MSI R7970 Lightning Radeon HD 7970 with Newegg for $489.99 or the MSI N680GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 680 for $10 more at $499.99.