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I have $450 to spend on my PC, should I spend it all on a GPU or split it with a GPU and SSD?

Question by Nate from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 @ 17:22 CDT

I am an avid PC gamer. I have approximately $450 to do an immediate upgrade. I currently have an old 8600gts and a standard 512GB 7200RPM HDD. I try, as much as my current card will let me, to game at 1920x1080. Should I go all out on the video card and get a nice GTX 670? Or should I split the cash up and get a GTX 660 Ti and a 240GB SSD (since there are outrageous deals just about every day on SSDs)?

Hi Nate,

That's actually a great question, with a simple answer - do the GPU and SSD. A GPU will only give you so much more performance in games, and going from a GeForce 8600 GTS to even a GeForce GTX 660 Ti will gain you some serious performance improvements in every single game you play.


An SSD, will improve every single application on your computer from Windows, to your web browser, to your game load times. I would definitely suggest grabbing the mid-range GPU and a 240GB SSD.

Once you use an SSD, you'll never want to go back to a mechanical HDD for Windows/Games.

I want to replace my GeForce GTX 480 with something faster - suggestions?

Question by Russell from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Oct 10, 2012 @ 22:58 CDT

I have a KFA GTX 480 Anarchy GPU. This card is faster than the reference 480 cards. My motherboard is a Sabertooth X58. My psu is a Corsair HX750

I would like to know what would be a good replacement GPU that will allow me to either get better results from 1 or 2 cards. I can't afford 2 GPUs straight off so my budget would be around £350 tops.

Hi Russell,

I would suggest starting off with upgrading to the GeForce GTX 670, as this should give you quite a great leap in performance. The GTX 680 is of course better, but the performance increase is not worth the added costs. Especially considering you'd like to go SLI in the future.


I checked for some local pricing since you're based in the UK, and you'd be looking at around £300 - £350 for a good GTX 670. This would give you a jump in performance, and then throwing another one in for some SLI action would give you an even bigger boost. Even sticking with the single GTX 670 is going to give you a nice performance increase.

On top of the increased performance, you'll notice it is much quieter, and cooler than the original GTX 480 GPUs, too.

Which GPU should I get? An AMD Radeon HD 7770, HD6850 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 for FPS gaming?

Question by Rudolf from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Oct 9, 2012 @ 19:03 CDT

I'm a new person to the world of gaming, and I wanted to buy a pc because i wanna play games like SC2, BF3, Skyrim, Fallout, maybe COD, and another bunch of games. I know which processor and components to choose, question is which Graphics card shall i choose? I was looking maybe for a HD7770 or a HD6850 or a GTX650. Also i wanna know which model (brand)?

Hi Rudolf,

If you're after the best mid-range GPU to play those types of games, such as Call of Duty, Battlefield 3, Skyrim and more, then you might want to lean toward AMD's Radeon HD 7770.


In games such as Battlefield 3, the HD 7770 definitely has the edge, by around 15-20% over the GTX 650 from NVIDIA. But it doesn't make the HD 7770 the clear winner at all. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 650 is still a great mid-range card.

AMD's HD 7770 will be around 5-10% faster on average compared to the GTX 650, so either GPU will be a good choice. I would lean toward the HD 7770. As for the brand, Sapphire have a great Vapor-X OC Edition out that we gave 95% in our review.

Will my 650W PSU be enough to power my system if I purchase a Radeon HD 7870?

Question by Kevin from Zaire | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 18, 2012 @ 22:50 CDT

I want to know if my 650W power supply will hold up?

I've got the following:

  • Core i5 3570
  • Cougar 650W CM PSU
  • 8GB DDR2 1333
  • 3 HDD's and a CD Rom
  • A PCI Wifi card
  • Cooler Master Gemini II S524

I want to buy a GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD as it is on special, but want to know if my little 650W power supply will be able to handle all of this.

Hi Kevin,

Will your Cougar 650W power supply hold up if you were to add a Radeon HD 7870? Yes, most definitely. Most people think that because their system has a 650W power supply, that you would use close to that with a video card installed - but in the real world, most systems don't even get close.


What that type of system, in a stressful game such as Battlefield 3, I'd be surprised to see you pushing past 200-250W of actual power consumption. You could even stretch out to the HD 7950 or 7970 and still find you'll have enough juice left to spare. The new 28nm-based GPUs are incredibly power efficient, as are the new CPUs that have arrived over the last 6-18 months.

Your 650W PSU will hold up, for sure - now go out and get the HD 7870!

I want to buy a new monitor for gaming and photo editing, should I get a 1920x1080 @ 120Hz screen, or 2560x1440 @ 60Hz screen

Question by Michael from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Posted: Sep 19, 2012 @ 2:25 CDT

I would be buying a new monitor.

Which would you recommend better?

An 1920x1080 120hz 2ms or 2560x1440 60hz 6ms?

For gaming and photo editing.

Hi Michael,

A 1920x1080 @ 120Hz screen is great for gaming, but they're all based on TN panels which aren't really known for their great image quality when it comes to users who want to do anything involving photo or video editing. For gaming, they're some of the best screens out there because of their doubled refresh rate, especially when you're reaching 120 frames per second in games.


I personally run 120Hz screens at home, and I would never go back to 60Hz screens for games - they're that good. But, and this is a very big but, 2560x1440 @ 60Hz screens have their place in the market, too. For image- and video-related work, they're second to none. Especially with photos, as you're working with color and want to see the color on screen, as close to the color as you took, in person, so that you're working with the best possible quality.

Dell's new AH-IPS panels, the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM are probably the best to go for, if you haven't checked them out I suggest you do. They're not too badly priced, either.

Should I upgrade my GeForce GTX 460 SLI setup to a single, faster GPU on my 1080p setup?

Question by Woody from Israel | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Sep 17, 2012 @ 21:18 CDT

Should I upgrade my GTX 460 SLI (1GB each) cards to a newer gen card?

I overclock both cards constantly to 100MHz higher than stock to gain a bit more performance in newer games. I'd obviously like better performance! But I haven't seen any benching of my cards versus newer ones. That's to be expected, and I can compare to 560s or something anyway. But I don't have a definite idea of what's best to choose.

I run a 1080p monitor, and have an i7 920 @ 2.67GHz.

Any help would be great!

Hi Woody,

The GeForce GTX 460 SLI setup that you currently run is definitely ample enough for today's games, but there are also benefits of upgrading, too. Let's say you were to grab yourself a new GEFORCE GTX 670, this would give you a reduced power consumption compared to your SLI setup.


Secondly, it would give better performance as the single GPU can go right up to 100% usage, compared to some games, where you might see maybe 75-80% usage per GPU, not maximizing your setup. Thirdly, you would drop any current issues you experience with SLI, as there are some issues, with some games with multi-GPU use.

For pure performance, you're looking at an improvement, that's for sure. Two GTX 460s are equal to around a single GeForce GTX 480, and a GEFORCE GTX 670 is around ~30-40% faster than the single GTX 480, all while using less power, and producing less heat and noise. I say go for it. It'll also give you the chance to upgrade to GTX 670 SLI in the near future, too.

Which RAM will give better performance with Z77 board, 2 x 8GB or 4 x 4GB?

Question by Carlos from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | RAM | Posted: Sep 11, 2012 @ 1:49 CDT

Which RAM configuration will give better performance in a Intel Z77 Board. 2 x 8GB, or 4 x 4GB?

Hi Carlos,

Both options are fine, you'll notice no performance difference between either option. I will suggest going for 2 x 8GB sticks of RAM, which is the more expensive option. This will allow you to upgrade in the future to 32GB, if that's something you're after.


Performance-wise, you will not see any differences. If you were to end up moving to a quad-channel-based system in the future, all you'd need to go is get another 2 x 8GB sticks and you're ready for quad-channel.

I have an Intel Core 2 Duo e8400 CPU with Radeon HD 6770s in CrossFire, should I upgrade my CPU or GPU?

Question by Aaron from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Sep 6, 2012 @ 1:22 CDT

I currently have a core 2 e8400 and 6770's in xfire. I want to update to be able to play battlefield 3 smoothly. with limited funds to upgrade should I hold off and upgrade to ivy bridge or swap my xfire setup for a GTX 670?


Hi Aaron,

Battlefield 3 is quite demanding, and is one of only a handful of games that truly uses your CPU and benefits from a faster CPU, or more threaded CPU. Your CPU is definitely your limitation, firstly, it's an ageing Core 2 Duo, secondly, it's only a dual-core chip.


Your GPU setup is more than good enough to run Battlefield 3 at medium-to-high settings at 1920x1080, so I would suggest waiting and upgrading to an Ivy Bridge setup. You could get a decent Core i5, 4-8GB RAM and CrossFire-capable motherboard for only a little more than what a GEFORCE GTX 670 would set you back.

Should I buy a gaming notebook, or desktop to plug up to my Full HD projector setup?

Question by Parichya Gautam from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Sep 4, 2012 @ 0:33 CDT

I just have a little query here , supposing i had the option to buy either an Alienware M17x R4 (NVIDIA GT 680), or make my own desktop with similar GPU, which option will be more beneficial ( keeping the electricity consumption in mind ) ? and, assuming that i use the Laptop as a CPU only (using external FullHD projectors, audio systems etc ) .

Hi Parichya,

Gaming notebooks have their place in the market, and I would recommend the Alienware option if you were a gamer who moved around. If you were going to LAN parties, or friends' houses to LAN, then the Alienware notebook would be the way to go, but for you, I would recommend the desktop.


Power-wise, it will use a little bit more, but if you purchased power-efficient hardware, it shouldn't be too bad. You could get yourself a great Core i7 system, with a GEFORCE GTX 680, and have a much, much faster system, all while costing less!

Considering the system you're using is being used as a standalone box, with projectors and audio systems plugged into it, a notebook seems really out of place. A desktop on the other hand, would feel perfect, drop it down somewhere, plug it in and go!

Should I upgrade my GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI setup to a new GTX 670 or GTX 680?

Question by Duarte from Czech Republic | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards | Posted: Aug 31, 2012 @ 0:33 CDT

Is it worth to upgrade from a gtx msi 560ti oc SLI system to a new gtx 670/680?

Hi Duarte,

Good question, with a simple answer: no. Your GeForce GTX 560 Ti setup is still quite good right now, and would be close to the performance of a GEFORCE GTX 670 or 680 on their own. If you're after more grunt, I'd wait for next-gen GPUs, or look at upgrading your monitor setup.


Say you're running a 1920x1080 resolution, your GTX 560 Ti SLI setup is fine for virtually all games out right now. Your SLI setup would only need to see an upgrade as your resolution goes up. Your VRAM would be used up, and then you'd have a reason to upgrade your GPUs. I would suggest investing the money from a GPU upgrade into two more screens, giving you a Surround Vision setup.

Your GTX 560 Ti SLI setup would still be more than powerful enough to run the three screens, and as time goes by, upgrade to a couple of 670 or 680's when they get cheaper.