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Hardware  » Video upgrade from GTX 260, suggestions?

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45 posts found
  fiontar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3713

 
OP  2/23/12 4:44:46 AM#1

Hi guys. I'm looking to upgrade my GTX 260 on my current rig, looking for "best bang for the buck" in the $180 to $280 price range.

My system specs:

Win 7 Pro

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8 Ghz, OC rock solid at 4.03 Ghz

8GB Corsair XMS3 DDR1600 ram (2x4)

Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply

I know the price range is a bit broad, so suggestions at both ends of the range and thought on how much more performance I might expect for the extra $100 would be very much appreciated. :)

Also would be curious if any new products worth waiting for in the price range are expected in the next coule months. I could put off the upgrade for another month or two with out issue.

Thanks in advance.

 

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  youngkg

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/08
Posts: 364

2/23/12 4:50:40 AM#2

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

 

Asus has the best model but Gigabyte or msi would be great chioces too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127575&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Video%20Cards-_-MSI-_-14127575&AID=10446076&PID=3793426&SID=skim1307X517919Xc684ddd80bf6988a5298c7ba4db717d8

 

You can OC that to pretty much match the 6970 version, Though the 570 is a better card its just a bit over the price range you listed.

 

Edit:: 560 ti isnt a bad choice either but imo the 2g 6950 is the way 2 go.

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GeForce-Mini-HDMI-Graphics-GV-N560OC-1GI/dp/B004KM49WO/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1329991100&sr=1-5

  ZombieKen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

2/23/12 4:54:43 AM#3

This GTX 560 is highly rated and in the middle of your budget.

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  Mako89

Novice Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 23

2/23/12 5:06:35 AM#4

If I would be you I would go for AMD HD 7770 Crossifre. Why? Becouse a pair of 7770 in crossfire scale verry well + both of em are gonna cost you like 300$. This is not a refresh(like the 5770-6770) it really is a completely new GPU based of the same technology that powers the R7900 series.

Check out the review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UudXJEoijC8&feature=plcp&context=C3ff61aaUDOEgsToPDskIs-iKQ1XxKpjkanzOVHdyG

 

Or just w8 till March for the 7800 series to come out

  bigdummy760

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/11
Posts: 5

2/23/12 5:13:18 AM#5

The above have made valid suggestions but honestly, spend a few minutes and call EVGA sales, give them your info and see what they suggest you can run, they have tech specs for everything almost and will tell you what will run best from the NVIDIA line and why or why not.  The you can take the info and cross-search it for the same if you are set on the ATI/Radeon side.

Personally I wont wander from EVGA because I have never had an issue with them that they wouldnt help me with except for the time I had to purchase a small nuclear reactor to run my 9600GSO's sli'ed.

Good luck in your search.

  Kanubis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 112

2/23/12 5:17:25 AM#6

I'm in exactly the same postion (very similar specs to the rest of your machine as well!)

I've got to say though, that even though it's now showing its age, the GTX260 has lasted really, really well.

  youngkg

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/08
Posts: 364

2/23/12 5:23:01 AM#7
Originally posted by Mako89

If I would be you I would go for AMD HD 7770 Crossifre. Why? Becouse a pair of 7770 in crossfire scale verry well + both of em are gonna cost you like 300$. This is not a refresh(like the 5770-6770) it really is a completely new GPU based of the same technology that powers the R7900 series.

Check out the review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UudXJEoijC8&feature=plcp&context=C3ff61aaUDOEgsToPDskIs-iKQ1XxKpjkanzOVHdyG

 

Or just w8 till March for the 7800 series to come out

Probably a good idea...tbh upgrading right now is a bad idea with ATI pushing out there 7x series in the coming months, you should card shop then since there's gonna be a ton of price cuts and most likely a new Mid/High end standard.

 

as for crossfireing the 7770, why not just buy the 7950 and not worry about crossfire.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13828

2/23/12 11:25:45 AM#8

Let's start with some good news:  while your power supply is somewhat dated by now, it can still handle whatever you might plausibly throw at it.  Your processor is fast enough to not immediately bottleneck a stronger video card.  You've got plenty of memory.  You don't mention a case, and I do like to ask about cases due to potential airflow problems, but considering your other parts, I'd be very surprised if you went with a cheap junk case.  Indeed, from the ages of other parts, it looks like you pulled a GTX 260 out of an old rig when upgrading some other stuff.  So you're in a situation where upgrading just a video card and nothing else makes sense, unlike some people who come in with a prebuilt, low end piece of junk and have ideas about putting a higher end video card in it.

If you want to know how your video card compares to more modern ones, its performance level is about the same as a Radeon HD 6770, GeForce GTX 550 Ti, or Radeon HD 7750.  I'd normally recommend that if you're going to replace an old video card, you probably want to at least double the performance level.  Otherwise, the upgrade kind of lacks a point.

Doubling the performance level puts you roughly in GeForce GTX 560 Ti or Radeon HD 6950 territory.  As compared to the GTX 560 Ti, a Radeon HD 6950 is faster, uses less power, and has a better feature set, so the 6950 is clearly a better card.  But it's only slightly better on all counts, and it's also more expensive.  So you could get either the GeForce GTX 560 Ti or the Radeon HD 6950 and have a good value for the money.

The next step up is a GeForce GTX 570 or Radeon HD 6970, both of which are out of your budget.  The next step down is a GeForce GTX 560 (without the Ti) or Radeon HD 6870.  The 6870 makes the GTX 560 pretty much irrelevant.  While the 6870 is quite a bit cheaper, it's also only about 70% faster than what you have now, so I'd go for a bigger upgrade than that.

AMD's "Southern Islands" generation of cards (Radeon HD 7000 series) has three GPUs.  The top end Tahiti and bottom end Cape Verde GPUs are already out on the market with cards for sale.  For your budget, you'd want the one in the middle, Pitcairn, which is coming very soon, and likely in March.  I don't expect Pitcairn-based cards to be any better than cards already on the market on a price/performance basis (Cape Verde cards sure aren't), but it will offer reduced power consumption and a better feature set.

Nvidia's "Kepler" cards may or may not be coming soon.  The top end GPU chip GK100 was cancelled, and the next one down, GK104, is the one most likely to be of interest to you.  Rumors put the top bin at $300, and possibly as soon as a month from now.  Of course, other rumors say those are false leaks started by Nvidia to try to convince people to wait.  With Nvidia publicly complaining about yield problems, the earliest that GK104 cards might plausibly launch is about a month from now, while the latest is, well, you can never really put an upper bound on these things.  So Kepler might be coming soon or it might not.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13828

2/23/12 11:28:49 AM#9
Originally posted by Mako89

If I would be you I would go for AMD HD 7770 Crossifre. Why? Becouse a pair of 7770 in crossfire scale verry well + both of em are gonna cost you like 300$.

One higher end card is nearly always better than two lower end cards in CrossFire or SLI, as the single card lets you skip all of the problems that CrossFire and SLI bring.  Average frame rates don't tell the whole story.  CrossFire and SLI really only make sense for people who think one high end card isn't good enough, and so they'll get two high end cards.  The original poster sure doesn't seem like the sort of guy who insists that a single $550 Radeon HD 7970 doesn't give enough performance, and is looking to spend more on something else instead.

  Krayfish

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/08
Posts: 150

2/23/12 11:31:53 AM#10

I upgraded my gtx 260 to a gtx 560ti direct cu II, really really worthwhile upgrade, the 260 was really starting to show its age. so I would say get he 560ti, good all round performer.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3670

2/23/12 1:01:59 PM#11

There was almost an identical post to this one just a couple of weeks ago.

My 2c:

I had a 260GTX. In fact, I had two of them in SLI, but so many games didn't support SLI that often I would end up just running a single one. I ended up upgrading to a 6970. I couldn't notice a difference in most games - the 260 ran them at 60+ FPS, and the 6970 runs them at 60+ FPS - I could just turn on a few more options that didn't affect image quality that much.

Yes, the 260 is getting long in the tooth. But, it's still a pretty capable card. The only thing it's really missing is DX11. I can count on one hand the number of games that require DX11, and of those that support it optionally, the effect is fairly minor for what often amounts to a huge performance hit. Thank you consoles.

Unless your willing to upgrade to something fairly high end, you aren't going to see a whole lot of performance increase to be honest. The 260 can already run most games with most options on high at 1080 without too much trouble. Your price range will get you more performance, but it won't be "OMG that's so much more awesomer", it will be like ... going from FSAAx2 to FSAAx16 (which is marginally better).

In my opinion, the best bang for the buck is to wait and see what the 7800 series brings, which should be out inside of the next month - that would fall squarely in your price range, and should compare favorably to the existing 570/6950 performance, which would bring you up to DX11.1 and get a decent boost in performance for newer released games. If the 7950 ever drops to under $400 I'd take a look at that, but at it's current inflated price it's just a bit out of your extended price range. It would definitely give you a nice bump in performance.

I'd also put in a note about the new 600 series from nVidia (Kepler), except I don't see anything pointing to an impending release - I wouldn't expect them until closer to the summer. If your willing to wait that long, the prices on the existing 7950 will drop like a rock (my guess), in addition to whatever performance/price points the 600 series hits on it's own rights... but that could be months from now before that happens.

  Rogosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/25/06
Posts: 169

2/23/12 1:04:02 PM#12

I had the same card and updated to a 560 ti oc and havent been happier.

"Its better to look ugly and win than pretty and lose"

  Games888

Novice Member

Joined: 2/06/12
Posts: 244

2/23/12 1:09:03 PM#13

1. 560ti or Radeon 6870

2. wait for new Nvdia video cards coming out in March or April for price drop.

 

 

  Kabaal

Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/05
Posts: 2969

Haggis Humper

2/23/12 1:29:57 PM#14

Don't buy anything right now unless you are really struggling in games which i doubt as the 260 is still a capable card. For your price range the 7850/70 next month would be the aim depending on how kepler perform outside the hype Nvidia are putting around right now. If kepler is as good as they say prices might get somewhat competitive.

  fiontar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3713

 
OP  2/23/12 3:49:03 PM#15

Thanks guys.

Looks like it will be worth waiting a month or two. No big rush. I really want to upgrade by May, so it makes sense to wait for the pending releases.

The advice here gives me a good baseline to compare the new offering to. I do try to reserve GPU upgrades for roughly a doubling of performance at a reasonable price. Glad to see that this is the right window of time to be able to do so.

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  fiontar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3713

 
OP  4/01/12 3:55:20 PM#16

I decided to go with a GTX 570, since the prices have come down to make room for the newer cards this spring.

http://www.amazon.com/Galaxy-Mini-HDMI-Multi-Display-Graphics-57NKH3DH5PXK/dp/B006GQO936/ref=sr_1_38?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1333307751&sr=1-38

$269 after rebate, free shipping (Amazon Prime). Looked around the web and good reviews for the card. Custom Multi-display support, if I ever decide to take advantage of it. Great single display benchmark results vs. other GTX 570 cards.

I wanted to grab the deal while it was available, figure I can always sell at a small loss in a couple months if one of the new cards offers more performance for the $$$, or other advantages worth paying for.

The card should double the performance of my GTX 260, which is what I was looking for. I'll update once I get the new card to share my experience with it.

Thanks again for the advice!

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13828

4/01/12 6:42:02 PM#17

That should be more than double the performance of a GeForce GTX 260.  It's a reasonably good value if you regard rebates as "free" and don't care much about power consumption or newer features, but not so much otherwise.

  fiontar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3713

 
OP  4/02/12 1:42:04 AM#18
Originally posted by Quizzical

That should be more than double the performance of a GeForce GTX 260.  It's a reasonably good value if you regard rebates as "free" and don't care much about power consumption or newer features, but not so much otherwise.

It's a non-reference design with better performance than a 560Ti with lower power consumption, for $20 more. Since you've been recommending the 560Ti to some people, not sure why you would see this as a lesser value?

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3670

4/02/12 3:19:11 AM#19


Originally posted by fiontar


Originally posted by Quizzical
That should be more than double the performance of a GeForce GTX 260.  It's a reasonably good value if you regard rebates as "free" and don't care much about power consumption or newer features, but not so much otherwise.


It's a non-reference design with better performance than a 560Ti with lower power consumption, for $20 more. Since you've been recommending the 560Ti to some people, not sure why you would see this as a lesser value?

No, a 570 is not lower power consumption than a 560Ti.

If you go with the argument that it has similar performance to a 7870, then yeah, it seems like your saving about $70, as the 7870 still costs about the same as the original MSRP on the 570 did.

But there are other people that think a 7850 is also competitive, especially with overclocking. And it's considerably lower power, and for just a bit less (~$260 with no rebates).

The 560Ti at $200 is a good deal. The 570 at $280 is not a bad deal, it's just that the 7850 is nipping on it's heals, but compare stocks and the 570 is the faster card, and isn't that much more expensive (under $300). The 7870 at $360 is... not really a good deal, AMD is price gouging on that one right now, but they can afford to - because it offer a lot besides just performance over the 570.

But the 570's aren't going to stay that price forever - stock will run out soon (as I think that's what is happening, we are seeing a huge inventory reduction before the 670 introduction), and the price on the 7870's won't stay that high forever either, as once nVidia finally rolls out a competitive card, they will have to adjust prices.

I can see going either way. I think that the current <$300 prices on the 570's are a great deal (kind of like when we had the great 5850 prices a couple of summers ago), but I think they are very temporary, and that the 670 will be out pretty soon, and when that hits, I expect some price shuffling with the 7870 and 7950 to compete. I know personally, I would be happy that I got a great deal on a good video card, and somewhat bummed that 2 weeks later the upgraded version came out for not really that much more money...

  Quizzical

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4/02/12 3:21:57 AM#20
Originally posted by fiontar
Originally posted by Quizzical

That should be more than double the performance of a GeForce GTX 260.  It's a reasonably good value if you regard rebates as "free" and don't care much about power consumption or newer features, but not so much otherwise.

It's a non-reference design with better performance than a 560Ti with lower power consumption, for $20 more. Since you've been recommending the 560Ti to some people, not sure why you would see this as a lesser value?

Whether it's a good value for the money depends greatly on your personal preferences.

Right now, the market in the $170-$350 price range is largely set by the Radeon HD 6870 and Radeon 7870 if you shop purely on a price/performance basis.  A GeForce GTX 570 offers performance perhaps a little closer to the 7870 than the 6870.  If you look only at price and performance, and the price tag is a little closer to the 7870 than the 6870, then that's decent value for the money, especially if you want something faster than a 6870 and don't want to pay what it costs to get a 7870.  A $270 price tag fits that description; a $290 price tag would be a lot closer to the 7870 than the 6870, and that makes it a harder sell.

So do you regard it as a $270 price tag, a $290 price tag, or perhaps somewhere in between?  That depends on your view of rebates.  If you regard doing a rebate and waiting as $20 worth of hassle, then you might as well skip the rebate.  If you regard rebates as only a minor inconvenience and would do the rebate even if it were only $2, then you might reasonably regard $270 after rebate as being nearly as good as $270 with no rebate.

The gap between a GeForce GTX 570 and a GeForce GTX 560 Ti is a lot more than $20.  I don't know if I've ever recommended a GeForce GTX 560 Ti at $250 after rebate; if I have, it's surely been a long time.  Without looking too far, you can have a GeForce GTX 560 Ti for more than $60 cheaper than what you paid:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125363

And yes, that's also a premium cooler and a factory overclock.  Is that a better deal than the GTX 570 you got?  Not necessarily; it's largely a matter of budget.

And then we get to things other than price and performance.  If DirectX 11.1 is a huge deal to you, then you blundered, and badly.  Is DX 11.1 a big deal to you?  I don't care about it, and I'd argue that most gamers shouldn't.  (I wouldn't be that surprised if there's never a single DirectX 11.1 game.)  It's the sort of thing that you'd rather have than not have, but if you could save $1 by skipping DirectX 11.1 support, there would be a pretty strong argument for many gamers for saving that $1.  You could make about the same analysis about PCI Express 3.0 and the new video transcoding engines that AMD and Nvidia have introduced.

There are also vendor-specific features.  If you think that GPU PhysX is a huge deal, then the AMD cards may not be an option for you.  And in that case, a GeForce GTX 570 looks a lot better in comparison, to the degree that the only reasonable choices would be a cheaper GeForce GTX 560 Ti, the card you got, or shelling out for a GeForce GTX 680 if you can find one.

You mentioned power consumption.  Good performance per watt as compared to a reference GeForce GTX 570 is not at all good performance per watt in an absolute sense.  The card you got will use a lot more power than a Radeon HD 6870.  It will also use more power than the significantly faster Radeon HD 7870.  Should you care about that?  Sure, a little.  But $5 worth of caring about power consumption isn't enough to make it a horrible card.  And if you've got a well-ventilated case, a plenty strong enough power supply, and aren't bothered by your room heating up while playing games (which could be true for a variety of reasons, from the computer being in a large room to it being cold outside and needing the heat on to simply not caring about the room being a degree warmer than it might be with a cooler card), then you probably shouldn't care very much about the increased power consumption.

So if you have suitable preferences (rebates aren't a big hassle, none of the new features of Kepler/Southern Islands are that important, a little more heat doesn't matter, a preferred budget around $250-$300), then the card is a reasonably good value.  It's not a super awesome grab-it-before-it-disappears value, but those don't come along very often.  The most recent ones that come to mind are the Sapphire Xtreme 5830 and 5850 that disappeared about a year ago.  For that matter, those would still be a pretty compelling value ($110 and $140 without rebates, respectively) even a year later.

And that's before we consider fanboydom, which skews things for some people.  But I'm guessing you're not an AMD fanboy from your previous card and this one, and there's no need to have even a weak preference for Nvidia to regard the card you got as a reasonably good value.

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