Is investing in a DirectX11 graphics card really worth it?

By Marnomancer
Apr 1, 2012
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  1. Hello there!
    Okay, so now I have enough saving for an upgrade, and would love to upgrade to a PCI-E x16 GFX card.

    I have a budget of around $50. The possible candidates are a Radeon HD 5550, a Radeon HD 4550, and a Radeon HD 4350. Low-end, but light-years ahead of my current Nvidia GeForce 7025.

    Rig specs:

    ASRock N68-S
    1x PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot
    550W PSU,
    AMD Sempron 140 2.7 GHz
    2GB DDR2 RAM
    Monitor's an Acer P195HQ, VGA Interface

    So, to make it short, should I go for a cheaper DX10 GFX card, or a somewhat more expensive DX11 card?
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    first things first... do you use your PC for gaming?

    you're not going to find anything too great in that price range that's for sure... but unless you're wanting to play some DX11 capable games then I would buy something more powerful, but perhaps last generation. i will warn you though those low end cards are pretty lackluster. you are way better off putting aside a little money and going for something mid-range. you will be much happier with a card that has some power.

    so bottom line is if you like to play games on your machine then you want at least a mid-range graphics card.
  3. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 808   +51

    I have pondered that. From the reviews I've seen, it can easily run the games I play, viz. NFS:MW, Halo, Fable, Crysis, and Source Engine based games. I play at low resolutions, so there's no problem with the FPS.

    My main query was, should I buy a DX11 GFX card and cut it close, or buy a DX10 GFX card and leave a significant margin? Because those games don't use DX11 IMO. And, the percentage of increase in performance (DX10 to DX11) didn't seem in ratio with the increase in price.
    So is investing some extra cash for DX11 really going to make it "future-proof"?
    Saving up for a midrange card is out of the question.

    In simpler words, I'm just asking which card is the best among these.
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    There's not many DX11 games out now, and you wouldn't be able to get decent frame rates for those games with a low end card anyway. So it just depends on what games you play and what games you're likely to play in the future. A lot of PC games nowadays are console ports still on DX9.

    For your budget I would suggest looking for some deals for used cards on ebay or similar, you will get more for your money.
  5. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 808   +51

    I don't own a credit card, so...
    I don't have a lot of demanding games, so that shouldn't be a problem.
    Anyway, thanks for your opinion. I think I'll go for the HD 4550.
    Anyone else has any opinions?
  6. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 467

    I say go DX10. Even if you installed a lowest-end DX11 you wouldn't be able to take advantage of it. When you select the DX11 options for games it's "recommendation" is a GTX 560ti (GTX 570 for high DX11 settings).
  7. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 808   +51

    Thanks for your opinion. Really helpful. :)
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,882   +77

    That is just not true. while your budget may be prohibitive, and it is correct that you will not be able to make use of DX features witha $50 card. There are indeed many DX 11 games currently out, and it will be a fast move to the DX11 API in the future. Si if DX 11 features are important to you ( you really should have a look if you have not), you may want to save a bit for a bit more powerful card.

    (I am sure I am missing several of them here)
    Starcraft II - supports DX11
    Fable 3 - supports DX11
    Aliens vs Predator - supports DX11
    Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - supports DX11
    F1 2010 - supports DX11
    Metro 2033 - supports DX11
    Dirt 2 - supports DX11
    Lost Planet 2 - supports DX11
    Crysis 2 - supports DX11
    H.A.W.X. 2 - supports DX11
    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - supports DX11
    Deus Ex: Human Revolution Release: Feb, 2011 - supports DX11
    Dirt 3 - supports DX11
    Battlefield 3 Release: 2011 - supports DX11
    Medal of Honor - supports DX11
    Digital Combat Simulator - supports DX11
    Dungeons and Dragons Online - supports DX11
    Race Driver: Grid 2 Release: TBA - supports DX11
    Sid Meier's Civilization V - supports DX11
    Shogun 2 Total War - supports DX11
    Dragon Age Origins II - supports DX11
    Forged by Chaos - supports DX11
    IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover - supports DX11
    Digital Combat Simulator: A-10C Warthog - supports DX11
    F1 2011
    Batman Arkham City
    LA Noire
    Shogun
    saints row
    red faction Armageddon
    Oil rush
    need for speed
    King Arthur
    Homefront
    Battleforge
    Dead space2
    Stalker COP
    Anno 2070
    Fear 3
    Blacklight retribution
  9. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 808   +51

    Hmm...should I go for the HD 5550 then? Has DX11 support, and is powerful enough for my needs. I don't really play much high-resolution games, so fps really won't be a problem. I saw the DX10 vs. DX11 benchmark comparisons, and DX11 won me over.
    So HD 5550 with DX11 support should keep me happy for 4 years at the least. By that time, I'll have a job with enough money for a mid-range card.
    Thanks for the enlightenment, red1776. Really appreciated.
    Cheers!
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,281   +24

    DX11 is a better investment. Most DX11 cards also have other enhancements such as a smaller die and better onboard hardware for decoding HD streams.


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