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Looking for a new graphics card

By DanMan
Sep 9, 2012
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  1. Hello, I need help looking for a new graphics card for future gaming as my current one is lacking in potential. A few things I will say is that I have no idea what to look for or how to install it, and you may call me a bit of a "noob." But heres what my current specs look like:

    CPU Specs.png
    CPU Mainboard.png
    CPU Memory.png
    CPU Graphics.png


    As for my preferences, I would prefer a reliable brand (of course), under $300, and able to run most games on a good 1920x1080 HD 60mbs. If there is any information I am missing, please reply, or if you have any concerns on other hardware I should buy. Thank you.
     
  2. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Hey there.
    So, your current specs look alright so I doubt any bottlenecking would occur.
    as for the card, I'd highly recommend the GTX 660ti. You should be able to find it on Newegg or Amazon/Ebay for $300 or less.
    It's a great card, and it will demolish any modern games on high/ultimate on a single screen resolution :)
    good luck.
     
  3. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Alright, great! So, does that mean that I also don't need an i7 processor or a new power supply?
     
  4. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    no way dude. CPU to GPU bottlenecks are rare nowadays. you could get by fine with an i3 and a 7950.
    also, Power requirements are largely overrated. 450-550W is more than enough for most builds, and you should only ever need 650W+ when crossfiring or SLIing. It's always good to have a bit of breathing space though, so go for 50-100W over your recommended Power level (use a PSU calculator to determine roughly how much you'd need).

    on a side note though, what PSU do you have now? because if it's a generic 300W one that came with the case then you'd definitely want to change it out for a bigger stronger one.
     
  5. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Is there any way I can figure out my PSU without opening up my pc? Its factory installed power supply so could I just look up my pc on hp pavillion or something?
     
  6. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Wait, nvm... yes it is a generic 300W power supply... So what would you recommend then, as far as a power supply? and how much more $$$ are we talking about?
     
  7. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    :confused: I was worried that might be the case.
    OK, you're definitely gonna need to switch it out.
    There's a huge selection of PSU's you could choose, but that is up to you (well, your budget to be precise).
    Give me a set amount of money which you can spend on
    a) the Card
    b) the PSU
    I'll find something to work for you.

    a suspicious PSU will cost around $20-50 (stay away from these!)
    a minimum PSU will be around $50-70 (this it the bare minimum range)
    an OK PSU will set you back around $70-110 (this is the comfortable range)
    a great PSU will be around $110-160 (this is the ideal range)
    and an extreme PSU can be anywhere from $160-500 (this is the enthusiast range)
     
  8. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    I like your choice of card.
    GTX 660Ti
    But as for the power source, I will spend whatever is necessary. So which would you reccomend? I don't need anything over the top for power supply. Just something that gets the job done. And would I need a new fan/cooler?
     
  9. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    You won't need any extra case fans, (if that was what you meant by "fan/cooler"s)
    as for the power supply, I'd go with either:

    1. this Antec Neo Eco 620C
    the cheapest of the bunch, but reliable and more than enough wattage. $59,99

    2. this Corsair TX-650
    more than enough power, solid reliability. $89.99

    3. this Corsair HX-650
    I have one of these in my rig. a bit more pricey, but rock solid, modular, and quiet. I recommend this. $124,99
     
  10. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Make sure whatever card you get will physically fit in your case because $300 graphics cards are quite long.

    The 620W Antec Neo Eco is great value at that price.
     
  11. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    true, I forgot to address that point.
    The 660ti ranges from 9-11 inches (based on manufacturer design, e.g. the EVGA 660ti is 9.5" whereas the ASUS 660ti is 10.7")
    so make sure you get down into your case with a measuring tape. it's always good to have an extra inch or two of space as well.
    Apart from that, if the 660ti is too big for your case, you can go for a slightly weaker, slightly cheaper, yet still very adept alternative.
    the Radeon HD7850. once again the size varies, but this MSI variant is a petite 7.7 inches (19cm) so it should fit in a smaller case if the 660ti is too big.
    In case you're wondering, here is a benchmark of the HD7850
    and for good measure, here is a benchmark for the 660ti
    aaaaand for extra good measure, here is a benchmark pitting the two cards against each other.
    and just to be a little bit more measuring, here is how the 7850 stacks up against similar cards in terms of price and 3dmark11 score.
    I'd recommend you take the time and read through some of those links, it'd help you get an idea of the sort of performance you'd be looking at.
     
     
  12. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Well is there anyway I can get the current measurements of my Hp pavillion HPE h8-1110 without opening it up? my whole goal is to be able to not open it up until I get the card and install everything.
     
  13. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    I just opened my pc up, and there seems to be plenty of room. The graphics card inplace is just a standard open-circuit NVIDIA GT 520. I measured about 12 in. across longways and about 6 in of room upward (when open laying on its side). Also I am completely new to installing these things, so can anyone give me a quick runthrough on how to install a graphics card and a new power supply, or perhaps a good link to a video? I'm hoping that it would easy enough for me to do it myself.
     
  14. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    By the way, thanks so much for all the help. I'm hoping to have this in and installed by the 18th for Borderlands 2 :D!
     
  15. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    No problem. so now that we have the space issue cleared up, go ahead and choose a 660ti from newegg.com so that we know what we're working with.
    also installing GPU's is as easy as pie.
    writing down instructions would take too long, so here's a video.
    be careful though, take proper ESD measures, and when removing the card you'll have to push down a tab on the PCI slot which is locking in the card, and some manufacturer motherboards have a weird way of doing it so just take your time and don't force anything.

    as for changing out the PSU, that's slightly more difficult since you have to pretty much rewire your computer. it's simple enough if you're familiar with the insides of a computer though.
    When I installed a new PSU for my brother, it took less than 5 minutes.
    it's pretty much just
    1. unscrew PSU from case.
    2. pull out all cables which are connected to components from the PSU only. by this I mean you don't need to pull out SATA cables or front panel headers.
    3. gently lift out the old PSU.
    4. gently insert new PSU.
    5. screw in new PSU.
    6. connect new PSU to everything.
    In case I didn't explain correctly, here's a video which details the process.

    both videos are of a hp computer so I hope that makes it easy for you.

    anyway, I guess the most important thing is to take your time when installing everything. It may take up to half an hour or even more, but it's worth it to go slow and steady, especially if it's your first time inside a computer.
     
  16. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Alright, great! are you sure that there is no compatabilty issues with the 660TI or the Antec power supply? and will it positively work (assuming I install correctly and everything)? Basically I want to know the possible errors that could go wrong.
     
  17. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    And is there anything cheaper but just as able to run a good full settings? ( I dont want to spend so much on the 660Ti)
     
  18. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    To be honest I'd get the 7950 instead of the 660Ti for the same price, it has huge overclocking potential and will easily beat the 660Ti when both are overclocked to the max. If you do go for a 7950 then get one of those Sapphire or Gigabyte Windforce cards because the reference design is quite loud.
     
  19. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    The 620W Antec will have no issues powering any single-GPU setup.
    OP really, it's up to you to choose which card you want.
    personally I'd go with the 660ti since it's cheaper, and already more than enough gaming muscle, and unless you do some pretty intensive 3d modeling or other very highly GPU-intensive activities, then the 7950 is kinda overkill.
    save the extra money and put it toward a new case or something. (that's a bit of personal prejudice though, I hate manufacturer cases. moving your rig into a proper mid-tower case will work wonders for temperatures and aesthetics)
     
  20. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    The 7950 might be overkill, but the OP did mention a $300 budget. But considering the 660Ti is the same price I'd say the 7950 is the better buy for that price point. The stock 7950 is woefully underclocked which skews benchmarks towards nvidia somewhat, most cards overclock to 1100-1200 Mhz at default voltages (stock is 800Mhz).

    If you want to spend less on the GPU then the 7870 is probably the best choice, or wait for nvidia to release their non-Ti 660 and 650 cards.
     
  21. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Hm. you do make a valid point.
    and I second the option of the HD7870. I helped a friend install one of those into his rig and it's a powerful card to say the least.
     
  22. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Any cheaper card options?
     
  23. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Absolutely. but remember, the cheaper, the lower the performance.
    The HD7850, which I listed before, can be found for around $220-240
    then there's also the GTX 560, which is a step below the HD7850. the 560 is around $180-200
    Below that, there's the HD6870, which can be found for about $160-170
    then if you really must go cheaper, there's the HD7770, which you can find for around $120-140.
    that's the lowest I would go though, if you want to do any gaming.

    Here's a hierarchy of graphics cards so you can do a bit of perusing (scroll down a bit)
     
  24. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Okay, so say I decide the gtx560 and the antec cooler... is this a good choice? and where should I buy them from?
     
  25. DanMan

    DanMan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25



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