Upgrading my PC, time for a new GPU

By DKulzer
Sep 29, 2012
Post New Reply
  1. So I just did some upgrades on my PC and now it's time for the video card. I went from a Gigabyte mobo, 4 gb ram, and an E8500 to an ASrock Extreme 4 mobo, 8gb ram, and a 3770k. I'm not seeing much difference for what I use the computer for, which is mainly some gaming and just browsing the internet. I know the 3770k was overkill and I wish I would have gone with the 3570k and used the extra 100 for something else.

    My question is, which card to get. I play games like WOW, Skyrim, Assassins Creed, Crysis, and Mass Effect. I don't game a ton and don't do any video editing other than maybe converting a movie to a different format or burning a DVD. I'd like to stay as cheap as possible so I'm leaning towards the 7870. It's sometimes $100 cheaper than the 660ti. I'm kinda stuck between these two models and can't really see a difference other than the stock OC.

    Is there a big difference between different brands other than like warranty or cooling? Is the 660ti that much better or would it just be overkill? I'm using an HIS 4870 currently if that helps. Thanks in advance and sorry for the wall of text.
  2. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    If you don't do much gaming and no video editing then the 7870 and 660ti are waaaaaay too overkill.
    take a look at the HD7770 instead.
  3. DKulzer

    DKulzer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I went ahead and got the HIS 7870. I've never had any problems on my HIS in the last 4 or 5 years I've had it so I trust it. For $200 I thought it was a good idea. It's usually sold out so I figured what the hell.
  4. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Alright then :)
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Good call on the HIS one, it's an exhaust cooler design which unlike other aftermarket versions, vents the hot air outside the case.

    If you want to see visible gains for general computing tasks then get an SSD. Your 3770K is total overkill but at least it will last you a good few years.
  6. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    Good choice man the 7870 is a great card for the money.
  7. DKulzer

    DKulzer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I am still kind of regretting the 3770k, especially since I've seen it on sale since I bought it for up to $80 cheaper. The 7870 with the sale price seemed like a great deal. With the sale and MIR it ended up being $200. I had a $15 promo code and sole my old card for $50, bringing me to about $135. I sold a Warcraft Collectors Edition for $180. With the extra money I got a Corsair H80. That is where my problems start. I'm making a new thread about that for help.
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 941   +94


    Those aftermarket coolers are the ones that actually keep your GPU cool. I'll pick an aftermarket cooler that's actually quiet, AND keeps my temps at 60c under load at the cost of maybe ~2c bump in CPU temps, versus some loud reference cooler that keeps my GPU at a toasty 70-85c under load, because the cooler sucks. Cards that have lateral blowing fans are fine for cases with very poor cooling, SFF builds, or you just want the cheapest version you can get, but any gamer should have a case with more than adequate cooling to keep everything in check when using aftermarket coolers. My Sapphire 7870 Ghz Ed with 2 fans and 4 heat pipes maxes out at 62c running Heaven (Max tess, 8xMSAA, etc), and my CPU temps are normal, so the whole, "aftermarket coolers blow hot air into your case", is nothing to worry about. And I'm not even using what I'd even consider a "gaming" case. (Lancool PC-K62)
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Most of the aftermarket coolers (Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) do vent the air back into the case, that's why they keep the GPU so cool - the heat gets taken away from the GPU and you can see this from the direction of the fans. They're great most of the time however they're not ideal for cases with bad airflow or in a SLI/CF setup. Of course I'm not saying the reference designs are better, anything is better than the reference cards but the HIS blower is a great design.
  10. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 941   +94


    There is nothing great about reference cooling. If it was so great, then it wouldn't only be used on reference cards.
  11. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Since when did I say reference cards were good?
    I think you're confusing something, the AMD reference design is a blower type design but it's not the only blower design. The HIS IceQ cards are also blower types but with a bigger heatsink, heatpipes and bigger fan. It works differently to something like the Sapphire Vapor-X but the cooling and noise results are quite similar.
     
  12. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 941   +94



    When did you say reference was good? When you said how great a card was for blowing hot air outside the case instead of inside, a la reference cooling. You said it as a general statement as help to the guy in the OP. Only now did you specify.

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2011/12/22/radeon_hd_7970_large.jpg
    http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/GeForce-GTX-680.jpg
  13. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

  14. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 941   +94

    "Good call on the HIS one, it's an exhaust cooler design which unlike other aftermarket versions, vents the hot air outside the case."

    Compare that statement to what you just said to me above? Nothing alike are they? That is what we call, back tracking. My work here is done. You have been exposed.
  15. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    You still don't get it, exhaust/blower design refers to the way the hot air is circulated, I.e. out the back. The IceQ circulates air in the same way as the reference design but it doesn't mean it is a reference design, it has a better heatsink and heatpipes and a bigger and quieter fan. Maybe I should have mentioned IceQ in the original post but I did allude to it when I said "other aftermarket versions".

    As you can see from those Tom's videos the IceQ cools the GPU chip well compared to the other coolers but exhausts air out the back instead of dumping it in the case which is a definite plus for multiple card setups.

    Anyway I don't even see why we're arguing, I think the confusion is just the terminology between the words "reference" and "blower/exhaust", which for the last time are not interchangeable words.
  16. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    The topic of this thread finished 8 posts ago. Can you two please stop arguing over something so trivial?
    The alerts are probably giving OP a headache.
  17. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,858   +343

    Where did you get a 7870 for $200...im configuring with a 7850 for $200...
  18. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 941   +94


    If anything, blowing out the back means all that heat is centralized and hovering over your GPU, chokes, VRM's until it can be exhausted. not really the best way to cool components is it? thats why a lot of electronics have vents on more than one side of the case/housing.

    *shakes head*

    you're so caught up on reference and have ignored the fact the two have a similarity... they exhaust out the rear. the exact thing you said was a pro. and I simply said bullshit, and you keep arguing reference vs this HIS cards version which is the SAME type of cooling, only with some modifications on the HIS card. sheesh. repeated irrelevant comments does not win you arguments. even what you say about multi gpu setups with cards that don't exhaust out the rear is bullshit. you make it sound like it is a night and day difference, when in reality, the difference is a couple degrees in a worst case scenario. I just had to reply to your original comment because it was just so full of bullshit, and even now you're still arguing like you're some expert because you feel that the type of cooling makes all the difference when it doesn't. as long as you have a front, top and rear 120mm+ fans, you're good.
     


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.