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Upgrading graphics card, advice please

By LeeRichLuck · 7 replies
Aug 14, 2011
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  1. Hi, i recently built my own system and at the time i decided to get a cheap graphics card just to get the system up and running. I am now in a position to upgrade to a graphics card that will compliment my system.
    I use the pc for 3D rendering in programs like 3DsMAX, Vue and Poser Pro 2011.
    These programs rely on cpu and ram more then graphics card abilities but i want to venture into games so a better card may be needed.
    Here is my system spec....

    Windows 7 64bit
    Intel i7-950 Quad-Core Processor (3.06 GHz, 8MB Cache, Socket 1366)
    Gigabyte SKT-1366 X58-USB3 Motherboard
    OCZ 12GB (6X2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10666 Gold XTC Triple Channel
    2x Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB internal Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache 7200RPM
    Coolermaster Silent Pro 500W Modular PSU
    HannsG HZ281HPB 28-inch LCD TFT Monitor HD1920x1200 connected via a HDMI cable.
    Gigabyte GT 240 1GB GDDR3 DVI HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card

    Also running off the PSU are a simple card reader and Samsumg DVD optical drive.

    Depending on what Graphics card you suggest i also want to upgrade the optical drive to a blu-ray like this one,,,

    Samsung SH-B123L 12x BD-ROM DVD±RW DL & RAM Lightscribe SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black

    So i guess my limiting factor here is my PSU ? but i can only afford what the PSU can handle as i dont really want to get into changing that too.

    Thanks for any advice offered, regards,

  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    If its mainly 3D work, I'm wondering if a dedicated GPU for that sort of stuff would be a wiser move. I have absolutely no knowledge in this area though.

    In terms of normal GPU's, you might be able to get away with a HD6870 or even a HD6950 as long as you are not overclocking anything.
  3. LeeRichLuck

    LeeRichLuck TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    Pc is already set up for 3D work with the best CPU and RAM i could afford at the time, its graphic card power i want to upgrade for playing games....

    My game prefference's are things like tomb raider and first person kill em dead types lol and maybe a driving type game ?

    I'm not a big gamer but i would like to have a dabble with the above. So can i do better then the GT240 1gb i have now ? or ?........like you mentioned above.

    Who make the HD6870 or 9650 ? this is how clued up i am on graphics cards lol
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    Loads of manufacturers make the AMD HD6870 and HD6950 GPU's. If you want gaming performance at 1920x1080 resolutions the HD6870 will do a good service. The HD6950 improves on that performance some more, but also costs more.

    XFX HD 6870 Black Edition AMD Radeon Graphics Card - 1GB £141
    2GB Sapphire HD 6950, Dirt3 Edition £213

    Head to www.scan.co.uk and just go to GPU - AMD and select the HD6870 and HD6950 to see what ones are available.

    Both will be OK (assuming your PSU is running well and to its rated performance), as long as you do not overclock any components. Thats quite crucial though, as you'll draw more current than the PSU can deliver otherwise.

    I personally think that given your circumstances and your PSU that a HD6870 would be the perfect choice.
  5. LeeRichLuck

    LeeRichLuck TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    Thanks leeky, being a gamer novice could you tell me why this particular card is good ?
    Stupid question you may ask but what does it do better then the GT240 1gig i already have ?

    How does the HD6870 compare to the Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1GB GDDR5 OC Edition Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card ?
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    The HD6870 is better over all when compared to the GTX460 1GB models. Keeping it simple, it gives slightly higher framerates at 1920x1080/1200 resolutions when gaming.

    The HD6950 improves on this further, by offering even more performance at the same resolutions. Its just faster, and offers greater performance due to higher performing hardware.

    This link here will provide you with a good read on graphics cards, and what to look for.

    Click here for a review on the HD6870, here for the HD6950, and here for the GTX460 1GB.

  7. Yeah, TechSpot's GPU comparisons are handy as well. Note the brands that they use though. I linked this earlier today, because it is bada**.
  8. LeeRichLuck

    LeeRichLuck TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    Again thanks peeps, i have seen this card which is similar to your link Leeky, is it roughly the same ? reason i want to order from ebuer is because i am getting some more ram that can match 100% to my last order so it just saves time on this occasion.
    I am ready to hit purchace on your next advice lol

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