Which GPU to get? Nvidia or AMD?

By AwesomeTech · 61 replies
Nov 14, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. Hey, so I was wondering which GPU to get for the following computer:

    Also is it true that NVIDIA works better with Intel CPUs?

    And if you find any of my components not working together it would also be nice if you could tell me that.

  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'd check your memory compatibility list to make sure your RAM is certified for your motherboard first.

    What budget do you have remaining for a GPU and PSU?

    Both ATi/AMD Radeons and Nvidia will work perfectly with your setup. It is untrue that Nvidia works better with Intel CPUs, they work the same on AMD. The main issue you can run into is the GPU bottlenecking due to an inadequate CPU. Your i7 won't cause that with any GPU combination though, so your free to choose the best GPU you can afford in your budget.

    What GPU you choose will depend on how much power you need from your PSU, and we need a budget to assist you further.
  3. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Memory has DDR3-1333 and my Motherboard supports: DDR3-1066;DDR3-1333;DDR3-1600;DDR3-2000(OC)
    So yeah it is compatible (And yes my motherboard supports 3 sticks of RAM.

    Probably I could get any GPU as I would get it for Christmas and my birthday (Well my birthday is right after Christmas, so my budget out of the 2 can be combined)
    Well if the GTX580 is the most expensive GPU than I can really go with any GPU, but of course, we don't want to exaggerate.
    As for the PSU, well actually I have kindaaa reached my limit for the budget on the overall computer... But I guess I'll take whatever I need to run my computer, but nothing that is more than I need... Again, we don't want to exaggerate. =D

    Well if that's the case, I would probably go for an AMD GPU, because they are quite a bit cheaper, right?
    But which one would you recommend?
    Oh and if I choose a cheaper GPU, I can get not only the GPU for Christmas and my Birthday but also the CPU (Or well any other component basically), meaning I have space until I reach my budget, so I can buy a good PSU.

    Well GPUs and PSUs are the only 2 parts where I really don't know which one to get and how much Power I need for my GPU with my PSU, and what companies are good PSU companies... and so on...

    Well thanks for helping, hope you answer the questions I asked here =D
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    What leeky meant ( i would be willing to wager) was not only the speed supported, but the brand and particular model of ram. some boards have known issues with certain ram modules. go to the manufacturers website and pull up the QVL and make sure it is compatible with your MB. You may even want to call Asus as they are notorious (and others) for not being particularly expeditious about updating their QVL as far as memory is concerned.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Asus motherboards are known for being very picky with RAM. If it was me, I would only be purchasing certified RAM for a Asus motherboard. If you go to Asus' website, you can navigate to your motherboard page, and then view, or download the RAM compatibility list. It would be unwise to just "assume" it would work I'm afraid, but thats up to you. :)

  6. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    OK Thanks =D
    So you're saying if I have the money for it I should go for the GTX580 (you didn't mention this GPU at all, so I'm just assuming that)? And if not I should just check between the other 4 you mentioned and see which one I prefer as in Price towards Performance, right?
    And about that RAM Problem, thanks so much I would've hated buying those RAM sticks and then finding them not working. Would've been a pain in the... wallet...
    So if I took your PSU and your 2 GPUs then I would be well off? But again that would cost quite a bit, I believe (I didn't check the prices yet).
    I will check out your links and thanks for the info =D
  7. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    So what's better:
    2x GTX 460 (1GB)
    1x GTX 470
    1x GTX 480
    1x GTX 580

    Well I guess the 2 460s cost about as much as 1 480, and by spending that little extra money you can get the 580?
    But is that worth it?

    And also? Is 1x GTX 460 (1GB) enough for decent gaming?

    And how do I know if my Mobo supports Crossfire?

    And (last question) is Crossfire the same as SLI? Well I don't know either of the 2, but just wondering =D
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Your talking $660 for a GTX580
    A AMD HD6870 would cost you $275 from newegg.com

    I'd rather save $100 and get two AMD HD6870's in Crossfire myself. However, you need a motherboard that can support this, and a bloody good PSU.

    You didn't mention a budget, and to be honest with you, $600+ on a single GPU is usually not considered by most people. I went with the assumption you'd be looking for a very capable mid range GPU in the $200-300 price range.

    The cost is the simple reason why I never mentioned more exotic cards. Two 1GB GTX460's in SLI will give awesome performance, as will two AMD HD6870's in Crossfire, but (and its a big one!) you MUST have a motherboard that will support them, and a good enough PSU.

    SLI is Nvidia terminology for 2 GPU's working as one, and AMD Radeons is Crossfire, where two or more can work as one. They arent compatible with each other, e.g. you can't run one Nvidia and one AMD, it has to be 2 or more of the same brand.

    Your motherboard page on Asus' website will tell you. You'll be needing two PCI_express 16x sockets on your motherboard for it, but it will say if its compliant or not on there, or even look on newegg.com for your motherboard, that'll tell you too.

    I can't answer the GTX list you asked, but I would assume the performance order of them would be this:

    Slowest< 768mb GTX460, HD6850, 1GB GTX460, HD6870, GTX470, 2x GTX460's. 2xHD6870's, GTX480, GTX580. >fastest

    I would only choose HD6870's in Crossfire out of them - But you should let others reply with there advice, but your talking mega money for the 480/580, and only you can decide if its worth the financial outlay. You could buy a perfectly useable computer for the cost of one of those GPUs!

    If you read the reviews I posted above, you can get an idea of the kind of frame rates you can expect.
  9. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Is this a good RAM:

    Corsair TR3X6G1333C9
  10. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    I think you're right I will go for SLI/Crossfire
    And thanks sooo much for your explanations =D
    But which one should I go for -.-
    2x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or 2x... well that AMD one =D
    I know I should choose myself and I know you already said you'd pick 2 AMD ones, but... gahhh =P
    This is soo hard =P
    Well I'll first go check if my motherboard can handle SLI/Crossfire
  11. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Here's what I found on the webpage under Expansion Slots

    x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x8/x8 or x16/x16/x1 mode)
    3 x PCIe x1 1
    x PCI

    Although I don't exactly know what everything is
    Does that motherboard support SLI/Crossfire or not?
    sry to ask you so many questions but Im a newcomer in that kinda stuff..
    just learned about all the different things inside a computer 3-5 days ago...
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'm not going to tell you what you should do, however, I had the same thoughts as you, so hear is my thoughts...

    One AMD HD6870 is better than one 1GB GTX460. The review I posted earlier shows just this. The 1GB GTX460 is slightly cheaper now, whereas the HD6870 demands a high premium as it has just been released in the last few weeks.

    In the UK the HD6870 costs me another £50 more than a 1GB GTX460. However, it is worth the additional cost, and two of these in Crossfire will munch through games without any issues whatsoever, at very good settings to boot.

    I mentioned running two or more GPUs because it gives better options to you, in terms of purchasing one now, and another later on. Even one of these GPUs will be more than happy at good settings in even the most modern games with your setup. I also mentioned it because two GPUs for less money can often be better than running one more expensive GPU.

    Yes, your motherboard supports both SLI and Crossfire GPUs. Here is the link to it at newegg.com
  13. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Wow so that motherboard can handle up to 3 GPUs? Is that even possible?
    Anyway is there anything special to SLI/Crossfire? I mean do I have to set it up or something? Or do the GPUs just work together?
  14. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    can my computer handle this:
    I think 850W is better cause it's more future proof, when I want an even better GPU sometime...
    But of course I still have to check if I should get HX850W or HX750W like you said...
    Thanks for recommending those (or at least the 750W to me =D)
  15. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    You just connect them together with a lead, and its pretty much job done with the hardware side of things.

    You could run 3 GPU's in Crossfire with your motherboard, although two would be a 8x speed. You can however run two GPUs, both at 16x speed on your motherboard.

    Several members on here run more than two GPUs in there PCs. The only issue is ensuring you have enough cooling in your case, and a PSU capable of supplying them with enough power. As long as you go for a good 750w or above PSU it'll be fine with both of the previously mentioned dual GPU setups. Here is a members triple 5850 setup.

    The Corsair HX850 will be fine. It also has a nice 7 year warranty, precisely why I went for my HX750 a couple of weeks ago. Here is a picture of my Corsair HX750 fitted in my NZXT Beta case.

    It goes without saying that you need a decent case capable of supplying enough cool air to enter and hot air to escape though. This is true of any computer of your specification.
  16. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    alright =D
    thanks so much for all your help.
    I will prob. buy an extra fan for my HAF922 Case once I buy my second GPU
    Thanks so much =D

  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    No worries, I'm sure others will have input to make as well, so will be worth waiting for that too. :)
  18. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

  19. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    And here my final Components. Thanks to Leeky and red1776 for helping me =D

    - CPU: Intel Core i7-950
    - Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium
    - RAM: Corsair TR3X6G1333C9
    - GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6870 (And will add a second one later)
    - Optical Drive: LG CH10LS20
    - Hard Drive: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar 1TB Internal Hard Drive
    - Case: Cooler Master HAF922
    - Power Supply: HX850W
    - OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

    Wow I am finally ready to buy everything =D
  20. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    imo the 2 6870 are the best bang for your buck but your putting them in a mid tower case?
  21. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    is that too small?
    if its too small then ill get the
    Cooler Master HAF932 instead
    is that good enough then?
  22. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    it not to small but with all that heat in the case a bigger case helps out plus u might want to upgrade to a larger video card later on that wont fit in the midtower and yes the haf 932 is great.
  23. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Two 6870's will do fine in the 922 and have absolutely no problems at all. You can put 3 way SLI/Crossfire in a 922 and it fits and functions wonderfully. I have built several of them. If a card wont fit in the 922, its not going into the 932 either. There is not a card made that will not fit in the 922.
    Steve thinks so as well.
  24. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Looks like you will have a good rig... but be sure you have adequate space for cooling... Make the extra effort to keep things neat so that air flow is not hindered... Perhaps another case fan for exhaust when you add the second 6870
  25. AwesomeTech

    AwesomeTech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    i actually was going to do that =D

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...