Looking for the best card around $300

elm669

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Currently running a nvidia gts450 @1025mhz and a phenom II 965be @ 4ghz. I'm looking for a good upgrade for around $300 that will let me play BF3 and most modern games at as close to max settings as possible @ 1080p.

two other questions:
1. Will my cpu end up being the bottleneck?
2. how much psu is recommended for the higher end cards? currently running a 500W Thermaltake purepower and its struggling a bit with the 450
 

sirmonkey1985

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mmm gtx 560 448 core or GTX 570.. but honestly i'd say wait a little longer.. if the rumors are right on the release dates of the GK104(GTX 660) then prices should drop on the 500 series pretty fast. also the 7800 series comes out in march which should further drop the 560 and 570's prices(or at least we can all hope). the 7800 series should be the direct competition for the 560 and 570 at much lower power consumption as well.

as far as the other two questions.. no, and the 500w psu should be able to handle a 560 overclocked and a 570 but may stretch it if you try to overclock it. but should easily handle the 7800 series. question is if they price them to be competitive with the 560 and 570.
 

MrCaffeineX

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A 965BE with that kind of OC should give you a lot of options in the GPU department. Upgrading the PSU would probably be a good idea with any serious GPU upgrade. In the $300 range you have a few options: GTX 560Ti 448-Core (there's HardOCP discount too), GTX 570 (after rebate) or the Egg currently has GTX 480s for $249.99 (thanks Deals thread :) ). From a price/performance standpoint the 480 is an awesome deal, especially since it is nestled right in the non-448 core GTX 560Ti pack, but should outperform on average. From a performance/watt standpoint the 480 is not such a value, but that depends on how much you value low power consumption.

By the way, I just linked the EVGAs because they happened to be the same price as the Galaxy cards on Newegg and in my experience EVGA has been better than Galaxy, but I'm sure shopping around will net some other alternatives.
 

Mr. K6

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I'd wait for the 78xx cards to drop in the next few weeks and then purchase. They'll either be the cards you want or force lower prices in that market segment. Your CPU isn't the fastest, but is easily gaming worthy. A new graphics card will give you the biggest performance boost in games, so get that first. In the meantime, a new PSU would do you well. Most cards actually won't overpower that unit, but it's not a strong unit in any sense and, I dunno, I'm a big proponent of having a quality PSU. Current good deal at Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021
 

Hippee921

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If you looking to drop that kinda money on a card then I would agree with most people here. Wait. We're so close to more releases from both companies. For 300$ you might be able to get new 7850 but right now we just don't know yet. Plus when Kepler hits everything will go down in price.

Just don't do anything prematurely.
 

Xonim

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TLDR: I say go for it with either the 560ti 448c or the 570. I got the MSI 560ti 448c just last week and have been very happy with the price/performance. I would, however, recommend a new power supply for any upgrade. Something like the Antec high-current gamer 620w would be sufficient.

Everyone says wait for the new cards.......I don't know, with nothing concrete being released about Kepler, it's all hype at this point. Of course ANY little snippet Nvidia releases is going to be intended to increase the hype and prevent people from buying the 7xxx series.

If they've admitted to having yield problems (which they have), I'm not so convinced these cards are going to be readily available in the timeframe most people are indicating. I'm also of the opinion that the rumored $300 pricetag is on the low side if GK104 is expected to perform on par with the 580. Remember, these companies are in the business of making money, not selling an excellent product at $100 under what it's worth. Look at the 7950, slightly better performance than the 580 for the same price or slightly higher. I'd say GK104 is probably going to launch closer to $350, and then settle down around the $300 mark after a few months.

The AMD 7870 series will probably be the same way - I'm guessing $300 at launch, settling to ~$250 after initial demand drops.
 

Hippee921

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Its just not all about the new cards and the new tech that comes with them but what happens to the older cards after the launch there is always a pretty big shift in the Price\ performance.
 

sirmonkey1985

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TLDR: I say go for it with either the 560ti 448c or the 570. I got the MSI 560ti 448c just last week and have been very happy with the price/performance. I would, however, recommend a new power supply for any upgrade. Something like the Antec high-current gamer 620w would be sufficient.

Everyone says wait for the new cards.......I don't know, with nothing concrete being released about Kepler, it's all hype at this point. Of course ANY little snippet Nvidia releases is going to be intended to increase the hype and prevent people from buying the 7xxx series.

If they've admitted to having yield problems (which they have), I'm not so convinced these cards are going to be readily available in the timeframe most people are indicating. I'm also of the opinion that the rumored $300 pricetag is on the low side if GK104 is expected to perform on par with the 580. Remember, these companies are in the business of making money, not selling an excellent product at $100 under what it's worth. Look at the 7950, slightly better performance than the 580 for the same price or slightly higher. I'd say GK104 is probably going to launch closer to $350, and then settle down around the $300 mark after a few months.

The AMD 7870 series will probably be the same way - I'm guessing $300 at launch, settling to ~$250 after initial demand drops.

either way prices go down.. whats harm waiting a couple more weeks to see what effect the 7800 series has on the gtx 560/570 price wise.. either you end up with the same price or a nice price reduction, thats it.
 
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570 GTX, 560 Ti 448 Core or a 480 GTX are all around that price range and I ordered them from most powerful to least powerful. Best bang for the buck is usually the 560 Ti 448 Core, but if the 570 or 480 go on sale they are hard to pass up.
 

elm669

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Lots of good info here thanks! I plan on buying sometime in mid march no earlier than 3/16. Any concrete idea when the 7800 series will drop? I'm shying away from nvidia due to the power usage, I had a galaxy 560ti running at 1ghz for a while in my i7 rig that I had to sell.. the gaming performance was good but the heat generated was near unbearable during the summer. Had to run the ac full blast all the time just to keep from sweating.
 

Agenesis

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I doubt your x4 will bottleneck anything under $500 atm. If I were you I'd try to push it a little further than $300 by getting 2 gtx 470s (average market price of $160 used). 2 470 will blow past a 570 and will go within 580 overclocked areas. And of course you'll need a more powerful psu to handle that but you're going to end up with one anyways even going with the 570/560 route.
 

heatthegreat

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no is mentioning on how the 6950/70 will be affected by the 7800 series release.... Anywho, I'd wait for the 7800 release, and see if the 6900 series line lowers in price. I see 6970s going under $300 as well as the 570s and 560ti
 

-slash-

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Get a 2GB 560 Ti and call it done.

Thats the route I just went. I play Stalker, Metro2033, MechWarrior Living Legends, and other games that just plain eat vRam. I'll clock the 560 up if I need the raw power, but so far the major limitation with my 8800gts has been he 512mb of ram. Running 1920x1080.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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You could probably even get a Radeon 6970 for just above $300 (There is one on Newegg for $329 with rebate)

As far as the CPU goes, depending on what you play, no the CPU will not likely be a bottleneck.

As long as you don't play Red Orchestra 2. This game is unusually hard on the CPU, and no AMD CPU is fast enough at any overclock to not be the bottleneck, if you don't have an Nvidia card with physX turned on to offload the physics load from the CPU.

If you do play (or plan on playing) RO2, I'd choose a Nvidia card so you can enable PhysX.

I used to run a Phenom II X6@4ghz with two 6970's and I would frequently run into CPU bottlenecking bringing my fps down to below 30fps in certain heavy scenes. (my video cards were only at about 50% utilization, which is why I know it was the CPU)

Starcraft II may also pose some issues limiting you to min frame rates of about 30fps. Personally I don't see why that should be a problem on a strategy game, but many players of SCII claim they need higher framerates to play well. :confused:

Either way, these are rather rare and unusually CPU intensive games, and unless you play them, chances are small you'll have a CPU limitation problem.
 

elm669

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Thanks for all the input guys, I ended up getting a evga classified 560ti 448 core for $289 at frys and a decent 600W thermaltake psu along with 8 gigs of ram, overall a nice little upgrade for under $400 total!
 

oldmanbal

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why don't you just buy a 6950 2gb and unlock the shaders, and clock it up to 950 on the core? It's pretty close to a gtx 580 when you're done and you can find them at or below 250$. I happen to have 2 of them i'm selling right now if you are interested :)
 

Jorona

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570 GTX, 560 Ti 448 Core or a 480 GTX are all around that price range and I ordered them from most powerful to least powerful. Best bang for the buck is usually the 560 Ti 448 Core, but if the 570 or 480 go on sale they are hard to pass up.

If your ordering them from most to least powerful, the GTX 480 should be first, then the 570, then the 560 448.

I grabed one of those Evga GTX480s when it was at 219.99. Very VERY pleased with that purchase. Its also quite OCable even with the stock cooler. I'm at 825mhz core and still under 90c. Again, VERY pleased.
 
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