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 Post subject: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card - Resolved :)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:58 am 
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My Choices seem to be:

AMD HD 7850 £180 - £190
AMD HD 7870 £200 - £250 Depending on make model and OC
AMD HD 7950 £250 - £280 Depending on make model and OC
nVidia 660Ti £250 - £280 Depending on make model and OC

Just like everyone else I want more for less, and I want it to use very little power and be utterly silent. In the real world I need to make some compromises, they are either performance, price, warranty, silence or power usage. Of these, power usage is the least important to me as there isn't a gigantic difference between the options above, silence is far more important when idle than under load but I obviously don't want a dust-buster when gaming - I have no interest in GPGPU performance.

Having read many, many reviews its very clear that nothing is very clear with regards to performance, AMD cards do better in some games than nVidia and vice-versa, but as there are so many different models on the market with different overclocks and not every tester will test every card, some test overclocked nVidia cards against default clocked AMD cards, and vice-versa. Even worse than this is that AMD have recently had new "Ghz" models and faster clocked HD 7950 cards being released as well as a price drop following the release of the 660Ti - few of these seem to have made their way through to the market at this time.

I am currently running a 24" 1920 x 1200 resolution screen and have no plans to increase my playable resolution to more screens or a higher resolution screen - if anything I would most likely end up with a 42" LED TV running 1920 x 1080 in the future.

I am not keen on replacing the cooler as I have done that a few times with mixed results and as most graphics cards now can be found with 2/3 year warranty's and much improved cooling/noise levels there isn't much need to replace the cooler, just to buy a decent product to start with, which is the next problem.

As we all know, manufacturers decibel numbers should be ignored, and reviewers numbers can only be compared to other cards in their review.

Feel free to drop in suggestions or to ask further questions such as why are you looking at cards that cost between £180 - £280 that's a huge difference, my answer there is that if a £220 card is 25% faster than a £180 card, that extra £40 is a no-brainer, if its 5% faster, then I wont spend the extra, but I might cough up more than £220 if I get a card that is 25% faster than the £180 card, obviously I want the best performance for the least amount of cash.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


Last edited by andyb on Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:54 pm 
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Just a repeat of what you've seen me say on other threads and I'll speak USD instead of pounds sterling. :)

I've been staring at the current gen cards for a while as I delay my own purchase.

If you want to spend $200ish, I think the best gpu is the HD 7850. If you want to spend $300ish, then get the GTX 660 Ti. I think those two capture the best in class for a given price range, power use, etc.. If you were to use 2 monitors off of the gfx card or play BD DVDs a lot, then Nvidia wins (much lower clocking = much lower power use).

I'm fond of the MSI Twin Frozr IV solutions. I like the cooling (especially for the VRM and RAM) at a decent noise level. They ship tuned for temps over noise and MSI Afterburner can be used to tweak that back for a better noise profile. Take a look at the HT4U reviews for detailed temp, power and noise data.

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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Thanks for narrowing my search to the "MSI Twin Frozr" cards and the links to the reviews.

I will look for more comparative reviews tomorrow, but for now I had a quick look through the reviews on "TechPowerup" as they have reviews of the HD7850, the HD7870 and the 660Ti all for "MSI Twin Frozr" cards so that help greatly -thanks.

IMO there is no point going for the HD7850 as MSI's 7850 is £10 cheaper than the 7870, the choice between them two is a no-brainer.

When the 660Ti gets added to the mix it becomes more complicated because the price difference is a more substantial £50 - £60, but the 660Ti is faster all round and although a little noisier at idle, is a lot quieter at full load.

It looks like I might be aiming towards the top end of my budget range rather than lower down :(


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:37 pm 
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andyb wrote:
It looks like I might be aiming towards the top end of my budget range rather than lower down :(


Funny thing...I've been waiting and waiting for the 7850 prices to drop to where I think they fit...and now that they have, I'm staring at the 660 Ti. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Quote:
Funny thing...I've been waiting and waiting for the 7850 prices to drop to where I think they fit...and now that they have, I'm staring at the 660 Ti.


I have been doing the same thing with the HD7870 for months, but when nVidia launched their new series of cards, very very slowly I kept on waiting, and then AMD released faster cards (that have not made it to market yet) and have dropped the price of some cards (also not seen yet) I am still waiting to make a decision, but soon enough the 660 Ti's little brother will show up - yet another potential contender - frustrating.

Just having a look through the TomsHardware review, and in classic fashion I am having to add 5% to the frame-rates of the HD7870 because they are testing a vanilla card rather than the one that I might buy that is overclocked by 5% - talk about making life difficult. Anyway, what I am noticing is that several of the games has the 660Ti having very low minimum frame rates, this is not encouraging as this might be due to early drivers, which can only mean one thing, more reading to do tomorrow to find out if this is present in the other reviews as well and to check the driver version that they tested with.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Take a look at the Tech Report's reviews. They do an AWESOME job at showing what's going on at the frame level. Eye opening stuff.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:32 am 
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The non-Ti 660's and 650 Ti's are due in early September (next week?) so maybe you will have a far wider choice then. These cards should be able to be cooled passively with an Accelero S1 Plus given a sub 130W TDP.

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 Post subject: Re: Reccomend a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:51 am 
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edh wrote:
The non-Ti 660's and 650 Ti's are due in early September (next week?) so maybe you will have a far wider choice then. These cards should be able to be cooled passively with an Accelero S1 Plus given a sub 130W TDP.

The OEM GTX 660's are out now with unknown specs. The retail 660's are sometime in Sept. The 550Ti's, I've heard, are more like November.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:23 pm 
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Quote:
The OEM GTX 660's are out now with unknown specs. The retail 660's are sometime in Sept.


That's such a strong motivator to wait...... its almost September, the worst I have got is 1-month to wait to find out what they are all about, during that time AMD's offering of prize drops and performance boosts will have turned up muddying the waters further.

There is an obvious reason why I hate GPU companies and their dozens of partners and hundreds of models to choose from. The simple fact that the lines are seriously blurred between models of cards to such a degree that there are several HD7870's that outperform HD7950's, and not that I have checked, I wouldn't be surprised to see 660's outperforming 660 Ti's and 660 Ti's outperforming 670's.

But narrowing the field down to nothing but MSI Twin FROZR cards helps dramatically.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:22 pm 
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It's an ongoing game to maneuver for best performance at a price point. <shrugs> Some are valid, others are horrendous studies in power consumption :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:53 am 
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I got pissed off with waiting and ordered an MSI 660Ti Power Edition with Twin FROZR cooling - should arrive by or before Wednesday the 5th.

I am happy now, and will be a lot happier when the card turns up :mrgreen:

Now I need to find a buyer for my 512MB HD4850 with an Arctic Cooling S1 + turbo module (2x quiet fans).


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:52 am 
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andyb wrote:
I got pissed off with waiting

Heh. I look forward to your feedback on the MSI card.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:11 pm 
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I will give feedback compared to my old card (mentioned in my previous post) as well as the obvious performance increase.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:13 pm 
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What! You aren't going to build a nice anechoic chamber for this comparision?

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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:30 am 
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Quote:
What! You aren't going to build a nice anechoic chamber for this comparison?


Window is closed, ears ready, the card is here - latest drivers already downloaded, time to turn off the PC and swap cards.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:06 am 
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I hate this new graphics card :evil: my monitor is so loud its scary.

Seriously this card when idling is so quiet it might as well be passive - compared of course to the other sources of noise. There is no doubt that at idle at least this graphics card is quieter than the fans on my "Turbo Module" which were running @ 5v constantly, the noise whilst gaming is of much less importance due to the fact that the speakers will be on - this is impressive.

The other sources of noise in my PC apart from my monitor are the following. 1x Scythe Slipstream 1200rpm fan @5v, 1x Arctic Cooling F12 @5v, 1x Arctic Cooling F12 controlled by speedfan (currently 650rpm), and my Cooler Master Silent Pro 500M.

I am very happy with the card, just surprised at how loud my monitor is.

I have just done a quick test (with my monitor off), I have to set via speedfan my CPU fan speed (AC F12) to between 990rpm and 1050 rpm to hear that fan above the rest of the machine. NOTE: I am sitting in my usual place with 1 inch of solid pine between me and the PC and about 3-4 foot of actual distance from my ear to the top of the case.


Andy

PS: The only problem is that due to my motherboards SATA ports layout I have had to unplug my DVD drive because I can only use 2 of the ports - not that I really care, it rarely gets used anymore.

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card - Resolved :)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:58 am 
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Glad to hear the MSI card worked out. :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card - Resolved :)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:39 am 
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Quote:
Glad to hear the MSI card worked out. :)


Thanks, now all I need to do is play some games to see just how loud the card does get when its pushed.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: [Recommend] a "high-ish" end Graphics Card - Resolved :)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:09 am 
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I appreciate your feedback. And glad to see that the MSI didn't disappoint!

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