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Graphics cards questions....


TechnicalK3rbal
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I've currently got a Nvidia GT 610, and am interested in getting a newer GPU. It would be used mainly for gaming, such as KSP, and, what I mainly want a newer one for, is Planetside 2 and Space Engineers, neither of which run particularly well. The (minimum) requirements for those games are (respectively) a GTX 260 and GTX 460. I have, however, found a GTX 660 (2 GB dedicated ram) for relatively cheap, would that be better? I am unsure of how graphics card performance is rated, hence the question.

Thanks.

Edit: if you have any suggestions for graphics cards less than 100$(US), I would be open to suggestions.

Edit2: it runs fine for KSP, but i only get like 15 FPS on the other games, with close-to-minimum settings.

Edit3: this might be better in Science labs[Computer Science].

Edited by TechnicalK3rbal
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I'm running a gt 610 and I'm happy with it. I think I got it for like $36. Best $36 dollars I ever spent. But, there's more to consider. Is it a lot better that what you have? Maybe not, I don't know. Considering I was used to playing with integrated graphics on a laptop, it was like night and day. There are so many factors to comb through when comparing video cards it can be overwhelming. Compatibility with your motherboard and psu are going to big factors too. Anyway, good luck on this.

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But... the ones you listed have multiple digits?

The second digit is the one that matters. The first one indicates the generation, the second one the power of the card and the rest does not matter for your purposes. Dont buy a stone old generation - nvidia: 6 and upwards, amd 7 and upwards.

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Join Team Red! You'll be glad you did. Here's a good choice (current generation Radeon, R9 family, overclockable, dual dissipation, $129.99 after rebate) -

PowerColor TurboDuo AXR9 270 2GBD5-TDHE/OC Radeon R9 270 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 CrossFireX Support Video Card

show_img.asp?id=525&file=image_b_s_3.jpg

show_img.asp?id=525&file=image_b_s_2.jpg

Link - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131545

Comparison with your current GPU - http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-R9-270-vs-Nvidia-GeForce-GT-610

Edited by segaprophet
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I think you would have to look at something like a GTX750Ti, or a R9 270 or 270X. It rather depends on local availability and prices.

Importantly, are you sure the issue is the GPU? What processor do you have? Because it is useless to upgrade your GPU if your processor is to blame.

The second digit is the one that matters. The first one indicates the generation, the second one the power of the card and the rest does not matter for your purposes. Dont buy a stone old generation - nvidia: 6 and upwards, amd 7 and upwards.

I would have to advice people to disregard this suggestion, as it cannot be called a rule or anything. Pointing to numbers or series is going to get you into trouble, typically sooner than later.

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Importantly, are you sure the issue is the GPU? What processor do you have? Because it is useless to upgrade your GPU if your processor is to blame.

-snip-

Will check that, thanks. Totally forgot about that.

Edit: If it is the CPU, how would i go about changing that? adding something like a GPU or RAM is about the limit of my (hardware) computer knowledge...

Edited by TechnicalK3rbal
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Will check that, thanks. Totally forgot about that.

Edit: If it is the CPU, how would i go about changing that? adding something like a GPU or RAM is about the limit of my (hardware) computer knowledge...

The basic procedure for a desktop is disconnecting power, removing your cooler and unclipping your CPU before doing the same in reverse, except that you apply TIM to the CPU before mounting the cooler. Whether an interesting upgrade is available for your socket and chipset is another question, sometimes it really does not pay to upgrade just the CPU. Choices typically are more limited than with GPU's.

However, you will first need to establish whether it is the CPU or the GPU that is the problem. Play the problematic games with Windows Task Manager and a program like GPU-Z or Afterburner running. If the GPU is fully loaded the video card is your problem, if the CPU is fully loaded or is loaded to the equivalent percentage of one thread (in a non-hyper threading quad core that means 25%) the CPU is probably to blame. When in doubt, screenshot both programs and post the image.

Without measuring you will never know for sure what the problem is, making any investment a gamble at best.

Edited by Camacha
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Ugh, SLI with a GT 610?

Never use SLI in a PC except you allready maxed out EVERYTHING else. Its not worth it, especialy with a GT 610.

You will only get those 70% improvement in specialy optimised games and 70% more FPS wont ferl like 70% since you will have problems with not constant frame distribution (this got better in recent years but its still there).

Also two times GT 610 ist still nearly nothing, any decent budget GPU like the R7 260X would be much, much faster (and provide much more perfomance/money).

Is SLI with a 610 possible at all? I can imagine that they thought at Nvidia "Why would someone want to do this?"

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Here's a screenshot of the GPU-Z and Task Manager open, as well as the current framerate in game, though the FPS and CPU usage will decrease/increase respectively when large/complex objects are being loaded. About half the time it's at ~15, the remainder at ~30

I assume its the GPU load that is the main issue, not sure though, so i figured I would upload it anyway.

orye5Yt.png?1

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Yeah go with at least Radeon R9 270, anything cheaper is not worth your time. On the Nvidia side, I can't tell you because I don't give a crap about Nvidia. :P

(yes, I'm a Radeon fanboy because I gotta keep up my Radeon cred, been using ATI/AMD graphics for 17 years and counting)

Edited by segaprophet
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It is an AMD processor, though I'm rather wary of and ATI GPU as I've had problems with them in the past, though given my increased computer knowledge and (obviously) improved technologies, ATI is a possibility.

Edit: drivers, not the hardware. That worked fine.

Edited by TechnicalK3rbal
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Here's a screenshot of the GPU-Z and Task Manager open, as well as the current framerate in game, though the FPS and CPU usage will decrease/increase respectively when large/complex objects are being loaded. About half the time it's at ~15, the remainder at ~30

I assume its the GPU load that is the main issue, not sure though, so i figured I would upload it anyway.

http://i.imgur.com/orye5Yt.png?1

What game is that in? As long as its not a game that is notoriously single threaded or has other performance issues (*cough* GTA 4) it looks like the problem is your your GPU indeed. Looking at the performance graph, it would help to upgrade.

Do you have any idea what the performance is when the GPU dips below 100% load? If performance is good in those bits of the game, an upgrade should solve all problems. If the performance is still not ideal, you might have a combined CPU and GPU issue. In that case upgrading will partially solve your problem. You could check by running a windowed game and looking at the graphs (possibly combined with something like Fraps). The CPU graph does not suggest to me that is the case though, as it appears to sit quite comfortably below full load.

What CPU do you have?

It is an AMD processor,cthough im rather wary of and ATI GPU as I've had problems with them in the past, though given my increased computer knowledge and (obviously) improved technologies, ATI is a possibility.

AMD (or ATI as you call is) is fine. Nvidia is fine. There are no statistics that suggest much difference between them and my personal experience tells me the same. I have switched brands pretty much every upgrade for the past 15 or so years and I cannot say one it significantly better or less troublesome than the other.

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If you look at the screenshot again, you can see Planetside 2 in the background, a notoriously CPU-heavy game. Granted, it's not light on GPU either, so the GPU limit may be hiding CPU issues that will crop up when the restriction is removed. Definitely want a GPU upgrade, CPU is a maybe.

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When I was building my PC, I built it around the ability to crush two specific games, ARMA 2 and ARMA 3. Knowing that these games eat CPU cycles like crazy, I had to spring for Core i5 3570K to give myself a lot of overhead.

Most games are not that CPU intensive, however. Most games will work very well with a better than average, newish (~2 years or less) GPU and a bog standard average multicore CPU (although single threaded performance is something to pay attention to for games).

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If you look at the screenshot again, you can see Planetside 2 in the background, a notoriously CPU-heavy game.

I was not all too sure that was the game the test was run with :) I am not familiar with the particularities of Planetside 2.

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What game is that in? As long as its not a game that is notoriously single threaded or has other performance issues (*cough* GTA 4) it looks like the problem is your your GPU indeed. Looking at the performance graph, it would help to upgrade.

Do you have any idea what the performance is when the GPU dips below 100% load?

What CPU do you have?

I didn't see the GPU go below 90% in the time I was running the game. (Planetside 2, which is multithreaded as far as i can tell.)

Processor is an AMD Athlon II x4.

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I've currently got a Nvidia GT 610, and am interested in getting a newer GPU...I have, however, found a GTX 610 (1 GB dedicated ram) for relatively cheap, would that be better?
I've never heard of a GTX 610. Either you made a typo, or the product description is wrong.

Anyway, the 610 is a weak card. I had one and it creaked along with a few games but did not perform very well.

On the nVidia side in your budget if you shop around you should be able to get a 750. That's a latest generation card, a massive leap over a 610 and should do well in almost all games. It also requires little power and most examples don't need a PCI-e power connector, so you shouldn't have any concerns about your power supply. Do get a 2GB model not a 1GB, some games will need the extra video memory.

AMD will I think offer you more performance for your money on Windows. The drawbacks are much higher power consumption, so you'll need to check your power supply can handle it, and inferior performance on Linux if that's a concern to you.

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Never buy a graphics card for gaming which has a second digit <5. There should be plenty of used options < $100 like nv 560gt/660gtx or Amd 7850/70

thats a clever system. i always used cost, anything over $200 is mid range or better, and i usually go mid range.

i usually spring for a 6 but with my decline in gaming and blatant distaste for aaa titles, ive reduced down to a 5. i hardly noticed the difference. sometimes i think we are over thinking this whole graphics card buisness. games dont seem to be improving that much in the graphics department these days. its all about moar pixels and less power demand.

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I can only think that site is either giving scores that factor in cost or using a very non-linear scoring system.

Benchmarks aren't the be all and end all, but these are the Passmark scores and it's an absolute chasm.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=33&cmp[]=2152

Real game framerates are perhaps better of course. The 610 is such a low-end card it's not often tested, but it's in this test of a bunch of cards in TF2 on Linux. There's no 660 in there but it should be between the 750 Ti and 760 in performance, and thus give around 5 times the framerate of the 610.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvamd_binary_comparison&num=3

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