Thinking of upgrading my PC, could use some advice.

Praetorian MagePraetorian Mage Registered User regular
So with Fallout 4 coming out soon, I've been thinking it might be time to upgrade my PC. Right now, I have an i5 3570k CPU and a GTX 570 graphics card. I think the CPU is okay, but the graphics card probably isn't. I'm looking to be able to play current games at 1920x1080 and stay at or near 60 FPS on medium-to-high settings (for reference, I think vanilla Skyrim looks good enough even without Bethesda's high-res DLC, so I don't need top-notch graphics). I'd prefer not to go too far over $300 for the upgrade, if possible.

So I'd appreciate some information of whether or not this is possible, and hopefully some recommendations on what graphics card to get.

Posts

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Your CPU should still be quite adequate and probably still will be for the next couple years.

    The Nvidia GTX 970 is widely regarded as giving optimal bang for the buck among current GPU's, and almost all models are priced between $300 and $350. The Asus STRIX, MSI, and Gigabyte models are all well thought of. EVGA also makes a number of different versions of the 970, I think you want the ones with the ACX 2.0 cooler design (not regular ACX), someon can chime in here and correct me/elaborate on that.

    If cash is tight, a step down to the GTX 960 will also probably be sufficient to handle most current games and ones coming out in the near future at medium to high settings at 1920x1980, although I recommend getting one with 4GB of VRAM. These go in the $225-$275 range.

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  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    I agree with Gaslight that you CPU ought to be okay for some time, but it does depend a bit on what games you play as it could be that in some situations and having a new graphics card your may be the bottle neck(which is not saying the game won't run).

    New graphics cards are arriving from AMD just now. Over the next days the reviews will be all over on the tech sites and it will be known what they really offer, but it looks like they will either A. set the new standard for performance per $ or B. at the very least offer something that is on par with the offerings from Nvidia which should then cause prices to go down a bit.

    AMD is also just about to put out some very fast new stuff, so fast it should certainly take the new performance crown away from Nvidia. However this will more costly than the budget you suggest and it is likely also only coming over the summer, but it may perhaps push some people to upgrade and then sell their current monster cards from affordable sums.

    PS. Before buying new graphics power remember to make sure the PSU in your PC is sufficiently powerful.

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  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    New graphics cards are arriving from AMD just now. Over the next days the reviews will be all over on the tech sites and it will be known what they really offer, but it looks like they will either A. set the new standard for performance per $ or B. at the very least offer something that is on par with the offerings from Nvidia which should then cause prices to go down a bit.

    AMD is also just about to put out some very fast new stuff, so fast it should certainly take the new performance crown away from Nvidia. However this will more costly than the budget you suggest and it is likely also only coming over the summer, but it may perhaps push some people to upgrade and then sell their current monster cards from affordable sums.

    The R9 390x is just a 2-year old card with more VRAM taped on and that is the second-most powerful card in AMD's lineup now. We will see what Fury can do but I don't see any reason to expect AMD to take the performance title away from Nvidia. Best AMD can hope for is to be competitive at certain price points for people with constrained budgets.

    Gaslight on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    AMD is really catering to the cryptocurrency market at the moment. It'll probably be a year or two before it's anything more than a hot running, low performance (video game wise) but cheap video card once cryptocurrency moves out of the realm of GPU mining and into ASIC (there's more than just bitcoins).

    bowen on
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  • Praetorian MagePraetorian Mage Registered User regular
    I agree with Gaslight that you CPU ought to be okay for some time, but it does depend a bit on what games you play as it could be that in some situations and having a new graphics card your may be the bottle neck(which is not saying the game won't run).

    I've heard that my CPU is pretty amenable to overclocking, but I don't know how to do it or how safe it would be. Is there anything you can tell me about that?
    PS. Before buying new graphics power remember to make sure the PSU in your PC is sufficiently powerful.

    Unless I'm misreading things, the 960 and 970 both have lower power requirements than my current card. I'm not sure how that's possible, but it's what I'm seeing. If that's right, I'm good for those cards at least.
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Your CPU should still be quite adequate and probably still will be for the next couple years.

    The Nvidia GTX 970 is widely regarded as giving optimal bang for the buck among current GPU's, and almost all models are priced between $300 and $350. The Asus STRIX, MSI, and Gigabyte models are all well thought of. EVGA also makes a number of different versions of the 970, I think you want the ones with the ACX 2.0 cooler design (not regular ACX), someon can chime in here and correct me/elaborate on that.

    If cash is tight, a step down to the GTX 960 will also probably be sufficient to handle most current games and ones coming out in the near future at medium to high settings at 1920x1980, although I recommend getting one with 4GB of VRAM. These go in the $225-$275 range.

    How big would you say the difference is between the 970 and the 960? I'd assume it's substantial given the price disparity, but I don't know much about these things.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Here's a pretty thorough comparison. I selected both the reference models of the 960 and 970 as well as ASUS's overclocked STRIX versions of both (I have a STRIX 970 and it's boss).

    tomshardware.com/charts/2015-vga-charts/compare,3679.html?prod[7477]=on&prod[7266]=on&prod[7372]=on&prod[7378]=on

    EDIT: Quick skimming says the 970 is around a 50% increase over the 960? If that's accurate, then it seems like there's no question which one to get.

    Nova_C on
  • BouwsTBouwsT Wanna come to a super soft birthday party? Registered User regular
    I agree with Gaslight that you CPU ought to be okay for some time, but it does depend a bit on what games you play as it could be that in some situations and having a new graphics card your may be the bottle neck(which is not saying the game won't run).
    PS. Before buying new graphics power remember to make sure the PSU in your PC is sufficiently powerful.

    Unless I'm misreading things, the 960 and 970 both have lower power requirements than my current card. I'm not sure how that's possible, but it's what I'm seeing. If that's right, I'm good for those cards at least.

    The new 900 series cards are using a new chip that is VASTLY more power efficient than previous iterations. Yes, you should always check your power requirements, but I promise that in this case (if all you're changing is that 570 to a 970) your current PSU will be just fine. If you can swing around that $300 mark, there is usually SOME version of the 970 that is on sale in that budget range.

    Gaslight is exactly right on the brands that are well regarded, and you'd be well served with that upgrade.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    most (all?) i5s are good chips for overclocking, and lots of mobos come with basic OC utilities already set up. Getting 10-15% above factory clock should be relatively trivial.

    that being said it's not really worth messing with unless you find that your processor is bottlenecking you post-GPU upgrade, which it almost certainly won't be in single player games

    NREqxl5.jpg
  • Praetorian MagePraetorian Mage Registered User regular
    Thanks for the information, guys. I'm not completely sure I'm going to upgrade right now (I'd mostly be doing it for Fallout 4, which I'm not certain about buying - the "voiced protagonist" thing has me worried) but I appreciate it nonetheless.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    most (all?) i5s are good chips for overclocking

    i5's that don't have "K" at the end of their model number basically cannot be overclocked at all.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    oh, well yeah

    I don't think really any consumer manufacturers use the locked chips at this point though, do they?

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Unless I'm misreading things, the 960 and 970 both have lower power requirements than my current card. I'm not sure how that's possible, but it's what I'm seeing. If that's right, I'm good for those cards at least.

    The reason for that is you live in the future.

    Congrats and enjoy.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    oh, well yeah

    I don't think really any consumer manufacturers use the locked chips at this point though, do they?

    Um...

    Virtually no consumer manufacturers use the unlocked chips aside from the boutique places that will build a gaming PC for you. Check out the specs on any garden-variety pre-built Dell, HP, etc. and if they have an i5 or an i7 it'll be a locked, non-K model.

    Now the OP does have a 3570k so he should be in good shape to OC if he wants to try it, but he's going to need an aftermarket cooler.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    New graphics cards are arriving from AMD just now. Over the next days the reviews will be all over on the tech sites and it will be known what they really offer, but it looks like they will either A. set the new standard for performance per $ or B. at the very least offer something that is on par with the offerings from Nvidia which should then cause prices to go down a bit.

    AMD is also just about to put out some very fast new stuff, so fast it should certainly take the new performance crown away from Nvidia. However this will more costly than the budget you suggest and it is likely also only coming over the summer, but it may perhaps push some people to upgrade and then sell their current monster cards from affordable sums.

    The R9 390x is just a 2-year old card with more VRAM taped on and that is the second-most powerful card in AMD's lineup now. We will see what Fury can do but I don't see any reason to expect AMD to take the performance title away from Nvidia. Best AMD can hope for is to be competitive at certain price points for people with constrained budgets.

    I'd hold off until the Fury X and 390x hit retail and get more thorough benchmarking before we start making predictions. It's looking like the Fury X will at least slightly edge the 980ti. The r9 390x should offer bang to buck ratio compared to a 980. In any event, the new AMD cards will be competitive enough on price and performance that the Nvidia cards will become cheaper or you can get equivalently-performing AMD card for significantly less than a 980 or 980ti.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    Gaslight wrote: »
    New graphics cards are arriving from AMD just now. Over the next days the reviews will be all over on the tech sites and it will be known what they really offer, but it looks like they will either A. set the new standard for performance per $ or B. at the very least offer something that is on par with the offerings from Nvidia which should then cause prices to go down a bit.

    AMD is also just about to put out some very fast new stuff, so fast it should certainly take the new performance crown away from Nvidia. However this will more costly than the budget you suggest and it is likely also only coming over the summer, but it may perhaps push some people to upgrade and then sell their current monster cards from affordable sums.

    The R9 390x is just a 2-year old card with more VRAM taped on and that is the second-most powerful card in AMD's lineup now. We will see what Fury can do but I don't see any reason to expect AMD to take the performance title away from Nvidia. Best AMD can hope for is to be competitive at certain price points for people with constrained budgets.

    I'd hold off until the Fury X and 390x hit retail and get more thorough benchmarking before we start making predictions. It's looking like the Fury X will at least slightly edge the 980ti. The r9 390x should offer bang to buck ratio compared to a 980. In any event, the new AMD cards will be competitive enough on price and performance that the Nvidia cards will become cheaper or you can get equivalently-performing AMD card for significantly less than a 980 or 980ti.

    :D

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