best "bang for buck" upgrade for this year's games

rkenshin09

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Hey,

I wanted to upgrade my ~4 year old build so it can handle some of this year's games better (e.g. Witcher 3)

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield Quad-Core 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Processor BX80601950
GPU: MSI N465GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0
Memory: 24gb, 2x G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-[/b] (used for work, data analysis for memory-intensive programs)
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...

Then Windows on an SSD then storage via mirrored 1TB RAIDs

Would one of the new GPUs add enough to run games coming out this year?

Thanks!
 
Yes a new video card would set you up decent.
I would also overclock the processor some (research this first their loads of information)
Even a $200 card would be a big increase.
http://www.hwcompare.com/14834/geforce-gtx-465-vs-geforce-gtx-760/
 

rkenshin09

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I currently have this CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes, sorry I forgot to include in my original post.

Ideally, I'd only like to spend a few hundred bucks
 

Justin Millard

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Your CPU is still fine for gaming so I definitely recommend a new video card.
Seeing as you already have Nvidia you may as well stick with them. The GTX 760 is currently the best Nvidia GPU for $200-$250 (unless you can find one of the older GTX 670 cards for the same price) that will allow you to play all games smoothly.

However there is also a new nvidia card coming out in two weeks called the GTX 960. If it turns out that has better performance than the GTX 760 then buy that instead.
 

Justin Millard

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I feel like the GTX 970 might be a bit of a stretch on your budget, and in any case its performance will be limited by your CPU on your current system. So right now you won't be able to experience its maximum frame rate performance. However if you are looking for a video card powerful enough to keep using for the next four years, when your current CPU is long gone, then the GTX 970 is a good buy.
 

^^^^^ This is not true most games are more GPU dependent and you still have a very good processor with a mild overclock.
Although the 970 is out of your price range.
Your best performance from $200 would came from a R9 280

 

Justin Millard

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I agree its a minor thing and as you said for most games it doesn't matter that much, but its still something that exists.

I'm just saying you won't see the maximum performance of that GPU. What you will get is a very good experience, but not a major leap over the GTX 960 or R9 280 with that CPU pairing.

Actually I am very fond of the R9 280 and 290X. The only reason I didn't mention them is because they already have a nvidia card so they may as well keep the trend going. I don't usually recommend changing brands unless its a brand new PC, but its only a minor nuisance to change across to new drivers and rare for anything to go wrong.

If you do buy an AMD card just remember to uninstall nvidia control panel and Geforce experience etc. once you have confirmed the new card is working.

But if you decide you want to go above the R9 280X definitely grab a GTX 970 (or 4GB GTX 960 or 960ti when it eventually releases to save $100).
 

Justin Millard

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Apologies. I'll try not to waffle on distracting minor details.

Alright last time I checked Witcher 3 doesn't come out until May so you have a bit of time to prepare. We probably won't even have the official PC requirements until April.

Like Zerk said the R9 280 is currently best for $200. Yet before May we have a bunch of new cards coming out.

The unreleased AMD R9 370X looks likely to take the place of the R9 280 as the best option for $200, while the R9 380X will be cheaper than the GTX 970 and also outperform it. As far as bang for buck, what I have seen from the R9 370X is very promising for its price, but its too early to tell whether or not it will beat the GTX 960 GPUs for performance.

Its usually my belief that mid range price point around the R9 270X, GTX 760, R9 280X is where the best value is to be had.

Anyway I'll sign off now and let the others get a word in.
Good luck!
 

rkenshin09

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Great thanks for all of the replies - since I don't immediately need the GPU, i'll keep my eyes out for some sales on the R9 380x or GTX 960 when they release
 

rkenshin09

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It does look like they have released the specs:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/pc-tough-enough-witcher-3-wild-hunt/

so I would assume either of the recommended cards (960 or 290x) would be sufficient? Thanks!
 

rkenshin09

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Yeah, somewhere around $250 would be ideal
 

Justin Millard

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Wow. Thanks for sharing that. I didn't know. Massive requirements, but at least its not as bad as Assassin's Creed Unity.
http://thewitcher.com/news/view/927

Recommended system requirements usually means always over 30FPS on the highest settings.
Whereas minimum means always over 30FPS on low settings.

So if you're not fussed about playing on high settings something in between will be fine.

If you want to play at highest settings the R9 380X will be the cheapest option when it comes out around March.

If buying over the next four weeks:
For medium-high settings I'd say the GTX 960 will be the best option. It should be at least level with the R9 280X, and probably slightly under the GTX 770 for performance. The big plus here is it will save you money on power in the long run compared to the R9 280X and the GTX 770.
The low electricity usage of the GTX 960 makes it hard to go past if you plan to keep it for the next three years.

However if you want something cheaper again I would probably wait for the AMD R9 370X which comes out around the same time as Witcher 3. It should have at least the same performance as an R9 280X, but be cheaper and a lot better on power.

I highly recommend waiting at least until the R9 380X comes out so you can compare these GPUs for yourself. Good luck!
 

Justin Millard

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Btw when the Witcher 3 comes out its perfectly safe to try overclocking your CPU. A starting overclock of 3.2GHZ should set you up very nicely. Although if you still aren't happy with its performance you should be able to get it up to 3.4GHZ without stressing your system.
 

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