Upgrading my Graphics Card

vexxes

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Oct 29, 2011
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Hey everyone,

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card for, as I'm sure you've heard many times by now, the release of The Elder Scrolls Skyrim.

I have around $200 to spend on it, but I honestly have no idea where to start when it comes to graphics cards. Obviously I could look at numbers or prices and just go from there, but I want to get something that works well with my computer. I also don't want to get something that I'll be unable to get full use out of.

For those that don't know the recommended specs for Skyrim (to play on high) are: Win XP/7, quad-core Intel/AMD CPU, 4GB RAM, 6GB HD, DX compat snd card, DX9 vid card w/ 1 GB. GTX 260/Radeon 4890 or higher

My computer is as follows: Win 7, Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.8GHz, 4GB ram, plenty of hard drive space, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 video card.

I would like to be able to play on at least high, but maybe even some settings on ultra. What graphics cards would you recommend and do you think the rest of my system will be able to handle the game on high?
 

cps1974

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Aug 26, 2009
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can you confirm what power supply you currently have, make/model would be great (rather than just the stated wattage)? and what resolution will you play at? e.g. 1920x1080 (1080p) ?

I would suggest GTX 560 / HD 6870 - they are both quite closely matched, GTX 560 Ti coming in around $20 over the budget

me, I'd go with the GTX 560 Ti but a decent one will cost 30/40 bucks more imo but they are all very nice cards for that price point but you do need to provide that bit extra info

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125401

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127565


chaz
 

vexxes

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I have an Antec Earthwatts 650W power supply I believe. I'm looking into the 560 ti now and it seems pretty nice, may be worth the extra few bucks. Do you think it'd work with my system? Also, is there any difference in the two cards you posted? I know one is msi and the other is Gigabyte but one is also $20 cheaper and comes with Batman Arkham City. (Which looks awesome btw)

Thanks a lot!
 

cps1974

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hi vexxes

the batman game is getting top reviews and likely costs in the region of 50 USD, i think a download code comes with every new purchase of Nvidia GTX 560 and above (check nvidia website and query with the card reseller to make sure)

the main difference between the 2 cards is the clock speeds, the Gigabyte comes with the reference Nvidia GTX 560 Ti speeds of 822MHz on the core and 4000 on memory (although this should be 4008MHz - the difference is negligible) whilst the MSI comes factory overclocked @ 880MHz on core and 4200MHz on memory.

The Gigabyte appears to be easily overclocked at home to match the MSI speeds, whilst the MSI can be further overclocked at home and in the right PC case can probably achieve 950MHz or 1GHz on core.

Me, I'd go for the MSI if the additional 40USD can be found - although the MSI cooling solution is probably louder than the Gigabyte. I have 2 x GTX 460 (SLI) in my case and they are MSI Hawk & Gigabyte SOC

the PSU looks fine, if the 560 / 560 Ti (with their cooling solutions) are bigger than what you currently have do check that it wont block any other lanes you might use for other cards in your case.


chaz
 

vexxes

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So, in your opinion, the (stock) 60MHz is worth the extra $40? Is it significant enough to allow me to enhance my graphics in game? I really wish i knew more about this stuff, sorry for the dumb questions.

Thanks!
 

cps1974

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it's not just the extra 60MHz is starts with - because of it's superior cooling solution I would expect the MSI to be capable of reaching 1GHz or get pretty darn close

if you look at performance for price (bang4 buck) they are pretty closed matched, either would be a nice addition to my case, because my case runs pretty cool on air and I live in the UK where it is generally not that warm I'd go for the version capable of reaching higher clock speeds, for the (approx) 25 GBP increase (40 USD)

if budget was a significant factor for me I would have no problem in getting the gigabyte


chaz