Question Want a new GPU, trying to learn specs and how to choose

tinpanalley

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Of course, I'd love any recommendations, but I have a feeling my needs won't be the same as for most people buying a gaming GPU. Believe it or not, I bought a Radeon R9 280 in 2015 when it was ALREADY about a year old, it happened to be on sale, and I'm STILL using it. It's fine, but there are times when it's limitations are evident. I just upgraded my system entirely. I'm thinking a new GPU could play better with my new system I built about a year ago.
System specs:
- MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX Motherboard
- AMD RYZEN 5 3600 6-Core 3.6 GHz
- CORSAIR RMx Series RM650x 2018 CP-9020178-NA 650W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD PSU
- G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600)

Needs:
Gaming
- There are a lot of older sports games which we don't even need to talk about because they all run fine even on the current card. I'm talking games from 5 years ago to up to 15 years ago.
- Current offline adventure type shooters (Tomb Raider, etc)
- And then most of the gaming is the current sports games (EA games, PES, NBA2K)
I currently play all these games on high settings and they play fine. Sure, fps is hardly ever perfectly 60fps or higher. Sometimes, but rarely. So to end up with something less than that or equal would be silly.

Video
I do very simple non-effects based video editing for production work but even on the R9 280, when I need it for rendering, I'm fine. So, I'm guessing any card today would be just as good.

Output
I need to have HDMI output but no display I have is more than Full HD (1080p) so I don't need a card that can output to a 2K display or anything like that. As far as future proofing, I'm unlikely to ever do that either or need this GPU to give me that option. But in most cases it's going to be the media determining output anyway.\

Budget
Let's say I want to stick to 300-350 (Canadian). Is that doable considering my needs are relatively simple?

Any help with sites to read up on, good sites for comparing GPUs, reviews etc would be awesome.
Thanks!
 

tinpanalley

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just get a 1660 super and call it a day.
Yeah, a 1660 Super would be your best bet
Thanks guys. Been getting suggestions elsewhere. that it's a bad time to buy? That both nvidia and AMD are about to come out with mid-range cards that will be better than last gen's high end because they'll offer ray tracing and other things you can't get now. And that even for not being someone who is looking for high end, it will still mean that 2 - 3 months from now I'm likely to get something better for my money.
Can anyone here speak to how valid that is? And, what I'm personally wondering is, isn't this ALWAYS true to some extent? I mean, can't you ALWAYS look at what's coming in the market and say "you can get better in 4 months?". Is the soon to come situation THAT much better?
 

madmatt30

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Thanks guys. Been getting suggestions elsewhere. that it's a bad time to buy? That both nvidia and AMD are about to come out with mid-range cards that will be better than last gen's high end because they'll offer ray tracing and other things you can't get now. And that even for not being someone who is looking for high end, it will still mean that 2 - 3 months from now I'm likely to get something better for my money.
Can anyone here speak to how valid that is? And, what I'm personally wondering is, isn't this ALWAYS true to some extent? I mean, can't you ALWAYS look at what's coming in the market and say "you can get better in 4 months?". Is the soon to come situation THAT much better?
Yes you can say something better is always on the horizon.
Your issue is in that price bracket there's nothing really due new GPU wise.

The other issue is that current gpu prices are inflated (weirdly not so bad in Canada as they are in the UK and USA) , the 1660 super is honestly about the only solid buy in that price bracket at this moment in time.

At this moment in time only the high end cards are due, the nvidia launch was paper thin, amd are only launching the top tier stuff this year because the binning process is used to produce lower tier cards from excess lower binned silicon.

From what I see only maybe the 6500xt is going o be close to that price bracket and that will be a next year spring launch at best imo.
 

RTX 2080

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Thanks guys. Been getting suggestions elsewhere. that it's a bad time to buy? That both nvidia and AMD are about to come out with mid-range cards that will be better than last gen's high end because they'll offer ray tracing and other things you can't get now. And that even for not being someone who is looking for high end, it will still mean that 2 - 3 months from now I'm likely to get something better for my money.
Can anyone here speak to how valid that is? And, what I'm personally wondering is, isn't this ALWAYS true to some extent? I mean, can't you ALWAYS look at what's coming in the market and say "you can get better in 4 months?". Is the soon to come situation THAT much better?
Like @madmatt30 said, its going to be a while until a new card becomes available in the price bracket you are looking into, and even then, with all these shortages and delays its probably going to be even longer than most people are expecting for that to happen. Even when all that does happen, a 1660 Super will still serve you well for quite a while so its not like buying now is going to saddle you with poor performance.
 
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madmatt30

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Like @madmatt30 said, its going to be a while until a new card becomes available in the price bracket you are looking into, and even then, with all these shortages and delays its probably going to be even longer than most people are expecting for that to happen. Even when all that does happen, a 1660 Super will still serve you well for quite a while so its not like buying now is going to saddle you with poor performance.
I agree, I've been through 3 more cards since owning my old 280x since 2014/2015.

Gtx 970/rx 580 and then dropped the money on a 5700xt mid July because the prices dropped to £330 which I was comfortable spending.

I found that upgrading every couple of years allowed me to grab back around 60% when selling of the original price of the card I was using at the time.

This has always worked for me, it's about the equivalent of renting a gpu for £1 a week which in all respects is a bargain.

I could be considered a bit stupid buying a 5700xt this summer when new cards are on the horizon but it honestly does the job for me and will last a couple of years minimum for my use.

3 months down the line he may be able to get a 5600xt/5700 for that budget but that's pretty much conjecture on my part.

I'm not sure I personally could put up with that old 280 nowadays as my main gpu (that said it's aged surprisingly well compared to nvidia cards from that era)
 

tinpanalley

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a 1660 Super will still serve you well for quite a while so its not like buying now is going to saddle you with poor performance.
Ok, that's exactly the kind of practical info I was looking for. I think some peripherals need only be as good as what you're using them for. Their proximity to the leading edge is only as important as that has relevance to your use. I have for years and will continue to only get 1080p monitors and TVs. I produce film work in 1080p and master them to whatever I need them to be but I view absolutely no content in anything higher than Blu-Ray quality so 2K and plus is useless to me. The tradeoff of quality for what it costs isn't worth it. I have a fantastic, extremely expensive when purchased, audio receiver. It's twelve years old and has no HDMI. I feed only audio into it via SPDIF (toslink or coax) because my record player, older consoles, and devices from where I play 5.1 discs or files (DTS or AC3 at most) don't need more than that. Getting back on topic, I've asked on other sites, and the suggestion has been essentially, "why would you get something that's only 10X better than what you have when you can wait 5 months and get something 15X better?!" and I guess my answer is, "to what end? To have what's better? For the purposes I have?"

So thanks for you and @madmatt30 keeping the advice on point and real.
 
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tinpanalley

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Now, does which brand of card matter?
I'm using Display Port for my monitor and HDMI to my TV. I have an ATX board, and I don't need the card to display the northern lights in my system. I also don't overclock. Any suggestions?
I'm thinking about this one.

Nevermind, all things being essentially equal, I think I'll get this instead. Makes sense, right?
 
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RTX 2080

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Now, does which brand of card matter?
I'm using Display Port for my monitor and HDMI to my TV. I have an ATX board, and I don't need the card to display the northern lights in my system. I also don't overclock. Any suggestions?
I'm thinking about this one.

Nevermind, all things being essentially equal, I think I'll get this instead. Makes sense, right?
Actually, I think the first one would be better.

Most brands of the same model GPU are the same in most ways (the "overclock" that they advertise is essentially inconsequential in most cases), but what IS important is the type of cooler they use. The better the cooler is, the easier it will be to keep the GPU's temperatures low, thus the slower the fans can spin, reducing noise inside your tower. Thus, I recommend you the first card you linked because it has a good cooler design and the second one doesn't. As you said, you're going to keep this card for a while, so the card you pick is the one that you will be stuck with for a while; trust me, you don't want to be stuck with a GPU with a noisy or low-performing cooler (ask me how I know).
 

RTX 2080

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I've had one in the past, I know exactly what you're talking about.
Thank you for the wise advice.
....but, go on and tell me about how you know anyway.:sneaky:
(Is the ASUS ROG Strix another potential choice?)
Lol, ok.

I do folding@home COVID-19 simulations on my machine using two GPUs: a RTX 2080 Founder's Edition, and an EVGA RTX 2060 KO. I originally just had the 2080, but I added the 2060 to boost my folding@home throughput. I bought the 2060 KO because it was cheap for a 2060 and because it uses a cut-down 2080 chip that sometimes comes into play like a real 2080 under certain workloads. Problem is, the cooling on the 2060 KO is the same one EVGA uses on their GTX 1650 which is a much lower-power card. What happens when you combine a cheap cooler trying to deal with the heat of a 2060 and a 2080 running directly underneath it? Bad results. It's not noisy or anything (ironically, its much quieter than the fans on the 2080 founder's edition) but the temperatures are awful. If it warms up in my room enough, my 2060 temps will redline at 87 degrees (the max allowable temperature). It's not a case airflow issue mind you, my 2080 runs about 15 degrees cooler at any ambient temperature, its just that the 2060 KO cooler really sucks. BTW, I keep the fans on both GPUs at 100%.

So I have a RTX 2080 that cools well but with really loud fans, and a RTX 2060 KO that is quiet even at 100% fans, but that runs really hot. Trust me, the next GPU I buy, I'll be researching a whole lot more into how their coolers work lol.

I don't have experience with the other GPU you linked; it's probably fine, but I'd read a couple of reviews to see what the temps are and how loud it is.
 
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tinpanalley

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I don't have experience with the other GPU you linked; it's probably fine, but I'd read a couple of reviews to see what the temps are and how loud it is.
I got the msi. Good call on the cooling. Everywhere I read said that was not only well designed but among the best on any similar card.

Unrelated sidenote, maybe you can tell me about in a DM, what's this folding@home thing?
 
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