Question What GPU to buy for an old PC

FireVortex720

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Hi guys,

I have a somewhat aging PC:

Intel i5 6500
ASROCK B150m Combo G
1 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
Sapphire R9 270X
CoolerMaster Thunder 600W PSU
240 + 480GB SSD
Zalman T4 mini Case
1080p monitor

I want to spend 300 GBP/~400 USD on a new/used graphics card so that I can play games at 60 FPS. I am thinking maybe a used GTX 1080 would work well, but not sure if my PSU can handle it or if it is too old now. In terms of timeline, I will probably use my current PC (with the new GPU) for about another 2 years minimum before upgrading entirely.

Let me know what you think would work best with my budget.

Thanks.
 
Jul 20, 2020
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Hi guys,

I have a somewhat aging PC:

Intel i5 6500
ASROCK B150m Combo G
1 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
Sapphire R9 270X
CoolerMaster Thunder 600W PSU
240 + 480GB SSD
Zalman T4 mini Case
1080p monitor

I want to spend 300 GBP/~400 USD on a new/used graphics card so that I can play games at 60 FPS. I am thinking maybe a used GTX 1080 would work well, but not sure if my PSU can handle it or if it is too old now. In terms of timeline, I will probably use my current PC (with the new GPU) for about another 2 years minimum before upgrading entirely.

Let me know what you think would work best with my budget.

Thanks.
YOU CALL THIS AN OLD.. AN OLD.. ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!
i have 11 yrs old pc ....can hardly run gta VC .
you should be grateful bro !! really grateful
 

FireVortex720

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YOU CALL THIS AN OLD.. AN OLD.. ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!
i have 11 yrs old pc ....can hardly run gta VC .
you should be grateful bro !! really grateful
Sorry, I didn't mean to come across as insensitive. I am looking at it from a modern perspective. I don't think I can play games like COD Modern Warfare on High settings and get decent frames. Hence, it is old in that sense.
But yes, I do acknowledge that my current rig is still decent, compared to what else may be out there.
 

madmatt30

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Careful with the thunder psu, how old is it?

I'd upgrade it at the same time seriously.

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT 6 GB Red Dragon Video Card (£267.94 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: EVGA 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (£85.47 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £353.41
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-06 21:16 BST+0100


Good combo, will play anything at 60fps ultra settings.

Your cpu may hold it back on some titles.

You could do with another 8gb ram too.
 
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FireVortex720

Distinguished
Oct 10, 2011
72
0
18,640
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Careful with the thunder psu, how old is it?

I'd upgrade it at the same time seriously.

PCPartPicker Part List

Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT 6 GB Red Dragon Video Card (£267.94 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: EVGA 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply (£85.47 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £353.41
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-06 21:16 BST+0100


Good combo, will play anything at 60fps ultra settings.

Your cpu may hold it back on some titles.

You could do with another 8gb ram too.
My PSU is 4 years old. If i do upgrade my PSU, i don't mind spending more since I will carry it with me to my next PC. But i don't want to do that if it can handle a GTX 1080 already.
 
1080p monitor

I want to spend 300 GBP/~400 USD on a new/used graphics card so that I can play games at 60 FPS. I am thinking maybe a used GTX 1080 would work well,
Whoa, hang on. What are the details on that 1080p monitor:
  • refresh rate?
  • does it have FreeSync, GSync, or neither?
If, for example, the max refresh rate is 60Hz, then there's no point getting a GTX 1080, as a significantly lower tier GPU will handle 60fps at 1080p just fine.


EDIT: otherwise, I agree with @madmatt30 , the 5600 XT gets around GTX 1080 performance for less money than you were looking to spend, and less power consumption.

Still, if your monitor is limited to 60Hz, then I might even consider dropping down to a GTX 1660 or 1660 Super if they can be had cheaper than the 5600 XT - I can't speak for the UK, but in the US, the 5600XT is usually the better deal because it's a better performer at about the same price as the 1660/1660 Super.
 

madmatt30

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My PSU is 4 years old. If i do upgrade my PSU, i don't mind spending more since I will carry it with me to my next PC. But i don't want to do that if it can handle a GTX 1080 already.
A 4 year old thunder should be replaced when you're dropping a fairly high powered card in. Q

A second hand 1080 makes no sense when ypu can get the 5600xt, a very good quality psu, and 8gb ram for yoir top £400 budget.

The 5600xt will decimate any game at 1080p ultra with ease.

Your 6500 will be the limiter in that respect when it comes to fps.
 
What kinds of games do you play?
Fast action games will benefit most from a fast graphics card.
If you play more cpu centric games like sims, mmo, and strategy games, your cpu may be more of a limiter and only a modest graphics card upgrade would be in order.
Try this test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

Your graphics selection may be limited by your psu.
Cheaper power supplies may not deliver advertised power.
GTX1080 sounds reasonable.
Here is a handy chart for other graphics cards:
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Also, your case does not have good airflow to support cooling a hot graphics card.
If you can find a GTX1080 with a blower style cooler, you will do better.
 

FireVortex720

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Whoa, hang on. What are the details on that 1080p monitor:
  • refresh rate?
  • does it have FreeSync, GSync, or neither?
If, for example, the max refresh rate is 60Hz, then there's no point getting a GTX 1080, as a significantly lower tier GPU will handle 60fps at 1080p just fine.


EDIT: otherwise, I agree with @madmatt30 , the 5600 XT gets around GTX 1080 performance for less money than you were looking to spend, and less power consumption.

Still, if your monitor is limited to 60Hz, then I might even consider dropping down to a GTX 1660 or 1660 Super if they can be had cheaper than the 5600 XT - I can't speak for the UK, but in the US, the 5600XT is usually the better deal because it's a better performer at about the same price as the 1660/1660 Super.
I have a NEC EA245WMi-2. I don't know what the refresh rate is (it's probably 60). It doesn't have FreeSync or GSync.

I see your point, but given my weaker CPU, would it be safer to buy the GTX 1080?
 

FireVortex720

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A 4 year old thunder should be replaced when you're dropping a fairly high powered card in. Q

A second hand 1080 makes no sense when ypu can get the 5600xt, a very good quality psu, and 8gb ram for yoir top £400 budget.

The 5600xt will decimate any game at 1080p ultra with ease.

Your 6500 will be the limiter in that respect when it comes to fps.
Will the 5600xt be enough to play COD MW at ultra and get 60FPS with my current CPU?
 

FireVortex720

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What kinds of games do you play?
Fast action games will benefit most from a fast graphics card.
If you play more cpu centric games like sims, mmo, and strategy games, your cpu may be more of a limiter and only a modest graphics card upgrade would be in order.
Try this test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

Your graphics selection may be limited by your psu.
Cheaper power supplies may not deliver advertised power.
GTX1080 sounds reasonable.
Here is a handy chart for other graphics cards:
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Also, your case does not have good airflow to support cooling a hot graphics card.
If you can find a GTX1080 with a blower style cooler, you will do better.
I only play three games - BF4, GTA V & COD MW.

I've tried that test, the FPS does drop when I lower the settings.
 

madmatt30

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I only play three games - BF4, GTA V & COD MW.

I've tried that test, the FPS does drop when I lower the settings.
The fps should increase when you lower settings not decrease.

The best test is to simply keep settings as you normally would and lower game resolution to 720p, if fps increases (and it should substantially) a gpu upgrade is in order.

But yes rhe 5600xt will max those games at 1080p 60fps.

Its a complete match for a gtx 1080, matches or beats it in just about every title out there.
 

FireVortex720

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The fps should increase when you lower settings not decrease.

The best test is to simply keep settings as you normally would and lower game resolution to 720p, if fps increases (and it should substantially) a gpu upgrade is in order.

But yes rhe 5600xt will max those games at 1080p 60fps.

Its a complete match for a gtx 1080, matches or beats it in just about every title out there.
Sorry, I meant increase, not decrease. OK, that's for the suggestion, will look into it.
 
I have a NEC EA245WMi-2. I don't know what the refresh rate is (it's probably 60). It doesn't have FreeSync or GSync.

I see your point, but given my weaker CPU, would it be safer to buy the GTX 1080?
No, because a more powerful video card will not make up for a (maybe) too-weak CPU. The GPU and the CPU both handle different aspects of things. If I may use a car analogy, you can add wider tires, and they will help with handling on the car, but they will not make the car any faster if the engine is too small for the weight of the car.

That said, I concur with @madmatt30 - the 5600 XT is the GTX 1080's equal, available new, and for less money. If it wasn't for an absolutely insane sale on a particular RX 5700 a few months ago, I would've gotten a 5600 XT for my son's PC.

My only alternate is to consider the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Super. As of today, in the US, some models can be had for less than the RX 5600 XT, but are good for 1920x1080 @ 60Hz. Whether that changes tomorrow, next week, or whatever, I couldn't say.

Here's the reviews of each with the framerates (compared to a few other cards) from Tom's Hardware at 1920x1080"
GTX 1660 review - 1920x1080 performance
GTX 1660 Super review - 1920x1080 performance

I know this sounds like I'm contradicting my previous advice, but the apparent drop in price on the GTX 1660 changes things a bit.
 
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