• Blurring the line between real and virtual motorsports
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What GFX Card to buy?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Scott Webber, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    i have never needed help finding a GFX card as i always know what i want and what im looking for, but for some reason i have become stuck finding a decent one.

    what i had in mind was the MSI GeForce GTX560Ti 448 Core Twin Frozr III Power Edition/OC NVIDIA Graphics Card - 1280MB , however i do not want to pre-order it, and it seems it's not being sold anywhere in the UK now. (discontinued? or low stock?)

    ofcourse your going to ask what's it for? well everything, mainly racing but it must be a good powerful card which will run easily for the next 2 years (i intend to run many games, mainly racing but shooting too)

    My Price Range is £200 Max , i may go £10 over but that's about it, im open for suggestions.

    Any help is highly appreciated.
  2. Nvidia only or AMD an option?

    I know from AMD that the HD 7850 2gb is dropping down to sub £180. The 560Ti is probably not being continued as they've just started selling the 660Ti's which are around £250
  3. sorry should have been more clearer, i have been with AMD for the past few years, i also like Nvidia so im open to any of them :)

    i have the 6870 1GB DDR5 currently, but im looking for a massive boost, i may even look at the 660Ti, but i need a good think about it. (due to price)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. If you currently have a 6870 then a 560 Ti isn't a worthwhile upgrade in my opinion. The 660ti isnt considered great value for money right now either due to it's price point.

    I'm currently thinking of upgrading my 6870 as well and the 7950 looks to be the best buy at the moment for bang per buck. Within your budget I'd go for the 7850 or 7870 and overclock it.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Coming from a 6870, I think it's only worth upgrading if you go to at least a 7950/660. A 7870 is an upgrade, but I'm not really sure it will be that good for the next 2 years. A 7850 is barely an upgrade for the cost, so I think it would be a waste.

    In your budget, I guess the only choice would be a 7870.

    But, if you aren't in a hurry to upgrade, you could benefit from waiting. HD 8000 series should come at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013. Perhaps sooner. That will probably lower prices a bit. You might be able to increase your budget a bit more by then, too.

    TL;DR: Need new card now->7870
    Don't need it right now->wait for next gen
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole
    Premium Member

    The general rule of thumb based on the chart that Philip posted from tomshardware.com when it comes to upgrading graphics cards is to see where your card is at and don't get anything that is within 4 levels of your current card as there won't be much improvement in performance.

    Obviously this does not hold true if the chart has one card that tops them all and it is far superior, but that card is generally very expensive and hard to find.

    That being said, you say you have a HD 6870 1Gb card so let's have a look at the chart :)
    Based on what I said, the HD 6990 or HD 7970 and HD 7970 Ghz edition fall into that area as well as the nVidia 590, 670, 680 and 690.

    According to the article titled best graphics card for the money August 2012, the best bang for the buck would be the GTX 670 followed by the HD 7970 Ghz edition.

    I have to say that none of the above mentioned cards are going to be cheap right now. If you wait for another 3 to 4 months, the new products should be getting released and the older ones are going to fall in price fairly rapidly if the new ones are any good at all.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. The 6870 is a great little card to be honest and runs all of my games extremely well, just have some settings turned down a little in the odd game. Racing games are no problem though, except pCARS when in traffic. I might just hold on to mine for just a while longer.

    Since AMD cut its prices, a 7950 can be had for a £100 less than a 670 depending on the model and that's really tempting me.



    When overclocked it can rival the 670 and even the 7970 in some games. Decisions decisions.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I generally agree with what you're saying Jim as you should always upgrade to the best you can afford to ensure you get the most from your purchase. I'm in a similar situation as Scott as I'm currently looking to soon upgrade from my ati hd 4870 and my budget is basically the same to, which is the only reason I know about the current availability etc.

    If sim racing is your main genre then it's only the likes of pCars, Assetto Corsa and ahem GTR3 that are likely to need an upgrade as my 4870 pretty much handles most current sims at high to max detail at 1920 x 1680 rf2 needs turning down a bit, but it's not fully optimised yet!

    And regardless of what and when you buy it's guaranteed it will go down in price within the following couple of months anyway. I'm probably going to hold off until Raceroom Racing Experience is out to see how my system feels about it and if it's ok then I'll leave upgrading until Assetto is about to land and maybe a better card will drop into my price range :).
  9. thanks Jim but they are way to much unfortunatly :(

    im looking at the 7800 Series, preferable the 7850 right now and nvidia 570

    call it short term, i know it's not the best card right now, and hopefully it will deal with the top notch games to come out for the next year, i will however cross the bridge when i get to it and purchase a better card in time, probably next year.

    but for now i need a performance boost (ofcourse it can't be to massive as the card woulc cost way more)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I think that when Assetto Corsa is out or maybe pCars (because of it's obvious visual quality) we should ask Tomshardware and other similar reviewers to add it to there test benches so that us Sim racers can see which cards will benefit us best.

    When you look at various sites head to head tests the Nvidia and AMD cards virtually match each other on some games and then thrash each other on different ones!! It would be nice to know for our market which brand is best to go with or whether our sims would fall into the equal territory!!

    I certainly like the look of the 7800 series at this time for myself and as I'm going up from a 4870 I should see a good performance increase, but depending on how things go I may hold out a little longer for a 7900 series card. Oh it's soooo difficult to decide:O_o:.
  11. Hey guys, you all sound pretty knowledgeable here. I have the 7870, just got it a few days ago. I'm trying to get everything tweaked out. I just built a new system about 2 weeks or so ago and I'm trying to optimize everything. It would be nice to know what I should be expecting from my hardware. I think I'm expecting too much. I can "run" any game maxed out but it's not always smooth. For instance, in Race 07 if I turn all the options on max in CCC and max out all the options in-game in replays I get some stuttering. I don't get a consistent smooth 60fps during the replay. Am I expecting too much or getting what I should be getting?

    It would be nice if we could kinda "chart" what each of our cards are doing as real-time benchmarks and not stuff like furmark. Speaking of furmark, that's another thing I don't get. I was running a replay in Simraceway with 12 cars on field at Zanderfoot (whatever that track is called) and it was smooth almost the whole way (a slight frame drop on the main straight when the camera is showing a very wide view) but then when I quit and run Furmark I was barely getting 10 fps. I guess because I had all the options on in the card.

    That's the thing though it's very hard to nail down performance. Then there's the other parts of my hardware. How do I know it's all optimized? HELP ME GUYS, HELP ME!!!
  12. Don't max the options in CCC, they act as an "override" and can really tank your performance. You should try to enable the "Use application settings" in every option possible, Maybe not on Anisotropic, maxing it in CCC usually gives the best quality. Also, Catalyst A.I. should be maxed (to the right) too, it doesn't seem to have a big effect on performance.

    Specially the Anti-Aliasing option (check "Use application settings", don't check "Morphological filtering") and select Standard Filter instead of "Edge-detect".

    Then in "Anti-aliasing mode" make sure it's Multi-sample AA. Super-sample is very taxing, even on somewhat old games, and Adaptive can create glitches.

    Also, VSync can create bad stutter if you can't stay at 60fps all the time.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Thanks Jordi, finally some nuggets of useable info. You know, from reading your post alone I think it finally clicked in for me. Getting old is a trying experience , lol. Maybe it's not about getting old though. It's pretty much like when I bought a graphics card for my Amiga back in the day. It can do alot but how much can it do in realtime?

    These gfx cards are marketed heavily towards the gaming community and because of that I just assumed it could do it all at the max settings. Never occurred to me that they may be able to do alot but not everything at realtime, let me rephrase that. They can do it at realtime but there's going to be a hit somewhere. I gotta remember that these cards also do other duties like rendering and such where fps is pretty much irrelevant.

    Ok, now I'm coming at it with a different mindset. At least I hope it's the right mindset. I will definitely try your suggestions.
  14. I exchanged the card. Swapped it for the same card. I just had a funny feeling like something was wrong with that card and I needed to unload it while I could. So I returned it and got another one. Best move ever made. I don't know what it is but this new card is performing better than the other one. The night before last was the kicker as I wasn't doing anything "hardcore" but watch a youtube vid when my screen just flickered out on me. It had to go then.
  15. my 7870 Arrived last night, the FPS is alot better, however i have not tested it on other games just yet, but i can see the improvement already.

    So thank you guy's for the advice and feedback, much appreciated :)
    • Like Like x 1