Choosing a graphics card

Discussion in 'Desktop Hardware' started by DrRobotnik7, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. DrRobotnik7

    DrRobotnik7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi all,

    I am going to upgrade my GPU and I'd appreciate your opinions on which to buy. Due to my budget I'm looking at mid to entry level cards. There are quite a few variables so I'm having a bit of a headache with it!

    My options are below;

    1. NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti 4GB £160 without G Sync monitor (although I could buy one eventually when they get cheaper)
    2. AMD RX 560 4GB £110 with Freesync monitor £100
    3. ATI Radeon R9 270X 2GB (used) £70 + new PSU (for correct PCIe connectors) £40 but not Freesync compatible
    4. ATI Radeon HD 7970 3GB (used) £100 + new PSU £40 but not Freesync compatible

    Essentially I can get used cards that are great but need a new PSU and aren't Freesync / GSync compatible, or get a new card and choose between NVIDIA and AMD for the Freesync / GSync features later down the line.

    GSync monitors are very expensive compared to Freesync, and the RX 560 is much cheaper than the GTX 1050Ti. The question is; does the RX 560 with Freesync beat the 1050Ti without GSync?

    What would you buy for your rigs? Your advice, opinions and general comments would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio Notebook Virtuoso

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    The 560 + Free-sync is by far the best investment in the long run. The monitor will also work with future AMD GPU upgrades such as the 580 or Vega 56 or Navi. And the 560 itself is already on par with the regular 1050. The 1050 Ti performs about 35% better but when you're under 60fps, Free-sync will make the experience a lot smoother.
     
  3. DrRobotnik7

    DrRobotnik7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks Don. I've got a 32" 720p TV I would use for my PC monitor if I got the 1050Ti. Although not 1080p which would be ideal, it does mean I could probably run games in ultra settings with either card at this lower resolution. Just need to make sure I'm sat a long way away from the TV! Playing at that resolution I don't think the 1050Ti would be under 60fps often, taking Freesync out of the equation somewhat? I can always buy a GSync monitor when prices drop in the future as well. I'm not trying to convince myself to get the 1050Ti, just weighing up both options. It's hard to turn down the better GPU when I can afford it!
     
  4. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio Notebook Virtuoso

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    It will be - even at 720p the 1050 Ti cannot handle ultra settings in modern AAA games at 60fps. Besides, a nice 1080p IPS display is vastly superior in terms of colours, brightness, image quality - it makes the whole experience better. If I had a choice between a Titan and a crap screen or a 750 Ti and a great screen - the second option would be the one I take. After all, you're going to be looking at the screen for 100% of the time you use the system whereas the chances that you'll notice a big perceptible difference in framerate with Free-sync enabled is slim.

    G-sync is simply poor value - in the long run you'll end up spending more for the same experience. We're not talking 1060 vs 560 here. The 1050 Ti is going to be handing in 10-15fps more in most games at the same settings. It's not a massive jump in performance.
     
  5. DrRobotnik7

    DrRobotnik7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    OK thanks Don, I think you've managed to convince me! RX 560 with 1080P FreeSync display it is.
     
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  6. DrRobotnik7

    DrRobotnik7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Should I get the Rx 560 2GB or 4GB version? About £20 difference in price.
     
  7. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio Notebook Virtuoso

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    Depends on the games you play and how long you plan on keeping it.
     
  8. DrRobotnik7

    DrRobotnik7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    A few years at least. The argument against the 4GB card is that it's not really powerful enough to benefit.
     
  9. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio Notebook Virtuoso

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    VRAM usage isn't connected to the GPU's capabilities. I've seen 860M 4GB GPUs (essentially a 750 Ti or a bit more powerful than a RX 550 and quite a bit slower than the 560) use all 4GB of VRAM that it has available. VRAM is usually used on Textures and Anti-Aliasing. While the GPU won't handle heavy amounts of AA, Textures can easily be put to Ultra without any performance penalty. So getting a 4GB card is not a bad idea, especially for games that use 2-3GB.
     
  10. DrRobotnik7

    DrRobotnik7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    4GB it is then, thanks!
     
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