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Print 6 comment(s) - last by greywood.. on Feb 15 at 12:39 AM

DailyTech's roundup of hardware reviews from around the web for Monday

Case
Cooler Master Cosmos 2 Case @ Vortez
Raidmax Viper Case @ Tweaktown
Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Case @ OCC

Cooler
Arctic Accelero S1 Plus Cooler @ KitGuru
Scythe Mugen 3 Cooler @ Technic3D

CPU
AMD A8-3870K CPU @ KitGuru

Memory
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600CL9 @ Au-Ja
G.Skill RipJaws-Z 16GB Kit @ Technic3D
Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3-1866 8GB Kit @ Funky Kit

Miscellaneous
Parrot AR. Drone @ t-break

Motherboard
ASRock Extreme9 Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Motherboard @ OCIA
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme BF3 @ Vortez
Foxconn Quantum Force Quantumian-1 Motherboard @ Ninjalane

Networking
Synology DS212 NAS @ Techgage

Peripherals
ASUS Transformer Prime TF201 Keyboard DOck @ PCPer
Corsair Vengeance M90 Mouse @ XSReviews

Portable
Le Pan II Android Tablet TC979 @ TechwareLabs
Lenovo ThinkPad Table @ t-break
Nokia Lumia 800 Smartphone @ t-break

PSU
NZXT HALE82 850W PSU @ Hi Tech Legion
SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 1200W PSU @ Tweaktown

Video Cards
AMD Radeon HD 7950 @ Legit Reviews
MSI Radeon HD 7950 @ Guru3D



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Video card help
By Lanister on 2/13/2012 8:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have tried to understand how video card specs compare and just don't get it so was thinking people on here can help. I have a radeon HD 5770 which runs the games I play pretty well (Skyrim, Diablo 3) on OK settings. What is the best card out for around $300, and is it significantly faster then what I have? I have 2 monitors, main is 27 at 1920x1080 and a 24 at 1600x1050, when I game I only play on the main monitor.

Any help or recommendations would be appreciated. Oh and I've read that new ones are coming out soon, should I wait, I am not in a big rush.




RE: Video card help
By runutz on 2/13/2012 10:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
Got the same card, but use it for a HTPC (60 inch Sharp). An upgrade would be the 7790, but unless you just got a new game and you're noticing problems, hold off.

You don't mention which CPU you are using, and THAT could be another reason to wait. The 2nd gen Sandy Bridge CPU isn't quite equal to the 5770, but changes in the 2nd half of this year might push you into a new build before a new card?


RE: Video card help
By Lanister on 2/14/2012 11:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
I have a core i7 860 2.8Ghz so I will be good with that for a while. its just my video card that I think is getting dated. Also want to get a SSD but just waiting for a decent sale for one.

I may get a new motherboard soon as well as my current one only supports 8 gigs of ram. But anyways getting off topic :-) for now it is just my video card that I think is bottle necking my system when gaming.


RE: Video card help
By greywood on 2/14/2012 11:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'd suggest looking at the Radeon HD 6950 video card. You can get one on Newegg for $240-280 (a couple as low as $225 after MIR). I'm running a 6950 with it's BIOS modded to unlock all 1536 shaders and overclocked to 890 Mhz shaders and 1390 Mhz memory, with a Core i7-930 at 3.2 Ghz.

That combo has enough horsepower to run games at 2560 x 1600 resolution and very good frame rates. Some examples: Stalker Clear Sky - all settings maxed and 2x AA at hi-40's rates; Dragon Age Origins - all settings maxed and 4x AA at mid-50's rates. On a 1920 x 1200 monitor, I used to get rates about 10-20 FPS over those numbers.

I don't think the games that you mentioned are as "stressful" as my examples. So, I'd bet that even a "pure stock" 6950 would serve you well for quite some time to come. I doubt your CPU is holding you back - and a Core i7-860 has some good overclocking headroom.


RE: Video card help
By Lanister on 2/15/2012 12:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't tried overclocking anything yet, was worried I'd have to add more cooling which would kick up the noise a bit and didn't want to void the warranty. But I believe my warranty is almost up so I may look into it. Is ati the way to go or does nvidia have a better offering? I've used both card brands in the past and like them both, I know they tend to go back and forth on who is better.

Thank you both for taking the timely reply, it is appreciated.


RE: Video card help
By greywood on 2/15/2012 12:39:14 AM , Rating: 2
I've consistently stuck with "ATI" (since before AMD bought out ATI) for several years. They weren't always the fastest cards, but always offered good value per dollar spent.

If you're unsure about choosing between AMD and nVidia, try checking out some reviews of cards from both. Both AnandTech and the [H]ard-OCP site have excellent reviewers. I like [Hard]-OCP because they don't just run a dozen cards thru the mill to grind out numbers. They actually play the games with 3-4 price-competitive cards, looking for the highest resolutions and image-quality settings that give a good game-play experience.

Don't worry too much about card specs. Instead, look for cards that give good visuals at good frame-rates at the resolution you run (or higher). Then decide how much you are willing to spend; you may find you don't need to spend as much as you thought.


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