Graphics card upgrade

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I have a core 2 e6400, 2.16GHz. Currently using a Radeon HD 4770 for gaming.
I don't need advice about power supplies etc, but would my PC cope/benefit
from a graphics card upgrade - perhaps to an HD 6850 or 6870. Would the CPU
keep up ok?

Actually, would a 6770 be much of an upgrade?


Re: Graphics card upgrade

GT wrote:
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Is your favorite game (or genre) CPU limited or GPU limited ?

Some games, need plenty of CPU. Others, need plenty of GPU.
First, you study the games (read reviews), to see what the
considered opinion of the reviewers is. You can use the
level of detail sliders in the game, to adjust for a
less-powerful computer.

If the game stutters a bit, you can overclock the CPU by
10%, and then retest. I was surprised how much difference
that made, as it stopped the stuttering in the game I was
playing. If I enabled anti-aliasing on the video card
(to smooth out the jaggies), even my current video card
doesn't handle that well at all, and responsiveness goes
out the window.

You can find benchmarks for video cards, to give
simple integer ratios between your old card and
a new one. As far as I know, 3DMark has a CPU component
to it, so part of the marks are for the CPU. (If the
card didn't give the same benchmark on your system,
it could be the CPU that's contributing to the loss.)

(I'd sooner trust these guys to run a bench, than Tomshardware.
At least with the tools they use, they have some control over
matching the test conditions. The tool should record the
hardware being used. I presume when they made the chart,
they selected similar other conditions for each entry.)

                Bench   Ratio    Approx_Price_New
    HD 4770     1840

    HD 6850     3580    1.95x    $150
    HD 6870     4200    2.28x
    HD 6770     2550    1.39x

    HD 7970     8830    4.80x    $460

You can look up the individual card characteristics here.
The HD 6850 was from around the end of 2010, priced
around $150 or so.

High end video cards, one of their benefits, is being
able to either drive a panoramic LCD setup, or drive
a 2560x1600 30" monitor, that sort of thing. If your
monitor will always be at 1280x1024, then a mid-range
card may bring up the frame rate enough, to satisfy.


Re: Graphics card upgrade

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That's about what I thought. I hadn't used the futuremark site before - good
compare page! My HD4770 was a budget choice a few years ago, so I assumed
the modern budget cards would beat it easily - 2 or 3x the power. However
futuremark and the other sites I've checked also confirm that today's
*mid-range* cards only seem to be around double the power of my old budget
card. I was expecting much more, given the speed the GPU market moves.

Research suggests that my latest favourate game, World of Tanks is GPU
limited and my screen goes comfortably up to 1600x1200 and beyond (old style
IIyama CRT - won't be replacing that!). Next time I'm on the desktop, I'll
run it with the task manager charting CPU usage to confirm, but the HD4770
struggles at anything over the basic graphics settings.

Thanks for the site link etc,

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