Need some input for upgrading a video card
November 5, 2018 12:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a new video card for my desktop. I'd like to keep it to $250 but if I absolutely have to I can push it to $270. Current stats are ~ CPU - Intel i7 4770 / RAM - 24.0GB DDR3 / Motherboard - ASUS Z87-PLUS / Graphics - GeForce GTX 660
posted by Socinus to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What monitor resolution / refresh rate are you looking to drive?

And what sort of video card work (aps, different types of games etc.) are you looking to do?

The difference between "good enough" for e.g. twitchy online fps games and slow paced strategy or rpg games is pretty huge.
posted by protorp at 1:45 AM on November 5, 2018

The use is primarily faster paced gaming so getting as much out of it as I can for that price is important. Dual HDMI outputs are also a big plus.

Monitors are 1080p, not sure of the refresh rate.
posted by Socinus at 2:32 AM on November 5, 2018

At the lower end of your price range, a GTX 1050 Ti card will be OK for the majority of games at 1080p. But probably just 'OK'. I'm starting to have to play a few newer games on low-ish settings with mine. For a little more money, an AMD RX 580 would be somewhat better.

A certain amount depends on your processor, RAM and other bits and pieces. There's a tool called the Bottlenecker that purports to tell you which parts of your system ought to be upgraded, and gives recommendations. I can't vouch for it, but its suggestions for my system were sound.
posted by pipeski at 3:26 AM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I got a 1060 6GB a few months ago and it can run most games at 1080 on high or even ultra settings and stay above 60fps. If you aren't sure of the refresh rate on the monitors, I'm guessing they aren't 120Hz, so 60fps would be the minimum frame rate you will want to consistently get.

Keep an eye on pcpartpicker if you aren't in a hurry and you can get a better price, but I really like that card for the performance/value.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 5:49 AM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, userbenchmark can give you an idea of what swapping out components will do for you. Run the benchmark and then try different cards you are considering to see what to expect.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 6:01 AM on November 5, 2018

This EVGA GTX 1060 seems like a decent fit. Only one HDMI port, but DP to HDMI is a pretty easy adaptation.
posted by implied_otter at 8:05 AM on November 5, 2018

EVGA 1060.
posted by evilmonk at 10:33 AM on November 5, 2018

Something I'd recommend if you can fit it in your budget is a 3rd party cooling solution for your GPU. A lot of what you pay for in a better version of the same GPU is a better, bigger heat sink. The problem is that there isn't a ton of room and the card won't structurally support a big heavy heat-sink with a bunch of thermal mass in the same way the processor usually can.

Instead I'm suggesting you get a high quality card with a basic heat sink and then invest in something like this:

You get a LOT more thermal mass and instead of the waste heat from the GPU getting recirculated inside the case, it gets vented outside of it. The end result is that your GPU is a much cooler AND your CPU runs cooler too (no matter what the cooling solution is) and the whole thing is pretty quiet and doesn't ramp up much under load.
posted by VTX at 12:23 PM on November 5, 2018

A used GTX 1080 Ti?
posted by bz at 2:21 PM on November 5, 2018

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