Noob question about GPU

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#1 Edited by webedoomed (10 posts) -

I'm complete noob to gaming.

My question is if it's really worth it to purchase such expensive video cards when most of the tech is updating every 6-18 months depending on the components. Couldn't I spend $199 on a r 270x and play 99% of titles that has ever existed in 1080 at high to ultra settings? Isn't it just a dozen or less titles that couldn't run well with that card?

From what I'm gathering, there's practical gaming with a focus on actual gameplay, and then there's uber gamers who value the eye candy. Is there that much of a difference in the feel of a game going from medium to high or high to ultra settings and textures?

Figure I can put a decent rig together for $700 that will play nearly anything on high/ultra, else splurge an extra $400 and play the rest maxed out. I'm not sure this is worth it. The newest games seem to rarely have large discounts, where as older games are highly discounted. Doesn't it make more sense to stay a gen behind and play all you like, with high settings on the cheap?

Serious question. I know it sounds rather noobish, well I'm tech savvy, but been out of gaming for about 15 years now.

#2 Posted by 04dcarraher (19589 posts) -

Getting better gpu's allows you run games at higher resolutions and settings but more importantly being able to use all that extra candy eye at good framerates. You have to look at your target at what you what to run and what settings. If you are looking at the r270x you should look at the GTX 760 much better bang for your buck, while only being another $50. That card is able to match those $330+ cards easily with some overclocking.

#3 Posted by Cobra_nVidia (1555 posts) -

If you're a complete noob, I wouldn't recommend bothering with a high-end GPU.

Put as simply as possible, the CPU affects your maximum frame rate, the GPU affects how much how a frame rate hit you lose from turning on graphical bells and whistles. Because you can't TOTALLY turn off graphics (or you wouldn't see anything) all games benefit from the GPU to some degree. This has been my understanding for over 10 years, and also my own experiences since I upgrade CPUs and Graphics Cards at different times.

For me personally, I've never been particularly interested in a $300+ video card. A powerful CPU with a ~$200 graphics card would satisfy me just fine. I care much more about frame rate drops than anti-aliasing.

#4 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

You're absolutely right. The thing is, it's all about options. If you have the money to spend, and you want to, there's nothing wrong with getting the high end stuff, and rocking everything maxed out, like a boss. Also, keep in mind that more powerful hardware can improve a game beyond just maxing out the graphics, by increasing framerates. If you're already running a game at max settings, and getting like 30-40 fps, upgrading your graphics card won't make the game look any better, but it'll bump your framerate up to a nice steady 60, which makes the game feel better, besides also looking smoother in motion, which is always nice. And if you're already running the games you want to run, at max settings and 60 fps, you could upgrade your video card, along with your monitor, and get into superHD resolutions, like 1440p/1600p or more, or try for 120 fps, on a 120hz monitor. Of course, that gets expensive, but if you're maxing games at 60 fps and still looking to upgrade, then you obviously don't care about the cost.

On the other hand, if you want value, and the most bang for your buck, then the best option is definitely to stay a little behind. Hardware prices drop fast, and "outdated" cards can still be great, if you're okay with, as you said, running most, just not quite all games maxed out. That's what I've been doing, pretty much since I started PC gaming. Or at least, once I started buying my own stuff. I've been PC gaming since I was like 5 years old, on my dad's old computers. Good times...

#5 Posted by PredatorRules (7993 posts) -

@04dcarraher said:

Getting better gpu's allows you run games at higher resolutions and settings but more importantly being able to use all that extra candy eye at good framerates.

True, but don't forget he needs a right screen for that as well; a screen that might cost him 500$ non the less.

#6 Posted by webedoomed (10 posts) -

Appreciate the comments. I have a 42" 1080p lcd in the front room. That will be what I use. See no reason to game over 60fps or higher than that resolution anytime soon. 3 years down the line I'll purchase 4k and upgrade the hardware.

I'm going with a 2600k from frys for $145. Still debating on how much I want to spend on the video card. Will probably stick with the 270x. It's a beefed up 7870 and that seems to be more than enough. I should be able to build it out for $700 and be satisfied.

#7 Edited by PredatorRules (7993 posts) -

Either 270X or GTX760 the price and performance are about the same.

#8 Posted by Horgen (110122 posts) -

270X is the pitcairn version of 7870.. In other words the 7870 XT or something like that.

#9 Edited by insane_metalist (6163 posts) -

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

#10 Edited by PredatorRules (7993 posts) -

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

#11 Edited by Geminon (1095 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

it is an upgrade... technically... you will get slightly higher framerates. considering you can overclock a GTX 760 to perform as well as a 770 stock

#12 Edited by PredatorRules (7993 posts) -

@Geminon said:

@PredatorRules said:

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

it is an upgrade... technically... you will get slightly higher framerates. considering you can overclock a GTX 760 to perform as well as a 770 stock

Basically it is upgrade for 0-5fps more in addition of 20-30$

#13 Posted by webedoomed (10 posts) -

That gap will disappear when mantle is released. The question is, how many engines will utilize it? I'm hearing ati is proly better considering the next gen consoles are based on their architecture. The 270x should slightly outperform the ps4s gpu. Think it's a safe bet to keep me going for the next few years.

#14 Posted by adamosmaki (9620 posts) -

well you have a point. Nowdays going over $250 is becoming a bit pointless ( at least on 1080p resolution ). Sure you might not get 60fps on those 5-6 demanding games but the value of gpu's in the $200-300 category is unmatched. Of course if you are gaming at higher resolutions or use multiple monitors or you cant stand anything less than 60fps then a gpu over $300 is a better option,

#15 Edited by Bikouchu35 (7413 posts) -

270x is fine, if you aren't willing to splurge than don't. Spending extra will likely set your standards higher thus spend more and more, start off where you feel comfortable spending and go from there, try not to spend too less either micro boards and uber lowend cards suck for example.

Besides on fps online, I drop all my settings anyway, since I'm focus on smoothness while gaining an edge if possible.

#16 Posted by webedoomed (10 posts) -

Is there actually any good reason someone can provide me for having a 120hz monitor or going higher than 1080p? Are there any games which are cramped by a mere 1920x1080 resolution? Is it even possible for the best eyes out there to process over 45-60 frames?

I was reading an article saying that most people can't even distinguish between 720p and 1080p unless you're really close up. I don't plan on ever sitting hunched behind a computer desk again. The monitor is about 7 ft away. Can someone provide me with reasoning for why I would want/need to go any higher?

I'll eventually jump to 4k when they are under $500 (proly 24-36 months away from that), but don't see the point until then. I have doubts that any game out there will see actual improvements from it. If developers cater to 4k, they lose 99% of their market, because lower resolutions will be too cramped. Is this reasoning correct?

#17 Edited by insane_metalist (6163 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

No, upgraded from GTX 560 TI. If I was gonna buy an R it would of been an R90X.

#18 Edited by webedoomed (10 posts) -

I think you mean the r9 290x. You're better off saving $150 on an aftermarket r9 290 and overclocking it 50mhz, as that's the only difference between the two.

There's still a slight chance I'll splurge for it.

#19 Edited by INF1DEL (2082 posts) -

@webedoomed said:

Is there actually any good reason someone can provide me for having a 120hz monitor or going higher than 1080p? Are there any games which are cramped by a mere 1920x1080 resolution? Is it even possible for the best eyes out there to process over 45-60 frames?

I was reading an article saying that most people can't even distinguish between 720p and 1080p unless you're really close up. I don't plan on ever sitting hunched behind a computer desk again. The monitor is about 7 ft away. Can someone provide me with reasoning for why I would want/need to go any higher?

I'll eventually jump to 4k when they are under $500 (proly 24-36 months away from that), but don't see the point until then. I have doubts that any game out there will see actual improvements from it. If developers cater to 4k, they lose 99% of their market, because lower resolutions will be too cramped. Is this reasoning correct?

Hardcore gamers can definitely see the difference between 60 and 120 fps. The average gamer probably can't. I'd personally value higher resolutions over >60 fps. As for resolution, take a look at this.

www.engadget.com/media/2006/12/resolution_chart.jpg

#20 Posted by insane_metalist (6163 posts) -

@webedoomed said:

I think you mean the r9 290x. You're better off saving $150 on an aftermarket r9 290 and overclocking it 50mhz, as that's the only difference between the two.

There's still a slight chance I'll splurge for it.

Yeah R290X but I was kind of on a budget with my whole setup all the time and it came out to what I wanted it to be, I'm not complaining at all. I'm still yet to clock my GTX 760.

#21 Posted by Geminon (1095 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@Geminon said:

@PredatorRules said:

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

it is an upgrade... technically... you will get slightly higher framerates. considering you can overclock a GTX 760 to perform as well as a 770 stock

Basically it is upgrade for 0-5fps more in addition of 20-30$

what? no it isnt. the GTX 770 is WAY more powerful than an R270x.... and you can make the GTX 760 perform as well as a GTX770 with overclocking. you arent paying for 0-5 FPS.... you are paying for 15+ FPS depending on how successful your overclock is.

#22 Posted by PredatorRules (7993 posts) -

@Geminon said:

@PredatorRules said:

@Geminon said:

@PredatorRules said:

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

it is an upgrade... technically... you will get slightly higher framerates. considering you can overclock a GTX 760 to perform as well as a 770 stock

Basically it is upgrade for 0-5fps more in addition of 20-30$

what? no it isnt. the GTX 770 is WAY more powerful than an R270x.... and you can make the GTX 760 perform as well as a GTX770 with overclocking. you arent paying for 0-5 FPS.... you are paying for 15+ FPS depending on how successful your overclock is.

You can OC the 270X as well...or just get the TOXIC edition =)

#23 Edited by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@webedoomed said:

Is there actually any good reason someone can provide me for having a 120hz monitor or going higher than 1080p? Are there any games which are cramped by a mere 1920x1080 resolution? Is it even possible for the best eyes out there to process over 45-60 frames?

I was reading an article saying that most people can't even distinguish between 720p and 1080p unless you're really close up. I don't plan on ever sitting hunched behind a computer desk again. The monitor is about 7 ft away. Can someone provide me with reasoning for why I would want/need to go any higher?

I'll eventually jump to 4k when they are under $500 (proly 24-36 months away from that), but don't see the point until then. I have doubts that any game out there will see actual improvements from it. If developers cater to 4k, they lose 99% of their market, because lower resolutions will be too cramped. Is this reasoning correct?

You don't even need good eyes to see over 60 fps. The rumors about the human eye not being able to process more than that is just propaganda from people who are jelly of better game performance. Unless you're straight up blind, you'll be able to see the difference between 60 and 120 fps. And more importantly, you'll be able to feel the difference in response time. Games are made soooo much more enjoyable by high framerates. It's the kind of thing that once you experience it, you never want to go back.

As for resolution, no, your reasoning is not correct. Developers don't have to do anything special to "cater to 4K". Just leave uncompressed textures available as an option, and don't lock the resolution. Then people with the hardware to do it can go 4K, and they'll see a much higher quality image because of it. Doing so won't make games look "cramped" at lower resolutions. That's not how it works. When rendering resolution is increased or decreased (with a constant screen size), the picture doesn't stretch or shrink. It just gains or loses detail. And yes, there are already tons of games that are limited by "mere 1920x1080". Because texture resolution is processed separately from the image's final output resolution, it is possible for textures to be of a high enough resolution that their level of visible detail is "bottlenecked" by the output resolution, if that's not high enough to keep up. Just about any game from the last few years that could be considered a "high end graphics" game (like Crysis 3, Metro, etc.) has textures of high enough resolution that they continue to reveal more detail up to at least 1440/1600p output res. And besides that, increasing resolution smooths out edges, eventually eliminating the need for anti-aliasing. It takes more power to smooth edges via resolution than doing so with AA, but it does look better.

All of that being said though, any more than 1080p and 60 fps is definitely overkill for anyone who's at all worried about price.

#24 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

@INF1DEL said:

Hardcore gamers can definitely see the difference between 60 and 120 fps. The average gamer probably can't. I'd personally value higher resolutions over >60 fps. As for resolution, take a look at this.

www.engadget.com/media/2006/12/resolution_chart.jpg

Am I misreading that chart, or is it actually saying that 480p, 720p, 1080p, and 1440p all look the same on a 30 inch screen from 10 feet away? If that's what it's saying then wow. What a load of bullshit. I know from personal experience that's absolutely not true. Not even close. I hope I'm just misreading it.

#25 Edited by Geminon (1095 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@Geminon said:

@PredatorRules said:

@Geminon said:

@PredatorRules said:

@insane_metalist said:

For sure, I'd recommend to get GTX 760 over R270X. I upgraded to GTX 760 today and trust me, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

Upgraded from 270X to GTX760?

it is an upgrade... technically... you will get slightly higher framerates. considering you can overclock a GTX 760 to perform as well as a 770 stock

Basically it is upgrade for 0-5fps more in addition of 20-30$

what? no it isnt. the GTX 770 is WAY more powerful than an R270x.... and you can make the GTX 760 perform as well as a GTX770 with overclocking. you arent paying for 0-5 FPS.... you are paying for 15+ FPS depending on how successful your overclock is.

You can OC the 270X as well...or just get the TOXIC edition =)

but due to its already exorbitant energy usage and heat generated, it cannot be overclocked to even a fraction of what the 760 can achieve.