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Old 2016-05-11, 02:42   #1
jasong
 
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"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

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Default Please help me figure out what graphics card to buy

I need to buy a graphics card, but don't even know where to begin. Updated my drivers a few weeks ago to try to get a game to work, and come to find out I have legacy hardware. Who knew? Not me, that's for sure.

So now I'm coming begging to you guys to please help me deal with this problem of upgrading my graphics card. I'll even upgrade my cpu if you guys think it's a powerhog, or maybe I'll get back into distributed computing so that my warming of the planet becomes more worthwhile.

Googling for cpu-z, then I'll come back and post it.

Edit:Holy crap, this program has changed so much.

AMD Phenom 2 1040T with 6-cores. Code name Thuban(no idea where that name came from, my brain produces a mildly mentally-handicapped Russian that could turn over a Volkswagen if he wanted to)
Socket AM3
Graphics card is an AMD Radeon HD 5570

Googled Thuban, says it's a star and something to do with Draco(dragons) Sooooo. Lots of 6s and a dragon, and the manufacturer is FOXCONN. Do I need holy water or what? (Kidding, but only a little bit)

Last fiddled with by jasong on 2016-05-11 at 03:10
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Old 2016-05-11, 03:18   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I need to buy a graphics card, but don't even know where to begin. Updated my drivers a few weeks ago to try to get a game to work
It would have been helpful if you had specified what the game is...

What is your budget? What potential future needs might be there for the GPU?
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Old 2016-05-11, 03:25   #3
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Also, are you willing to buy used? There are going to be a lot of great deals on new hardware the next few months as both Nvidia and AMD are releasing the next generation of cards.
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Old 2016-05-11, 03:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
Also, are you willing to buy used? There are going to be a lot of great deals on new hardware the next few months as both Nvidia and AMD are releasing the next generation of cards.
Do Nvidia and AMD have similar cycles in how they release stuff? Also, I've heard various hardware manufacturer's have had tons of delays recently trying to get their tech to work properly. I've assumed it's connected to the limits of Moore's Law, but it could easily just be bad luck or simply me being forgetful about past stuff.

Last fiddled with by jasong on 2016-05-11 at 03:37
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Old 2016-05-11, 04:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Do Nvidia and AMD have similar cycles in how they release stuff? Also, I've heard various hardware manufacturer's have had tons of delays recently trying to get their tech to work properly. I've assumed it's connected to the limits of Moore's Law, but it could easily just be bad luck or simply me being forgetful about past stuff.
Well, this is the biggest update in five years, technology-wise, for both companies.

The AMD stuff on the shelf right now is very power hungry. There new stuff coming out in a month or two sips power. AMD is not targeting the high end market with their new cards but rather the middle-of-the-road consumer.

The NViidia stuff on the shelf right now will be discounted in a month or so when the new stuff is released. The new NVidia stuff will be high performance and in high demand and not cheap.

If you're looking for a good gaming card right now, I would get the GTX 970. Don't pay more than $325 for it. It will last you for the remaining life of your CPU most likely.

If you can wait one or two months there should be a big price drop for today's cards. This is one of those rare times where it actually makes sense to wait, if you can. Given your CPU's age, I'd probably still go with a GTX 970, but just wait a month for the price drop.
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Old 2016-05-12, 02:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
Well, this is the biggest update in five years, technology-wise, for both companies.

The AMD stuff on the shelf right now is very power hungry. There new stuff coming out in a month or two sips power. AMD is not targeting the high end market with their new cards but rather the middle-of-the-road consumer.

The NViidia stuff on the shelf right now will be discounted in a month or so when the new stuff is released. The new NVidia stuff will be high performance and in high demand and not cheap.

If you're looking for a good gaming card right now, I would get the GTX 970. Don't pay more than $325 for it. It will last you for the remaining life of your CPU most likely.

If you can wait one or two months there should be a big price drop for today's cards. This is one of those rare times where it actually makes sense to wait, if you can. Given your CPU's age, I'd probably still go with a GTX 970, but just wait a month for the price drop.
Okay, I'll bump this when that happens, either for more advice or to tell about my upgrade.
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Old 2016-05-12, 14:29   #7
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On a separate note, these Windows 10 shenanigans that have been going on make me feel rather unsafe, so I've been thinking about buying an el-cheapo Linux box for everything non-gaming related. Maybe have a switch for going back and forth between them.

Is it possible to port individual windows from Windows 10 into Linux? (may be using the wrong term) Or is that integration only dreamed of? So I'd have a Linux box and a Windows 10 box, and I'd want to be able to send certain windows in the other operating system to the same monitor. Specifically, I'm thinking of Steam chat in Windows going into Linux. Though I guess I could make a Steam account that's just for chatting with my friend.
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Old 2016-05-12, 19:40   #8
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
On a separate note, these Windows 10 shenanigans that have been going on make me feel rather unsafe, so I've been thinking about buying an el-cheapo Linux box for everything non-gaming related. Maybe have a switch for going back and forth between them.
You could use what is known as a "Keyboard, Video and Mouse" (KVM) switch if you have two computers side by side, but only one set of monitor(s), keyboard and mouse. Dual-port models are quite inexpensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Is it possible to port individual windows from Windows 10 into Linux? (may be using the wrong term) Or is that integration only dreamed of? So I'd have a Linux box and a Windows 10 box, and I'd want to be able to send certain windows in the other operating system to the same monitor. Specifically, I'm thinking of Steam chat in Windows going into Linux. Though I guess I could make a Steam account that's just for chatting with my friend.
I understand this is possible by installing Cygwin/X on the Winblows box. Haven't done it myself.

Another thing to consider is using Oracle's Virtual Box (originally developed by Sun) to run a Winblows instance within a Linux host. I don't know how well it hosts games (I don't play video games), but for all other applications which only run under Winblows you can set the display to be full screen on a Linux virtual desktop and you wouldn't even know you weren't sitting in front of a Winblows box when that virtual desktop is selected.

Lots of RAM (read: 8GB or so) is advisable on the host; just about any modern CPU will be able to handle the compute. The overhead of the VM is remarkably low.

Lastly, another option is what is known as "dual boot". If you don't want to buy a second computer and VirtualBox doesn't support your games as you'd like, you can install both Winblows and Linux on your harddrive(s), and switch between them at boot time. Obviously this involves rebooting, which isn't always convenient depending on your day-to-day workflow, but this might not matter to you.
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Old 2016-05-12, 20:50   #9
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If looking for game purposes, I find the Tom's Hardware reviews useful. They do a new one every 2-3 months.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gpus,4380.html

That should give you a good idea of what the choices are at different price points, and what you should expect in gaming performance. If you're looking in the $300+ range and can wait a month or two, I'd consider the GTX 1070 or GTX 1080. I was eyeing the GTX 970 for a while, as it is a decent value for high end performance. I'll probable look at the 1070 the same way until I finally decide to get something (I use a 660 now, my son has my old 460).
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Old 2016-05-13, 09:01   #10
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Thanks for the advice guys, you've given me a lot to think about.

I think I will try and wait and see what the new batch of GPUs and cpus look like a couple months from now.
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Old 2016-05-13, 10:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
You could use what is known as a "Keyboard, Video and Mouse" (KVM) switch if you have two computers side by side, but only one set of monitor(s), keyboard and mouse. Dual-port models are quite inexpensive.
You could run one headless. As chalsall noted, you could install X11 on the Windoze box. You could also drive it the other way round and use a RDP client on the Linux system to display the Windoze desktop.
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