Is A New Graphics Card Worth It?

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NRU Heed
NRU Member
15 Mar 2012
Falkirk, United Kingdom
I have an nVidia 670 installed which is getting on a bit. CPU is also a few generations old too. I had been thinking about upgrading the GPU but not really sure if it is worth it. I have a super widescreen monitor which is sort of stretched HD - something like 2560x1080. At the moment I can run in ultra setting and get about 50fps. Dropping quality down to high I can get about 80 and set to medium I can get about 100fps.

Visually there are some differences between the settings but not a huge amount and I've not really found that frame rates make much difference unless they drop to <40 when something starts running in the background.

Processor wise, to upgrade I would need to replace the motherboard, cpu, and memory. Whilst new generation CPUs are more energy efficient and therefore quieter there doesn't seem to have been a big jump in practical performance. I've not felt the speed of the PC is slow even when photo editing. Video editing may be different but I use a Mac for that.

I've generally built my own PCs but some of the ones you can buy made seem better value compared to sourcing the components.

Just wondering if anyone has upgraded their graphics card and have honestly felt it was worth it from a game playing point of view.
ohhh glen, i have the same thoughts some weeks/month back. even i have the same "problem". still have a decent setup with a AMD 8core, sabertooth motherboard, 20gb ram and also a gtx 670. so its still a nice rack but its all a bit "old" and also running on the max because you can´t upgrade anything, expect the GPU, because you would switch them all to a new generation of components.

for gaming all is fine so far. i don´t think i would need any new components just to have 10-20% more frames, loadingsepped or something else.

my setup "struggles" only while doing video stuff but just for that i have to say i am not willing to spent 800-1000.- € for a complete new setep. thats not worth in my eyes.

on the other hand i am also not willing to buy a new GPU for 400-500.- euro because if i would buy one it must be a big step ahead to my actual one and than i would have to buy a expensive one.

so i decided my system will stay like it is for the next time till it will be really necessary to upgrade.
I've just gone from a 580 to a 980ti and getting 144+ in games with high graphics like Witcher 3 feels so nice on the eye :) so I say yes
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My thoughts were that spending £4-500 on a GPU could be better spent on a newer more balanced system. Also, I think the sync rate on my monitor Amy limit any benefits a new GPU would offer.
beside that the brain can "only" handle around 20-30fps. with that it put it together to a smooth film. our eyes can handle around 60 fps.

so if we have a system with showing us 50-70fps we are on max for your limited body lol
also been wondering the same and having the same thought that it should be a big improvement from what I already have considering the high costs. for me, I probably won't upgrade until 4k starts to become the norm and i'm not entirely sure the current cards can run 4k and maintain more than 60fps (if it can only just get 60, then in a few years time i'll be thinking about upgrading again which isn't good value)

so for yourself I guess it comes down to what games you play/are planning to play and what your other upgrade thoughts are, 4k monitor, freesync/gsync monitors etc. if you only really play bf4 then i would say don't bother and wait until the next bf game is out and see how your current system runs that?

also since you run bf4 on a stretched out resolution, could you buy another 1920x1080 monitor where you'll see an improvement in fps because your card won't have to work as hard on that resolution as the one you currently use

laka I know what you're saying about the human eye but I have an 144hz monitor and using that for some games can make a big improvement over a normal 60hz monitor, it defies science but you can notice it coming from a 'slower' monitor!
beside that the brain can "only" handle around 20-30fps. with that it put it together to a smooth film. our eyes can handle around 60 fps.

so if we have a system with showing us 50-70fps we are on max for your limited body lol
Who told you that? It's not true :p it's around 200 on average I believe
Who told you that? It's not true :p it's around 200 on average I believe

on a science basic. yes, but 200 is to high. around 60 is the average and some trained persons should going aroud 70-80. some insects like flies must be around 300 fps.

but around 20 fps the brain is starting to put together the single images to a movie and above 30fps its nearly a smoothly movie. than again, above 30 the difference is only in just some scenes with fast movement where you can see a different. the "normal" cinema is/was running with 24,7 fps.

a difference between 60 hz up to 144hz should be there but i think its not only in the fps. would say its just the difference between the 60hz and the maybe 70hz you can realise but not the difference between the 60hz and the 144hz and so its to a big part a bit a placebo.

the point is, all this data coming from the past periode before the tft screens are used. now we used tft screens and they are running with full-pics/ half-pics and so on and so you can´t really compare this on a exact basis, honestly.

thats the basic we got teached here. maybe you have other actual sources?
Yer in normal gaming you prob don't see it make much of a difference (nothing like 30 to 60) but in games that require twitch shots (like CS) you can really tell there's a difference.

I guess that main thing is it's a bit hard to compare as eyes don't see in frames. (I'm trying to look on mobile for real scientific sources but it's a bit hard I will update when I'm on computer, if I can find any ;))

Compare frames per second: which looks better? Blur Busters UFO Motion Tests for people who have a high rate monitor, it's slight but (with motion blur off) it is still noticeable for me at least, ofc as you say people are different :p.
4K at the moment seems to be limited to 60fps at the moment. Also, 4K HDR is not far away too so I'm not too fussed about buying a new monitor (or TV at the moment). Yes, 4K does look amazing and if someone said here is one (or two :D ) then I would have it but at the moment I'll be just watching what is happening. If the TV or monitor breaks then yes I would probably go 4K.

Had a look around for the refresh rate/fps debate and many of the blind tests possibly favour a higher refresh rate but there are also personal preferences too.
I think if you enjoy your gaming or photo editing or both then why not spoil your self a little you deserve it....
At the moment my setup is
Corsair high airflow case 540
Asus crosshair formula Z
AMD 8 core 4Ghz
16Gb Ram
x2 Samsung 500Gb SSD
Msi GTX980 Ti Gaming edition 6gb
Asus PB287 28" 4k

Running BF4 on Nearly all Ultra except MMSA turned of and lighting set to high plus post processing set to high
I'm getting about 70fps average may dip to 60 or upto 90 depends on map.

But next year Nvidia is bringing Pascal out which is the one to look out for
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Cheers Andy. I know it is easy to say I'll wait for the next version to come out but I think I may stick it out for a little longer before flashing the cash. I'm not sitting here thinking that I'm unhappy with how my PC is running or having problems playing or editing images. If getting a new graphics card would make a huge difference then I probably would do it.
My 2 cents:

I think GPU upgrading is generally to expensive, especially if you'r already running the game in relative good order. Unless you are certain your gonna take the new card with you to a new system later (or double up on a new system) I think the complete cost for GPU's for your "current" system will be too high (Old GPU + New GPU). Especially for the limited real gain.
My screen has a refresh rate of 60hrz so any FPS over that is useless. I only upgraded GPU to get BF4 running OK on my current system (~30 FPS against ~60FPS with new GPU) and as its been running for 2 years I doubt I'll be bringing it to a new system. And in that respect I paid to much for the newer GPU card.
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I've been reading a lot of reviews on graphics cards and there does appear to be a few sweet spot cards. Games like BF4 are so variable in terms of maps, number of players, network connection that a good comparison must be nearly impossible.

Some of the really budget cards don't seem too far away from the mid range cards. And those mid range don't appear to be too far from the higher end cards. It is probably hard to get a useless CPU as long as you get a "decent" IBM and AMD chip. The difference in motherboards and memory (and CPUs) is if you are going to overclock things.

Because of the lower thermal outputs of the newer chips it should be possible to build a quieter and less energy consuming PC and possibly smaller too.

If you look at dream PCs it is surprising how quickly they look less impressive as there is always a new CPU etc around the corner. If I had the money though then a couple of Titans would be on the shopping list!
I still have my gtx660oc and i cant complain my pc is 3 years old now and i can still play all i want :D i thought about a 960 but the difference is not high enough and its just not needed now

Just benchmark yourself :D if you see a game stuttering then think about updates :D bf4 runs on my 144hz monitor with medium settings on more than the 144fps :D

I bought myself a 144hz monitor for cs ;) and i love it! You can feel the difference :D

its more a technical issue normally you have a half built picture between two frames which look a bit odd :D all looks so blurry on 60hz when you are used to it at least in CS

bf4 is slower paste so you probably dont have any issues there but maybe you can try 144hz somewhere - mousemoves feel so much more controlled and you actually still see details whilst doing it :D

besides I get headache playing too long with 60hz :D

hihi just working for benq for selling you expensive shit :D i bought mine from my first money from my apprenticeship ^^
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