Video card and SSD update

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Chen
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Video card and SSD update

Postby Chen » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:24 pm UTC

Seems I post something like this every couple of months since I keep putting off my purchases. And every time I go to look at video cards again they've completely changed. So once again I come to this forum asking for help.

Looking for a new video card and an SSD for my gaming PC. I've looked at Tom's hardware and I see the GTX 750 Ti at a pretty decent price point, along with the Radeon R7 370. Then there's the GTX 950 and R9 380 which are only a bit more expensive and thats kind where I start getting lost. The chart at the end doesn't have all the models on it, so here's where I'm looking for advice. What do people recommend? Also is there any particular brand I should be looking at? On newegg there seems to be so many different ones (Asus, MSI, XFX etc). I have no clue how to determine which of these is better than the others.

Also looking at the SSDs. Likely I'd want either a 256 or 512GB one (the latter because I'm lazy and could probably clone my existing drive over if I exclude the movies). Any particular brand stand out? I'm not sure if my current motherboard (from 2011) even supports SATA3 in terms of speed, so I can't imagine there's a huge reason to go for a particularly high speed drive now.

Also likely going to wait until US thanksgiving/black friday/cyber monday to pick these up. Not sure if the higher end stuff usually goes on sale, but it seems like it'd be worth trying to wait for. Anyone have any good suggestions for online sites there (that deliver to Canada). I used to shop locally but just checking over the weekend and everything was a solid 10-20% higher in price, if not more which is just crazy.

KnightExemplar
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:45 pm UTC

What do people recommend?


The most expensive thing money can buy.

More seriously, tell us your price point, and the games you play. Certain games have NVidia or AMD slants to them. If you plan on buying a new monitor any time soon, FreeSync is cheaper (AMD), but NVidia's GSync technology works just as good.

Also looking at the SSDs. Likely I'd want either a 256 or 512GB one (the latter because I'm lazy and could probably clone my existing drive over if I exclude the movies). Any particular brand stand out? I'm not sure if my current motherboard (from 2011) even supports SATA3 in terms of speed, so I can't imagine there's a huge reason to go for a particularly high speed drive now.


The Crucial BX100 is the "standard" recommendation from me. However, it seems like good deals are popping up all over the place as Black Friday comes into full swing. I suggest doing a bit of research, and make sure that the drive is MLC (SLC is absurdly expensive but high quality. I don't trust TLC yet personally. Still too new of a technology.)

The Crucial BX200 is a TLC drive unfortunately. It seems like all the major SSD manufacturers are going TLC. Still, you should be able to find good-priced MLC drives (like the BX100), especially since the BX100 is technically an "older" SSD.
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Chen
Posts: 5266
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:54 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
What do people recommend?


The most expensive thing money can buy.

More seriously, tell us your price point, and the games you play. Certain games have NVidia or AMD slants to them. If you plan on buying a new monitor any time soon, FreeSync is cheaper (AMD), but NVidia's GSync technology works just as good.


I have no real plans for a new monitor. I find as the screen gets bigger I have more and more issues with motion sickness in games. I believe native resolution on my main one is 1680x1050 and I don't tend to run anything higher than that. Games that actually tax the video card lately would be Witcher 3 (which runs surprisingly well on my current shitty Radeon 6850) and Fallout 4 (which runs much less well even with things set low).

I'm looking for a bit of future proofing and am looking to spend maybe around $300-350 (Canadian) on it.

The Crucial BX100 is the "standard" recommendation from me. However, it seems like good deals are popping up all over the place as Black Friday comes into full swing. I suggest doing a bit of research, and make sure that the drive is MLC (SLC is absurdly expensive but high quality. I don't trust TLC yet personally. Still too new of a technology.)

The Crucial BX200 is a TLC drive unfortunately. It seems like all the major SSD manufacturers are going TLC. Still, you should be able to find good-priced MLC drives (like the BX100), especially since the BX100 is technically an "older" SSD.


Yeah the BX100 I've seen in several places at decent prices and was considering it. This recommendation probably seals the deal on that then.

KnightExemplar
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:59 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I have no real plans for a new monitor. I find as the screen gets bigger I have more and more issues with motion sickness in games. I believe native resolution on my main one is 1680x1050 and I don't tend to run anything higher than that. Games that actually tax the video card lately would be Witcher 3 (which runs surprisingly well on my current shitty Radeon 6850) and Fallout 4 (which runs much less well even with things set low).

I'm looking for a bit of future proofing and am looking to spend maybe around $300-350 (Canadian) on it.


Honestly, if you aren't upgrading to 1080p or higher resolution monitors, I wouldn't worry about a fancier GPU.
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Chen
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby Chen » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:22 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Honestly, if you aren't upgrading to 1080p or higher resolution monitors, I wouldn't worry about a fancier GPU.


Fancier than what? Fancier than the lower end ones I mentioned (GTX 750 Ti or R7 370)? Because I definitely need SOME sort of upgrade what with my old card really not keeping up anymore.

KnightExemplar
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:17 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Honestly, if you aren't upgrading to 1080p or higher resolution monitors, I wouldn't worry about a fancier GPU.


Fancier than what? Fancier than the lower end ones I mentioned (GTX 750 Ti or R7 370)? Because I definitely need SOME sort of upgrade what with my old card really not keeping up anymore.


Its hard to say. All the benchmarks today are aiming at 1080p minimum and 2560x1440 or 4k for the high end. I really don't see any reviews that test lower resolutions. The standard "entry point enthusiasts" cards are the GTX 950 and the R7 370. If you're willing to spend more, I'd suggest cards all the way up to the GTX 970, or AMD cards all the way up to the R9 390. The price/performance ratio holds steady between those two points. (when you pay twice as much for a GTX 970 or R9 390, it will be twice as fast). The 980 and 390X starts getting into "premium" pricing, at the very tail end of price/performance ratios. GTX 980 Ti, Fury X, and Titans are all "Halo Products" designed to be the best-of-the-best no matter the cost.

The one qualm of the R7 370 is that it is Pitcairn, or a rebranded 7870. It does NOT support FreeSync or any other features, but AMD re-released it because the 7870 keeps up with today's GPUs at that price point. (Why make a new GPU when the GPUs released in 2012 is good enough?) Which is why I'm not necessarily saying you should upgrade at all if you're only aiming at the ~$150 level at less than 1080p resolution. And sure, the GTX 950 is newer, but the fact that it only has slightly better same benchmarks as the R7 370 (ie: rebranded 7870) isn't very thrilling to me. If your opinion on GPUs is:

current shitty Radeon 6850


Then chances are, you won't be impressed by a R9 370. I guess if you want an actual upgrade, aim for $200 USD price point with the 380 or above, maybe the 380x. From NVidia's side, aim for GTX 960 or above. Those are the only cards that are substantial upgrades over your current 6850.
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Chen
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby Chen » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:52 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Then chances are, you won't be impressed by a R9 370. I guess if you want an actual upgrade, aim for $200 USD price point with the 380 or above, maybe the 380x. From NVidia's side, aim for GTX 960 or above. Those are the only cards that are substantial upgrades over your current 6850.


Hmm interesting, I would have figured even the lower end ones now would have increased in performance over the 4 year old one I'm running with. I guess I will look into the 380s. Looking at a site like newegg there are a lot of different brands (MSI, PowerColor, XFX, Gigabyte etc). It looks like this is primarily about the cooling on the card, is that right? Are any of those notably better than others? The price points look almost identical on all of them.

wumpus
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby wumpus » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:26 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Then chances are, you won't be impressed by a R9 370. I guess if you want an actual upgrade, aim for $200 USD price point with the 380 or above, maybe the 380x. From NVidia's side, aim for GTX 960 or above. Those are the only cards that are substantial upgrades over your current 6850.


If this is all that accurate, then newegg's offer of a R9 285 for $159 (plus $30 rebate) sounds good. WARNING: It has half the memory (2G) of the 370, but appears to match/exceed it in all other areas. I'd recommend checking the reviews, but after seeing this pop up on fatwallet and checking the numbers on the wiki-gpu list, I was sorely tempted.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

KnightExemplar
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Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:27 pm UTC

I figured all the R9 285s were sold out by now. The R9 285 is equivalent to the R9 380. The 380 has slightly better MHz, but otherwise is the same exact chip. (Rebrands, hurrah!). To be fair, the R9 285 is one of the newest cards from AMD, so its significantly newer than the rest of the 200 series cards. So it is a fair rebrand.

R9 380 do have 4GB versions that are out for better future proofing. So yeah, a feature increase, but nothing major. Due to the stigma of being "older", I'd suggest a R9 285. They really aren't much slower than a 380 at all.

Chen wrote:Hmm interesting, I would have figured even the lower end ones now would have increased in performance over the 4 year old one I'm running with. I guess I will look into the 380s. Looking at a site like newegg there are a lot of different brands (MSI, PowerColor, XFX, Gigabyte etc). It looks like this is primarily about the cooling on the card, is that right? Are any of those notably better than others? The price points look almost identical on all of them.


The main issue is cooling. The various manufacturers offer different levels of support, rebates and so forth. I personally only look at the cooling and whatever deals are out. I don't really have an opinion on the brands.
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Chen
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:18 am UTC

So am I missing something here?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... _-11242015

This seems like a crazy low price for such a large SSD. Is this a low end drive? Or just a great sale price? Thats the CAD price there, same one is on newegg.com for $199.99 USD too.

KnightExemplar
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: Video card and SSD update

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:59 am UTC

Chen wrote:So am I missing something here?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... _-11242015

This seems like a crazy low price for such a large SSD. Is this a low end drive? Or just a great sale price? Thats the CAD price there, same one is on newegg.com for $199.99 USD too.


TLC drive. So three bits per cell. Personally speaking, I wouldn't buy it. A relatively high-end MX200 has roughly the "same price per-cell" (MX200 has 2-bits per cell, leading to greater performance and reliability). It is a "fair price", finally. Took vendors long enough.

The Samsung 840 TLC drives had issues, leading me to distrust TLC for a little while longer. Eventually, TLC will surely become the cheaper technology (all the major manufacturers are investing heavily into it)... just as MLC drives (2-bits per cell) replaced SLC drives (1-bit per cell) before them.
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