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Thread: video card shopping!

  1. #1
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Default video card shopping!

    Well, I've decided to upgrade my computer with a video card. It is a z97 based mainboard with a core i7 4790K. We don't do much gaming, but would like to be able to run games such as Tombraider (the one that came out a few years ago) or the earlier Witchers and maybe some other 3-4 year old games.

    I don't want to go crazy with prices, so am looking at gtx1060 / rx580 / gtx1070 (might come within budget if there is a good offer on Black Friday). I know already that PSU can take it (600W). The case has a length limitation for videocards of 245mm, but I would like to take at least 1 cm of extras buffer (it cannot sit against the hdd case, and mounting something that fits so tightly may be an issue. So that limits my choice, although I can find appropriate models from many manufacturers, some even have dual fan models that are shorter than 230mm (I would like to avoid single fan as I would like the card to be silent when idle or under light load.

    Performance between the gtx1060 and the rx580 seems to be comparable; an other reason to take one of the other (I've found that the gtx1060 is maybe slightly more power-efficient). But driver-wise? Compatibility wise? (I would like to keep the onboard HD4600 enabled to drive a small VGA monitor, so it should work together with that one)

    Thanks!
    pixar
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  2. #2
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    For Witcher benchmarks see:
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/d...enchmarks-7001
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/d...vs-rx-580-7001

    Ati vs nVidia:
    Ati open source drivers are decent but nVidia proprietary are still better. If you plan to use Linux on this machine, go nVidia. Further reading Phoronix
    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...x1070-ti&num=3
    Gsync vs FreeSync. Monitors support one or the other, nVidia is more strictly specified and is better
    1080p or 1440p - for the latter it's better to go with faster card
    Research also HDR
    If you ever want to use DaVinci resolve buy card with lots of RAM. Ati is better there.
    https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...eon-Vega-1213/

    To test how your onboard plays with additional videocard you can stick some card in the system (spare or borrow)
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 14th November 2018 at 10:08.

  3. #3
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

    The benchmarks I managed to find, but are rather academic for me: I don't care about one more fps or so and think something along the gtx1060, rx580 or gtx1070 suffices; price, size and noise will be the deciding factor between those models (e.g. rather a silent gtx1060 than a noisy gtx1070 at a similar price).

    The other info is interesting. I'm not planning to run linux on the computer in the first couple of years, but you never know what the future holds (e.g. when it gets older and becomes a secondary system or server or so). However, older cards tend to be also less well supported, so when the time comes it may just be better to buy a cheap card if/when necessary to run linux (a cheap enough card now allows for that later ).

    Gsync vs FreeSync does not matter for me; it will be hooked up to a projector (via a receiver). I looked up the HDR part and it was interesting, I did not know that! However, at this point less important to me: neither projector nor receiver support it. It is a bit the same reason why 1440p gaming is not of big importance: I don't foresee moving to a projector and receiver that can take higher than 1080p in the next couple of years. Even if the projector were to break down, higher than 1080p is still expensive.

    It might be useful to use the GPU for video encoding (conversion of video files, no editing or so - and no plans in that direction), and I believe nVidia is slightly better at that. At the same time, I won't need it that often (mainly to convert recordings and rips) and for the times I need it, the CPU could suffice - it manages fine now and the usage would not change. There may be something in virtualization (gpu support in virtualbox), but that is all still quite experimental.

    Regarding the memory, I would go with the higher memory versions (so 6GB if I would go with nVidia, 8GB it I would go with AMD), just for future-proofing somewhat (price difference is also not that big). I found some reviews on smaller cards, and these appear quite good:

    https://eu.evga.com/products/product...06G-P4-6161-KR
    (Exists in normal/overclocked and 3/6GB, various reviews praise the low noise level)

    https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/Ge...AERO-ITX-8G-OC
    (Exists in normal/overclocked and 3/6GB; also exists in 1060 but that one gets worse reviews due to coil whine)

    Gigabyte also has a lot of shorter models, but their cooling is open which - as I've read - blows more air back into the enclosure. Given the layout of the enclosure (not changing it) and its airflow, I would prefer a GPU cooler that expels air out or passes it through the board (some short pcb cards have that, the heatsink extends from the back of the pcb).

    There is always Zotac which has smaller models (and I don't even have to consider their itx range):
    https://www.zotac.com/product/graphi...tion-plus#spec
    (similar models, from 1060, 1060 9gbps,1070, 1070ti to 2070)
    But I lost a bit of faith in them after having bought an old Atom based all-in-one, which they advertised as "nearly noiseless" but it is VERY noisy and has poor cooling (it throttles down - while Shuttle actually has the same systems passively cooled). Still, that was 8 years ago for a completely different product, so I may be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Inno3D has a lot of models that would fit, but I cannot find much reviews from them.
    http://www.inno3d.com/products_detail.php?refid=288
    (similar models, from 1060, 1070, 1070ti to 2070)

    Looking at the gtx1060, 6GB, the price would seem to be somewhere around 270 euro (Evga). The gtx1070 immediately jumps to around 430 euro (MSI, Zotac). Some offers put the 1070ti very close (surprisingly). I'm not excluding that there might be a good offer on the 1070, but I doubt there would be 50% discounts (but you never know, particularly now that the rtx2070 is out) - which is why I'm keeping an eye on it as well. Similarly, there may be offers on the rtx2070, but not to the point that it pushes a model of a size that would fit into the price range I'm willing to spend. For the RX Vega, there are not many cards in my size restriction and I doubt any offer will bring their price down enough; so those two I am not following anymore.

    While I am leaning towards the nVidia - there is something to be said for the benefits of a larger user base -, the price of e.g. this card
    http://www.sapphiretech.com/productd...D-17C3087E4852
    makes it very tempting: 220 euro without even considering a discount. And the card would fit.

    Performance wise, I think it is, for my purpose:
    1070 (430 euro) > 1060 (270 euro) = rx580 (220 euro)
    50 euro euro from the rx580 to the 1060 is not a dramatic jump, but it is between 20 and 25% more, for perhaps little performance difference. Still, at these prices I would most likely go for the Evga 1060 (not sure though... the Sapphire also looks nice), but this may change if there will be any good offers next week. I would expect offers all across the boards, but perhaps not on all the models that fit within my length restriction (so it may put the MSI 1070 to a level I would consider, or it may put the rx580 so cheap that it becomes a no-brainer).

    I cannot test how well it would play along with the onboard one, but as it is a common HD4600, I suspect it should not be an issue. I will have to figure out some practicalities on how to configure stuff, but that will be with either choice and is for later.


    edit: there is of course the upcoming rx590, which is said to bump the speeds of the rx580 somewhat. Powercolor showed theirs a few days ago - official launch should be today... no models so far that would fit.

    edit: may have misread the prices (220 euro for the rx580 is for the 4 GB model)... I'm checking both Spanish and German shops as I have shipping options. Surprising differences between them...

    edit: reading up a bit and the noise criterion is a difficult one to assess. Some people claim the EVGAs are quite, others claim they are not. Similar for Zotac. The Gigabyte Windforce is also rated as quiet (though some people mention coil whine) and the airflow is not as difficult for me as I expected, so it is back under consideration. The Sapphire Pulse also is rated as very quiet, so still a candidate..

    Still weird to think that with the gtx1060, I'm looking at a 2 year old card... The first prices of the rx590 are not too bad, and it could be quite the competition against the 1060 if prices stay low enough.
    Last edited by VJ; 15th November 2018 at 09:40.
    pixar
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  4. #4
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Also see power consumption:
    https://techreport.com/review/32766/...rd-reviewed/13

    Overall higher power consumption would mean higher noise unless cooling is better.

  5. #5
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Yes...
    I was nearly 100% certain of the EVGA gtx1060 sc being my first choice as reviewers say it is dead silent on idle and low load and still quiet at higher loads. However, those reviews tend to be 2 years old. Apparently some bios update re-calibrated the fan-speeds, so now people are complaining they are loud. It still seems solvable by setting a custom fan curve in the EVGA software, but now I'm not sure... I have also learned that the cooler in the EVGA gtx1060 SC is much better than the one in the EVGA gtx1060. They look the same from outside of the housing, but the former has better heatpipes and denser fins, and even though it is clocked higher it runs more silent. (it does not help that people on boards confuse both models)
    The Gigabyte Windforce may then be a better choice (but I'm not sure it allows so much customization of the fan curves and clock settings - the EVGA can easily be undervolted to make it less hot and thus decrease the noise; allthough Gigabyte does seem to have similar software).

    The Sapphire Pulse apparently has a cooler that is much worse than the Sapphire Nitro+, so it may not be as silent as I first thought, although reviewers still say it is dead silent on idle and low load and one of the more silent cards tested under load.

    Zotac comments are all over the place, but mainly people are commenting on cheap finishing (but not so clear if that affects things, I don't care how the card looks).

    Inno3D still seems to have the perfect size for my case, but lack of reviews regarding noise and unknown ability to tune things make it a difficult choice.

    The only Asus card I'm interested in (as it is the only one that fits) is their 1060 9bps, but is nowhere to be found.

    For a moment I even thought of going to Palit KalmX 1050Ti: it is passively cooled. One might even add a Noctua fan on top of the cooler to just help with airflow and be done with it...


    Currently considering: Evga gtx1060 SC <> Gigabyte Windforce <> Sapphire Pulse <> Zotac 1060 Amp

    The thing I don't like about the Gigabyte it the port layout: 2x dvi, 1x displayport, 1x hdmi. All others have 1 dvi, 1 hdmi and 3 display ports. It is not so much the amount of ports as their type, although if I have to be honest I doubt the Gigabyte's ports would limit me ... still, it feels like the wrong types of ports nowadays.

    Edit: Maybe I should wait for the rumoured 2060 (wheter it will be RTX or GTX)...? It is said to arrive in 2019... OTOH, prices here in Spain are quite good (better than in Poland), and with black Friday I may find some offers that would be just perfect.

    Edit: Well, I've spent half the evening looking at youtube reviews... The Zotac appears very silent but there are many comments on the quality (noisy fans after 6 months, things that break, ...). The EVGA gtx1060 SC is one of the more silent, as long as the fan stay below 75%, which is claimed to be the case normally. The MSI 1060 Aero ITX is similar but uses more power and generates more heat. I've learned that PNY has a dual fan model that would fit and also seems quiet. The Gigabyte is a bit all over the place (complaints of whine noise); and not much on youtube on the Pulse. A good deal on either the EVGA, the MSI or the PNY seems like the way to go I think... The EVGA has the benefit that you can replace the cooler without voiding the warranty, but I have not yet seen other coolers that would fit (Arctic Accelero coolers are too big for the case).
    Last edited by VJ; 16th November 2018 at 15:33.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Amazing how prices differ between countries... The MSI GTX1060 Aero ITX OC 6GB is 260 euro in Germany (lowest price according to Idealo: Amazon), but 285 euro in Spain (also Amazon with the lowest price according to Idealo). The MSI GTX1070 Aero ITX OC 6GB ranges from 395 in Netherlands and Germany to 435 euro in Spain (and even more in Poland).
    I started looking for the card as I will be returning to Poland in 2 weeks time, but as many things are cheaper here it could have made sense to buy it before returning. Looks like that may not be the case for videocards. I can still check if there is an interesting offer on Black Friday (and also check in Germany), but it may seem better to wait a bit longer (holiday season?) and order it from Germany.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    For German prices check guenstiger.de and also new stuff on ebay.de

    Do you drive or fly from Spain to Poland?
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 17th November 2018 at 19:02.

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Idealo is similar to guenstiger (and they seem to return the same prices/shops).

    I'm flying back to Poland, but I'm shipping over plenty of stuff - things I bought here that would be useful back home. I already calculated it all and it makes sense to ship it. But it means I can still add some smallish items without increasing the shipping cost. And this is why I suddenly realized it may be a good time to buy some stuff - combined with Black Friday. But seeing the prices in Germany, it actually would make more sense to buy it there and have it delivered to Poland.

    I had hoped the 2070 to be more reasonable, but it seems that they just made a higher highend which adds ray-tracing but not so much other benefits. Seeing the first benchmarks of ray-tracing on the 2080 however makes me think it is pointless to get a 2070: ray tracing on the 2080 gets such a performance hit that you wonder if reasonable framerates with the 2070 are obtainable with ray tracing. It also is more power hungry. There is still talk of a 2060 (which most likely omits the ray tracing), but seeing how the prices are set for the 20x0 cards, I doubt it will be an interesting offer for me - not even considering the possible power requirement issues and size issues.

    If the price for a MSI gtx1070 aero itx is low enough, I will go for that one. It is overkill for sure, but as a result of that it would be more silent as it will clock lower and give off less heat. The second argument would be that it will be unlikely I will upgrade the video card in the future, and the 1070 sort of maxes out the configuration (taking into account the current powersupply and the size restrictions). If the price is too high for my liking, I will get the MSI gtx1060 aero itx 6 GB as a first choice, or a EVGA 1060 SC as second choice.
    Last edited by VJ; 18th November 2018 at 03:35.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    And the 1070 is on offer in the "black Friday week promotion" at a local shop in Spain from who I bought stuff in the past. Free shipping, not a bad price... Just a tad below the cheapest German price. They have 56 cards in stock. And now the gamble: hold out and wait for other/better promotions and risk missing out, or going for it... The issue is that I want a very specific product so that may make it more risky...

    Edit: Still 50 in stock... more and more tempted to go for it... Amazon's price is quite steep and always has been for this card, so even with 10% off it would still be more than this offer... And delivery is later... perhaps I should not tempt faith and risk it arriving when I'm already gone... as then I'd have to ask someone to ship it to me, negating all benefits.


    Wouldn't life be so much easier if the concept of promotions did not exist, and prices were generally lower...
    Last edited by VJ; 19th November 2018 at 05:25.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Don't buy hardware to keep in stock for the future. If you plan to use it in a month buy it in Spain as even if you save 5 EUR by buying it latter in Germany you will waste time for research, ordering, payment, etc...

    If you won't use card for more than 2 months wait. Hardware depreciates and it's better that shop owns it until you need it.

    I found another cheap X9SCM-F and decided to replace my dual socket VMware ESX box with smaller quieter mATX (same as ZFS NAS, only different RAID controller)
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 19th November 2018 at 06:04.

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    That is the funny thing with prices... This card was around 400 euro one year ago, then peaked at around 600 euro and now is at a normal price of just above 400 euro. However, seeing the relatively small benefits of the rtx2070 makes me wonder if the 1070 at this price is not in the sweet spot for price/performance and might increase in price again: the 2070 is about 30% faster but at almost double the price. Taking that into account makes it compete more with the 1080 (slightly more expensive than the 2070, slightly faster in some things) than with the 1070. The added benefit of ray tracing is still iffy, as the benchmarks on the 2080 show a huge performance hit, so the question is if it will be usable with reasonable framerates on the 2070 - in addition games have to support it, so it is not something that will help with older games.

    I would install it as soon as I'm back in Warsaw, partly as I will have time to do it in December, so it won't by lying around for long. I also have time to mess around with software and configurations, so I really want it by early December. Research is not such a problem: I know the German shops a bit and I know which product I want. Issue is that for most of them I have to add international shipping, which is easily 10-15 euro.
    Last edited by VJ; 19th November 2018 at 06:32.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Case close... I ordered it.

    Due to black Friday, shipping could be 1-2 days more, but at least I would have it this week, with some time to spare if something is wrong. If I would wait till Friday, there is a chance of a better offer on amazon (it would have to be 10-15% off of their current price), but it may arrive quite late. I plan to ship my stuff on Thursday 29th, so thought it better to play it safe. There could have been a chance of a better deal in Germany on Friday, but my feeling is that the shipping cost to Poland would offset it.

    In the end, I went for the MSI gtx1070 Aero ITX OC 8GB. Seems like the best fit with the computer (psu wise, size wise); a bit of overkill for what I want to play now, but it gives me a bit of headroom in the future (considering that computers last longer than they used to). Added benefits of the 1070 over the 1060 is that it has better performance per watt, and may run cooler in my situation (will probably clock lower). It also offers SLI... not needed now, but it may make for a very cheap upgrade later (if the system gets retired and becomes a secondary system).

    Now to figure out how to connect it all: would there be any point in connecting both the Intel HD4600 and the gtx1070 to my AV receiver (e.g. one could be better to watch movies)? O, I already learned that in Windows, in the graphics settings, you can specify which graphics adapter is used by a program. Fun things to experiment with... I plan to reinstall the computer from scratch (want to change some other things), so plenty of stuff to do.

    edit: looks like they are selling quite well: more than 30 sold since yesterday...
    Last edited by VJ; 20th November 2018 at 03:05.
    pixar
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    Damn... Damn... Damn... Damn... Damn... Damn... Damn...

    They shipped me a mouse instead of a videocard! Now I have to start the return procedure, and hope it gets finalized before I leave. And their stock of the videocard is getting very low... might be an issue...
    Last edited by VJ; 22nd November 2018 at 01:48.
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Think of Javier, the warehouse worker whose Christmas will be wonderful thanks to you and GTX 1070.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtwigMU View Post
    Think of Javier, the warehouse worker whose Christmas will be wonderful thanks to you and GTX 1070.
    I know I shouldn't laugh at this, but it is a good one...

    Still, it gives me several worries:
    1. I never like to complain that I received something cheaper than what I ordered.
    2. Time constraint: will everything be arranged before next Thursday, when my stuff gets picked up? Or alternatively by next Sunday (I could still take it with me on the plane).
    3. They only have 5 videocards in stock at this point: what if they run out before they send me the card?
    4. Prices of the videocard are increasing (as I anticipated), even if they return me the money (e.g. because of 3.), I might not find a similar deal.

    So I've used their online message system to write the complaint, but they have not replied yet (and the clock is ticking). If no reply comes soon, I'll have to call them but that won't be straightforward as I would have to use my limited knowledge of Spanish...
    Last edited by VJ; 22nd November 2018 at 04:47.
    pixar
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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