I want to make a graphics upgrade, but is it worth it? (ex-post from LinusTechTips forums)

I am in a bit of a dilemma right now. I want to make an upgrade, but I'm not sure if it is worth it. I am currently using a sapphire hd7870, underclocked(probably my 80plus bronze PSU bottlenecking it) plugged into a 1080p 67Hz TN monitor. I am quite happy with what I have, especially when I compare to what my friends have, but I still feel there's something I am missing out on. I have been drooling over the Asus ROG Swift for a while now, and have decided that if I am going to upgrade, that monitor will be included. Higher resolution and no screen tearing are probably its strongest points to me. Now I generally don't mind tuning down the graphics settings in game, so I would go for a gtx 970. But lately I have started playing Skyrim again, and with the mods I have installed, my poor 7870 can only give me 20-30 fps (and lots of screen tearing), as opposed to 50-60 fps at max settings unmodded. If I make an upgrade, I don't want it to be lousy. I don't want to play with <60 fps after that, but when I look at the benchmarks, I am afraid the gtx 970 might not suffice. According to bit-tech.net (http://www.bit-tech....tx-970-review/9), the gtx 970 will have an average fps of 100 and minimum in the 80s in Skyrim maxed unmodded. If the fps will drop by around 50% for this card as well when I run the game with mods, it will most likely be around 50fps, which I think would be lousy when I spend so much money on it. Do you guys think my theory is wrong? I have been thinking of alternatives, and I think those will be gtx 970 SLI or gtx 980. I will have to upgrade my PSU anyways, so power shouldn't be the issue, but if I'm going for SLI, I will have to upgrade my mobo as well. My current mobo can't do SLI. I wouldn't like to upgrade the mobo because of all the hassle with CPU and cooler, but I feel the price of the gtx 980 is a bit high for what you get versus the gtx 970. What should I do? I would really like to play this beautiful game properly and I would also like the high resolution and all the features included in g-sync, but is it worth it?


current setup:

CPU: i5 3570k @4.3 GHz

Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V LX

GPU: Sapphire HD7870 GHz edition

RAM: 8gb DDR3 @1333 MHz

PSU: Corsair CX600

Monitor: Acer 1920x1080 60 Hz (overclocked to 67 Hz) TN, can't remember the model name and the online store I use seems to have removed it completely.

well the Asus swift is a 144Hz 1440p TN panel.

So you have to dig for skyrim 1440p benchmarks

There are 1440p skyrim benchmarks in that link I posted, just look further down the page, past the 1080p benchmarks.

yes i saw those numbers, and at 1440P the GTX970 seem to score very good.

around 85 Fps min in skyrim.. so that looks good to me. I still searching for more benchmarks.

Also i would note that the Gigabyte GTX970 Windforce G1 seems to be one of the highest stock clocked GTX970´s.

I have changed my mind about getting a new PSU. The one I have should suffice according to the feedback I got on LTT forums. The G1 has two 8 pin connectors, but I don't think my PSU supports that. My current card uses two 6 pins, but only one of the cables has an extra 2 pins hanging loose. What card is next after the G1 when it comes to overclockability? The Asus Strix looks attractive in price, noise and looks (although looks don't matter much to me). I don't know how it overclocks though.

with the Power Supply you have, you have nothing to worry about. the GPU Power connecters come like that they aren't 8 Pins together its usually a 6-2Pin connector. 6 pin for GPUS that have it and if you connect the 2pin to the 6 pin you get an 8 pin connector to give the GPU more power. overall though each card overclocks differently. we know they are monsterous overclockers some people getting them to 1500mhz. but if i were you i would check the hwbot.com averages on the overclocks to get a good picture of what you are capable of achieving. personally i would chose the Wind-force card it looks SOOOO much better now. especially now that the damn card doesn't extending an extra inch for no reason and the Wind force now lights up.


Oh, right, my eyes fooled me. My PSU does support 2x 8pin. hwbot.org doesn't seem to be specific about each model, only the card, so I can't see how the different manufacturers compare. Oh well. Thanks for the help!

hwbot.com shows an average of just the GPU. not which model they are. in other Words. EVERYONE that has a GTX 970 or GTX 980 were getting an average amount of This Specific Overclock (specific being whats listed on Hwbot.com) everyone has a preference when it comes to who makes their card. Some people like EVGA more than ASUS when it comes to Nvidia. and on the AMD side some people would prefer to have Sapphire more than lets say XFX or GIGABYTE. it'd be tedious if they have the averages of each specific Vendor. cause each vendor advertises their cards differently. so in a way what you should be looking for is who's cooler you prefer. and who's is the best performing for the money YOU are willing to spend cause some cards are a bit more expensive than their competition some could be 10 or 15 dollars more than each other. realistically all cards will perform exactly the same within a margin of error. some Vendors will probably get 1 Frame more than each other.

So the extra power consumption of the G1 doesn't improve the overclocking directly, just through the more powerful cooler? 

well no. the extra power is to make sure the card is stable when pulling overclocks. which is What is expected from the vendors. if you buy a GPU, THEY Expect you to overclock the card. so they make sure the card is built so no matter what you to do the card it will work. unless you truly break the card, which overclocking really won't do anymore now a days, but to keep things short and sweet for you, 600w is Enough to Power ANY Single GPU configuration. and the power difference between non-reference cards and reference cards isn't much. it isn't much where you have to worry at all. so just choose which card you want and enjoy it. lol

Remeber the Evga gtx970 has the acx cooler rev1.0. Rev 2.0 that is coming soon is more quiet and a bit cooler. The gigabyte is temting tho.

Maby you can consider a used 290x? they are cheap on ebay now and about the same preformance.

I hope the ROG is cheaper where u live than here, its like 1200usd lol.

the gigabyte is a 8+6 pin by the way. i saw 1.8GHz oc's on that one.

1,8GHZ !?!? 0.0

I sort of believe it, EVGA Has mentioned that WIth Watercooling Some Cards have reached a 1700mhz-1800mhz overclock and With LN2 Cooling they've reached 2GHZ.