1. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Hey folks, I'm finally going to upgrade my video card in my custom built gamer desktop. I've been long overdue, with this build being 5+ years old now. The video card I have was the top of the line flagship card at the time - the Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 (dual gpu) I paid a ton of money for it at the time... (Over $600!). It still works great with last gen titles, but... the card's only shortcoming now, is that it is a DirectX 10 card. Some new titles that are "current" right now, will run fine on it in "DX10" mode, BUT... There's other titles, and new ones coming out, that require the minimum of DirectX 11 hardware.

    My struggle here is that I've got a $300 budget (I might be able to squeeze $350) to upgrade this card with. The GTX 295 is mighty big shoes to fill. Sure, there's plenty of DirectX11/DX12 capable cards out there that'll run new titles on "high settings" just fine, but take a look at my current card's specs, and compare them with a suitable replacement. Most of these new "midrange cards" still can't stack up to my current beast of a card.
    gtx295specs.jpg

    So, I'm open for suggestions. Keep in mind that I do have an Nvidia GeForce preference. Not that there's anything wrong with AMD's Radeon hardware, but I don't really like their "Catalyst" software stuff... I liked Radeon cards better back in the day when it was just ATI...
    Last edited by Ed Boland; 03-11-2016 at 08:54 AM.
    03-11-2016 08:40 AM
  2. Zulfigar's Avatar
    My suggestion? Wait. We're right now at a point that both AMD and NVIDIA is going be announcing new hardware in the next few months with next-gen architectures.
    Ed Boland and Laura Knotek like this.
    03-11-2016 09:19 AM
  3. Ed Boland's Avatar
    My suggestion? Wait. We're right now at a point that both AMD and NVIDIA is going be announcing new hardware in the next few months with next-gen architectures.
    True, but I've been waiting 3-4 years now.. I hope they come out with their next gen stuff soon! I'm already behind a few "gens" as it is. I'll never buy anything if I keep on waiting...
    03-11-2016 10:05 AM
  4. Ed Boland's Avatar
    I guess I really don't need anyone to tell me that the logical choice, if I were to buy a card right now, given my budget, would be the GTX 970.

    If they're coming out with somethIng new soon, I guess I could wait a little longer. Heck I've already waited this long....
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-12-2016 12:15 AM
  5. avengerxp's Avatar
    What about the AMD radeon r7 300 series? I have a R7 370 which runs current games good. If you can do a lil research on r7 or R9 you might find something to fill those big shoes with a moderate budget!
    Ed Boland likes this.
    03-12-2016 12:27 AM
  6. Ed Boland's Avatar
    What about the AMD radeon r7 300 series? I have a R7 370 which runs current games good. If you can do a lil research on r7 or R9 you might find something to fill those big shoes with a moderate budget!
    Well, as I pointed out in the OP, I have an Nvidia preference. Even though I'm sure an AMD card would do just fine, I want to stick with Nvidia and their GeForce line.

    Now that I've actually been reading up on the subject, I think I'm going to follow Zulfigar's advice above... and wait! The new "Pascal" architecture with the real HBM (high bandwidth memory) claims to be "Maxwell (the current GeForce cards) times 10"!
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-14-2016 05:53 PM
  7. Ed Boland's Avatar
    "HBM2" is what I meant to say... Stacked memory ftw!
    03-14-2016 07:25 PM
  8. avengerxp's Avatar
    Great! I had a GTX 550 ti & switched to the r7 370 this year. Nvidia card was smooth but I like the AMD card now.. good luck with your selections...
    Ed Boland likes this.
    03-15-2016 01:00 AM
  9. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Was at Best Buy last night looking around with my son.. Had my paws on a GTX 980.... $579 crazy!

    The GTX 970 was $379. Ughh it's so hard to wait!
    03-15-2016 06:11 AM
  10. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Well... I decided not to wait for the Pascal cards to come out later this year... (who knows when) I bit the bullet and bought a video card for my gamer build. I had this money burning a hole in my pocket, and I figured I could get something decent now, and still upgrade to a next gen Pascal card later. I know the flagship cards will come out first (like the Titan line - $1000+) which I won't be able to afford anyway... Then later, probably late summer, or even fall/winter before the mid cards arrive.
    So I decided to get the best bang for my buck right now. I got the EVGA GTX 970 4GB 256bit Super Superclocked ACX 2.0 card for $329 at Best Buy.

    While I was there, I also picked up a Samsung V-NAND 850 EVO SSD 256GB for $95 which will be my first SSD in the desktop gaming machine. I'll be doing a clean Win10 install on this, then recommissioning my WD 10k rpm Velociraptor spinner to game installs and quick storage (along with my other large storage drives)
    avengerxp likes this.
    03-15-2016 09:40 PM
  11. avengerxp's Avatar
    Good to hear.. If ur not gamin on 4k - that 4GB isn't going to do much I would say!
    Ed Boland likes this.
    03-16-2016 12:31 AM
  12. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Good to hear.. If ur not gamin on 4k - that 4GB isn't going to do much I would say!
    Yeah, I'm still using my 1080p display for this rig. Which was another deciding factor in my purchase of this card.
    03-16-2016 06:44 AM
  13. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Um.. So now I have a new problem. Keep in mind that I've been building my own PCs since the DOS days, (pre plug and pray days, where we'd have to configure IRQ and DMA jumpers on our hardware to work) so this isn't my first rodeo... I installed the new video card last night, put everything back together, hit the power button and... Nothing. No post, beep, nadda damn thing! Grrrrr now I know my PSU "should" be enough to handle the new card (it's a thermaltake black widow 850W gaming PSU) but... It IS 4-5 years old. So either my PSU gave up... Or, I fried my motherboard. &#%K

    I tried putting my old video card back in and same thing... Nothing. So something has definitely happened here. I guess the first thing would be to replace the PSU. Wish me luck!
    03-16-2016 07:02 AM
  14. Ed Boland's Avatar
    I guess it's time to upgrade everything else anyway.. Though I was hoping to get a few more years out of this current motherboard and cpu.

    EVGA X58 LE (LGA 1366)
    Intel core i7 920

    Yeah it's kind of old.. I know.
    03-16-2016 07:11 AM
  15. avengerxp's Avatar
    oh sad to hear that! but if ya have a friend or an extra PSU, I suggest you check the parts n find the troubling part... might be the PSU, or the mobo.
    03-16-2016 07:34 AM
  16. Ed Boland's Avatar
    I just tested the PSU out of the system. Seems ok.. I guess I'm motherboard shopping now.
    avengerxp likes this.
    03-16-2016 07:55 AM
  17. Ed Boland's Avatar
    I just tested the PSU out of the system. Seems ok.. I guess I'm motherboard shopping now.
    Update:

    Ok, after the initial "jumper trick" to test the PSU's functionality, I first thought that since the PSU's fan came on, that it was probably ok... WRONG!..... I was thinking about it, and remembered I had a small 360W micro atx PSU in one of my boxes of computer stuff. Obviously not enough power to run my system with the vid card, BUT it was enough to test my motherboard for post. I did just that... and "Beep!" Guess what.... the motherboard is fine!

    So it WAS the PSU! The jumper trick test can only be used to determine if the PSU is bad only when the fan DOESN'T come on. If the fan DOES comes on, it does NOT necessarily mean the PSU is good!

    Anyway, I went out and bought a new Corsair CX850M (850W) PSU, and all my problems were solved... or so I thought... Evidently, when I installed the new video card, the old PSU decided to take a dump, and when it did, it took my hard drives and DVD rom drive with it. That's right, two hard drives and the DVD burner..... Toast! Thank god for Onedrive! At least all my pics are safe! Pretty much lost everything else though..

    Do your backups people!

    So now I'm back up and running with the new GTX 970 video card, a new 850W PSU, and a new Samsung SSD. I've still got to run out and buy a dvd rom/burner and a new storage drive. But all in all, it was a good upgrade, and now I can FINALLY play Call of Duty Ghosts (which I bought way back when when it came out, but couldn't run it because my card wasn't DirectX11 capable) and all the new titles I've been missing out on!
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-17-2016 10:16 AM
  18. avengerxp's Avatar
    oh damn, how the heck the PSu burnt your HDDs? for me the lost of my data would be unbearable! try to buy a same brand hdd, swap the circuit board underneath, this might spin the hdds n give u a chance to backup. I did this once...
    Ed Boland likes this.
    03-19-2016 09:17 PM
  19. Ed Boland's Avatar
    oh damn, how the heck the PSu burnt your HDDs?
    I guess it surged... And the weakest link was the drives. They are definitely toast... I can't get ANY signs of life out of either one. I think I've tried everything other than what you're talking about below...
    try to buy a same brand hdd, swap the circuit board underneath, this might spin the hdds n give u a chance to backup. I did this once...
    Doesn't the drive have to be the same exact model # and everything? I'd be willing to give that a shot... If I could find this drive:

    image.jpg

    And this one:

    image.jpg


    Care to help me find?
    03-23-2016 11:16 AM
  20. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Hmmm, might easier than I thought to find. Here's the actual board for the first one on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/WD10EADS-00L5B...pUvbUpU3444035
    avengerxp likes this.
    03-23-2016 11:24 AM
  21. avengerxp's Avatar
    Good Luck, but $72 ? too much, your better off searching a local shop for second hand drives, should be cheaper right
    Ed Boland likes this.
    03-23-2016 09:36 PM
  22. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Good Luck, but $72 ? too much, your better off searching a local shop for second hand drives, should be cheaper right
    Yeah, I've seen the controller boards on eBay in the $30 range.. Seems like a gamble though.

    Honestly the longer I go without all that data, the less I miss it. I'm slowly starting to re-download everything. I don't think I lost anything all that important.
    03-27-2016 06:29 AM
  23. iOS Gravity's Avatar
    Should've waited man the GTX 1060 is way better than the 980 and for only $250. It just blows your 970 out of the water.
    07-27-2016 01:53 PM

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