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Upgrade: Monitor vs. GPU first? (Gaming)

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#1
Hi all, this isn't anything terribly urgent, just looking for a bit of advice.

I'm working a summer job so I've got some cash to upgrade my (relatively outdated) build. My i5 2500k has been running great overclocked since I built my computer, so I'm not in any rush to upgrade that.

My GPU, however, is one of the first things I'm replacing. I have an EVGA GTX 550 Ti 2GB, which wasn't bad when I built my computer, but it doesn't do great anymore. I'm looking at getting a GTX 960 or possibly 970, depending.

My monitor is garbage, since my original monitor died. It's a 2005 HP monitor running at 1280x1024 resolution. I plan on getting a 21.5" 1080p HDMI monitor to replace it.

My question is, which one first? My paycheck is monthly and on my first one i'll only have enough for one or the other.

Should I snag a 960 and wait a month to get a monitor? Or grab the monitor now and wait for the GPU, possibly saving enough to get a better one? Will my 550 Ti run 1080p on decent settings?

I kind of feel like I won't be able to tell that much of a difference with a better graphics card because of how old the monitor is, but I could be wrong there.

Note: The games I play are MMO's like WoW and FFXIV and also some shooters like CS:GO and Titanfall.

Thanks!
 

newtekie1

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#2
That is a tough one. Though I'd probably go with monitor first then GPU. Heck, you might get lucking and catch a price cut while you wait. Monitors on the other hand don't tend to go down in price all that much in the area you're looking, entry level 1080p monitors tend to stick in the $100-120 range.

As for the 550Ti handling 1080p with decent settings, that depends on what you consider decent. I'd say it should handle low settings at 1080p, or you can try lowering the resolution in games to something like 1366x768 until you can get a better GPU. It will still be better than 1280x1024.
 
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#3
That is a tough one. Though I'd probably go with monitor first then GPU. Heck, you might get lucking and catch a price cut while you wait. Monitors on the other hand don't tend to go down in price all that much in the area you're looking, entry level 1080p monitors tend to stick in the $100-120 range.

As for the 550Ti handling 1080p with decent settings, that depends on what you consider decent. I'd say it should handle low settings at 1080p, or you can try lowering the resolution in games to something like 1366x768 until you can get a better GPU. It will still be better than 1280x1024.
Yeah, you're definitely right about the stagnant 1080p prices. That's worth considering.
 

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#4
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#6
Bad time to buy a video card because of the impeding launch of new cards from amd and the gtx 980 ti from nvidia.
Even if you don't buy any of them, it should at the very least drive the cost of existing cards down.
What is your monitor budget?
 
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#7
Bad time to buy a video card because of the impeding launch of new cards from amd and the gtx 980 ti from nvidia.
Even if you don't buy any of them, it should at the very least drive the cost of existing cards down.
What is your monitor budget?
You think the 980 Ti will drive 960's lower than 200? Seems like they're in a totally different league, but you could be right. Also the release date says around September and being a college kid I doubt i can hang on to all my money until then. Also, summer gaming!

Monitor budget is about $150
 
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#8
I was thinking of the gtx 970. I don't think we are more than a few weeks away from seeing the gtx 980 ti. But if you have to choose a card NOW it should be the 970 for the future proofing (provided you can stretch the budget)
For cs go for example the best monitors are the 144 hertz ones. Cheapest I see on newegg is 250 bucks. In any case I avoided IPS because of their input lag. I am not sure if they are suitable for games, fast moving images might be a problem.
 

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#9
The extra screen real estate on a 23-24" monitor is nice. Definitely worth it imo. I had a 24 and went up to 27" 1440p PLS and its great. Makes coding a lot better,multi tasking, etc.
 
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#10
I was thinking of the gtx 970. I don't think we are more than a few weeks away from seeing the gtx 980 ti. But if you have to choose a card NOW it should be the 970 for the future proofing (provided you can stretch the budget)
For cs go for example the best monitors are the 144 hertz ones. Cheapest I see on newegg is 250 bucks. In any case I avoided IPS because of their input lag. I am not sure if they are suitable for games, fast moving images might be a problem.
Yeah I don't really want to drop 250 on a monitor, I'd be okay with a 60 Hz 1080p monitor.

The thing about the 970 is I only have a 500W PSU and I'm not sure a 970 will run okay on that...
 
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#11
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#16
Can't say that I am familiar with cooler master power supplies but according to a quick look online it's not very good.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/arti...reme-Power-Plus-500-W-Power-Supply-Review/728

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5716

I would risk it but that's just me. I have used crappy power supplies in the past without any consequences. Lucky maybe. Who knows.
Hm that one says it doesn't say 500W on it, but mine does.

Anywho, extreme power supply says my set-up with a 970 will take about 430W, but I may just end up grabbing a 750W psu at the same time as the 970 to be on the safe side.
 

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#17
That's the one. Will that do for a 970?
I'd say no, they really overrated that unit, it is really a 400w at best.

Also, I don't think the 980ti will drop the price of the 970. We'll probably see the 980 drop in price to the $400 range, but that is it, IMO.
 
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#18
I'd say no, they really overrated that unit, it is really a 400w at best.

Also, I don't think the 980ti will drop the price of the 970. We'll probably see the 980 drop in price to the $400 range, but that is it, IMO.
Me neither, people who want to spend $500+ on a GPU don't buy 970's to begin with.

Yeah, I wasn't gonna risk it on a $350 GPU. I need a new PSU anyway, so I figure buying a 750W at the same time is probably the safest route.
 
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#19
Always check jonnyguru before buying power supplies. :peace:
About the 970 price.... a man can dream can't he :p
 
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#21
Thanks, will do.
What do you mean about the 970 price?
Meant it is wishful thinking on my part maybe. I just know that RIGHT NOW the price of the 970 is too high for me and the performance of the 960 is too low. Waiting for something in between.
 
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#22
Meant it is wishful thinking on my part maybe. I just know that RIGHT NOW the price of the 970 is too high for me and the performance of the 960 is too low. Waiting for something in between.
I hear you there. If there was a good NVIDIA option at ~$250 I'd be all over it. But I guess a 970 will be pretty darn good for a while.
 

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#23
I hear you there. If there was a good NVIDIA option at ~$250 I'd be all over it. But I guess a 970 will be pretty darn good for a while.
I agree, I wish nVidia would fill the gap between the 970 and 960. I'm still hopeful for a 960ti carved out of the 970.

Though I guess I can see why they don't do that. The 960 is perfect for 1080p and the 970 is perfect for 1440p. Something in the middle wouldn't fit anywhere perfectly.
 
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#24
I agree, I wish nVidia would fill the gap between the 970 and 960. I'm still hopeful for a 960ti carved out of the 970.

Though I guess I can see why they don't do that. The 960 is perfect for 1080p and the 970 is perfect for 1440p. Something in the middle wouldn't fit anywhere perfectly.
Hm, interesting that you say that. I'm planning on playing in 1080p, will the 960 max out settings for 1080? My initial impression is no but you might know something I dont.
 

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#25
Hm, interesting that you say that. I'm planning on playing in 1080p, will the 960 max out settings for 1080? My initial impression is no but you might know something I dont.
The 960 can handle pretty much every game out right now essentially maxed at 1080p. The only thing it can't handle at 1080p is MSAA. But at this point there are so many other better AA methods that come at much less of a performance hit, MSAA makes no sense to use anymore.
 
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