Building a PC

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield
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Value (Price/Performance ratio)
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 22, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Benchmarks for a GT 630 here (and just because it a card may have 4GB of memory is not going to make it any faster than one with only 1GB of memory instead, as the extra  memory makes a negligible difference for virtually anything you'd do once you get over 1GB):

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GT+630

IOW, I suspect that's what they're trying to sell you (or a similar spec card like it) from what I can gather (Zotac model with 4GB of memory for $135, which probably reflects a "hefty" markup over the retail price.

Look at the Value section at the bottom of that page.    That kind of card has a terrible price/performance ratio (a.k.a., "bang for the buck").

That's the type of card you'd buy if you're using an entry level (a.k.a, budget)  "off the shelf" PC with a lower wattage PSU (e.g., 350 Watt), because you need a lower power draw card that is capable of running from PCIe Bus Power without any separate power connections.

Sure... it can handle things like HD Video Playback OK (as can the GPU in latest mobile phones for that matter), and may be fine for most uses (other than gaming).

But, you've specifically mentioned gaming, video editing, etc. in previous posts; and it doesn't sound like you're going to go with a 300 Watt or 350 Watt PSU that would limit your choices to that type of video card.

So, if you really want a card that is capable of playing modern games at the higher quality settings, you'll want to *avoid* that type of card, and go with something more suitable instead (as modern games will be virtually unplayable at higher resolutions with their highest quality settings with an entry level card like that, giving you very slow frame rates compared to higher end card models).

IOW, on a very tight budget, I'd look at something like a factory overclocked GTX 650TI for gaming use (keeping in mind that it's still not going to be able to play all games at the highest quality settings, but should be OK for casual use); or even better, look at the newer GTX 650Ti Boost models (as the newer Boost models have much better specs than the original GTX 650Ti models with performance that's closer to the GTX 660).

But, the best "bang for the buck" (price/performance ratio, a.k.a., Value) in a newer model, gaming capable card would be the GTX 660.  I'd probably get one with 1.5GB or 2GB of memory for a bit of "future proofing" over the 1GB models.   Note the value section at the bottom of this page (very nice "bang for the buck"):

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+660

IOW, I'd only go with something like a GT 630 if you don't care about a card for gaming use.   It's just too slow for that purpose, even though it would be fine for HD video playback and still photo image editing.

On an *extremely* tight budget, perhaps a GTX 650 with 384 CUDA cores and 128 Bit GDDR5 could work.  But, you wouldn't be able to use the highest quality settings at higher resolutions with many games with that kind of card.   But, it would still be a *lot* better than a GT 630 or similar using 96 CUDA cores with slower GDDR3.   In any event,

If you really want a card for gaming, I'd move up to a GTX 650Ti at a minimum (keeping in mind that you'd still need to dial back the quality settings for use with some of the more demanding games).  But, a GTX 660 would be the preferred choice for gaming purposes at higher resolutions (as it gives you a much better price/performance ratio compared to the lower end card models).

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JimC
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