AnsweredIs ANY video card better than none?

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davdud101
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2018/01/25 17:38:21 (permalink)

Is ANY video card better than none?

So I'm in a place where I have long since intended to upgrade to a dedicated graphics card rather than using my onboard.
This is mostly for gaming and doing video editing and graphics work. You guys can see I've got a decent system - 16GB RAM and a 3.2Ghz 8-core overclocked to about 3.6Ghz, so I'm good on those - I have yet to get above 4GB ram usage at any given time.
 
 
The question is then, is it such that NO MATTER WHAT video card I get, I'll see improvements over the on-board graphics? And if so, are there any recommendations that aren't so pricey?
I don't have a set price range but I really don't need to spend too much anyhow. I'm not needing to run games (for example) at 1080p - my monitor isn't even a 1080p monitor. I would, however, like to get decent framerates and have less trouble editing videos. Plus I've already sunk over $500 into this build through upgrading essentially every component except the case, and I'm looking to build a system that's powerful enough to last me another 10-15 years if I can swing it.
 
Any and all recommendations are welcome - store and name brands alike. :)
 
 

 
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#1
Dave76
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 18:14:13 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby davdud101 2018/01/25 18:56:58
"No matter what" is a bit broad so I'd say no, that isn't the case. I'm sure there are cards out there with horrible performance and unstable drivers that will make your life miserable compared to what you have. 
 
That said, anything NVIDIA GeForce based is typically a safe bet in my experience. Find one in a price range you are okay with and then read up on some reviews, benchmarks, etc. related to your needs. Keep in mind that a lot of these cards are monstrosities that take up two slots and a ton of space and often require power supply upgrades.  
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 18:24:48 (permalink)
If we're talking about recent make Intel CPUs, the onboard U/HD-630 graphics are pretty decent.
If you're not going to install GTX-1050 (equal or better), I wouldn't even bother.

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Jim Roseberry
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davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 19:09:29 (permalink)
Dave76
"No matter what" is a bit broad so I'd say no, that isn't the case. I'm sure there are cards out there with horrible performance and unstable drivers that will make your life miserable compared to what you have. 
 
That said, anything NVIDIA GeForce based is typically a safe bet in my experience. Find one in a price range you are okay with and then read up on some reviews, benchmarks, etc. related to your needs. Keep in mind that a lot of these cards are monstrosities that take up two slots and a ton of space and often require power supply upgrades.  



That's a fair reply, Dave. Given that both you and Jim are pointing me in the direction of nVidia GeForce cards, I think that lets me know where to be looking. Initially, around a year or so ago when I started making upgrades I has my sights set on a Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460, probably 4GB model, which was going for around $150 when I was looking but appears to have absolutely skyrocketed for some reason of another.
 
 
I'll check the benchmark sites to get the best I can with what I'm willing to spend.

 
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#4
abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 20:58:26 (permalink)
Get ready for the big sticker shock.  A lot of GPUs are being marked up online due to a supply shortage, causing frequent out of stock notices.
 
I think it is a combination of factors, including cryptominers buying them up to mine Bitcoin, etc., causing a temporary shortage in the supply.
 
I would probably look for a refurb, or order from a reseller that has not jacked up prices, or settle for a back order.
 
If you are looking for a nVidia card, I wouldn't go any lower than a GTX950.  A little over a year ago I tested out a GT710 but it had about the same performance as my integrated Intel HD2500.  So I sent it back and got a GTX950.  It will run some older games like Skyrim or Bioshock Infinite at full HD 1920 with ultra settings.  Not really a gamer, but enjoy some casual gaming, so something in the GTX950-GTX1050 range should get the job done nicely! 

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azslow3
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 21:12:21 (permalink)
I know nothing about Redeons, but check that what you consider has "silence mode" (GTX-1050+ has, at least when produced by known companies).
In all tests you can find that anything without active cooling will not outperform modern build-in GPUs. But active cooling means at least some noise, not good for a DAW. Silence mode is a good compromise, when in 2D or with light 3D load, GPU is cooled passively. But when you need full power (3D, some video processing, etc), you get it (with noise, but for targeted use cases that is no longer important).
 
I known that my 1050Ti stay silent till quite heavy (for it) load, even in 3D. Jim probably has experience with upper models and can say how far they can stay silent under load (I have asked him once, but he has not replied...  my worry was that since nominal power consumption for upper models is 2x-3x more then for 1050, they can start to produce more heat sooner).
 
PS. Last time when I was ready to upgrade, I have invested ~$400 into PSU+GPU instead. I have super silence now, but PC itself you can find in my signature

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#6
davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 21:40:50 (permalink)
abacab
Get ready for the big sticker shock.  A lot of GPUs are being marked up online due to a supply shortage, causing frequent out of stock notices.

 
That's something I'm actually struggling with RIGHT NOW, abacab!!! The Rx 460 was stated to be the direct competitor to the 10% better GTX 1050 2gb, so I'm looking to the 1050 but can't find it ANYWHERE at the purported $130 price point!! This is after some 2.5 hours of watching videos and reading up on the best performers around this price point.

Everywhere online is at least $135 (which isn't much more to pay at all but it's more the principle - in 2016 this card new was going for about that, right? I don't expect to pay ANY more than that, haha!)
 
The newest game I'll probably be playing on this system is 2008's Fallout 3, so it'll at least be nice to have a system with a lot of headroom in terms of how much it CAN do vs. how much it HAS to do. I do intend to learn Blender at some point, and when i launch YouTube I'm going to need something capable of video editing and rendering pretty decently in comparison to what I have at the moment.
azslow3
In all tests you can find that anything without active cooling will not outperform modern build-in GPUs. But active cooling means at least some noise, not good for a DAW. Silence mode is a good compromise, when in 2D or with light 3D load, GPU is cooled passively. But when you need full power (3D, some video processing, etc), you get it (with noise, but for targeted use cases that is no longer important).



For me, azslow3, my tower isn't optimized for silence anyway - I'm only running a bedroom studio and right now I'm getting about the best recording quality I can with what I've got - and that's adding in the noise created by the bathroom fan and drippy-noises right next to me, the CPU fan that's only a 3-pin so it remains at a constant speed at ALL times (I need to fix this)... And then of course, there's me, banging and clanging and strumming - I'm sure that can't be too pleasant either 
 
Good thoughts though, I definitely should pay some more attention to that because room noise has made recording difficult.
 
 
 
So right now, my mind is set on a GTX 1050 2gb model. I'm hoping to find one at roughly $130... most are going for $140 - $200, but as I said, the principle matters first - I'll hold out a little while and if the price doesn't move, then I will.
 
 

 
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abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 22:39:11 (permalink)
davdud101
 
So right now, my mind is set on a GTX 1050 2gb model. I'm hoping to find one at roughly $130... most are going for $140 - $200, but as I said, the principle matters first - I'll hold out a little while and if the price doesn't move, then I will.
 



I paid $130 for my GTX 950 in 2016.  I laughed at what some of those were listed for now, LOL.  Like 2-3x that!  That is probably close to the most I've ever spent on a GPU, but well worth it, as it is 2GB and a good performer.  I would never consider spending >$200 for a GPU...
 
Like you said, lot's of headroom for games from 10 years ago.  And you can get those cheap today!  Nice to be able to play with settings maxed out and never have to worry about frame rate! 

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abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 22:43:22 (permalink)
Ran across this video card in stock tracker.  Can't vouch for it, as have never used it.  Was posted up on Tom's Hardware forum recently... they have a 1050ti tracker showing a few in stock...
 
https://www.nowinstock.net/computers/videocards

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davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/25 23:29:09 (permalink)
abacab
Ran across this video card in stock tracker.  Can't vouch for it, as have never used it.  Was posted up on Tom's Hardware forum recently... they have a 1050ti tracker showing a few in stock...
 
https://www.nowinstock.net/computers/videocards


Thanks for the link!
 
The only ones I'm finding at the sub-$150 mark are NOT EVGA's, only the Zotac and ASUS models. Hmmm.... is this issue actually CAUSED by manufacturers jacking up prices because of miners?
 
Came across this article in connection with that... https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9knj73/as-cryptocurrency-miners-buy-gpus-in-bulk-nvidia-says-gamers-come-first 
Really strange stuff, especially since it seems all this cryptocurrency stuff emerged from the woodworks into the public eye only 5 or so years ago. Makes me sort of wish I'd upgraded this time last year, I would definitely got what I wanted at the price I meant to pay 

 
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abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/26 00:09:51 (permalink)
davdud101
 
Really strange stuff, especially since it seems all this cryptocurrency stuff emerged from the woodworks into the public eye only 5 or so years ago. Makes me sort of wish I'd upgraded this time last year, I would definitely got what I wanted at the price I meant to pay 




Take a look at this Coinranking list.  Click on the chart for Bitcoin (the #1) and expand the view to 1 year.  Speaks for itself, LOL!!!  No wonder they are buying every GPU in sight! 
 
"Gold rush" ...
 
https://coinranking.com/
post edited by abacab - 2018/01/26 00:53:04

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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/26 04:02:27 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby abacab 2018/01/26 14:09:14
If you can hold-off, now is not the time to buy higher-end video cards.
Cards that were $250 six months ago are now going for $600.
Wait for things to get back to normal...

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/26 14:51:21 (permalink)
Jim Roseberry
If you can hold-off, now is not the time to buy higher-end video cards.
Cards that were $250 six months ago are now going for $600.
Wait for things to get back to normal...



Yikes! As far as the build goes, now would be primetime to buy since I have so much time for gaming and I have the money  - but I know I'd only regret that in 4 or 5 months when prices come back down and I could've saved $20 or $30. That's a sting I've felt before and that I don't need to feel again!
 
[edit] : okay - according to EVGA's site, the card I'm looking to buy IS indeed being sold at the current going rate. Knowing that (and this card was released Oct 2016, so it's actually rather new in the big picture), I think I'm safe to go a head and just make the purchase. Not expecting much of a price drop here. I probably should look for rebates and stuff though.

 
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abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/26 16:29:31 (permalink)
That's great if EVGA will sell it for that price, but it appears to be on a wait list.  At least they are limiting it to one per customer!
 
Any stock available from other resellers appears to be marked up. except for the top model in that list, where the Newegg price matches EVGA's price of $169.99, and it's in stock at Newegg.

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davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/26 18:56:56 (permalink)
abacab
That's great if EVGA will sell it for that price, but it appears to be on a wait list.  At least they are limiting it to one per customer!
 
Any stock available from other resellers appears to be marked up. except for the top model in that list, where the Newegg price matches EVGA's price of $169.99, and it's in stock at Newegg.


Yikes! I'll have to inspect that. Mind you abacab, I'm looking at the "FTW" model of this card and not the big brother, the Ti, so maybe that's where the price differences comes in. Most sources are selling / talking about the Ti and it was actually sorta tough finding the info I wanted about the standard model, haha
 
In any case, it looks like ASUS, MSI, Zotac AND Gigabyte all have their own versions which according to the net give pretty much the same performance at slightly varying costs, so I guess the best bet for me is going to be the Zotac.
That five/ten dollahs is a make-or-break!!! 

 
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abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/26 19:49:46 (permalink)
I was referring to the model at the top of the EVGA FTW list that you posted, for $169, rather than the one for $139 that was selected.  "EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 FTW GAMING, 02G-P4-6157-KR, 2GB GDDR5, ACX 3.0"
 
Seems about the same spec, with a faster clock speed.  I saw that one in-stock at Newegg for $169.

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abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/27 20:46:47 (permalink)
davdud101
 
The newest game I'll probably be playing on this system is 2008's Fallout 3




Hey looky here... Fallout 4 from 2015 is half off for $14.99 for the next day or so at Humble Bundle!!!
 
https://www.humblebundle.com/store/fallout-4
 

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davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/28 03:22:30 (permalink)
abacab
I was referring to the model at the top of the EVGA FTW list that you posted, for $169, rather than the one for $139 that was selected.  "EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 FTW GAMING, 02G-P4-6157-KR, 2GB GDDR5, ACX 3.0"
 
Seems about the same spec, with a faster clock speed.  I saw that one in-stock at Newegg for $169.


Whoops. Turns out I wasn't even looking at the FTW version  yup, the one I sent in the link was what I was referring to, haha
 
 
abacab
 
Hey looky here... Fallout 4 from 2015 is half off for $14.99 for the next day or so at Humble Bundle!!!
 
https://www.humblebundle.com/store/fallout-4

WOOHOO!! I'm all over it!!!! I have it on Xbox One but knowing that I can do a Cloud savefile (and that's it's a quarter of what it cost originally) makes it totally worth it! Thanks for mentioning it abacab :)

 
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azslow3
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/29 09:57:09 (permalink)
davdud101
In any case, it looks like ASUS, MSI, Zotac AND Gigabyte all have their own versions which according to the net give pretty much the same performance at slightly varying costs, so I guess the best bet for me is going to be the Zotac.
That five/ten dollahs is a make-or-break!!! 

While the main chip is the same, other components vary. That normally does not hit performance (much), but that does hit the noise level, durability and the price. I have controversial experience what that means in practice, except for the noise level: cheapest solutions always use horrible coolers. That does not automatically mean expensive solutions always use good one, but some of them do.  
 

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davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/29 18:08:01 (permalink)
azslow3
 
While the main chip is the same, other components vary. That normally does not hit performance (much), but that does hit the noise level, durability and the price. I have controversial experience what that means in practice, except for the noise level: cheapest solutions always use horrible coolers. That does not automatically mean expensive solutions always use good one, but some of them do.  
 



Hmm, I didn't think about that. It IS only $5 - $10 going from Zotac to Gigabyte - and Gb is the brand I'd be most inclined to choose. That $5s really is of no consequence if there are more 'RISKS' associated with going cheaper than there are upsides with saving five or ten dollars.

 
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pb7r47sz
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/30 03:07:46 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby davdud101 2018/01/30 19:12:31
davdud101,
I put the following list together to help demystify the purchase of my video card. It may help you.
 
The GPU should handle the max resolution of my video camera.
In my particular case that is 1080P 60 fps, which is more than adequate
for posting to U-Tube, any promotional, or any family video.
This requirement says the HD 530 or UHD 630 IGPU of intel will not cut it, having
frame rates slightly below and slightly above 30 FPS respectively.
 
For beginner video makers, the video card should have at least 600 pixel processing units or
cuda cores to get reasonable editing speed. As we know parallel processing makes things go faster.
Case in point, my render time is half the film length time using an Nvidia 1050 design.
Higher cuda core counts give faster results, but may not be worth it unless you do this professionally.
 
Since video cards can dump large amounts of heat into the case, I found the following to
be important. Card length and width physically divides the air flow in the case.  The smaller
the card the easier it is to get cool air to it and hot air away from it.  The card's heat sink orientation needs
to direct air flow to compliment the flow set up by the case fans, not oppose it. The card's
shroud should enclose it enough to direct the heat out the back of the case.  The GPU full
load temperature should be 70 degrees celsius maximum. Do not get a card with a back cover.  A back
cover blocks case air from cooling this surface.
 
Video card noise during audio processing should not be audible and full load noise should be less than 45 dB(A).
Reputable reviews can be found at "Ted's Hardware" and "Guru3d".  Performance ranking for gaming can be found at "Game-Debate".
 
Card should output a digital signal HDMI, DVI-D, or DP for at least 2 monitors.
 
As the rest of the fellows in the forum have stated, the Nvidia GTX 1050 is a good candidate.
There are several modifications available to cooling, memory, and clock rate are from different suppliers.  
What suited my requirements was the EVGA 1050 TI SC, it runs cool and even though the fan is
always on, I cannot hear it.
As you have seen, prices vary. It is worth your while to check "pcpartpicker" for historical
prices of a part. Typically, (not always) part prices are lowest at the end of the first quarter, August, Black Friday,
and a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Regards,
       Forest
 
Gigabyte X99m Gaming 5, G.Skills Ripjaws4-32GB, Intel 6800K, SSD & HDD, Win Pro 10, Motu 4 PRE, electric & acoustic guitars.
#21
davdud101
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/30 19:19:16 (permalink)
Thanks a ton, Forest! As far as all the consolidated information I could need goes, I think you've set to rest all of my worries about when and what to buy in one post. With this being my first video card ever - been running on on-board since the very start of it all - it's awesome to be able to get specific information like this.
 
 
Thanks again! And thanks to all who answered and helped out.
 
btw, abacab - I bought Fallout 4 for $15 on Humble Bundle, only to find out I can't play it yet with my (current onboard) graphics 

 
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DAW: Win10, AMD FX-8300, 16GB DDR3
#22
abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/30 19:37:41 (permalink)
davdud101
 
btw, abacab - I bought Fallout 4 for $15 on Humble Bundle, only to find out I can't play it yet with my (current onboard) graphics 




Ha! Now you have an urgent reason to grab a GTX1050 card!!! 

DAW: Sonar Platinum; Sonar Home Studio; Studio One 3 Pro; Tracktion Waveform; Ableton Live  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SONiVOX; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1703  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000
#23
abacab
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Re: Is ANY video card better than none? 2018/01/30 22:17:04 (permalink)
davdud101
 
btw, abacab - I bought Fallout 4 for $15 on Humble Bundle, only to find out I can't play it yet with my (current onboard) graphics 




And just fyi, Fallout 4 detected my GTX950 and set the graphics automatically to ultra!  Runs very smooth on my rig, looking great on a 40" 1080 LCD.
 
So you should expect no trouble at all with that GTX1050!!! 

DAW: Sonar Platinum; Sonar Home Studio; Studio One 3 Pro; Tracktion Waveform; Ableton Live  Other: AIR AIEP; Akai VIP; BIAB; Ignite; iZotope Iris 2; Notion; Overture; SampleTank 3; SONiVOX; SynthMaster; Syntronik; Waves  OS: Win10 Pro x64 1703  System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; PCIe FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410  Controllers: A-300PRO; Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000
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