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What video card for Skyrim?
12-02-2013, 05:27 PM,
#1
What video card for Skyrim?
I am planning to get Skyrim for my PC since I retired my PS3 for a PS4. I have a GTX 650 with 2 GB and was wondering if I should upgrade it for maximum resolution and frame rate. My monitors are very high resolution for photography and I use two of them.


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Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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12-02-2013, 06:21 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013, 06:22 PM by MathieuB.)
#2
RE: What video card for Skyrim?
Your GTX 650 is definitely going to struggle at 1920 x 1200 with Skyrim with maxed out graphic settings, even more so if you play on both monitors. It should be capable of handling it, with a decent frame rate on a single monitor if you lower the graphic settings to medium or so.

If you want a no-compromise dual-monitor gameplay with maxed-out settings and good frame rate, you'll need a fairly high-end video card. From a performance point of view, a Radeon R9 290 would be good, but knowing you, the stock cooler they would be way too loud for your tastes Wink

If you can wait 1-3 weeks, we should see R9 290 cards arrive with far less noisy custom coolers.

Otherwise, a Geforce GTX 780 would be a good choice, offering a good balance of performance and lower noise.

If you go the GTX 780 way, I'd go with EVGA for the brand, with their Superclocked series that are equipped with a dual fans cooler. Higher performance than stock cards and low noise/heat thanks to the cooler. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-GTX78...00CUIVSNS/

There's also the GTX 780 Ti that performs even higher, but it's not available with custom coolers yet, only with Nvidia stock cooler, so it would be significantly louder.

In any case, your PC will be capable of handling such an upgrade.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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12-02-2013, 08:06 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013, 08:24 PM by mwhals.)
#3
What video card for Skyrim?
Thanks. The video card is actually the only real weak point since I optimized the machine as a photography workstation. The good news is that it can do both roles really sweet with a high level video card.

I think my 650 watt PSU is adequate for either of those cards with my 3930k and 64 GB of ram.


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The R9 290 is considerably less than the GTX 780. I am sure better coolers may drive up the price, so waiting is no problem. I am thinking Nvidia might be better due to Cuda for the Adobe CS suites.


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Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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12-02-2013, 09:35 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013, 09:36 PM by MathieuB.)
#4
RE: What video card for Skyrim?
(12-02-2013, 08:06 PM)mwhals Wrote: Thanks. The video card is actually the only real weak point since I optimized the machine as a photography workstation. The good news is that it can do both roles really sweet with a high level video card.

I think my 650 watt PSU is adequate for either of those cards with my 3930k and 64 GB of ram.


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The R9 290 is considerably less than the GTX 780. I am sure better coolers may drive up the price, so waiting is no problem. I am thinking Nvidia might be better due to Cuda for the Adobe CS suites.


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Yeah, 650W is fine.

While the video card can accelerate a few things, the CPU is what does the heavy lifting with Adobe apps.

That said, which version of CS are you running? CS6 supports both AMD and Nvidia cards for hardware GPU acceleration.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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12-02-2013, 10:39 PM,
#5
What video card for Skyrim?
CS6


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Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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12-02-2013, 11:06 PM,
#6
RE: What video card for Skyrim?
CS6 supports both AMD and Nvidia cards for GPU acceleration.

Cards that do not use the AMD reference coolers usually do not that much more than reference models, maybe $10-$20 more usually, except for a few even higher-end versions with extra perks (water-cooling, slightly higher frequencies) that can cost quite a bit more.

So in the end, I'd advice to wait for a Radeon R9 290 with a good dual-fan custom cooler to be available. Average gaming performance is on par if not even slightly higher than the GTX 780 for $100 less. You'd also get 4GB of VRAM instead of 3GB, so that's worth consideration if you do any modelling, 3D and the like.

Based on my personal experience and research for Hardware Revolution, I'd say that MSI offers the most reliable and interesting video cards for a Workstation. Similar to EVGA on the Nvidia side, MSI offers higher frequencies (read: higher performance) on their custom "Lightning" cards, excellent power delivery resulting in less coil noise aka less annoying high frequency electrical sound and a great dual-fan cooler.

They also have a user-friendly software, MSI AfterBurner, that easily lets you adjust fan controls as well as many other options.

Just like with EVGA, those models usually cost $10-20 more, but for their higher reliability, lower noise AND higher performance, it's definitely worth it in my opinion, especially for a high-end video card, even more so for a Workstation.

That's my advice, but it's obviously your choice Wink
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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12-02-2013, 11:14 PM,
#7
What video card for Skyrim?
So MSI for the R9 290 and EVGA for the GTX 780. That is my take. I think Nvidia may be forced to drop their price.

Thanks for all the research you do for this site.


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Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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12-03-2013, 04:11 PM,
#8
RE: What video card for Skyrim?
(12-02-2013, 11:14 PM)mwhals Wrote: I think Nvidia may be forced to drop their price.

For now they have the lower noise advantage, but once custom R9 290s become available, they will have to drop their price to remain competitive, or they will lose a lot of sales, especially with the holidays season.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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12-03-2013, 09:02 PM,
#9
What video card for Skyrim?
Yep.


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Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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12-04-2013, 09:02 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-04-2013, 09:04 AM by MathieuB.)
#10
RE: What video card for Skyrim?
Bad news: From what I just read on hardware.fr (in French), AMD partners are saying that we won't see R9 290 and 290X with custom coolers before January, or even mid-January. Reason being that AMD won't sell the GPU alone, only the whole cards with reference coolers, due to not having enough GPUs to fill the high demand for reference cards, let alone custom cards.

It's a rumor, but I put a lot of trust on what I read on hardware.fr and I can tell that stocks of R9 290 and R9 290x are low, they are hard to find in stock on Amazon, so the reason seems plausible. Still a major disappointment if it's true.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
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