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So the thing is, I want to play Fallout 4. I currently consider GTX950, GTX960 and GTX970. I did the research on game-debate but only found what I already knew. The GTX950, GTX960 seem to have great performance and are relatively cheap, however the 970 peaks, probably because of 256 bit interface.

Budget: I'd like to keep it under $250, but can be stretched if it's really really worth it.

What card (not necessarily from ones mentioned) would you recommend, for the rest of setup being:

  • Kingston 8GB 3000MHz HyperX Savage Black CL15
  • MSI Z170A GAMING PRO (Z170 3xPCI-E DDR4)
  • Intel i5-6500 3.20GHz 6MB BOX
  • A-DATA 240GB 2,5'' SATA SSD Premier SP550
  • Monitor: Eizo FlexScan S1901 (1280 x 1024)

Also, any suggestions regarding above setup are welcomed.

EDIT: Also, I plan learning to program for CUDA, so I guess only GeForce is on the table.

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    I could recommend a GeForce 7800 GT and follow the budget and requirements. I voted to close this question because it is too broad. "What would you recommend?" could be anything. Is there a certain framerate you want to play your game at? Resolution? Settings? A certain power-draw requirement? – Rubydesic Nov 15 '15 at 21:38
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    With your current setup plan, your monitor and GPU are by far the bottlenecks. If you haven't bought your motherboard or RAM yet, I highly recommend downgrading them. logicalincrements.com has a great chart that you can use to balance your setup. – The Guy with The Hat Nov 16 '15 at 2:28
  • Quite frankly the resolution's pretty simple to drive, my old 660 could handle that with room to spare. – Journeyman Geek Nov 16 '15 at 5:58
  • is that screen resolution correct? – Rudra Matroja Nov 16 '15 at 6:44
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    @benjaminS it's a setup I'll buy soon, except monitor which I have already. The budget for everything is 1200$. I'll be happy to hear your suggestions. There are the questions where I considered the chipset and MoBo: hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/q/1220/951 hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/q/1217/951 – Piotr Falkowski Nov 16 '15 at 12:30
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That resolution is pretty easy to drive. I'd actually consider a newer monitor, even if my experience, eizos are pretty nice.

At the current resolution, and in fact up to QHD, a 960 would likely be a good bet - my old 660 with 2gb of ram handled 1080p out fine at ultra settings for most games I threw it at.

A 970 would likely be overkill, and of course, a 980 or 980TI would be more so.

Get a better video card if you intend to upgrade.

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I personally would recommend getting a EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+. You can find those around 300$ maybe even less. I have owned that card and I was quite happy with the performance and the support. You can also find other GTX 970 cards around that price range. Just check some benchmarks/temps/noise levels and see what you like.

The problem is that the GTX 970 "only" has 4GB (3.5GB) of VRAM. Similar models like the Radeon R9 390 already have 8GB of VRAM which considering more and more complex textures in the future, might be a safer choice.

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Ultra graphics performance for a penny

As this is your requirement I don't think that the graphics card which are recommended until now will statisfy your future self.

I'd like to future proof, also I'd like to buy in the future new monitor, thouh I'm not sure when.

A new monitor sure is a good idea in the near future. My following config aims to provide as much power as possible in my eyes for a reasonable price.

  • Intel Core i5-6500

A new Skylake processor to make your build future proof -

  • MSI Z170-A Pro

  • Corsair Vengeance LPX DIMM Kit 16GB, DDR4-3000

Super fast RAM - 16GB because why not? We want to be future proof right?

  • Sapphire Radeon R9 390 Nitro + Backplate

Great graphics card in my opinion - really good performance - performance lies between the GTX970 and the GTX980 for around 350 bucks. I know that you wanted to buy a GTX 970 because you wanted to program for CUDA but when you really want the best performance for the best price your choice should be the R9 390. Alternatively you can use the GTX 970 if CUDA is absolutely necessary.

  • be quiet! Shadow Wings SW1 Mid-Speed 140mm

Case fan for a good airflow.

  • EKL Alpenföhn Ben Nevis

Solid CPU FAN - should keep your cpu cool enough from day to day.

  • Phanteks Enthoo Pro M
  • be quiet! Straight Power 10-CM 500W
  • Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB

That makes 1022-€ where I am from so it should be ~1100$.


An i5 4460 would still be enough in most cases but if you want to be futureproof then a Skylake build won't hurt. Positive thing is that you can still enjoy your games in 1920x1080 resolution as modern cards support VSR/DSR.

This technology allows a user to improve visual quality in games and other content by rendering at a very high resolution (up to 4K) and then displaying that content at a lower resolution supported by the available monitor.

What Is Virtual Super Resolution and How Does It Work?.

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  • "Super fast RAM, because why not?" ... "for a penny". Reason enough not to get it? Performance benefits are minimal with faster RAM anyway. I think the money would be better spent on an i5-6600k instead of stupidly overkill amounts of stupidly fast RAM... – Rubydesic Nov 18 '15 at 20:43
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After reading your question, I'd highly recommend a better screen atleast a 1080p screen (about a $100 or less if you find a deal)

As for the graphic card the GTX 970 is dominating at that resolution with the curent drivers. the competition will get tougher once amd updates theirs for this game. You could potentially get similar performances on the r9 290 which is cheaper.

Wait for the amd drivers for fallout 4 to come out and see if the r9 290 comes close to 60fps at 1080p resolution (ultra settings ofcourse), if it does then go for it, if it doesn't then go with the gtx 970 (any would do so pick the cheapest acording to your reseller) and a better screen ASAP.

On the other hand if you plan on keeping the monitor than a 950ti would be more than enough for that resolution.

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I recommend a GTX 550 Ti

Features

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  • That is a 2 generation old graphics card, I would not recommend it. – Peter Zhu Nov 15 '15 at 22:14
  • @peterzhu2118 It fits he requirements... – Rubydesic Nov 15 '15 at 22:19
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    Well, it does, but its not a good recommendation. – Peter Zhu Nov 15 '15 at 22:44
  • The gtx550 will not be able to let him play fallout 4 in ultra (as sugested in the title) in 1080p let alone in 2560*1600. – Rudra Matroja Nov 16 '15 at 9:15
  • @RudraMatroja I don't read the titles in between the lines. He should have written that clearly and plainly in the question itself. – Rubydesic Nov 16 '15 at 12:05

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