8 votes

Suggest me a GPU

Building myself a computer for the first time, and I have most of the parts specced except for the GPU. I don't play a lot of video games, so my first priority is getting something that can display output at all; but I would like something a bit capable, as I do play some 3d games from time to time. Prefer an nvidia gpu, as I would like to play with some nv-specific features (nv_path_render, maybe cuda), but not a hard requirement.

I've spotted the following gpus on craigslist:

  • gtx 1070 - C$260 (~$200 usd)

  • gtx 1660 super - C$320 (~$250 usd)

  • gtx 1070 ti - C$300 (~$230 usd)

  • gtx 1050 ti - C$120 (~$90 usd)

Any suggestions? Something else I should look out for? Are these good prices?

19 comments

  1. [4]
    Akir
    Link
    Have you already started buying parts? If you’re only occasionally playing lightweight games, integrated graphics is probably going to be a better value. They’ve gotten quite good in the past few...

    Have you already started buying parts?

    If you’re only occasionally playing lightweight games, integrated graphics is probably going to be a better value. They’ve gotten quite good in the past few years.

    Most importantly buying an APU will let you avoid the GPU market which has been insane for the past few years. People are saying they are getting better but honestly it doesn’t really feel like it.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      inwardpath
      Link Parent
      The GPU market is indeed far far better than it was even 3-4 weeks ago. You can buy cards from Newegg, Amazon, etc. now, 30-series nvidia cards, for only slightly elevated prices. The market may...

      The GPU market is indeed far far better than it was even 3-4 weeks ago. You can buy cards from Newegg, Amazon, etc. now, 30-series nvidia cards, for only slightly elevated prices. The market may never actually return to companies' stated MSRP prices, who knows, but the crypto crash and the market flooding with supply means we're in a better place now than we've been in 24-36 months.

      3050s for $329
      3060s for $399
      3070s for $599

      Used cards are actually at or below MSRP now. This is actually a good time to buy, believe it or not. A couple of years ago a 3070 cost me $750 used

      Note: all my prices in USD

      9 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        The 1660 Ti I have here is at 60% of the price I paid for it in last october or so. Sadly, I didn't have much of a choice, as my old GPU died. Prices are maybe not low, but at least significantly...

        The 1660 Ti I have here is at 60% of the price I paid for it in last october or so. Sadly, I didn't have much of a choice, as my old GPU died. Prices are maybe not low, but at least significantly cooled off.

        2 votes
    2. Moonchild
      Link Parent
      Yep - no IGP.

      Have you already started buying parts?

      Yep - no IGP.

      2 votes
  2. [6]
    TheJorro
    Link
    At this point, it really depends on how powerful of a GPU you want. Do you have a target performance with a certain benchmark game?

    At this point, it really depends on how powerful of a GPU you want. Do you have a target performance with a certain benchmark game?

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      Moonchild
      Link Parent
      The most recent games I've played are doom (the new one), the witness, breath of the wild, and super mario odyssey (the latter two emulated). I expect all of the gpus I mentioned will do alright...

      The most recent games I've played are doom (the new one), the witness, breath of the wild, and super mario odyssey (the latter two emulated). I expect all of the gpus I mentioned will do alright at these (except maybe the 1050ti). But who knows what I'll take an interest in next. So I think the more interesting framing may be in terms of longevity--how long before I have to think about the problem again? Which is why I asked about value for money.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Whenever I build a computer, there are two things I never skimp on; the GPU and PSU. Buying a cheap, no-name, lowest possible wattage PSU is a very bad idea, since so many components are...

        Whenever I build a computer, there are two things I never skimp on; the GPU and PSU.

        Buying a cheap, no-name, lowest possible wattage PSU is a very bad idea, since so many components are incredibly sensitive to voltage changes so if the PSU is inconsistent it can cause hard to diagnose issues, and if it fails it can take the whole system with it. That and slightly more wattage than is required to operate all the components at build time allows for easier upgrading later. So I always go with a reputable brand, at least Bronze 80+ certified, and at least 100W over the minimum requirements.

        (protip, if you use pcpartpicker to spec out your system it will give you a rough estimate of your power requirements for that build)

        And being a primarily PC gamer, I always go with the highest performing GPU I can afford at the time, in order to maximize its longevity. And that means that in most of my builds it's by far the most expensive component, so I budget accordingly. The only time I don't buy the most powerful GPU I can afford is if I just need something cheap and workable for now, but I intend to save up for a better one later... or if a new generation of cards is just around the corner and I'd rather spend my money on one of those.

        So since longevity is a concern for you too, I would probably recommend the 1070 Ti.

        p.s. Before you buy anything, be sure to compare the performance of that card to the alternatives. E.g.
        The 1660S is actually significantly less powerful than the 1070 Ti, despite being the more expensive option on craigslist.

        p.p.s. I would also be incredibly wary of buying a used GPU given the prevalence of crypto mining these days. Especially since a huge reason that so many cards are on the market now, and their prices have dropped so much is because of the recent Bitcoin price crash, and Ethereum moving away from proof-of-work... which is why so many miners are ditching their old, used (and abused) cards right now.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Moonchild
          Link Parent
          There are 30-series cards to be had, eg a 3070 for $600. I'm just sceptical it will really last twice as long as the 1070 ti for $300. And I have also heard graphics cards are prone to failing...

          There are 30-series cards to be had, eg a 3070 for $600. I'm just sceptical it will really last twice as long as the 1070 ti for $300. And I have also heard graphics cards are prone to failing before the end of their natural lives.

          I would also be incredibly wary of buying a used GPU given the prevalence of crypto mining these days

          Yes, that is a good point ... the 1070 ti listing says 'Workstation card, lightly used and taken care of in clean environment', but people can lie, of course. Still, the new cards I see are so much more expensive that it's difficult to justify.

          1 vote
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            It really depends on what games you play, and are likely to play in the future. However, the 1070 is nearing end-of-life in terms of its ability to play the latest games at higher settings with...

            3070 for $600. I'm just sceptical it will really last twice as long as the 1070 ti for $300

            It really depends on what games you play, and are likely to play in the future. However, the 1070 is nearing end-of-life in terms of its ability to play the latest games at higher settings with acceptable framerates. And I know this because I recently replaced my 1070 Ti, which was starting to struggle, with a 3070 Ti.

            The 3070 also has a whole bunch of features that the older 10 series lacked, like ray-tracing and tensor cores, plus it uses the newer GDDR6 RAM too. So the 1070 Ti might even end up lasting a lot less than half as long as a 3070 would, since it won't be able to handle the latest games higher requirements. But to be clear, the 1070 Ti should still be sufficient for the vast majority of games... just not the latest ones on higher settings, or with a higher refresh-rate monitor. And which you should get really depends on your particular use case and budget, and the 1070 Ti would probably still be perfectly fine for the short-mid term, at least.

            p.s. Benchmark comparison: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-RTX-3070-vs-Nvidia-GTX-1070-Ti/4083vs3943

            3 votes
      2. babypuncher
        Link Parent
        I played Doom Eternal on a 1070 when it came out in 2020 and had a blast. Any of the GPUs you listed will play it pretty well except maybe the 1050 Ti. If you can stretch your budget, the RTX 3060...

        I played Doom Eternal on a 1070 when it came out in 2020 and had a blast. Any of the GPUs you listed will play it pretty well except maybe the 1050 Ti.

        So I think the more interesting framing may be in terms of longevity--how long before I have to think about the problem again?

        If you can stretch your budget, the RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti are the best "bang for your buck" GPUs out right now, and will last years longer than even the 1070 Ti or 1660 you listed above. If your budget is not flexible then I would probably go for that 1070 Ti or 1660. They probably have a couple good years left in them, though I expect a sizable jump in system requirements for new games as developers shift away from supporting the last-gen consoles.

        2 votes
  3. [9]
    Liru
    Link
    Does nVidia still require you to literally log in online to use some features on their cards, or did they scrap that?

    Does nVidia still require you to literally log in online to use some features on their cards, or did they scrap that?

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      I don't think they have ever locked any meaningful features behind an online account, just that GeForce Experience crap that I never install anyways. Shoutout to TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker for people...

      I don't think they have ever locked any meaningful features behind an online account, just that GeForce Experience crap that I never install anyways.

      Shoutout to TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker for people who want a quick and easy way to check for and install updated Nvidia drivers.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        helloworld
        Link Parent
        Thanks a lot for the link! I always found it weird setting up nvidia driver on my Linux distro was no bullshit experience, handled by distro packageanager, but on Windows needed to jump through...

        Thanks a lot for the link!

        I always found it weird setting up nvidia driver on my Linux distro was no bullshit experience, handled by distro packageanager, but on Windows needed to jump through hoops for exact same thing. Oh how the tables have turned..

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Windows has provided the Nvidia driver through Windows Update for years, but updates are only added to WU when they pass certification from Microsoft.

          Windows has provided the Nvidia driver through Windows Update for years, but updates are only added to WU when they pass certification from Microsoft.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            helloworld
            Link Parent
            I guess the certification takes time? Because for 3 years that I had nvidia machine, I always got notified of driver updates by GeForce app and never once saw Windows delivering that update

            I guess the certification takes time? Because for 3 years that I had nvidia machine, I always got notified of driver updates by GeForce app and never once saw Windows delivering that update

            1. babypuncher
              Link Parent
              Nvidia does not submit every version to Microsoft, and the ones they do submit take way longer to make it into WU than it does for Nvidia to push them through GFE.

              Nvidia does not submit every version to Microsoft, and the ones they do submit take way longer to make it into WU than it does for Nvidia to push them through GFE.

              2 votes
    2. [3]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      You need to log into Geforce Experience. But I wouldn't say that any important features are gated by that. Geforce Experience is mainly a game launcher and driver downloader.

      You need to log into Geforce Experience. But I wouldn't say that any important features are gated by that. Geforce Experience is mainly a game launcher and driver downloader.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Bartek_Bialy
        Link Parent
        You don't use ShadowPlay?

        But I wouldn't say that any important features are gated by that

        You don't use ShadowPlay?

        2 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          No. It seems like a gimmick to me. But I think that could be an important feature to some people.

          No. It seems like a gimmick to me. But I think that could be an important feature to some people.

          1 vote