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Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 29th, 2018, 8:12 am
by Gryffindork
So I've finally accepted that the powerhouse PC I built back in 2012 is getting a little old and chuggy (just like me) and may not live forever. :roll: While I don't want to build an entirely new computer just yet, I'm looking to at least update my graphics card in the near future! Can someone tell me what's good these days? I'm currently running an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 and it produces some gorgeous superwater but it's definitely prone to hiccups. Lately it's been flat-out giving up even when I'm not gaming. I'm primarily a TS3 player so obviously looking for something that runs smoothly with that, but feel free to share your good/bad graphics card experiences with any other Sims or non-Sims games! I haven't touched anything tech-related in six years, so I have no idea what I'm doing anymore... :shifty:

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 29th, 2018, 11:09 am
by DSLady
:O a sims help thread that I can actually help with!!

I'm running a GTX 1060 6GB version, and I'm pretty sure the only graphical issues I've ever had have stemmed purely from the game's inability to properly use my computers RAM, not my graphics. (Seriously, who designed this game????)

I bought the card with graphically intensive games like Skyrim SE & GTA V in mind, so you probably don't need something as overkill as the 1060. To be fair, you could probably get anything above what you're already running and it would work fine - yours is probably only struggling because you've been using it for six years. It's not a bad card for TS3, it's just old and crying inside, just like all of us! :D

I think your best bet would be the GTX 980? It's probably the best balance between price & performance for what you want, but it depends on your price range & if you want to get something better/cheaper, because you absolutely can!

(I assume you know this, but I also don't know how far "I haven't touched anything tech-related in six years, so I have no idea what I'm doing anymore..." stretches, so I'll add it in just in case; if you processor is Intel then you'll probably want an Nvidia card, but if it's AMD processor you'll need a Radeon card :) ) - though now I've realised that if you're only upgrading your graphics card and nothing else & you're already running a GTX, this is completely irrelevant xD

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 29th, 2018, 12:02 pm
by Ani-Mei
Mine is an ASUS Windows 10 gaming laptop
Intel i5 processor 2.50 Ghz speed
12 gigs of RAM
1TB HD
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card

It runs Sims 3 pretty well, better than Sims 4 which is understandable and the only issues I get with it are when Windows 10 wants to update.Then until the graphics card update comes out to match it, the laptop forgets it has a graphics card and I can't get into the game, of course it resets everything in the game back to defaults so I have to redo all my settings which annoys me.

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 29th, 2018, 5:40 pm
by Gryffindork
DSLady wrote:(I assume you know this, but I also don't know how far "I haven't touched anything tech-related in six years, so I have no idea what I'm doing anymore..." stretches, so I'll add it in just in case; if you processor is Intel then you'll probably want an Nvidia card, but if it's AMD processor you'll need a Radeon card :)


This is useful information actually, because I've been blissfully running my Nvidia card with an AMD processor for six years? :rotfl: Now that you mention it, I seem to recall Googling "can I do this without my computer exploding" back when I bought my parts and I guess some sources said it was okay, but now I wonder if this is one of the reasons my graphics have been so finicky. Do you know if it's just a better performance thing or are there actual compatibility issues?

Anyway, thank you both for the input - I'll definitely look into the more recent GTX series, and if it comes down to updating my processor too, well... :tongue:

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 29th, 2018, 7:15 pm
by Livvielove
I ran AMD for years with an Intel processor and found I had a host of issues. From personal experience, NVidia works PRETTY close to seamlessly with any processor, but AMD is very picky about the processors you put it with. I think it also varies from card to card.

My current card is an NVidia Geforce GTX 1060 and it's been old faithful for ages. Really depends on what other games you want to play too, if you're just going for Sims you may not need to invest so heavily in a "brand new" graphics card. Cutting edge is always nice for longevity, but considering you've had your computer for quite a while you have a higher chance of the processor/some irreplaceable part crapping out on you before you have the full life of your graphics card.... then AGAIN that card could be transferred theoretically to a new machine... I don't know you've got a lot you can consider, but I've found (perhaps noobishly) that graphics cards really don't change THAT much when you're already in the high-tiered areas. The only difference I could see is if you were going for some brand new game at max settings potentially.

Anyways, ramble finished!

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 30th, 2018, 3:13 am
by Cororon
There's no need to "match" the brand of your graphics card with your processor. When you build a new computer you just need to know what you want it to do and choose the parts that can do that and perhaps a little better to make the computer more future proof. It's fine to mix AMD and nVidia. If you upgrade your PC, remember that having an old processor and getting a new good graphics card can be a nice improvement, but that the older processor may "bottleneck" the system so newer games might not run as fast as they would with the latest processors.

I have an old X6 1100T AMD processor and a new nVidia GTX 1060 6GB. Works great for Sims 3 and 2560 x 1440 monitor.
:thup: But if I want to play the latest games I would need to get a new processor, motherboard and DDR4 RAM as well. The reason I bought the new graphics card was that I needed a new monitor and I wanted the higher resolution. 2560 x 1440 monitors need more VRAM on the graphics card, and my old one only had 1 GB (the new one has 6 GB).

Be sure that your power supply has the power cords for the new graphics card you plan to buy. Some need one and some need two 6+2 pin power cables.

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 30th, 2018, 4:11 am
by DSLady
Gryffindork wrote:Do you know if it's just a better performance thing or are there actual compatibility issues?

I did just do my own google, and apparently I'm lying to you :fisty: XD I got the information from my boyfriend who has a degree in computing, so you'd think he'd know what he's talking about, but it seems he's being told dirty lies as well! Apparently, there used to be issues with their compatibility, but you're looking at like, pre 2006 so I do not think that applies to us anymore :rotfl:

Either way, running your stuff through PC Part Picker if you want to do a rebuild of any sorts is a good idea, because it'll tell you the compatibility between new and old parts. Another way to test what needs upgrading is to have the Sims running, open task manager and flip to the performance tab and see where your computer's bottleneck is. That's what finally convinced me to build a new computer, because my RAM went through the roof while playing GTA! It was also DDR3, so would have been more expensive to buy because they don't make it anymore - if you want to upgrade your RAM, also check if it's DDR3 or DDR4! (A program called Speccy will save you here if you're not sure :P )


Livvielove wrote:but I've found (perhaps noobishly) that graphics cards really don't change THAT much when you're already in the high-tiered areas. The only difference I could see is if you were going for some brand new game at max settings potentially.

I've found the same thing! My other half and I have essentially the same build of computer, except I'm running a GTX 1060 and he's running a GTX 1070. He gets a noticeably smoother performance out of GTA V (I know I keep using this game, but it's my most demanding one lmao) than I do, and I'm like 80% sure we're running it at the same settings. HOWEVER, my performance is still very good, so unless you want everything to be as slick and as shiny as you possibly can, you're better with the 1060 because the price:performance is better. If that makes sense?

#1060.5eva ;)

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 30th, 2018, 5:04 am
by Jenn
I am running the Nvidia GTX 1070 with no issues (but had to replace my motherboard and processor to run it with the game I had upgraded my computer for, which I hated the game and never played it again). It runs Sims 3 a bit on the warmer side for my taste, but it plays the game great. I also play all brand new games and I had to get this card for the newest ones (back when I bought it). My previous card was the GTX 750 Ti, which is in my sons computer and still runs great after many years. It ran Sims 3 for years with no issues.

Good luck with whatever you decide on!

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: May 30th, 2018, 5:22 am
by Cororon
The prices for graphics cards are ridiculously high at the moment thanks to the Bitcoin miners who buy tons of them. The normal price for a GTX 1060 6GB would have been ~$200 instead of $350. There are new cards being developed especially for miners, so the prices for the normal cards are expected to go down sometime in the future. :shifty:

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 10:30 am
by Gryffindork
Thank you all SO much for your help! I decided on the GTX 1060 6GB - and after realizing it wouldn't hurt to upgrade my processor (currently running an AMD Phenom II X4 on a very very budget motherboard lol) and then doing a lot of research into part compatibility, it looks like I'm doing almost a full rebuild: CPU, Motherboard, RAM (since my current sticks are DDR3 which apparently won't plug into newer boards - the things you learn), GPU, and adding an SSD. I do play some more demanding games than TS3 (or would like to, if my PC could handle them) so it'll be nice to have that option again. :D

As Cor mentioned the prices are pretty ugly right now (I didn't know it was because of Bitcoin!) but unfortunately I've been putting off this upgrade for too long already. Luckily I just covered a ton of shifts while my boss was on vacation, so I had a particularly fat paycheck this week. :lol:

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 11:36 am
by Cororon
Good choice! :D When you choose an SSD, look at the Samsung ones in reviews. Their 860 series is superb. The EVO is excellent for normal users, but the PRO has an even longer lifetime (and is meant for users who write lots of data over many years). :) I have the 850 PRO 1TB, but the newer 860 EVO has better specs than it, and much cheaper. :fisty:

Personally, my PC is fine and has everything I need for Sims 3, which is the only game I really play. I'd hate to reinstall everything again. But it's getting older and soon the support for Windows 7 will stop, so when I switch to Windows 10 I might as well do it on a new PC. I have the money now, but I'm buying it piece by piece, reading reviews and tests. I have a new PC case and new and better fans for it stored in my parents' garage. Now I read that the CPU cooler I want will be replaced by a more expensive, but not much better one, so I'm planning to get the current version while I can. :lol:

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: June 24th, 2018, 1:50 pm
by DSLady
Gryffindork wrote:I decided on the GTX 1060 6GB

A fine choice, if I do say so myself ;)

DDR3 / DDR4 RAM is a bitch, right!? If I'm honest, it's the reason I ended up building myself a new PC. My old one was bottlenecking over the RAM, but DDR3 is more expensive & would've involved upgrading my motherboard, which would've meant buying a new case, and at that point it was just easier to throw the whole thing out and start again. I'm actually really glad I did - it gave me opportunity to branch out into games that would've set my old PC on fire, and then to mod them to shit so they look extra pretty! :D

OH, and on that train of thought - make sure you measure your case to make sure your new parts will fit - the CPU cooler in my PC barely fits in the case I chose; I can't remember if we measured it or not but either way, I got lucky :spin: However, the cooler is one of the best ones out there AND the best in it's price bracket so... worth XD

ANYWAY, good luck & happy PC building!! :toast: You know where we all are if you get hideously stuck (but I'm sure you'll be fine :P )! :rotfl:

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: July 12th, 2018, 8:48 am
by Gryffindork
[Posted from my brand spanking new PC!! :bounce: ]

Sooo "a few minor upgrades" turned into "okay I'll replace all the important stuff" which turned into "screw it let's gut this thing and start over" lolol. Honestly, it's been six years since my last build so I was due for it. Halfway through tearing out my old stuff, I had the realization that my PSU was a tired, dusty piece of crap and ordered a new one from Amazon. So everything is new now except for my case and my DVD drive, which I barely use anyway. :roll:

Re: SSD - I ended up getting a Crucial MX500 because I blew the budget on everything else and the interwebs claim Crucial is an affordable, if not quite as good, alternative to the Samsung drives. It's 500GB, so I'm keeping my old 1TB SATA drive hooked up in case I need to store things on it, but I have the OS and all my programs on the SSD. Currently re-installing my Sims games and can't wait to see how they run!

Re: cases/coolers/all that jazz - Thanks for the advice! I actually went from a Micro ATX Mobo to a regular ATX, so this made me check whether my case would work with it. Luckily it's a monster so all is well. :) Right now I'm using the stock cooler that came with my CPU, and it's disconcertingly tiny, but most reviews claim it does the trick unless you're into overclocking. I might end up replacing it if it runs too hot, and it looks like there'll be room if I do. Ahhh, I'm just so happy with this rebuild! (My bank account, however, is not...)

Re: Graphics card suggestions?

PostPosted: July 12th, 2018, 8:54 am
by Livvielove
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Congratulations on the new computer! Here's to many happy years with you two. :drinks: