Components for Building Computers From Scratch/Graphics Card


QUESTION: Hi I'm looking at putting together a gaming pc. I currently have an Asus HD7870 graphics card and was wondering if the FX-8350 is a good choice to use with this card or if I should use a different processor. I plan on using a Biostar TA970 motherboard and either 8gb of 1600MHz ram or 16gb of ram. Any help is greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Yes that would be a fine combination assuming you select an appropriate PSU, and have sufficient ventilation in the enclosure. The 7870 may be a few years old, but it should still be no problem with modern games - it supports DirectX 11, and is still quite powerful.

As far as the memory goes - I'm assuming you're going to select a 64-bit OS to enable greater than 4GB of memory to be usable. With that in mind, either 8GB or 16GB would be perfectly suitable for modern games. If you do lots of heavy multi-tasking, multi-media work, or so forth 16GB of RAM may be a better choice though.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi thanks for getting back to me. I made a mistake on the model of the card. It is actually a Asus HD7850 DirectCU II V2. I currently have a 750 watt supply. I'm running Windows 7 64bit. My main concern is bottle necking. Would a R9 290X be too much if I was to consider purchasing a different card sometime?

HD 7850 is similar in terms of performance and capabilities; it would also be a fine companion for the FX-8350. The R9 290X may be "limited" in terms of absolute synthetic performance, but it would still be a performance improvement over the HD 7800 series. It really depends on the task at hand though - many synthetic tests (like what you see in a lot of reviews) will be heavily CPU weighted/constrained, whereas many real-world games will be heavily GPU constrained. So if you're hoping to play a videogame at high resolution with a lot of image quality enhancements enabled, the 290X would be an improvement. That having been said, unless you need to support 4K resolutions, the 290X is on the "overkill" side. I would suggest one of the 280 series cards if you'd like to stick with Radeon (they're based upon the same chip as the 7900 series), or if going with a GeForce, one of x60 (660, 760, etc) parts. This is primarily a power and cost consideration - for ~1080p (or lower) resolutions in modern games, mid-to-high end cards will be more than capable, so there is no point in spending the extra money (or dealing with the extra heat/noise/etc) for the top shelf card.


Components for Building Computers From Scratch

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


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