So my friend want to buy a new GPU to replace his horrible Ge force 9400 and wanted to replace it with either HD 7870 or HD 7850. He has replaced the other part like the CPU, power supply, motherboard, and other things so don't worry about the other part.
The only thing he hasn't change is the video card, now his monitor only support 1366x788 resolution and i could just tell him to buy 7870 but since he got low res monitor like that would the 7870 just a waste of money ? or 7850 is enough ? or maybe the users here have better sugestion regarding this ?
I would suggest a HD 5770 or HD 6770, since as Thanny said the res makes the 7870 way overkill as it is a CPU dependent res and not GPU, and with the HD 8000 series not far away, as well as many upcoming sales (Labor Day, Boxing Day, Christmas, Back to School, etc...), as well as the much more mature 5K and 6K series drivers, it'd make sense to stick with them. Also based on the card he is moving from, I assume he has some Socket AM2/AM2+ or Core 2 setup, so there is a chance the newer cards may not work correctly with his motherboard.
hmmm i see, so let's just say he still wanted to get a 7870 even with his low res monitor and obviously there will be unsued power from the GPU for the current game available now.
Will it be considered future proof when future game release which need more GPU power and since he play with low resoulution, he doesn't need to upgrade his GPU again because of the unused power from the GPU.
At such a resolution a 6770 will run most (if not all) games at maxed settings, a 5870 can do it at 1080p and a 7870 can probably do it at 2560x1440 in most cases (if AA isn't maxed out). Tell him to stick with a 5770 / 6770 or go with 7850 if hes willing to buy a 1080p monitor (they are quite cheap nowdays)
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Games over the last several years have been more and more demanding on the CPU as well as the GPU. So while a future game might require the extra GPU power to run well at that low resolution, it more than likely will also require a faster CPU to take advantage of it.
I really don't think it makes sense to spend nigh $300 on a graphics card for use with such a low-resolution monitor. I see lots of 1920x1080 displays to be had for about $150, and they can't all be junk. Add a 7850 to that and he spends a little bit more than a 7870, but for a much better experience overall.