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I need to buy a new graphics card as my HIS Radeon 7950 burnt out. My son gave it to me after he moved on from mining Bitcoins at home and it served me well for over two years. Being on a limited budget [welfare] led me to try out a few second-hand cards I bought on Ebay [Nvidia GTX 460, GTX 560 and GTX 660] with unsatisfactory results. It seems that buying second-hand graphics cards is just buying someone else's problems so I think I should go for a new card instead.

A replacement Radeon 7950 or its present-day equivalent is simply beyond my means. I saw these on Ebay [it's new] but I'm not sure:

XFX AMD Radeon R7 360 2GB

VTX3D Radeon R7 370 2GB

Would they be up to the job? I'm not 'gamer savvy' even though I am a system builder. I tend to rely on the Passmark benchmark website for GPU & CPU comparison

My needs aren't just simply 'gorgeous graphics' although that's nice when I'm pootling around the grid or building stuff. I perform live music in Second Life and have built up a little band of alts for my show. Three of them run in somewhat low resolution on the same computer along with Cubase, Windows Remote Desktop and Oddcast [audio encoder] which the Radeon 7950 handled swimmingly until it burnt out. The fourth band member runs on a separate computer which also runs WireCast Play to stream our shows on YouTube. The Radeon 7950 handled everything swimmingly until it burnt out.

The GTX 460 ran hot and was simply not up to the task. The GTX 560 runs hot but seems to be OK [not stress tested yet]. The GTX 660 appears to be faulty and causes the audio stream to break up as well as frequently failing to initialise on bootup. Even the on-board Intel HD 4600 graphics ran faultlessly for our shows althought our avatars managed a 'whopping' 5 FPS each ;-) So I need to look elsewhere and, as I mentioned above, I am on very limited means so I need to get the most possible bang-for-your-bucks.

I've got an Arctic Accelero II cooler that I bought for the Radeon 7950. It's currently on the GTX 560 to keep it from overheating but I can just as easily put it on another graphics card if it fits. Any comments or advice is welcome.

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if you'r on a low budget, but still want to use it for such heavy load, alts and other programs the same time, you won't get a very satisfying result with low/mid range cards.

You don't mention your other system specs, but those are not less important, your psu and motherboard / memory/ processor has to take a lot of tasks the same time... frying your graphics perhaps even saved a total melt down on your system..

The radeon R7 360 will run SL... but with your other programs / multiple alts... not sure it will perform as wanted.

 

Some computer stores offer 2nd used parts... that would be easier to go back when it's not what you thought to buy, online 2nd use parts is a high risk operation..

I'd try to get a as high possible Nvidia ... in general those run SL better than AMD.

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Just a note as you have probably already thought of this but be SURE and check that your power supply is up to the job of the graphics card.  And not only should the power supply be rated for your card, it needs to be "overrated" if you are going to push things. 

I recently had the power supply on my NEW machine go out because while it was rated for my graphics card, it wasn't all that GREAT of a power supply (sort of a computer from hell story but that is beside the point). The power supply went out taking the motherboard with it. Was a VERY expensive lesson. So do your homework there too.

 

Traditionally Second Life has run better on Nvidia cards. I have had both. Currently GeForce GTX 980/PCIe/SSE2 which of course is a dream :D.

 

 

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Ii'd look at the newegg.com website at the graphics cards category. Even if you dont buy its a good way to see what cards are being sold currently and their relation to each other. You can also compare their prices to other sites to see if you are getting a good deal elsewhere.

I agree with Sassy. Radegast doesnt use up your graphics card's resources other than displaying a rext window. 

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I would look at Nvidia rather than AMD Radeon though. The Radeon graphics card have a history of not working well with SL. Check out Pricewatch. They compare prices from shops all over the net in one place so you can get the best price for your money. Do make sure your motherboard and power source can handle the graphics card you purchase.

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@ Chic:

Actually I had considered that it might be a power supply issue. The computer in question has an EVGA 750-watt PSU that used to be part of my son's bitcoin mining rig until two of its output sockets melted. Yes, I know what you're thinking, but I did repair the power supply and it ran my system with a power-hungry HIS Radeon 7950 graphics card faultltessly up until the day the Radeon card decided to go full 'pinstripe'.

I did swap it out for an XFX 500 watt power supply which normally resides in my video encoding computer [which also runs another Radeon 7950 which was also part of the aforementioned bitcoin mining rig] and it made no difference. I've also got another 5 power supplies in the cupboard at various ratings from 300-watt up to 650-watt [so it says on the label!] but none of them really inspire my confidence.

I probably will have to replace the EVGA power supply some time in the near future but for today it's holding up. I can't put the other Radeon 7950 in my main computer because it won't even wake up on that mobo & PSU combo, so it stays in the video encoding machine.

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Ah yes, the old ATI vs Nvidia arguement. Having used both my observation is that the ATI cards handle the antialiasing better while the Nvidias handle the water better. For some reason the Radeon would refuse to render the water in adjacent sims properly. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

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  • 6 months later...

Old thread, BUT still a commonly asked question. I wish AMD GPUs performed better in SL.  FYI currently AMD GPUs for first time in years are outselling Intel-Nvidia offerings. If I were on a very tight budget and was looking for a graphics card solely for SL on a Windows based pc  I'd be looking for a deal on a Nvidia GTX 750, GTX 750ti,GTX 950 or a GTX 1050 card. 

"I Relish Simplicity"

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