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  1. #1

    Great price on a GPU, but should I bother?

    Hey guys,
    So a fellow university student of mine is selling two R9 280X GPU's (He was apparently using them to mine virtual currencies, bought them in December last year). He's selling each one for $250, which seems like a pretty good deal really, I just have a few reservations.

    Currently I'm running a fairly low-end build:
    GPU: 550ti
    CPU: AMD FX4100
    RAM: 4Gb
    PSU: 500W.

    My concerns come from the fact that not only does the R9 280X require minimum 600W PSU, but also my CPU and RAM would bottleneck it anyway. I am looking to upgrade the 550ti (wasn't planning too till the end of the year though)

    So I'm unsure of if I should jump on this deal or just get some more RAM at the moment?


  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    That's not a great deal for a used one depending on brand and model, just a good deal. As always, it depends on how good your PSU really is. Your other hardware becomes the bottleneck when it's not up to the task at hand. You can always reduce settings in game to make it work, and not all games are CPU-hungry. A faster GPU will allow you to crank up stuff like AA, texture quality and other purely graphical stuff (almost anything except for geometry).
    Last edited by DanMan; 19-06-2014 at 01:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    the mild mild west
    Should be able to get one for less than $340 new at the moment so yes it's a reasonable deal but not an amazing one. Also bear in mind the warranty most likely isn't transferable from the original purchaser so caveat emptor.

    Check the model of your motherboard and do some googling on '<your motherboard> video card upgrade problems'. I recently added a R9 280X to my 2011 MSI motherboard and ran into issues with having to upgrade the BIOS to be able to use latest chipset drivers for compatibility. Initially I couldn't even boot the PC with the new card. I've heard of some older boards having bigger problems than mine.

    A 500W PSU should be OK but it will need to be a good brand as (on paper at least) you are at the minimum requirement. The card needs an 8pin PCI-E power connector in addition to the 6 pin you are currently using. You can buy a converter for 2 x 4 pin molex to one PCI-E 8 pin if your PSU doesn't have one.

    And definitely get another 4GB RAM.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Your CPU would definiley be hte bottleneck in that system (no reason the RAM would be any more than memory is already the primary bottleneck in most systems). That doesn't mean that you wouldn't see a good kick up in performance.

    I whacked a guess of your system into a power supply calculator, and it reckoned with a 280X you'd be pulling 380W, and recommened a minimum 420W PSU. So unless your PSU is pretty awful, you should be fine in that respect.

  5. #5
    Obscure Node
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Also keep in mind that if he used them to mine cryprocurrencies he may have run them 24/7 at 100%. This may have an effect on how long they will last depending on the temperatures that they were at.
    It may be no problem, but you never know.

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