Justifying a video card upgrade in my workstation/gaming machine

  • 2 February 2017
  • charm

Sometimes it's hard to justify buying a piece of hardware when you know you're really only going to use it's advanced features occasionally. For a little while I've had my eye on the (at least for me) new-ish GIGABYTE Radeon RX 460 WINDFORCE OC 4G video card. The Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H in my main workstation has worked really well with my A8-5600K processor and I really haven't had many complaints (other than when I first installed/upgraded to Windows 10 there was some issues with video tearing that went away with driver updates)... that was until this evening.

This evening I spent some time playing my favourite Blizzard game and it just felt off. It felt really sluggish. For the longest while I've ran the game on a 19" Samsung LCD, that is until I inherited an HP w2207h 22" LCD (thanks Bill). So I checked my game settings and noticed it running 16:10 ratio at 1680x1050 with everything on max settings. I checked the resolution settings for the game after noticing that I was getting a whopping 12 FPS (Frames Per Second). I haven't noticed slow-downs before, so maybe the driver just flaked out on me, but I know something like the Gigabyte Radeon RX 460 would make a big difference - and it's in that $150-$170 sweet spot price point range.

When I actually went looking several months ago for an AMD-based video card in this price range the RX460 hadn't made it to the shelves. Of course I'll probably only use it for that crazy Blizzard game so I'm still trying to justify it over other hardware.

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