New Video Card: Radeon R9 280
I had originally intended to replace my aging video card (HD 6870) shortly after building my current machine about 2 or so years ago but instead, ended up holding off on that for quite some time. I guess I just never felt like it was necessary to upgrade my card, given that I have been able to run most settings for most games at high until fairly recently.
It’s not like my old card was going bad per se, but it idled at about 55 celcius, was fairly loud, and was performing below the curve; I mean, having to drop any graphical setting down to medium in order to achieve minimally acceptable framerates just isn’t right. So after a short excursion to Fry’s, I picked up an Asus Radeon R9 280 for $189. Anyway, the new card runs notably quieter, cooler, and faster than my previous card. I loaded a few games and instead of barely pushing 30 to 45 FPS on a mix of medium to high settings, I can pretty much just max everything out without worrying about dropping below 60 FPS.
As a side note, the fan intake filters on my machine apparently work pretty well. There was a surprisingly low amount of dust for a machine that sits within 3 feet of a screen door and hasn’t been opened since it was built.