Up For Debate - Ever bought a new graphics card and its performance is not what you expected?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Nov 21, 2020 5:00 PM

Graphics cards are expensive these days, which makes them a big investment. Whether you have all the money to spend or you have to budget yourself, it’s a big decision to make whether the performance is worth the price. And companies like Nvidia and AMD make bold claims sometimes using slightly misleading statistics to promise much improved performance, that all too often ends up being a bit underwhelming at launch.

So with the newly released RTX 30 series and RX 6000 series GPUs, we wanted to know if you have ever bought a new graphics card and its performance is not what you expected?

This could swing either way really, maybe you bought a new GPU and your expectations have actually been exceeded rather than disappointed. Either way we want to know if this has ever happened to you, what did you do, and how did it affect your future purchasing decisions?

Obviously most of us have probably seen the reviews of the new graphics cards, and the new GPUs by Nvidia and AMD certainly are up to snuff when it comes to their promised graphics power. The RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT for instance seem to be absolute powerhouses for 4K gaming, even without some sort of DLSS technology on AMD’s RX 6000 series.

But what about the generation prior? Or the one before that? Maybe even your very first graphics card?

And has that affected your decisions to purchase a new GPU? For instance, do you buy a brand new card on day 1? Or do you wait for more reviews and updates etc.? Or do you even wait for sales when the price is a bit more affordable?

So have you ever bought a brand new graphics card and its performance is not what you expected? Which one was it? What did you do? And has that affected your future purchasing decisions? Let's debate!

Have you ever bought a new GPU and performance is not what you expected?

How was it different to your expectations?

When do you normally buy a new GPU?

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12:58 Nov-23-2020

this was about 10 years ago when my PC knowledge was really limited i went from a 512mb card to a 1gb card(YES YES I KNOW) Infact I knew it even back then that this is not going to be much of an upgrade (CRYSIS 2 was slide show on window mo

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13:01 Nov-23-2020

mode at all low) but it was my dad who was like do you want the graphic card then buy it or els lets go home. and i bit the bullet and went from a graphic card that needed more power to one that onl worked on PCI Power??? like did i downgra

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13:04 Nov-23-2020

downgrade? dad didnt care since i was off to college and he didnt want me gaming
but yeah I was a disapointed and ended up doing so much research on Gaming Components that I kinda went WAY OVERBOARD. 2 years later was redemption day thanks

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13:06 Nov-23-2020

thanks to AMD HD7950 had to wait for long before my CPU got an upgrade.
Dragged my AMD 965BE all the way till Ryzen 1700. Great memories though

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02:12 Nov-24-2020

That's one hell of a story, and an even better upgrade path.

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13:09 Nov-23-2020

I faintly remember my dad talking to my mom about our family pc needing a graphics card.
He was really excited about the then new model having 64MB Vram, he couldn't wait to see how well it would play Morrowind and Jedi Outcast II. And so were me and my brother at the time :)

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10:04 Nov-23-2020

Bought the 1070 and I couldn't believe the performance it had and still has! I don't max out everything but I still play on tweaked very high settings @1440p with avg 55fps! This was a beast for a card!

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08:37 Nov-23-2020

Bought RTX 3070 with the expectation it matches the 2080Ti and it did, never have I gamed at 4k on high settings with demanding games, currently replaying Assassin's Creed Origins in 4k high settings with 60fps, the game looks MUCH cleaner now!

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19:24 Nov-22-2020

What RTX 30 series and RX 6000 series?

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16:58 Nov-22-2020

Not really happened, i watch like two weeks of benchmarks before purchasing a gpu so i know what performance I'm gonna get

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15:28 Nov-22-2020

I went from a 755m SLI laptop gaming to 1080ti... suffice to say, the difference was as advertised.

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12:53 Nov-22-2020

I went from a gtx 660 i believe it was to a 970 and the improvements were very noticeable then I went from a 970 to my 1070 again was noticeable


Not sure where to go next I suppose I will get a 30 something or wait till the next generation as the 1070 still works great at 1080p

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11:51 Nov-22-2020

I've upgraded from gtx 970 to radeon 5700xt and the difference wasn't as big as I expected. But at the same time I switched from 1080p gaming to 1440p, which is a big step for a hardware if you think about it. Maybe that's the part of the problem for most people, that they are used to 1080p FPS.

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12:18 Nov-22-2020

Have you switched back to 1080p to see if the performance increase would be as advertised?
Also, if memory serves gpus (in the past) didn't increase the FPS as much in 1080p when compared to gpu upgrades. Tho that story was usually flipped when you were gaming at 4K, but not with DLSS 4K is more favorable towards again.

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13:29 Nov-22-2020

I did, saw some improvement, but then I was limited with my CPU/system as well in lot of games, especially in satisfactory where loading new areas would cause massive 1% fps drops. While in 1440p it was more balanced.

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21:27 Nov-22-2020

It's never easy to get the right balance, or tweak the settings just right to get the results you want.
Speaking of tweaking, I don't know how familiar you are with certain settings, but just for the heck of it I'll leave you a link to a YT channel that goes into great detail about game settings.
Battlenonsense

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08:37 Nov-23-2020

Thank you, I'll check it out when I have more free time :)

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02:13 Nov-24-2020

My pleasure.

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11:17 Nov-22-2020

Due to a RMA I upgraded from a 1060 to 1660 and the difference was meh...

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12:34 Nov-22-2020

In the past you'd need at least a 2 generation separation, of the same tier GPU to notice a difference in the FPS. As for the gameplay experience, that is a story in itself.

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08:21 Nov-22-2020

already was impressed when i went from a GT 745 4gb ddr3 to a GTX 970, and after that even more when i went to a GTX 1080.

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12:38 Nov-22-2020

Considering your upgrade path, I'd be very surprised if you didn't notice a difference.

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08:01 Nov-22-2020

Went from HD 7730 to RX 460. Was disappointed when I saw the 1050 Ti so sold it not long after buying

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06:44 Nov-22-2020

Yes, very disappointed until I realized, I had plugged my DVI cable into motherboard and was using intel intergraded graphics instead of my fresh new GTX 770.

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12:40 Nov-22-2020



Happens to the best of us.

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14:17 Nov-22-2020

Heh....

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08:38 Nov-23-2020

HAHAHA you sir just won the internet! XD

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06:30 Nov-22-2020

Went from intel hd graphics 4000 to a gt 730 2gb DDR3 (nice upgrade), then to a gtx 750ti 2gb (huge difference) and finally to a gtx 1060 6gb definately the biggest improvement i have ever seen, and probably will get a 4060 ti or AMD equivalent hopefully with more than 12gb vram

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05:50 Nov-22-2020

I went from 1st gen intel hd graphics to 940m to rx580 so obviously 0 disappointment. These were all crazy jumps in performance.

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12:47 Nov-22-2020

I'm glad.

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02:02 Nov-22-2020

First rig I built had a gtx960, which was a massive bump going from a laptop w/a gt230m. Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed, especially considering how cheap it was.
I then won this laptop w/a 1070m on a contest, another big bump in power, letting me take the leap to mostly 1440p and sometimes 4k gaming.

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12:48 Nov-22-2020

What type of contest was it?

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15:47 Nov-22-2020

It was a FB promo by HP :)

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21:31 Nov-22-2020

How's the HP laptop holding up?
I'm particularly curious with the build quality.

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02:11 Nov-23-2020

it's nothing too impressive.. solid build quality but nothing feels too premium..
lately it's been parked in a spot plugged into a tv so it doesn't really matter :)
too bad am not utilizing that 4k gsync screen though!
i gotta say when i first got it, i forgot how noisy laptops can be compared to a desktop

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01:05 Nov-22-2020

No because I only upgrade when my hardware struggles with the games I want to play (so, very rarely), and I always read reviews beforehand.

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00:27 Nov-22-2020

I did bought a second hand 560 and 660, and expected more of them when i bought them.
But i upgraded from the 660 to the 970 and now to the 2070 and these were all new like my previous cards (460 sli, 260, 9800gtx sli, 7600gts, fx5200) were :)
And since i bought that 970 new, i decided to buy all my cards new again, and be not disappointed therefore :)

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23:13 Nov-21-2020

Man when i got my R7 240 to replace my HD 4650 i was like DAAAAAMN AC4 water look GOOD. Going from half a gb to 1gb was a big change. Though i honestly had to idea what kind of performance i was supposed to expect, i just needed a new GPU since the last one died. But since then it's been a steady UP in performance, bigger jumps i mean.

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22:29 Nov-21-2020

Only disapointment I've had with a GPU was the jump from my GTX 750 to my old GTX 960. It was a decent jump but nowhere what I was expecting.

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21:02 Nov-21-2020

Personally I can't really remember getting graphic card that didn't perform where I expected it. I mean sure, I don't have exact number expectation, it is more like resolution, quality and FPS specification and all of them met that level, like it maybe wasn't exact number but it was close enough to where it really didn't matter. Though me always waiting for reviews and stuff helps a lot here.

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21:04 Nov-21-2020

I guess only thing that ever was off my expectation was noise level, had one or two which were louder than some reviews led me to believe. I mean it never was on the level where I would regret it or hate it, it just was kind of like shame, but I still kept card for years to come.

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21:09 Nov-21-2020

Enjoyed reading your post.
I'm in the same boat when it comes to buying GPUs or hardware in general.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-4440 3.1GHz GeForce GTX 960 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB Edition 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-4200H 2.8GHz GeForce GTX 860M 2GB 16GB
Core i7-5500U 2-Core 2.4GHz GeForce 940M 2GB 8GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600XT 6-Core 3.8GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme Edition 11GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| Low,
Core i5-8300H 4-Core 2.3GHz GeForce GTX 1050 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Gigabyte Eagle OC 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon HD 5450 1024MB 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI OC 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3090 32GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
935
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3090 32GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
935
Core i5-11600K 6-Core 3.9GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Zotac Gaming Twin Edge OC 8GB 32GB
Core i7-4790 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Palit StormX 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i5-4590 3.3GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Asus Pheonix 4GB 10GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI OC 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 4k
Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 2080 MSI Gaming Trio 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 MSI Armor 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]