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Major or Minor Upgrade ?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 7, 2013 5:16:48 AM

I still have an i7 920 2.66ghz on an Asus P6T Deluxe V2 MB , 12 gb ram. HD 4890 X2 in crossfire. Acer 24" G24 gaming monitor .
Looking at one HD7970 3g or a GTX660Ti 3G to replace my current cards.
Apart from using my PC for general use i only play BF3 and BF4 when it comes out.
- Will the single graphics card upgrade be sufficient with all the old gear or should i upgrade mb.cpu and ram ?
- I am willing to try and o/clock cpu and ram with extra cooling etc..- noob in this department but have found some older helpful info on this forum about this topic .
- Any other info about which card to choose or larger system upgrade would be appreciated.
- Thanks

More about : major minor upgrade

April 7, 2013 5:38:23 AM

I'd leave the CPU/MB/RAM alone, I'm using a moderately overclocked i5 750/HD7950 on a single 1080 monitor and it'll run just about anything I throw at it at max or near max settings.
Overclocking that i7 is a REALLY good idea, just do your research and be a little patient before you start changing things. And yes, better cooling is a must!
Cardwise you're spoilt for choice: Like I said I'm running a HD7950 but there's evidence that Nvidia cards are smoother- I have no issues but the choice is yours.
You give no budget so it's a little difficult to make any hard and fast recommendations but I'd look at the 7950/660Ti class of card rather than going up to a 7970/GTX680, the performance gains are small and the premium quite large.
Have a read here:


http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-revi...

And to start the ball rolling:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My card, it is not silent under load but I suspect it's going to be a good deal quieter that a pair of 4890s ;) .
April 7, 2013 3:08:20 PM

Thank's Coozie. 400-500 mark for a gaming card is what im willing to pay so i guess it throws me in that ball park of cards mentioned above.
Any specific brands to stay away from or go for ?
Thanks for the links as well.
Related resources
April 8, 2013 1:10:40 AM

coozie7 said:
I'd leave the CPU/MB/RAM alone, I'm using a moderately overclocked i5 750/HD7950 on a single 1080 monitor and it'll run just about anything I throw at it at max or near max settings.
Overclocking that i7 is a REALLY good idea, just do your research and be a little patient before you start changing things. And yes, better cooling is a must!
Cardwise you're spoilt for choice: Like I said I'm running a HD7950 but there's evidence that Nvidia cards are smoother- I have no issues but the choice is yours.
You give no budget so it's a little difficult to make any hard and fast recommendations but I'd look at the 7950/660Ti class of card rather than going up to a 7970/GTX680, the performance gains are small and the premium quite large.
Have a read here:


http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-revi...

And to start the ball rolling:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My card, it is not silent under load but I suspect it's going to be a good deal quieter that a pair of 4890s ;) .


April 8, 2013 4:35:51 AM

Very well, blazingly fast and quiet, a bit steep pricewise for me, though!
Depending on regional variations it will need either 1x6 and 1x8 or 2x8 pin PCI-E power leads, check with the supplier as I suspect you'll need an at least one 6/8 pin converter ( http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CB... ) to run it off your existing powersupply (but then again I could be wrong ;)  ).
It's also quite big, check your case can accommodate its length!
You've selected one of the fastest single chip cards out there but it will not run at full potential without the CPU being overclocked. If you do not intend to overclock you could save a few Fosters vouchers and aim for a non GHz 7970.
April 8, 2013 6:20:43 AM

coozie7 said:
Very well, blazingly fast and quiet, a bit steep pricewise for me, though!
Depending on regional variations it will need either 1x6 and 1x8 or 2x8 pin PCI-E power leads, check with the supplier as I suspect you'll need an at least one 6/8 pin converter ( http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CB... ) to run it off your existing powersupply (but then again I could be wrong ;)  ).
It's also quite big, check your case can accommodate its length!
You've selected one of the fastest single chip cards out there but it will not run at full potential without the CPU being overclocked. If you do not intend to overclock you could save a few Fosters vouchers and aim for a non GHz 7970.


April 8, 2013 6:32:12 AM

I don't mind spending a little extra if it will last me some time as the previous cards have at 3-4 years. Thanks for the heads up on the PSU lead, will check into that. The other thing that will hold this card back is the older PCIE2 slot rather than PCIE3, about half the speed as i understand so further more this card will be held back . May have to agree with you on going the 7970 for now ,could always place another in there in Crossfire later on.
Seems to be a few of these floating around locally - http://www.allneeds.com.au/prod1076.htm
Definitely going to overclock the system once i have what ever card i choose. Noctua cooler looks to be the go.
April 8, 2013 9:31:25 AM

If you're going to overclock, the GHz 7970 is 'only' $20 more and it is the faster option, but then again you can probably get the 7970, a cooler and stay within $500...Your call.
I would n't worry about the PCI-E version, a single HD7970 is n't going to suffer by more than a few FPS from the 'slower' v2.0 connection although it will adversely effect a Crossfire configuration rather more.
I suspect by the time the upgraded rig needs a second card for Crossfire you'll be looking at an all new system anyway. There's plenty of life in that i7-after all it was the 'dogs parts' not that long ago-and an overclock is just going to make it all the sweeter when you see how much more it has to give!
Noctua make some of the best coolers around, just check your case will accept its height. Unless said case has a cutout in the motherboard tray, you'll have to take the motherboard out, (take off the RH side panel, you'll soon see if there's a opening in the metal under the motherboard).
April 9, 2013 4:10:55 AM

coozie7 said:
If you're going to overclock, the GHz 7970 is 'only' $20 more and it is the faster option, but then again you can probably get the 7970, a cooler and stay within $500...Your call.
I would n't worry about the PCI-E version, a single HD7970 is n't going to suffer by more than a few FPS from the 'slower' v2.0 connection although it will adversely effect a Crossfire configuration rather more.
I suspect by the time the upgraded rig needs a second card for Crossfire you'll be looking at an all new system anyway. There's plenty of life in that i7-after all it was the 'dogs parts' not that long ago-and an overclock is just going to make it all the sweeter when you see how much more it has to give!
Noctua make some of the best coolers around, just check your case will accept its height. Unless said case has a cutout in the motherboard tray, you'll have to take the motherboard out, (take off the RH side panel, you'll soon see if there's a opening in the metal under the motherboard).


April 9, 2013 4:18:57 AM

Yep ASUS HD7970T it is then + OC and Noctua cooler which will bring me to 550 odd through local store. Cooler should fit, almost 4" on fan side and im pretty sure i do have a cut out behind Mb, will check.
This maybe a little off the topic and unrealistic on price for me but just had a look at those i7 980x-990x lga1366. 6 core 12mb cache CPU'S Would it be worth going that way sometime down the track if the dollar value dropped on those ?
April 9, 2013 5:29:39 AM

Unless you use the system professionally with multi-threaded software you'll see no worthwhile improvement: Few games take full advantage of quad core CPU's and I do n't think any can fully use a 6 core CPU.
Save your money, either for a new build in a couple of years time or just for a rainy day.
Enjoy the upgrades-and beware of overclocking, it can become an obsession!
April 9, 2013 5:57:13 AM

coozie7 said:
Unless you use the system professionally with multi-threaded software you'll see no worthwhile improvement: Few games take full advantage of quad core CPU's and I do n't think any can fully use a 6 core CPU.
Save your money, either for a new build in a couple of years time or just for a rainy day.
Enjoy the upgrades-and beware of overclocking, it can become an obsession!


April 9, 2013 6:00:34 AM

That clarifies that . Thanks for all the info and help Coozie. Obsession ? nnaaa - Going to store tomorrow ... .
!