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would love some expert advice on vid card

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2013 8:41:06 AM

Thanks ahead of time to anyone willing to spare their time for this question.

I have an older PC - bought in 2008 - specs below. I want to upgrade it vs. buy new and am looking for some tips. An example of what I would like to do is upgrade the video card, but am not limiting the scope to such - not opposed to adding CPU power if that is best, etc.

I also do not want to buy the very best card/CPU/etc. for my PC if it only gives a 5-10% increase over the 2nd best card that is significantly less expensive.

Also, I am playing Hawken primarily, I do not venture into the most demanding PC games.

Thanks again for your help. Here the PC specs:

Operating System
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 @ 3.33GHz 117 °F
Wolfdale 45nm Technology
RAM
8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz (5-5-5-15)
Motherboard
EVGA 132-CK-NF78 (Socket 775)
Graphics
SyncMaster (1680x1050@60Hz)
1024MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (EVGA) 132 °F
1024MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (EVGA) 137 °F
ForceWare version: 331.82
SLI Disabled (I am experimenting with this, on and off.)


More detailed specs, in case it helps:

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
Cores 2
Threads 2
Name Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
Code Name Wolfdale
Package Socket 775 LGA
Technology 45nm
Specification Intel Core2 Duo CPU E8600 @ 3.33GHz
Family 6
Extended Family 6
Model 7
Extended Model 17
Stepping A
Revision E0
Instructions MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, Intel 64, NX, VMX
Virtualization Supported, Enabled
Hyperthreading Not supported
Fan Speed 1028 RPM
Bus Speed 333.7 MHz
Rated Bus Speed 1334.9 MHz
Stock Core Speed 3333 MHz
Stock Bus Speed 333 MHz
Average Temperature 114 °F
Caches
L1 Data Cache Size 2 x 32 KBytes
L1 Instructions Cache Size 2 x 32 KBytes
L2 Unified Cache Size 6144 KBytes
Core 0
Core 1

RAM
Memory slots
Total memory slots 4
Used memory slots 4
Free memory slots 0
Memory
Type DDR2
Size 8192 MBytes
Channels # Dual
DRAM Frequency 333.7 MHz
CAS# Latency (CL) 5 clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD) 5 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) 15 clocks
Bank Cycle Time (tRC) 20 clocks
Command Rate (CR) 1T
Physical Memory
Memory Usage 23 %
Total Physical 8.00 GB
Available Physical 6.15 GB
Total Virtual 8.00 GB
Available Virtual 5.89 GB
SPD
Number Of SPD Modules 4
Slot #1
Slot #2
Slot #3
Slot #4

Motherboard
Manufacturer EVGA
Model 132-CK-NF78 (Socket 775)
Version 2
Chipset Vendor NVIDIA
Chipset Model nForce 780i SLI SPP
Chipset Revision A2
Southbridge Vendor NVIDIA
Southbridge Model nForce 780i SLI MCP
Southbridge Revision A3
BIOS
Brand Phoenix Technologies, LTD
Version P06
Date 7/11/2008
Voltage
CPU CORE 1.120 V
MEMORY CONTROLLER 1.496 V
AVCC 3.216 V
DRAM 1.608 V
NB 1.080 V
+5V 4.982 V
+12V 11.969 V
PCI Data
Slot PCI
Slot Type PCI
Slot Usage Available
Bus Width 32 bit
Slot Designation PCI0
Characteristics 5V, PME
Slot Number 0
Slot PCI
Slot Type PCI
Slot Usage Available
Bus Width 32 bit
Slot Designation PCI1
Characteristics 5V, PME
Slot Number 1

Graphics
Monitor
Name SyncMaster on NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
Current Resolution 1680x1050 pixels
Work Resolution 1622x1050 pixels
State Enabled, Primary, Output devices support
Monitor Width 1680
Monitor Height 1050
Monitor BPP 32 bits per pixel
Monitor Frequency 60 Hz
Device \\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0

Only pasting specs of one card - the PC has two of these.

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
Manufacturer NVIDIA
Model GeForce 8800 GT
GPU G92
Device ID 10DE-0611
Revision A3
Subvendor EVGA (3842)
Current Performance Level Level 0
Current Performance Level Level 0
Technology 65 nm
Die Size 330 mm²
Transistors 754 M
Release Date 2007
DirectX Support 10.0
DirectX Shader Model 4.0
OpenGL Support 3.0
Bus Interface PCI Express x16
Temperature 132 °F
SLI Disabled
Driver version 9.18.13.3182
BIOS Version 62.92.16.00.49
ROPs 16
Shaders 112 unified
Memory Type GDDR3
Memory 1024 MB
Bus Width 64x4 (256 bit)
Anti Aliasing Modes -?-
Filtering Modes Bilinear, Trilinear, 2x Anisotropic, 4x Anisotropic, 8x Anisotropic, 16x Anisotropic
Noise Level Moderate
Max Power Draw 105 Watts
Count of performance levels : 1
Level 1
GPU Clock 600 MHz
Memory Clock 900 MHz
Shader Clock 1500 MHz
Count of performance levels : 1
Level 1
GPU Clock 600 MHz
Memory Clock 900 MHz
Shader Clock 1500 MHz

Storage
Hard drives
Hitachi HDP725050GLA SCSI Disk Device
Manufacturer Hitachi
Product Family Deskstar
Series Prefix Unknown
Model Capacity For This Specific Drive 500GB
Heads 16
Cylinders 60,801
Tracks 15,504,255
Sectors 976,768,065
SATA type SATA-II 3.0Gb/s
Device type Fixed
ATA Standard ATA8-ACS
Serial Number GEA530RE3RR8RA
LBA Size 48-bit LBA
Power On Count 3890 times
Power On Time 412.9 days
Speed 7200 RPM
Features S.M.A.R.T., APM, AAM, NCQ
Transfer Mode SATA II
Interface SATA
Capacity 465 GB
Real size 500,107,862,016 bytes
RAID Type None
S.M.A.R.T
Status Good
Temperature 94 °F
Temperature Range OK (less than 122 °F)
01 Read Error Rate 100 (100) Data 0000000000
02 Throughput Performance 133 (133) Data 000000008A
03 Spin-Up Time 116 (116) Data 00014B014C
04 Start/Stop Count 100 (100) Data 0000000F5F
05 Reallocated Sectors Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
07 Seek Error Rate 100 (100) Data 0000000000
08 Seek Time Performance 131 (131) Data 000000001D
09 Power-On Hours (POH) 099 (099) Data 00000026B6
0A Spin Retry Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
0C Device Power Cycle Count 100 (100) Data 0000000F32
C0 Power-off Retract Count 097 (097) Data 0000000F5F
C1 Load/Unload Cycle Count 097 (097) Data 0000000F5F
C2 Temperature 187 (187) Data 0000110020
C4 Reallocation Event Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
C5 Current Pending Sector Count 100 (100) Data 0000000001
C6 Uncorrectable Sector Count 100 (100) Data 0000000001
C7 UltraDMA CRC Error Count 200 (200) Data 0000000000
Partition 0
Partition ID Disk #0, Partition #0
Disk Letter C:
File System NTFS
Volume Serial Number B00D798B
Size 368 GB
Used Space 152 GB (42%)
Free Space 215 GB (58%)
Partition 1
Partition ID Disk #0, Partition #1
Disk Letter Z:
File System NTFS
Volume Serial Number EC3605BF
Size 97 GB
Used Space 30.7 GB (32%)
Free Space 66 GB (68%)

TOSHIBA External USB 3.0 USB Device
Manufacturer TOSHIBA
Heads 16
Cylinders 121,601
Tracks 31,008,255
Sectors 1,953,520,065
SATA type SATA-II 3.0Gb/s
Device type Fixed
ATA Standard ATA8-ACS
Serial Number Z15ETF6DT
LBA Size 48-bit LBA
Power On Count 12 times
Power On Time 669.3 days
Speed 5400 RPM
Features S.M.A.R.T., APM, NCQ
Transfer Mode SATA II
Interface USB (SATA)
Capacity 931 GB
Real size 1,000,204,886,016 bytes
RAID Type None
S.M.A.R.T
Status Good
Temperature 85 °F
Temperature Range OK (less than 122 °F)
01 Read Error Rate 100 (100) Data 0000000000
02 Throughput Performance 100 (100) Data 0000000000
03 Spin-Up Time 100 (100) Data 0000000FB0
04 Start/Stop Count 100 (100) Data 0000001007
05 Reallocated Sectors Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
07 Seek Error Rate 100 (100) Data 0000000000
08 Seek Time Performance 100 (100) Data 0000000000
09 Power-On Hours (POH) 060 (060) Data 0000003EBF
0A Spin Retry Count 182 (100) Data 0000000000
0C Device Power Cycle Count 100 (100) Data 000000000C
BF G-sense error rate 100 (100) Data 0000000003
C0 Power-off Retract Count 100 (100) Data 0000000001
C1 Load/Unload Cycle Count 100 (100) Data 0000001BF1
C2 Temperature 100 (100) Data 000012001A
C4 Reallocation Event Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
C5 Current Pending Sector Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
C6 Uncorrectable Sector Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
C7 UltraDMA CRC Error Count 200 (200) Data 0000000000
DC Disk Shift 100 (100) Data 000000203A
DE Loaded Hours 100 (100) Data 000000006D
DF Load/Unload Retry Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
E0 Load Friction 100 (100) Data 0000000000
E2 Load 'In'-time 100 (100) Data 0000000114
F0 Head Flying Hours 100 (100) Data 0000000000
Partition 0
Partition ID Disk #1, Partition #0
Disk Letter J:
File System NTFS
Volume Serial Number BA184D29
Size 931 GB
Used Space 374 GB (41%)
Free Space 556 GB (59%)
December 7, 2013 8:42:43 AM

whats ur full specs, motherboard, powersupply videocard, and case, and budget for upgrade or new pc
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December 7, 2013 9:29:05 AM

iceclock said:
whats ur full specs, motherboard, powersupply videocard, and case, and budget for upgrade or new pc


I think I listed all of that in the original post except for the power supply, which is 650 watts, and case, which is mid tower, typical air cooled, 2008 era from iBUYPOWER.

Please let me know if you need more info, I am clueless on some points, but can find out.

Thanks.
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Related resources
December 7, 2013 9:35:01 AM

you would be better off selling that system as a whole and putting together an entire new computer. any modern video card will be very bottlenecked by the rest of your current system. a brand new $600 budget system would game 10 times better than what you have.
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Best solution

December 7, 2013 9:51:57 AM

And the other obvious questions: How much $$$? Where are you?
Without sourcing used from Craiglist, Ebay or possibly Amazon there's no CPU upgrade option open without changing the motherboard.
Further bad news is that the new motherboards only use DDR3 memory so you can't reuse that.
Good news is that a better graphics card may vey well be all you want/need and would certainly be the first thing I'd change before plunging into a whole CPU/MB/RAM upgrade.
Since you're on Nvidia I'll suggest the GTX650Ti Boost.
Any PSU that can drive dual 8800s isn't going to have any problems with a current gen single card (nor a fully upgraded system for that matter).
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December 7, 2013 9:54:10 AM

nikoli707 said:
you would be better off selling that system as a whole and putting together an entire new computer. any modern video card will be very bottlenecked by the rest of your current system. a brand new $600 budget system would game 10 times better than what you have.


Thanks, that is what I suspected.

I have not paid attention to PCs or gaming for a long while. Does anyone have suggestions for a good system for $1k or less? I can spend more, but not really so into gaming these days that it makes sense.

Also, I prefer to buy built, pretty busy with work and life, but am not opposed to building it if I can save a lot.

Thanks.
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December 7, 2013 10:07:17 AM

coozie7 said:
And the other obvious questions: How much $$$? Where are you?
Without sourcing used from Craiglist, Ebay or possibly Amazon there's no CPU upgrade option open without changing the motherboard.
Further bad news is that the new motherboards only use DDR3 memory so you can't reuse that.
Good news is that a better graphics card may vey well be all you want/need and would certainly be the first thing I'd change before plunging into a whole CPU/MB/RAM upgrade.
Since you're on Nvidia I'll suggest the GTX650Ti Boost.
Any PSU that can drive dual 8800s isn't going to have any problems with a current gen single card (nor a fully upgraded system for that matter).


Thanks for the information, coozie, it is more aligned with what I want.

So, as noted previously, I have not done a lot of PC stuff for a few years. I Amazon'd both the cards you mention and found many results.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-ali...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-ali...

I assume I need an EVGA card since that is my board type, but not sure.

Also, which brands have greater reliability? I am really weary of things that do not work or last long these days, which is far too common.

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December 7, 2013 10:11:47 AM

I would say look for a radeon hd 7790. 120 bucks and can max out most games at 1080p (battlefield 4, last light, skyrim etc.)
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December 7, 2013 10:18:41 AM

Get a 7850 2gbs for 140$ best u can do for ur system mate
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December 7, 2013 10:31:40 AM

If you want some peace of mind EVGA have a superb warranty and reputation for customer service that is the Gold Standard.
I've suggested Nvidia just because it'll be easier for you, by all means opt for the AMD HD7850 as suggested by Iceclock if you wish, it'll be less expensive (the 2Gb 650Tis are more expensive than 2Gb HD7850s).
As for performance, neither HD7850 nor GTX650Ti Boost is significantly superior to the other to recommend one over the other on that basis, see here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-revi...
Cost wise, the AMD option wins hands down, but then again EVGA does have that warranty/service.
If you're not going to game that much, a 1Gb card may be enough, but gaming has a nasty habit of creeping up on you so I'll suggest a 2Gb card would be the best option.
A GTX760 will be quite heavily held back by the E8600, only consider this as an option if you also intend to do a large scale upgrade (MB/CPU/RAM) fairly soon (or you can source one at a bargain price ;)  ).
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December 9, 2013 10:40:34 AM

coozie7 said:
If you want some peace of mind EVGA have a superb warranty and reputation for customer service that is the Gold Standard.
I've suggested Nvidia just because it'll be easier for you, by all means opt for the AMD HD7850 as suggested by Iceclock if you wish, it'll be less expensive (the 2Gb 650Tis are more expensive than 2Gb HD7850s).
As for performance, neither HD7850 nor GTX650Ti Boost is significantly superior to the other to recommend one over the other on that basis, see here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-revi...
Cost wise, the AMD option wins hands down, but then again EVGA does have that warranty/service.
If you're not going to game that much, a 1Gb card may be enough, but gaming has a nasty habit of creeping up on you so I'll suggest a 2Gb card would be the best option.
A GTX760 will be quite heavily held back by the E8600, only consider this as an option if you also intend to do a large scale upgrade (MB/CPU/RAM) fairly soon (or you can source one at a bargain price ;)  ).


Coozie, thanks again for the great info and advice.

Given my PC specs (also mid tower case and 600w power), would this be the 650 Ti to get? As I mentioned before, it has been a few years since I built/updated a PC, so all of the "Boost SuperClocked 2GB GDDR5 192bit" info sails right through my ears.

http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GTX650Ti-SuperClocked-Dual-L...

If this is the card, given the price of $200+, maybe I should spend a little more to update the entire machine (mb, psu, ram, etc.)
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December 9, 2013 4:28:03 PM

whats ur max budget sir?

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December 10, 2013 7:56:09 AM

iceclock said:
whats ur max budget sir?



I would like to keep it below $600, but could go up to just about anything. Since I am more of a casual gamer, it does not make sense for me to spend more than a $1k; however, for the games I do play (which vary, I am always trying out new games), I really like maxed graphics without framerate lag. I need the smooth video to compensate for my ever diminishing twitch, now that I am probably over the halfway point to the end of Brother Ass (meat suit).

Right now I am playing Hawken, but with the new vid card or new PC, I may try some other games that really do not work well on my current system.
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January 7, 2014 7:05:45 AM

coozie7 said:
If you want some peace of mind EVGA have a superb warranty and reputation for customer service that is the Gold Standard.
I've suggested Nvidia just because it'll be easier for you, by all means opt for the AMD HD7850 as suggested by Iceclock if you wish, it'll be less expensive (the 2Gb 650Tis are more expensive than 2Gb HD7850s).
As for performance, neither HD7850 nor GTX650Ti Boost is significantly superior to the other to recommend one over the other on that basis, see here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-revi...
Cost wise, the AMD option wins hands down, but then again EVGA does have that warranty/service.
If you're not going to game that much, a 1Gb card may be enough, but gaming has a nasty habit of creeping up on you so I'll suggest a 2Gb card would be the best option.
A GTX760 will be quite heavily held back by the E8600, only consider this as an option if you also intend to do a large scale upgrade (MB/CPU/RAM) fairly soon (or you can source one at a bargain price ;)  ).


Thanks, Coozie. I think I marked the wrong response as the answer and am not sure how to change it, but I ultimately went with your suggestion for a GTX760 and am now looking to build the rest of the system. I am going to start a new thread asking for suggestions.

Thanks again.

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