I've an old system and want to upgrade it soon. Unfortunately I can't afford to do everything at once so I'll have to break it into 2 stages. At present I have
XFX 7600GT XXX
Intel 3.0Ghz 630 CPU
1 GB RAM
Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Pro mobo
Initially I want to upgrade the RAM to 3Gb and change the video card to a XFX 8800GT. Later, I'll do the motherboard and the CPU to a dual or quad core.
Now I understand that if I upgrade the video gard that the CPU will be a bottleneck. I'm just curious to know how much of a bottleneck that it will be. Is it a waste of time upgrading the card without the CPU? I seen lots of reviews about the 8800GT and how great it is reaching very high FPS. However if my display (Sony 40W2000) has only a refresh rate of 50 or 60 Hertz, then am I correct in assuming that this is the only FPS that I should be aiming for? Will a 3.0Ghz CPU allow the 8800 to achieve FPS on 50-60 with newer games?
Second question, is the fan on the 8800GT quiet or loud?
If you buy an 8800GT, I imagine that you would only get performance a little better than a 7900GS. I ran a Pentium D 8xx series with an 8800GTS and got maybe 5 or so more fps in CS:S than with my 7900 series card. I'm not sure if you'll get 50-60 FPS in newer games at high settings, but you would see some increase in performance. (This also depends on your resolution)
The fans on the 8800GT are a little messed up from what I hear - Some of them get stuck at 29% speed which causes them to get really hot under load. This can be fixed w/ Rivatuner, etc.
I have a Zalman VF-900 on my current 7600GT. Officially it's not supported for the 8800GT but I've seen elsewhere that it can be used. Might throw this on it with some extra heatsinks if stock 8800GT is too much.
I have a P4 3.0 630, 2G pc-5400. I just upgraded from a evga 7600 GT 256 GDDR3 to a Sapphire ATI HD 3870 512M DDR4. The only thing i changed is the video card.
I play BF2, TF2, Quake 4, COD4, etc. mostly COD4. My 7600GT on low settings 1024x768 noAA noAS, was 40-50FPS. Now i play at 1152x864, 4xAA, 4xAS all game settings on high and i am getting 60-80FPS in COD4. Much better in the other games. I dont play crysis.
I liked my 7600GT, but it was getting old. I have no idea about the 8800 series, but this 3870 has excellent image quality. It runs quiet and cool, unless you OC.
Make sure you have enough power for your new card. Adding 1GB ram will be a huge boost, adding 2 will be unnoticable. The CPU will hold the GPU back a bit, but should be O.K. If not you can drop a C2D into that mobo.
just revisiting an old post here. Finally got to upgrade the video card & memory yesterday. I went with a Gainward 8800GT 1024Mb GS. Cooler on this card is great, really quiet. For anyone who is interested, I ran some before and after benchmarks. CPU is a bottleneck but still a serious improvement in graphics.
Initial old system XFX 7600GT XXX, 3.0Ghz 630 CPU, 1Gb PC 5300 RAM
CRYSIS - 1920x1080, High Settings, No AA
GPU: AVG: 4.25 MIN: 0 MAX: 5.69
CPU: AVG: 4.28 MIN:0.54 MAX: 5.63
CRYSIS - 1280x720, Med Settings, No AA
GPU: AVG: 17.15 MIN: 2.99 MAX: 25.71
CPU: AVG: 15.14 MIN: 4.36 MAX: 21.19
Overall, delighted with the upgrade. Can play Crysis comfortably enough at 1920x1080 with med settings. COD4 & Rainbow Six Vegas look good too at high settings & 1920x1080. Spent most of last night benckmarking so will get stuck into some proper gaming over next few days.