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Building new system.. Nvidia 8600GT?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 28, 2007 1:12:05 PM

Hey guys, this is my first post here so forgive me if I'm doing this wrong...

So I currently have an AMD 3200+ with 1.5gb of ram, and a PNY Nvidia GeForce 5700VE 256mb AGP...
I am, in the next 2 weeks, putting together an AMD X2 5200+ with 2gb of ram... but I'm stuck on the video card choice.

My current video card, which was over $200 3 years ago when I bought it, seems to suck. In World of Warcraft.. on LOWEST settings.. I can maybe pull 20fps... on highest settings, it's unplayable.

I was looking at BFG's Nvidia GeForce 8600GT 512mb PCIe for $199.00... would this be a significant upgrade? I can't afford the $400 8800.

I guess what I'm really asking is this: Will the 8600GT be worth the money? Will I have a lot higher FPS in World of Warcraft and Guild Wars compared to the video card I have now? (the 5700VE)? Are there any other quality video cards that I should look at that doesn't require me to sell a kidney?

a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2007 1:35:22 PM

Yes you would see a major difference in gaming with the 8600gt. I'd opt for the 2600xt instead, since it generally beats the 8600gt in most applications and is about the same amount of $. Now I'm assuming your getting a new mobo/cpu/ram, otherwise you won't be able to put that "PCI-e" GPU into the "AGP" slot that you mention in your post. Do you have a budget for this build? And what parts are you going to transfer over to this newer build?
December 28, 2007 1:40:32 PM

Nah, if you're going to pay $199 for an 8600, go for the HD 3850 from ATI instead. It performs way better. It's only like $169-199. (Performs almost as well as the 8800GT 512 which is $289)

Check this benchmark out:

The 3850 gets almost 97 FPS (Highlighted as one of the blue bars)
The 8600 gets only 53 FPS (Also highlighted in blue)

So, you can see why the cheaper 3850 is obviously the better choice in your situation. :)  If you are an Nvidia fanboi though, there is also an 8800GT 256MB version that performs very well for a little over $200. Either the 3850 or the 8800GT will give you a significant boost over what you're currently using. You won't be disappointed either way.
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December 28, 2007 2:04:47 PM

In looking at the ATI HD 3850, it shows 256mb. Will that still compete with a 512mb card?? Also.. the motherboard I have is an ASUS M2N-X.. which includes a PCI-E x16.. is that the same as PCI-E 2.0?
December 28, 2007 2:15:06 PM

The card is just PCI-E 2.0 ready, which doesn't really matter because no consumer card available will actually use up the entire bandwidth of PCI-E 1.1. Also, the amount of VRAM will only help as you get to higher resolutions or use many high res textures. That won't be a problem with WOW.

The 3850 or most 256MB will be more than enough to handle 1440x9zz resolutions or lower. I think you could even make it with a 1650x1zzz res or higher in WOW.
December 28, 2007 2:21:35 PM

Here is a 512mb 3850

This is a $200 card. You could probably save the $ and get a 256mb one and be just fine in WoW. Used to use a 6800GT 256mb card when I played that game and always did fine for me even in places like the whelp room in Blackrock etc.

If you get the 256mb card you save a little cash and will surely be pleased with the increase in performance in WoW. If you plan to play a lot of future games the more future proof card imo is the 512mb version if you don't mind spending the extra but if you mainly are a WoW addict then no need really.

As for the PCIE-16x question don't worry about that, the card will work fine in a PCIE-x16 slot, it is backward compatible.
December 28, 2007 2:52:28 PM

I have one other question.. I have an Antec 500w power supply.. will that be enough for my ASUS M2N-X, AMD X2 5200+, 2gb of RAM, and the ATI 3850 512mb? I'll also have 1 SATA hard drive.. and about 4 case fans...
December 28, 2007 3:11:23 PM

Yeah 500W will do fine. I have an X2 6000+ with 2gb ram and a Radeon HD 3850 with a 600W PSU with no problems. The 3850 recommends a 450W PSU, so you should be good with a 500W.
December 28, 2007 3:12:55 PM

Most Antec 500w have at least 30A on the +12v rail, so you should be ok. If you can give us the exact make and model, we can give you a 100% yes or no answer. (I'm pretty sure it's more than enough though. Hell, I ran all that + an 8800GTS 640 on a 420W PSU with just barely 26A on the +12v)
a b Î Nvidia
a c 365 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
December 28, 2007 5:58:48 PM

256mb vs 512mb doesn't really make an imapct until you hit the higher resolutions like 1620 x 1050 (in general). For games that uses a lot of textures that threshold might be 1440 x 900.
December 28, 2007 6:18:53 PM

Oh I see.. interesting. Due to limitations on my Samsung SyncMaster 930B 19" LCD Flat Panel, my resolution is only 1280x1024.

Also, my powersupply is an Antec Smart Power 500 (SP-500)
December 28, 2007 7:03:46 PM

I upgraded to a 8500GT $90.00 and I can play WoW on high and get 60 FPS in Shatt.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2007 11:33:07 PM

You have plenty of power for your proposed system, whether or not you get a 3850. You'd be able to power a 8800gtx if you wanted to, so I wouldn't worry about enough power.
December 29, 2007 1:38:33 AM

I'll start by saying that I personally own a 8600GT, and it works awsome in WoW. My FPS bounces around from 60 all the way up to 114 @ 1024x768.

IF, and I do mean If, I could afford it right now, I would get a 3850 256mb. I would personally recommend the 3850 256mb for it's price range. There are a few games out there that may interest you in the future and the 8600gt may not play them at acceptable frame rates for your resolution. Though they may play fine if you turn off all the eye-candy.

I've seen the 3850 for as low as $160 (USD) get it instead of the 8600gt if yur gonna pay $199. You wont be sorry.
December 29, 2007 2:03:35 AM

Awesome.. thanks so much for the help, everyone. I bought the 512mb 3850 this afternoon and it should be delivered in a few days time. This system is going to be great!
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2007 2:11:23 AM

you will be very, very satisfied. wow, the fx 5xxx series... man those were s*** cards when they were new!
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2007 4:21:23 AM

What is your final build?
December 29, 2007 12:16:40 PM

The final build will be...

AMD X2 5200+
2GB DDR2 PC2-5300
ATI HD 3850 512mb

This is going to be a fun system to put together and use.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2007 7:08:38 PM

I'd make sure you get DDR2 800mHz memory, because the AMD's perform better with the 800mHz memory, since they rely on faster memory. The intels are well known not to require the faster memory. Since the price difference really isn't that much, you'd be better off getting the 800mhZ DDR2 now than later.
December 30, 2007 1:59:11 PM

how about DDR2-PC2-8500 5-5-5-15? I can get 2x1gb for $137.00 :D 
December 30, 2007 2:03:41 PM

oh, and you'll never believe this. Last night that GeForce 5700 went out.. just totally quit working. I had to go and buy a cheap agp video card to last me until I can buy all these new parts.. I bought a $60 ATI X1050.. and its better than the GeForce 5700! lol.. I paid around $200 for that 5700 a few years back... I feel used ;) 
December 30, 2007 7:02:08 PM

chase_hyland said:
The final build will be...

AMD X2 5200+
2GB DDR2 PC2-5300
ATI HD 3850 512mb

This is going to be a fun system to put together and use.

Skip the 5200+ and go straight for the 5000+ black edition for 129 bucks.

December 30, 2007 7:22:47 PM

5000 + Black Edition? not familiar with it...
December 30, 2007 7:46:18 PM

What about the 6400+ Black Edition?
December 30, 2007 9:50:00 PM

chase_hyland said:
5000 + Black Edition? not familiar with it...

The black edition is the new 65nm chip that has an unlocked multiplier to take it from 2.6 ghz stock to well over 3 ghz with the stock voltage, and way less heat than any of the 90nm chips.

For the price, it's probably the best AMD chip on the market.
December 30, 2007 9:51:20 PM

chase_hyland said:
What about the 6400+ Black Edition?

poor overclocker, consumes more power, previous gen die size.
Only thing is has going for it is the larger cache, which really doesn't matter real world.
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2007 10:21:53 PM

chase_hyland said:
5000 + Black Edition? not familiar with it...

Don't forget that he'll have to get a HSF for it, it doesn't come with one. This one for $26 shipped a solid and fairly cheap HSF for the 5000+ BE.
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
December 31, 2007 4:44:56 PM

If your on a tight budget I would say 3850 which is around $150~$170? If not then it would I would recommend a 8800GT ( Personally own and love, overclocks quite well too.)

If you do get the 5000 BE I would recommend the Cooler Master TX-2 $2 AR at the Egg, I have it and its awsome for the price.
January 8, 2008 12:32:33 AM

Hey guys, I'm on my new system.. it's amazing what i was missing out on; however, many other people that I have talked to about the ATI HD 3850 says that it runs really hot and that I need to increase the Fan Speed... how do I do that??
January 8, 2008 12:49:13 AM

Get RivaTuner and use it. Or ATI Tool
January 8, 2008 12:56:41 AM

I have Riva Tuner and I have no clue what I'm looking for.. this program looks very involved..
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2008 12:57:22 AM

What was your final build?
January 8, 2008 1:02:41 AM

AMD 5600+
2gb PC-8500
ATI HD 3850 512mb
January 8, 2008 1:11:52 AM

You only need PC2-6400. Anything higher is totally unnecessary for an AMD platform.

Other than that your build looks good. The best you can do with AMD I guess...

Edit: Sorry, I didn't notice that you have already built your system. I didn't mean to knock it, I was just offering some suggestions.
January 8, 2008 1:25:33 AM

Can any of you guys tell me how to use Riva Tuner to up my GPU fan speed?
January 8, 2008 3:07:51 AM

This is how I do it on my 8800GT:

Under the "Main" tab there is a "Driver settings" area. In the first box here it says "ForceWare detected", and to the far right of this box there is a button that when click opens up some options. Obviously for your HD3850 it will not say "ForceWare detected", but other than that it should be the same.

Now the first option (farthest to the left) when you click this button is a picture of a graphics card. This is the "system settings" menu. Click it and a window will open called "system tweaks". The second tab from the left is labeled "Fan". Hopefully you can figure out what to do from here :)