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Upgrade Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 20, 2008 2:20:43 PM

Hi All,

I'm looking to upgrade my system, especially my graphics card.

Here are my system specs:

Saphire Radeon x1900xt 256 MB PCIe
AMD 3800 X2
ASUS M2N-E NF570ULTRA AM2 MB
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
Antec Truepower II 550 watt PSU
MEC Multisync 2070WNX (1680 x 1050 max res)

I'd like to upgrade my graphics card, but I'm worried that the processor will be a bottleneck and possibly the PSU if I decide to go highend (8800GTX/GT or 3850/3870).

I currently play the Battlefield series, COD 4, Crysis, and plan to play Bioshock in the future.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim

More about : upgrade advice

February 20, 2008 2:43:23 PM

Your resolution is on the borderline where your GPU is going to be hitting it's FPS ceiling before the CPU does.

*Please disable Vsync for these tests -- Also, try to repeat each test in the same environment / situation*
What kind of FPS do you get in your current games at native res (1680x1050)?
Try moving the resolution down to 1024x768. Has your average FPS increased at all?
If yes, you've still got room to improve on your GPU before your CPU becomes on the bottleneck.
If no, then your CPU is holding your graphics card back.

Even if your CPU is bottlenecking your current setup, or will be the bottleneck, in your new system. You will see a definitive increase in performance from just a GPU upgrade. If you're not happy with the increase, you can probably pick up a 5000+ in the $100 range and that would be compatible with your AM2 socket MB.

Quote:
I'd like to upgrade my graphics card, but I'm worried that the processor will be a bottleneck and possibly the PSU if I decide to go highend (8800GTX/GT or 3850/3870).
A 550W PSU will be more than enough to power any single card. (You really want to concern your self with the Amperes on the +12V rail when checking power requirements -- but you have nothing to worry about with that Antec PSU)

As for the GPU - I'd go for an 8800GT just because the price is unbeatable right now. It's probably better performance / $ than the 3870 atm. (Also, try to find one with a dual-slot or after market cooler already attached. ) I would not recommend that you go with the GTX at the moment, it's old and offers minimal gains vs. the GTS / GT.
February 20, 2008 2:51:25 PM

Thanks Rgeist554, that helps a lot!
Related resources
February 20, 2008 3:02:30 PM

Np.

I edited my post above to say this (Just to be more clear :p ):
Quote:
Even if your CPU is bottlenecking your current setup, or will be the bottleneck, in your new system. You will see a definitive increase in performance from just a GPU upgrade. However, if you're not happy with the increase, you can probably pick up an X2 5000+ in the $100 range and that would be compatible with your AM2 socket MB.
a c 130 U Graphics card
February 20, 2008 3:24:44 PM


I completly agree with rgeist554's post just upgrade the Graphics card see what kind of results you get. You now know how to test to see where you are as far as the CPU performance is. If your not happy upgrade that also. Just to be sure you are looking for a G92 version of the GT/GTS these come with 512 MB ram. The older model GTS (G80 core) come with 320/640 mb ram. Im begining to look like a MSI sales rep as i have been recomending this card all over the forum of late but i havent seen anything better Performance/money yet.(In my own opinion) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Good call that man (rgeist554) :) 
mactronix
February 20, 2008 3:33:55 PM

Aha, that's the GT with the nice cooler! I've got it bookmarked now. Thanks Mac.
a c 271 U Graphics card
February 20, 2008 5:05:27 PM

Similar (939) CPU as OP with SLI'd 8800GT's and COD4 @ 1680 x 1050 and max settings = 200+ fps.

a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 12:48:09 AM

$100 no, but $50 yes. In those two links of yours, both have decent cooling but the GTS will be faster stock and overclocked. Plus it comes with the Witcher game and that GT doesn't right now. ANyway, all things considered it's worth $50 for sure to go with card A over card B. If the game means nothing to you, either is a good choice.

February 21, 2008 4:11:14 PM

Thanks all!

I went ahead with the 8800 GTS (G92)!
!