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Got a new system yesterday, need advise on new GFX card

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May 30, 2008 2:01:22 PM

Hello everyone! As the title says, Ive build my new system since yesterday and everything runs great so far. I only need a new GFX card since mine is a bit outdated.

Specs:
Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q6600 @2.40GHz (OC @ 3.2GHz with Asus AI Suite)
2x GeiL 2 GB DDR2-800 Kit (4GB, 4 units)
Asus P5K Motherboard (Crossfire mobo)
OCZ StealthXStream 500W
XFX NVIDIA 7600GT Fatal1ty Edition

So, my question is; should I get a Nvidia card or ATI, so that I can expand to CrossFire if I want to later on? And what specific card should I get atm (For like 160$-180$)?


Thanks alot for your reply's :) 

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I am running on a 17" screen at 1280x1024 and I am not planning to buy any bigger screen for some long time, dont know if it affects what GFX card to choose.
May 30, 2008 2:22:49 PM

for that price range i would look at 8800gt or 8800gts. you can find gts for 180 after rebate from newegg or just get the gt if you don't want to deal with rebates. in order for crossfire, you'd probably have to get a new psu anyway. however, if you can wait, new ati and nvidia cards are coming out in a few weeks. you should wait for some benchmarks as well as price drops on the existing cards.
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 2:23:46 PM

Look here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=17-341-012-06.jpg&Image=17-341-012-03.jpg%2c17-341-012-04.jpg%2c17-341-012-05.jpg%2c17-341-012-06.jpg%2c17-341-012-07.jpg%2c17-341-012-09.jpg%2c17-341-012-10.jpg%2c17-341-012-11.jpg%2c17-341-012-02.jpg&S7ImageFlag=0&WaterMark=1&Item=N82E16817341012&Depa=0&Description=OCZ+StealthXStream+OCZ500SXS+500W+Power+Supply

Your PSU has 481.5W-152W on the 12V circuit, combined, which means 27.4A. That is less than the minimum recommended for the 8800GTS G92 512MB (28A). You'd need more than the minimum anyway, with an overclocked quad CPU in there. The most powerful cards that would still be supported with that PSU are 8800GT and HD 3870.

If you want to expand to Crossfire later, and will get a new PSU at that time too, get an HD 3870. Otherwise get an 8800GT, preferably one with a dual-slot cooler.
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May 30, 2008 2:29:04 PM

Thanks for your reply's. I got the PSU yesterday and now I hear its not powerfull enough, lol. Well anyways, I dont got the money atm for a GFX card so I have to wait anyways, and prices probaly drop by then. Ill wait till the new serie's are here and probaly get a 8800GT(S) then :) 
a c 358 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 2:31:11 PM

XFire or SLI does not make any sense unless you are looking at top of the line cards since the only way to boost performance is to install another top of the line card. Based on your price range, you are looking at mainstream cards. While an additional identical card will boost your performance in the short term, in the long term your system will simply not be up to par compared to a single powerful video card.

For example, 8600GTS in SLI mode cannot compare to a single 8800GTS 512mb video card in term of performance.

Save up another $30 - $40 for a GeForce 8800GTS 512MB card if you want a card immediately. However, I believe ATI will be releasing the Radeon 4xxx series pretty soon (sooner than nVidia's new GPUs I think). Therefore, you may want to wait a few more weeks (3 - 6 weeks) for benchmarks.
May 30, 2008 2:31:54 PM

Fark, 27A on a 500W ocz. I thought they were supposed to be awesome PSU's!!!???

I got a 750W Corsair with 60A on a single 12V rail.

Anyway, an 8800GT will serve you well for the next 6 months or so. By then the new NV and ATI cards will have come down enough to warrant a new purchase.

Not sure what u require from gfx? 60fps in Crysis on max?
If u just want to play games at decent settings, dont bother with sli/cf, just get the single best card u can afford. Makes resale easier also.
May 30, 2008 2:35:13 PM

mrmez said:
Fark, 27A on a 500W ocz. I thought they were supposed to be awesome PSU's!!!???

I got a 750W Corsair with 60A on a single 12V rail.

Anyway, an 8800GT will serve you well for the next 6 months or so. By then the new NV and ATI cards will have come down enough to warrant a new purchase.

Not sure what u require from gfx? 60fps in Crysis on max?
If u just want to play games at decent settings, dont bother with sli/cf, just get the single best card u can afford. Makes resale easier also.


I would like to run every game on high (not needed for extreme games like Crysis) and get some decent fps (30+), would not need like 100FPS :p 

And btw, I am from The Netherlands so my currency is in Euro's and I cant buy form Newegg. But we've got a pretty good shop ourselfs in The Netherlands (Alternate). Ill probaly go for this card then: http://www.alternate.nl/html/product/details.html?artic... or this one: http://www.alternate.nl/html/product/details.html?artic... (if I can run it)
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 2:42:45 PM

I've seen that power supply listed as having 34 amps combined on the 12v. But he is right in that if the 3.3 and 5v rails were to be maxed, there is only 27 amps left for the 12v. I'm thinking it's unlikely to max those two rails though.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 2:47:18 PM

That club3d GTS is nicer for the money. (When did club 3d start making Geforce cards?). The XFX 8800GT has decent cooling but a loud fan that runs 100% all the time. If noise is a concern avoid it IMO. It also seems expensive.

What about this one, much cheaper € 129,- : http://www.alternate.nl/html/productDetails.html?baseId...

or this one for the same price if you do desire ATI and crossfire potential.
http://www.alternate.nl/html/shop/productDetails.html?a...

a c 358 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 2:48:21 PM

Your 500w OCZ PSU should be sufficient for your PC assuming that you do not overclock an 8800GTS and you do not have more 4 hard drives / DVD drives.

Based on the OCZ's sticker, the minimum amps on the 12v rails will be 27.4a (or 329.5w), that's assuming that the power draw on the 3.3v/5v rails will be 152w. The combined 3.3v/5v/12v rails can provide up to 481.5w in total, so if the power draw on the 3.3v/5v rails is less than 152w then the 12v rails can provide additional amps/watts. That is up to a theoretical max of 432w or 36 amps.

If you are concerned that the power supply will not be able to power your system, or if it is unstable during gameplay then drop the OC on the CPU down to 3.0GHz. A quad @ 3.0GHz + 8800GTS 512MB will still be faster than a quad @ 3.2GHz + 8800GT 512MB when it comes to games.

But like I said in my previous post, if you can wait it out for ATI's new cards, then do so.
May 30, 2008 2:51:22 PM

I can wait, I even have to because of shortage on money atm. I have 1 HD and 2 DVD Drive's in here (can remove one if needed). Ill probaly go with the Club3D 8800GTS or with one of the new ATI cards (if they arent to expansive) :)  How is a 9600 btw (Like this one: http://www.alternate.nl/html/productDetails.html?baseId...)? Since I only run on 1280x1024
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 2:56:45 PM

Not sure, link didn't work. This 9600GT would do as well as an HD3870 for € 99,- :
http://www.alternate.nl/html/productDetails.html?artno=...

Neither is quite as good as the € 129,- 8800GT though.


Make sure I am not missing something in the translation. All are new cards right?
May 30, 2008 2:57:42 PM

You said you have a 17" LCD and use 1280x1024, and don't have the money right now for the card. Also you have an Intel chipset so you can't go SLI. If I were building a new system with the constraints you have I think I would wait for the ATI 4850 which should be in out in a few weeks. The card should run anything you can get your hands on just fine @1280x1024, and still leave the option open for adding another 4850 down the road if you ever get a larger monitor.

Nobody knows the power requirements yet for the card, but I really don't think it'll be more than the current crop of 8800/3870s. I'm running a card that is supposed to draw up to 20 amps on the 12v rails and my P.S. is only rated @18. My card runs just fine, over clocked even. So I'm not sure how much it will actually affect you.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 3:02:08 PM

OK, that time I got the link to work. Prices will change if you need to wait anyway, but for the same price I'd go 8800GT vs OC'ed 9600GT. Or save money on the cheaper 9600GT. You can always OC them yourself.
May 30, 2008 3:28:08 PM

pauldh said:
OK, that time I got the link to work. Prices will change if you need to wait anyway, but for the same price I'd go 8800GT vs OC'ed 9600GT. Or save money on the cheaper 9600GT. You can always OC them yourself.


http://www.alternate.nl/html/productDetails.html?artno=... vs http://www.alternate.nl/html/productDetails.html?artno=... vs http://www.alternate.nl/html/product/details.html?artic...

The 9600 seems higher clocked then the 8800, but the HD3870 seems alot higher then that, why would I go with the 8800 then? (Not planning to OC my GFX card)
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 3:37:06 PM

You can't just go by clocks or specs. The 8800GT has 112 stream processors vs the 9600GT's 64, which makes up for clock speeds. But don't let the HD3870 fool you with it's 320 stream processore either. Different architecture.

The 8800GT is more powerful than the 9600GT or HD3870. A high clocked 9600GT can often match it, but that's about it. Then take a high clocked 8800GT and it will pull ahead again and maybe match a stock 8800GTS 512MB. Then take a high clocked one of those it leaves the 8800GT behind, and so on.

Here is a good example. Note the 4 different clocked 9600GT cards. The highest clocked ones approach the stock clocked 8800GT. The reference clocked one by Asus, is below the 8800GT by a good margin. Also in this review is the HD3870. Check the games that matter to you most and compare for yourself:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_9600...


a c 143 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 4:32:19 PM

I'm voting for the second one (the €119 MSI). It's the cheapest, and it's also the only one that pushes the heat directly out of the case.

Good choice, the 8800GT, by the way. I believe Paul is right about the PSU, and it would support an 8800GTS after all, but it's best to avoid using a PSU so close to max IMO. The 8800GT is already plenty for your resolution anyway.
May 30, 2008 4:36:48 PM

I can probaly get a better one for 10/20 euro's more. I heard that the MSI one is an older architecture (90nm instead of 65nm) and it got 96 steam proccessors and its clocked quite a bit lower. But you probaly know it better then me, the third one is probaly to pricy btw. Maybe once NVIDIA introduced theyre new GFX cards theyll get cheaper
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 4:39:29 PM

Oops, that's a GTS 320MB, not a GT. I was looking at the pictures, didn't notice. You want an 8800GT 512MB, absolutely, not a GTS 320MB.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 4:41:16 PM

yes, the MSI is a 320MB 8800GTS, which is slower than a 9600GT more often than not.

What about the one I linked above? Seems to be the cheapest 512MB 8800GT on the site. : http://www.alternate.nl/html/productDetails.html?baseId...

BTW, Make sure you do not buy the 256MB 8800GT.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 4:43:02 PM

aevm, I see you caught that already.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 4:47:16 PM

AH, we don't have that model here and I can't read your site.

I greatly disliked the reference 8800GT cooler and put Zalman VF-900 CU coolers on mine.


Here is a before/during/after image:

May 30, 2008 4:57:35 PM

There are so many cards that I have no idea what one to take =\
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 5:23:19 PM

Well, it's your money, your PC, you choose. Personally, I like that MSI with the Zalman cooler more. The image on the Dutch site is misleading, because it's not obvious from it what's going on. In fact that card does have a dual-slot cooler and will push the heat directly out of the case. This is how it really works, IMO:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=14-127-329-04.jpg&Image=14-127-329-03.jpg%2c14-127-329-04.jpg%2c14-127-329-05.jpg%2c14-127-329-06.jpg%2c14-127-329-07.jpg%2c14-127-329-08.jpg%2c14-127-329-09.jpg%2c14-127-329-02.jpg&S7ImageFlag=0&WaterMark=1&Item=N82E16814127329&Depa=0&Description=MSI+GeForce+8800+GT+NX8800GT+512M+OC+Video+Card
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 7:05:50 PM

Do you have a good case, with good cooling? If you do, then that's a good choice, sure.
May 30, 2008 7:11:30 PM

Yup, got like 4 fans running and its a big case. I dont remember the brand, its a Case Modding case. Could take a picuture tomorrow if youd like
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 7:14:34 PM

No need, I'm sure it will be OK. I was just asking because the single-slot video card moves the hot air to other places in the case, and that's a problem for cases like the Sonata or whatever. Your case can handle that, no worries.
a b U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 7:26:14 PM

That cooler on the XFX is pretty loud. The fan runs 100% all the time. If your PC is already loud, no problem. If you like a quiet rig, forget that card or you'll be buying a zalman fanmate to lower it's fan voltage and RPM. I do that with my XFX 8800GS with the same cooler.
May 31, 2008 11:48:57 AM

I just bought it and it exceeded all my expectations! What a great card! And it isnt loud at all, its quite quitte here :p  Thanks all for your help
a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2008 5:57:10 PM

Glad you like it. Game on.

Is the video card fan a two wire fan or 4 wire fan?
May 31, 2008 5:57:23 PM

Ok, my card is running pretty hot. I can change how the fan runs, at 100% (dan noise) its like 60C idle. But at 30% it can go to 75C idle. Is this healthy or is something wrong?
May 31, 2008 5:57:55 PM

pauldh said:
Glad you like it. Game on.

Is the video card fan a two wire fan or 4 wire fan?


4 wire if I am right, not sure. My dad installed it
a b U Graphics card
May 31, 2008 6:00:40 PM

Ah, that would explain it. 4 wire fan = variable speed and typically very quite. The one in the picture is a 2 wire fan just like mine. 2 wire fan spins 100% RPM all the time and is pretty loud.
May 31, 2008 6:02:32 PM

pauldh said:
Ah, that would explain it. 4 wire fan = variable speed and typically very quite. The one in the picture is a 2 wire fan just like mine. 2 wire fan spins 100% RPM all the time and is pretty loud.


Mines loud but I can change the speed, look up 2 posts before this one please
June 1, 2008 7:28:25 AM

Xisuthros said:
Ok, my card is running pretty hot. I can change how the fan runs, at 100% (damn noise) its like 60C idle. But at 30% it can go to 75C idle. Is this healthy or is something wrong?


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