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Should I Even Bother buying a new card?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
June 27, 2008 3:39:19 AM

hey all, first post here, and i just have a quick question...my computer is about 3 years old, and ive been replacing some parts.. i just got 2gb more of ram and now im thinking of getting a new graphics card, either an 8800gt or ATI 4850... however, i would like to know if my processor could handle a new graphics card, and if there would be any point in getting a new card (my current is an ATI x300 ahah)

my processor is an Intel Pentium 4 3.00GHZ, and uses hyperthreading technology... so basically its a single core, but tricks the comp into thinking its a dual core. soo, do you think i should spend $200 to buy one of the above cards?? thank you so much.

More about : bother buying card

June 27, 2008 3:41:45 AM

You would definitely see an approvement, but i'd reccommend getting atleast a Pentium dual core @ 2.4 ghz to get all you can out of the card
June 27, 2008 3:51:10 AM

If it's not a name brand PC with proprietary motherboard, then I'd recommend getting a new motherboard, RAM and CPU. Though I prefer AMD myself (for obscure reasons), I'll admit that a good deal now for performance is a Wolfdale dual core Intel or even a Q6600 Intel quad core.

Heck, a B3 Phenom 9750 quad or triple core 8750 on a lowly Gigabyte 780G board would do wonders with a 4850. I cannot see mating even the last gen 3850 to that hyperthreading dinosaur. You know what I have in my old 4th PC? The one with a P4 630 and ATI X200 board? A 3650. That's about all it can handle without being CPU limited.

So, upgrade your CPU, motherboard and RAM first. Then get a new card. You won't see the performance increase otherwise, and even if you can find a Pentium D, it won't do enough good.
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June 27, 2008 3:55:40 AM

ok cool, so i take it that new processor would run me around $250 then? and i know this question mustve been asked before, but which of those two cards would you recommend? ive heard great things about both too
June 27, 2008 4:05:26 AM

4850 is $199.99 and performs better than 8800GT. A new processor, E8400 (3ghz dual core) costs $189.99 and Q6600 (2.4ghz quad core) costs $199.99.
June 27, 2008 4:06:32 AM

I'd get a 4850. You didn't mention your power supply. You might need to upgrade that too. Both cards you mention need enough amps on the 12 volt rail. For example, for my 3870x2, I upgraded to a power supply that had a 6 pin and an 8 pin power connector.

Here's what I have:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just got a new motherboard but haven't installed it yet, I was just going to transfer my CPU, but I'm waiting till the 95 watt version of the Phenom 9850 arrives this fall:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If I don't get the 95 watt 9850 (125 watt versions won't work on this board), then I'll get the following triple core:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

CPU performance is a bit less than Intel's but not horrible unless you're used to overclocking Intel Q6600's etc. as the norm. The 8750's reached 2.8 stable on air, which is the best overclock AMD has right now.

Anyways, other people can give you advice on Intel boards, chipsets and CPU's. I'll freely admit that Intel's a bit better, but their boards and CPU's are a bit pricier.

Also, you should get DDR2 1066 RAM to make proper use of a Phenom. That's another reason I'm holding off (summer vacation costs are higher this year as oil's insane per barrel). I wouldn't use older DDR2 800 RAM with the newer CPU.

If you go AMD, then you might want a 770 or 790 board. I like the 780G because I like the onboard graphics (the best there is right now) for a third monitor when I want the option).
June 27, 2008 4:10:28 AM

dont bother gettin the new graphics card. as almost everyone here tells you to buy more then just a graphics card. really wait a bit the buy a whole new computers, personally i think thats the best way to go.

just to let you know i got the same P4 3Ghz HT OCed 3.4Ghz and its limiting the system.
June 27, 2008 4:11:11 AM

thedeadmonky said:
ok cool, so i take it that new processor would run me around $250 then? and i know this question mustve been asked before, but which of those two cards would you recommend? ive heard great things about both too


It depends... what is your current set up right now? What kind of motherboard do you have? PSU? You just bought some memory so that is a good start.

If you are looking for an upgrade just to hold you over a few months maybe hold off a bit more and upgrade all at once. However if you feel that you cant live without high performance I would opt for a cheap proc. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and probably grab the 4850 or the cheapest 3870 you can find. That would just barley put you over $200 and you'd live for a few more months maybe a year.
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2008 4:11:13 AM

Of the 2 the 4850 is a better card hands down. It should just get better as the drivers mature. The first day or so there were some rebates so the cost was $170 . Demand was so high that they dropped the rebates fast so now $200 pretty much everywhere. The 8800GT can be had for $140-$150 after rebates on Newegg. New quality Intel proc dual core running from $130 for the E7200wolfdale to $190 for the E8400. Quad core Q6600 about $210. You can go higher, but those are good bang for the bucks.
Personally i'd get the 4850 first, then start saving for the future upgrade
June 27, 2008 4:12:12 AM

iluvgillgill said:
dont bother gettin the new graphics card. as almost everyone here tells you to buy more then just a graphics card. really wait a bit the buy a whole new computers, personally i think thats the best way to go.

just to let you know i got the same P4 3Ghz HT OCed 3.4Ghz and its limiting the system.

I have to agree... start saving and dip into that penny bank in a few months and build a new rig! :kaola: 
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2008 4:13:56 AM

As Yipsl said, you may need a new power supply for the higher end cards. Get quality and move it along with the card to new system in the future
June 27, 2008 4:17:35 AM

Alot of people said it, New video cards are out, New CPUs are on the way, We should see price drops soon.

I say that Holiday should be your best bet. And if you make a system, don't buy piece at a time, by the time you get the computer all together it will be a waste.

buy all at once, and spend a pretty penny to have a stable couple of months:) 

I decided to go water cooling and thats it till holiday:D 
June 27, 2008 4:28:54 AM

yeah the only thing i've bought so far was 2gb of ram, which was only $50, considering i only had 512mb before haha. anyways, i'm fine with my setup now, and i can run games fine, except obviously the newer games, such as mass effect and crysis, which my current card cannot run, so this is why i sorta wanna improve my card.. however, because the RAM wasnt much of a money sink, i think ill prolly save my money up and wait till the holidays to go looking for a new setup, and maybe there will be some upgrades by them to the cards..
June 27, 2008 4:33:08 AM

yeah the only thing i've bought so far was 2gb of ram, which was only $50, considering i only had 512mb before haha. anyways, i'm fine with my setup now, and i can run games fine, except obviously the newer games, such as mass effect and crysis, which my current card cannot run, so this is why i sorta wanna improve my card.. however, because the RAM wasnt much of a money sink, i think ill prolly save my money up and wait till the holidays to go looking for a new setup, and maybe there will be some upgrades by them to the cards..
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2008 4:33:54 AM

Id be willing to bet that is ddr memory you just bought and you will need ddr2 for the newer systems. Good thing is ddr2 is dirt cheap and you will easily be able to afford the new memory as compared to the ddr prices.