New System Build: Upgrade from GeForce 6600 GT / 7900 GT

I am currently trying to put together a nice build for my sister to play games on, mainly Warhammer Online and quite a few others.

One thing I have run into is the GPU decision. I am torn between the 9800 GTX+ and the HD 4850. Many reviews give the 4850 the upperhand, however the 4850 has massive heat issues, unless you want to pay more for one that comes with an aftermarket cooler on it (HIS ICEQ 4 for example).

I have read a lot of the articles and forum posts about this issue, but none of them really pertain specifically to what I am looking for.

She currently is running an AGP version of the GeForce 6600 GT, along with a P4 (socket 478) Northwood processor (yes, I know, its ancient, that is why she needs the new build).

EDIT: So far the build is based on a P43 board with an E8400 at the heart of it.

Which would you recommend? I am also pretty heat-paranoid when it comes to building a PC.

On a side note, I am finishing my upgrade from a P4 Prescott and GeForce 7900 GT and am curious to know the GPU selection, as I will probably order the same card I use in her build for my PC.

Thanks. :)
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More about system build upgrade geforce 6600 7900
  1. I wouldn't say the 4850 has "massive heat issues". I've read that by bumping up the idle fan speed just a little people have dropped about 20C off their idle temp. I would say go with the 4850.

    Then again, anything is going to be in a whole new ballpark compared to the 6600 GT. :)
  2. Yeah, I guess changing the fan speed from 20% to 40% was the key. Many said that improved the temps with very little impact on the noise coming from the card.

    What about the 7900 GT? Is it a big upgrade for that as well?
  3. Well as you said there is the IceQ from HIS, but its $200. At that price the 4850 becomes questionable being as you could get two 8800GT/9800GT for only $15-$30 more and simply crush it. But being as its on a P43, thats not in the equation.

    **EDIT** As you say, 40% is the sweet spot for the fan on teh 4850 and 4870. Great balance between noise and cooling.
  4. the 4850 has no"massive heat issues" its ati not setting the fan speed correctly, instead of it spinning at 35/45% they have it going at some rediculisly low speed
    the new beta drivers has a fix, well more of a slider so you can put the fan up or down

    If you can find that card, you won't have trouble choosing :P

    Anyway, the 9800GTX+ dies when you start cranking up AA and all goodies.

  6. I wouldn't worry about it too much. You can just turn up the idle fan speed, which should really help alot, or you can go with something like this Sapphire card. It's suppose to run pretty cool and it has a custom PCB.
  7. all so can you tell me if that chipset your getting is pci-express gen2
  8. rangers said:
    all so can you tell me if that chipset your getting is pci-express gen2

    Yeah it has PCIe 2.0, it's a P43 MoBo according to what he said.

  9. Thanks everyone. I was originally going to go with the 4850, and get the Vision Tek version, however they seem to have taken the old Vision Tek down and replaced it with a smaller version and a non-standard HSF.

    What about the Sapphire or Asus card based on the original reference design by ATI? Would those work just fine with a tuning of the fan?
  10. Yes, they will work perfectly, but they are a little longer; keep that in mind :P

  11. I did a little more research today, and I think I am gonna shell out the extra cash for the HIS IceQ4 version. Many many people report that thing being absolutely silent, even at 75% fan speed. Load temps are 55C - 60C with fan at 50%.

    For about that same price point I can go with a 9800 GTX+, however I believe that the 4850 kills the 9800 GTX+ when you push the AA and AF up.

    Also, the stock reference design 4850 tends to sound like a hair dryer as it approaches 50% fan speed, or so I read. Can anyone confirm this? Also, does anyone have an idea of noise levels for the 9800 GTX+?

    What I am also thinking about right now is not going for either of those cards. My sister is trying to keep the cost under $500, and the 4850/9800 push it up to around $600+. Would a 9800 GT or 8800 GT be a good fit for an upgrade from a 6600 GT to play, say, Warhammer Online with higher settings?

  12. Yes, the reference fan is a turbine. At 40% its glass shattering, 40% on this 4870 is fine though, still loud. I would stick to your guns and snag the IceQ 4 model, the extra cooling+silence is worth the extra cash.

    As far as saving cash, if thats the case then just get the 9800GT man, it will save you a good $80 and be within good enough distance performance wise, the numbers arent earth shattering thats for sure. WAR is not a demanding game at all, hell AA isnt even supported, neither are "high res" textures to be honest.
  13. Spathotan,

    Thanks for the input. Like you said, I will probably get the IceQ 4 for my rig. The 4850 really is a good card, but the stock cooling is just not my thing.

    As for the 9800 GT, I will put it out on the table along with the other options including the 4850 IceQ 4. I still have to decide whether or not to put an E8400 or an E7200 in her rig as well.
  14. You could save another $50-$60 by getting the E7200, and just overclocking it if you are into that. That chip can OC extremely easy while maintaining temps/voltage well in the safe zone. You arent looking for anything extreme anyways.
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