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New video card or new mobo/cpu?

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October 24, 2008 1:56:37 PM

I currently have a Operton 280 (2.4ghz Dual Core socket 939) with a older MSI SLI mobo (K8N SLI) with 3gb ram running a 8800GT 512. I have the option (and funds) to be able to get either the new GTX 280 1gb video card or new mobo/cpu/ram; I was thinking the MSI P7N with a Intel 8500 and 4-6gb ram. What would be the better option to get? I'd like to be able to play the current games and newer ones decently; I can run FC2 right now OK, CrysisWH is slow at point and I haven't tried the new Brothers in Arms and am eagerly waiting Fallout 3. I will also upgrade to Vista 64-bit as I'm running Vista 32-bit now.

More about : video card mobo cpu

a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 2:25:36 PM

If you need to make a change now I vote for new mobo/cpu/memory.
8800 GT is still a good card.
Bloomfiled is coming out in November. Initially it will be expensive.
a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 2:42:21 PM

If it is within your budget get that mobo, get a 8400 CPU, 4 gigs of ram and another 8800 GT. You will pawn the 280 GTX and the 2-3 frame difference from 6 gigs of ram and 8500 isn't that big.
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a c 302 U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 3:14:04 PM

jromano01 said:
I currently have a Operton 280 (2.4ghz Dual Core socket 939) with a older MSI SLI mobo (K8N SLI) with 3gb ram running a 8800GT 512. I have the option (and funds) to be able to get either the new GTX 280 1gb video card or new mobo/cpu/ram; I was thinking the MSI P7N with a Intel 8500 and 4-6gb ram. What would be the better option to get? I'd like to be able to play the current games and newer ones decently; I can run FC2 right now OK, CrysisWH is slow at point and I haven't tried the new Brothers in Arms and am eagerly waiting Fallout 3. I will also upgrade to Vista 64-bit as I'm running Vista 32-bit now.

You have a reasonably well balanced system now. Don't go overboard on either the mobo-cpu or vga card route, unless you can see your way clear to upgrade the other half later.

I think I would go the cpu/mobo route first, and see how you do.
An E8400 will drive the best single card out there well. Only if you run FSX or supreme commander would you want a 3ghz quad. A P45 motherboard should cost you about $80.
Don't pay extra for features that you won't use.

4gb of DDR2-800 ram is all that you can reasonably use for games. There is no need for more unless you are a heavy multitasker while gaming. Vista home premium-64 would be good. Don't pay extra for faster speed or better timings, it isn't worth much.

If you find that you want more, then I suggest that you market your 8800GT and buy at least a 4870 or GTX260 to get a significant jump in capability. With a 55nm tweak supposidly coming from Nvidia, I would opt for a EVGA card to preserve your option to "step-up" if a better card should arrive within 90 days.
---good luck---
October 24, 2008 4:44:18 PM

Geofelt,

Do you agree that 2x 8800GT will beat out a single GTX260? It would be cheaper for me to get another 8800GT.
a c 302 U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 5:33:53 PM

jromano01 said:
Geofelt,

Do you agree that 2x 8800GT will beat out a single GTX260? It would be cheaper for me to get another 8800GT.

It is not clear to me what would be best. It depends on your resolution, games, and eye candy. I have found the following charts and discussion to be most helpful:
http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts/
There are some cases showing 9800GT-sli which should be equivalent to your proposed 8800GT-sli.
Where do you want to be to get good gameplay?

In general, I like a strong single card because you avoid the game dependent effects of multi-gpu scaling. A 8800GT will go for $85-90 on e-bay. Add that to the $150 cost of a second 8800GT and you can get a GTX260. If you are going to upgrade your mobo and psu anyway, it will cost you less for a single vga card system.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 5:36:53 PM

Buy another 8800GT and keep the rest of your money for later.

Edit: does your PSU support 8800GT SLI?
October 24, 2008 5:46:20 PM

My current PSU does support SLI, but I am going to be purchasing another PSU for the new mobo/cpu - I'd like to keep my old equipment for upgrading my HTPC.

I am thinking of purchasing the E8400, a nice Asus mobo I found on newegg and 4gb of ram and seeing how that works out with the 8800GT. If I still want more, then I'll sell the 8800GT and get the GTX260.
a c 302 U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 5:53:02 PM

jromano01 said:
My current PSU does support SLI, but I am going to be purchasing another PSU for the new mobo/cpu - I'd like to keep my old equipment for upgrading my HTPC.

I am thinking of purchasing the E8400, a nice Asus mobo I found on newegg and 4gb of ram and seeing how that works out with the 8800GT. If I still want more, then I'll sell the 8800GT and get the GTX260.

I think that is a good plan.
If you get a GTX260, consider the EVGA version to preserve your "step-up" option. We may see a 55nm refresh of the 200 series by Christmas.
October 24, 2008 6:15:22 PM

What is it exactly you are trying to do? Are you trying to get better FPS in games? if yes then go for the GTX 280. Don't forget to get one the ebay deal. 30% cash back was it?

a b U Graphics card
October 24, 2008 6:40:55 PM

MoBo/CPU/RAM ALL DAY!!! that is still a great video card, ur current setup is probably bottlenecking that 8800GT right now, let alone a better Video card.

Go Intel, E8400 or 8500 and get at least DDR2 PC 6400 800 MHz ram with low timings or better.

Ps. Get another 8800GT and SLI them if you have the leftover $$$ though you will need to get a decent power supply as well...
October 24, 2008 6:58:56 PM

I am trying to get better FPS in games and run them @ better quality settings than I am now. Warhead kinda runs poorly and FC2 isn't doing as great as I'd like to see on High settings. I am looking to play Fallout 3 and the new BIA without hiccups as well with future games coming out in 09'.
October 27, 2008 11:08:46 AM

Thanks for all the replies guys - I've decided to go with the E8500 and a Asus P5N-D mobo - I also got another 8800GT on eBay for $100 for a nice SLI setup. Thanks again!
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