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Just bought Radeon 4850/4870/New PSU/RAM Very Frustrated On What To Do

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December 30, 2008 1:28:46 PM

First Post!, Hi all!... Please help, So frustrated...

I have a HP m7250n Media Center PC from 2005.

PentiumD 820 2.8 GHZ / 800 MHz front side bus / Socket 755 / Intel 945P Chipset
Asus Motherboard P5LP-LE
4 GB of PNY PC2 DDR2 240pin Ram (speed supported PC2-3200) **NEW**
250GB SATA 7200rpm Hard Drive
650watt BFG Power supply **New**
Visiontek 4850 512mb & Visiontek 4870 512mb **NEW**
**Total New Parts $600**

This whole thing got started when I saw the new Gateway FX6800-01e at best buy. I bought the system for $1249 which included the new Corei7 chip, ddr3 ram 3gigs, HD4850, etc. I got it home and was just not impressed with it. The games weren’t “THAT” much faster than on my HP with the 4850.
So I returned the system, and thought to myself, well, what if I buy the HD4870, upgrade my power supply, and add 4 gigs of ram to my HP? It should run awesome, right?

Well there was no difference in performance with those upgrades to my HP.
So now I have 2 video cards a HD4850 and HD4870, Just bought 4 gigs of ram for my old computer, and a new 650 watt PSU, and now $600 poorer.
I’m really confused and frustrated on what to do here. Should I just take everything back and just stick with my 4850 on this HP computer? Should I re-buy that gateway and keep my power supply and 4870? Should I wait until prices come down for a better deal? Can my HP PentiumD perform any faster by overclocking?

Please help!
a b à CPUs
December 30, 2008 1:59:03 PM

What i7 did you get? Because if you got a 920, than you are running at a measly 2.6ghz. A STOCK E8400 3.0ghz, when it comes to gaming, will beat up on an i7 920 that is not overclocked at all.

You should not go i7 if you are staying with single video card. The only time i7 beat out fast dual cores like a 4.0ghz E8x00 series is when it is overclocked to 3.6ghz or more and have multiple video card setups.

The problem with your old system is you are using a slow processor. Yes a Pentium D 820@2.8ghz is slower than a E2180@2.0ghz. If you want that HD4870 to shine, I recommend just picking up some extra parts.

Find a nice P45 chipset motherboard from Asus or Gigabyte - $130
4gig DDR2 1066mhz PC8500 Ram - $50 - $70
E8400 - $160
Case - Antec 300 Frys - $35 Microcenter - $39
All the rest of the parts should work fine.

This should get you big improvement over your current Pentium D 820.
a c 124 à CPUs
a b α HP
December 30, 2008 1:59:27 PM

Your old PentiumD can't feed that video card fast enough. Check the QVL for that mobo; you can probably put a faster C2D CPU on it, possibly with a BIOS update.
Related resources
a c 124 à CPUs
a b α HP
December 30, 2008 2:02:54 PM

No need for DDR2-1066; the RAM you bought is fine.
Your mobo may not take a Wolfdale CPU even with a BIOS update, but an e4500 or e6750 ought to work.
December 30, 2008 2:15:31 PM

If i'm going to buy a new CPU, Motherboard, Ram, I would want it to be the best I can get for obviously the lowest price, that will last me a few years, and be able to handle new and upcoming games.

Can I use my HP case with a new cpu, mobo?
December 30, 2008 2:43:03 PM

So what is the absolute best CPU for gaming for the price?
December 30, 2008 2:43:56 PM

The 4870 is not a substantial upgrade over the 4850 - so return the 4870 if you can.
December 30, 2008 2:49:42 PM

you should have kept the I7 system, i can,t imaging that that system wasn't faster than your current system because a i7 920 is alot faster then a pentium d820. t see improvement in your performance you will need a new cpu and this means getting a new mobo and ram. it will end up costing you more then the 1250 you paid for the gateway
a b à CPUs
December 30, 2008 2:56:38 PM

If you're talking about NO overclocking:
E8600 - $270
Q9650 - $560

With Overclocking and Single GPU:
E8400 - $160, Once you hit 4ghz, anything more will require alot more voltage increase
Q9550 - $320, this process will be plenty at 3.6ghz - 3.8ghz

With Overclocking and Multiple GPU:
i7 920 - $300 , Absolute best buy. Many reports getting this to the 3.8ghz on air. With water definite 4.0ghz.
a b à CPUs
December 30, 2008 3:01:47 PM

col-p-todd said:
you should have kept the I7 system, i can,t imaging that that system wasn't faster than your current system because a i7 920 is alot faster then a pentium d820. t see improvement in your performance you will need a new cpu and this means getting a new mobo and ram. it will end up costing you more then the 1250 you paid for the gateway



$1250 can buy you a i7 system that can overclock also. I'm pretty sure an OEM like Gateway has locked down BIOS, so there is no option to overclock.
December 30, 2008 3:31:15 PM

Or...Should I Go Core2 Duo / Core2 Quad / Corei7 920?

This PC will only be for gaming.
December 30, 2008 3:37:30 PM

wow that gateway case looks awesome but to bad you cant do a extreme overclock on that setup do to lock bios. seems you have money to burn and already have a 4850 and a 4870. i say try to sell the 4850 and try to pick up another 4870 or sell both cards and get the 4870x2 or wait till the nvidia 295gtx comes out and build a i7 system from scratch. also what kind of monitor you using? and what resolution does it support?
December 30, 2008 3:43:10 PM

I will be using a 22"wide 1680x1050.
December 30, 2008 3:48:47 PM

Wick001. You're a train wreck! You have a 4 year old PC your trying to salvage, thats the first problem. Keep that PC as is and turn it into a 2nd box, or donate to good will or something, but don't try to revive it.

If I were you, I'd return everything you can and build yourself a new machine. The Gateway for $1250 is ok, but if your posting on here I would think you read the site frequently and in that case why aren't you building your own machine?

Give us your budget and we will build you the absolute best gaming machine for your budget.
December 30, 2008 3:51:22 PM

Return it all. Take a deep breath. Think about what you want to do.

Come back here. Describe in as much detail as possible what you want to do including what games you play and what you might play.

Then everyone will help you build the system you want. Probably a much better one that the Gateway.

dave
December 30, 2008 3:55:31 PM

lol, thank you...

I want to stay around $1200.
I want the best system for only gaming possible.
I will not be going over 1680 x 1050 resolution. (happy with my 22" wide)
I would like to stay the ATI route.
Don't know if I should use Vista 32 or 64.

Thank you for the help, this is my first build, so I really don't know what I should get!
December 30, 2008 4:12:57 PM

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard - $136
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128358

Q9550 CPU - $319
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115041

Gskill 4 gigs of ram - $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231122

WD6401AALS 640 Gig HD - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

DVD Burner - $23
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

PC Power & Cooling 750W PSU - $100 ($70 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817341011

Cooler Master Case - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119047

Sapphire 4870X2 Video Card - $490
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102768

Xigmatek CPU Cooler - $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233003

Xigmatek Retention Clip - $9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233019

This comes in around $1325. I would put this PC up against almost anything once you OC it. You can easily get it to 3.6 - 3.8 on air with the Xigamtek Cooler.
December 30, 2008 4:13:37 PM

PS, Vista 64.
December 30, 2008 4:28:29 PM

wick001 said:

This whole thing got started when I saw the new Gateway FX6800-01e at best buy. I bought the system for $1249 which included the new Corei7 chip, ddr3 ram 3gigs, HD4850, etc. I got it home and was just not impressed with it. The games weren’t “THAT” much faster than on my HP with the 4850.
So I returned the system, and thought to myself, well, what if I buy the HD4870, upgrade my power supply, and add 4 gigs of ram to my HP? It should run awesome, right?


bwhahahaha , so as you state it the i7 is a worse system than your stone age p4...

You have to have a 64bit OS to run over 3.2gig of ram.

A basic understanding of how computers work is required before wasting money on a problem that you don't get.


December 30, 2008 4:36:26 PM

That Gateway only comes with 3G RAM and Vista 64-bit. You need 6G to really let a system like that run well.
December 30, 2008 4:36:52 PM

First, nice PSU and nice Video card. 4870 is not a big upgrade from 4850 so return it for the money. What ram did you buy? PC2-3200? You mean PC2-4200? Return it. Get these listed. I chose a quad core cpu because games are starting to utilize multiple cores in the future. Overclocking the Q6600 will be good enough. This rig is the most bang for the money. Get a decent CPU heatsink for overclocking.

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

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

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 30, 2008 4:43:43 PM

serpent1202 said:
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard - $136
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128358

Q9550 CPU - $319
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115041

Gskill 4 gigs of ram - $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231122

WD6401AALS 640 Gig HD - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

DVD Burner - $23
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

PC Power & Cooling 750W PSU - $100 ($70 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817341011

Cooler Master Case - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119047

Sapphire 4870X2 Video Card - $490
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102768

Xigmatek CPU Cooler - $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233003

Xigmatek Retention Clip - $9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233019

This comes in around $1325. I would put this PC up against almost anything once you OC it. You can easily get it to 3.6 - 3.8 on air with the Xigamtek Cooler.


no need for the 4870x2 as he would only be gaming at 16x10. for max eye-candy and even high aa i would recommend the most a 4850x2 at a price point of $330. he could even use his current 4870 512mb. no need for a power supply as he already bought a 650w.
a b à CPUs
December 30, 2008 4:46:27 PM

1) Your Pentium D is too slow to get the most out of the 4850 alone so you won't really see any difference in using a 4870 instead.

2) If you get a P45 board and a Decent CPU then you should be able to crossfire those cards to get some real good gaming performance.
December 30, 2008 5:31:55 PM

Why not the Core i7 920? instead of the Q9550?
December 30, 2008 5:36:07 PM

+1 on Serpent and Javimars.

Piece for piece, Serpent recommended among the best possible choices.

Only thing I would tweek, is to go down to the 4870, as per Javimars. But I WOULD grab that PCP&C PSU and ditch the other one.

That would leave you with perhaps the absolute best possible diminishing returns system (i.e., meaning you would have to spend substantially more to get any kind of a performance increase).

Good luck!
December 30, 2008 5:39:53 PM

Have you ever bought a PC and 6 months later got a new monitor, or a new game came out, and thought man, if I would have spent $50 or $100 more on something, I would still be playing at max settings? That's why I put the 4870X2 in their. It fit the budget and I have never EVER heard a gamer complain about having too powerful of a video card.
December 30, 2008 5:52:02 PM

serpent1202 said:
Have you ever bought a PC and 6 months later got a new monitor, or a new game came out, and thought man, if I would have spent $50 or $100 more on something, I would still be playing at max settings? That's why I put the 4870X2 in their. It fit the budget and I have never EVER heard a gamer complain about having too powerful of a video card.


Becuase he has the 4850 already - if anything the only upgrade he should look into is an xfire MB and a second 4850... 4870X2 is really not required here...
December 30, 2008 5:55:23 PM

i have. just bought my 24" for 260 back on BF and said to my self damn wish i had more vram, but i bought my video card like a year ago. also every 6 months or so ati/nvidia release new cards and the old one drop in prices. for my self i own a 320mb 8800gts and i can buy the 4870x2 right now but im waiting for the nvdia 295gtx to see if ill buy that card or the ati which will be atleast 50$ cheaper ^_^. so for the moment if he is happy with his monitor and wants to build right now, the best choice is a 4870 1gig or lower. a new monitor would run him 280$+
December 30, 2008 5:59:16 PM

Guys,

Why not the new Corei7 instead of the Q9550?

Also, i'm on newegg right now, there are tons of motherboards, how do i know this is the best one?
a c 124 à CPUs
a b α HP
December 30, 2008 6:05:46 PM

Serpent, all your links are broken. It looks like a good build though.
BUT...@OP I agree with James that another video card ought not to be needed. Try the one HD4870 you already have and see how it goes, maybe consider another one for Crossfire.
December 30, 2008 8:30:37 PM

The spec on this mother board http://www.gigabyte.us/Products/Motherboard/Products_Sp...

says...

Memory 4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR2 1366+*/1066/800/667 MHz memory modules

Will this support memory more than 1.8V?
a b à CPUs
December 30, 2008 8:51:07 PM

Yes.
December 30, 2008 10:33:09 PM

What is the best video card for the system mentioned above? I want the best. Will be playing at 1680x1050.
December 31, 2008 6:55:23 AM

serpent1202 said:


If I were you, I'd return everything you can and build yourself a new machine. The Gateway for $1250 is ok, but if your posting on here I would think you read the site frequently and in that case why aren't you building your own machine?


That was my thought, why isn't he building his own? Yet, he may know enough to choose components but cannot build his own for medical reasons, not to mention lack of experience and training.

There was one year where I had a build done for me at a trusted small computer shop and a CPU upgrade done later at Fry's because I was awaiting surgery on cataracts in both eyes.

After I got surgery, two separate operations months apart, I could build PC's again. The doctors said it was rare for someone 50 years old to get such severe cataracts, but those are the breaks.

There's also lack of interest in building a PC. I have a friend who can choose components but I build his PC's because he simply doesn't have the aptitude to do it himself. He doesn't mind adding RAM or a graphics card, but motherboards scare the heck out of him (I built his last system in an hour while he watched so I could help him get over his phobia LOL).

Maybe the OP's in a similar situation?

At any rate, the choices are limited when upgrading a name brand PC. That's why I've always built my own since 1990.
December 31, 2008 12:32:49 PM

Well i priced out both options, the Q9550 , giga mobo, 4 gigs of ddr2 ram, etc... it came out to $1450 with everything including windows vista premium 64.

I priced out the Core i7 920 with 6 gigs for ddr3 ram 1333, with the giga mobo w/support for 3-way sli & Crossfire, windows vista premium 64 everything... $1650 I could probably get it down to around $1550 if i went with less ram, and the cheaper mobo that only supports Crossfire.

So , for around $200 more if i can get the newest technology, that will be upgradeable, and since I'm building a totally fresh system, I see no reason not to get the core i7. I will be wasting my money on the 775 chipset, ddr2 ram, etc...

Don't you agree?
January 1, 2009 12:55:44 AM

On a serious note...

Did I do OK on my first build? Are all of the parts worth it??? How will this compare to my HP m7250n Pentium D 820 from 2005????

1 x ($99.99) MS WIN VISTA HM PREM SP1 64BIT 1PK% - OEM $99.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($149.99) MEM 2Gx3|GSK F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ R - Retail $149.99

1 x ($79.99) HD 640G|WD WD6401AALS % - OEM $79.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($489.99) VGA SAPPHIRE 100251SR HD4870X2 2G R - Retail $489.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($134.99) PSU PCPWR&COOL|S75QB BK - Retail $134.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($69.99) CASE APEVIA(ASP)|CASEX-CRUISER-BK R - Retail $69.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($294.99) CPU INTEL|CORE I7 920 2.66G 45N R - Retail $294.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($298.99) MB GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 X58 RTL - Retail $298.99


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 x ($-20.00) DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #147058$-20.00

(I only paid $1380, some of the items were gifts)
January 1, 2009 10:16:54 AM

I think you have to build an i7 rig.
Perhaps you can keep the 4870 since you won't be playing a very high resolutions.
You can have bigger Hard disc as games are becoming very space hungry.
The last game I installed, GTA IV, used more than 16 GB of storage capacity.

You can also have a Blu-ray reader or burner to be able to watch HD movies.

I think with that all the money you have your system will be an overkill one!!!!
January 1, 2009 11:00:44 AM

Haven't there been DRM issues with Blu-ray on the PC? I was going to get a Blu-ray drive to go along with a 24" LCD with my bonus and/or income tax return, but if movies have issues on the PC, then forget it. I'll wait till I finally get an HDTV.

January 1, 2009 4:44:28 PM

Do you guys think that is a good deal for $1600???
January 2, 2009 12:38:10 AM

I don't know, I've never had $1600 for a build. When I have $1600, it goes into 3 builds LOL. What I usually have is $800 a year which goes into upgrades, or one build plus minor upgrades.

While I can understand the argument that i7 is best with two GPU's, if you get a Crossfire board you can always pick up the second GPU down the line. AMD's coming out with new graphics cards in June, so a second 4870 should be cheaper then.

Also, you should game at higher than average resolutions to get the most out of your new system. If you provided the resolution you're gaming at, then I missed it. I recommend a 24" LCD at the very least. If you're using your old monitor at lower resolutions, then your new system's overkill.

!