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BFG 8800 GTX OC Upgrade Options

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 10, 2009 9:28:01 AM

I am new here, but not new to computers. I built a system about a year ago for gaming and I am getting the itch to upgrade the video card. I am wondering what would be the best way to go. Here is what I have:

Intel Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz Processor
BFG 8800 GTX OC 768 MB Ram Video Card
Intel 680i SLI-Ready Motherboard
4 GB RAM (Is This Overkill Since I'm Running 32-Bit Windows XP???)
1000 Watt Thermaltake Power Supply

With this setup running 3DMark06, I got a score of 12,048 when I ran it just now. Is this a decent score for the setup I have and what is considered a tremendous score?

I am running the Thermaltake LCS system on the processor. I bought a waterblock unit specifically for an 8800 GTX card, but it's junk and doesn't fit the card right or I would be running liquid cooling on it too.

What my question is, would it be better to get a second 8800 GTX OC card? Possibly a single or pair of GTX280 cards? Single or pair of GTX295 cards? Which one gives you the best bang for the buck here without breaking the bank?

Thanks in advance.
January 10, 2009 12:41:22 PM

I think you should OC your processor and add another 8800GTX it give bang for buck i think its probs as good at a single GTX280 (thats my opinion because im taking costs into account aswell as performance...)
January 10, 2009 2:21:46 PM

Overclock your processor to 3.0~Ghz or so and you will be amazed to the performance difference.

if you upgrade to anything higher now, you will likely be disappointed with the results if your monitor is 1680x1050 or less.
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January 11, 2009 7:15:03 AM

Thanks for the responses. I have some questions now.

1. Overclocking the processor - How hard is this to do and how does one go about doing it? I have heard of doing it and know the basics of what it does, but not exactly sure how to actually do it.

2. Cooling the processor - With the waterblock I have, how high can I go with overclocking it before I run into heat problems? The processor is the only thing being liquid cooled inside the computer and the radiator has three 120 MM fans blowing across it and the room temperature never gets above 70 degrees where I have the computer.

3. Processor stability - How high can I go before the processor gets unstable and I have problems there?

4. Other hardware - Do I need to do anything with the rest of the hardware or just overclock the processor?

5. Second video card - Where is the best place to look for finding a second BFG 8800GTX OC card at to run in SLI with the one I have? Do I have to find the same exact video card or will any 8800 GTX card work? I am thinking since mine is overclocked from the factory that I would need another one with the same clock speeds???

6. Increase in performance - How much of an increase will I see by overclocking the processor? How much of an increase will I see by just adding a second card and not overclocking the processor? How much of an increase with both?

Thanks for the answers so far. I really appreciate it.
January 11, 2009 11:39:03 AM

Well in my opinion your processor is most likely accting as a bottleneck so OC your processor will mean that you'll see a Performance boost from the get go heres a very good guide in my opinion (http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=28&t...) now the 8800GTX wont matter which one you get but if you got another one the same as yours you'll see a maybe 5% difference in the exact same ones or another one add yours but if you get another card and do not overclock your processor you will see NO difference... Your other hardwares fine...
January 11, 2009 2:24:59 PM

Use this guide to overclock your 680i and q6600.

http://www.nvidia.com/docs/CP/45121/nforce_680i_sli_ove...

Also, use this guide http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overc...

With the q6600, DO NOT let your temps get above 71c. DO NOT set your cpu voltage > 1.50 in bios.

Use Prime95 sm fft to stress test your cpu. Don't forget to enable round off checking under the advanced tab to stop stressing a core if/when it fails.

With water cooling you should be able to wasily overclock your cpu to 3.2ghz, likely 3.6ghz...goodluck, have fun, read, and be careful!!

January 11, 2009 4:13:19 PM

Get a gtx 280 or 4870 1gig. (For the gtx 280 I have the EVGA flavor and I love it.)

At the current price points, these will be a lot more bang for a reasonable buck. Making an 8800 sli setup won't be as powerful and driver support won't be as good. I think sli 8800s will use more electricity than a single 280 or 4870 and I know they will generate more heat for sure.

Don't go for a gtx295 or 4870x2 or sli unless you get a board upgrade. PCIex 1 will bottleneck that high end of a graphics solution more than your q6600 left at stock speed.

As others have said, learn how to overclock your CPU properly then have at it. The difference in performance is a little subjective so your mileage may vary but at least you won't be wondering what if.

Last but not least there is no such thing as overkill with RAM when you can get it for $20 or less a gig. The same is more true if you upgrade to Vista 64.

Good luck.

January 11, 2009 6:39:10 PM

"Don't go for a gtx295 or 4870x2 or sli unless you get a board upgrade. PCIex 1 will bottleneck that high end of a graphics solution more than your q6600 left at stock speed. "


^VERY wrong.
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