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Need some advice on graphics card upgrade...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 18, 2009 2:55:55 PM

Hi im looking at upgrading my graphics card, when i originally built my system i skimped a bit to save some money and brought myself a PNY Geforce 8800 GT 256mb for about £39. Now im really struggling with getting any decent framerates with the main game i play (World of Warcraft).

Current PC Spec:
AMD 6000 Dual Core
4GB DDR2 800MHZ
Vista 32bit
Res - 1280x1024
Corsair 550W Power Supply

Now im a bit tight on money as normal and im looking at spending around £70 and at a push could manage £90.

The main card i've been doing alot of looking at is an ATI 4670 512mb.

This one in particular for £64:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150851

Just looking for some advice, is the card im looking at going to be any better than what im currently using ? Or is there any other cards i should take a look at before i splash the cash ?

Any help or advice will be great, thanks for your time.
a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 4:39:59 PM

The HD4670 would be such a small improvement over the 8800GT 256mb at 1280X1024 that i really doubt if it would be worth your money.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

I'd recommend you save your cash until you can pick up a HD4850. If you really really can't wait, then spend the extra cash for a HD4830 at about 90L
a c 191 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 18, 2009 4:41:34 PM

You need to aim higher;

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/best-graphics-card,review...

If this cart is correct you`ll need to look at either a HD4830 or 9800 GT to get any useful boost.
Both CCL and Overclockers have 9800GT for just under your 90 pound maximum.

Have you noticed the framerates dropping over a period of time, or were they just bad from the start?
Perhaps it`s just time to give the PC a clean out and thin out any unwanted or seldom used programs.
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January 18, 2009 4:50:56 PM

Hi thanks for your replys.

I have nothing else on my pc other than WoW, and keep it regualry defraged and scan for spyware etc.

Just found out this afternoon that my dual core processor is throttling down to 986mhz every couple of seconds then back upto 3000. Thinking this might be where im having alot of my problems, installed all the so called amd fixes etc and its still throttling down quite bad.

Not sure if i should look at switching processors now of save a bit for a better graphics card. Any idea ?
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 4:59:24 PM

have they done something to WOW recently or why are there so many people having performance problems with it lately?? Did the 'wrath' add performance crippling features or something??

I'd think your current setup should be able to run wow flawlessly...
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 5:01:04 PM

I'm so slow lol...


so hows the temps? clean the dustbunnies off the heatsink and make sure it's firmly seated
a c 191 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 18, 2009 5:02:21 PM

Use CPU-Z to check you processor temperatures!
It could be a software problem, but sounds as if either the processor fan has failed, or the heatsink is full of dust. Either way you MUST CHECK IT NOW!
a c 191 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 18, 2009 5:03:07 PM

I`m also slow it would appear;)
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 5:07:04 PM

well we're not in a hurry, are we? :D 
cpu-z doesn't show temperatures... Coretemp, realtemp, speedfan will...
January 18, 2009 5:07:18 PM

No dust in the case, one 90mm fan at the back and a 120 at the front.

Just downloaded a programme and the temps its showing is.

GPU @ 63C
CPU @ 59C
System @ 42C

The major problems im having is in the 10 and 25 raids in wow when theres a lot going on at once, fps drops down to around 3-5fps and it practically becomes unplayable.
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 5:11:15 PM

idle at 59C isn't good...
put some load on it with prime95 and see what happens

maybe the heatsink has come loose or the thermal paste is ripe for a change
January 18, 2009 5:13:50 PM

Thats with wow running im alt tabbed atm :)  When i orignally installed the chip and fan i just used the default thermal paste that came with it, think i should by some decent stuff and change it up ?
a c 87 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 5:34:09 PM

oh, ok :)  for a load temp that is decent, shouldn't cause any problems...

not sure what could be the problem then. Try running 3Dmark06, it might give some additional info. I'd think the cpu score should be around 1700 and sm scores like 3000-4000?? just guessing here, but if the scores are way lower than that then there really is a problem with the system... wow might have problems of its own :p 
a c 191 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 18, 2009 5:37:21 PM

OK, me bad, I confused GPU-Z with CPU-Z:( 
January 18, 2009 5:37:23 PM

Ok mate cheers, ill get 3dmark06 in a sec and see what scores i get, and ill run prime95 over night.

CPU is upto 66C now after playing wow for an hour, i have my system on pretty much all day everyday, im thinking maybe some new paste/coolers might be in order tbh.
January 18, 2009 8:15:35 PM

Ok just ran 3dmark 06:

CPU Score 1136
SM 2.0 Score 3416
SM 3.0 Score 3557

January 18, 2009 8:29:58 PM

Hmmm my overall score was 6636 and comparing it too others with the excact same setups they all average 12000+ so somethings failing somewhere :( 
January 19, 2009 10:01:21 AM

coozie7 said:
Use CPU-Z to check you processor temperatures!
It could be a software problem, but sounds as if either the processor fan has failed, or the heatsink is full of dust. Either way you MUST CHECK IT NOW!


Following you advice this morning checked my processor fan, and i'll be honest i was pulling out clumps of dust from it, which explains a lot of my problems.

On my last benchmark last night before i went to bed on 3dmark06 my cpu test return a score of 892, however this morning i cleaned out the processor fan, ran the benchmark and the cpu score was up to 2462.

This must be where all my problems were coming from, anyways thanks alot hopefully alot less problems with slowdowns :) 
!