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Upgrading the 7900GS to max out board, please help choose successor!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 29, 2009 9:26:04 PM

Hello everyone, I am new to Tomshardware.

I currently have the following MB. The below link shows the compatible Graphics cards:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/vga.asp?Model=775Dual-VSTA&s=7...

I currently have the Leadtek 7900GS card and it works great but will now not work with newer games.

I am on a very tight budget and am trying to baby my set-up for another year or so before building a new rig (this rig only lasted me two years-sigh).

Here is what my current system is:

-ASRock 775Dual-VSTA LGA 775 VIA PT880 PRO ATX Intel Motherboard
-Intel Pentium 4 650 Prescott 3.4GHz LGA 775 84W Single-Core Processor Model BX80547PG3400F (Over clocked 3.75 Ghz Max )(E6700 C2D Max CPU)
-A-DATA Vitesta 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ELJPE1908K (2Gig Max)
- Leadtek WinFast PX7900GS TDH 256MB GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card(Max 8800GTS)
-HITACHI Deskstar T7K250 HDT722525DLAT80 (0A31611) 250GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133 Hard Drive
-M-AUDIO Revolution 5.1 5.1 Channels PCI Interface High-Definition Sound Card
-Sony Optiarc Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s
-Rosewill RE502-SLV 500W ATX12V v2.03 Aluminum Power Supply
-APEVIA X-CRUISER-AL Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
-CHIMEI CMV 937A Silver-Black 19" 8ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

Will someone please tell me if it is worth it to purchase the best card on the list (8800GTS/GTX or is there a better option?)
I have been out of the game and do not understand which ATI Radeon card is the best.

My MB has a PCI Express x16 slot, but it only works at x4 mode.

Thanks everyone,

Josh
January 30, 2009 8:04:41 AM

It's hard to say, any recent high end GPU will be bottlenecked by that x4 PCI Express slot.

A HD4670 would probably be a nice upgrade, it's not the fastest thing out there but it will run any new game decently. It's not on the list but I don't really see why it wouldn't work.
a b Î Nvidia
January 30, 2009 1:44:56 PM

Its not just the 4x slot thats a bottle neck, but the 1GB of ram, and the slow single core CPU.

There are two lines of thought on this. First, get only the card that you need. 1GB of ram with a single core CPU and a 4x PCIe slot, I wouldn't get above the 4670 or the 9600GT. Even these might be to high. The second line of thought is to buy big, and use this card in your next build. If your going to buy all new parts in X months, then buy the 48xx or GTX2xx now, and use it in your new computer. The problem with the first idea is that you end up buying two video cards, possibly wasting money. The problem with the second idea is that by the time you finally get that new computer up and running, you might have another "need to upgrade my 7900GS" problem. (replace 7900GS with the card you thought would have been enough of course.)

Seeing as you said a year, I'd go with option one. I wouldn't go to high, you can use it later as a back up card.
Related resources
January 30, 2009 1:51:15 PM

or buy one mid range card and sli/xfire it later.
a b Î Nvidia
January 30, 2009 1:52:02 PM

The list is out of date. It was probably correct at the time the mobo was built, but there are now many newer and better cards.
The prime limiting factor will be your PSU. Rosewill is not noted for quality. I assume that the psu has at least one 6 pin pci-e connector for the vga card.
If so, then a 9800GT would be a nice jump. Any pci-e-x16 card with just one 6 pin connector should be ok. The 4850 would be a bit faster, but changing drivers is avoided if you stick with nvidia.
a b Î Nvidia
January 30, 2009 9:59:43 PM

The 7950GX2 isn't a good card anymore. Two 7900GS (or are they 7900GT?) cards in SLI doesn't rock as much as it used to. Even a single 8800GT is probably faster. Toss in DX10, newer shader model supports lower power and heat, and the 7950GX2 don't make much sense.
!