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PCI Express help

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April 13, 2009 10:21:04 AM

I want to upgrade my current pc to run Microsoft FSX a little better. I currently have a Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard and a Radeon X700 graphics card.

I am looking to upgrade to at least 512mb graphics card but am getting confused by the new connection options on the boards. I think I am right in saying that my MB will support up to two PCIE x 16 graphics cards. But most of the 512mb cards I come across are PCIE 2.0. Are they backwards compatible? If so is it wise to fit a v2 to a v1 board?

Can anyone suggest a good 512mb card that will work with my MB? Ideally I want to spend less than £60 as I am planning for a new system later in the year.

Thanks for your help.
Luke.

More about : pci express

April 13, 2009 10:47:12 AM

PCI-E 2.0 video cards are backward compatible with PCI-E 1.0

Less than £60. Perhaps you can find a Radeon 3850 with that price.
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 12:17:01 PM

I think he could find a ATI 4670 for ~£60 on www.dabs.co.uk depending on the brand.
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April 13, 2009 1:12:58 PM

If you buy a new motherboard it'll have PCI-e 2.0 x16. It is the newest standard and will give you the best results possible. Get a 9600 GT and up if you plan on going NVidia. But if you want ATI get 3870 and up.
April 14, 2009 10:18:47 AM

Thanks for your help so far.

I have been looking around and am considering either the MSI Radeon HD3870x2 1GB GDDR3 PCIE 2xDVI 850/1.8GHz or the HD4650 as both seem to have good gamer reviews.

First of all, will both work on my current board?

Secondly does anyone know if the 3870x2 is worth the additional cost?

Thanks again for your help.

Luke.
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 10:53:04 AM

if your going with 3870x2 check your power supply if its sufficient enough to drive that big graphic card
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 10:58:32 AM

Skip the 3870x2 and go for a cheapier 4850 if you want an upgrade to the 4670.
The 4850 is a much better card than the 3870x2 and will draw less power to boot.

FYI, FSX is highly CPU dependent.
Depending on your current CPU, it may be worth your while to search eBay for a used Athlon 64x2 4800+ (the fastest your motherboard supports).
April 14, 2009 11:46:22 AM

outlw6669 said:
Skip the 3870x2 and go for a cheapier 4850 if you want an upgrade to the 4670.
The 4850 is a much better card than the 3870x2 and will draw less power to boot.

FYI, FSX is highly CPU dependent.
Depending on your current CPU, it may be worth your while to search eBay for a used Athlon 64x2 4800+ (the fastest your motherboard supports).



----


Thanks for your comments. I have found a Athlon 64x2 4800+ 2.5Ghz on ebay for about £45 so will order that. I am also looking at 4850 cards, I have found 2 that look good, one made by Asus & one made by Sapphire, £89.99 & £89.95 respectively. But I am not sure who makes the better card. Would appreciate your thoughts:

Asus Item Number: 310135222500

&

Saphire Item Number: 160328087062

Thanks
Luke

a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 11:50:29 AM

Both are good brands and you should have no issues with either.
If one has an upgraded cooler and/or factory overclocks defiantly go for it.
If they are both stock cards, see if either offers any free games/accessories you might be interested in.
Assuming both packages are identical, I would personally go with the Saphire.
April 14, 2009 12:24:00 PM

outlw6669 said:
Both are good brands and you should have no issues with either.
If one has an upgraded cooler and/or factory overclocks defiantly go for it.
If they are both stock cards, see if either offers any free games/accessories you might be interested in.
Assuming both packages are identical, I would personally go with the Saphire.



----



Thanks for all your help, I have just got one last question. I bought the Saphire card as I couldn't find any technical difference between the cards, but the reviews I found were all focused on the Saphire card.

I am just about to buy the chip but wanted to check, the refernce to 64 (AMDAthlon 64) doesn't mean it is for 64bit os only does it? I am currently running XP.

Thanks
Luke
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 12:26:41 PM

No, it just means it can operate under a 64 bit enviroment in addition to 32 bit.
April 14, 2009 12:51:47 PM

outlw6669 said:
No, it just means it can operate under a 64 bit enviroment in addition to 32 bit.



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Hi, sorry got another question. The Athlon 64 x2 4800+ is a socket AM2 fitting, but the motherboard is a socket 939, will this chip fit? Are they actually the same fitting?

Thanks

a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 1:00:43 PM

No problem, asking questions is the best way to learn :) 

Unfortunately, the AM2 version of that chip will not fit in a s939 motherboard.
AMD made this chip for more than one socket and, unfortunately, your s939 motherboard is the older and least supported one.
If you decide to upgrade your current CPU (as opposed to upgrading your motherboard and getting newer, faster CPU), you will have to be very careful to locate a s939 chip.

Also, make sure and reference your CPU Support List before pushing the buy button to make sure your motherboard supports it.
If you do find a reasonably priced CPU, check to be sure your BIOS does not need an update before installing it.
April 14, 2009 2:22:36 PM

outlw6669 said:
No problem, asking questions is the best way to learn :) 

Unfortunately, the AM2 version of that chip will not fit in a s939 motherboard.
AMD made this chip for more than one socket and, unfortunately, your s939 motherboard is the older and least supported one.
If you decide to upgrade your current CPU (as opposed to upgrading your motherboard and getting newer, faster CPU), you will have to be very careful to locate a s939 chip.

Also, make sure and reference your CPU Support List before pushing the buy button to make sure your motherboard supports it.
If you do find a reasonably priced CPU, check to be sure your BIOS does not need an update before installing it.



------

So....Back to the drawing board. I am looking around on ebay and Dabs for another alternative. I haven't come a cross a chip that will work at the moment so I was looking at new MB & CPU bundles.

I came across an ATHLON AMD 6000+ X2 4GB DDR2 800 Mhz AM2 MSI K9N6PGM2-V which looks fantastic, but is more than I wanted to spend £137.

So I am also looking at AMD Athlon 64 5000+ Dual Core Motherboard Bundle + 1GB (MB is Geforce 7050M--M MATX AM2 DDR2 VGA LAN Motherboard) which is £85.

There seems to be a huge difference in performance for not that much of a saving, is the first bundle worth it's money? Would the Saphire card I bought work with it. I am a bit concerned that micro ATX board would be too small to make room for the card?

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 2:47:47 PM

If you could find an AM2+ board that supports both the CPU you want (5000+) and Phenom II, it would be best as you could upgrade your rig later without changing everything yet again. The ECS 7050M-M (depending on the revision) either supports upd to 6000+ (v1.0A) or Phenom I 9750+ (v2.0) (not bad, but limited).
April 14, 2009 3:25:32 PM

Zenthar said:
If you could find an AM2+ board that supports both the CPU you want (5000+) and Phenom II, it would be best as you could upgrade your rig later without changing everything yet again. The ECS 7050M-M (depending on the revision) either supports upd to 6000+ (v1.0A) or Phenom I 9750+ (v2.0) (not bad, but limited).



----


I don't quite unerstand what you mean. I found a 7050M for about £28 which is a lot cheaper, but I would still need to buy a CPU as it doesn't support 939 which is what my current CPU is.

Or am I missing what you were trying to say?

Looking at the 2 boards the 7050M does seem to be quite a bit better than the MSI board in the bundle, or is that just clever stats and I am comparing the wrong figures?

I guess I could get the 7050M and then look for something like a 6000+ as an individual buy?


a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 3:40:44 PM

I personally like to build my systems with some upgradability headroom. So I was pointing out that if you get the 7050M and the 5000+, you might be limited in further CPU upgrades (similar to your current situation with S939 MB). For example, if in 1-2 year you would like to change the CPU to a Phenom II, the 7050M board won't support it and you will have to change MB again.

You can check the CPUs supported by both revisions of the 7050M board by following these links (v1.0A, v2.0). You would probably get the 2.0 vesion, but you might want to confirm with the store.

If you are ok with the fact that your next upgrade will might require a change of MB, then this is not an issue.
April 14, 2009 3:44:39 PM

Zenthar said:
I personally like to build my systems with some upgradability headroom. So I was pointing out that if you get the 7050M and the 5000+, you might be limited in further CPU upgrades (similar to your current situation with S939 MB). For example, if in 1-2 year you would like to change the CPU to a Phenom II, the 7050M board won't support it and you will have to change MB again.

You can check the CPUs supported by both revisions of the 7050M board by following these links (v1.0A, v2.0). You would probably get the 2.0 vesion, but you might want to confirm with the store.

If you are ok with the fact that your next upgrade will might require a change of MB, then this is not an issue.


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Got you, knew it would be something obvious I was missing. I agree, future proofing this purchase would be nice. Thanks for your help.
!