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Replacing my 8600GT

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
June 26, 2009 3:13:31 AM

So I kinda have a hard choice at the moment. I've recently gotten a bit more money after college ended (scrounging off the government whilst looking for a new job maaaan!) and decided to get back into gaming after my several month long hiatus.

I'm thinking of getting a new video card which'll hopefully play most recent games at top settings (or near enough) OR some console games. (Such as Fallout 3, Dead Space, Fear 2, Crysis, Far Cry 2, etc, etc, etc)

Now, if I WAS to buy a video card - which should it be?

I'm not up to date at all on video cards sadly... I had my eye on the Radeon 4770 and the 4870, which my PSU doesn't have any PCI-E 6pin connections, and these cards need two! So, is there an nVidia equivalent? Or is there some sort of Molex-to-PCI-E connector out?


Windows 7 64-bit
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
4GB PC2-6400
GeForce 8600GT
Generic 550w PSU that cost like £20

Thanks very much!

More about : replacing 8600gt

June 26, 2009 3:22:50 AM

The first thing you're going to need is a new, high quality power supply. I have very little faith that a generic PSU lacking a single PCI-E connector is going to handle any current cards.

Before any recommendations can be give, there are a few questions that need answering.

1) What resolution do you play at?
2) What framerates are you looking to get? (Are you comfortable with 15 fps? Do you start twitching whenever you drop below 60? Or are you an average gamer just looking for something in the 35-50 range?)
3) What's your budget for this entire upgrade?
4) Where would you order your parts from? I noticed you used the British Pound symbol, so I expect you would not be ordering from the same places us North Americans order from, which can lead to price discrepancies.
June 26, 2009 4:19:09 AM

Threads begin that way because a solid PSU is the foundation of every computer system. A poor quality unit can cause poor performance, system instability, or burn itself out and damage other components in the process. Putting a £150 GPU at the mercy of a £20 PSU is never advisable.
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June 26, 2009 4:26:49 AM

^+1
Never skimp on a power supply (I learned the hard way).

I particularly would like see the answer to number 3 please.
June 26, 2009 4:27:35 AM

you must like buying parts more than once if you like cheepy PSUs joe. Granted, not everyone needs a PCP&C or Corsair, but buying a crap PSU is a death warrent for the rest of your system.

@ OP: As already said, depending how much you want to spend and what resolution you play at, there are alot of good cards available. Post back with more info and well be glad to make a reccomendation.
a c 412 U Graphics card
June 26, 2009 5:18:12 AM

My recommendation is to keep the PSU if you buy the HD 4770 since it uses about 50w of power compared to 130w for the HD 4870. The power draw should not stress the PSU too much. Typically a molex / 6-pin adapter is included as part of the video cards accessories. But accessories varies from brand to brand so you need to verify before you buy.

Since the HD 4870 draws more than double I would recommend you replace your current PSU with a good brand like: Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling or Seasonic (which make PSU for the 3 other brands mentioned). Other good (above average) brands are Forton Source (or FSP), OCZ, Enermax, Silverstone and Sparkle.

June 26, 2009 10:05:27 AM

efeat said:
The first thing you're going to need is a new, high quality power supply. I have very little faith that a generic PSU lacking a single PCI-E connector is going to handle any current cards.

Before any recommendations can be give, there are a few questions that need answering.

1) What resolution do you play at?
2) What framerates are you looking to get? (Are you comfortable with 15 fps? Do you start twitching whenever you drop below 60? Or are you an average gamer just looking for something in the 35-50 range?)
3) What's your budget for this entire upgrade?
4) Where would you order your parts from? I noticed you used the British Pound symbol, so I expect you would not be ordering from the same places us North Americans order from, which can lead to price discrepancies.


Ah sorry, I was actually thinking of these questions when I was writing the thread, but I forgot!

1) 1440x900
2) Hopefully 35-50, aslong as it's smooth
3) Around £100
4) United Kingdom, so sadly sites like NewEgg are out!
June 26, 2009 11:50:53 AM

Yeah was looking at that 4850 XXX actually!

Is a new PSU really necessary? Or do you think I could hold off a month on the PSU and just get the GPU?
June 26, 2009 2:05:47 PM

If you cant do both, I personaly reccomend set the money you would spend on a GFX card aside and start saving for the PSU purchase, and then buy both at the same time. The risk associated with putting a heavy load on a cheepy PSU are just too scary to me. Also in a couple months you should be able to get more card for your money.
June 26, 2009 4:15:30 PM

Well, haven't had any problems with the PSU, my cousin has the same one aswell since we bought our components at the same time, it's pretty silent too. Not had any problems with it.

But... had a look at some benchmarks and comparisons of the 4850 XXX, was less than impressive...
June 26, 2009 8:10:19 PM

B-Unit said:
If you cant do both, I personaly reccomend set the money you would spend on a GFX card aside and start saving for the PSU purchase, and then buy both at the same time. The risk associated with putting a heavy load on a cheepy PSU are just too scary to me. Also in a couple months you should be able to get more card for your money.

+1 DX11 cards are going to be coming out by the end of the year, making all the DX10 card's prices fall.
June 26, 2009 10:48:47 PM

You might be able to use your current PSU, but as PSU quality gets lower, the higher the chance of it catastrophically failing and taking out some of your expensive gear. If you feel lucky, sure you can stick with what you've got, but be aware of the potential consequences.

If you're not in a rush, it would behoove you to wait a few months to save up some extra cash to get a solid, long-lasting PSU and to wait for the DX11 cards to come out to push the DX10 card prices down.
a c 109 U Graphics card
June 26, 2009 11:28:47 PM

Due to the fact that 4770s are in short supply and generally cost more than lower end 4850s, I say go with a 4850. It's a little faster and even though it uses more power than the 4770 a generic 500W unit should be enough so long as it has enough amps on the 12v rail. You will have to use a PCI-E to molex adapter though. If you want to get a video card faster than that though it is advisable to upgrade your PSU and you may want to consider upgrading your CPU, or at least overclocking it, as well.