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GPU Upgrade, CPU bottleneck?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 20, 2009 10:03:43 AM

Hi everyone!

Since I am planning to upgrade my GPU from a 7950GT to a GTX 260 or 4870/90, I am concerned that my CPU might be a bottleneck. I am running a C2D E6600 (2,4 GHz) and because I am not into all those technical details, I am asking you for advice. Hopefully, my CPU won't be an issue - otherwise I would run into budget problems ;-) Thanks!
July 20, 2009 10:16:46 AM

You should be fine.

My recommendation goes to the 4870 as it can be found for around 125-130 on newegg.
a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2009 11:32:31 AM

^+1...
The E6600 is a good CPU...
Get the 4870 1GB/ GTX 260, which ever is cheaper...
Just a suggestion...try overclocking your CPU as it would improve the overall performance...
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July 20, 2009 11:37:21 AM

Thanks for your assessments! I am glad to hear that I probably won't run into any serious issues :-)

While narrowing down the selection of cards I might purchase, another question crossed my mind: how much memory should the new gfx card have? Is it sufficient to stick to 1GB or would it be sensible to invest more and have 2GB of memory?
July 20, 2009 11:53:23 AM

Depends on the resolution you're gaming at.

Most people don't really care and buy whichever is cheapest.

512mb vs 1gb really only makes a difference at 2560x1600?

So you should be fine with whatever is cheapest. Seriously. Enjoy :D 
a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2009 11:54:18 AM

Never buy 2GB cards...they are just marketing tactics to lure in buyers but actually have no performance gains for the extra money...
The current graphic cards, actually don't fully utilize the 1GB vRAM let alone 2GB...
So it is not worth going with the 2GB ones...Instead you can spend the extra money on cards that have aftermarket cooling and overclocked versions...
a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2009 11:56:25 AM

And if you were wondering the correct reason why, it is the memory bus that links the RAM to the chip...As they are very limited, they dont utilize the large memory buffer properly...
July 20, 2009 4:56:04 PM

Alright, thanks to your input I am probably going to buy a 4870 with a Vapor-X cooling system from Sapphire. It seems there is a slightly overclocked ("TOXIC") version available, which shouldn't be too loud with that non-standard cooling system. But just in case I missed something: are there any GTX 260 216 cards available which are comparable to those Sapphire cards regarding noise level and performance? I haven't found any.

I guess my 500W PSU will be sufficient for the new card.
July 20, 2009 5:10:25 PM

I'm assuming the card you're looking at is 154.99 on newegg. Unless I managed to forget in the time it took to change windows.

Why not save five bucks and get a card with a WAY better warranty?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But then the question comes in...why not just upgrade to a 4890 ha.

We still don't know what res you're gaming at, if you're on something like a 19" ws I'd say just save the money altogether and buy a 512mb version of the card.

Sapphire has one for 130 & xfx for 135.

July 20, 2009 5:48:06 PM

The reason why I want a card with a non-standard and quieter cooling system is that I tend to find the noise level of stock cooling systems rather annoying.

I don't want a silent PC but I don't want a second vacuum cleaner either ;-) Thus, I hope the Vapor-X system (or a comparable one on a GTX260) system will do the job.

At the moment I only use a 19" monitor (at 1280x1024) but I am going to upgrade it before next year to at least a 22" one.
July 23, 2009 5:33:03 PM

As of today I own a Sapphire 4870 Toxic 1GB graphics card. Seems to be a decent one. Unfortunately, I already ran into an issue that is new to me: When I run 3DMark06 it might happen that during the switch between the tests the benchmark aborts with the following error message: "IDirect3DDevice9:: Present failed: Device lost (D3DERR_DEVICELOST)". Does this mean there is a serious problem either with the card or my machine?

Apart from that I was able to complete one 3DMark06 run (1280x1024 and Optimal Performance settings in CCC) and my system scored around 10500 3DMarks. My old 7950GT scored 5503 3DMarks IIRC. Is the result of the 4870 in line with what one can expect from such a gfx card or is it too low?
July 23, 2009 6:05:32 PM

Hi. Hope you guys don't mind if I hi-jack this a little.

I have an E6600 also (need to oc), Sapphire x1950xt & Accer AL2216w (1680x1050). I play WoW and watch movies alot.

I was considering upgrading cards in the price range ~$100-150. Would an HD4870 give me a better picture, or just more fps.
What's good for this monitor, or a monitor you recommend?

I had thought the monitor was 1900x1200. I don't have fps issues, just would like sharper picture. Is my monitor decent image quality wise?
Is there a visible improvement in $200-250 range?

Thanks, Russ
!