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GPU Upgrade - Will my PSU handle it?

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 25, 2009 7:18:27 PM

Hi

My system setup is currently a Phenom 9600 2.5Ghz, HIS 4850 @ 730/1150, OCZ DDR2 1066, ECS A780GM-A motherboard, and a Raidmax Hybrid 2 535w PSU with 2 PCIE connectors. If I were to upgrade to a 4870 what difference would I see in gaming performance (CoD4, Crysis, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2) and would my PSU be able to handle the card? I'm sure cooling wont be a problem since my case has 5 fans and my 4850 never gets above 54c loaded.

I was thinking of buying 1 of these :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - VisionTek 4870

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

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

My budget isnt exactly high. Im leaning towards the Sapphire model because the cooling though.

More about : gpu upgrade psu handle

a c 208 U Graphics card
August 25, 2009 7:31:11 PM

What resolution are you running at and what FPS are you currently getting? If your 4850 isnt breaking 54 at load you may not be stressing it very much and wont see a benefit from upgrading the GPU.

Raidmax isnt too great so if you could link to the PSU that would help, assuming its decent it should be able to handle the 4870 without exploding.
August 25, 2009 8:01:18 PM

hunter315 said:
What resolution are you running at and what FPS are you currently getting? If your 4850 isnt breaking 54 at load you may not be stressing it very much and wont see a benefit from upgrading the GPU.

Raidmax isnt too great so if you could link to the PSU that would help, assuming its decent it should be able to handle the 4870 without exploding.



Im running cod4 at 1440x900 at max settings and get about 130fps average. I run Farcry 2 at ultra high settings (only x2 AA) at 1280x768 in DX10 and get about 25-30 in the town parts and large battles, and about 40 in the jungle. Crysis at 1280x768 x2 AA with "gamer" settings is unplayable, 10-15fps max.

Heres the link to my PSU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 107 U Graphics card
August 25, 2009 8:18:33 PM

It would be best to upgrade your PSU if you plan to use a more powerful GPU. If you try to use a 4870 with that there is a good chance of you damaging something. Not only that, but in the games were you feel it's running slow, Crysis and Far Cry2, it's your CPU that's holding you back a bit. Upgrading your GPU just isn't gonna be enough to let you play games on the highest settings on that rig. For Crysis lower physics and particle effects settings (mainstream) and take off AA.
August 25, 2009 8:28:24 PM

megamanx00 said:
It would be best to upgrade your PSU if you plan to use a more powerful GPU. If you try to use a 4870 with that there is a good chance of you damaging something. Not only that, but in the games were you feel it's running slow, Crysis and Far Cry2, it's your CPU that's holding you back a bit. Upgrading your GPU just isn't gonna be enough to let you play games on the highest settings on that rig. For Crysis lower physics and particle effects settings (mainstream) and take off AA.


How could it be holding back? Its a quad core...the only reason I bought it. 2.5ghz would seem to be enough, besides I cant overclock this thing stably (is that a word?) beyond 2.5ghz without upping the voltage to an uncomfortable level (1.4V).
a c 208 U Graphics card
August 25, 2009 10:17:53 PM

Because its a slow quad, i am running a 4850 at 1280x1024 with high settings and get ~60, with 2x AA i still get better than 30 at all times. Im running a 3.2GHz Phenom II quad. If you OC your processor a bit your frame rates should improve significantly, or just reduce the CPU intensive parts like the particle effects and physics levels. Swapping the 4850 for the 4870 will not improve your frame rates any. There are many games where a fast dual core will greatly outperform a slower quad.
August 25, 2009 10:57:45 PM

hunter315 said:
Because its a slow quad, i am running a 4850 at 1280x1024 with high settings and get ~60, with 2x AA i still get better than 30 at all times. Im running a 3.2GHz Phenom II quad. If you OC your processor a bit your frame rates should improve significantly, or just reduce the CPU intensive parts like the particle effects and physics levels. Swapping the 4850 for the 4870 will not improve your frame rates any. There are many games where a fast dual core will greatly outperform a slower quad.


I thought the more cores the better, like 4 x 2.5 = 10ghz of power. I didn't realize that it would be that way. I overclocked it by 200mhz more (2.7ghz) and I got about 6-8fps better in Far Cry 2. Shortly after my CPU decided to crash. 0x101 CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT whatever that means. I guess I'm stuck then. Thanks for the info
a c 208 U Graphics card
August 25, 2009 11:02:19 PM

Nope, thats a common misconception unfortunately. If a program only has 2 threads a 2.5GHz quad core will perform no better than a 2.5GHz dual core, and often time the dual cores are clocked higher so they will outperform most quads as most games have been dual threaded up until recently.

Since you cant OC it anymore try decreasing CPU intensive settings such as lowering the particle count or decreasing physics levels, that should help alleviate your CPU bottleneck and get your frame rates up a bit higher.
August 25, 2009 11:48:42 PM

hunter315 said:
Nope, thats a common misconception unfortunately. If a program only has 2 threads a 2.5GHz quad core will perform no better than a 2.5GHz dual core, and often time the dual cores are clocked higher so they will outperform most quads as most games have been dual threaded up until recently.

Since you cant OC it anymore try decreasing CPU intensive settings such as lowering the particle count or decreasing physics levels, that should help alleviate your CPU bottleneck and get your frame rates up a bit higher.


Just thinking about it now, what if the 2 threads were split into 4 threads? Wouldn't that make whatever program it could be run faster for quad cores?

*Edit* This post is wayyy off topic now haha...oh well I'm learning
a c 208 U Graphics card
August 26, 2009 12:29:20 AM

The threads are define at the programing level, if say you have two strings of instructions, A and B, each one is 5 steps that must be done sequentially, in a dual core you have core 1 doing A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and core 2 doing B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, even if you add in two more cores you cannot do step A3, A4 or A5 until you get the result from step A2 so adding in another core or two doesnt help you at all. This tends to be the case with FPS games, many RTS games can make use of all 4 cores.

You can run a quad threaded program on a dual core easily but you cannot take a dual threaded program and break it into more unfortunately.
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