Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Looking to upgrade my video card and maybe mobo

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
August 26, 2009 12:39:47 AM

Hey everyone.

Well I was looking to buy a second XFX 8600 GT XXX Edition GPU to SLI it with my existing one, but as I checked my motherboard for a second PCI-Express x16 slot, I saw that I didn't have one. So I'm debating whether to get a new motherboard altogether and still buy that second 8600 GT XXX, or to just keep my motherboard and buy a whole new graphics card.

I know this is gonna go back and forth between motherboard and graphics card, but 2 duplicate threads in 2 different categories is gonna be both useless and probably against the rules.

So here are my specs...(I had a HP Pavilion a6010n desktop, but i upgraded a bunch of things, so it's gonna be a messed up mash up of hardware...http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&docname=c00877010)

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8 Ghz processor
320 GB Hard Drive
3 GB DDR2 RAM
XFX 8600 GT XXX Edition graphics card (stock overclocked)
Ultra X-Finity 600W PSU
ASUS P5LP-LE Motherboard (stock microATX mobo) http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00864946&lc=en&cc=us#
Windows Vista 32-bit (soon to be Windows 7)


So like I said, I'm looking to either buy a great gaming motherboard (I want it to be a real upgrade, not a random one that has 2 PCI-Express x16 slots) or a great video card (one that doesn't require an immediate motherboard upgrade).

I'm not a huge gamer, but a pretty big one. I'm looking for something that can run games at great quality (maybe not perfect) on a 24" 1920 x 1080 high-def monitor.

I have upgraded my case by the way, so I have a good 25 cm (about 10") of room for a new card, and can handle a full sized ATX motherboard.

If I'm missing anything, feel free to ask.
Hopefully you guys can help :D 
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
August 26, 2009 1:10:59 AM

My guess is your little 1.8GHz cpu is already beating its heart out to please you. How much more - if any - you can coax out of it is doubtful.

According to HP spec, your mobo supports E6x00 processors, so you could step up to a 6300:

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

There is also a 5/6/08 BIOS update that may allow the mobo to support other cpus.

That might drive a 4850 like:

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

September 2, 2009 6:17:50 AM

Logically, buying a new motherboard now and being able to support a better processor would be the best move. After that I could buy a new graphics card. And by doing so, I would be able to set up an SLI rig if I needed to in the future.

I was looking at the nforce 790i's, just because they have DDR3 support and they all support SLI configurations, be it 2 way or 3 way. They're a bit pricy, but I'm hoping to find a good deal somewhere. That way, I could upgrade to a quad core in the future.

What do you think?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
September 2, 2009 6:45:04 AM

I think you should wait a week and examine the new cpu's Intel will launch. A low end i5 will represent a significant upgrade of your cpu with upgrade potential you may not ever need. If you upgrade mobo and cpu now, you will have spent money only to (once again) wind up in a dead-end technology. If the price is too high you can go back to your current Intel plans, or AMD.

Note that moving to any new mobo/cpu is likely going to force you to buy a (OEM) copy of your OS since you probably only have a "Recovery Disk", not an actual OS Disc.

You started out wanting to upgrade just your video card, and you will still need to do that. Best approach is to ensure your motherboard supports Crossfire/SLI, but use the "best" single card that will power games at the resolution of your monitor.

If your psu holds up through all of this, that would be the end of your upgrades.

But at the end of the day you will have jacked up the windshield wipers and rolled a new car underneath. And for better gaming, that's what you needed to do.

a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
September 2, 2009 7:41:01 AM

The main question is your budget. Both your CPU and video card need to be replaced to have a decent gaming experience at that resolution. Contact HP and see if that BIOS update twoboxer mentioned let's it support better processors. If not you'll need to replace the motherboard as well.
At that resolution I'd be aiming for at least an HD4850($90ish) but optimally an HD4870 1gig($140ish)
If you have to replace the motherboard/cpu well that's a whole different discussion that can't even be started until we know how much you have to spend.
September 10, 2009 4:18:28 AM

True. Thanks for the input, and sorry I didn't reply sooner.
So at the moment, my main priority is my graphics card. I'm just torn between AMD/ATI and Nvidia. Both have great cards, and I've found great deals for both, I just can't decide which one to go with. Unfortunately my budget just hit basically rock bottom for a couple of months, so I'm gonna have to hold off on everything until probably boxing day/week. By then, I shou;ld have a good $200 or $300 to spend, so probably a video card, and then saving up for a mobo/CPU bundle. The OS isn't a problem, I'm getting a fresh copy of Windows 7 once it comes out ($55 was a steal, even though I could've downloaded it). So I'll have a legit key and a legit disk.

I've done a bunch of research on cards, so I should be okay on that end until I get the money (all the ATIs should drop once the DX11 cards come out anyway).

Mobos aren't my strong suit, on the other hand. So what would you guys recommend? Configuration 1: Intel socket 775 + ATI GPU........Configuration 2: Intel socket 775 + Nvidia GPU. Looking to spend below $200, and they have to be SLI/Xfire compatible.

Thanks :) 

- Alek
a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
September 10, 2009 11:31:54 AM

In your price range I'd probably recommend an AMD system rather than Intel right now.
If you do want Intel just get a low end core2duo like the e5300 and a good cooler then OC the hell out of it. Any wolfdale cpu should be able to approach 4.0 ghz with good air cooling.
September 11, 2009 12:16:30 AM

I'm referring to just the mobo you know...$200 is for the mobo only, then extra on top of that for a new CPU and GPU. But I was actually considering your OCing option, I just need to get that new mobo first...

Sorry for the off-topic question, but...What would happen if I upgraded from Vista -> Win7 via Upgrade Disk and then installed the new mobo, would i need to contact HP or Microsoft to get my product keys re-activated?
a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
September 11, 2009 7:37:55 AM

Unless you are building an i7 system $200 is way more than you need to spend on a motherboard. $100-130 or so will get you a fine LGA775 or AM3 motherboard with crossfire.
a b U Graphics card
September 11, 2009 8:01:35 AM

I would suggest going with a new P55 board and a core i5. That is IF and only IF you want to move up to a newer socket that way you will have more future support of new CPUs.

I also agree with jyjjy that that is a lot for a non i7/i5 build motherboard. Unless you going for something like the rampage extreme but hell you can get a EVGA P55 FTW Motherboard for the same price.
September 12, 2009 9:37:15 PM

Sounds good.
I was debating on wether or not to get a LGA775 or a LGA1366.
I guess I'l decide when I finally get all my money together.
If I was gonna get a LGA775, I was thinking I might as well go with like a 790i just for the sake of having DDR3 support, 3 way SLI, and so on. I usually try and squeeze the most I can out of what I have before upgrading, it's just better on my wallet.
Honestly, I'm always pulled to nVidia more than ATI, so I guess that's another hurtle I'll cross when I get to it.
But thanks again for ll the input, you guys helped out a lot.

If there's anything else you guys suggest, please let me know.
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
September 12, 2009 9:48:00 PM

ddr3 has marginal to no gains over ddr2 on 775 chips
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2009 1:33:49 AM

conquerorace said:
Sounds good.
I was debating on wether or not to get a LGA775 or a LGA1366.
I guess I'l decide when I finally get all my money together.
If I was gonna get a LGA775, I was thinking I might as well go with like a 790i just for the sake of having DDR3 support, 3 way SLI, and so on. I usually try and squeeze the most I can out of what I have before upgrading, it's just better on my wallet.
Honestly, I'm always pulled to nVidia more than ATI, so I guess that's another hurtle I'll cross when I get to it.
But thanks again for ll the input, you guys helped out a lot.

If there's anything else you guys suggest, please let me know.



If ant the most out of your money then ATi is the way to go. Also DDR3 isn't that good on the 775 socket. You would be better with a low end 1366 or a 1156.

For price to performance the 1156 is by far the best. Plus it seems like it will be the new standard socket for a while (as core i7 starts to move over) the LGA1366 is going to be the high end socket and likely will get the upcoming core i9.

At least that is where most people seem think this is all going.
!