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Need a new video card

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November 28, 2009 2:52:01 PM

The video card on my three year old system failed a few days ago and I'm looking for a replacement.

This is my motherboard:
http://techgage.com/article/asus_m2n32-sli_deluxe_wifi_...

It has 2 x PCI Express x16 slot with NVIDIA SLI support, at full x16, x16 speed. I assume it is PCIe v1.0 since I bought it in late 2006.

This is my old video card:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-7950-gx2,12...
It has PCI Express x16 and 1GB GDDR3

I notice that a lot of new video cards are PCIe v2.0. I assume my motherboard won't support v2.0 features but should it at least work with these new cards?

What else should I be aware of? Thanks!

More about : video card

a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2009 3:16:23 PM

WookinPaNub said:
The video card on my three year old system failed a few days ago and I'm looking for a replacement.

This is my motherboard:
http://techgage.com/article/asus_m2n32-sli_deluxe_wifi_...

It has 2 x PCI Express x16 slot with NVIDIA SLI support, at full x16, x16 speed. I assume it is PCIe v1.0 since I bought it in late 2006.

This is my old video card:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-7950-gx2,12...
It has PCI Express x16 and 1GB GDDR3

I notice that a lot of new video cards are PCIe v2.0. I assume my motherboard won't support v2.0 features but should it at least work with these new cards?

What else should I be aware of? Thanks!


PCIe 2.0 is reverse compatible with PCIe x16 (1.1, 1.0 but there are issues with 1.0a).

Yes there are other things to be aware of:

Well first what is your processor, so you dont go bottlenecking your video card.

Second, choose your video card wisely:
Most low profile video cards use the power off the PCI-E 1.0 slot, which for you is stuck at 75w. Meaning you cannot go over 75w video card if your not plugging it into your PSU.
If you do choose a mid range video card, make sure your PSU has enough power to fully supply all components and still have breathing room.

Basically if you have any concerns you can take it to google, you'll find more detailed guides on power supply needs, as well as limitations of PCI-E power limitations.
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November 28, 2009 3:28:05 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
PCIe 2.0 is reverse compatible with PCIe x16 (1.1, 1.0 but there are issues with 1.0a).

Yes there are other things to be aware of:

Well first what is your processor, so you dont go bottlenecking your video card.

Second, choose your video card wisely:
Most low profile video cards use the power off the PCI-E 1.0 slot, which for you is stuck at 75w. Meaning you cannot go over 75w video card if your not plugging it into your PSU.
If you do choose a mid range video card, make sure your PSU has enough power to fully supply all components and still have breathing room.

Basically if you have any concerns you can take it to google, you'll find more detailed guides on power supply needs, as well as limitations of PCI-E power limitations.


Thanks for the info! My processor is a AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ socket AM2 dual core, 2.2 GHz, 512KB x2 L2 cache, 65watt.

My power supply is a Xion 700w PowerReal and has handled the load well in the past:
http://www.xionusa.com/Product-powersupply_realpower_70...
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2009 3:33:14 PM

If you want to stay with Nvidia because your board is SLI the you should be looking at a GTS 250 or GTX 260. Which to get depends on your resolution and budget .
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a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2009 3:34:34 PM

Bit of an overkill PSU but granted it's amps on 12v rails are weak. This is fine however since anything past a HD 4870 would be bottlenecked.

HMm what are you gonna be playing on your computer. Will you be wanting to SLI your card? I need to have an idea so I can give you advise on what to choose.




Edited:
jyjjy said:
If you want to stay with Nvidia because your board is SLI the you should be looking at a GTS 250 or GTX 260. Which to get depends on your resolution and budget .


As I have said anything near or past an HD 4870 would be bottlenecked. The GTX 260 competes with the HD 4870, so no don't get a GTX 260.

A GTS 250 would be fine, however it depends on what he's gonna play.
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November 28, 2009 3:55:47 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Bit of an overkill PSU but granted it's amps on 12v rails are weak. This is fine however since anything past a HD 4870 would be bottlenecked.

HMm what are you gonna be playing on your computer. Will you be wanting to SLI your card? I need to have an idea so I can give you advise on what to choose.




Edited:


As I have said anything near or past an HD 4870 would be bottlenecked. The GTX 260 competes with the HD 4870, so no don't get a GTX 260.

A GTS 250 would be fine, however it depends on what he's gonna play.


Mostly Steam games (Half life 2 deathmatch a lot lately) and World of Warcraft.
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 28, 2009 3:59:43 PM

GTX260 although bottle necked a little will still have better performance in your system than GTS 250. You might as well consider a CPU upgrade http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=0jMy2X8lKstYRvev&... since your board accepts AM2+ CPU´s with bios upgrade
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2009 3:59:45 PM

Yeah, just get a GTS 250.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2009 4:00:28 PM

Or a CPU upgrade and the GTX 260
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November 28, 2009 4:06:30 PM

rolli59 said:
GTX260 although bottle necked a little will still have better performance in your system than GTS 250. You might as well consider a CPU upgrade http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=0jMy2X8lKstYRvev&... since your board accepts AM2+ CPU´s with bios upgrade


would love a CPU upgrade but am on a strict budget right now so that will have to wait. I might just get the GTX260...or the GTS 250. We'll see. Thanks for the info.
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a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2009 4:13:22 PM

Okay i'd recommend:

ATI: HD 4770, should run maxed even under major traffic.

Nvidia: Geforce 8800 GTS
Should max it all out/perform well under major traffic (a lot of people)

@jyjjy/rolli59

He doesnt need a GTX 260.... Specially not for the games he plays.
Also GTX 260 would get bottlenecked quite badly by a AMD x2 Athlon 4200.
a GTS 250 is an over kill.
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November 28, 2009 4:14:06 PM

In fact I think maybe I'll get a GTX260 now and upgrade the CPU later. Thanks everyone for their 2 cents!
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a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2009 4:19:16 PM

WookinPaNub said:
In fact I think maybe I'll get a GTX260 now and upgrade the CPU later. Thanks everyone for their 2 cents!


Sigh... Okay well just make sure to get:

Phenom triple core at least to prevent any bottlenecking since the dual cores that are supported are quite... sad....
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 28, 2009 4:22:07 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Okay i'd recommend:

ATI: HD 4770, should run maxed even under major traffic.

Nvidia: Geforce 8800 GTS
Should max it all out/perform well under major traffic (a lot of people)

@jyjjy/rolli59

He doesnt need a GTX 260.... Specially not for the games he plays.
Also GTX 260 would get bottlenecked quite badly by a AMD x2 Athlon 4200.
a GTS 250 is an over kill.


I will never discount out the possibility that a new game comes out that OP wants to play.
3 years ago you did not need 7950 GX2 to play steam games either.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... a $60 upgrade that would remove most of the bottleneck.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2009 5:07:58 PM

Sigh okay. Time to educate.
(A GTX 260 is not a very good idea either since HD 4870s are going down in prices. Sure he won't be able to SLI two Hd 4870s but 2x GTX 260 would require at least an intel based quad core processor, or AM3 Phenom II x4 which his motherboard cannot support due to being a Am3 socket (and his motherboard is not Am3 reverse compatible)

First: Yes the windsor would be sufficient for a GTX 260, however your already talking about a clean $210+ upgrade ($60 for the CPU/$160+ for the GTX 260)

Second: We don't even know if he has adequate performance RAM which could cause a bottleneck of the system as well. Or if he has enough RAM to begin with.
A GTX 260 is a very powerful card, and the games capable of stressing it often require large amounts of RAM.


It's up the OP to tell us his needs/what he wishes to do later on. In which case we will advise him.


Are you thinking of playing new games on your computer?
What resolution are you playing on atm (monitors native resolution)?
Do you care much for eye candy in games (high details/Anti-Aliasing/Anisotropic filtering etc)?
How much RAM do you have, and what is the model of it so I can look up it's specs?
What operating system are you using and what bit?

Share
November 28, 2009 5:12:00 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Sigh... Okay well just make sure to get:

Phenom triple core at least to prevent any bottlenecking since the dual cores that are supported are quite... sad....


Could you explain the bottlenecking? Where does it lie? Also what about the Phenom quad cores in that list? Would they in turn be overkill for that motherboard (I presume I'd probably need an upgraded cooling solution for quad cores)?

Again thanks for all the info. I'm studying for A+ so will probably need to be well-versed in this sort of stuff eventually.
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November 28, 2009 5:20:55 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Sigh okay. Time to educate.
(A GTX 260 is not a very good idea either since HD 4870s are going down in prices. Sure he won't be able to SLI two Hd 4870s but 2x GTX 260 would require at least an intel based quad core processor, or AM3 Phenom II x4 which his motherboard cannot support due to being a Am3 socket (and his motherboard is not Am3 reverse compatible)

First: Yes the windsor would be sufficient for a GTX 260, however your already talking about a clean $210+ upgrade ($60 for the CPU/$160+ for the GTX 260)

Second: We don't even know if he has adequate performance RAM which could cause a bottleneck of the system as well. Or if he has enough RAM to begin with.
A GTX 260 is a very powerful card, and the games capable of stressing it often require large amounts of RAM.


It's up the OP to tell us his needs/what he wishes to do later on. In which case we will advise him.


Are you thinking of playing new games on your computer?
What resolution are you playing on atm (monitors native resolution)?
Do you care much for eye candy in games (high details/Anti-Aliasing/Anisotropic filtering etc)?
How much RAM do you have, and what is the model of it so I can look up it's specs?
What operating system are you using and what bit?


I'm using WinXP Pro 32-bit right now. I'll probably upgrade to Win 7 eventually but it's not a priority.

My RAM is Mushkin 2GB DDR2 (2x1GB) 800 MHz EM2-6400, 240-pin, unbuffered:
http://www.directron.com/mushkin996527.html#caption

My typical resolution is 1680x1050. I really don't need it to be bleeding edge so long as it doesn't slow me down or put me into bankruptcy.

As I mentioned earlier, I mostly play Half Life 2 deathmatch and World of Warcraft right now.

UPDATE: Just found this 4770 model, perhaps that would be more sensible?:
http://www.frys.com/product/5907394?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2009 8:15:38 PM

Well if you want to do things right you'll want 2 more gigs of ram, a phenom quad core and either an HD5770 or GTX 260. Altogether that will set you back $300ish. To upgrade entirely with an Athlon II quad and DDR3 add another $100.
If this is sounding too expensive for you then just grab the GTS 250 or an HD4770 like you mentioned although you can get one for $20 cheaper on newegg. Perhaps later when you have money to upgrade the main system properly get another of whatever card you chose for crossfire/SLI.

@athiest - HD4870s are not getting cheaper, they are getting short in supply and more expensive.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2009 4:56:48 AM

Okay I gotta address a few people so here we go...

@ WookinPaNub,

Okay bottlenecks are considering "hindering of performance" by a different component.

For example take an I7 processor, and put a geforce 6600 GPU. The i7 will not be stressed to as much as using a HD 5890.
Think about it as a colaboration team work between:
Motherboard (North bridge in particular)
Ram (Speed/Latencies/Amount come into play)
CPU (Clock/Cores/Cache/Speed bus (Or hyper transport for AMD)
GPU (Clock/memory bit/ shader or memory clock/stream processors... etc too long list to say)

A bottle neck occurs when either one of those components is lagging behind with throughput.
For example this is a purely explanatory figure.

CPU=5 words per second work throughput
RAM=5 words per second work throughput (does not process but stores active files/programs etc)
Motherboard=Allows 5 words per second of work throughput through speed bus (doesnt process or do anything but allows the transport)
GPU= Allows for 3 words per second of work throughput.

The bottle neck for the whole system is the GPu, because since it can only 3 words per second, all other components get stuck. Now i must warn u this is NOT how computer systems work in specific! I dont want to get too technical about it because even for me this subject is hazy, even for some more technically knowledgeable people have problems explaining it.

@jyjjy

Im not even going to get into it.


@WookinPa

Honestly all you really need is maybe a 9800 GT or a HD 4770. (I retract my previous statement on the 8800 GTS, I did some price matching/the place i saw it for $78 was out of stock).. Both these cards would run around $100~, I would recommend the HD 4770 due to lower power consumption/temps. The 9800 is faster, however would be an overkill for the two games ur playing at the moment.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
November 29, 2009 9:02:09 AM

AsAnAtheist said:

@jyjjy

Im not even going to get into it.

@WookinPa

Honestly all you really need is maybe a 9800 GT or a HD 4770. (I retract my previous statement on the 8800 GTS, I did some price matching/the place i saw it for $78 was out of stock).. Both these cards would run around $100~, I would recommend the HD 4770 due to lower power consumption/temps. The 9800 is faster, however would be an overkill for the two games ur playing at the moment.

???
All I said was that the HD4870 is getting harder to find and more expensive. This is true and the same applies to the HD4850.

Also an HD4770 is faster than a 9800GT and most new 9800GTs are a low power version that probably uses less power than the HD4770 as they don't even have a power connector.
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November 29, 2009 3:35:27 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Okay I gotta address a few people so here we go...

@ WookinPaNub,

Okay bottlenecks are considering "hindering of performance" by a different component.

For example take an I7 processor, and put a geforce 6600 GPU. The i7 will not be stressed to as much as using a HD 5890.
Think about it as a colaboration team work between:
Motherboard (North bridge in particular)
Ram (Speed/Latencies/Amount come into play)
CPU (Clock/Cores/Cache/Speed bus (Or hyper transport for AMD)
GPU (Clock/memory bit/ shader or memory clock/stream processors... etc too long list to say)

A bottle neck occurs when either one of those components is lagging behind with throughput.
For example this is a purely explanatory figure.

CPU=5 words per second work throughput
RAM=5 words per second work throughput (does not process but stores active files/programs etc)
Motherboard=Allows 5 words per second of work throughput through speed bus (doesnt process or do anything but allows the transport)
GPU= Allows for 3 words per second of work throughput.

The bottle neck for the whole system is the GPu, because since it can only 3 words per second, all other components get stuck. Now i must warn u this is NOT how computer systems work in specific! I dont want to get too technical about it because even for me this subject is hazy, even for some more technically knowledgeable people have problems explaining it.

@jyjjy

Im not even going to get into it.


@WookinPa

Honestly all you really need is maybe a 9800 GT or a HD 4770. (I retract my previous statement on the 8800 GTS, I did some price matching/the place i saw it for $78 was out of stock).. Both these cards would run around $100~, I would recommend the HD 4770 due to lower power consumption/temps. The 9800 is faster, however would be an overkill for the two games ur playing at the moment.


@AsAnAtheist

I understand the concept of bottlenecking, but what made it obvious that my CPU was the biggest culprit in my situation? Thanks again for all your time.
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a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2009 4:43:26 PM

WookinPaNub said:
@AsAnAtheist

I understand the concept of bottlenecking, but what made it obvious that my CPU was the biggest culprit in my situation? Thanks again for all your time.



Ah okay the reason I told you that your processor was the culprit is quite simple.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ socket AM2 dual core's architecture is quite... bad. Some of the athlon processors did receive a shrink to 65 nm but your processor remained at 95 nm.

Low cache, crappy hyper transport can often bog down the system when a GPU with high clocks/high bandwidth gets introduced .
The lithography if I remember correctly is 95nm on the 4200+, this is the size of the transistor. The bigger the transistor the fewer that fit into the silicon chip. The bigger also the more power it uses, the more power it uses the hotter it gets.
This of course leads to worse performance. Bigger transistors=more resistance=less performance. As well as the absence of many features from now a day .
It's really a bad processor, but of course it was much cheaper back when they came out then say the Intel dual cores.
To add to the list of cons the cores had to "communicate" in packets, causing lower performance, while newer processors use on die communication which is damn near instantaneous.

The Athlon 64 x2 4200+ are widely regarded as AMD's slowness to develop better architectures as they had with there ancestor single core AMD 64 Athlons.
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 29, 2009 4:56:59 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Ah okay the reason I told you that your processor was the culprit is quite simple.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ socket AM2 dual core's architecture is quite... bad. Some of the athlon processors did receive a shrink to 65 nm but your processor remained at 95 nm.

Low cache, crappy hyper transport can often bog down the system when a GPU with high clocks/high bandwidth gets introduced .
The lithography if I remember correctly is 95nm on the 4200+, this is the size of the transistor. The bigger the transistor the fewer that fit into the silicon chip. The bigger also the more power it uses, the more power it uses the hotter it gets.
This of course leads to worse performance. Bigger transistors=more resistance=less performance. As well as the absence of many features from now a day .
It's really a bad processor, but of course it was much cheaper back when they came out then say the Intel dual cores.
To add to the list of cons the cores had to "communicate" in packets, causing lower performance, while newer processors use on die communication which is damn near instantaneous.

The Athlon 64 x2 4200+ are widely regarded as AMD's slowness to develop better architectures as they had with there ancestor single core AMD 64 Athlons.

Basically you mean that they are old tech and a child of its time. That is; in their time of introduction they where top of the line but no more. (in fewer words)
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November 29, 2009 10:47:01 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Ah okay the reason I told you that your processor was the culprit is quite simple.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ socket AM2 dual core's architecture is quite... bad. Some of the athlon processors did receive a shrink to 65 nm but your processor remained at 95 nm.

Low cache, crappy hyper transport can often bog down the system when a GPU with high clocks/high bandwidth gets introduced .
The lithography if I remember correctly is 95nm on the 4200+, this is the size of the transistor. The bigger the transistor the fewer that fit into the silicon chip. The bigger also the more power it uses, the more power it uses the hotter it gets.
This of course leads to worse performance. Bigger transistors=more resistance=less performance. As well as the absence of many features from now a day .
It's really a bad processor, but of course it was much cheaper back when they came out then say the Intel dual cores.
To add to the list of cons the cores had to "communicate" in packets, causing lower performance, while newer processors use on die communication which is damn near instantaneous.

The Athlon 64 x2 4200+ are widely regarded as AMD's slowness to develop better architectures as they had with there ancestor single core AMD 64 Athlons.


Thanks again for the info, I guess I've got some reading to do. I guess I will look into upgrading the CPU soon, but nothing too drastic since I'll probably want a new mobo before too long. My last mobo lasted me six years and I'd like to see this one come close.
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