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GeForce 7800 GTX--upgrade?

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December 3, 2009 10:47:25 PM

I have a Dell that I bought in 2005 and has served me very well. It has a GeForce 7800 GTX with 256 GB mem. and I'm wondering what kind of upgrade it can handle and if I can actually get improvment. I see adds for cards with a lot more memory and speed but don't know if they would be wasted on my old system.

The MB has two PCI Express x16 slots seperated by a PCI Express x1 slot. No mention in the manuel about 2.0 so it must be before that.

The system has 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a Pent 4 3.39 GHz CPU (duel core). 650w PS. Not sure what other info would help.

Suggestions very welcome and thanks in advance.

Gary
a c 1362 U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 10:54:21 PM

9800gt/9800gtx+/gts250 or hd4830/50 hd4770. What ever you can get your hands on cheapest. Anything more powerful would be hampered by your cpu.
pci-e 2.0 cards are backwards compatible.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 6:00:01 AM

+1^ Cards that rolli posted and some others like HD 5750/5770 are compatible but your P4 CPU would be a bottleneck for it,so if you can upgrade your CPU and get RAM first and then upgrade your VGA for gaming
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 1:08:52 PM

^He is most likely at the best he can do for his system as far as the processor goes.
2GB of memory is enough if he is running XP, I would argue that indeed his best bet here is one of the GPU's rolli50 has pointed out. If you are running Vista though, another 2 gig of memory would be worth it.....but really, you are starting throw good money into an old slow system....IMHO.
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December 4, 2009 1:44:05 PM

rolli59 said:
9800gt/9800gtx+/gts250 or hd4830/50 hd4770. What ever you can get your hands on cheapest. Anything more powerful would be hampered by your cpu.
pci-e 2.0 cards are backwards compatible.


That helps. Is there anything I need to know about the difference between gt/gtx/gts250 or will that difference be transparent to a non techie like myself? Are there any recomdations on brand or service that would be helpful.

In any case, I do appreciate your answer and will go shopping.
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December 4, 2009 1:47:52 PM

jitpublisher said:
^He is most likely at the best he can do for his system as far as the processor goes.
2GB of memory is enough if he is running XP, I would argue that indeed his best bet here is one of the GPU's rolli50 has pointed out. If you are running Vista though, another 2 gig of memory would be worth it.....but really, you are starting throw good money into an old slow system....IMHO.


I am inclined to agree that money in a new system is probably a better idea. I am running XP media and may go for a card but that will be about it.

Thank you for your time and comment.
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December 4, 2009 1:50:23 PM

Maziar said:
+1^ Cards that rolli posted and some others like HD 5750/5770 are compatible but your P4 CPU would be a bottleneck for it,so if you can upgrade your CPU and get RAM first and then upgrade your VGA for gaming


I thought I was getting a good CPU, and it may well have been at that time (2005). The rate of 3.5MHz seems like more than what I see advertized in systems now but I guess the new CPUs are a lot different inside--this is dual core.

If I am reading my owners manuel correctly 2 GM is my max memory for the system.

Thank you for your time and input.
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 4:17:27 PM

The obvious question here that everyone has failed to ask is:

What do you want your computer to capable of? Do you want to play video games, watch movies, basic internet surfing.... ?

Also, how big of a monitor, and are you in a financial position to consider a new computer? What is the exact model of your computer?

If you dont use your computer for anything strenuous I would say you could probably squeeze another 6mo to a year out of it before donating it to charity or an old person. Then I would go purchase a new one. (after asking our advice!)

Basically, I think the graphics card you have is more or less appropriate for the rest of your system. While you might get a little boost from a better one im not certain it would be worth it unless you want to play games.

*The exception to this rule would be if you got a decent card now, then transferred it to the next computer you buy in a year or so.

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December 4, 2009 5:08:05 PM

deadlockedworld said:
The obvious question here that everyone has failed to ask is:


Good question. No movies.

I play games but probably not "strenuous" ones. Dungeon&Dragons Online/Guild Wars are the most demanding. The rest are non internet games.

It is a Dell 600 XPS with a 20" monitor (that came with it).

deadlockedworld said:
...you could probably squeeze another 6mo to a year out of it before donating it to charity or an old person.


Lets see, I'm going on 69 (again) so I guess I need to find someone 90 that needs it.

deadlockedworld said:
Basically, I think the graphics card you have is more or less appropriate for the rest of your system. While you might get a little boost from a better one im not certain it would be worth it unless you want to play games.

*The exception to this rule would be if you got a decent card now, then transferred it to the next computer you buy in a year or so.


It is for my DDO that I would like better performance but the main thrust of my question was to see if there are options that might give me a little boost--considering my 256 mem--without putting a lean on the next 6 months of my SS check. Obviously there are a lot of cards out there that would be totaly wasted in my system--some probably wouldn't work at all.

I really appreciate your input and questions.


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a c 177 U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 8:02:54 PM

@ Mystical_tutor: You did not mess around when you got that Dell did you? SLI motherboard, near top-of-the-line CPU, near or at the top rank graphics card and a 650 Watt PSU:)  :

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps600/en...

Just about any card out there will work in your system but I'd suggest a GTS250 series rather than a ATI 4XXX card.
This looks like a good deal:

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

I am suggesting an Nvidia card just because switching from Nvidia to ATI can lead to driver issues unless you are very careful to fully uninstall and scrub the previous drivers from your system. It will just be easier all round to stick with Nvidia.
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 9:29:09 PM

I knew i would regret it after I wrote "old person" .. haha. I, of course, meant a person that would use it only for email.

More original specs: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/pr...

Its too bad you cant find another used 7800gtx to stick in there for really cheap...

I basically agree with coozie7's assessment. Switching brands would be more problem prone with an older computer and newer cards. Depending on how much you want to spend you could consider several Nvidia cards.

However, I would tend to lean toward the recently discontinued 9-series that is clearing out of inventory right now. They should be a little cheaper--and its not like you need brand new technology. A 9800GTX should be similar to the GTS 250 in power and price, you can get a 9800GT for $80ish, or a 9600GT for $70ish. Even the 9600gt would probably be more powerful than you really need for average gaming. These cards offer a better value for the money than the newer nvidia low end lineup. (GT 220, GT 240) Also, on a 20in monitor you dont need more than 512mb on the card.

This toms graphics roundup earlier this year helps put the cards in larger perspective by testing them on some games.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-radeon-gefor...

Good luck bargain hunting!
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 9:50:18 PM

I should note that Nvidia costs a little more than Ati lately. In terms of value that 4670 that rolli posted is a great deal.

The price range below what I listed would be the 4670 vs the Nvidia 9600gso.
If you feel safe with an "open box" product this card is a great deal: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These might not max out your systems capacity, but would still give you a substantial boost for only only $40-50. The GSO isnt as similar to the 9600gt as you might think though- if they are within $15 of each other in price you should go up to the GT.
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December 6, 2009 12:01:53 PM

coozie7 said:
@ Mystical_tutor: You did not mess around when you got that Dell did you? SLI motherboard, near top-of-the-line CPU, near or at the top rank graphics card and a 650 Watt PSU:) 


At the time it was pretty hot. I have added a 1TB drive but not been brave enough to tackle anything else.

coozie7 said:
I am suggesting an Nvidia card just because switching from Nvidia to ATI can lead to driver issues unless you are very careful to fully uninstall and scrub the previous drivers from your system. It will just be easier all round to stick with Nvidia.


I almost ordered the card that Rolli59 recomended--except fot that one issue. I had some vidio card problems in an older DELL XPS (2002-3?) just because of that problem. I thought I did everything according to the book but ended up reinstalling the original card....sigh.

Thanks again for your time and effert.




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December 6, 2009 12:15:01 PM

deadlockedworld said:
I knew i would regret it after I wrote "old person" .. haha. I, of course, meant a person that would use it only for email.


All is well, people are not old until they think they are. The body just doesn't cooperate like it should. I deffinately have some memory leaks.....

deadlockedworld said:
Its too bad you cant find another used 7800gtx to stick in there for really cheap...


This idea crossed my mind but even after trying to read up on the present technology I didn't know if I would be "missing out" on something.


deadlockedworld said:
...--and its not like you need brand new technology.
Even the 9600gt would probably be more powerful than you really need for average gaming.
Also, on a 20in monitor you dont need more than 512mb on the card.


This is the kind of bottom line advice I have been looking for. Reading specs never tells me what the impact will be on my level of computing and I never realized that the monitor size related to video memory. I have been thinking about a larger monitor but will not go there unless I opt for a larger system (which will need to be a year + at least).

Thanks again for your time and expertiese.
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December 6, 2009 12:51:54 PM

Two add-on questions that arose while shopping:

"Card profile----double" I assume that means it takes the space of two cards (not two actual slots).
"Built for Windows Vista" Will that create a problem if I am running XP?

Thanks
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 1:31:19 PM

mystical_tutor said:
Two add-on questions that arose while shopping:

"Card profile----double" I assume that means it takes the space of two cards (not two actual slots).
"Built for Windows Vista" Will that create a problem if I am running XP?

Thanks

Your assumption is correct it takes the space of two cards not two slots. No problem with XP if built for vista (marketing)
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a c 177 U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 3:41:32 PM

Like the others have said, the 9600GT is a good card for medium/light gaming at your resolution the issue is price: The 9600/9800 and GTS250 are within a fairly narrow price spread, with some overlap depending on which cards you compare, but performance jumps rapidly as you move from 9600 to 9800 and finally up to GTS250.
But, we all have to watch the pennies:(  so I think this might be a good choice:

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

Do not worry about the cooler dumping its heat into the case, your Dell has more than enough ventilation to handle even a GTS250 with such a cooler and the 9600GT produces a good deal less heat.

EDIT: One day I'll learn to type card not 'crad';)
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 5:22:14 PM

More ideas--While the 9600 is really all you need, its hard to pass up a $10 difference between models...

$99 after rebate($129): PNY VCG98GTXPXPB GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$89 after rebate ($99) GIGABYTE GV-N98TGR-512I GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, I want to touch back on the new computer point--if you plan to move this card to your next computer (especially if its SLI capable) a newer model card (GTS 250) would give you more options in the future.
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December 13, 2009 12:30:47 AM

coozie7 said:
But, we all have to watch the pennies:(  so I think this might be a good choice:

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

Do not worry about the cooler dumping its heat into the case, your Dell has more than enough ventilation to handle even a GTS250 with such a cooler and the 9600GT produces a good deal less heat.


Humm, I didn't even think about the heat so glad you mentioned it.

Thanks, that does look like a better deal than most I have seen.


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December 13, 2009 12:43:38 AM

deadlockedworld said:
More ideas--While the 9600 is really all you need, its hard to pass up a $10 difference between models...

$99 after rebate($129): PNY VCG98GTXPXPB GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$89 after rebate ($99) GIGABYTE GV-N98TGR-512I GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, I want to touch back on the new computer point--if you plan to move this card to your next computer (especially if its SLI capable) a newer model card (GTS 250) would give you more options in the future.


I did a double take when that was mentioned earlier. Maybe I'm really not with it but I was assuming that if I buy a reasonably good new computer in 6 months or a year I would have a more "state-of-the-art" graphics card than what we are talking about here. By that I mean they seem to come out with some whistle or bell almost every year so I would be very hesitant to try and buy a card now that would be better than what will be in my next machine. Plus, there *will* be a card in my next computer and hopefully one that is tuned to that archetichere. For some of you it may not be any challenge at all to think like that, but for me..... LOL it is down right frightening.

Thanks much for the good points though. I am looking at those cards.
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December 13, 2009 1:00:27 AM

A question about the reviews on those cards. The PNY has 98 reviews, which means to me that it has been around for awhile. The GIGABYTE had only 1 review--and that last month.

Does that indicate that 9800 GT is still being used in new cards? I had the impression it was a little "old hat" and the new kid on the block was the GTS 250.

Or, does that mean the rest of the computer archetichere has not changed much in relation to graphics and there is an old work horst that can still get the job done?

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a c 1362 U Graphics card
December 13, 2009 3:41:32 AM

Some of those new 9800GT cards are new in a sense they are made with the same die size as the GTS250 cards (probably GTS250 cpu´s not running on all cylinders). They don't need extra power and are clocked a little lower than the original. Apart from the lower clock we could call it progress specially the energy consumption.
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