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Upgrading an 8800 GTS

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December 20, 2009 8:58:27 AM

I currently am running an 8800 GTS (320) and have finally started to notice the framerate bogging down on some games to the point where it gets in the way. I want to upgrade, but I don't know what to get. I was originally just going to get a 4890, but I've read stuff about the 5770 supporting DX11 and consuming less power (not sure how much power I would need as I currently am using a 550 power supply). I've also thought about waiting for the 5850s to come down in price, but I'm not sure how long that will take.

I guess my questions are:
Will the 5850 drop down to <= 250 bucks within the next 2 or 3 months? If not, would I be better off buying a 4890 or 5770? If I buy either of the cheaper cards, I'll prolly just crossfire them down the road rather than upgrading to a single better card.

I'm also open to sticking with Nvidia if there's something better there, but I just found more info about the ATI stuff when I googled around, so that's why I'm asking about those.

More about : upgrading 8800 gts

a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 9:36:54 AM

What is your CPU? Can you overclock it and if so, you may not need a new GPU?
What resolution do you play on?
December 20, 2009 11:13:00 AM

"Will the 5850 drop down to <= 250 bucks within the next 2 or 3 months? " Will Alabama win the BCS? Will Indy win the Superbowl? Will people stop asking questions that can't be answered? Prolly not! ANY of the higher end cards offered by ATI and NVidia will fix your problems, and most will demand an upgraded PSU, if for nothing more than future expansion...Save up your money and JUMP!
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December 20, 2009 6:50:28 PM

Quote:
Full system specification and budget is required if you need/want help.

Core 2 E6600
2 Gigs DDR2 (gonna upgrade, but I've just been lazy)
Windows 7 64-bit
I can't remember the motherboard I have, but it's some generic MSI mobo. I bought it for 100 bucks last year, so there's prolly better stuff out, but I don't think it's that big of a deal at this point.

As far as budget goes, I'm looking to spend about 150-170ish. I know that's usually outta price point for the 4890, but I found this, so that's why I'm asking.

I prolly am only looking to spend more than 200 if the 5850 comes down to make it worth spending that much. Otherwise, I don't play games a ton, but I'm just looking for something that can run stuff like Dragon Age and L4D2 better.

Oh, and yes Bama will win the BCS championship and the Colts will win the superbowl :D  .
December 20, 2009 7:42:41 PM

I doubt the 5850 will drop down below $250.00 in next two to three months. They recently just went up in price.

$150-$170 is HD4870 range. That or a GTX 260(after mail in rebates etc)
December 20, 2009 7:54:16 PM

Quote:
A E6600 at stock speeds will bottleneck a 5850 so that card is not an option.

I think your best bet is to buy that 4890, you'll get a slight bottleneck but its performance should be better than your current 8800 GTS. Alternatively the ATI 5770 is a good choice it performs somewhere in the middle of a 4870 and 4890 and supports DX11. You can use the rest of the cash on another 2 GB.

But quiet frankly if you've got a $200 you could easily get the 4890 and 2 GB of ram without going over budget much.

HIS 5770 $164.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Sapphire 4890 $184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

^Notice that the sapphire model is cheaper than the XFX


Is there a difference between that 4890 and the one I posted cuz the one I posted has a $20 rebate, so it's actually just 5 bucks more than the 5770 you posted?
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 7:58:45 PM

Well i feel that the 5850 will go down with the arrive of nvidia 300 gt series of cards. The 5850 was originally deemed to be priced at 250 but i feel that ati will undercut nvidia arrival to the dx11 world by cutting prices. So even if the nvidia cards are more powerful ati's card will but that much cheaper but this is just an opinion of mine
December 20, 2009 8:56:45 PM

Okay, I guess I'll pick up the 4890 in all likelihood along with some RAM. Hopefully the DX11 thing won't come back to bite me down the road.

I am planning to upgrade my CPU within the next few months, but I figured I should probably upgrade the card first cuz I would notice that more.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 9:31:13 PM

The constant assumption that DX11 and DX10 are comparable is really shortsighted. DX10 was MASSIVELY hobbled by only being supported by Vista. DX10 was an afterthought because limiting your market to an OS that no one really wanted was commercial suicide. With Windows 7 receiving rave reviews people are finally ditching XP plus DX11 is still compatible with Vista. On top of this DX11 is a more significant update than DX10 was and also incorporates the refinements of DX10.1 which never took off at all because Nvidia ignored it. All of this means that DX11s adoption rate by game developers is likely to be much, much higher.
Even for the same price I would take an HD5770 over an HD4890 but then I also really like its power/heat advantages especially if crossfire is a consideration in the future.
December 20, 2009 9:46:51 PM

I'm not worried about the heat too much cuz I have decent cooling in my tower and it's not like I have a super small tower it'll be crammed in or anything. Since the prices are about the same, really the only difference I'm concerned with is more (GPU) power vs. DX11 support.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 9:48:49 PM

Quote:
My only disagreement is that the 5770 is often slower than the 4870, I rather brute power over power/heat. To fair the 4890 isnt a hot card. Remember the old 2900 XT, that was hot!

I've never used an HD4890 personally but I have repeatedly read others attempting to crossfire them talking about having heat issues. This may be more due to current motherboards leaving almost no gap between dual slot cards but that does make a low power/heat card advantageous for crossfire even without considering PSU requirements.
December 20, 2009 10:04:45 PM

I want to make whatever I buy last (hopefully a year or two at least), so this question then will probably help me decide what I do.

Will the 4890 last me at least 1.5-2 years? I'm wondering because if it would then it would make sense to buy that and just replace it with whatever the better card is down the road when I do replace it. If not, I might be better off buying a 5770 since I can crossfire that 6 months to a year from now when it drops in price without worrying as much about heat or power.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 10:20:07 PM

Two HD5750s outperform an HD4870x2? I thought crossfired HD5770s were similar to an HD5870 which is very slightly less powerful than an HD4870x2.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 11:03:26 PM

That first review only has crossfired HD5750s in 2 of the benchmarks and they are what you would expect, 15ish % slower than the HD4870x2. The Guru3d review is interesting. On 3 games they perform basically the same, on another 3 the HD4870x2 is 10-20% faster and there's one where the HD5750s are ahead significantly.
If any case I think the HD5770 is easily worth the extra $20, especially if you are going to wait a while to get a second card for crossfire.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 11:33:05 PM

Everything I'm reading says the HD5770 has 800 shader units vs 720 for the HD5750. Are you saying an HD5750 can be softmodded to use the locked shaders?
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 11:42:30 PM

Well yeah, but once you consider that you could OC the other card as well the performance gap usually remains.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 20, 2009 11:52:46 PM

Yeah, I understand what you are saying. I've used a 9600 GSO that I got for $50 and it OCs very nicely. Almost 30% which should make it similar to a stock 9800GT.
December 21, 2009 4:39:52 AM

Okay, I'm a little confused :p , but I think I can conclude from all this that I should probably just get the 4890 and upgrade it down the road in a year and a half or whenever it starts to slow down.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 4:57:50 AM

Or you can go for the HD5770 and crossfire as an upgrade. Would likely end up considerably cheaper imo.
A good question is what resolution you are using actually. For anything under 1920x1080 either card is really kind of overkill and if a 8800 GTS 320mb is just now bogging down a bit I would guess your resolution isn't very high. Something in the HD4770/HD4850/GTS 250 area is about $50 cheaper than the HD5770 and still over twice as powerful as your current card.
December 21, 2009 5:55:26 AM

I guess crossfiring with a 5770 might work out the best then in the long-term. so maybe I'll just pick up a 5770 now and another one half a year from now or whenever they get cheaper. I am just running at 1680x1050, but I do have a monitor that supports up to 1920x1080, which I haven't used with my PC (it's just been hooked up to my 360) that I could use if I got a better card.

EDIT: I forgot to ask. Does it matter which 5770 I buy? I always notice that there a bunch of different brands out there, but I can never tell if there are any differences between them or if it's simply who manufactures them. Is there a specific brand I should look at buying or should I just pick up the cheapest one I find?
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 6:54:27 AM

Not really at this stage in the game the only recommendation i could have is go with a reference cooler, one that blows out of the back instead of the ones that vent back into your case i was looking at them earlier. and it's like 5 buck difference, but besides that pretty much all the cards are identical at this stage
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 9:48:49 AM

Quote:
I’m looking at TPU relative performance chart and it seems that the performance gap between the 8800 GTS and 5770 is small about 32%. The 5770 is only slightly faster so you have to weigh up whether the upgrade is worthwhile. The difference between the 8800 GTS and 4890 is 39% faster.

I believe you are looking at the wrong 8800 GTS. The 8800 GTS 512mb is still pretty good and was revised 3 times. First into the 9800 GTX, then the 9800 GTX+ then the GTS 250. From the numbers you are quoting I believe that is what you are looking at.
The 8800 GTS 320 is an entirely different card and is slightly weaker than a 8800GS/9600 GSO or HD4670. According to the chart on Tom's monthly graphic card article it is roughly on par with the GT 220. Here is a chart showing the relative performances of current cards in comparison to the GT 220 including the HD5770 which is 3 times as powerful;


http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Inno3D/GeForce_GT_22...
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 10:29:46 AM

I'm going by this;
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...
It has the 640mb card on par with the 9600GT but the 320mb version 2 tiers lower. If you think it is incorrect you should say something in the comments. I'm a bit fuzzy on it but I believe it to be accurate however. If I remember the 8800 GTS 320/640mb was the first 8000 series card released and suffered from very poor memory management that really killed the performance of the lower memory version.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 11:23:26 AM

I dunno all of almost those numbers seem very close. This review also directly compares the HD3870 and the 8800 GTS 320mb and seems to show a different story, especially at higher resolutions and with AA/AF;
http://www.*****/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/3270-his-radeon-hd3870-review-crossfire-performance-preview.html
Like I said though if you think the rankings on the chart are inaccurate you should mention it in the comments.

Edit: link was messed up
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 11:37:08 AM

Alright, I guess it can't handle links that long. This should work though.
http://tiny.cc/W2SUR
December 21, 2009 4:32:12 PM

Haha. Oddly enough, after all that, I have no idea what to do. I think I may end up just buying the 5770 because it seems more crossfire friendly in the future. I know for sure that either card would be a pretty decent upgrade.
December 21, 2009 5:57:24 PM

I hate to throw a wrench into everything, but would I be better off just buying something like this and upgrading a year from now when we actually know where DX11 will be?

I appreciate your direct advice though. If that 9800 could last me a year, I think I may just buy that and use the money I'll save to upgrade my RAM; otherwise, if you guys think it won't last that long, I'll just take your advice and pick up a 4890.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 6:46:38 PM

Yup. If you want to feel and see that you made an upgrade, go with th 4890. If you go with the GTS 250, you'll only see a very slight improvement and afterwards will feel like you should have got the 4890!
December 21, 2009 7:13:39 PM

Okay, sounds good then. I'll pick up the 4890 and never look back :D  . The model I posted looks okay, right? The one with the rebate?

Thanks for the advice and all the comparisons. I really appreciate the "just buy this card recommendation". I hate when I post a question like this on forums and just get a "here's some info, but you can make the decision yourself" response.

EDIT: I think I'm going to get this one because it has the rebate, and with bing cashback it's only 150, and I'm pretty sure it's the same card.
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 7:43:25 PM

DOn't forget to overclock your CPU to get more juice out of the 4890!
!