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Upgrade Help, bottleneck woes

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December 30, 2009 2:48:00 AM

Hey all

Need some help upgrading

current build

CPU: AMD 5200+ dual core 2.61Ghz
Mem: 2x 1GB Corsair CM2X 1024-6400C4
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-M59SLI-S5
HDD: 2 x WD 74GB Raptors , plus storage HD's
GPU: Geforce 8800GTX (576Mhz core, 900Mhz mem bus)
Power: Antec 480W
Screen: Synchmaster 245 1920x1200 wide

In short looking for a minor upgrade that will last out the next 2-3 years before I do a major upgrade. The current system runs everything fine once setting have been tweaked but I'd like to enjoy higher quality graphics, crank up the AA and have less chugging on high intensity scenes.

So need advice, I'm thinking throwing in a faster Graphics card should do the trick but, I dont want to put one in that will be bottlenecked by the rest of the system since thats a waste.

So looking to basically max out current system with faster graphics card and maybe 1 other upgrade if its really needed. (keep in mind whole new system to be built in 2-3 years give or take)

so options ?
find another 8800GTX on Ebay and SLI them ?
GTX285 ? 5850's ? possible SLI'd as well
5870 or 5890 ?

money isn't too big of an issue its more not just thowing in the biggest beast for the sake of it and having that beast heavily chained by an older system is simply a waste.

So what would be worth putting in ? also keeping mind mind if I'm not going to notice much of an improvement from the 8800GTX then that raises the question of do I bother at all.

Thanks in advance
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
December 30, 2009 5:47:50 AM

You really need a better CPU, but I don't think your board is going to support much.

Get this MB/CPU combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Then a 5850.

That will let you re-use your RAM, but of course you'll need a fresh OS install.

You'll probably also want to upgrade your older PSU. Antec has some nice deals running at newegg atm.
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December 30, 2009 4:24:07 PM

what games are you playing? Can you oc your cpu? 2.6ghz is a little low. at 3.0 you should run decent in most games except for the most cpu-intensive. if you don't want to oc and get a whole new platform (am3), newegg still has some 5600+'s (2.9ghz) for $54. pair that with something like a 5850 and you should be able crank up the eye candy. you still may get occasional stuttering if the game has to wait for the cpu, but it shouldn't be too bad. i assume with 2gig ram you're still on xp.

summary: cpu increase to around 3.0 or higher (oc existing or get cheap 5600+) will improve frames slightly and eliminate some of that stuttering. video card upgrade should allow you to increase AA, AF, textures, etc (eye-candy).
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December 30, 2009 7:14:34 PM

will be playing Mass Effect 2 and Bioshock 2 to give you an idea of the games the system will be facing.

unfortunately OC isn't really an option since even small increases cause instability, In fact I'm running at stock speed with a slightly higher voltage becuase at the default voltage I occasionally had issues.

while I see the logic behind a faster cpu/mobo + gpu , if I'm going to go down that road then it might as well be a new system. getting a 2.9Ghz could be an option if I can find one.

2GB on vista actually which prob isn't ideal either, I still have 2 spare ram slots so could go to 4GB without too much trouble, well effecticley 3 on 32bit.

its a tricky one, because its not like I can't play these games as is ;) 
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December 30, 2009 7:23:16 PM

I think MayDay's suggestion is best. Get a better cpu on that board. Then, max your ram-that extra will really help Vista out. Then, maybe a 5850 or 5770 to help eye candy. Not too pricey of a card, but enough to squeeze another 2 years out of gaming.
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December 30, 2009 7:51:29 PM

okay then its a matter of finding the best cpu I can squeeze on this board

http://www.giga-byte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupp...

looking at that list a AMD X2 5800 goes to 3GHz although do they even exist I can't say I've seen one for sale.

the other thing is this range of cpu came in 2 flavors of 90nm and 65nm , and I have a feeling the 5600 was a 90nm core. or won't it matter, and I should just got for top speed ?


also just come across a 6000 AM2 socket which agin is also 90nm but is a proper dual core 3Ghz
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December 30, 2009 8:08:19 PM

Hmmm, I'm not as good with AMD processors (Intel is my strength), but wouldn't the 6000+ for you? I say you want highest clock plus best cache you can get. The 90nm's seem to have better cache than the 65nm. Taht might be better answered by someone else, though.

Here's the AM2's that newegg has.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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December 30, 2009 8:25:11 PM

Sorry should have mentioned I'm in Australia so no newegg for me sadly

so I guess its looking like either the

6000 3Ghz
or
5600 2.9Ghz

and then a 5850 ( any brand of 5850 I should be looking at in particular ?) and am I right in thinking the HD5850 would be a better choice than the 5850 ?

All up looks like its gonna cost me $100-120 for the CPU and $440-500 for the 5850

for a total of $540-620 AUD , or $485-560 USD current xchange rates



Just a a side thought to consider I could get a 2nd 8800GTX
found a 8800GTX 768MB PCI-E Leadtek Graphics Card GDDR3 2DVI HDTV for $159
and then SLI them with the newer Cpu vs a 5850 ?
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December 30, 2009 8:32:08 PM

Well, I still say get your RAM maxed next, before the new video card. :)  That shouldn't cost too much.

HD5850 versus 5850-I'm confused, same card? I say go for a 5850 over a 57xx series, if that's what you meant. Brands I have had good luck with are Sapphire, XFX, HIS, and EVGA.

EDIT: just saw your new post. Another 8800 with the CPU and more RAM may be enough to improve things happily. Though, you may need to get a bigger power supply for SLI. Check the specs for SLIing. The 8800 was certainly a kick-@ss card. :) 
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December 30, 2009 8:53:40 PM

ah forgot about how much of a power whore the 8800 is , that would indeed require a better PSU which would negate any cost saving plus would run my electric bill just that little bit higher hehehe, and since this is a bit of 2-3yr future proofing then Dx11 is also a nice benefit of the 5850 card.

are there any nvidia cards worth looking at in the 5850 comparative range ? or should I jump on the Raedon band wagon hehehe ?

oh and I'm still keen to have an opinion on the AMD X2 6000 vs 5600, 3Ghz vs 2.9Ghz, 90nm vs 65nm,
my brain is telling me the 5600 is the better option since it'll run cooler which means better OC potential, the only other difference is a 2MB cache vs 1MB
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2009 1:17:54 AM

I'm a bit shocked. That so-called AM2 board seems to support AM3 CPUs, according to your link.

Also, if you are staying with the PSU, you'll want to look at 5770 instead of 5850 I think. It's not so much maximum wattage that concerns me but 12V amps.

Here's an example of a rather strong CPU that is supported by your board apparently:
http://www.umart.com.au/newindex2.phtml?bid=2

HD5850 and 5850 are the same. Just different conventions by different sites/brands.

There are no DX11 Nvidia cards out yet.
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January 3, 2010 4:46:38 AM

Turns out I missed some key advice when I was originally trying to overclock and that was to lower the HT mult down from 5 to 4x :fou: 

so notch up 1 epicfail for me :pfff: 

I've since done a soft overclock up to 3Ghz @ 1.5V and its rock stable. doesn't even reach 50C under load

the memory is happily sitting at 930Mhz which is a nice bonus at stock voltage

so yeah no need for new cpu,


the PSU at 480Watt currently handles a 8800GTX Ultra and looking at the wattage the 5850 uses the same or slightly less and I haven't had any issues with supply so I don't think I'll change the power unless I start seeing issues.

as for more RAM again I think I might just play it by ear for now, the 5850 will be brining more RAM to the table anyway.

So tomorrow I'll pop out and buy the 5850 and see how a now overclocked system handles it.

Thanks for all ya helps guys
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January 11, 2010 2:43:21 PM

branflakes71 said:
Well, I still say get your RAM maxed next, before the new video card. :)  That shouldn't cost too much.

HD5850 versus 5850-I'm confused, same card? I say go for a 5850 over a 57xx series, if that's what you meant. Brands I have had good luck with are Sapphire, XFX, HIS, and EVGA.

EDIT: just saw your new post. Another 8800 with the CPU and more RAM may be enough to improve things happily. Though, you may need to get a bigger power supply for SLI. Check the specs for SLIing. The 8800 was certainly a kick-@ss card. :) 



Totally agree with branflakes. More RAM first, then upgrade GPU if needed. Agree about upgrading PSU if doing 2 8800's in SLI mode. Pretty sure RAM upgrade will be noticeable in FPS in most games.
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