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Hitting the CPU, mobo, PSU wall...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 16, 2010 11:45:24 PM

Hello!

My old GPU recently died and I was all ready to rush out and buy a big beefy new card but realised (while reading reviews at tom's hardware) that my 4 year old system, while fast at the time, may now present today's cards with crippling performance bottlenecks.

I was hoping some of the knowledgable people here could possibly suggest a GPU that could run up to my system's performance limit without any (or too much) horsepower-money being wasted on a card that is TOO beefy.

my current hardware:

mobo------ Asus A8n32 SLI (possibly deluxe version)
max FSB/memory speed- 2x 1000mhz / 2x 200mhz
(I can try to provide more specs on this mobo if needed)
CPU-------- AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+ currently clocked at 2410 mhz
ram-------- 2x 1024mb pc3200 DDR-SDRAM at 200 mhz
(mobo can handle up to 8 gigs)
PSU-------- 650 watts (250v)

OLD CARD-- Geforce 7950 GT 512

I like to run most games (like Eve, WoW and Supreme Commander) and my cgi animation software at 1920x1200 or at slightly lower res (but widescreen ratio) so I believe I need a card with more than 512 onboard memory.

I want a card with considerably more punch than the 7950 GT without wasting money on a huge card that won't be able to run at its potential.

Fine line to walk there, I know.
This is why I need help :kaola: 

Oh, and I'd like to stick with Nvidia since my mobo has SLI capabilities (or are ATI cards so good now that I should switch brands anyway?)
I only run one monitor and I dont really need 3D monitor support or HTPC extras...just a strong gaming/cgi workstation card.

Was thinking of a GTX 260 or GTS 250 overclocked. Is that too much for this system?

thank you in advance :) 

a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2010 11:49:32 PM

Nope, I think either of those would be a good choice for your system. I run a 4850 (ATI card slightly faster than a GTS 250) on my FX-60 (2.6 GHz AMD dual core), 2 GB DDR1, A8N-SLI Deluxe board and it works great. A GTX 260 may be a little overkill, but not extreme overkill. Still, I'd suggest saving money and going in the GTS 250 range.
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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2010 12:02:08 AM

With that CPU and and PSU, i am fairly certain you could run a 5770 without a bottleneck. Honestly, i would just switch to ATI, you dont really need to SLI, and you would come very very close to the limit of your PSU trying to SLI two 260's i believe. And even then in SLI i think your CPU would then be a bottleneck. But if you really dont want to switch the GTS 250 is the better choice imo.
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Related resources
March 17, 2010 12:07:00 AM

Thank you very much.
I will definately consider the BFG 250 Maxcore then.

In the interest of of being thorough, however, I would like some more opinions =)
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March 17, 2010 12:10:37 AM

Truhls said:
With that CPU and and PSU, i am fairly certain you could run a 5770 without a bottleneck. Honestly, i would just switch to ATI, you dont really need to SLI, and you would come very very close to the limit of your PSU trying to SLI two 260's i believe. And even then in SLI i think your CPU would then be a bottleneck. But if you really dont want to switch the GTS 250 is the better choice imo.



According to the Heirarchy chart the HD 5770 is on par with the GTX 260.
Could you explain why you believe the 5770 is better please?

Just want to be sure before I switch from Geforce for the first time :D 
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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2010 2:04:48 AM

Well, the 5770 will use less power and allows for DX11 and Eyefinity, though those are minor points. What I'd suggest is look up reviews of the 5770 (like the one here on Tom's, list is stickied at the top of this forum section still I think) which should also have the 260/250 in it. Then compare the FPS at you monitor resolution in games you like and choose the one that performs better.
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March 17, 2010 2:56:23 AM

thank you for the link.

I've actually read the reviews for most of the current high end cards here at Tom's hardware...which is what prompted me to start this thread.

Ill read them again and hopefully come to a decision.
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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2010 8:02:07 AM

Well the only 260's i can find are around 180-220, usually over the 200 dollar range. The 5770 can beh ad for as little as 150, offering the same if not better performance, dx 11, eyefinity, uses less power, and makes less heat. Honestly just over all, its a far better buy. Plus 260's are going to be harder to find when the fermi comes out as im sure nVidia will stop producing them once they make the lower end fermis. And the 5770 is more recent, so if you want to sli/crossfire later on it will be much easier to find imo. But this is just speculation so.
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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2010 10:43:42 AM

Yep, so the question is how much performance do you want to try for. Either would be a big improvement over your old card, but do you want to spend $110 or $150?
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March 17, 2010 4:44:12 PM

Truhls said:
Well the only 260's i can find are around 180-220, usually over the 200 dollar range. The 5770 can beh ad for as little as 150, offering the same if not better performance, dx 11, eyefinity, uses less power, and makes less heat. Honestly just over all, its a far better buy. Plus 260's are going to be harder to find when the fermi comes out as im sure nVidia will stop producing them once they make the lower end fermis. And the 5770 is more recent, so if you want to sli/crossfire later on it will be much easier to find imo. But this is just speculation so.



Very good points. Im finding in the reviews and comparisons that the 260 does outperform the 5770 in most games (at least the ones tested) but the promise of dx 11 is an important factor. Plus I do like that the 5770 and '50 use less power and generate less heat.

My biggest concern is which (250-60 or 5750-70) comes closest to my system's mobo and cpu performance cieling without being bottlenecked.

Its frustrating that I have no way of knowing this for sure without running extensive tests like those run in the reviews and, obviously, this is not an option financially. :( 


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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2010 5:11:06 PM

In my opinion (no facts) I'd say you probably would not see any improvement going from 5770 to 260 because of your system. However, there probably would be small gains going from 250/5750 to 5770 in GPU intensive (and AA) games.
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March 17, 2010 6:27:55 PM

thank you both for your imput.
I believe Ill try to decide between a 5750 or a 5770.

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a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2010 9:40:09 PM

stimuli said:
Very good points. Im finding in the reviews and comparisons that the 260 does outperform the 5770 in most games (at least the ones tested) but the promise of dx 11 is an important factor. Plus I do like that the 5770 and '50 use less power and generate less heat.

My biggest concern is which (250-60 or 5750-70) comes closest to my system's mobo and cpu performance cieling without being bottlenecked.

Its frustrating that I have no way of knowing this for sure without running extensive tests like those run in the reviews and, obviously, this is not an option financially. :( 


I would recommend the HD 5750 or HD 5770.
ATI released catalyst 10.3a preview drivers to the public. These offer anything from 5%-20% performance increase in a few games, this is for the 5000 series. Google; AMD Underground to find the download link once you get your card.

Your biggest bottlenecks will be your ram. DDR 3200 400 mhz ram. (it isnt 200 mhz it's 200mhzx2=400 mhz). The minimum for 1080p gaming can be considered 667 or 800 mhz ddr2.
Your second biggest bottleneck, even though it shouldnt be much of a bottleneck..
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March 18, 2010 12:39:24 AM

AsAnAtheist said:
I would recommend the HD 5750 or HD 5770.
ATI released catalyst 10.3a preview drivers to the public. These offer anything from 5%-20% performance increase in a few games, this is for the 5000 series. Google; AMD Underground to find the download link once you get your card.

Your biggest bottlenecks will be your ram. DDR 3200 400 mhz ram. (it isnt 200 mhz it's 200mhzx2=400 mhz). The minimum for 1080p gaming can be considered 667 or 800 mhz ddr2.
Your second biggest bottleneck, even though it shouldnt be much of a bottleneck..



Thank you for the info.

I dont think my mobo will support faster ram...just more of it...which wont do me much good because I believe windows XP can only utilize 3 gigs of ram (thats what I heard but not sure if its true)

Beyond this new card (I ordered an XFX HD 5770 1g from newegg a few hours ago) I think my next upgrade may have to be an entire new system since this one is 4 years old.

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a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2010 1:36:33 AM

Yeah, not to mention DDR1 is getting expensive and difficult to find sticks that would match the originals.
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a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2010 3:23:53 AM

EXT64 said:
Yeah, not to mention DDR1 is getting expensive and difficult to find sticks that would match the originals.


I have ton of DDR1 ran 3200 lol. I need check to see if it's even worth selling them with shipping first though while charging a very fair price..
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