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ATI 5850 upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 1, 2010 1:44:15 AM

Hey guys, I was thinking about buying a ATI 5850 for my computer to try to extend the life of it for maybe another 2 years. I've had it about 2 years now and I wanted to up the graphics in games like Crysis and try games like Arma 2. Here is my current system;

Intel Q9450@stock
4GB DDR2 800 mhz
Asus Maximus Forumla
Cosair 620 watt PSU
Antec 1200 gaming case
8800 GTS 512
Monitor resolution is 1680 X 1050 and 1920 X 1020 for my TV which I may also use for games.

Do you guys think that my CPU @ only 2.67 GHZ would bottleneck the 5850 too much? I've wanted to overclock before but my CPU hits over 60C at 100% load, in the summer this would be even worse as my rooms quite cool now. I don't want to "upgrade" my CPU as this socket is dead now. I don't want to spend money on an I5/7 system as that would be far too much. Do you guys think that the upgrades worth it?

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a c 1315 U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 1:49:19 AM

You could get a better cooler for the CPU but I think you would be happy with the HD5850 even at stock clocks.
April 1, 2010 1:53:43 AM

I have got an aftermarket cooler on it, can't remember what brand it is right now, its only a cheap one though.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 1:55:52 AM

Oh yeah, the Q9450 is a great processor, even at stock clocks. The monitor is a bit small for such a card, however I agree that you'll be just fine.
a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 1:56:08 AM

The processor you have, especially at stock, will definitely be a bottleneck on the 5850. I had my Q9650 overclocked to 3.6GHz and that, believe it or not, was still a bottleneck. I built a new PC around Christmas with an i7 920 oc'd to 3.66GHz and that 5850 was running 15-20% faster in most benchmarks I tested it with. So, you can imagine what a 2.66GHz proc is going to do. A better match for your processor would be a 5770.

Another idea, though, is to get a better cooler and overclock. The hyper 212+ is only about $35 and you can push that 9450 as far as you can go and probably never see temps above 45-50C at load. That would allow you to push the 5770 to it's max, though you still won't come anywhere close to pushing a 5850. If money's an issue, I'd save the $130-$150 and get a 5770.
April 1, 2010 2:04:37 AM

I think I have the Artic Cooling Freezer 7 on it now, would that cooler be worth it if I'm getting 60C+ with that?
a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 3:17:43 AM

Dark Comet said:
I think I have the Artic Cooling Freezer 7 on it now, would that cooler be worth it if I'm getting 60C+ with that?

I have always loved the AC7 - used it on almost any high-end PC I built over the past few years (both AMD and Intel). My new i7 920 oc'd to 3.66GHz was running 70C on full load - just way too hot. I thought I might have installed it wrong...or something. Took it off, reapplied paste...nothing I did could get it below 70 at full load. Switched to a 212+ and it's a nice cool 45-46C under full load now. Shoot...the AC7 cost more. Go figure.
a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 3:21:19 AM

there may be a marginal bottleneck, but you will still get great performance with a 5850 and that CPU.
April 1, 2010 3:28:13 AM

According to the Asus software my CPU is at 44C, but Real temp is saying 62C (Running stress test now). I take it that the Asus software temperature is for the whole CPU and Real Temp is the cores.
a c 236 U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 3:32:10 AM

Seem like lots of people are asking the same question. Here is my stock answer:

To assess the possibilities, try a couple of tests:

1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help. is A i5 or i7 cpu will be perhaps 15% faster, clock for clock.
a c 1315 U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 3:34:08 AM

Metering software has been known to be wrong. I would look in Bios and see which software is closer to the bios readings. I have a feeling it is going to be the Asus software. In any case it should display individual cores.
April 1, 2010 3:44:31 AM

Well it only has one value for the whole CPU so I assumed that it was for the CPU as a whole. I'll try that test when my 8800GTS comes back.

I've only got a 7100GS in my system right now as my 8800 GTS is going away for repair tomorrow.
a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 4:54:49 AM

the temp of the CPU should be very close to the temp of the cores. it certainly should not have a 20 degree difference.
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