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Upgrading 8800GT, $240 budget inc tax/shipping

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April 17, 2010 8:28:42 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this weekend
BUDGET RANGE: $240 before rebates, after tax and shipping

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: This is a gaming PC and multimedia desktop hooked to a 37" HDTV and I want to get more out of it. 1080p movies play fine, but my FPS in games is starting to dive and it'd be nice to go to max settings and get higher FPS like I used to get.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: 8800GT, this power supply

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:

Screenshots of CPU-Z
http://img684.imageshack.us/i/ss2te.jpg/
http://img10.imageshack.us/i/ss1tm.jpg/
http://img97.imageshack.us/i/ss3af.jpg/
http://img6.imageshack.us/i/ss4nw.jpg/
http://img695.imageshack.us/i/ss5i.jpg/
http://img691.imageshack.us/i/ss6a.jpg/
http://img248.imageshack.us/i/ss7n.jpg/

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg and TigerDirect for the most part, but I'm open to anything that's cheap and reliable
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't have any, I've been out of it for a few years since I bought this computer.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, haven't done it before
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future, current mobo incompatible

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 + 1680 x 1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Slowly upgrading the computer bit by bit. Started with the monitor, now the video card. I'm not looking for the super-cards that give 120 FPS or anything like that, but 40-60 would be nice. Devil May Cry 4 is so well-optimized that it runs at 60 on my computer and it looks beautiful. I'd like other games to match it. Some, like WoW, are starting to dive below 10 FPS in crowded areas and that's really not acceptable. I'm dual-screening now with the HDTV and my old monitor. I had the 5770 recommended to me but I got a little bit of a bonus this week and I think I can get an even better card. Thanks for reading my thread and thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 10:00:11 AM

If you overclock your Q6600 to an 1333 mhx FSB, you'll get about a 15% to 20% increase in your framerates. A stock Q6600 doesn't push an 8800GT as fasy as it can go.

A videocard upgrade to a 5770 should balance out your system.. Anything more powerful and you'll have to push your CPU to around 3.6 Ghz to get the full benefits of a more powerful card. If you have extra cash, something to consider is a $75 E6500 dual core (Newegg promo code EMCYRZT32) that easily overclocks to 3.7 Ghz is also a cheap alternative to pushing out framerates from powerful GPUs.

It's three options then:

1. Free upgrade - overclock your Q6600 to 3.0 Ghz

2. A $75 CPU - E6500 to run at 3.7 Ghz and basically force your 8800GT to it's max output since your stock Q6600 (and even overclocked to 3 Ghz) can't push it toits limits

3. About $140 for new and $110 for open box 5770.



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Related resources
April 17, 2010 10:01:31 AM

dmen said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XFX HD-583X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$239.99

I think this is the ultimate card for you :D 


Wow, I'm looking at an in-depth review of it and they seem to be pulling 120 FPS in MW2 with it. They've got a much better computer, of course, but I imagine it'll probably still give me a whole lot of power.

hundredislandsboy said:
If you overclock your Q6600 to an 1333 mhx FSB, you'll get about a 15% to 20% increase in your framerates. A stock Q6600 doesn't push an 8800GT as fasy as it can go.

A videocard upgrade to a 5770 should balance out your system.. Anything more powerful and you'll have to push your CPU to around 3.6 Ghz to get the full benefits of a more powerful card. If you have extra cash, something to consider is a $75 E6500 dual core (Newegg promo code EMCYRZT32) that easily overclocks to 3.7 Ghz is also a cheap alternative to pushing out framerates from powerful GPUs.

It's three options then:

1. Free upgrade - overclock your Q6600 to 3.0 Ghz

2. A $75 CPU - E6500 to run at 3.7 Ghz and basically force your 8800GT to it's max output since your stock Q6600 (and even overclocked to 3 Ghz) can't push it toits limits

3. About $140 for new and $110 for open box 5770.


I'll have to free overclock first. The reason I have the budget I do is because that's how much money I have at the moment. :( 

Any tips on overclocking it to 3.0 Ghz or should I find a guide for it?


EDIT EDIT: Also, the next part I'll upgrade in a few weeks is my processor, I guess. I thought my RAM was what was holding me back but this is the second time I've been told it's the processor. I thought it was a good one when I bought it. So, uh, i7s the way to go these days?
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April 17, 2010 10:25:38 AM

A stock Q6600 can easily power a 8800GT, and even a 4870...

The 5830 is a waste of money since it's just a 4890 with DX11 and that's about it. You should overclock that CPU though, it would help. For a new card, you only have a few options at this current time.

1) HD 4870 1GB/ HD 5770 1GB - Very cheap, yet will perform at least twice as good as your 8800GT.

2)GTX275/280 - a little more expensive and probably not truly worth it, but will provide excellent performance.

3) Spend a little more and get a HD 5850 :) 

The choice is yours. Personally, I would overclock your CPU as far as you can get it(should be 3.4-3.6ghz range) and get a 5770 1GB and overclock it. That's the cheapest/best way to upgrade at this time, and on a budget.
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a c 1391 U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 1:31:38 PM

dp_gonzales said:
Wow, I'm looking at an in-depth review of it and they seem to be pulling 120 FPS in MW2 with it. They've got a much better computer, of course, but I imagine it'll probably still give me a whole lot of power.



I'll have to free overclock first. The reason I have the budget I do is because that's how much money I have at the moment. :( 

Any tips on overclocking it to 3.0 Ghz or should I find a guide for it?


EDIT EDIT: Also, the next part I'll upgrade in a few weeks is my processor, I guess. I thought my RAM was what was holding me back but this is the second time I've been told it's the processor. I thought it was a good one when I bought it. So, uh, i7s the way to go these days?

Here is a overclocking guide http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overc...
Although the HD5830 fits your budget its performance is not that much better than HD5770 that costs about $150. If you can increase your budget to $ 300 you can get HD5850 which is a much better card.
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a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 1:40:37 PM

I'd like to point-out that if the OP is using stock cooler, the OC will not be free as he will need a better HSF. Since he seems to be looking at a CPU upgrade soon, I suggest he gets one with LGA775/LGA1366/LGA1156 compatibility like the Zalman CNPS10X Quiet (55$) or the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme (65$). They aren't cheap, but they are probably the best around (temp/noise wise).
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April 17, 2010 2:55:45 PM

5770 1GB and new HSF ftw.
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April 17, 2010 3:47:20 PM

I'm actually using this fan because the Intel stock one died after a year or so, but I'm reading that OC guide and I have absolutely no idea what's going on in it so I guess I have to buy a new processor that doesn't need to be overclocked.

So, new processor and a 5770?
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a c 1391 U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 3:51:59 PM

You can always read the threads in the overclock section instead of buying a new CPU. There is a lot of people getting help in there.
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April 17, 2010 4:27:01 PM

But if you decide to upgrade your CPU from a Q6600 to something current, aren't you going to have to upgrade your motherboard too, and then most likely that RAM?

Doesn't make any sense to me to get another 775 CPU at this point.

I tend to sell my old rigs while they still have some value and put the $$ towards a new build. Only throwing it out there because it hasn't been given as an option yet. Random number here, but if you sold your current box for $400, then add your $250 budget, you're looking at $650 to start a brand new build with current tech. Craigslist can be your friend.

Either way, whatever you upgrade there is usually lots of money to be recouped in selling old components! Your used q6600 still sells for $100 on ebay for example...

If I were you, and had no interested in selling my whole rig, I would get just get a 5770 for $150 and call it a day. Save that extra $100 for a future build. Your CPU cooler is good enough to pump some more power out of your CPU. Look for less confusing guides than the one on this site if toms is too difficult to understand.

Does your motherboard support SLI? can pick up a second 8800gt off ebay for $50. Again just giving the option cause it hasn't been suggested.
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April 17, 2010 5:41:27 PM

metalweenis said:
5770 1GB and new HSF ftw.


I would agree. On a 1080p TV, this will offer great performance at a great price. I am still holding on to my Radeon 4850 because I am expecting anything 5830 and above will finally drop in price with the GF400s rolling out so if I was in your shoes I would hate to spend 240 on a 5830 this weekend and find out it went down in price in 3 weeks and newegg does not pricematch.
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April 17, 2010 7:42:33 PM

No, do not upgrade your CPU. Get a new heatsink/fan and buy a 5770 1GB, sell 8800GT - problem solved.
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a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2010 12:53:18 PM

dp_gonzales said:
I'm reading that OC guide and I have absolutely no idea what's going on in it so I guess I have to buy a new processor that doesn't need to be overclocked.
Buying even a top-of-the-line LGA775 CPU like Q9650 or Q9550, wouldn't be THAT much of an upgrade and as Xrome said, changing to an new i5/i7 would require you to change the MB and RAM as well so it would be a budget issue. OCing the Core2 line of CPU can actually be quite easy. For example, I OCed my 3Ghz E8400 to 3.6GHz simply by raising the FSB from 333Mhz to 400Mhz, didn't have to change anything else ... instant and free 20% gain. From what I remember, OCing the Q6600 isn't that much more complicated and you could easily reach 3.0-3.2 Ghz with it.
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April 19, 2010 2:39:34 AM

Not everyone is as lucky as Zenthar, my e8400 E0 stepping won't go to 400Mhz unless I start playing with other settings. But you can def get a little more juice out of a q6600 without tinkering too much. Don't waste money on an obsolete socket 775. A video card upgrade is always nice because you can bring it right into your next build, cause they are compatible with everything.

Options: (all of which involve selling your 8800gt to recoup $)
1.) Buy a 5770 and call it a day.
2.) Buy a 5830 which fits your budget and call it a day.
3.) Save for a few more months and get a 5850.
4.) Check eBay for used cards and look for a used 5850 or nvidia 275 etc that fits your budget.
5.) Sell your rig and rebuild.

Does your motherboard support at least dual x8 SLI? If it does, seriously consider getting a second 8800GT off ebay for $50.

If it doesn't...
Option 1 is cheap and easy
Option 2 isn't worth the money IMO
Option 3 is a solid choice
Option 4 is a good idea in my opinion but I'm an ebay guy...
Option 5 is my favorite.

Sometimes it comes down to personal preference...
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a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2010 2:44:06 AM

Just get a 5770 and sell the 9800gt on ebay.
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a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2010 3:17:30 AM

xrome said:
Not everyone is as lucky as Zenthar, my e8400 E0 stepping won't go to 400Mhz unless I start playing with other settings. But you can def get a little more juice out of a q6600 without tinkering too much. Don't waste money on an obsolete socket 775. A video card upgrade is always nice because you can bring it right into your next build, cause they are compatible with everything.

Options: (all of which involve selling your 8800gt to recoup $)
1.) Buy a 5770 and call it a day.
2.) Buy a 5830 which fits your budget and call it a day.
3.) Save for a few more months and get a 5850.
4.) Check eBay for used cards and look for a used 5850 or nvidia 275 etc that fits your budget.
5.) Sell your rig and rebuild.

Does your motherboard support at least dual x8 SLI? If it does, seriously consider getting a second 8800GT off ebay for $50.

If it doesn't...
Option 1 is cheap and easy
Option 2 isn't worth the money IMO
Option 3 is a solid choice
Option 4 is a good idea in my opinion but I'm an ebay guy...
Option 5 is my favorite.

Sometimes it comes down to personal preference...

I would definitely go with options one, you could probably get $50 for you 8800 so that's only $100 net investment for a ton of more performance and you could potentially crossfire later which would give you better than 5870 performance in some situations

as for overclocks it may seem intimidating at first with a bunch of terms you don't know but for small overclocks, it could be fairly simply just bump the front side bus, maybe increase the core voltage just a tad, and maybe drop to the ram multiplier if it becomes unstable
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