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Video card upgrade

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May 5, 2010 8:49:50 AM

Hello guys, I am considering a video card upgrade and my system is:
Asus P5QL motherboard PCI 2.0
Asus Radeon HD 4850 512 MB
Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo E5200 @ 2.5 GHZ @ 800 Mhz bus speed
Memory 4 GB A-Data DDR2 1066+
So what video card should i chose as a best upgrade at this moment? I play mostly World of Warcraft and at everything on high the system is having fps problems in high populated areas and zones with spell effects. Do you think that the bottleneck in my system is the video card? ;(
Thanks in advance, and have a nice day all ;) 

More about : video card upgrade

a c 376 U Graphics card
May 5, 2010 9:46:26 AM

What is your resolution? If it is under 1920x1080 then OCing that processor will likely help more than a video card upgrade. At stock that processor is mediocre but it overclocks very well and easily. Just on the stock cooler you should be able to get it up to 3.3-3.5 ghz and with a good fan/heatsink it should get up to 3.8-4.0 ghz.
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May 5, 2010 1:06:03 PM

Thanks for the replies guys, the resolution i am using to play is 1280x1024 (19'' monitor).
About the CPU overclock shall i do it through the BIOS and change the voltages as well in the BIOS or just use the ASUS AI Suite?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 5, 2010 1:25:56 PM

Your current card should be very good for that resolution so yeah, it's the cpu that is the issue.
It's always best to OC through the BIOS, not software. I think it can only go up to 2.8-2.9 ghz on the stock voltage so you will want to bump it up a bit. It really should be quite easy. The default front side bus speed is 200mhz with a multiplier of 12.5 for that processor. Just raise the voltage slightly and set the FSB to 266mhz. That is the rated speed of your ram and the processor will then be up to 3.325 ghz which should do you well and not push the stock cooler too much if that is what you are using.
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May 5, 2010 1:44:09 PM

jyjjy said:
Your current card should be very good for that resolution so yeah, it's the cpu that is the issue.
It's always best to OC through the BIOS, not software. I think it can only go up to 2.8-2.9 ghz on the stock voltage so you will want to bump it up a bit. It really should be quite easy. The default front side bus speed is 200mhz with a multiplier of 12.5 for that processor. Just raise the voltage slightly and set the FSB to 266mhz. That is the rated speed of your ram and the processor will then be up to 3.325 ghz which should do you well and not push the stock cooler too much if that is what you are using.


Agree with your post^+1

If your not comfortable OCing(i am NOT comfortable OCing) go for a Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66 Ghz

I have this and it is a very nice processor

Order of upgrade >I< would choose

1. CPU
2. Monitor
3. GPU

you could really switch between 2 and three...i would get the monitor first though because the 4850 will let you run most games at high quality settings

Hope this helps!

Thanks,

Uber

EDIT > But if you aren't wanting to upgrade the monitor, just upgrade your processor then your GPU: but really, a stronger graphics card for that resolution would be total overkill
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 5, 2010 3:00:14 PM

You should really get over your fear of OCing. It's nearly impossible to hurt anything through an OC these days with the throttling/safety features of current processors. You'd have to specifically try to do so and even then it would probably be pretty difficult.
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May 5, 2010 7:26:27 PM

Well guys i tried to overclock from the BIOS and set FSB to 266 from 200, but then my memory frequency weirdly went from 800 to something like 776 (dont remember the exact number) instead of going up to 1066 :S. I am afraid to modify memory settings and maybe thats the problem. I guess I am gonna buy the new CPU instead.
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May 5, 2010 7:53:16 PM

UberGenocide said:
Agree with your post^+1

If your not comfortable OCing(i am NOT comfortable OCing) go for a Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66 Ghz




The CPU you suggested is supported by my motherboard but it runs at 1333 FSB. Since my motherboard supports only DDR2 memory modules which run @ 1066 Mhz maximum, what will happen if i install 1333 FSB Cpu? Will the memory run automatically in overclocked mode or maybe it wont run at all? I am a bit confused now :o 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 6, 2010 12:40:33 AM

If the ram speed went down slightly I guess that means the motherboard decided to use the wrong multiplier. What I should have said earlier is that the 266mhz FSB is half of your ram's rated speed so it can use a straight 2x multiplier. I don't know why it didn't do so but if you are really afraid of messing with setting any further for some reason you could leave it as it is, it's nothing to be worried about. If the CPU OC is working you just increased performance by 33% which was the goal, a minor decrease in ram speed(3%?) is nothing compared to that. Load up WoW and see how it goes.
That said there's no reason not to fix the ram settings. If you don't know the proper timings you could try CPU-Z;
http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
On the SPD tab it should give you a timings table with all the info you need. Use a 2:1 multiplier in the BIOS and the timings listed for 533mhz.
As for the 1333mhz CPU you need to divide it by 4 for the real number. It actually uses a FSB of 333mhz which is well under the max speed your ram can handle which should be 533mhz.
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May 6, 2010 2:18:03 AM

I have a gtx 260 with an e4600 @ 3.3ghz playing at 1920*1200 and i have some issues due to the procesor, not a big thing but, a lot of games now need a LOT of cpu power, so, OC ur procesor, or get a new one, then the GPU =)
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May 6, 2010 10:03:05 AM

Thanks a lot for the input guys, now i think i started to understand how the things work :ange: 

I'll post some info from CPU-Z:

Processors Information
Processor 1 ID = 0
........
Name Intel Pentium E5200
Codename Wolfdale
Specification Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5200 @ 2.50GHz
Core Speed 2520.8 MHz
Multiplier x FSB 12.5 x 201.7 MHz
Rated Bus speed 806.7 MHz
Stock frequency 2500 MHz
......
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 6, 2010 10:06:22 AM

Yeah, that just shows your processor running at stock settings(200mhz FSB)
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May 6, 2010 10:21:26 AM

Chipset
Northbridge Intel P45/P43 rev. A3
Southbridge Intel 82801JR (ICH10R) rev. 00
Graphic Interface PCI-Express
PCI-E Link Width x16
PCI-E Max Link Width x16
Memory Type DDR2
Memory Size 4096 MBytes
Channels Dual, (Symmetric)
Memory Frequency 403.3 MHz (1:2)
CAS# latency (CL) 5.0
RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD) 5
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5
Cycle Time (tRAS) 18
Row Refresh Cycle Time (tRFC) 52
Command Rate (CR) 2T


Memory SPD
DIMM # 1
SMBus address 0x50
Memory type DDR2
Module format Regular UDIMM
Manufacturer (ID) A-Data Technology (7F7F7F7FCB000000)
Size 2048 MBytes
Max bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
Part number EXTREME DDR2 1066+
Number of banks 2
Data width 64 bits
Correction None
Nominal Voltage 1.80 Volts
EPP yes (2 profiles)
XMP no
JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency
JEDEC #1 3.0-3-3-9-12 @ 200 MHz
JEDEC #2 4.0-4-4-12-16 @ 266 MHz
JEDEC #3 5.0-5-5-18-23 @ 400 MHz
EPP timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC-CR @ frequency (voltage)
EPP profile #1 (abb) 4.0-4-4-12-xx-2T- @ 400 MHz (2.000 Volts)
EPP profile #2 (abb) 5.0-6-6-15-xx-2T- @ 533 MHz (2.300 Volts)


So if I install Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66 Ghz which runs @ 333 Mhz FSB my memory should run @ 333 Mhz as well? The thing that bothers me is that i cant see the settings for 333 Mhz at the memory timigs table, are you sure it will run at these settings?
Thanks a lot :love: 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 6, 2010 10:39:18 AM

It doesn't matter. Your motherboard will a select a multiplier that is appropriate for whatever front side bus the processor is using.
From the looks of it when you OCed it didn't put the speed over 800mhz because speeds over that are non-standard(EPP) and require you to raise the voltage. You can do that by hand if you want to or just leave it as it is.
Did you actually try WoW with the OC? If it does the job you don't need to be spending $150-200 on a new processor. Even if you do get an Q8400 its stock speed is only 2.66ghz which isn't much higher than your current processor so overclocking is still the way to go. It does have two more cores but in games that aren't really multithreaded(such as WoW) that wont help much.
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May 6, 2010 11:22:14 AM

I didn't actually managed to effectively overclock the CPU, all i did was to set AI Overclock Tuner in BIOS from [Auto] to [Manual] and then to enter 266 Mhz in FSB Frequency [xxx] setting, leaving DRAM Frequency and everything else to [Auto]. When i boot the system it ended in blue screen, then i reverted everything back to default. I am not comfortable changing voltages and memory frequencies manually :( 
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May 6, 2010 11:29:42 AM

maybe i should change the DRAM frequency from [auto] to 266 in the BIOS as well ?
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May 6, 2010 11:42:41 AM

Here are the things i can change under AI Tweaker menu in BIOS:
FSB Frequency [xxx]
PCIE frequency [auto] or values from 100 till 160
FSB strap to northbridge [auto] or 200, 266, 333, 400
DRAM frequency [auto] or DDR2 533 Mhz, 639 Mhz, 667 Mhz, 709 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 852 Mhz, 887 Mhz, 1066 Mhz
DRAM timing control [auto] or [manual]
can you help me what i need to change here please
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Best solution

a c 376 U Graphics card
May 6, 2010 11:57:18 AM

Yes, you will need to increase the voltage to use a 266 FSB as I said earlier, that's why you got a blue screen. There is nothing to be uncomfortable about, it is just a setting. Raising it the smallest increment possible will likely work. It did on my motherboard at least. The default is 1.125v. somewhere between 1.2 and 1.3v should make 266mhz stable. Just bump up the voltage slightly and put the FSB up to 266mhz. You can leave everything else on auto. If it will make you more comfortable to do it in increments give 233mhz a go first. I don't think you would need to raise the voltage at all for that.
Like I said earlier to damage your computer in any way with overclocking at this point you literally need to try to do so purposely. There is absolutely no reason to be hesitant about any of this.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 6, 2010 12:14:09 PM

I just looked it up and even Intel says that chip should be fine up to a voltage of 1.365v. Keep in mind this is not a high OC you are aiming for. People put this chip up to 4 ghz. This is well within the safe and easy OC range for your processor.
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May 6, 2010 3:10:45 PM

Thanks jyjjy :D 

Setting the FSB to 233 seems to do the trick. Everything looks stable so far, and WoW runs smoother then ever :bounce: 
Memory seems to run at 388.6 (777) Mhz now cause FSB:D RAM ratio is auto set to 3:5 and used to be 1:2 before the overclock when memory was at 400 (800) Mhz.


Processors Information
Processor 1 ID = 0
Number of cores 2 (max 2)
Number of threads 2 (max 2)
Name Intel Pentium E5200
Codename Wolfdale
Specification Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5200 @ 2.50GHz
Package (platform ID) Socket 775 LGA (0x0)
Core Speed 2914.7 MHz
Multiplier x FSB 12.5 x 233.2 MHz
Rated Bus speed 932.7 MHz

Stock frequency 2500 MHz

Chipset
Northbridge Intel P45/P43 rev. A3
Southbridge Intel 82801JR (ICH10R) rev. 00
Graphic Interface PCI-Express
PCI-E Link Width x16
PCI-E Max Link Width x16
Memory Type DDR2
Memory Size 4096 MBytes
Channels Dual, (Symmetric)
Memory Frequency 388.6 MHz (3:5)
CAS# latency (CL) 5.0
RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD) 5
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5
Cycle Time (tRAS) 15
Row Refresh Cycle Time (tRFC) 44
Command Rate (CR) 2T
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 7, 2010 12:59:36 AM

Yeah, it seems like on the auto setting the motherboard is choosing a multiplier that keeps the ram within the JEDEC specification(under 800mhz.) It can go higher though. Ideally like I said you'll want to bump up the core voltage a bit and set it to 266mhz then set the ram to a 1:2 multiplier and use the timings/voltage cpu-z lists for 533mhz. If messing with ram settings is a bit much for you can just leave it on auto if you prefer, it's not a big deal.
If you are really against increasing any voltages at all for some reason you can just increase the FSB some more and experiment a bit to find the maximum that processor can handle on stock voltages.
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May 7, 2010 9:54:24 AM

Best answer selected by darkanger4.
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