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My 8800GT needs an upgrade... advice?

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  • Radeon
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
June 11, 2010 6:03:28 PM

So after some research, I've narrowed it down to 2 options:

Radeon HD 5770
or...
Radeon HD 5850

Here's my current specs:
ASUS p5n-d
Intel Pentium Dual-core e2140 (currently OC'd to 2.8ghz, gone as high as 3.2 stable) <-- I know this is the bottleneck, it's the next upgrade on the line.
4GB G.Skill ram
EVGA 8800GT (duh ;)  )
SCEPTRE 24" monitor (1920x1200) (drool)
Thermaltake 430w power supply <-- Is this enough? It ran my 8800gt fairly well.

I primarily play tf2 on my PC, and lately my computer has just straight-up froze with a checkerboard pattern that only graphics memory corruption would cause.

After getting shafted by EVGA support, and reading on how NVIDIA's latest cards just don't compare to the ATI's latest, I decided to go ATI.

What finally set me off was when the latest tf2 update came out and my screen would go black after only a few seconds of playing, hang for a few seconds, then come back to life and work again... :fou: 

I don't even have enough to buy a 5770 yet... should I wait even longer to save up more and get the 5850? Also, what's the best brand of each? I'm thinking ASUS would be the best since it'd go with my motherboard :p 

What do you guys think?

More about : 8800gt upgrade advice

a c 75 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 6:07:52 PM

Based on your 1920x1200 monitor, I wouldn't do any less than the ATI 5850. That will allow you to play at those resolutions with high settings, and retain good FPS. You'll also be able to play any other game you wish, with fairly high settings as well. And at 1920x1200 that looks pretty sweet. :) 

You will likely want something better than a 430W power supply though. As it cuts it fairly close, and I don't like to run a power supply at it's maximum abilities. Besides that, the recommendation for an ATI 5850 is 450W minimum.

Edit: By the way, your CPU could turn into a limiting factor for you depending on what games you end up playing. For example, if you ever start playing something like Battlefield Bad Company 2, you won't see the full potential of an ATI 5850, because that game is very CPU intensive (it loves Quad Cores).
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a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 6:14:55 PM

i think ur video driver crashes nd gets recovered.. this used to happen wid me... try usin stock clocks if u have overclocked ur grphx card
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 6:18:31 PM

mjsharma said:
i think ur video driver crashes nd gets recovered.. this used to happen wid me... try usin stock clocks if u have overclocked ur grphx card


Yeah my first thought when I read about the OP's problem was a graphics driver conflict issue. Might try changing to a newer or older driver version and see if there's an issue.
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June 11, 2010 6:48:46 PM

Wow, your system sounds nearly identical to mine (Overclocked E21XX CPU too). I however have a TT 500W PurePower PSU, and upgraded from a 8800GT to a 4870 1GB this time last year (got it for like $120, it was literally a steal at the time). As far as an actual improvement, I was a little disappointed. Realistically from what I've seen I only saw 20-30% increases across the board. It could be as mentioned before, a CPU limitation (E2180 @ 3Ghz). So the 4870 (pretty much a 5870) is being held back a bit.
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June 11, 2010 6:50:40 PM

My card, if you click the link in the OP, is one of EVGA's "superclocked" cards. It ran fine for 2 years... but now it's on its last legs. Using the same driver, the crashing has gotten progressively worse over the last few months to the point where I can't go a few seconds without it crashing now. :( 

I guess I should go with the 5850. I don't really have the cash to upgrade the power supply, so for a while I guess I'll have to make do with what I've got. Anyone know of any 5850s in the $250 range? And what's your favorite brand?

As for far later into the future... should I even bother upgrading my cpu or go full circle and upgrade the mobo/cpu/ram to the 1156/i7/ddr3 range? If I chose the former, I have my eyes on this: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=intel+e8200&hl...

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June 11, 2010 7:17:41 PM

whiplash000 said:
My card, if you click the link in the OP, is one of EVGA's "superclocked" cards. It ran fine for 2 years... but now it's on its last legs. Using the same driver, the crashing has gotten progressively worse over the last few months to the point where I can't go a few seconds without it crashing now. :( 

I guess I should go with the 5850. I don't really have the cash to upgrade the power supply, so for a while I guess I'll have to make do with what I've got. Anyone know of any 5850s in the $250 range? And what's your favorite brand?

As for far later into the future... should I even bother upgrading my cpu or go full circle and upgrade the mobo/cpu/ram to the 1156/i7/ddr3 range? If I chose the former, I have my eyes on this: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=intel+e8200&hl...


So...JohnnyGuru was right...I always though it was a myth, yet here we are almost 3 years later to find out. In case you're lost there was a fairly decent debate on OC the 8800GT, specifically the memory. JohnnyGuru did a review and mentioned not to overclock the memory near 1Ghz or more, as this will "deteriorate" it into not longer working. When I saw companies OC the memory that far I figured, eh, if they're doing it must be OK. Guess not, I think you may have defunct memory chips on that card.
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June 11, 2010 7:52:49 PM

Good news everyone! EVGA has agreed to replace my broken card! If you're looking to SLI up your current evga 8800gt superclocked shoot me a PM and we'll talk price :p 

BTW I'm still interested in upgrading.

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June 11, 2010 7:57:08 PM

bildo123 said:
So...JohnnyGuru was right...I always though it was a myth, yet here we are almost 3 years later to find out. In case you're lost there was a fairly decent debate on OC the 8800GT, specifically the memory. JohnnyGuru did a review and mentioned not to overclock the memory near 1Ghz or more, as this will "deteriorate" it into not longer working. When I saw companies OC the memory that far I figured, eh, if they're doing it must be OK. Guess not, I think you may have defunct memory chips on that card.


**Checks EVGA Percision**

...my memory is clocked at 1000mhz! Maybe that's why it's been crashing all this time... regardless of what temp it's at...

What are the stock speeds?
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 8:17:16 PM

bildo123 said:
Realistically from what I've seen I only saw 20-30% increases across the board. It could be as mentioned before, a CPU limitation (E2180 @ 3Ghz). So the 4870 (pretty much a 5870) is being held back a bit.


Since when is an ATI 4870 anything like an ATI 5870?


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...

Note that the ATI 4870 X 2 is closest to the ATI 5870. The regular 4870 is about half the FPS.
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June 11, 2010 8:21:09 PM

whiplash000 said:
**Checks EVGA Percision**

...my memory is clocked at 1000mhz! Maybe that's why it's been crashing all this time... regardless of what temp it's at...

What are the stock speeds?


Off the top of my head, I want to say 900Mhz was stock. Basically "safe" was <950Mhz for an OC. Funny story, here is the article I was talking about, almost 3 years old, more like 2 1/2 but still:

http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/69349/

Guess Mr. XFX and the rest of em were all dead wrong. Makes you wonder who you can believe.
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 8:23:11 PM

whiplash000 said:
Good news everyone! EVGA has agreed to replace my broken card! If you're looking to SLI up your current evga 8800gt superclocked shoot me a PM and we'll talk price :p 

BTW I'm still interested in upgrading.


Cool! Glad to hear they are replacing your 8800GT. You can either use that until you can afford a new Power Supply and an ATI 5850. Or, when you get the new video card (if it's a New In Box card) you could try to sell it. LOL Either way, this is a good thing.

When the time for an upgrade comes. I'd recommend the ATI 5850. At your resolution it's really the best way to go. As you've already noted, remember a CPU upgrade is probably due sometime soon too. You could either consider a Core 2 Quad (Q9xxx model) to use in your existing motherboard. Or you'll need to consider a new Intel i5/i7 or AMD Phenom II X4 cpu. For gaming purposes, those are the best way to go performance wise.

Of course, it's all about money though. :(  I'm glad I upgraded when I did, cause I can't afford it now. LOL
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June 11, 2010 8:26:01 PM

jerreece said:
Since when is an ATI 4870 anything like an ATI 5870?

Note that the ATI 4870 X 2 is closest to the ATI 5870. The regular 4870 is about half the FPS.


Maybe I was thinking the 5770...Had to be.
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June 11, 2010 8:29:10 PM

5770
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 8:30:35 PM

bildo123 said:
Maybe I was thinking the 5770...Had to be.


Yeah probably were. The ATI 4870 and ATI 5770 are the ones to compare. :)  The ATI 5770 is comparable, but has DX11 support. Problem is, @ 1920x1200 the ATI 5770 (or 4870) aren't going to give you solid FPS at High/Max settings in current or future titles. So I'd still suggest the 5850.

This is exactly why I run a GTX260 SLI setup. My single GTX 260 (comparable to 4870/5770) wasn't enough anymore. So I added an extra GTX 260.
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June 12, 2010 4:54:45 AM

I think I've decided on the 5850. What brand do you guys recommend?

I think I'll get this one: ASUS EAH5850 (amazon)
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June 12, 2010 8:54:51 PM

Do you guys really think my current power supply can't handle the 5850? (check OP)
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 9:18:38 PM

I filled out the calculator for you. I had to guess on a few things. Here's what I put in:

E2140 CPU overclocked to 2.8Ghz (2800mhz) @ 1.4V (guessed).
High End Desktop Motherboard
1 Hard Drive @ 7200rpm
1 DVD Drive
1 120mm Cooling Fan
ATI 5850
2 DIMMS of DDR2 Memory

System Load @ 90% (while gaming for instance)
Capacitor Aging 20% (assuming power supply is couple years old)

Result: 449 Watts Recommended (minimum 399Watts)
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June 12, 2010 9:20:15 PM

jerreece said:
Fill in all the information on this power supply calculator. :) 

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

It will tell you what your actual power draw should be... theoretically.


I got 373 watts... guess I should be okay, but I thought that wattage really didn't matter compared to the amps in the 12v rail, which my power supply has two of at 14A and 15A.

What I put in (updated):
E2140 oc'd to 2800mhz, 1.37v
ATI Radeon 5850
2 Regular SATA HDs
1 DVD/CDRW combo
3 USB devices
1 80mm fan
1 120mm fan
30% capacitor aging

With everything else standard, I got 420/470 watts... it told me to get 371/421 watts with my old 8800gt.... so I think I'll be fine with what I have now.
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 9:23:27 PM

whiplash000 said:
I got 373 watts... guess I should be okay, but I thought that wattage really didn't matter compared to the amps in the 12v rail, which my power supply has two of at 14A and 15A.


Not necessarily. If your power supply is already pushing as much wattage as it can for other components (Hard drives, CD/DVD Drives, CPU, any PCI cards, cooling fans, etc) and then you throw in a large amperage draw on a GPU you can quickly run into power issues. So wattage does still matter. But yes, amperage is a key issue because that determines how much power draw the PSU can handle specifically on the +12V system (which is where the GPU pulls from).
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 9:32:33 PM

whiplash000 said:
I got 373 watts... guess I should be okay, but I thought that wattage really didn't matter compared to the amps in the 12v rail, which my power supply has two of at 14A and 15A.

What I put in (updated):
E2140 oc'd to 2800mhz, 1.37v
ATI Radeon 5850
2 Regular SATA HDs
1 DVD/CDRW combo
3 USB devices
1 80mm fan
1 120mm fan
30% capacitor aging

With everything else standard, I got 420/470 watts... it told me to get 371/421 watts with my old 8800gt.... so I think I'll be fine with what I have now.


For whatever reason, when I duplicate your above specs, I'm getting different results.

495W recommendation - Minimum 445W

I'm using High End Desktop motherboard settings. Using "Regular" I still show 467W recommendation - Minimum 417, which is about what you're showing. Question is whether your motherboard would fall under High End. Frankly, since it's a gaming board, I'd lean that direction.

Were I you, I'd upgrade the power supply. Not only because I think you actually need to. But also because it's not a great idea to run the power supply at max output for very long. It'll run hot, and capacitors will age more quickly. More chance for catastrophic failure.
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June 12, 2010 9:39:23 PM

Well... the thing is, I don't even have enough to buy a 5770 right now, let alone a 5850 PLUS a new power supply... I've had this power supply for a long time... and from what I see it doesn't draw THAT much more power than my 8800gt does. By "catastrophic failure" do you mean the power supply will blow and take out components with it?
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June 12, 2010 9:46:03 PM

jerreece said:
If you've had that power supply more than 2-3 years, it isn't likely capable of outputting it's maximum 430W anymore as it is. :(  So keep that in mind. Also realize, that not all power supplies rated @ 430W can actually output continuously at that rate. Some are rated at their "peak" output.

By catastrophic failure, anything is possible. It could just fizzle out and not work anymore. It could pop really loud and smoke could come out. It could pop really loud, sizzle and crackle, spark, and throw smoke out (or catch fire). It all depends on what happens if/when it dies. It could just not turn on one of these days. The difficult thing with electricity is that you don't really know for sure what it's going to do, or which component in the power supply is going to go out, and how it's going to do it. Pushed to hard, you generate a lot of heat problems. This could cause a component to 'blow up', short out and allow electricity to flow where it should not, or burn.

If... or when... this happens, it could cause electrical damage to any component that's connected to it.

Will it happen for sure? I have no idea. Do I want to take the chance? :)  Nope!


:( 

**starts saving $400**
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 9:48:46 PM

I'm not pushing that you spend more money. However, I am saying, if you're going to make an upgrade, do it properly and safely. :) 

Sorry to rain on your parade though man! LOL I'm sure someone may disagree with me. But I made the upgrade myself.

I had a 480W Antec PSU and ran an 8800GTS 512MB & Q6600 with it. When I upgraded to the GTX 260 I replaced my PSU with an Antec TPQ-850 (850W continuous) so I'd have overkill. Later when I wanted to switch to SLI, I just popped in my second GTX 260 and had absolutely no concerns what so ever. Because I knew my PSU was overkill, and would handle anything I threw at it. Plus, my PSU is running cool and stress free because it's capable of much more than I'm hitting it with.

My wife has an identical 480W Antec PSU in her PC, which runs my old Q6600 & an ATI x1950 Pro GPU. If I ever get her a new GPU I'm going to replace her power supply. It's over 4 years old.
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a c 75 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 9:49:12 PM

whiplash000 said:
Well... the thing is, I don't even have enough to buy a 5770 right now, let alone a 5850 PLUS a new power supply... I've had this power supply for a long time... and from what I see it doesn't draw THAT much more power than my 8800gt does. By "catastrophic failure" do you mean the power supply will blow and take out components with it?


If you've had that power supply more than 2-3 years, it isn't likely capable of outputting it's maximum 430W anymore as it is. :(  So keep that in mind. Also realize, that not all power supplies rated @ 430W can actually output continuously at that rate. Some are rated at their "peak" output.

By catastrophic failure, anything is possible. It could just fizzle out and not work anymore. It could pop really loud and smoke could come out. It could pop really loud, sizzle and crackle, spark, and throw smoke out (or catch fire). It all depends on what happens if/when it dies. It could just not turn on one of these days. The difficult thing with electricity is that you don't really know for sure what it's going to do, or which component in the power supply is going to go out, and how it's going to do it. Pushed to hard, you generate a lot of heat problems. This could cause a component to 'blow up', short out and allow electricity to flow where it should not, or burn.

If... or when... this happens, it could cause electrical damage to any component that's connected to it.

Will it happen for sure? I have no idea. Do I want to take the chance? :)  Nope!
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