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Upgrading 8800GT, undecided budget.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Anonymous
July 22, 2010 11:37:09 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before the release of Test Drive Unlimited 2 :p  (24th of September)

BUDGET RANGE: £150-250 GBP

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (all games at decent settings), watching films but I can currently watch 1080p no problem anyway.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Gainward 8800GT 512MB & Casecom 500W PSU (I would definitely not want to get a new graphics card without upgrading this).

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: In signature. My 8800GT is about 9" long and has the 6 pin connector on the very end but I don't have any problems there so anything smaller will be fine.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Bought all my parts from ebuyer before but other places seem to have better deals so I really don't mind.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but I'm not going to spend loads extra for a card with a kickass cooling system.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, motherboard only has 1 PCIe x16 slot and I'm not going to upgrade that until I'll be upgrading my CPU and RAM as well.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, not looking to upgrade any time in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like it to be able to last three years still playing the latest games, even if it means at low settings. I also find it hard to play games without AA. For future-proofness, I'd like it to have DirectX 11.

As of some time next week I'll have £190, and as of August that'll be £210. I'd like to use this money to upgrade my computer, which means upgrading my PSU as well unfortunately as there's no way I'm trusting this one with a new card. I've been looking at some 600W PSUs from reliable companies and they seem to be at around £50. If anyone has any suggestions for the PSU as well (and where to buy it) I'd be happy to hear them. I've currently been looking at a few cards: the HD 5830 & 5850 and the GTX 460 (768MB and 1GB). I've pretty much decided that I don't want the 5830 as the GTX 460 performs better and is cooler, smaller and quieter (in most cases). So, my questions:

I can get a Palit GTX 460 768MB for £150 with free delivery. I also found one on a website for a lot cheaper here but that doesn't include delivery (£5.88). I've never heard of that site before; I found it on the second page of a Google search for "computer components" :lol: . They also do the 1GB Sonic and Sonic Platinum. So, worth it for the 1GB? Worth it for the Sonic Platinum? My other option is to grab a used 5850 from eBay, for about £200 or less. Most of them on there still have the warranty and haven't been used much, and are being sold by people with a lot of feedback. I'd consider a used GTX 460 but there aren't any on eBay yet :/ 

So, what do you guys recommend I do? Thanks in advance :) 
a c 153 U Graphics card
July 22, 2010 11:44:36 PM

You're right there with the right graphcis card for the money, I'd get the 1gb version as for the price its a lot better, however it really only matters at what resolution you will be playing at, 1680x1050 is about in the middle of low and high resolutions, so it could go either way, personally I'd rather have the 1GB version. Also you said you want it to last three years, so the 1GB is highly recommended for that as well.
Anonymous
July 22, 2010 11:59:38 PM

What about the Sonic Platinum? It calls itself the "overclockING" edition but I think effectively it is just an overclockED edition, is it not? Anway, do you think it's worth the extra for that over the standard Sonic edition? What about getting a used 5850 as well? I could probably nab one for the same price as the Sonic Platinum but I'd like to get other people's opinions on buying used computer components.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 12:09:06 AM

Anonymous said:
What about the Sonic Platinum? It calls itself the "overclockING" edition but I think effectively it is just an overclockED edition, is it not? Anway, do you think it's worth the extra for that over the standard Sonic edition? What about getting a used 5850 as well? I could probably nab one for the same price as the Sonic Platinum but I'd like to get other people's opinions on buying used computer components.

The Galaxy KFA2 is faster than the Palit cards but also more expensive.
a c 153 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 12:09:18 AM

I wouldn't get used computer parts, its not bad I just have never trusted it myself. Also I'd would save the money and get a stock 460 1GB version, you can overclock itself very high.

Also, for the PSU a 650W Corsair would be good, in my opinion.
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 12:28:48 AM

I wasn't planning on spending that much on the PSU. Considering the minimum for the GTX 460 Sonic Platinum is a 450W with a minimum 12V rating of 24A, I think I'll be fine with a reliable 600W with at least 38A on the 12V rail(s). The rest of my system isn't high-drawing, so I think I'll be fine there. I would love to get a 650W Corsair but they're just too expensive :{

What do you mean by the stock 1GB version? The cheapest 1GB? (I think that's the Palit Sonic)
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 12:31:54 AM

if you are running a single GTX 460. the corsair 450w is more then enough but you would need to use one power adapter that comes with the card (not a big issue for most PC set ups)

the corsair 550w has two 6-pin power connectors.

antec and seasonic are two very good names for quality PSU.
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 12:33:57 AM

Anonymous said:
What do you mean by the stock 1GB version? The cheapest 1GB? (I think that's the Palit Sonic)

That's available now? Yes. Listed? No, at Scans the Palit card is £180 and the EVGA is £170.
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 12:54:54 AM

So both of you think I should get the 1GB which isn't overclocked? The cheapest would be the Palit from the site which I linked before because that's about £170 including delivery. I'm not sure on the PSU front what wattage I should go for...
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 1:01:15 AM

I'd always go for the standard one myself and as far as PSU's go I use a Corsair 620w and I think that is more than enough to run two 460's in SLi even though I would have to use a couple of molex to 6 pin adapters in the process.
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 1:10:36 AM

Anonymous said:
So both of you think I should get the 1GB which isn't overclocked? The cheapest would be the Palit from the site which I linked before because that's about £170 including delivery. I'm not sure on the PSU front what wattage I should go for...


I have the MSI cyclone 768mb, it maxes out all my games (not named cyrsis) at 1680x1050. It actually out-performs a stock 1GB, granted the stock can be OC as well. The difference between the stock 768mb and 1GB is not major at 1680 x1050. 2-4 FPS in most games. I also tend to upgrade my cards every 18 months or so.
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 1:14:40 AM

Ah cool. I think I'm still leaning towards the 1GB version as it has other stuff (I've forgotten already) which makes it slightly better and I think it could be used more in the future. As mentioned in my OP, I won't be running this card in SLI any time in the future as my motherboard doesn't support it and I don't see any point in spending money upgrading to an SLI board when I'm already on an outdated socket. It's basically spending money on outdated technologies which isn't something I like to do (for obvious reasons). So what do you think I should get for a PSU if I'm not really going to be upgrading anything major in my system anytime soon?
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 1:26:32 AM

I said I'm sure I don't want to SLI :p 
That Corsair PSU is overpriced, I swear. Surely there are other options from just as reliable companies which give me more power and two PCIe connectors for less money.
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 1:49:12 AM

you won't get two PCI-E power connectors on quality PSU for less money

you have the corsair 400w, 30a on the 12v, 6 molex connectors fot the adapter
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150985

ocz units are OK, not the same quality as the others. 34a on the 12v, but only 4 molex and the CPU power is a 4 pin (will still work with most 8-pin CPU connectors)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135159

antec 430w, 32a on the 12v but only 4 molex, its 80 plus bronze so its damn efficient
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/185176
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 1:50:43 AM

Hm thanks for that. I'll have a look at them better tomorrow as I'm just about to go to bed ;) 
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 12:14:06 PM

Okay, well at the moment the connectors I am using are:

20+4 pin motherboard
4 pin CPU
2x SATA
2x Molex

So with the OCZ's 4 molex connectors that would mean none of them would be free (2 needed for the second 6pin) and I would like to have some free just in case I need to add anything in.

Is there a difference between 80+ and 80+ bronze? I thought there was only 80+ bronze, silver and gold but the Corsair doesn't mention which metal it is :lol: 
There are a few things making me like the look of the Corsair: the price, the 120mm thermally controlled fan and the fact that I've only ever heard great things about Corsairs. But I'm also wondering whether 400W will really be enough for an overclocked Core 2 Duo (I'd like to overclock it to 3GHz and beyond but my motherboard refuses not to increase the memory at the same time so the RAM soon becomes unstable) and an overclocked graphics card as well as a couple oh hard drives, a DVD drive and a few fans. I don't ever plan on upgrading the DVD drive or adding another one as I don't think I'll ever really get into Blu-Ray or need 2 drives. At some point the hard drives will need upgrading, might go for a RAID setup in the future. I'll probably max out the fans on my case when I get the new card (2x120mm+1x92mm).

Do you think 400w will be enough for that? As I've already mentioned, I currently have "500w" but I'd be surprised if it was outputting more than about 350w (it's a year old). Especially as the actual requirement for the card is a 450w, I'd rather not go below that.

EDIT: CIT aren't reliable are they?

EDIT 2: Forget that. I've been looking around and I've found a few PSUs which have caught my eye:

Thermaltake WR101 550W PSU - 2 PCIe, 4 SATA, can't find the amount of molexes :(  Just under £50 on Amazon, probably cheaper elsewhere.

Akasa 500W PaxPower - 2 PCIe, 4 SATA, 6 Molex, outputs 420W on +12V rails. £45.90 on eBay (new of course) including P&P.

Are Akasa reliable? I can't remember...
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 7:57:15 PM

i personally like the the antec, its made by Delta and has plenty of amps

the corsair is made by seasonic and can easily be sold as a continuous 450w unit. it peaks at 490w. its also a very good PSU.

that thermaltake is an ancient design. it has 70% efficiency, all its amps are on the 3.3v and 5v, rather then the 12v. I would be shocked if it could give you 400w of continuous power.

the akasa is a marginal PSU
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Akasa-Paxpower-5...

*btw you can always purchase a 4-pin molex splitter.
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 8:14:24 PM

I've decided that whilst I would think that the Antec can output 450W easily, it doesn't claim that it can and so if it broke and I had to send it back under warranty, they could tell me that the graphics card I'm using is too powerful for it and refuse to replace it. I've created a shortlist of new ones which are maybe a little more expensive but I figure it's probably worth it to get something reliable:

Corsair VX450
Coolermaster GX 550W
Coolermaster GX 650W
Antec Basiq Power 550W
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W
Be Quiet Pure Power 530W
Be Quiet Special Edition White E7 Modular 600W

I'm not sure if Be Quiet are supposed to be a trusted company. One person has said that they can be trusted but I don't really want to buy a PSU because of that.
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 8:24:05 PM

lol you said the corsair 450w was too expensive
Anonymous
July 23, 2010 8:29:05 PM

Quote:
I've created a shortlist of new ones which are maybe a little more expensive but I figure it's probably worth it to get something reliable


I'm still thinking that the Corsair is too expensive for the amount of wattage it gives you and it's pretty much at the bottom of my list at the moment (although I put it at the top; they're not in any order).
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 8:32:04 PM

maybe this will make you fell better about it

"f we could summarize this power supply in just one word it would be “wow!”. Together with Antec EarthWatts 500 W this is the best power supply up to 500 W we have ever seen, bringing the best cost/benefit ratio for the average user building a mainstream PC with a good video card, graduating Summa Cum Laude in our tests. You will bring home a relatively inexpensive power supply that even though is sold as being a 450 W unit can deliver up to 570 W at 48º C – in fact Corsair could have easily labeled this power supply as a 500 W unit, but they preferred to stay on the safe side."

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Corsair-VX450W-P...

My advice, get the corsair and don't look back.
the antec would be my second choice follow by OCZ
Anonymous
July 24, 2010 12:29:49 AM

I'm assuming that you're referring to the Antec and OCZ that you linked, not the ones I linked. The thing is about that VX450, it only has one 6-pin connector and I feel that there are other power supplies from companies which are also known for being reliable when it comes to PSUs which provide a higher wattage and amperage for less money. I created a list using Excel of a few PSUs which I found that met my personal criteria (500W+, 2 6-pin connectors, reliable company) and took a snipping of it (it's pretty sad, I know, but it helps me to see stuff in comparison and see where it stands):

Of course, I will make sure to read reviews of all of those to further help me decide.

I'm not quite sure what to look for in terms of the +12v rails. Is it better to have a single rail with a lower amperage than multiple rails with a large combined amperage?
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 24, 2010 12:41:16 AM

Anonymous said:
I'm assuming that you're referring to the Antec and OCZ that you linked....

I'm not quite sure what to look for in terms of the +12v rails. Is it better to have a single rail with a lower amperage than multiple rails with a large combined amperage?


I was referring to the ones you linked. I don't trust CM PSU, they make a lot of junk units.


as for multi rails this will answer your question.
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3990

good luck in finding in your PSU
Anonymous
July 24, 2010 1:07:32 AM

Excellent. Thank you a lot for that link. I'd been hearing people say that multiple rails were a bad thing and now I know that in most cases that really isn't the problem. I'm definitely leaning towards the Antec now as it has a +12v rail just for the graphics card which may not be super amazing but it's definitely a plus. The PSU also has a nice wattage and total amperage as well as a shed load of connectors. I read a few pages of reviews on newegg and the majority of them were excellent. I will find some reviews for the other PSUs to compare them.

Thanks for your help everyone but especially ct1615, I must be one of the longest decision makers ever but I am definitely close!
!