GTX 480-Q6600

Hi all,

I would like some advice regarding my system and also hoping to answer a few of my questions.

I have a Q6600 @3.6ghz on water. Granted it is not a new processor but I had the choice of upgrading either my graphics card or do a part upgrade on my chipset and be without my pc for a couple of months due to cash flow.

I chose to get a GTX480, my main question is this, am I gettig the best form my card without upgrading further??

The only other important thing you guys should know is that I am running a Corsair HX620W. I understand that the GTX480 needs minimum 600w and I have done an online test that suggested that something like 560w is all I should need for my set up. I mention this because it't the only other component im doubting.

The reason I am asking is that some games ( Medal Of Honor, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit ) run perfectly and look awesome but some games like mafia 2, fall out new vegas and call of duty black ops do not run as I would hope they would.

Infact I was considering selling the card and getting an ATI 6xxx.

Any help or advice or even someone in the same shoes who can tell me to stop being so bloody picky would be great.


18 answers Last reply
More about q6600
  1. How do you know if it's the graphics card that is problem while you're playing "mafia 2, fall out new vegas and call of duty black ops"?

    What is the CPU load while you are playing those games? If the core(s) that your game is running on are loaded at close to or at 100% your CPU is holding you back.

    What display resolution are you running at?
  2. Basically, your CPU is bottlenecking the GTX480 like none other. Mafia 2, Fallout:NV and COD:BO are fairly CPU intensive, and pairing a top flight graphics card like the GTX480 with a Q6600 is horribly unbalanced.

    You will get the exact same results when you switch to AMD6800 series cards, because your CPU will still be holding those cards back.

    You will need to reconsider your upgrade if you want optimal performance. I would probably return the GTX480 and get a cheaper, mid-level card. GTX460, AMD6850, etc. Then when you're ready, take the money you've saved and upgrade your entire platform with an i5, or you could also go with the Phenoms. i5+new mobo+new ram will cost around $400, with GTX460s coming in around $170, depending on manufacturer. So a total of $570 for a complete upgrade, which is similar to the price you paid for the GTX480.
  3. +1 to mattimeo005

    though you might opt for a Q9550/Q9650 and overclock it... but that will depend if your motherboard can support it.
  4. The OP has said he is running his Q6600 at 3.6ghz - surely his processor at this speed is not impacting too much on performance? At default speed I can understand.
  5. I have a GTX 470 and a q9550 @ 3.5ghz. I play BFBC2 and my GTX 470 gets used 98 % with the 260.99 drivers. I think your Q6600 is not too far behind my cpu so maybe it's your psu or the games you are playing. Of course, i have a 470 and you a 480..

    That card will be good for a long time so i'd say hold onto it and if it is being held back it will still kick butt when you upgrade a year from now or so.
  6. Thank you for all your replies. I came on Tom's Hardware mainly because i have looked at other forums via google with no luck, didn't really see any solid answers.

    Obviously I appreciate that my processor is not cutting edge, hence the overclock, I have tried to squeeze some more performance out of it with no luck, probably down to my ability tbh.

    I will have a look at the cpu load in certain games ( which I have not done up unitl now ) maybe Medal Of Honor is just a *** hot game, I think graphics wise etc it is awesome and my system runs it full wack with no probs yet I have some perfomrance issues with other titles ( even though they are supposed to be Nvidia friendly games!! )

    I am running a 22" display @ 1680x1050 and I have an asus rampage extreme mobo if this helps??

    Upgrading my chipset at this moment in time is not the anser for me due to the expense, however when I do upgrade I will be doing it properly, not going for an i5, although they are newer tech than what I have I may as well do it right.

    I see that I have a couple of answers saying the cpu is holding back my gpu or that they are not a great match, which I can understand and also one answer about the psu. Maybe I go with the cheaper option and upgrade my psu first then do the rest?

    Also to add, I did attempt to sell my GTX480 on ebay with no luck, to make it worth my while I needed atleast £300GBP ( no luck )

    Although I tried, it still does not make perfect sense to me to sell the card for a lesser model.

    Thank you for your respnses, I have a little to think about now.

    And thank you nativeson8803, I shall keep my card :kaola:
  7. A 3.6 GHz Q6600 is still a good CPU, and is probably much more than the recommended CPU for those games. But still, GTX480 is a bit too much not only for your CPU, but also for your PSU. I also suggest to get a mainstream video card, like the GTX 460, or a HD6850/6870, which are in the same league as the GTX460. I'm sure that none of these cards will be bottlenecked by your CPU.
  8. The 45nm core 2's are only 7 or 8 percent faster clock for clock. So if he is getting a great overclock to 3.6ghz with the q6600, it makes no sense to get a 9550 or higher.

    I did quite a bit of testing with my q6600 and my gtx 285 (about as fast as a gtx465) And I found the cpu stopped being the bottle neck around 3.10ghz. Going on those numbers, your q6600 at 3.6 shouldn't significantly bottleneck that 480 if at all.
  9. sportsfanboy said:
    The 45nm core 2's are only 7 or 8 percent faster clock for clock. So if he is getting a great overclock to 3.6ghz with the q6600, it makes no sense to get a 9550 or higher.

    I did quite a bit of testing with my q6600 and my gtx 285 (about as fast as a gtx465) And I found the cpu stopped being the bottle neck around 3.10ghz. Going on those numbers, your q6600 at 3.6 shouldn't significantly bottleneck that 480 if at all.

    Hi sportsfanboy,

    Thanks for the info, it's always good to hear from someone who has used the same stuff. I have found a fix for Fallout now and it is much better. I will stay with my cpu for the meantime for cost sake but will up the psu, it seems others have the same view.
  10. That corsair psu should be enough power, have you tried updating or different video drivers?
  11. Hi Guys,

    I have the 260.99 drivers ( latest i think unless they updated them today ) will check. Have not tried any other drivers as of yet. will hold out for next release and see what they bring. Some have said that my gtx480 may not be able to give me full load with my current psu, wether there is truth in that is a nother matter, I'm just collecting info at the mo and then will decide the best course of action.

    malmental, thanks for the comment, I thought it was a pretty standard oc but will take your compliment with open arms.))

    I use win7x64 and win7x32 ( dual boot ) x64 is on my solid state for gaming and x32 is on my seagate drive for business stuff.

    ram wise, I have 4gb gskill DDR3 @1600mhz.
  12. Quote:
    so we basically are just looking for a quality power supply to push your overclocked cpu and the GTX480.?
    how much.?

    P.S. - not quite the same shoes but it seems we both like (Nikes)... :D nVidia -n- Intel. :love:
    my C2Q rig:
    C2Q Q9505S (2.83GHz) Yorkfield
    ASUS P5N7A-VM LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300/nForce 730i HDMI mATX
    Scythe SCSK-1100 100mm Shuriken Rev. B 3 Heat Pipes CPU Cooler - AS5 thermal compound
    4GB (2x2GB) Crucial DDR2 800MHz CL6 kit - CT2KIT25664AA80
    ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

    Hey malmental, ( nikes?? ) I do have a nice pair of nikes which is why it confused me :D

    I got around £100 to spend I suppose, not pinned down a psu yet, may stay with corsair, I don't know alot about psu's tbh.))
  13. Your Corsair HX620W is able to provide a combined 50 Amps on the three +12 Volt rails.

    Since a reference GTX 480 draws 20.83 Amps maximum from the +12 Volt rail, you have plenty of headroom for overclocking and powering the remainder of your system.
  14. Quote:
    that's about $130 Us dollars..
    I personally think your current corsair psu might be up to the task,
    I run my GTX460 on a 500-watt corsair.
    1 rail or 2, maybe SLI later or not.?

    Here's the best spec info I could find on my psu.

    Corsair HX Series Features:

    Supports the latest ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 standards and is backwards compatible with ATX12V 2.01 systems.

    Guaranteed compatibility with dual-GPU configurations.

    Double forward switching circuitry design offers high efficiency, up to 80% under wide load range.

    Active Power Factor Correction with PF value=0.99 provides clean and reliable power to your system.

    Universal AC input 90~264V automatically scans and detects the correct voltage. No more hassle of flipping that tiny red switch!

    Ultra quiet 120mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level by varying the RPM in response to temperature.

    Guaranteed to deliver rated specifications at 50ºC.

    Triple 12V Rails provide independent reliable power to the CPU, video card and other components with a combined rating of 50A (40A on 520W) maximum!

    Advanced circuitry design that automatically enables power sharing between the triple +12V rails in an event of overload on any single +12V rail.

    Powerful +5Vsb rail with 3A rating.

    Over Current/Voltage/Power Protection, Under Voltage Protection, and Short

    Circuit Protection provide maximum safety for your critical system components.

    105ºC rated industrial grade capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability, delivering 4 times the lifespan of conventional 85ºC rated capacitors.

    Enhanced modular flexible cables enable easier cable routing and increased airflow in the system.
    8 Serial ATA connectors (4 on 520W).
    Dimension: 5.9"(W) x 3.4"(H) X 5.9"(L)
    150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 150mm(L)
    MTBF: 100,000 Hours
    Safety Approvals: UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC, C-tick.

    Sorry for all the unwanted crap, I just copied and pasted.
  15. Sorry just noticed the post from Ko88. No need for all the shite I posted. Glad you guys know what your on about.))
  16. So we can conclude then?? Thank you for all your help on this topic guys, I will use the bits most important to me. Thanks again.
  17. I don't even understand why people are citing the PSU as the bottleneck. Corsair PSU's are ridiculously efficient and are, more often than not, quite underrated. It's more than enough to power a C2Q and a single GTX 480. His problem are the drivers. The whole Fermi line is extremely driver-reliant.

    @OP, try picking up the 265.90 Quadro drivers with a modded .inf file and see if that bumps up your GPU usage in those games. My GPU usage on my alternate system (i7 920 with GTX 480) used to be in the 20-40% range, which is definitely not a CPU bottleneck problem. With the Quadro drivers, my GPU usage went up to 90-99% usage and my FPS tripled in BFBC2.
  18. If you look at the rig in my profile (2 4870's, 955BE OC'ed.) you'll see that we probably have similar power usage figures. My rig only uses about 550W from the power supply. You should be fine with a 600 W. I know it's up to the task.
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