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Upgrade to replace 8600GT, $150 budget

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August 17, 2010 5:43:57 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Some time this week. BUDGET RANGE: $75-$150 budget, before rebates.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: 256MB EVGA (NVIDIA) 8600GT, Antec Earthwatts EA430 430W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: 2.5GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor (E5200), Gigabyte G41M-ES2L MicroATX motherboard, 2GB DDR2 (667MHz) RAM

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg if at all possible, else eBay.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer EVGA or XFX video cards

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking for a video card that can help me run games like Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Unreal Tournament 3 at max or near-max settings, while at the same time not being so powerful that it makes my CPU a bottleneck.
a c 153 U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 5:46:12 AM

HD 5750 would probably be the best for you.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 6:26:27 AM

The 5750 is better then all of those as is well within your budget range.
August 17, 2010 1:17:28 PM

I have a similar system, based on an E6600 @ 2.4G. Must be close to two years ago, I was looking for an 8800GT to replace my 7950GX2. All they had comparably was a 9800GTX+. It turned out to be a great boost for my system, and ended up being a good CPU / GPU combo. IMO. For example, in 3Dmark06 I went from an 8K to an 11K score, which I thought was pretty darn good.

You need lot's of power; that is 2 - 6 pin connectors. Not sure if 430 watts is enough. Should be. Luckily I went gonzo back when I bought my PC and had a 700W Thermaltake PSU ready with two 6 pins in harness.

If you go that route, I'd recommend one with an other than reference cooler on it. Open design, easy to clean. GTS 250 is the same card, slightly improved even, and you'd have way more selection than trying to find a 9800GTX+, plus, I think they make them with a single power connector now.

My $.02
August 17, 2010 2:56:00 PM

You should buy an HIS HD 5750 ICEQ+ or EVGA GEFORCE 240. These cards are the best if you want to run games like fallout 3 on near-max to max settings.I have both of these cards. They are the best buddies under the $150 budget for me.
August 17, 2010 5:02:28 PM

I understand that a little bit of future-proofing in my video card choice is always a good thing, but wouldn't a 5750/5770 be bottlenecked by my processor?
a b U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 5:06:49 PM

Yeah it will be bottleneck for your card...better to go with the hd 5670 it will be ideal for you and will run perfectly on your cpu too.
a b U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 5:24:16 PM

rocky41 said:
Yeah it will be bottleneck for your card...better to go with the hd 5670 it will be ideal for you and will run perfectly on your cpu too.



I think the E5200 won't bottleneck the HD 5750. In the first part of Tom's Building a balanced gaming PC they were testing the E5200 + 4850 and there was no difference between the E5200 and other quads. Considering that the HD5750=HD 4850, then i think there is no problem for the HD 5750.
a b U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 5:36:20 PM

If you want better performance with this card hd 5750\70 you should upgrade your cpu or go with the one i have recommended
August 17, 2010 5:52:10 PM

Another thing I'd like to throw in: my PC doesn't exactly have the most efficient cooling (I've already replaced the one rear fan my case accommodates) and I'm getting 57 degree temps (celcius) on the 8600GT right now, basically at idle, so a card that runs relatively cool will definitely be a plus.

I'll definitely take a look at the 5670, though, as it certainly looks like a viable option for my situation. I've already narrowed things down to either that or the GT 240.
a b U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 5:58:42 PM

Hd 5670 runs much cooler than the GT 240 so....your things have been more narrow down....
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 8:28:14 PM

$150 = HD5770. Why would he get anything else?
As for the processor it overclocks easily up to 3.5ghz on just the stock cooler and his motherboard should be fine for overclocking so I don't see what the issue is.
August 18, 2010 12:16:00 AM

Alright; after a bit of overclocking, I brought the E5200 up to 3.0GHz, and the ram up to 800MHz, both stable. Does this change anything?
a c 153 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 12:29:00 AM

jyjjy said:
$150 = HD5770. Why would he get anything else?
As for the processor it overclocks easily up to 3.5ghz on just the stock cooler and his motherboard should be fine for overclocking so I don't see what the issue is.


I agree, I only suggested the 5750 becuase its on the lower end of your budget (you said 75-150), and the 5750 would still compliment you nicely. I wouldn't get the 56XXs as other have suggested, nothing against them, just not something I would do in your shoes.
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 12:58:23 AM

Dragnerok X said:
Alright; after a bit of overclocking, I brought the E5200 up to 3.0GHz, and the ram up to 800MHz, both stable. Does this change anything?

That's much better but that chip maxes out around 4ghz so you could easily go higher. If you are on the stock cooler 3.3ghz would be a good choice. Just put the FSB up to 266mhz. To keep the ram at 800mhz use a 2:3 divider. At 3.3 ghz you should be pretty set to play current games comfortably.
As for the card go for the an HD5770. An HD5750 is good for1600x900 but the HD5770 is definitely worth the extra money. With the overclock and that card the only games that might give you problems are Crysis and Metro 2033 and even then you'll be able to play at fairly high settings as long as you leave AA off.
August 18, 2010 1:18:27 AM

dragneork, 8600GT runs pretty hot. Mine idled at 59*C, so hopefully, your cooling is fine.

As others said, you might have a good time with 5770 but you'll definitely have to overclock your cpu a lil bit. myn ( e6750 ) cant keep up with graphics card ( 5670 ) unless i overclock it ( the graphics card still wants more cpu though :(  ).
August 18, 2010 1:35:50 AM

jyjjy said:
That's much better but that chip maxes out around 4ghz so you could easily go higher. If you are on the stock cooler 3.3ghz would be a good choice. Just put the FSB up to 266mhz. To keep the ram at 800mhz use a 2:3 divider. At 3.3 ghz you should be pretty set to play current games comfortably.
As for the card go for the an HD5770. An HD5750 is good for1600x900 but the HD5770 is definitely worth the extra money. With the overclock and that card the only games that might give you problems are Crysis and Metro 2033 and even then you'll be able to play at fairly high settings as long as you leave AA off.

3.3GHz? Isn't that kind of high? A friend recommended I run the prime95 torture test on what I have now... and that experiment turned out to be a wake up call. I canceled the test just before HWMonitor reported temps in the 80s (again, celsius). Odd, because outside of prime95, it's running no more than 45c idle and 65c under load (even while gaming).
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 1:50:00 AM

Hmm, those numbers are high. Is it especially hot where you are or does your case have bad airflow? Also possibly your fan/heatsink could need a cleaning with compressed air. Dust can really build up over time which will hurt cooling.
Like I said though in general the 3.5ghz should be alright on the stock cooler and it should be able to get up around 4ghz with a good aftermarket cooler. With your temps though I would just leave it as is for the moment.
August 18, 2010 1:54:38 AM

Quote:
Hmm, those numbers are high. Is it especially hot where you are or does your case have bad airflow? Also possibly your fan/heatsink could need a cleaning with compressed air. Dust can really build up over time which will hurt cooling.
Like I said though in general the 3.5ghz should be alright on the stock cooler and it should be able to get up around 4ghz with a good aftermarket cooler. With your temps though I would just leave it as is for the moment.

Believe it or not, I just cleaned out the case today, and now there is basically no dust and plenty of clearance for air to exit above the CPU. I suspect it might be something to do with the CPU voltage, as I have it set on the "auto" setting, at the moment. If it matters, I ran Prime95 using the "Small FFTs" setting.
a c 153 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 2:03:27 AM

Dragnerok X said:
Quote:
Hmm, those numbers are high. Is it especially hot where you are or does your case have bad airflow? Also possibly your fan/heatsink could need a cleaning with compressed air. Dust can really build up over time which will hurt cooling.
Like I said though in general the 3.5ghz should be alright on the stock cooler and it should be able to get up around 4ghz with a good aftermarket cooler. With your temps though I would just leave it as is for the moment.

Believe it or not, I just cleaned out the case today, and now there is basically no dust and plenty of clearance for air to exit above the CPU. I suspect it might be something to do with the CPU voltage, as I have it set on the "auto" setting, at the moment. If it matters, I ran Prime95 using the "Small FFTs" setting.


I always run Blend but that shouldn't matter. What case do you have?
August 18, 2010 2:09:36 AM

That might be it. I built my PC not from the ground up, but gradually through upgrades on a late-2006ish (Compaq) Pentium 4 system. At this point, the only original parts, though are the case, DVD drive and RAM.
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 2:14:18 AM

Try running it with the side of the case off and see what temps you get
August 18, 2010 2:52:18 AM

Reporting in: side-less the temperature situation is a little better, but not by much. It seems to top off at 79 Celsius after about five minutes of stress-testing. At the moment, I'd say the ambient temperature of my room is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 3:29:52 AM

You may want to try reseating the cooler. It may not quite be attached as firmly as possible. Better yet replacing it would be a good idea. You can get a decent one for like $20.
August 18, 2010 3:34:30 AM

Quote:
Better yet replacing it would be a good idea. You can get a decent one for like $20.

Probably not an option for me. Not, at least, until I can get a graphics card picked out, and that will be a function of how fast I can get my CPU clocked. See the problem, here? XD
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 3:39:33 AM

Well even 3ghz should be alright. A bit higher would be optimal though.
August 18, 2010 3:48:30 AM

I guess as a kind of temporary solution, I could always throw in a tube of AS5 with my order, as the CPU is still running off of the stock thermal pad.
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 18, 2010 3:55:29 AM

Yeah, replacing the thermal paste is a good idea.
August 18, 2010 4:27:55 AM

Just in case you're still a little unsure about which gfx card to get, 5770 is the way to go and will not be bottlenecked by your 2.6GHz dual-core, unless you're playing GTAIV or BC2 or any other cpu intensive games.
!