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Upgrade advise!

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October 5, 2010 4:25:02 PM

Hey guys!

Long time no hear (from me).

It's been almost a year ago that i posted here. Now i have (again) a question for you all!

At the moment i'm running a prebuild system, wich i liked because of the price!

this is what it contains:

-amd phenomx4 9550 2.2ghz
- 4GB ddr2 667mhz
- asus ati 4850 512mb (single slot)
-a 400W supply

so: what do you guys think? Could i upgrade my GPU for better performance? or do i have to get some 8GB ddr2 800mhz ram?

what would be the max gpu for this cpu?

greetz!

More about : upgrade advise

a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 4:39:21 PM

Hey Vochitge,

Your CPU is great, that can be OC'd to get some good performance if you needed some extra room too.

However, your RAM, Power Supply, and I'm not sure what motherboard you have, probably need to be upgraded, but can you provide some more detail?

What's the specific brand, total wattage, and total amperage across the 12v rails for your power supply? What available connectors do you have from your Power Supply to connect GPU's?

What is your motherboard (make and model)?
October 5, 2010 5:44:57 PM

Hey! thanks for the reply.
I couldn't give much more information, because i was on my notebook!

I don't know what you exactly want to know about the psu, but i'll give you all the info i could find!

the medion prebuild psu: brand: fsp group inc. with 1 6-pin connector!
DC output:
+3.3v => 15.0 A
+5v=>21A
+12v1=>20A
+5Vsb=>2.5A
-12v=>0.5A
+12v2=>16A
(+3.3v&+5v=130W max)

and, from my old homebuild system i still have a Xilence 600w (2 6-pins)
DC output:
+3.3=>25A
+5v=>30A
+12v1=>20A
+12v2=> 20A
-12v=> 0.5A
+5vsb=> 3A


About the brand off the mobo i only can say it's a MSI one with 4 dimms for only ddr2 memmory. i believe it's an am2+ (? correct me if i'm wrong. but i can't upgrade to a phenom II). i have 2 dimms free for use. and the mobo is a micro ATX

the brand off the ram is called SWISSBIT (don't know it)

i only know that my gpu is asus and my hdd is WD and the bluerayreader is LG :p 

do you have enough info?

btw: running vista 32x (have a w7 64x for hands), resolution is 1600x1050
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 6:34:54 PM

4GB of RAM is perfectly fine for most situations (even gaming). So that's not an issue by itself.

An Overclock on that CPU would probably provide some decent benefit as boris already suggested.

With your monitor resolution of 1600x1050 the ATI 4850 512MB could certainly be upgraded. Frankly in MOST circumstances, your GPU is your biggest limiting factor in overall gaming performance. With newer game titles the ATI 4850 512MB would become a limiting factor if you're wanting to play with higher graphic settings, but is certainly capable otherwise.

A newer generation card with 1GB of RAM doesn't hurt. But to make the upgrade worth while, you'd probably want to jump to something like a GTX 460 ($200- $230). However a 400W unbranded Power Supply is not a great idea for going that route.

Also, some of the Phenom II X4 processors will work on AM2+ motherboards, and they are much better performers than the original Phenom series. Here's an example:

Phenom II X4 920 @ 2.8Ghz AM2+ $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course, for the same price you can get a much better one that fits AM3 :( 

Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.2Ghz AM3 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ultimately, the real question would be "What are you playing and what kind of performance do you get NOW?"
October 5, 2010 6:44:58 PM

I'm not getting bad performance out of my system. But i play allot of battlefield bc2. there i have to play with 20-40 fps.
I always have to play on little servers , like 16-24 people. if i play on a 32player server, i get huge framedrops!

NFS shift gives also bad performance. The problem is: i don't know if it's only the gpu, or also the cpu.

I'm gonna try out medal of honor. let's see what my pc does.

BTW: would it be bad upgrading my gpu? i'm hoping the 6770 ati will double my fps.
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 6:50:48 PM

borisof007 said:
Hey Vochitge,

Your CPU is great, that can be OC'd to get some good performance if you needed some extra room too.

However, your RAM, Power Supply, and I'm not sure what motherboard you have, probably need to be upgraded, but can you provide some more detail?

I disagree with almost everything above. 4gb of ram is fine and if the PSU can handle an HD4850 it can also handle even an HD5850 as it uses slightly less power. His CPU is the one thing he actually should be considering replacing(outside of the card) and the only reason to consider replacing the motherboard is for a CPU upgrade which you aren't suggesting...
As for overclocking it will help but those original Phenoms didn't OC that well and it isn't going to get up to levels that are sufficient for the more CPU intensive current games. We need to know the exact model of the motherboard to tell you what processors it can handle though.
October 5, 2010 6:57:40 PM

the phenom 9550 is almost THE LOWEST quad you can find. i know there is some 1.9 ghz amd quad underneath it!

I know that this cpu isn't so WOW! I have to say, in February my pc will be 2 years old. the warranty drops off. so i can start tuning it up!

But if you guys say: go get a newer cpu and try out what that gives. i'll stop asking for suggestions. because i don't really want to spend so much money on an old system.

2 years ago, i could say this system is good. it's still good! runs newest games fine, but only with lowered details and lowered frames/sec. actually i bought it to play gta4 with. and it runs great (despite the 512mb ram...)


and i think that the secret behind the 400W psu is that my amd phenom uses only 90w at top. the WD 1000TB is a green series and i use only 2 dimms of ram.
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 7:04:34 PM

Well the CPU is the weakest part of your setup and there's a decent chance you can upgrade it to any current AMD processor if you tell us the model number.
October 5, 2010 7:06:51 PM

:(  can't tell. isn't written on the mobo. it only sais: MSI.

I guess it's a mobo build for medion. i'll do my best to search up what mobo it is!
October 5, 2010 7:16:36 PM

hehe dxdiag told me: MS-7501

and yeah, forgot about cpuguid :p  (sorry) long time

how stupid can i be!

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/directron_2125_2021060756 it looks like this mobo, but the ram dimms aren't sorted the same why. on the pic it's orange, green orange green. at my mobo its 2x orange 2x green next to each other.

cpu-z says: medionpc, ms-7501 2.1
amd 780G chipset.

could 780 chipset run amd phenom II ? that would be a great thing! (the older ones with ddr2 support)

http://www.directron.com/k9a2gmfih.html
a c 106 U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 7:51:04 PM

Look at your CPU support page. Your motherboard supports most 95W AMD CPUs

http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=prodcpu2&prod_no=1671...

I would say to go with a Phenom II 945 X4 and perhaps overclock it a little. That would be a pretty decent upgrade. It's too bad your board doesn't support crossfire or you could have dropped in a second 4850. Anyway, yeah CPU first, then Video Card. More RAM would be at the bottom of the list.
a c 192 U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 8:04:56 PM

Read the entire label carefully on that FSP PSU. It isn't a bad brand (for its age; I wouldn't buy one today), but chances are that "400W" rating is PEAK, and CONTINUOUS is only 350W.
I agree with jyjjy that your CPU is a weak link. Its four cores may be nice for multitasking, but it is a slow performer in demanding games that only use two cores.
If you have the budget for it, a complete rebuild may be in order. Especially if it has non-solid capacitors on it, I don't have a lot of faith in the longevity of cheaper [MSI] motherboards.
October 5, 2010 8:13:22 PM

Lot of Ram wont help .. MHZS of ram is Important ... even 2 or 3 or 4 GB would be fine for gaming ... every mobo which has PCI e slot will accept 4850 or higher ... but make sure what is ur mobo's PCIE slot version 1.0 or 1.1 or 2.0 ? & if its lower than 2.0 you have to get 2.0 CARD & not 2.1 .... i think 4850 is 2.0 so you can get it .. & enjoy of it . 665 MHZ is low for new VGA card ...get atleast 800MHZ or higher if your Mobo supports . cheak the site fo ur MOBO for all details .
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2010 1:53:22 PM

8Vidia said:
Lot of Ram wont help .. MHZS of ram is Important ... even 2 or 3 or 4 GB would be fine for gaming ... every mobo which has PCI e slot will accept 4850 or higher ... but make sure what is ur mobo's PCIE slot version 1.0 or 1.1 or 2.0 ? & if its lower than 2.0 you have to get 2.0 CARD & not 2.1 .... i think 4850 is 2.0 so you can get it .. & enjoy of it . 665 MHZ is low for new VGA card ...get atleast 800MHZ or higher if your Mobo supports . cheak the site fo ur MOBO for all details .


Actually if you are running a 64 bit OS then more ram will help. If you install greater then 4GB then the game can use 3-4GB (many do) and the rest can be used by the OS or other running programs. Speed of ram will not make as much difference as size. I will agree that the 12GB in my system is quite excessive, but I can tell the difference between 2GB, 4GB, and 6GB. I have a hard time telling 6GB and 12GB without getting into virtual servers. 4GB is a good amount to have otherwise your HardDrive will be used for virtual ram which slows things down.
October 8, 2010 9:29:16 PM

i realy saw no diffrence betwen 2GB & 4GB . i realy have experienced it . but i saw big diffrence B2win 800 & 1333 MHZ . thats just an example . but yes size does matter but MHZ & DDR is most important thing sometimes . MATCHING or something else ...
October 8, 2010 9:30:54 PM

MAX ram that highest game wants is 4GB .. more will not help . but there are few works that higher size ram should handle it ONLY . like add formats of guitar ( something like that , doesnt matter )
October 9, 2010 11:47:00 PM

So, today i went to a computerstore and saw 2x2GB 800mhz Ram. i thought by my self. would 800mhz be better than my 667? will it be a huge diffrence?

i didn't bought it! because i don't know how long i'll be safe with my 4gb ram. and does speed matter when i don't overclock?
a c 192 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 12:02:32 AM

It might make a small difference (assuming your mobo recognizes it correctly), but nothing compared to what a CPU upgrade would do for you. Quite frankly, I'd consider it a waste of money.
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 1:44:18 AM

Yeah, don't worry about the ram, just upgrade that CPU. The HD4850 should still be decent for your resolution so try it out with the new processor. If you still want an upgrade a 768mb GTX 460 is a good choice and well priced these days. It uses almost exactly the same amount of power as the HD4850 but is approximately 60% faster at stock and can also overclock a large amount(30%+)
October 10, 2010 8:55:23 AM

800 MHZ is good but its not that big upgrade , why dont you go for 1333MHZ DDR3 ? because its best , matchable MHZ with almost all new hardwares , 1600 is good but 1333 is high Enough to solve all ur needs . & ur ram ( 600 MHZ ) is little low IMO for new hardwares . go for 1333 MHZ & then it will work for 2 another new systems for u ( will work for too long with no problem ).
October 10, 2010 10:25:54 AM

if i went for ddr3, i had to buy a new mobo. and of course i would buy a new cpu.

But, i'm thinking that this rigg should keep me busy for at least 1 more year, don't you guys think? the GHZ is a little slow, but it still has '4- cores'.

i'm justing thinking to search for a new gpu.

That gtx 460, would that be a good upgrade? i'm still waiting for that ati 6xxx series to come out. i want at least that my fps doubles in battlefield bad company.

and what about a gtx 465? is it the same?

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/2010-gaming-graphi...[4555]=on&prod[4509]=on&prod[4605]=on

thank you

http://azerty.nl/8-971-290506/palit-gtx-460-sonic-grafi... this one is the cheapest and the most little one with 1024mb gpu ram. is this the gpu you mean? and should i go with asus?
October 10, 2010 10:36:51 AM

ur problem is not ur ram only , for new VGA u surly need new PSU atleast 500 & new CPU . & i say this again 640 MHZ is realy low , but 4G is fine . dont get more ram . if u wanna upgrade just get 800MHZ or 1333MHZ , but buy 4GB because its enough . IMo u should first get better system , 4850 doesnt require high end system . but ur PSU & ram may bottleneck it . first make basic needs of new VGA card then u may see that there are higher available option than 4850 which may be usless after a year .
a c 192 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 1:50:38 PM

Assuming you will build your next system in ten months, then only buy things for your current system that you can re-use, otherwise you are wasting money. This means the PSU and GPU. I would not trust the "600W" Xilence you have. A modern PSU has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification (typically bronze or better). Quality brands include Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, and Enermax. Some OCZ are at least okay, as are the NEW (but not the old!) Coolermaster. For almost any single video card, a 500W-550W PSU is enough; the exceptions are the GTX480 and HD5970, which need 600W-650W.
October 10, 2010 3:55:03 PM

he is right , dont waste ur money , step 1: upgrade ur system step 2 : u will find better VGA cadr which will provide u longer .
October 10, 2010 4:09:54 PM

maye i'll have to follow those last comments.

Just don't waste my money!
Maybe in 12 months, i can build my own 6/8 core system with some nice 7-series ATI in it :p 

I'll stick to my current, low cost pc and MAYBE if prices are 150-200 euro's for the ati 67xx i'll get one!

assuming the rumors are right about the lower powerusage...
October 10, 2010 4:27:38 PM

oh no , ur flying in dreams . even 6 series doesnt have a special thing . u think new is better then ur wrong . because single ( forexample )5850 can work for u for very long time even if 8 series comes up .& u dont need 6 cores. u can get system which will work for atleast 4 years . but in 4 years how do u know that there wouldnt be a 9 series too ? technology is this , dont let it take all ur money . because with that way u will have to be change every year . they wont make a game that will need 6 cores or 5970 . dont be afraid my friend

u realy can have great performance & quality if u get that GTX 460 & new PSU & dont chnage ur monitor . i promise u, u will keep it for long time . u surly wont see any lag in games .
October 10, 2010 4:37:19 PM

you should rather go in for the gtx 480/465/460 i have the 460 and i dont regret it
against ati nvidea wins hands down with cuda and physx not to mention 3D vision
October 10, 2010 4:42:51 PM

AS u can see ATI 5850 has higher results than GTX 460 in almost any benchmarks
Then CUDA & PhysiX is not best options in the world otherwise ATI would stop producing & it would break up . but truth is that both ATI & NVIDIA have special thigns . from better side u can see that ATI is better in games . it kill lags & perform heavy actions faster than nvidia cards .
October 10, 2010 4:45:43 PM

In the past, i had my p4 homebuild system.
But after 1 year my 6600gt suffered a lot in games, and i bought a 8600.

BAD card, but it doubled my fps!

I know technology is fast. if i buy a new pc today, tomorrow i can get better for the same price. that fact will never change.

But if you ask yourself WHY i said 6/8 core, is because when i buy a new pc, it has to have big changes. i already have a quadcore, 4gb ram en a 'good' gpu.

I don't wanna by a better quadcore, because i don't believe i'll see much of a diffrence at this moment. don't know what it will bring in the future, but right now it's still a safe rigg.

like the bottleneck article of toms says: not many games use more than 2 cores... only 2.2ghz is my limited factor.

I'll wait until my warrenty is passed the 2 years. (februari). and then i'll see what's on the marked.

computers are always a big waste of money.

a c 192 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 5:03:23 PM

You already have a quad, but it's a slow, prior-generation chip. Six cores have not shown a performance difference in games compared to four, but moving ahead a generation can be a huge difference; a Phenom II or Core-i5/750 would blow your Phenom I's doors off.
October 10, 2010 5:04:41 PM

SEE ? i5 series are 8 core in real . but they call it 4 Cores . its is real 4 cores & Physicly 8 cores . ur system is good man , dont upgrade it . JUST GTX 460 & PSU . ii promise u they will work for too long for u specialy with that REZ that u have . i5 760 is one of those Quad cores . but it even beats i7 which is one model higher & Q6 ( i forgot rest of the numbers but i know its Q6750 something like that ) performance was too high . But i say this again & again , ur system is great , u have basic needs if some of ur hardwares doesnt work as good as u expect its only because of PSU of urs .
a c 192 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 5:16:07 PM

No, the i5/750 does not have hyperthreading. The i7 has hyperthreading, and the dual-core i5/6xx has hyperthreading (2 real cores and 4 threads).

Edit: sent as PM to 8vidia...
October 10, 2010 5:25:49 PM

c'mon guys, keep it together :p 

I understand what 8vidia tries to say...

the i5 desktop ones have no HT. the i7 8xx have HT, turboshit but is the lga 1160 (something) and the i7 lga 1366 (something like that). the big diffrence is that the 1366 socket supports sli better.

but, i don't need that info. i just wanted to know what i can do with this rigg, without buying new cpu, mobo, ram... but i need to know what is the maximum GPU that my pc can handle.??

And i don't want to buy a new psu, because it doesn't even bottleneck the system atm. so why should it bottleneck when i get a newer gpu, with lower powerusage?
or do i think wrong?

i'm also an owner of a soney vpc-f11 notebook with the i5 520m dualcore HT cpu and a gt 330m. but that gpu doesn't perform like i want to! so for gaming i'm looking for a new gpu that can handle bbc2 BETTER than my 4850.
October 10, 2010 5:26:36 PM

but as i saw i5 results in benchmarks very much higher than Q9400 , Q550 & even ( specialy ) Q9675 . available options are not saying anything . i5 760 has 8MB l2 or 3 cache ( correct me about L2 or 3 ) then u can compare them in this site , see for ur self.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/49

& u can compare any GPU s in this site :

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/161?vs=164

Just copy & paste the URL pal . but realy , i5 760 not 750 is better than one model higher of it ( i7 , dont know correct model name ) but its only that rest of i7 is higher than i5 760 .
a c 192 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 5:35:00 PM

He doesn't have an Intel Q9550, he has an AMD Phenom I 9550; two very different animals.
The Anandtech benchmarks can be useful though.

Edit: Your PSU could safely handle a HD5770; but that's not a huge step up from your HD4850 (only one tier). You could use adapters to get the second PCIE power connector that a GTX460 or HD5850 needs, but I would not recommend it. You'd be running your PSU too close to its peak for long term comfort. OTOH, upgrading your CPU to a Phenom II x4 945 would be a 3-tier CPU jump. That CPU is on the CPU support list that megamanx00 posted. I'd do that first, before upgrading the GPU.
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 8:35:22 PM

Everyone here(who knows what they are talking about) is telling you what you need is a new processor. A 2.2ghz Phenom I simply is not good enough for a lot of current games. Your video card on the other hand is still respectable for your resolution. If your goal is better performance in games you need to replace the processor and you can do so without replacing your motherboard. Just throwing a new card in there is not going to help you much. It's not a bad idea once you have a processor that is competent for current games but at the moment you will see little benefit. If you really don't want to upgrade the processor then you shouldn't bother upgrading the card; just stick with what you have until you are ready for a full upgrade of the system.
October 10, 2010 9:06:31 PM

yes yes , sorry i tough u were using Q9550 . so if its like that 3 things need to be chnage first : PSU & CPU then ur allset for new vga , after that they those upgrade would solve much of ur needs , & as jyjjy said ur rez is great for 4850 , so afther does 2 upgrades i dont think u need more upgrades , but if u needed some time JUST upgrade ur VGA then .
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 9:15:38 PM

While not a bad idea he doesn't really need a new PSU. A GTX 460 768mb or even an HD5850 use very similar amount of power as his current card. The CPU is the real issue.
a c 192 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 11:05:41 PM

If his PSU were a 380W Earthwatts, I'd probably agree, but it is a peak-400W FSP, which might really only be 350 continuous (OP hasn't confirmed that yet).
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 11, 2010 2:15:35 AM

It really doesn't matter what the PSU is. He can obviously use cards that use the same or less power than the card he is already using.
October 11, 2010 4:16:46 PM

he sure can , but ATI specified Minimum 500 watt for 5850 . ( real one ) , then 400 watt ( even real ) cant provid 5850 . i had same problem , because i had 430 watt real & people here said : ur PSU is low for 5850 then get better one . one of them suggested me ( Corsair 650 TX ) , there is no need to get that PSU but that person realy have to get minimum 500 watt to see 5850 or GTX 460 works fine .
October 11, 2010 4:23:50 PM

PSU is too important , u people always think that RAM , VGA & CPU are most important , but where those 3 thing s get theire power from ? PSU feeds them , then u need good PSU .
October 11, 2010 4:36:23 PM

http://azerty.nl/8-975-257282/processor-1-x-amd-phenom-...

because of the high prices of am2+ cpu's, i have decided NOT to upgrade my desktop.

I'll stick with it until it dies. with my experience 12-24 months from now!

thanks for the big helps!

vochtige


ps: i never had artifacts with that 400w psu. so i suppose my system can handle the 4850 without problems. my mobo supports 90w cpu's, more than 125 can be instable.
October 11, 2010 4:45:17 PM

DO as u prefer to do pal , it was nice to have a conversations with u . i wish i Would help u enough . i wish u reach to what u looking for . good LUCK
October 11, 2010 4:50:33 PM

you, and the other guys helped me!

Now i realize how stupid it would be to upgrade my old pc. If i want to use my new 'item' like it has to, i would need to upgrade almost everything!

Because my rigg handles things like i want him to, it's to early to build a new one!

btw: my sony vaio f11 is only 8 months old. don't want to waste more pc money this year!

thanks guys
October 11, 2010 5:47:37 PM

ur welcome , let us know if u had another problem or question . Good Luck
October 12, 2010 12:58:37 AM

Great thread and I learned from reading it - thanks everyone.
a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2010 8:12:01 AM

Well..late post but i would say like this,buy a new PSU and a new 6000series video card when it comes out. Later when you have the money upgrade the rest.
I say a 650w corsair psu should suffice your needs and a 750-850 if you want to crossfire.
The new 6k series should be out in a few weeks so wait for them to com out. It might lower the prices of the 5k series if you do not want a 6k series inside your PC.

Or you can wait until next summer to buy a hole new PC.

At list that is what i would do.
!