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Upgrade from a Geforce 8800 GTX suggestions needed

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October 27, 2010 8:43:03 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-4 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $300

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, photo editing

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX w/ 768MB, Dual DVI-I Dual link TV Out (Factory Overclocked) w/ VGA adapter
700-Watt Power Supply

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Here’s the breakdown:
Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (2.40GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB cache
2048MB 667MHz Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM (2-1024MB modules (upgrading to 4gb)Intel 975X Chipset with DDR2 and Intel Core Duo support
1000GB 7200rpm Serial ATA II/300 hard drive w/ 16MB cache & Raid 0 (2-500GB hard drives
Expansion Slots: (3) PCI Expansion Slots, (1) PCI-E x4 Expansion Slot, (1) PCI-E x16 Expansion Slot

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg or tiger direct

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: easy to install is most important, NVIDIA or ATI, doesn’t matter

OVERCLOCKING: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 24” 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just trying to get a bit more life out of my rig before I blow $2k on a new one. Mostly do MMO’s and FPS Call of Duty level of stuff.
a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2010 9:06:03 PM

GTX 460 1GB or 470 or Radeon 6870.
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a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2010 9:06:28 PM

for $300 I would look at the new AMD (Ati) 6870 or the Nvidia GTX 470. both cards will be a huge step up from the 8800. Because that board supports cross-fire you might want to go with the 6870...and add a second one in 6 months when it's cheaper. also overclock that Q6600 to 3.2GHz.
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October 27, 2010 9:09:28 PM

for the price the Gtx 460 1gig at 199.00 sounds good
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October 27, 2010 9:37:18 PM

6850 not bad but for 20 dollars more you get a gtx 460 1 gig wich is faster. Or you can get a gtx 460 768 gig for 159.00 and its about the same speed as the 6850 if not faster.
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October 27, 2010 10:39:06 PM

Doom3klr said:
6850 not bad but for 20 dollars more you get a gtx 460 1 gig wich is faster. Or you can get a gtx 460 768 gig for 159.00 and its about the same speed as the 6850 if not faster.

mb.

6850 is 3% faster than 460 1G, not the other way around as you said.

6850 is 8% faster than 460 768Mb.

OP has a high price point, so I would go with 6870 or 470.
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a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2010 10:47:57 PM

I had a GTX 8800...went to an Ati 4870...then I just steped up (EVGA) from a GTX 460 1gb SC to a GTX 470. the GTX 460 1gb was a great card and a huge increase from the GTX 8800. the GTX 470 is better still especially with the latest price-drops you can get the 470 for $240ish. And the review on the 6870 are great...and all will benifit with an OC on the Q6600
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October 27, 2010 10:54:57 PM

cirslevin said:
mb.

6850 is 3% faster than 460 1G, not the other way around as you said.

6850 is 8% faster than 460 768Mb.

OP has a high price point, so I would go with 6870 or 470.



Interesting i guess toms benchmark reviews of the Ati 6850 vs the gtx 460 told differently than the ones you read.
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October 27, 2010 11:05:23 PM

Doom3klr said:
Interesting i guess toms benchmark reviews of the Ati 6850 vs the gtx 460 told differently than the ones you read.

1. Tom doesn't have a formula to summarize all benchmarks and make a comparison. Their charts show back and forth of all cards, which is fine.
2. Tom's benchmark was done on an OC card of 460, because Toms think there are more OC 460 in the market, this is fine, but people should know OC card perform better at a higher price.

On average, with reference cards, 6850 is 3% faster than 460 1G and 8% faster than 460 768Mb.

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October 28, 2010 1:52:15 PM

Thanks everyone. The 470 and the 6870 both look good so I think I’ll pick up one of those.

I haven’t done any hardware installs except memory in years so are the instructions that come with the cards pretty self explanatory? Guess you just uninstall the existing drivers, remove the old card, insert the new and reinstall the new drivers?

As far as overclocking the CPU can you get it to 3.2 with just an air cooler (coolmaster or similar)? I don’t know anything about OC’ing so I’ll have to research it.
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a b U Graphics card
October 28, 2010 3:03:00 PM

^agree with the above to the extent that the 470 is pretty hot. But that doesn't make it any less of an option. My MSI 470 idles at 90 (mainly due to only 2 fans in the case, the GPU isn't the twin frozr II :(  ) but the card is built to run hot. I don't have a single complaint about the card. Not much aware about the 6870, not an ATI fan. :) 

Bottom line: If you have decent ventilation AND if you get the MSI Twin Frozr II 470, you wouldn't need to worry about the temp's.
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October 28, 2010 4:07:13 PM

Ventilation probably isn’t that great I’ll have to look the case over, I didn’t build it it’s just a Gateway 530 FX. I’ll have one of the guys at work build me a system next time.

On reading up on the 6870 it says it requires 2-6 pin power connectors. I’ll have to check and see if my mobo has that.
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October 28, 2010 4:09:54 PM

Design1stcode2nd said:

On reading up on the 6870 it says it requires 2-6 pin power connectors. I’ll have to check and see if my mobo has that.

it might come with a converter (from whatever port to a 6-pin plug) in the box. my HIS 5770 did.

Or you can buy one from microcenter or frys for cheap (a buck or so?)
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October 28, 2010 6:22:10 PM

what is your psu?
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October 28, 2010 7:58:14 PM

I'll have to open the case and have a look, it's 700w but I don't know the brand.
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October 28, 2010 8:08:33 PM

Design1stcode2nd said:
I'll have to open the case and have a look, it's 700w but I don't know the brand.

thats more than enough
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a b U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 5:44:14 AM

While 700W is more than adequate, I'd recommend you check on the brand. A cheap quality PSU can often be the cause of bringing down a rig.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 6:52:49 AM

Design1stcode2nd said:
I haven’t done any hardware installs except memory in years so are the instructions that come with the cards pretty self explanatory? Guess you just uninstall the existing drivers, remove the old card, insert the new and reinstall the new drivers?

As far as overclocking the CPU can you get it to 3.2 with just an air cooler (coolmaster or similar)? I don’t know anything about OC’ing so I’ll have to research it.

Physically installing a video card is simple enough that you don't really need an explanation. As for the drivers your current card uses the same drivers as the GTX 470 but updating them to the latest version is a good idea(a good idea to do with your current card even.) For an ATI card yes you will want to uninstall the old drivers before installing the new ones. To be extra safe you can run Driver Sweeper in between;
http://www.guru3d.com/category/driversweeper/
As for the card I'll go with the consensus above and recommend the HD6870 as well. They are both good deals but the HD6870 is much more power efficient and gives off a lot less heat.
As for the CPU, overclocking it is a very good idea. A lot of games still only use 2 cores and at 2.4ghz it is going to limit your new card. To answer your specific question 3.2ghz is actually a rather low OC for that processor. If you are on the stock cooler I'd probably aim for 3.3-3.4ghz and with a good aftermarket cooler those chips can often get up near 4ghz.
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October 29, 2010 2:26:06 PM

I took some phone shots of my case last night. The first is just the general insides. Going to do some cable management as it looks like crap (first time I’ve cracked it open).


This is of the pin connectors, looks like 2-6 pins to me. There is only about another inch of space before it hits the HD’s so I’ll need to check the exact dimensions of the 6870 to see if it will fit


I took off the plastic air guide and there looks to be a really large heat sink with air flow from the front to the back of the case (the green thing in the above shots directs air across this sink) for the CPU.


Once I get the new card and RAM in I’ll research all the details for OC’ing the CPU. Looks like a number of bios settings and utilities are needed. I want to make sure I know what I’m doing before I screw with them. For 3.2 OC would that heat sink and air flow be enough you think?
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a b U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 3:51:34 PM

while you were opened the case you should have checked the label on the power supply.
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October 29, 2010 4:10:45 PM

infernox_01 said:
while you were opened the case you should have checked the label on the power supply.


I will this weekend, didn't have a flashlight handy.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 9:20:51 PM

The HD6870 uses almost exactly the same amount of power as the 8800GTX so the PSU shouldn't really be an issue. Overclocking the processor would add to power usage a bit but not that much and it very likely doesn't matter anyway. If it is a Gateway odds are very small that your motherboard has overclocking options in the BIOS. You can check but I doubt it.
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November 10, 2010 5:28:35 PM

Best answer selected by design1stcode2nd.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
November 11, 2010 2:46:19 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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