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Nub Questions

Last response: in Systems
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January 3, 2011 6:25:26 PM

Hey guys, I've had this computer since the launch of AOC (april/may of 2007 or 2008 maybe) and I've recently started upgrading/thinking about upgrading.

Currently, my specs are as listed.

Mobo - Gigabyte S-Series GA-M57SLI-S4
CPU - AMD Phenom (not II) x3 8450 2.1 GHz stock
Video - EVGA GeForce 8800GS (OC'd to 690/1698/1000)
Hard Drive - 320 GB WD 7200 rpm (not sure on specs of drive, can't find box)
PS - Monocaso 500W
RAM - 3x1GB DDR2 PC5300 (not sure on brand etc)
OS - XP Pro 32 bit (going 7 possibly when I get new card/drives?)

I recently ordered an ATI Sapphire 5770 video card as with the release of Cata I want to be able to run ultra settings with a min fps of 30-40 in org (hardest spot in the game for a card due to the traffic of players). And I'm in the middle of ordering a 500 GB - 1TB 7200 rpm drive off NCIX along with a 60GB SSD for my OS to go on.

Question one
Will my CPU bottleneck the 5770 (more importantly, can I even use it with my motherboard? all over the box it reads AMD this and nVidia that, so I'm a bit weary). Although it is PCI e so it will physically work I know.

Question two
Will my PS support this card? I've been told by my friend who built this computer for me that 500 should be fine as I bought a midranged card

Question three
How much would I have to overclock my CPU to minimize the bottleneck? I hear that these particular CPUs can't overclock more than 10%-15% if I'm lucky. If I can't OC it high enough, what processor between $80-$120 would you guys recommend?

Question four
What are the disadvantages of having a case left open? I was tinkering around and I decided to leave it off as I just overclocked my card and figured it would help keep temps down better (in case anyone is wondering, it's never seen over 80* but it has hit it a few times from playing WoW on ultra). I'm assuming dust will build up faster which will lead to an increase in temps after a prolonged period of time/

Question five
Are SSD's that much quicker with memory transfer/reading/writing than a 7200 rpm? The SSD I'm about to order is on sale for $99 when I buy another hard drive ($279 reg I think).

Question six
I know I should probably save this of the OC section, but I figure people in here probably go to both sections so does my 8800gs sound pretty good there? It hasn't crashed yet from just playing WoW and doing other things on it for over a day so I think it's pretty stable. What BIOS can be flashed to my current card/how can I remove the 690 core clock cap?

I think that's it for now, If I have anything else I'll add it.

Thanks for looking

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January 4, 2011 10:43:25 PM

1) Your CPU is probably a bit slow for the GPU you picked. To answer 3), I don't know. I'm not an overclocker (yet ;) ). You may not have enough power to OC.

2) Your PSU should be able to handle the card. If not, you can pick up a 600-650W for under $70.

4) It depends on the case. Newer cases are designed with the case closed, so opening it actually ruins the airflow in the case.

5) The read speeds of a SSD are incredible compared to a HDD. They're even faster than the WD Velociraptor @ 10k RPM. The write speeds are slower on the *older* SSDs (most of those made last year), but they are still comparable to a physical hard drive.
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