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Getting a new graphics card please help

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 4, 2010 6:00:52 AM

hey guys i wanna buy a new graphic card for my desktop, the last one i bought is the **** 8600gt 256mb 3 years ago

im looking for a good new card thats gonna last me a looooonnnnng time

which one is best in terms of both performance and price???? i don't really have a budget

also my current spec is:

Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ 3.00ghz

Memory (RAM): 6.00 GB

Graphics Card: Geforce 8600GT 256mb

so should i upgrade my cpu as well?? and if so what should i get

also i was hoping to purchase before christmas so it might be cheaper

and the gfx card is for intense gaming, really wanna try out arma 2 and metro 2033

and i was wondering if i should use the 8600gt for sli or physx if possible

also im from sydney, australia

and my monitor is 22 inch with 1600x1050 native resolution and i dont plan to overclock the card

please leave suggestions thank u so much

More about : graphics card

a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 6:18:49 AM

how many Watts is your power supply?
November 4, 2010 6:47:17 AM

hmm? i really dont know, sorry im not really good with hardwares

where should i look for the power supply, do i need to open the case??
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a c 169 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 6:52:52 AM

you need to look for where the power cord goes into the case, that is the power supply. To read the model and specs of it you will need to open the side panel. We need Brand, Model, Wattage and 12V amps. Then you can decide what graphics card it is capable of powering. Also, do you have a budget? I could help you out as im from australia and have an idea of what you should be paying. If your looking for a high end card you wont get the most out of it without upgrading the cpu. But give us the PSU specs and your budget and go from there...
November 4, 2010 7:11:21 AM

As you know your computer and Graphics card are a few years old, that particular card only requires like 300 watts, so finding out what kind of power supply you have is very important. You may have a power supply with just enough power for your particular set up. Like a Dell E521.

If you know how many watts your PSU is listing that would be a good start. But to find out more detailed info you will have to open the case and look for the label on the power supply.

As an example this is what mine looks like

Max Continuous Power Output 700 watts

main output
3.3v 24A max
+5v 24A max
+12v1 16A (18max 10sec)
+12v2 16A (18max 10sec)
+12v3 16A (18max 10sec)
+12v4 16A (18max 10sec)

Providing this info along with the make and model will make it possible for others to more easily help you with recommendations.
November 4, 2010 7:29:00 AM

k guys opened the case and got the things down, have no idea what they mean though, so i got wrote down everything, alright here it is


Cooler Master 460
Product No. RS-460-PCAR-A3
ATX F2V V2.3 W/O PFC

AC INPUT l 15/230V~10/6A 60/50HZ
DC OUTPUT l +3.3V l +5V l +12V1 l +12V2 l -12V l +5VSB
l 22A l 24A l 18A l 18A l 0.5A l 2.5A
MAX POWER l 165W l 312W l 6W l 12.5W

a c 169 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 7:54:58 AM

the closest review i could find was this http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX... - on the first page it says there are variations of this model which yours is one of so it should be similar. So it looks like your PSU good for something along the lines of a Nvidia gtx460, amd HD6850 or HD6870. The psu probably COULD run a more power hungry card than those, but pushing a PSU to its limits is never good, especially not when its already a few years old and full of dust. I would go with an AMD HD6870. this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade... is a benchmark of a title you want to play. You should also be aware this title has a poorly optimised gfx engine. Also would reccommend a CPU upgrade, if you give us the motherboard model we could help you out there also. You may be able to stick an AMD phenom in it. If you have this place -> http://www.msy.com.au/parts/parts.pdf near you, its probably the cheapest in Aus for parts.
November 4, 2010 8:08:24 AM

sorry this is the PSU info, i got some numbers wrong, but the one on the link looks like the one im using

Cooler Master 460
Product No. RS-460-PCAR-A3
ATX F2V V2.3 W/O PFC

AC INPUT l 15/230V~10/6A 60/50HZ
DC OUTPUT l +3.3V l +5V l +12V1 l +12V2 l -12V l +5VSB
l 22A l 25A l 18A l 18A l 0.5A l 2.5A
MAX POWER l 165W l 312W l 6W l 12.5W


and yeah, im looking for a card thats gonna last me a long long time,
so it can be a little expensive but will be cheaper in the long ran compared to upgrading again in a few years


also some people on other forums say the gtx460 is pretty good, how does it go compared to the others? is it what im looking for??

a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 8:18:43 AM

Your current CPU is going to bottleneck a GTX 460.For intense gaming, you have to get a decent CPU as well.If upgrading the CPU/Motherboard/RAM is not an option for you, settle for a GTS 450.
November 4, 2010 10:42:48 AM

i think my power supply is 460 watts
whereas the gtx460's requirement 450
so it means it can just barely run it right???
what will happen if i keep my current power supply, will it damage the gtx460??

a c 214 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 10:59:15 AM

you should really think of upgrading your CPU, those cards your looking for are at the higher end of the middle grade cards.Even so their not a "serious" card but it will run all the games you want at or close to the max settings.But i don't think you will get the most out of your card if your goign to use the same CPU. If you "dont
t really" have a budget you should upgrade everything everyone here can help you with all your needs realting to building one, or buying a cheap 600 dollar system that will have everything you need for the next 3 years.

And if you just wanna stick with the same stuff and go for the GTX460 might i suggest the Radeon HD6850 it is way better on power(might be able to overclock it) and it performs almost if not the same as the GTX460.
November 4, 2010 4:16:40 PM

It looks like your CPU is a socket AM2 so you may have to end up going with a new cpu/mobo/ram if you plan on upgrading it. As far as graphics go, if you don't plan on overclocking go for the 6870. If you do plan on overclocking I'd say go for the GTX460 because it can get very close to the 6870 performance when aggresively overclocked. However, if you aren't going to be upgrading your CPU then don't waste your money on anything more than a GTS450 or 5770 IMO.
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 4:45:51 PM

If your looking to play Arma 2 theirs no way ur going to get playable FPS on maxed out settings with just upgrading the card to the GTX460 it might get you into the 30's with what you currently have.
Here are the system specs (reccomened) for Arma 2


Recommended:

OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD Athlon Phenom X4 or faster
Memory: 2GB
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 260 or ATI Radeon HD 5770 or faster with Shader Model 3 and 896 MB VRAM
DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
Hard Drive: 20 GB free space


I mean thats a serious load...and it is only the reccomnded not the optimum which is what you are looking for.

I looked at Metro too and it's about the same..here's the Optimum requirements for the game that your looking to go after with your system


Recommended:

Processor: Any Quad Core or 3.0+ GHz Dual Core CPU
Memory: 2GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 10 compliant graphics card (GeForce GTX 260 and above)
DirectX®: DirectX 10 or higher


Optimum Requirements:

Processor: Core i7 CPU
Memory: 8GB RAM or higher
Graphics: NVIDIA DirectX 11 compliant graphics card (GeForce GTX 480 and 470)
DirectX®: DirectX 11


Really all you need to do is upgrade your motherboard,processor,i would suggest a new power supply for the future and get a motherboard with Crossfire/SLI so that in the future(year or so from now)when your not getting FPS with the newer games you could Pop in another graphics card and it would be good gaming again.

Hope this helps you. Goodluck!!
November 4, 2010 7:30:55 PM

hmm i have been thinking about upgrading the cpu as well as its only 2 core, so if i update it to a quad core, do i need to update the motherboard as well????

i know that a need an urgent graphics card upgrade and maybe a power supply as well
a c 169 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 8:57:49 PM

tell us what motherboard you have, you may be able to just upgrade the cpu.
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 9:52:23 PM

If you have Windows 7 good way to find out your board info is to go to Start Menu-All Programs-Accesories-Run then type this in the box "dxdiag" click "ok" and you should see all your info in there. Just copy and paste all that on here and we can help you out a lot more.
November 4, 2010 10:01:56 PM

yeah im currently still using vista, anyway to find the info without open the case??
if not where should i look inside the case???
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 10:18:29 PM

You Can still do the same thing easily it should be the same maybe just a different order it will tell you everything you need to know about your computer expect for your PSU thats the only part you will need to open the case for.For Vista just follow the exact same instructions for windows 7 should be just go to All programs/Accerories/and look for a program called Run/then when you find it open it and a box will appear type in "dxdiag" and a list should come up with everything thats in your computer.Thats all I know,so i can't really help you out with going inside your case someone else can help you with that. Hope i could help.
November 4, 2010 11:23:29 PM

System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: M56S-S3
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ (2 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
Memory: 6142MB RAM
Page File: 2144MB used, 10345MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 64bit Unicode


this is what i got from the DxDiag, think the m56s is the motherboard, although im not sure


so do i need to update the motherboard as well?? hopefully not lol since i have to reinstall everything
a c 214 U Graphics card
November 4, 2010 11:54:13 PM

I don't know if this is it i couldn't find it on newegg..

http://ee.giga-byte.com/products/mb/specs/ga-m56s-s3_1x...

this one has a intergrated chipset i dunno if it is the correct one...
if it is it says it supports up to the phenom x3

so upgrading to a triple core would be excellant for you.
so as i see it what you need to buy is a new PSU,Graphics Card,and a processor, and everything else should be ok. you want to get someone else's opinion on this if you have no spending limit others could give you some great ideas for building a pc.
November 5, 2010 5:39:20 AM

so does that mean my motherboard only supports up to 3 cores??? sorry im really noob at this, if it can support more than 3 cores then which cpu should i buy???
November 5, 2010 8:48:52 AM

also does my motherboard support SLI or crossfire???
i googled it but did not find any answer
November 5, 2010 10:03:59 AM

According to the chart posted by "iam2thecrow", you can get up to a Phenom II x4 955 which is a quad-core 3.2ghz cpu (pretty good), if you upgrade your BIOS to a certain version (also listed on that chart).

But, I just looked at the motherboard specifications at:

and it says the following:
"Support for Socket AM2+/ AM2 processors: AMD Phenom™FX/ AMD Phenom™/ AMD Athlon™ 64 FX/AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core/AMD Athlon™ 64/AMD Sempron™ "

so I don't see any AM3 support there, but maybe you just need to update BIOS to be able to run an AM3 cpu?? Not sure on that one, need clarification from the veterans..


As for crossfire/SLI, unfortunately your motherboard does not support it. It only has 1 PCIexpress x16 slot (Each card will require one of those in addition to Crossfire/SLI support)

But since you are getting only 1 gfx card right now, it doesn't really matter.. you can upgrade your motherboard later, once you need to.

As long as a good CPU like the Phenom II x4 955 is supported, you can keep your motherboard for now (in my opinion)

Good luck!
November 5, 2010 12:41:39 PM

ochho87 said:
According to the chart posted by "iam2thecrow", you can get up to a Phenom II x4 955 which is a quad-core 3.2ghz cpu (pretty good), if you upgrade your BIOS to a certain version (also listed on that chart).

But, I just looked at the motherboard specifications at:

and it says the following:
"Support for Socket AM2+/ AM2 processors: AMD Phenom™FX/ AMD Phenom™/ AMD Athlon™ 64 FX/AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core/AMD Athlon™ 64/AMD Sempron™ "

so I don't see any AM3 support there, but maybe you just need to update BIOS to be able to run an AM3 cpu?? Not sure on that one, need clarification from the veterans..


I noticed this too.

If in fact is does not support AM3 processors you still have the support for AM2+. Newegg shows these 4 AM2+ processors available. Of these your best choice is the X4 940 BE followed by the X3 715BE. They are both easily overclockable. Personally, Id go with the first one.
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