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Pondering Replacing 8800 GTS - Worth it?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 22, 2010 8:37:23 PM

I'm currently using a Velocity Micro Promagix e2240 PC, which came with (and still has) a GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB. I'd like to improve both the gaming and multimedia performance of the system, and was pondering an upgrade of the video card, mainly to a Radeon 5770. The multimedia boost of getting an HDMI out is obvious, but would I get a boost in gaming performance as well?

I'd note that while I game a decent bit, I don't always have the time, and I've noticed that the games I play are typically 1-2 years behind their release date. So I'm not playing the very latest and greatest.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 8:46:24 PM

ubertrout said:
I'm currently using a Velocity Micro Promagix e2240 PC, which came with (and still has) a GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB. I'd like to improve both the gaming and multimedia performance of the system, and was pondering an upgrade of the video card, mainly to a Radeon 5770. The multimedia boost of getting an HDMI out is obvious, but would I get a boost in gaming performance as well?

I'd note that while I game a decent bit, I don't always have the time, and I've noticed that the games I play are typically 1-2 years behind their release date. So I'm not playing the very latest and greatest.


from a graphic stand point, it is a very good jump. the nvidia 8800GTS 320mb would offer performance in-between the ATI 4670 and Nvidia 9600GT in the chart below. to reach those levels would depend on the rest of your PC's specs. low RAM or a slow CPU can hold back the ATI 5770 full potential.


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November 22, 2010 8:54:53 PM

Unfortunately, the model can't be upgraded to 4 GB (I forget why, but I tried and it wouldn't boot, and then confirmed this online).
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a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 8:59:27 PM

Still, the 5770 will give you a big performance boost.

Do you have the mobo model number? Its a little strange that a semi-modern 775 board wouldn't accept 4GB...
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a c 235 U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 9:04:00 PM

could just be a bad stick of RAM, happens all the time
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November 22, 2010 9:13:13 PM

It's an Asus ASUS P5N-E SLI. And it seems it supports up to 8 GB. So maybe I'm just dumb :) 

Of course, would running Win7 32-bit be an issue?
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a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 9:15:22 PM

Running 32 bit won't be an issue, but you won't be able to use all 4GB of ram (assuming you buy more ram).
If you already have the Win 7 copy, its not worth it to buy a new 64 bit version, but if you haven't yet, you should get a 64 bit version.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 9:15:43 PM

ubertrout said:
It's an Asus ASUS P5N-E SLI. And it seems it supports up to 8 GB. So maybe I'm just dumb :) 

Of course, would running Win7 32-bit be an issue?


it would cap the amount of RAM the OS sees and uses. no point to go above 4GB with win 7 32bit, the good news is very few programs actually need more then that, most programs are still designed for 32bit OS.
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November 22, 2010 9:22:53 PM

I already upgraded to Win7, and I'm running the 32-bit version.

So, step 1 is upgrade RAM to 4 GB. Step 2 is switch to Radeon HD 5770. Change=profound?
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a b U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 9:24:05 PM

Yes, you should have a much better gaming experience, and the ability to play new games to come.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
November 22, 2010 10:23:39 PM

ubertrout said:
I already upgraded to Win7, and I'm running the 32-bit version.

So, step 1 is upgrade RAM to 4 GB. Step 2 is switch to Radeon HD 5770. Change=profound?


if that is the unit that comes with an over clocked Q6600 CPU, you could see 50% FPS increase in some games.
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November 22, 2010 11:16:14 PM

@ct, this is indeed that unit.
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November 23, 2010 3:55:26 AM

So, I upgraded my memory. Windows shows 3.25 GB actually available. Would replacing a 320 MB video card with a 1 GB video card effectively cut this to 2.5 GB?
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 4:19:09 AM

It could be anywhere from 3GB or lower. I haven't seen any surefire way to predict how much the usable memory drops (that doesn't mean there isn't one), but it is guaranteed to drop by at least the amount of frame buffer (RAM) your graphics card has.
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November 23, 2010 1:14:26 PM

So by adding a new video card with 1 GB in place of the current one, the amount of available memory would drop an additional 708 MB, at least?

I think I'm going to hold off on adding a new video card, then, and let the result of this be the added memory.

To celebrate the added memory I spent too much time playing Lemmings, in DOSbox - totally using that memory.
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November 23, 2010 5:26:51 PM

So, the gist of the article is that Windows 7 32-bit can't use more than 3.25 GB, so installing a 1 GB video card could bring it to 3 GB, or much lower. There's no way to know without purchasing the new card and taking the plunge.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 6:29:35 PM

ubertrout said:
So, the gist of the article is that Windows 7 32-bit can't use more than 3.25 GB, so installing a 1 GB video card could bring it to 3 GB, or much lower. There's no way to know without purchasing the new card and taking the plunge.


-256mb for every gpu and pci-e switch in a 32bit os as far as windows in concerned. The vram size doesn't impact the size of available ram as the loss is fixed to a certain size. The textures in 16,32, and 64 bit systems typically are not stored in system ram with the program but mainly the pagefile. I have been tinkering for a long time and this is one of the areas of my own research. Before gpus had this feature textures had to be stored entirely in the frame buffer as a fixed cache but mostly games of that era were usually ran on the cpu. Modern systems have a dynamic cache depending on the set parameters of the driver, frame data needed to build the scene that is currently in view is stored locally while simple textures on up is stored in either virtual memory aka pagefile and alongside with the program. Windows typically likes to hog the system ram for it's self and move the rest else ware.
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