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Upgrade questions.

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February 22, 2011 1:31:09 PM

I have two separate upgrade questions. First involving my video card, and the 2nd involving a new hard drive.

My video card has been causing my computer to BSOD. I figure it is about time for an upgrade. My current card is:
-EVGA 640-P2-N829-AR GeForce 8800GTS SSC 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card.

I'm looking at upgrading to one of these two options:
-SAPPHIRE 100290SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Eyefinity 6 Edition Video Card
-GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N560SO-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Which is the better option?

As for my harddrive upgrade. Currently i'm using XP 32 bit, and want to upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit. Instead of reformatting, I want to purchase a new drive.

I'm debating between the following:
-Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
-Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

My current box was built in 2007:
-CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz
-Motherboard Intel BOXD975XBX2KR LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX
-RAM CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
-Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
-Power Rosewill Xtreme Series RX950-D-B 950W
-Case Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

More about : upgrade questions

a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 1:55:22 PM

Hello DLANOD3;

Good upgrade plan.
You're looking at parts you can eventually move over into a new system when you decide to upgrade the CPU/MB/RAM core of the system.

What screen resolution are you using - or will be using if you're looking at a future LCD monitor upgrade?
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 2:25:50 PM

Here is a review of the Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB SSD
It shows the difference in the SSD write speeds between the 64GB/128GB/256GB models.

What that means for a balanced peformance from the SSD shows up in the SSD benchmark tests. SSD comparisons:
Crucial RealSSD C300 (128GB) Micron vs OCZ Agility 2 (100GB) - Sand Force-1200
Crucial RealSSD C300 (64GB) Micron vs OCZ Agility 2 (100GB) - Sand Force-1200
Based on those testing results you might think a SSD based on the Sand Force 1200 controller might be a better option.
It's no knock on the RealSSD C300 64GB which is a freakin' fast reading SSD - but it needs a SATA 6GB/s controller to reach those top read speeds. In a SATA 3GB/s system (like yours) read speed are on par with a Sand Force SSD.

You'll notice the WD VR 300GB wasn't mentioned. That's about how good the SSD/ OS boot & frequently used program drives are now that the prices are reasonable vs a 10K HDD like the Raptor.

Related resources
February 22, 2011 3:02:19 PM

Nice catch on the 6GB/s SATA vs 3GB/s. I had overlooked that in my initial SSD selection.

Current Monitor: SCEPTRE X20WG-NagaII Black 20.1" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1

I use the standard resolution of 1680 x 1050. I plan on using this monitor with the new video card selection.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 3:33:26 PM

I think in terms of GPUs, you should at least be comparing the GTX 560 with a 6900 series AMD card. The 560 will easily surpass AMD's last generation.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 3:59:53 PM

THG has a Best Graphics Cards For The Money: February 2011 article that ties performance and resolution together in an easy to understand way.
For example @ the ~$115 the mention the GTS 450 having "Exceptional 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with lowered details"
The next step up Radeon HD 5770 1 GB @ ~$130 has "Great 1920x1200 performance in most games"
To get rid of that "in most games" caveat, which includes future games of course, you'll probably want to up-rate the video card some.
Getting back to your original question of HD 5870/GTX 560 Ti - it's almost too close to call IMO. Slight tip of the hat to the HD 5870 though.
This review of the GTX 560ti with the HD 5870 included might help. If you can find the HD 5870 at good price it's safe to say that either choice will be a great one.
February 22, 2011 4:03:28 PM

I based my GPU comparisons on the GPU hierarchy chart. The 5870 is listed a tier above the 560 ti. Comparing on price, due to a current promotion I could get the 5870 for $229. Should I jump on this, or is the overclocked 560 ti going to be a better GPU even at $279?
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 4:16:58 PM

The GTX 560 Ti's is a real OC'ing beast if you want to push it some so there's no need to get the factory OC models.
So its the $250 GTX 560 Ti vs the $200 after rebate HD 5870 (which is also a bit OC friendly) linked above.
Hot and sweet 'newness' vs old gnarly brute? It's your call and it should be easy - they're both very good.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 25, 2011 2:21:40 AM

Good find!
That's a really awesome price.
!