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My search for a new video card...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 31, 2011 2:04:56 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: $100 or less is preferable. But it can flex some if need be.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (primarily just League of Legends http://tinyurl.com/4v8evwo) followed by movie streaming (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) followed by generic web browsing and MS Office usage.

CURRENT GPU: BFG Tech BFGR88320GTSOCE GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CURRENT POWER SUPPLY: APEVIA ATX-AS600W-BL 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Power Supply

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80557E6400

MOBO: MSI P965 Platinum LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

MEMORY: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400

CASE: NZXT Apollo BLUE NP Blue SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

COOLING: No special cooling set up.

OS: Windows XP

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I normally just use newegg.com but any reputable site is fine with me.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference really. The NVIDIA I had worked amazing but that doesn't mean I would only buy their cards. As long as the performance is on par I'm good with it.

OVERCLOCKING: Pre-Overclocked is fine but I do not overclock CPU or GPU myself. Ever.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Nope.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No real requests. As long as it can run League of Legends and stream video content without issues then I'd be happy. I do have one concern. All the cards I see are PCI-e 2.0 now. My MOBO has a slot for PCI-e x16 1.0a. I have read that MOST PCI-e 2.0 cards will work in PCI-e 1.0a slots but I want to be 110% sure before ordering a card. I am currently looking at the card listed below. But figured I would check with people much more knowledgeable than myself. Thanks in advance for any assistance!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : search video card

January 31, 2011 2:25:30 PM

To be honest, your options are very limited because of your CPU, and yes PCI-E 2.0 does go in PCI-E 1.0, but it's NOT worth it, the card will never run the way it should.
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January 31, 2011 3:17:16 PM

I don't know a lot about PC hardware but why would my CPU matter with my GPU? Did you mean motherboard? Or am I missing something? Thanks.
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January 31, 2011 3:24:54 PM

overclock your cpu and get a used gtx 260 off ebay for a hundred, imo there are not many gpu upgrade options available for 100 that would be much better than your current gpu, not to mention that your cpu will be holding any upgrade back with its low clock frequency. You might even be able to grab a gtx 275 or 280/85 for around 100, that or a used 4870 off ebay would be your best bet for that budget. I would also add another 2 gigs of ram
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January 31, 2011 3:37:29 PM

The CPU processes things in-game, so if you were to for example get a GTX 580, the 580 would completely obliterate the dual core, basically sitting around waiting for the CPU to catch up on processing. When this happens, people call it a "Bottleneck", where something in your system slows you down. Also, PCI-E Express 1.0 is outdated, but supported. The only versions of PCI-E that are supported is 1.0b or 1.1, so you will have to double check you motherboard. If you have on of those 2 versions. The purpose of PCI-E 2.0 was to double the bandwidth of the card. Now, PCI-E 1.0 shouldn't be a major problem, but your CPU needs to be over clocked if you plan to go through with the GT 240. The overclock would be small, but it would keep you up to date with the GT 240.

Now, to be honest, I would go with a Radeon HD 5770 for around 125 dollar mark. It will run games at great speeds on your 1080P monitor, just save a bit more and be patient. Now, after you get the 5770, save up and replace the processor. Then when you do that, save up and replace motherboard. Once thati s over with, spend a little bit on an extra 2gb of DDR2 ram (or 4gb of ddr3, depending on what motherboard you got.) Then you have a fresh new pc. Your 600 watt should be fine.... Now this is all just kind of a tip. Over clocking forums are literally everywhere, and within a day, you could know anything you need to about over clocking. Just remember, the more time you take, the better off you are later on. Don't rush at a smaller video card, when you could get alot more in time, trust me, it's worth it :) 
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January 31, 2011 3:38:04 PM

Okay so it's the clock frequency of the CPU that is limiting the new GPU. I should have specified in the original post but the reason I am replacing my current card is it burned out. Do you think it may be better to just hold off and build an entirely new PC? The budget of $100 isn't due to me not having the money. It is more so the fact that $100 is the max I am really willing to spend on updating a video card for a 4 year old desktop. And yes I planned on getting another 2GB of RAM as the same exact brand I ordered before is still available and it's only $38. (As opposed to the $207 I paid 4 years ago haha.)
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January 31, 2011 3:38:59 PM

Btw, bandwidth basically means how fast information is capable of getting to the card.
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January 31, 2011 3:41:58 PM

Didn't see AHelpingHand's reply until after my last post. Thanks for all the info. That makes a lot of sense. So yeah I think the best option might be a whole new PC. (As my motherboard specifically states 1.0a for the PCI-e x16 slot it has. I'm pretty sure anyways.) If that seems to be my best case scenario then could someone recommend a basic card that will get me by until I get the new one pieced together?
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January 31, 2011 3:47:36 PM

Ahelpinghand said:
Now, to be honest, I would go with a Radeon HD 5770 for around 125 dollar mark. It will run games at great speeds on your 1080P monitor, just save a bit more and be patient.


Will that card run fine without overclocking my CPU? Or if so how much would I have to OC it by? Thanks for the fast responses. You guys are great!
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January 31, 2011 4:04:19 PM

As much as you can, the 5770 is an exceptional card, and the higher you can get it the better!:) . Of course, watch out for CPU temps, and find some reliable information on over clocking. It can be a long and tedious job, but at the end of the day it's worth it. Now the worst thing that could happen is windows doesn't boot. In which case you can easily under clock a small amount so it boots correctly. Of course, one day I would recommend an AMD Phenom 2 for around 100 bucks, a quad core for amazing value.
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January 31, 2011 5:09:20 PM

pci-e 1.0 will not hold you back at all with a 5770 or a card of similar class to that, the 5770 will work fine, however its performance will definatley be held back until you reach near 3.0 ghz
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January 31, 2011 6:12:50 PM

Thanks a bunch guys. I think I am going to just purchase the 5770 (or equivalent) card for now and then build a whole new higher-end PC later. (Around the time Star Wars KOTOR comes out haha.)
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January 31, 2011 7:39:05 PM

kholliday said:
Thanks a bunch guys. I think I am going to just purchase the 5770 (or equivalent) card for now and then build a whole new higher-end PC later. (Around the time Star Wars KOTOR comes out haha.)


thats a good idea or like I said grab a used 4 series ati or 2 series nvidia which will be at least as powerful as the 5770 you can find the likes of a 4870 or gtx 260/275 for 80 dollars or so on ebay if you are so inclined, because its not like your going to want to carry over your 5770 to a new build, at least I wouldn't however you might be able to save 60-80 dollars by going this route and likely have better performance then a 5770 in dx10, (with respect to dx11, the 5770 is barley powerful enough to run it at high res imo.

if you went with the gtx 260 or better you could use it as a dedicated physx card at least, if you are in to that
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January 31, 2011 8:06:44 PM

Yeah... but PCI-E 1.0a might be problem =/.
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January 31, 2011 8:11:52 PM

^^^^@ AHelpinghand

how do you figure as far as I know there should be no issue except from certain amd 6 series gpus and certain motherboards I believe. Where are you getting this information because I'd like to know for sure for myself... or can anyone else shed some light one this topic, Will the nvidia 2 series, ati 4 or 5 series have problems with pci-e 1.0a bc it was my understanding that there was little to no issue with current gpus, correct me if im wrong but gimme some references for your statements@A also do we know if the op has 1.0a or 1.0b yet?
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February 2, 2011 10:17:32 AM

Hi guys. After a little more research I have decided to build a new PC later in the year. For now I just got a basic card to get me by. It seems to run the only game a I really play better than my previous card. (Other than when a match FIRST starts. The colors are all messed up. But after a few seconds that goes away and it works fine. It's weird. But the game looks better and even seems to move faster.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for all the information guys! I'll definitely be back to Tom's Hardware once I go to build a new PC.
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February 2, 2011 2:39:05 PM

nice well the 5570 will certainly get you by, but is not a world beater by any means, but i like your strategy, save your money for a future build
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