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Which card for old overclocked Opteron

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
February 2, 2011 7:53:59 AM


I have pretty old Opteron 165 (1.8 @ 2.6, dual core, 2 x 1 MB L2 cache) running on Socket 939 paired with GF 6600GT.

I'm on socket 939 and don't want to upgrade mobo, memory, CPU ATM.

Which card would you suggest to ressurect my old rig?

I'm playing at 1280x1024 (old LCD too :) .

I guess my CPU is at par with Athlon X2 4800+.

Thanks in advance,


More about : card overclocked opteron

a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 9:14:41 AM

I would recommend saving up and starting over, that thing is ancient and should be laid to rest if you're wanting to get into modern gaming.

Still, at that resolution, perhaps a 5670? Even then that would be held back by your CPU.
February 2, 2011 9:52:43 AM

It is ancient (6 years old or somenthing), but advancement in CPU has stalled in my opinion

Do you think modern games would be bottelnecked by this CPU? Any examples?

I thought that with Radeon 5570 or 5670 it would last two more years for casual gaming at 1028 x 1024...

Sure i5 or i7 would double framerates, but 60fps is the sweet spot.

I would like to get something with DX11 enabled that does not require extra power supply.

What would you recommend:

5550 DDR3

5570 DDR3

5570 DDR5

5670 DDR5

Is it worthy to get 1GB or 512MB should be enough for my resolution?

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a c 153 U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 9:57:28 AM

I DO have a computer with a 4800+, and I can tell you the CPU cannot handle many of today's games, even at 1280x1024 it struggled in Crysis.
February 2, 2011 10:02:46 AM

Can you define 'struggled'? Was it playable? Was it CPU bound?

Any exaples besides Crysis, which is still v. hardware intensive game?
a c 153 U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 10:11:10 AM

Nope, thats the game that made me upgrade my system so I havn't installed anything else on it, besides that I know it couldn't play Starcraft II well, or Metro 2033 either.
February 2, 2011 10:27:03 AM

Well. I play Starcraft II on this rig with OC 6600GT on min GFX and med CPU details and it is pretty fluid at 1028x1024.

I'm still not sure which way to go:

5570 DDR5
5670 DDR5


Any suggestions?

Isn't 5570 just an underclocked 5670?

a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 10:52:24 AM

GET A 5670 512 MB GDDR5, You won´t regret.

With this and your CPU you could play any game in medium settings.

This card is much powerful than your old 6600 gt.

February 2, 2011 11:11:03 AM

Thanks. I just hope there will be no conflicts between Radeon and nForce4 chipset :) 
February 2, 2011 11:42:44 AM

Prices here in Europe are like 1.5-2x higher (about 100 $ for vanilla 5670; no such things as mail-in rabates).

I'm not sure that my no-name 400W PSU can handle 9800 GT. Would like to check DX 11 effects too...

a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 12:28:09 PM

Yes, I´m also in Europe and prices are not near the same....
No name 400 W PSU -> DO NOT BUY THE 9800 GT

Pixmania is a place where you will find tons of gpus... or ebay....

In this case try to find a 5670 and maybe a medium psu (400 W no name.... that doesn´t sounds good), amps in 12 V rails in your psu?

With arround 24 you will be able to run safely the 5670.

Also if you can find it look for a 4770 (Great card¡¡ no Directx 11..)

About Directx 11, you need at least a 5770 to use its effects, unless you want to play at low fps...
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 1:31:31 PM

I'd upgrade your PSU as well then. If it's a no name, old, 400W one then you're running a high risk of blowing the system.

And there are no backwards compatibility issues with PCI-E 2.1 compared to 2.0...
a c 176 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2011 1:55:01 PM

5670 and GT240 are to expensive unless you need to keep the power usage low. I suggest a 8800/9800gt on the cheap and on the red side a dirt cheap 3870/4850/70 will be a wonderful upgrade over that 6600gt.
February 2, 2011 2:01:37 PM


Thanks for the tip. It will probably end up very close to new 5670.

Still it is more power hungry than 5670 (80 vs 64 W) - have to check my PSU.

Just noticed that 4770 is indeed very powerful card.


I'm trying to avoid PSU upgrade. Will check manufacturer and specs tonight.

I will not care THAT much if everything blows up :)  - still have wii for casual gaming

February 2, 2011 3:02:27 PM


used 4850/70 are very close to new 5670

3870 is worth considering but (can buy one pretty cheap) 106 W TDP makes me wonder if my PSU will handle it

is there a formula for calculating 12V rail amperage needed for specifig configuration (based on cpu and gfx TDP)?


One more thing:

gaming on limited (1280x1024) resolution should i look for high pixel or texture fillrate or maybe memory bandwidth?
February 2, 2011 3:06:06 PM


Is it an AGP motherboard?

Because if it doesn't have PCIe then you're stuck with a 4670.
a c 176 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2011 3:40:30 PM

If that is your concern then go with a low wattage card but the 3870 has the same profile as the 9800gt when it comes to power consumption. They typically draw 80w at stock clocks but if you are set on getting a 5670 go ahead but the price performance ratio isn't going to be as good. This unit will have to be very low quality to make me go that rout but you can still check the volts on the 12v rail. If it is below 11.5v already or has large changes in voltage over a short period of time I suggest that you wait a little longer and replace the unit.
February 2, 2011 7:19:02 PM

My PSU has max 20A load on +12V

+5 +3.3 combined 225W
+5 +3.3 +12 combined 380W
total output 400 W max

i checked voltage in bios and it is: well it just says OK, have to use some kind of monitoring utility

do you think it can handle 4770?

how about 3870/9800?

Opteron 165 is rated at 110 W (I dont think it draws that much, it is overclocked from 200 to 266 FSB though)

February 2, 2011 7:45:50 PM

The maximum wattage it can draw is 110. That means you have ~240 - 110 = 130W to go around. I would say card ~100W should be fine.

More importantly, is it AGP or PCIe?
a c 176 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2011 8:42:16 PM

Go into bios and look at pc health then look at the 12v source. In windows load up speed fan or any other utility to check the volts again. Last way to check it use a voltmeter. You need to be able to check the voltage while the machine is on.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 10:13:20 PM

20 A is not enough to safely run a 4770 (even a 5670 ), if the opteron is overclocked I would strongly advise you to use another psu, with at least 30 Amps in 12 V rails.

(MY gpu is an Ati 4770 I´ve a 65 W CPU, and a 27 A generic psu, and I still ask myself if I should buy another PSU.... )

This could be a good PSU
February 3, 2011 7:22:34 AM


Are there any other devices powered by 12V besides CPU and GPU, eg. nForce4 chipset?

If CPU and GPU are the only onest then I should be safe with Radeon 4770 (86W)


I checked voltages with CpuId Hwinfo and +12V is stable at 12.38V, what worries be are the negative voltages e.g. -5, -12 - they are jumping up and down constantly - maybe this is normal behaviour?


What do you think about minitron815's calculation:

20A * 12V =140 W

240 - 110 for overcloced CPU (all Opterons 1xx have 110 TDP do I assume that my overclocked 165 does not exceed 110) = 130

130-86 (Radeon 4777) = 44 W

It seems there is still some overhead (unless there are other devices drawing from 12V line).


What if my PSU is not enough? Will everyting blow up or just PSU, or fuse in PSU?
a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 8:30:43 AM

Here you will find a good PSU calculator

20 A it´s not enough, a 4770 requires at leats 26 A .

For 12 V calculation you should include hdd, dvdrom, etc.

Please do not think in buying a 4770 with this PSU.

Also keep in mind that you need to be in the safe zone, you can´t say 240 W - 110 - 86 = 44 NO¡ You can get your PC fried¡¡¡ Maybe your PSU will be able to give you 20 Amps, BUT NOT DURING ALL ITS LIFE.

February 3, 2011 8:55:54 AM

Thanks for the link.

Have to consider changing the PSU or take the risk (calculator tells me there will be max 16A power draw on +12V with 4770 - look at the Multiple 12V Rail PSU Checks section and add v1 and v2 - I have single 12V line).

I would rather not take the risk with anything more power hungry like 8800/9800gt.

a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 9:46:21 AM

Ok, Good luck¡
With that PSU, the best card I would use will be an ATI 5570.

a c 176 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2011 1:48:23 PM

Don't use psu calculators, that is for noobs and people who do not know what they are doing. The power figures that they use are questionable. If you want load figures then I suggest research them online for the card of choice. If the 12v rail is stable then you are ok. The negative rails I am not sure about them but I think that you are ok with a simple 5570.
February 3, 2011 2:21:59 PM

Actually this calc looks quite sophisticated (see yourself). I will try to get used Radeon 4770 and hope that my PSU will make it.
February 3, 2011 8:29:40 PM

You don't need to look up the calculations unless, as stated above, you don't know what you're doing.

Processors specify their maximum load as do video cards. If you aren't retarded just take your maximum wattage over 12V (math above) then subtract your CPU and desired GPU and see if you have enough left over to power your other components. HD/DVDROM = 1 amp or 12 watts each.

I think it's funny how people talk about computers frying when they never tried it themselves because they waste money on an unnecessary power supply because they're scared.

I have a Phenom II 940 OCed, GTX 460 OCed, 2 burners and 2 internal SATA drives and more connected to a 7 year old Antec True430 with 28 amps over 12V.
February 4, 2011 7:31:51 AM

Well I have no-brand 5year old PSU rated 20A over +12V. Lets say it has 18A (because of age)

I have:

2 internal SATA drives: 2A
2 burners: 2A (I dont use them while gaming so I doesnt count I guess)
1 OC Opteron 165: my guess 7A (not sure about that)

So without GPU it is about 9-10A which leaves 8A=96W.

So it means I should be safe with 4770 (80 TDP).

One thing I am not sure of is OC Opteron 165 power draw.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2011 8:21:10 AM

With 2 hdd, and an overclocked cpu, I won´t ever try.
Please buy a good PSU before trying. I´ve burned a PSU , so I know what I´m talking about.
I could give you some more reasons, like 20 Amps if it´s a generic is the peak that the psu can support during x time..., these 20 Amps are calculated in conditions of Temperature that you may not have, etc,etc....
ALso is it possible that you can even turn on the PC with your new gpu due to its low power..

2 hdd -> 2 AMps
1 Overclocked Opteron -> 9 Amps
1 4770 -> 7 AMps

18 Amps. (More or less)

If your PSU were an Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, etc, maybe with 22 A you could be safe. But with 20 A generic PSU, in my opinion you are risking burning your PSU, that doesn´t mean that your PSU will die for sure, but there is a great chance.

Anyway it´s your choice, A couple of Toms guides:
February 4, 2011 10:17:52 AM

if you are getting hd 5570.make sure its ddr5 version,not crappy ddr3.
February 4, 2011 6:28:46 PM

Give it a try!