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Upgrading 8800GTS, $300 budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 6, 2011 12:22:11 PM

Hi there. I'm looking to upgrade my video card, but first I wanted some advice, and to make sure the card I pick is compatible with my system. Basically, I'm going for a bang-for-the-buck card, but I still want a significant upgrade without causing a bottleneck. I also wouldn't mind doing a modest overclock. Here are my specs:


Processor - Intel Quad-Core 2.4GHz

Video Card - EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB (slightly OCed to 608mhz core, 924 mhz RAM. I would do more but this card seems to have a hard upper limit)

Motherboard - MSI P6N SLI Platinum NVIDIA nForce 650i

RAM - 3GB DDR2 SDRAM

Power Supply - 650W

OS - XP 32bit


I've been using this list here to get an idea of what to get: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-1gb-...

And I've also been looking over at newegg. Any advice is appreciated.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 6:52:47 AM

what is your cpu exact model? is it Q6600? other than that what is your PSU exact model/brand and what is your preferred gaming resolution?
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March 8, 2011 6:58:14 AM

^+1
if all of these are good then get a 6870/6950 or a 560
P.S renz your avatar makes me LOL
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March 8, 2011 8:33:59 AM

Yeah renz496, it's a Q6600, and my PSU is an Antec True Power Trio 650W. I checked and it's capable of delivering like 50+ amps through the 12v rail, so no problems there. As far as resolution, I'm not very picky. I usually just set it at 1280x800 or so.

But, as far as a card goes, I think I'm starting to settle on an EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16. This card is a bit beefy for my system, so bottleneck may be an issue. I was told OCing my processor from 2.4GHz up to about 3.2GHz would be a good idea, so I'll probably try that.

I'm still open for suggestions though.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 9:26:10 AM

alhanelem said:

P.S renz your avatar makes me LOL


:lol: 

Monklypomp said:
Yeah renz496, it's a Q6600, and my PSU is an Antec True Power Trio 650W. I checked and it's capable of delivering like 50+ amps through the 12v rail, so no problems there. As far as resolution, I'm not very picky. I usually just set it at 1280x800 or so.

But, as far as a card goes, I think I'm starting to settle on an EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16. This card is a bit beefy for my system, so bottleneck may be an issue. I was told OCing my processor from 2.4GHz up to about 3.2GHz would be a good idea, so I'll probably try that.

I'm still open for suggestions though.


Q6600 is quite dated to some but that cpu still can hold its ground when OCed to 3.0Ghz and above. the GTX560 will be a good upgrade to your 8800GTS. the card should be able to perform very well at 1080p even with AA and AF crank up. in fact should do well on 2560x1600 as well if you tone done the setting a bit. however you're going to need fast cpu to keep up with GTX560 if you play at lower resolution
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March 8, 2011 9:57:51 AM

renz496 said:


Q6600 is quite dated to some but that cpu still can hold its ground when OCed to 3.0Ghz and above. the GTX560 will be a good upgrade to your 8800GTS. the card should be able to perform very well at 1080p even with AA and AF crank up. in fact should do well on 2560x1600 as well if you tone done the setting a bit. however you're going to need fast cpu to keep up with GTX560 if you play at lower resolution


I'm not sure I follow. You mean to suggest that I would be better off playing with the resolution on the card cranked up, than if it were lower? Performance wise, I would've thought it would be the other way around.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 10:29:42 AM

it should do just fine at lower resolution. but some people expect to get more frame rates when go down with the resolution. but if you can't get more FPS with lower resolution with same setting on the higher resolution that's mean the cpu can't keep up with the card. btw i think you shouldn't be worry about that. that's why i asked what your preferred resolution in my first post. normally for 1280x800 even the likes of GTS450 should do just fine.
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March 8, 2011 10:36:24 AM

Ah ok, I see what you're saying. Now I know what to look for if I get a bottleneck. Thanks for the input.
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a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2011 10:50:45 AM

The two Q6600's that I've OC'd went to 3.0GHz on stock voltage. If you have a good board, they can go much faster with voltage increases. That does not mean you should leave your voltages set to Auto--set them to manual, but you can leave them on default settings.

You basically just reduce your RAM clock (since it speeds up with the CPU with base clock increases) then increase the base clock incrementally, checking stability while monitoring temps along the way. When it stops being stable

A Hyper 212+ is an excellent CPU cooler, but a Q6600 thermal throttles itself when cores get into the mid 60's (Celsius) so you MIGHT be okay--I OC it on the stock cooler, but I don't recommend it. Make sure to lookup safe temps and voltages for your CPU on Intel's website.

I recommend monitoring (temps, etc.) with HWMonitor & CPU-Z and stability testing with LinX. Prime95 is great for burn-in when you're done. And Memtest86+ for stability testing RAM after you get to tweaking RAM settings. (Leave RAM timings on Auto to start).

Anyways, you should be good with a GTX 560 after you overclock your CPU. Like Renz said, you'll need to check if your other components (especially PSU) are up to using a GTX 560.
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March 8, 2011 11:06:58 AM

Sounds good, dalauder. A very informative post.
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a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2011 9:32:34 AM

The XFX Radeon 5870 on Newegg right now for $180 will top a GTX 560 Ti in most benchmarks. Save yourself $60 and get that one.
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December 24, 2011 10:45:14 PM

Hi Monklypomp,

just thought I would add that if you have that much for the purchase of your video card, it would be worth grabbing a reasobnable aftermarket CPU cooler...

I have one of my Q6600's left (along with 2 x i7-920's) and the Q6600 is overclocked to 3.5 Ghz and cooled by a Thermaltake 9700 copper cooler (around $60 Australian/ USD).

My overclock is simply by FSB increases - got to unstable at around 3.6 (@ 20 x FSB 180) so backed it off to 20 (Multiplier) x 175.

That should handle the 5870 or the GTX 560 Ti....
Let us know what you ended up doing !

Hope it all ent/ goes well.
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