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Choosing a graphics card

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March 22, 2011 8:32:58 PM

Hey fellow gamers, Sup? I got an Nvidia Geforce 9800GT Akimbo. I've had it almost three years. It runs pretty good. I have it in a Cooler Master Storm Scout with 750 watt PS 4GB of ram (winXP - best for gaming to me), my card idles at like 50-53 degrees normally, but has gotten down to 46 on a cold day. The highest it has gone is 83 (LFD2) playing for 1 hour. I want to upgrade. Torn between the Geforce 550 Ti AMP and the Geforce 460 OC. Mid-range card is fine for me. I also go MB with 2 pcie 16X slots that read 8X apiece. Will a MB with one pcie 16X slot read 16X? This is my first build. My main concern is gaming. Please advise. Oh, processor is am AMD 64 dual core 3.11 GHz 6000+, works just fine. Had the processor about three years. Main concern is video card upgrade.

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March 22, 2011 9:39:48 PM

As long as you are not thinking of SLI the cards either card will work fine in your system. The only limit here is how much you want to spend. The GTX550 ranks lower on the benchmark tests compared to the gtx460, but just slightly lower, not ahuge gap. But then the price gap is the big difference~ $80 or so. Then again if you want agood card for cheap get the 550, or If you want to go all power Id recommend a 470 instead. The choice is yours. Keep in minf that all of these cards are overclockable, you can tweek with them and set them to your like. I got a 460se, the cheaper 460 avail. came with 649mhz clock. Got it stable to 850mhz. Boosted furmark benchmarking from 3065 stock to 3655 overclocked. Nvidia cards are fun to play with. ;) 
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March 22, 2011 10:58:37 PM

Thank you for such a quick and helpful reply fellow gamer. The ZOTAC GTX 550 Ti Amp Edition boasts 192 memory bus width, 1000 core clock, 4400 memory clock and 2000 shader clock. While my 9800GT right now says 600 core clock, 1500 shader clock, 900 memory clock (which I always thought that 900 memory clock was a rip off, when the TD add said 1800 memory clock.) My card is not overclocked. These are factory sets. So the numbers on the GTX 500 Ti AMP will be a great improvement. Pray tell, is there a huge difference in 192 bus width and 256 bus width? Thank you again.
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2011 11:56:13 PM

Those numbers are only relevant when comparing cards of the same generation. Its the GPU architecture that makes all the difference. they don't just up the clocks, they rebuild the entire Die.

And you weren't ripped off with the memory speed. the memorry is double pumped on the older cards (so 900 multiplied by 2 is 1800, which is correct)

on the newer cards they are quad pumped, so you are looking at an even higher memory interface.

the reall answers will be in the benchmarks though.

I would highly recommend a CPU upgrade though. Any remotely powerful GPU is going to be bottlenecked by that very weak CPU.
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March 23, 2011 12:23:50 AM

okay, so i'm a bit confused. U mean the shader clock is actually 1800 but reading at 900? Also, what do you mean bottlenecked? regarding the CPU, I should get a quad core something? I have a socket AM2 AM2+ MOBO. I didn't really WANT to get a new motherboard or CPU right now, but I will.
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a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 12:35:13 AM

I am referring to the memory clock. it IS running at 900Mhz, but that's double pumped (two clocks per cycle) giving an actual clock rate of 1800mhz.

As for the CPU, a bottleneck occurs when onr part of the system is too weak to maintain the other parts, causing lost performance. basically, that CPU will not be able to keep up with the GPU, so you will not see the performance you should.

First thing, what motherboard do you have? (CPUz can tell you if you are not sure)

It may be that your current Mobo will accept an AM3 chip with a BIOS update. in which case you can get something like a phenom II 955, and be golden.

If not, i would forgo the GPU upgrade for now, and spend the money upgrading the motherboard and CPU. then get a GPU at a later date. Otherwise you'll be spending a fair bit of cash to see little improvement.
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March 24, 2011 2:28:14 AM

I understand now. Thanx so much. I think I will go that route, get the MOBO first and then the CPU and THEN a graphics card. My MOBO won't support AM3. It is a MSI K9N SLI-F. It's been good to me for about 3 years. But I am looking to get an ASUS MOBO socket AM3 and then AM3 cpu. Now If I decide to get a MOBO with two PCIE slots I should look for both slots to run 16X individually correct? That's been a problem with me. BTW, I am playing LFD2 with my rig by an open window and side case fans bringing in cool air from outside. I'm in St. Louis, MO and it's like 49 degrees out. DUDE, my rig is iddling at 44C and going no higher than 63C full load. BEAUTIFUL. Recommend a MOBO for gaming if you can.
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 6:31:49 AM

If you are gonna go that route, I'd spend the extra money and go Sandy Bridge. the performance difference is pretty huge.

You only need x8 and x8 for multi GPU setups. even the most high end cards are fine with 8 lanes.
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April 3, 2011 1:10:54 AM

Best answer selected by Rustee2011.
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