Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Upgrading graphics card

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 10, 2011 11:05:55 AM

Hi guys,

I'm currently looking to update my graphics card from an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS to a Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Extreme -

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

I am looking for the cheapest way to upgrade my computer graphically for gaming I can. I am not looking for the pinnacle of graphics technology, just something that will handle current games better than my NVIDIA card. The Sapphire seems to be a good choice. My question is - Would I get away with simply upgrading the card? Or will I also have to buy other components. My specs are as follows:


Windows 9 Professional 64-bit

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU @ 2.40GHz(4 CPUS)

Foxconn 9657MA Motherboard

2048MB RAM

NVIDIA GEFORCE 8800 GTS

Jeantech AMD Artic 600W PSU

Any help will be very much appreciated!

Thanks!
July 10, 2011 10:46:36 PM

Anyone give me some advice?
Related resources
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2011 11:29:21 PM

You will need to remove all the nVidia drivers and software from your pc before installing the Radeon .

Its a good upgrade IMO

Also consider over clocking the cpu . The 6600 should easily reach 3 GHz with some additional cooling .
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2011 4:00:50 PM

for the same price id get this 6850 (also i dont really like overclockers UK :p ):
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

there is also the GTX460 1gb OC which is the nvidia equivilant of the 6850:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/MSI+...

IMO this is the best offer, its the 6850, with a free copy of shogun 2, at £117 AND ebuyer offer free postage on orders over £50, so free shipping too:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/244473
July 11, 2011 4:14:25 PM

Tell you what if you get a iceq 5770 there so cheap and perform so awesome, it is a small difference to a 5850 like minor. A 5770 would be a pretty big upgrade from a 8800 gts and is only like 109.99 from tiger direct, but first you MUST uninstall nivida drivers, keep physx. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... He could save some cash Also the 5770 uses less power (only 450 watts) And a 5850 is better, but there specs are really almost the same, the 5850 has a better shader clock while the 5770 has a better stock clocks.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2011 4:26:01 PM

addison said:
Tell you what if you get a iceq 5770 there so cheap and perform so awesome, it is a small difference to a 5850 like minor. A 5770 would be a pretty big upgrade from a 8800 gts and is only like 109.99 from tiger direct, but first you MUST uninstall nivida drivers, keep physx. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite... He could save some cash Also the 5770 uses less power (only 450 watts) And a 5850 is better, but there specs are really almost the same, the 5850 has a better shader clock while the 5770 has a better stock clocks.


the 5770 uses NOWHERE near 450W, it uses much less than that, the overall system maybe, but not the card on its own, the difference beetween a 6850/5850 and a 5770 is pretty huge:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/291?vs=296

the power consumption beetween them is about 12W load and 2W Idle so not much power difference either.As for temps, the 5770 runs about 1C hotter in the anandtech bench.
July 11, 2011 5:31:52 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys! I had a look at the Anandtech benchmarks and was wondering what the main difference between the 6850 and 5850 is? The benchmarks are practically identical with the 5850 getting a couple frames per second more than the 6850.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/291?vs=295

Obviously the price of the 5770 is quite a bonus, although ps3hackers 6580 deal is very appealing. I suppose the big question is between a 5770 and a 5850/6580, will the two options require an upgrade at the same time? Or will the higher spec options last a bit longer?

Thanks for all the help so far!
July 11, 2011 5:51:17 PM

Yet I SAID a 5850 ps3hacker.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 11, 2011 6:36:45 PM

addison said:
Yet I SAID a 5850 ps3hacker.


its still not that different:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=296

temps are about the sam and idle temps are about the same too, (load temps are a tad higher).

and to the OP, the 6850 runs cooler/uses less power than the 5850, and also has support for 3D (if you decide to go 3D), the difference beetween them apart from that is basically nothing. the 6850 drivers have improved too, those benchmarks were taken back when the 6850 was newish, now its still newer than the 5850 but has better drivers.
July 12, 2011 1:39:00 AM

Well if he does get a 6850 he is really better of to get a ICEQ turbo or ICEQ version of the card is runs much cooler, meaning you can OC much better.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 10:40:59 AM

addison said:
Well if he does get a 6850 he is really better of to get a ICEQ turbo or ICEQ version of the card is runs much cooler, meaning you can OC much better.


yup and here in the UK the 6850 is actually cheaper than the 5850, so i see no reason to go with the 5850 really. (5770s a good card don't get me wrong).
July 12, 2011 2:48:56 PM

Yeah he should get a 6870 ICEQ or a 6850 ICEQ turbo there SO much cooler than the normal cards, infact I may get a 6870 or 6850 ICEQ for my PC. Will my althon 2 x4 2.9 @ 3.2 bottle neck the card if I get a 6870 or will 6850 do best?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 3:18:49 PM

Isn't he in GB?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 3:22:50 PM

Yeah, but compare the price difference. I know you get a few free games, but it's not worth the £45 difference.
July 12, 2011 3:25:14 PM

But the card is OC and has a awesome cooler IDK about the frozr cooler I wanna see it against the ICEQ to see which is best for low temps.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 3:40:43 PM

Yeah I hear you. Like no comparisons. However, I did find some numbers....
http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-radeon-6870-hawk-revi... (twin Frozr III)
http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-6870-iceq-x-tu... (IceQ)
As you can see, they are identical, under idle and load. BUT, both are pre overclocked, with the IceQ being clocked a bit higher, so the Sapphire wins there.

Now, overclockability.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-radeon-6870-hawk-revi... (TF III)
http://www.guru3d.com/article/his-radeon-6870-iceq-x-tu... (IceQ)
the TFIII wins. Don't look at the P-score, as that can be affected by drivers. What you want to look at is max clocks, where the MSI wins.

And once we factor in price..... I think the Twin Frozr III is a winner!
July 12, 2011 3:49:01 PM

But we have no idea which one is cooler, so one can OC better while the other may have the better cooling.
July 12, 2011 6:10:42 PM

The 6870 ICEQ X TURBO is £180 - quite a bit more expensive than the originally planned 5850.

The 6870 TF III looks really good, and I'd be happy to stretch to £135.

As my knowledge of hardware is quite limited (this thread has been a huge learning experience already), are these two cards the same model but with different cooling systems? Sorry if that it a stupid question. :p 

I am also assuming that these 6780s are a tad more powerful that the 5850s based on the benchmarks here? http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=295

If this is the case, I do really like the 6870 TF III.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 6:48:28 PM

Yes, they are the same models but with different cooling. Yes, the 6870 is a bit stronger than the 5850 in almost every way.

The 5850 is still a very strong card. But for me, the TFIII cooler is worth the extra bit of money simply because of it's amazing cooling, good looks, and awesome overclockability.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 6:51:29 PM

if you don't mind eBay and slightly longer postage this is what i bought for a friend a while back its the 6850 for only £49:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sapphire-Radeon-HD6850-1GB-DDR5-V...

the one i ordered came in 10days, which to some people is long, but i thought it was ok for the value i was getting!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 7:00:25 PM

I would say that's a great deal, but with 0 feedback and "Brand New" condition, it reeks of a scam.
July 12, 2011 7:03:11 PM

Well the thing we gotta worry about now is any bottle necks. He has 2 gb of ram.... And a 2.4 intel quad core.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 7:10:33 PM

Good point. It's not a matter of bottlenecking, but a matter of maximizing performance.

OP, you should throw another 2GB of ram in there if possible. Also might consider OCing a little, as a Q6600 can overclock like a boss.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 7:13:23 PM

striker410 said:
I would say that's a great deal, but with 0 feedback and "Brand New" condition, it reeks of a scam.


yeah, but eBay customer services are great, and the card has sold 10 within the last 2 days.

2gb of ram should be fine (he has 4 ram slots so he could add another 2 ram cards if he currently has 2x1gb ram) as for the Q6600 its still a great performer and shouldn't really give a bottleneck, (but with a 6870 i think an OC to about 3Ghz should help it to keep up.)
July 12, 2011 7:45:03 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
yeah, but eBay customer services are great, and the card has sold 10 within the last 2 days.


Hi Striker, while that deal looks extremely tempting, I think I'll probably buy new and, after a bit of poking about and looking at some benchmarks and reviews, will probably go for the 6870 HAWK.

As for RAM, I've been planning on adding some more anyway, so I will probably add an extra 2 GB. I've had a good look at my computer and have a few questions, as I think this would be an excellent time to carry out any necessary maintanence.

The computer sits in a hollow built into my desk which has a number of holes drilled into it to disperse the air, and so cooling is very important. I have a 10cm, crappy stock fan at the back of the computer and noticed that the case can also facilitate a 12cm fan. Do you think it would be a worthwhile investment or a complete waste of time? Here is a picture:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/3/biggerfan.jpg/

Secondly, can anyone tell me if my cooling compound looks like it needs renewed? To me, it looks quite patchy.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/6/renewmycompound....
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/828/coolant.jpg/

Finaly, any difference between the slots for the RAM? And I'm assuming if I were to add more, I should look for the same model?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/838/ramha.jpg/

Thanks so much for all the help so far. This is a brilliant forum. : )
July 12, 2011 8:13:53 PM

OC your Cpu, get more ram and the 6870 and I guarentee you'll get free shipping
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2011 8:45:33 PM

a larger rear fan will mean more airflow, do you have a front intake fan? and you will need to replace that paste, if you remove the CPU cooler for more than 30mins or so, i would definetely go for some new thermal paste (remember to take all of the old paste oof first.) a nice aftermarket cooler would help you with overclocking.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 13, 2011 12:37:09 AM

+1 to that, PS3.
Yup, try to match the exact modules of ram. If you can't, get as close as possible.
July 13, 2011 1:21:08 AM

Yeah he need's at least 4 gb of ram it's the best right now. Then O.C his cpu to like 2.8 or higher. And everything would be AWESOME with the 6870.
July 13, 2011 5:57:55 PM

Ok guys, I'll see about finding out my exact module type.

EDIT

And I have!

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-ddr2-pc2-5300-%28667...

There isn't a front intake fan in the computer and I'm unsure of the dimensions at this moment in time, but it's something I will look into. For a rear fan, would something like this be suitable? Ultimately, I think anything would be better than the cheapy one I have at the moment. Should I be thinking about something a bit fancier? Ultimately a fan is a fan I suppose.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120mm-noctua-nf-s12b-flx...

And I will get some thermal compound to replace my old one. I've been told that Arctic 5 is pretty good...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/arctic-silver-5-thermal-...

Looking good?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 14, 2011 12:18:28 AM

All looks good, except the fan. In fact, they vary quite a bit in speed, power, and noise.
Noctua's are excellent fans, but also quite expensive. A Scythe would get my choice, as they are pretty much just as good IMO: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120mm-scythe-kaze-jyuni-...
July 15, 2011 8:34:26 AM

Ok. I'll (happily) go for the cheaper fan. Thanks to everyone on the thread for helping me out so far. I'm very glad I've found this forum, it's perfect for someone who hasn't got a clue about computer hardware :) 

All going well, I will order the parts within the next few days!
July 16, 2011 10:35:59 PM

I've ordered the parts - They'll be coming on tuesday. I'll let you all know how it goes!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2011 1:23:18 AM

Awesome dude! Be sure to do that.
July 20, 2011 9:01:26 AM

Problems problems problems...

So I got the parts. I didn't realise quite how massive the 6870 was! To get it to fix we had to cut a piece of the framework holding my harddrive etc (I think my next investment will be a new case). This wasn't so much of a problem, but something completely unforseen happened. A single, long capacitor on the motherboard was in such a position that it was pressing against the card when we tried to fit it, obstructing it from fulling clipping into the PCI-E slot. It just so happened that my last card had a little gap in its design exactly where this capacitor was. The Hawk did too, but it wasn't as well placed as that of the GTS and the capacitor couldn't pass into it. Very suddenly the Hawk clipped into the slot and on closer inspection the capacitor had bent itself around the card slightly - very, very dodgy.

Gave the computer a boot up and behold, it worked... for a while. Since I've put in the card and RAM, i've been getting a STOP 0X0000001E blue screen. I got it when closing BFBC2, I got it talking on Steam, I got it when opening a picture of the Bluescreen online to get a better look at what it was saying and I got it when closing my web browser. It's defintely something that isn't going to go away and it's extremely frequent. I'm currently running Memtest86, although I very much doubt that my memory is the problem. If Memtest doesn't flag anything up, how should I proceed? I'll reinstall the hawk and drivers and might also run with my old card for a bit to see it the error goes away, but beyond that I'm stumped.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 9:15:45 AM

did you uninstall all old drivers before putting in the new card?
July 20, 2011 9:20:59 AM

^Have a look at capacitor connections on board. Are they loose or broken ? Because without capacitor your system can boot but will make overall hardware/motherboard unreliable (might possible without that capacitor there are ripples in signals to different ICs and its doing some corruption in memory).

Try taking out your graphics card and check if everything is working ? You never know which component is actually effected due to that capacitor bent.

First check capacitor connection on board.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 9:22:54 AM

fslateef said:
^Have a look at capacitor connections on board. Are they loose or broken ? Because without capacitor your system can boot but will make overall hardware/motherboard unreliable (might possible without that capacitor there are ripples in signals to different ICs and its doing some corruption in memory).

Try taking out your graphics card and check if everything is working ? You never know which component is actually effected due to that capacitor bent.

First check capacitor connection on board.


yep this, you can just easily solder that capacitor back on, or if its quite badly damaged, just look at its value(farads) and buy another (10p max) from an electrical store and solder it in.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 1:26:18 PM

As the others have said, sounds like a driver related issue. Try running a drivers sweeper and start fresh.

Now, about the capacitor. Could you take a picture? It might help to assess the situation.
July 20, 2011 5:42:34 PM

Sure, here are some pictures of the capacitor, as you can see, it's at an angle.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/225/2007111824.jpg...

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/600/2007111825001....

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/717/2007111825.jpg...


As a quick side note, after 9 hours of memtest86, I came home to find this:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/818/2007111746001....

It seemed that the test had also frozen. I wasn't able to exit and had to turn the computer off by using the power button. I assume that this ISN'T how memtest reports errors, but having never used it before I'm unsure. Could this suggest a RAM issue? I will take the new sticks out and see what happens.

I am also pretty confident I removed all the nvidia drivers. I removed them from device manager and then did a cleanup of nvidia drivers using Driver Cleaner Pro. Also cleaned up the registry with CCleaner
July 21, 2011 8:50:44 AM

Quick update:

After removing my 2 new pieces of RAM, I've had no crashes. It seems to be working! I am going to the sticks on at a time to see if I can find the one that is causing the crashes. My friend has also offered me two 2GB sticks of RAM, which, if compatible, I could use instead of the four 1GB sticks.

Further update - I added 1 stick of new RAM and it worked - I then tried adding the second stick and suddenly I was just getting beeps at start up and nothing onscreen. I've had to take the graphics card out every time I've changed the RAM. Now however, suddenly no ram combination works. I've tried both new ones and the two originals - Nothing. I'm getting beeps at startup and nothing more. I'm now out of ideas...
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 12:52:33 PM

Hmm.... Is it a single beep, or is it a series? And I think you'll be ok. Could you give us the specs of the RAM?

last thing that might fix it all: CMOS clear. You accomplish a CMOS clear by jumping the pins on your mobo. Look in the manual and find the pins, then jump then with a screwdriver or other metal object. There's a more detailed guide >here I believe.
July 21, 2011 4:53:53 PM

Hi Striker,

I turn the computer on, it sounds like it's starting up, but then I get 3 beeps - 1 long, 2 short. The computer then sounds like its starting up again and the same thing happens. This loops until I turn it off.

As the computer isn't working I can't get detailed RAM specs from CPU-Z, however, here is everything on the labels:

PC2 5400 CL5
DDR2
1GB
5-5-5@1.8v

I'll update this with more info if I find it!

I'll give a CMOS clear a go tonight or tommorow and see how it goes.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 4:54:42 PM

mwhlr said:
Hi Striker,

I turn the computer on, it sounds like it's starting up, but then I get 3 beeps - 1 long, 2 short. The computer then sounds like its starting up again and the same thing happens. This loops until I turn it off.

As the computer isn't working I can't get detailed RAM specs from CPU-Z, however, here is everything on the labels:

PC2 5400 CL5
DDR2
1GB
5-5-5@1.8v

I'll update this with more info if I find it!

I'll give a CMOS clear a go tonight or tommorow and see how it goes.


have you looked in your mobo manual for what those bleeps mean?
July 21, 2011 7:04:11 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
have you looked in your mobo manual for what those bleeps mean?


I found the manual online, but no beep codes listed in it. I did find a random page on the general Foxconn FAQs which had beep codes on it, and mine was related to a video error. Whether this relates to my particular mobo i'm not sure, however it sounds about right.
!