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Upgrading GTS 250, 200$ Budget

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May 18, 2011 10:15:43 PM

I currently have a computer with a PNY GTS 250 and a Raidmax 650 Watt powersupply. I've been looking to upgrade my gpu, with the idea that i'll also use this graphics card in a future build with either an Intel i7(If i have enough) or an AMD 6 core cpu.
My monitor is 1440x90o and it's also the resolution i play all my games at. I'm looking for a good setup to play Witcher 2 with high settings without problems, and to not have to worry about a bigger upgrade for awhile.

current system specs are:
AMD Athlon 2 X4 630
4096MB DDR2 GEIL RAM
Seagate 250GB HDD
PNY GTS 250 (Stock/No Overclock)
Raidmax 650 Watt PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate

Also, Advice on any other changes or CPU choice is good too, any help is appreciated!

This is one of the gpu's i was looking at buying:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 18, 2011 10:32:07 PM

You could get that GPU, or even a 6870 which is a tad more expensive. At your resolution though, the 460 768 MB well probably be enough. The 6870 should fair better in a monitor/system upgrade scenario, but if that is unlikely there is no reason for overkill.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 10:42:54 PM

When I read Raidmax I already know there could be a problem regarding power supplies. The 6870 maxes out at 151w after overclocking so it should run considering that you are already running a gts 250. So go ahead with a 6870 if that is what you want but a gtx 460 isn't so straight forward. a 768mb version uses 150w without any overclocking and can make out much closer to 200w than your gts 250 r 6870 could ever reach. Second the gtx 460 isn't meant to last, it is meant to be made cheap and sell cheap for quick sales nothing more after cutting corners regarding the quality of most cards out there. Mainly poor cooling and a short life span.
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May 19, 2011 1:40:25 AM

jfby said:
You could get that GPU, or even a 6870 which is a tad more expensive. At your resolution though, the 460 768 MB well probably be enough. The 6870 should fair better in a monitor/system upgrade scenario, but if that is unlikely there is no reason for overkill.



I'm more than definitely going to upgrade/build a new system, but the monitor will stay the same. I don't really have any reason to go for bigger resolutions as this 1440x900 has been more than enjoyable for me. Oh, and funny you mention the 6870, Because i was actually looking at it just today.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 1:54:04 AM

kamikit said:
This is my power supply, and i found it's a 630W, not 650 like i thought:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That is junk, replace this horrible thing right away when you can afford to do so for your own good. The reason is poor quality that this brand is known for.
May 19, 2011 2:23:26 AM

Another vote here for a 6870. They're under 200 now (with the pressure from the 6950 etc.).

If you don't mind overclocking the 6850 is a good budget option. All of them will overclock to near and often exceeding 6870 stock speeds.
May 19, 2011 3:14:10 AM

Quote:
i do not like that PSU to be honest. I rather have and prefer dual rail PSU's not a single..
try one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and enough with the 6870 talk, it's a good gfx card but what's your exact budget for the video upgrade.?
then we can decide if the 6870 is the way to go.
also what games you playing.?


As for games, i'll be playing Battlefield 3 and i'm wanting to play Witcher 2 on high with some of the extra settings without problems. As for budget, I could go a little over 200, but i would prefer to stay under. It just depends on the help i get here and whether it'll be better for me in the long run to spring an extra ten, twenty bucks for a better card than the 6870 or whatever else is recommended. So i guess, just to be safe, I'm looking in 150-220 range but no more than 220, that's my personal limit. I just don't want to spend too much on the gpu alone.

TL;DR
Good gpu in 100-220 range, no higher and intent to move said gpu into new system when built/upgraded.
May 20, 2011 6:59:36 AM

Quote:
i do not like that PSU to be honest. I rather have and prefer dual rail PSU's not a single..
try one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and enough with the 6870 talk, it's a good gfx card but what's your exact budget for the video upgrade.?
then we can decide if the 6870 is the way to go.
also what games you playing.?



Also, Have you or anyone else on this board heard or read anything about this brand:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 20, 2011 7:37:04 AM

kamikit said:
Also, Have you or anyone else on this board heard or read anything about this brand:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


No. Never heard of them. They could be great. But...

...ask about power supplies on this site and you're going to hear Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, over and over again. The reason is they've proven themselves over and over. So why not this:

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

(99 dollars with the rebate).

Or if the price is too steep any of their other less expensive PSU's. With a single card you don't actually need one rated at more than 500 watts from a quality manufacturer like Corsair--unlike many other brands they actually deliver what is advertised (and in reality more).
May 20, 2011 8:19:20 AM

Helltech said:
MAy I direct you to this thread. They talk about the different series of cougar power supplies, which are good and which are not.

http://www.overclock.net/power-supplies/854642-cougar-p...



Thanks for the link! that really helped, It looks like i'm getting the Couger CMX 700W or the Corsair 750W the other poster mentioned.
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 8:22:09 AM

better to go with a corsair
May 20, 2011 8:25:02 AM

chriskrum said:
No. Never heard of them. They could be great. But...

...ask about power supplies on this site and you're going to hear Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, over and over again. The reason is they've proven themselves over and over. So why not this:

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

(99 dollars with the rebate).

Or if the price is too steep any of their other less expensive PSU's. With a single card you don't actually need one rated at more than 500 watts from a quality manufacturer like Corsair--unlike many other brands they actually deliver what is advertised (and in reality more).


Thanks for the reply. I've heard alot of good things about Corsair, so it was kind of the first choice i was looking into. That COUGAR brand just kind of caught my eye. Like i said, It's most likely between the Cougar CMX 700 or corsair 750. how about some gpu recommendations for it with this processor in mind:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My budget can go as high as 220 on the video card, but no more than that because i know i don't have to spend a fortune for a good system.|
I'm pretty much looking into a whole new system at this point.
a c 153 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 8:33:21 AM

Corsair, Antec, XFX, PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic, all really reliable.

OCZ, Cougar, Thermaltake, Cooler Master all CAN make GREAT PSUs, but not all of their PSUs are amazing. Plus Antec and XFX usually have good prices so its just better to stick with them, in my opinion.

No lies, I havn't read this whole thread at all, but I'll give you a 650w recommendation.

Here is a great 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

May 20, 2011 8:41:36 AM

Helltech said:
Corsair, Antec, XFX, PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic, all really reliable.

OCZ, Cougar, Thermaltake, Cooler Master all CAN make GREAT PSUs, but not all of their PSUs are amazing. Plus Antec and XFX usually have good prices so its just better to stick with them, in my opinion.

No lies, I havn't read this whole thread at all, but I'll give you a 650w recommendation.

Here is a great 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I just have to say that i REALLY like the way that XFX psu looks. That's certainly one of the most interesting ones i've seen so far. I also like the fact that it's semi-modular.
May 20, 2011 4:22:42 PM

At the 200 dollar mark your best bet for a graphics card is a 6870 or a GTX 560 (they seem to be equivalents). You might get lucky and find a GTX 560 TI for 220 (which is the equivalent of a 6950).

Any of these cards will have zero problem delivering high frame rates at high settings for any game at 1080p. The performance available for 200 dollars now is simply staggering compared to even just a few short years ago.

I don't think I'd buy a 460 series card at this point. That's just a personal opinion about their overall quality that's not really backed up by any actual data. They benchmark really well, though. Maybe if there was a 1gb version for 150 with good reviews. That might be a deal.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 9:05:19 PM

Helltech said:
Corsair, Antec, XFX, PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic, all really reliable.

OCZ, Cougar, Thermaltake, Cooler Master all CAN make GREAT PSUs, but not all of their PSUs are amazing. Plus Antec and XFX usually have good prices so its just better to stick with them, in my opinion.

No lies, I havn't read this whole thread at all, but I'll give you a 650w recommendation.

Here is a great 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


You left out Enermax, they make their own units according the articles posted here on THG. I have owned one of their units and found it to be very good quality.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 9:10:14 PM

Quote:
^
agreed with chriskrum about the 6870 / 560 (Ti).
not for the GTX 460 comment.

still the best (pound for pound) card to me is the GTX 460..


The gtx 460 isn't the best card for a casual or inexperienced user. Due to it's needs it does require more attention than normal cards due to being poorly equipped cooling. It is pointless to keep the core cool when the power vrm is not cooled at all or poorly cooled that results in failure early in the cards life. If not for a experienced use it is ok for a user that maintains a very short upgrade cycle lasting for only a few months before upgrading to a higher end card or changing back and from ati or nvidia.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 10:46:31 PM

Quote:
casual or inexperienced need to listen up and pay attention then...:D 
ratio of performance to current pricing makes it's a winner in my book..
got my gtx 460 msi twin frozr for $130 shipped...!
beat that.
and the scaling ability of the gtx 460 is fierce..

you already know that..


Yep, by the way how far have you been able to push yours? I can get 900mhz on mine but I was a fool and bought gigabyte. As for the MSI be sure to mod the card at some point for better power vrm cooling or it will not live long as one expects of such a card. Switftech mosfet heatsinks seam to be a nice and cheap option but caution though at 1ghz.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 11:50:01 PM

Quote:
I have not yet applied afterburner or any clock to it as of yet.
i got it in from eBay just the other day..
it's an upgrade from mt GTS 450 msi cyclone (loved that card)
it will be next week after my PSU swap and cleaning of case before the clocking will begin. i will keep you posted.

why is it or what is it with all these gigabyte cards.?
clocked higher than the others but seem to be full of issues.
how's yours.?


No matter how great the pcb is they really cut corners on cooling. The fans didn't move enough air for the block to be really effective and worse the pcb got in the 90-120c range due to lack of airflow. I later removed the fans all together and used a bay fan. Ironically temps are better. I modded a pci-e to agp bridge cooler to mount on the back side of the pcb and bolted it to what was already there using thermal pads as thermal interface. I later modded a socket 5/7 heatsink to do a similar job to cool the gpu while still using the stock screws to mount onto the main cooler. One cooler on each side of the pcb and the temps are amazing. Noise level didn't change much either :)  I should take a pic of this. Thermal pads are very much worth it as it conducts heat but won't short the pcb. The two added coolers act as a simple back plate but very well secured. I also added a 40mm fan to the back cooler for the gpu. Idles in the 30s and stays under 60c even at full load and at 900mhx core. ;) 

The mods in the end had no monetary cost. :sol: 
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 21, 2011 12:15:46 AM

Quote:
^
nice custom work.
I only have flashes of modifications in intervals... LOL
that would have taken me months to finally do..


I did this on the fly when I was noobish with making vids. Check the comments ;) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwbLWweakRY

That was my first gtx 460 mod.
May 21, 2011 5:45:49 AM

This thread has lost me. Anyways, I'm probably gonna go for the XFX psu. I'm still unsure about the card though. I'm going to be playing Battlefield 3 and honestly, i'd like to be able to play most anything i want to with no troubles. I'm not looking for a future proof card, as i know that's pretty much impossible, but just a really good single card that'll last me at least 6-8 months because after this, I won't be able to upgrade again for awhile.

So, These are the specs for my computer right now:
AMD Athlon 2 X4 630
4096MB DDR2 GEIL RAM
Seagate 250GB HDD
PNY GTS 250 (Stock/No Overclock)
Raidmax 650 Watt PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate

this is most likely the system i'm building:
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X
XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W ATX12V
Phenom II X4 975 BE 3.6GHz
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600
WD 500GB 7200 rpm Sata 6Gb HDD
Asus black dvd/cd burner/reader
COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 cpu fan
and probably this case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


All i need is a good graphics card, and i'd feel i have a good setup.
Feel free to offer critiques and/or comments on this also, as any input is great!
May 21, 2011 6:20:09 AM

I'm going to try and cut through the noise and offer some straight, common sense advice:

Buy a 6850 or 6870, depending on your budget. Put it in the system you've got right now. At the resolution you're gaming at you should be able to max most every game out. You really don't need to replace the entire system if gaming is your only purpose. It's reasonable to expect a 6870 to run most games quite well for the next 2 years so you should plan on moving it to your next build.

The raidmax PSU is probably fine too. Even with a 6870 you won't be anywhere near what it is rated at (just be aware that if there are problems that PSU would be high on the suspect list). It certainly doesn't make sense to replace it if you're not having issues with it.

BF3 is not out yet. No one really knows how it will run. My best guess, based on BFBC2 (which has an early version of the engine) is that it will run quite good on the computer you currently have on your current monitor with a 6850 or 6870. My reasoning is that your computer has 4 cores and BFBC2 does a good job of spreading the load amongst multiple cores--BF3 might do better. It's a title where you don't need 3ghz+ on each core if you've got 4 of them because it knows how to handle them.

I'd suggest waiting on building a new system (unless you have some other pressing need). You can always move your graphics card to a new build later. You can always decide to build a new system if you discover that your current one with a better graphics card isn't sufficient. The dollar you don't spend this week will buy even more computer power next week.

Another reason to wait is that Bulldozer is around the corner. I don't expect Bulldozer to be some huge godsend. I don't really expect it to be better than Sandy Bridge. But I don't know. No, one does. It's near enough now that, unless you're really pressed for a new system (running a P4 or the like) it's smart to wait and see. It will certainly have an effect on the market--and AMD, they've always been good to us budget enthusiasts with unlocked multipliers and lots of bang for the dollar--I don't expect that to change with the launch of Bulldozer. I also expect a fire sale on Phenoms and AM3 motherboards.
May 21, 2011 12:00:17 PM

chriskrum said:
I'm going to try and cut through the noise and offer some straight, common sense advice:

Buy a 6850 or 6870, depending on your budget. Put it in the system you've got right now. At the resolution you're gaming at you should be able to max most every game out. You really don't need to replace the entire system if gaming is your only purpose. It's reasonable to expect a 6870 to run most games quite well for the next 2 years so you should plan on moving it to your next build.

The raidmax PSU is probably fine too. Even with a 6870 you won't be anywhere near what it is rated at (just be aware that if there are problems that PSU would be high on the suspect list). It certainly doesn't make sense to replace it if you're not having issues with it.

BF3 is not out yet. No one really knows how it will run. My best guess, based on BFBC2 (which has an early version of the engine) is that it will run quite good on the computer you currently have on your current monitor with a 6850 or 6870. My reasoning is that your computer has 4 cores and BFBC2 does a good job of spreading the load amongst multiple cores--BF3 might do better. It's a title where you don't need 3ghz+ on each core if you've got 4 of them because it knows how to handle them.

I'd suggest waiting on building a new system (unless you have some other pressing need). You can always move your graphics card to a new build later. You can always decide to build a new system if you discover that your current one with a better graphics card isn't sufficient. The dollar you don't spend this week will buy even more computer power next week.

Another reason to wait is that Bulldozer is around the corner. I don't expect Bulldozer to be some huge godsend. I don't really expect it to be better than Sandy Bridge. But I don't know. No, one does. It's near enough now that, unless you're really pressed for a new system (running a P4 or the like) it's smart to wait and see. It will certainly have an effect on the market--and AMD, they've always been good to us budget enthusiasts with unlocked multipliers and lots of bang for the dollar--I don't expect that to change with the launch of Bulldozer. I also expect a fire sale on Phenoms and AM3 motherboards.


I think i'll wait and get the video card and power supply now, Then take your advice and wait to see the sales and price drops after this Bulldozer comes out. I know if i get any of this stuff, I'll find it for less maybe a week or a month later and kick myself for it. Thanks for all the help!
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 21, 2011 12:54:20 PM

Buy a lower end Phenom 2 x4 and learn to just overclock. With the savings gained there put into either buying a better board, psu, or hard drive. When it comes to buying power supplies there is more to it than wattage. Look for what rating it is such as 80plus bronze or silver ect. Why is simple there are utility savings and such units can take higher loads than what they are rated for. Some are basically higher rated units that used better parts that were sold for a low wattage unit but the price is a give away.
May 24, 2011 6:51:04 AM

Thanks for all the help everybody, I've pretty much got my plans down and i'm gonna go ahead and leave now so that you guys can help other people that need it more than me!
May 24, 2011 5:10:01 PM

Quote:
so what are your plans then..?

Probably get the 6870, And the XFX PSU. I'm going to go ahead and build a new system and i'll probably give the one i have to my gf so she'll have a better computer for her own games and whatever. Bulldozer isn't a big deal to me, if i want it i'll wait for it to get some coverage first before i even think about it.
May 24, 2011 6:07:47 PM

Quote:
GTX 560 Ti..

You've made me think again. After checking the review on this site, i think i'm going with the 560 Ti. I'm glad you said that, Thanks for making me search it up! That's all for me, Thanks again for all the help, everybody!
May 28, 2011 1:38:50 AM

Best answer selected by kamikit.
!