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Upgrading from 8800 GTS 320 to 1GB GTX 460

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May 20, 2011 10:48:01 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (this month) BUDGET RANGE: (GBP £140)

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Gaming [Crysis 2, The Witcher 2, Shogun 2], watching movies)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: (nvidia 8800 GTS 320 and Antec EarthWatts 500W)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: (Q6600, 2GB Corsair DDR2, Gigabyte P35C-DS3R, Antec Sonata 3, WinXP 32)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (Scan) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (England)

PARTS PREFERENCES: (Prefer nvidia for familiarity and EVGA for their warranties)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1440x900)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (Want a card with at least 3 year warranty)

Okay so first off I should say that this is about more than just my gfx card. I'm also looking to get more ram and the budget for the 2 of these is combined. I thought about 2 separate threads but that would only lead to confusion so I decided I would ask for help in the same thread.

GFX is the priority here but RAM is still important as memtest recently uncovered 170 errors in only 2 passes with my current RAM. Total budget is £210 split £140/£70.

I was considering: 1GB EVGA GTX 460 SSC+Backplate, 3900MHz GDDR5, GPU 850MHz, Shader Clock 1700MHz, 336 Cores+Mafia II

and

8GB(2x4GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333), NonECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, New Connector, 1.50V

You're probably wondering about the RAM. True a 32 bit OS will limit me but I intend to upgrade that asap and in the meantime I will do what's outlined here
And my motherboard supports both DDR2 and DDR3 so there should be no problems there.

I'v looked around and it seems my PSU can support a 460, but given that this is OC'ed, it may not be enough. So a slower version would need to be sought. That would then open up more money for RAM or w/e.

If there's something to be gained by waiting a month or some other period of time I'll probably do that. I already delayed this from January, what's another month?

Oh and on the topic of OS's should I wait for win8?
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 20, 2011 11:16:38 AM

you should be all good. Dont wait for win 8, it will be the new windows vista. get 64 bit win7. I dont know how a 32 bit OS will react to 8gb ram, weather or not it will cause problems or just not see all of it. You should OC the cpu to 3ghz. it should get there fairly easily. depending on ambient temps it may or may not get too hot. At least re-seat with goot thermal paste. That is a good psu.
May 20, 2011 2:09:26 PM

One thing that puts me off is that the motherboard's specs say that a max of 4GB DDR3 RAM can be supported. I'm guessing it's because at the time there were no 4GB sticks so 4GB was the limit. I would like some confirmation on that.

Oh and I just now read an article on the 560. It seems to be a better choice. Lower power consumption and heat output combined with higher clocks (though not higher than the overclocked model I linked to in the OP) and for around the same price too.

Something like this: 1GB Palit GTX 560, 40nm, 4008MHz GDDR5, GPU 810MHz, Shader 1620MHz, 336 Cores, DVI-I, D-Sub, HDMI

Given that this is not overclocked it would give me some extra headroom should I decide to try my hand at overclocking in the future. Some double-checking revealed that neither the card I picked earlier nor the one I just linked to now have a 3 year warranty, which is a shame, though perhaps not a deal breaker. However I'm not sure how reputable this manufacturer is. Furthermore the card was released quite recently, is the price fixed now, or is there going to be more back and forth as ATI and NVIDIA try to dominate this particular price point. This could justify waiting an extra month or so.

Quote:
Dont wait for win 8, it will be the new windows vista. get 64 bit win7.

Thought as much.

Quote:
You should OC the cpu to 3ghz


Why? Potential bottleneck?

On the subject of temps, I took this screenshot of HWMonitor:



Everything okay here? I have the Arctic Cooling Freeer 7 pro so temps ought to be good as far as the CPU is concerned. The system temp strikes me as being quite high however.

EDIT: Oh, and what should I do about the faulty RAM I am currently using? Will the warranty cover this?
Related resources
May 21, 2011 2:39:49 PM

Bump


Also it seems I can save a few pounds going with OCUK rather than Scan

OcUK GeForce GTX 560 810MHz clock 1024MB 4008MHz GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card SLI Ready, PhysX/CUDA Enabled, 2 Years Warranty.

The above is interesting; they seem to have a pailt card (from the image) but are touting it as something of theirs.

Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CMX8GX3M2A1600C9) [CMX8GX3M2A1600C9]

And it also seems like I can get faster RAM.

However, combing through Scan more thoroughly leads to this:

CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 - 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-27, 1.65V

Is this better or worse? I must admit, I'm fairly clueless when it comes to RAM. Common sense would dictate that a cheaper product is inferior, though it is possible this is simply a good deal.
May 21, 2011 5:14:22 PM



You do what you have to in order to be heard and besides; I bumped posts previously and no one seemed to care. When a topic slips off the first page it generally gets ignored. I felt I waited a fair amount of time for it to attract attention on its own. Furthermore I added more info to the thread in that post. If I hadn't used the word "bump" no one would be complaining. Oh well, that's what I get for making clear intentions.

Back to the topic at hand:

Quote:
And if you are going to get a 560 don't bother with the non Ti as it's just an OC'd 460.


Well aware of that. I wasn't going for a 560 though, I was going for an overclocked 460. The 560 has advantages over that yet carries the same price tag. And there's the issue of memory...
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2011 5:50:31 PM

DDR3:

1. 2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 4 GB of system memory
2. Dual channel memory architecture
3. Support for DDR3 1333*/1066/800 MHz memory modules

Limit yourself to 4Gb or DDR 3 1333Mhz (2x2Gb). That's the motherboard limit. Also overclock your CPU to 3-3+Ghz.
Don't buy any RAM DDR3 that has higher CAS then 7. At that speed you should buy only CAS7 RAM.

And to your request, here is an answer, the P35 chipset is built around DDR2. The DDR3 is just an upgrade because DDR3 RAM ware also out. The P45 chipset welcomed DDR3 better. I was thinking of buying the motherboard you have but decided to remain to DDR2 because DDR3 was more expensive then and i did not know how stable was the board with DDR3.
May 21, 2011 7:45:45 PM

Quote:
DDR3:

1. 2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 4 GB of system memory
2. Dual channel memory architecture
3. Support for DDR3 1333*/1066/800 MHz memory modules

Limit yourself to 4Gb or DDR 3 1333Mhz (2x2Gb). That's the motherboard limit. Also overclock your CPU to 3-3+Ghz.
Don't buy any RAM DDR3 that has higher CAS then 7. At that speed you should buy only CAS7 RAM.

And to your request, here is an answer, the P35 chipset is built around DDR2. The DDR3 is just an upgrade because DDR3 RAM ware also out. The P45 chipset welcomed DDR3 better. I was thinking of buying the motherboard you have but decided to remain to DDR2 because DDR3 was more expensive then and i did not know how stable was the board with DDR3.


So there is a motherboard related 4GB limit. Well, that sucks.

So now I have to choose whether to got 2x4GB, 4x2GB, 2x2GB or 1x4GB.

The first and second would involve simply shelving the unusable modules until such a time as I can buy a new motherboard. The advantages are that I would take up less slots on hypothetical future motherboard (doubt this is even an issue, my current mobo has 6 slots, I'll probably buy something similar for a reasonable price). The third and fourth would be cheaper (thus increasing gfx budget) and in future I could in theory get the same sets again only cheaper. First and last options eliminate dual channel potential.

It seems 2x2 wins out.

As far as CAS speeds are concerned; I did some reading and from what I can tell, it's not really an issue for me. It's more of a problem for overclockers. In my situation, a boost to DDR3 from DDR2 ought to be enough. Then again, you guys are the experts...

Oh and nobody has mentioned why I ought to be overclocking.

And finally, with an increased gfx budget I could get this
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2011 7:55:26 PM

You can't chose from "2x4GB, 4x2GB". Only 2 slots from those 6 are DDR3. The rest are DDR2 !!! You can only chose 2x2Gb.
Check the motherboard manual for that.
Check the supported RAM on gigabyte site.

CAS is not related to overclocking, but with the performance of the RAM, Google it or use Wikipedia.

That would be a nice card.
May 21, 2011 9:02:33 PM

Yes I know. I meant that it would reduce potential problems with a future motherboard I would buy to take full advantage of DDR3. Wasn't exactly a smart choice. I mean, what are the chances I would get 24GB RAM in future?

Assmuming I got 2x4GB, used 1 stick in current mobo, got new mobo, used 2 sticks, upgraded to 6x4GB. I put it down to an extremely unlikely scenario, so eventually I settled for the saner option of 2x2GB.

Quote:
Check the supported RAM on gigabyte site.


So I checked both Gigabyte and Corsair websites; turns out no DDR3 Corsair RAM is compatible. Now to me, that sounds like a completely arbitrary restriction. Why the hell can't I use it?

Looks like I'll have to go with an unfamiliar brand. Recommendations?

Quote:
CAS is not related to overclocking, but with the performance of the RAM, Google it or use Wikipedia.


Yes I realise that. I was making the point that it's more relevant for overclockers as they are the only type of people to appreciate the difference. Or so I think. I'll do more research tommorow anyway, much too tired now.
a b U Graphics card
May 21, 2011 10:20:34 PM

Most RAM is compatible with any motherboard.
Where you order from, check and see if you can return the RAM in case you do not want them in a number of days, if it doesn't work return them and buy other RAM.

Use kingston RAM. Or mushkin RAM.
a c 172 U Graphics card
May 22, 2011 2:19:10 AM

Mousemonkey said:
Don't...
Bump posts
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/283384-33-read-first

And if you are going to get a 560 don't bother with the non Ti as it's just an OC'd 460.

that oc'd 460 trades blows with a 6870 which is around the same price. so id say its a valid purchase for someone wanting an alternative to the ati card.
a c 271 U Graphics card
May 22, 2011 9:24:06 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
that oc'd 460 trades blows with a 6870 which is around the same price. so id say its a valid purchase for someone wanting an alternative to the ati card.

Unless the buyer wants to save £30 and get a 1GB 460 and OC it themselves of course.
May 22, 2011 12:00:09 PM

"Enthusiasts should go for DDR3-1600 and low latencies, while others will get the best bang for the buck at DDR3-1333 speeds and low latencies. CL7 timings can be considered ideal, but refrain from paying a significant premium over CL8 or CL9 memory."

The fps comparisons on games in the article highlighted a small increase of around ~4 frames between CL10 and CL7. So the difference between CL8 and CL7 wouldn't be anything worth troubling over. Keep in mind the fact, that I usually game, I'm not into hardcore rendering or anything like that.

Besides, there aren't any CL7 1333 2x2GB sets on Scan for me to buy.

On OCUK though, there these

Very cheap too. I must be missing an obvious downside. One quick note; I won't be able to get the EVGA card I listed last post. Have to look around more when I get back from the optician.

Can you tell me if the RAM is good?

EDIT:

Quote:
Unless the buyer wants to save £30 and get a 1GB 460 and OC it themselves of course.


Never OC'ed before so that's a consideration, and if I were to OC, there's more headroom with a 560.

All that is moot however since I'm getting only 4GB RAM now, so the gfx budget went up. 560ti it is.
May 23, 2011 12:44:42 PM

Okay, So I did some more digging and turned up these:

Stick with ddr2 on that board, I have one of those boards, and you REALLY need to get ONLY ddr3 memory from the very short memory support list to get it stable.

I've bought the Motherboard Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R that should work with DDR3 1333 and then i bought 4GBs of OCZ PC3-10666 DDR3. The only problem is that the bios wont take the memories as 1333 it will take it only as 1066.

No - I didn't get an answer, but I tried it anyway and it works.

Well, memory showed up today, I popped it in, and it booted right up showing 8GB in Win7.

So that doesn't help me at all. So much for future-proofing.

Furthermore, I downloaded CPU-Z and I saw that I'm apparently running in single channel mode :S Don't know how the hell that happened.

Looking at the box my motherboard came in; it seems I have revision 1.1. That narrows things down. The list of supported ram for my motherboard is here.

You can see that as far as DDR3 1333 is concerned, there are no 2GB sticks supported. Thus I cannot get 2x2GB. I believe the same is true for 1066; and for 800, there is one 2GB stick listed as being supported. Now, I'm inclined to think that I can get unlisted RAM to work because there's now way they would advertise this board as being capable of supporting 4GB of DDR3 if only 1 out of ~30 listed modules could reach that capacity. I would like your input on this matter though.

I think I've definately decided that 4GB will be enough. There will still be plenty room on whatever new motherboard I end up getting in future if I ever want to expland to more than 4 GB. This will in turn increase my gfx budget to allow me to get a 560ti which is much more important as far as games are concerned.

With that in mind, the budget is split around abouts £180/£30.

1GB EVGA GTX 560 Ti SC, 40nm, 4212MHz GDDR5, GPU 900MHz, Shader 1800MHz, 384 Cores, DVI-I/ Mini HDMI

Corsair Memory XMS3 Classic 4GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 9 Dual Channel Desktop

I also asked a few questions a while back that weren't answered:

"Why are you telling me to OC the CPU?"

"Are the temps I posted earlier okay?"

I would be grateful for answers.
May 23, 2011 11:43:49 PM

Okay I think I have a new problem.

Earlier today I removed a HDD from my PC and upon starting the PC, my fan started spinning like crazy. It was noticeably louder and when I turned off my PC, it continued to spin for a while (more than it usually does) at quite a high speed. When reconfiguring my RAM to make use of dual channel (which by the way, did not fix the crashing problem I had that I put down to bad RAM) I encountered the same problem. I cleaned the fans in my case and turned the PC on again and it was quiet, so I assumed the problem was gone. Just now however, it started to increase in volume and the temps on the CPU increased as well as the RPM of the heatsink.

So I reckon the case fan doesnt enter the equation, but that there's something going on with the CPU or heatsink.

sigh As if I need more problems.
a b U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 7:18:07 AM

Do you have the latest bios? Gigabyte has a windows software that flashes the bios, that's how i updated mine. Update the bios and see if any problems persist.
May 24, 2011 11:09:24 AM

Okay I'll try that.

I also played around with the case fan setting, it was on high earlier and this time I put it on to low. There was also a disc in the drive that was spinning up all the time, I removed that too.

End result was that a hell of a lot of noise was removed, it's comparatively inaudible, though obviously the temps crept into higher ranges. Here's what they looked like before I reset the fan to high again:



From what I've read the CPU and GPU are still fine, but that system temp worries me. The HDDs could stand to be a little lower too I reckon.

For now it looks like the problems gone.

Did anyone get a chance to look at my previous posts?
a b U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 5:59:06 PM

Ok, you are using now 4Gb of DDR3, your CPU overclocked to..? And the fans in the case are at the lowest setting?

Keep those cores below 72C.
May 24, 2011 7:29:24 PM

Huh, how did you reach that conclusion?

I haven't bought anything yet due to the confusion regarding compatible RAM. Could someone clear that up for me.

My CPU isn't overclocked because I haven't deemed it a necessity and no one else will explain why I ought to consider its advantages.

The fan is running on high again.

CPU temp is around mid 30s. Cores at 40-50. All in all, the temps resemble the ones in post #3.

Is the system temp too high?
a b U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 11:57:06 PM

Ok, shut down your PC, take the cooler off, clean the thermal paste, reapply the thermal paste and place the cooler back on the CPU.

Update your bios to the latest version. Go to a PC store near you, ask them to place 4Gb of RAM inside your PC on the DDR3 slots and try to boot the PC. If it works pay the man and go home. How does that sound?

Ou, and don't buy cl9 ram at 1333Mhz.

Search to find it's advantages. How does ~ 7 Fps more in games sound to you? Add those to your 20 and you can play games.

May 25, 2011 1:27:48 PM

Quote:
Ok, shut down your PC, take the cooler off, clean the thermal paste, reapply the thermal paste and place the cooler back on the CPU.


I'll have to get more thermal paste then.

Quote:
Update your bios to the latest version.


I'll download the software to flash BIOS. Though my PC has a penchant for crashing, something as risky as this should wait until I fixed the issues with the RAM.

Quote:
Go to a PC store near you, ask them to place 4Gb of RAM inside your PC on the DDR3 slots and try to boot the PC. If it works pay the man and go home. How does that sound?


You know what, I'll just order the RAM, and if it fails I'll just store it somewhere until I get a motherboard capable of using it.

Quote:
Ou, and don't buy cl9 ram at 1333Mhz.


You must know something I don't, because from what I've read the impact in gaming is minimal. If you do know something, by all means share. Don't keep me in the dark.

Quote:
Search to find it's advantages. How does ~ 7 Fps more in games sound to you? Add those to your 20 and you can play games.


You think I'm CPU limited? Could have said that ages ago. Don't know where you're pulling that 20fps figure from either. Haven't even ordered the new card to see what the difference will be.

Okay, so final check:

1GB EVGA GTX 560 Ti SC, 40nm, 4212MHz GDDR5, GPU 900MHz, Shader 1800MHz, 384 Cores, DVI-I/ Mini HDMI

4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 Classic, DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333) Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.50V

Does everything look okay here? Can my PSU handle an OC'ed 560ti?
a b U Graphics card
May 25, 2011 7:20:41 PM

That was an example.

What model is your PSU? Minimum 500W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 30A) you will be fine.
That's the 560ti sys req. How many amps does your PSU have on the 12v rails? There is a sticker on the side of the PSU with the info.

It's because cl7 ram is at the same price or just a few more pounds/$ more expensive.

I meant to flash your bios because the new bios might have some issues fixed that improve stability and/or power usage.

And don't buy dirt cheap thermal paste. Buy something good, from arctic silver 5 up. Also if there is dust on the fan and on the fins of the cooler use your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust. Buy the arctic cleaning kit for removing the thermal paste. I use it and it is good.
May 25, 2011 9:38:42 PM

It's the Antec Earthwatts 500W. I was told earlier it was good enough for the 560/460 OC.

Can't get CL7 RAM for the same price (or at all) on Scan. I could get it at OCUK but then I can't get the EVGA card.

With an unstable system due to RAM, flashing the BIOS is a bad idea I would reckon.

I was going to get this: Arctic Cooling MX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound (as used on Arctic Coolers)

EDIT: An updated Hwmonitor shows this:

So does that help? Is it the PSU fan thats causing the trouble? Because that would make a GPU upgrade ill-advised. Dammit! Why must this be so difficult.
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2011 5:40:41 AM

Yes, the psu is good enough. I found more then 1 model for your PSU.

The thermal paste is also good. Read this article: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/therma...

What are you trying to say with the PSU fan?
Also you can buy components from different sites. If you really want but that memory and increase the voltage after that to get tighter timings.


!