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New GPU? Suggestions much appreciated

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 22, 2011 10:21:20 AM

Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice on what GPU to go for next. I'm looking at around the £200 mark (obviously the lower the better :p  )

I've been looking at the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked, the Gigabyte GV N560SO-1GI-950 and the 2GB Radeon HD 6950 amongst others but to be honest I have very little clue what I am doing! Perhaps my PC can't handle GPU's of such magnitude! :whistle: 

Here are my specs, hopefully someone can point me in the right direction

Windows 7 64bit
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 425
Mobo: ASUSTeK M4A785TD-V EVO
GPU: Radeon HD 5750 512mb
RAM: 12 GB (ddr3)
Monitor: Samsung BX2250 (1920 x 1080p)
PSU: Not sure what make it is but it says 230v / 50Hz on a sticker outside the case and 750W on the actual unit inside :pfff: 

I'll gladly supply more info if needed!

Thanks.
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 22, 2011 11:53:48 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums
Both GTX 560Ti and 6950 are great and offer almost the same performance,so you can't go wrong with either
a b U Graphics card
May 22, 2011 11:55:45 AM

Your build as is, is pretty balanced, but you are trying to (I assume) game at 1080p. Yeah, it couldn't handle a 6950. I would consider a 6850/70. 750W should be plenty, but if you can, it wouldn't hurt to get the model of that PSU.
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May 23, 2011 9:39:43 PM

jbakerlent said:
Your build as is, is pretty balanced, but you are trying to (I assume) game at 1080p. Yeah, it couldn't handle a 6950. I would consider a 6850/70. 750W should be plenty, but if you can, it wouldn't hurt to get the model of that PSU.



Hi. I've had a look at the ones you suggest and they look good enough to me. Which version would you suggest? I sometimes have cooling issues and so I've been drawn to the Sapphire Vapor-X http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-11179-07-40G-Vapor-X-G...

I've done a little searching and believe my PSU is the 750W CIT ATX seen here http://www.maplin.co.uk/750w-cit-atx-power-supply-22787... and http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/-/698/905/-/8284366/CiT-Sile... . The codes on my PSU are "CIT" and "ATX12V P4&PFC" aswell as "EN60950" either way.
May 23, 2011 9:44:18 PM

Sorry, that should read: "which version of the HD 6870 would you suggest?"

You assume correctly about gaming btw. I've started to have difficulties with newer games
a c 376 U Graphics card
May 23, 2011 10:02:00 PM

Have you attempted to overclock or unlock the 4th core on your processor?
May 23, 2011 10:19:03 PM

jyjjy said:
Have you attempted to overclock or unlock the 4th core on your processor?


Nope. Didn't know I could tbh. Is there a program around that would enable me to do so or is it a case of messing with the BIOS?
a c 376 U Graphics card
May 23, 2011 10:27:19 PM

Yes, you would both overclock and unlock through the motherboard's BIOS. Unlocking is very simple and has a very good success rate(80%+.) Overclocking is more complicated but not that difficult. There are plenty of guides on the topic if you google.
Your processor in its current state is passable but not particularly good for gaming and will limit the cards being talked about in the more CPU intensive current games, especially the ones that can only use 2 cores. OC up to 3.3ghz or higher and it's fine though. The fourth core would be a nice bonus in games that can utilize it.
May 24, 2011 5:01:54 AM

jyjjy said:
Yes, you would both overclock and unlock through the motherboard's BIOS. Unlocking is very simple and has a very good success rate(80%+.) Overclocking is more complicated but not that difficult. There are plenty of guides on the topic if you google.
Your processor in its current state is passable but not particularly good for gaming and will limit the cards being talked about in the more CPU intensive current games, especially the ones that can only use 2 cores. OC up to 3.3ghz or higher and it's fine though. The fourth core would be a nice bonus in games that can utilize it.


Thanks for the tip mate. I've just unlocked the 4th core successfully (Strangely it gives me the option of unlocking 6). Well, at least my PC started up OK and CPU-Z recognises it as an "amd phenom II X4 B25" ...I haven't yet put it under any stress.
a c 376 U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 7:13:27 AM

Perhaps that means it was able to unlock L3 cache as well. That's more rare than the 4th core being unlockable. Check CPU-Z and see if it is showing L3 cache. DL Prime 95 or OCCT or something and run it overnight to test the stability. If its fine then look into overclocking it next.
May 24, 2011 8:12:53 AM

jyjjy said:
Perhaps that means it was able to unlock L3 cache as well. That's more rare than the 4th core being unlockable. Check CPU-Z and see if it is showing L3 cache. DL Prime 95 or OCCT or something and run it overnight to test the stability. If its fine then look into overclocking it next.


Yea it is showing L3





I tried running Prime 95 and after about an 90 mins I got a "FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4". Looked around and saw that RAM can supposedly cause this. Running MemTest now and have 2 errors stating that one of the pairs can't store data correctly :pfff: 

a c 376 U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 9:03:26 AM

Well, you win some you lose some I guess. The good news is... 12gb of ram? That's hardly necessary. You could almost definitely ditch the faulty RAM and never see any difference in performance.
May 24, 2011 9:38:22 AM

I could probably make do with 8gb. I have a lot of RAM due to using Cubase etc.
May 24, 2011 10:13:05 PM

Have just run P95 for about 13 hours and now that the faulty ram is out I have had no errors or warnings.

I've been doing some reading with regards to overclocking the CPU and gathered, rightly or wrongly, that I'd only need to up the Multiplier if I'm only upping the GHz a little. Unfortunately my BIOS won't let me up it beyond x13.5 (which is what it already was). I could however up the FSB from 200 to 222 to give me what x14.5 would have given (3ghz) tho this makes changes to my RAM I believe.

Not very confident with all this so I think I may just leave it until my new CPU cooler (Zalman CNPS10X-PERFORMA) gets delivered. Less chance of melting something!

On the GPU front I decided to get the 6870 vapor-x. Cheers for the suggestions and unlocking/OC'ing help.
a c 376 U Graphics card
May 25, 2011 12:10:48 AM

You would need a "black edition" Phenom to change the multiplier. In your case you need to work with the FSB. The ram is also affected by the FSB as you seem aware so you may end up adjusting the ram/fsb ratio accordingly to keep it within the ram's speed limits.
May 25, 2011 1:26:54 PM

Ah, well that explains it then.

I take it I should always keep my ram speed ("Dram frequency" in CPU-z I'm guessing) at, in my case, 667mhz?

a c 376 U Graphics card
May 25, 2011 7:42:32 PM

Ram can be OCed as well but for your first attempt I would just focus on the CPU.
May 27, 2011 5:36:00 PM

I've raised the FSB from 200 to 240. Any higher and my PC won't load up. I haven't done anything with voltages tho, since I'm not too sure exactly what to do and don't want to break something, so maybe that's why...

With that said, I've ran P95 again and got that error again pretty much straight away. (Beforehand my older ram sticks -which I took out- error'd after merely unlocking the 4th core)

Here's some info
1st pic shows the 4th core unlocked but no CPU overclocking


2nd pic shows 4th core unlocked and CPU overclocked (FSB 240)


I'm wondering whether the problem is the Memory Type changes?


Oh and I got my Zalman CPU cooler today. Much, much better temps now.
a c 376 U Graphics card
May 30, 2011 12:30:35 AM

Overclocking on default voltages is often a limited kind of thing. If you are at all serious about a decent OC you gotta push the core voltage up a bit. Doesn't need to be much to get better results and especially with the new cooler the temps shouldn't be an issues.
!