Upgrading GFX Card

Hi Everyone

I have Nvidia GeForce 9600gt, and was looking to upgrade to a better low-mid level graphics card.

I will have around £150 to play with

I'm a bit behind with the times at the moment and was wondering will all the newer cards be compatible with my Gigabyte P31-DS3L Motherboard?

Also what range of PSUs would be ok to run the thing?

Cheers
18 answers Last reply
More about upgrading card
  1. Hi,

    you can pick up a 5870 or 6870 for around that price range.

    Both are powerful cards, require 2 x 6pin pci express power connectors.

    This will give you an idea of what are todays best card:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-radeon-hd-6870-geforce-gtx-570,2834-7.html

    Also as for the power supply they recommend around 500w quality psu brand such as corsair etc.

    http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-radeon-hd-6000/hd-6870/Pages/amd-radeon-hd-6870-overview.aspx#3

    It really depends on the rest of your system. post your specs up for more of an idea
  2. also your motherboard has x16 pci express slot so its compatable
  3. Thanks for the reply my specs are below

    I will be ugrading to 4gb of ram at the same time too:

    Processor 1 ID = 0
    Number of cores 2 (max 2)
    Number of threads 2 (max 2)
    Name Intel Pentium E2220
    Codename Conroe
    Specification Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2220 @ 2.40GHz
    Package (platform ID) Socket 775 LGA (0x0)
    CPUID 6.F.D
    Extended CPUID 6.F
    Core Stepping M0
    Technology 65 nm
    Core Speed 2397.7 MHz
    Multiplier x FSB 12.0 x 199.8 MHz
    Rated Bus speed 799.2 MHz
    Stock frequency 2400 MHz
    Instructions sets MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, EM64T
    L1 Data cache 2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
    L1 Instruction cache 2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
    L2 cache 1024 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 64-byte line size
    FID/VID Control yes
    FID range 6.0x - 12.0x
    Max VID 1.238 V
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Motherboard

    Northbridge Intel P35/G33/G31 rev. A2
    Southbridge Intel 82801GB (ICH7/R) rev. A1
    Graphic Interface PCI-Express
    PCI-E Link Width x16
    PCI-E Max Link Width x16
    Memory Type DDR2
    Memory Size 2048 MBytes
    Channels Dual, (Symmetric)
    Memory Frequency 399.6 MHz (1:2)
    CAS# latency (CL) 5.0
    RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD) 5
    RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5
    Cycle Time (tRAS) 18
    Row Refresh Cycle Time (tRFC) 42
    Command Rate (CR) 2T
    MCHBAR I/O Base address 0x0FED14000
    MCHBAR I/O Size 4096

    Memory SPD
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DIMM # 1
    SMBus address 0x50
    Memory type DDR2
    Module format Regular UDIMM
    Manufacturer (ID) Corsair (7F7F9E0000000000)
    Size 1024 MBytes
    Max bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
    Part number CM2X1024-6400
    Manufacturing date Week 23/Year 06
    Number of banks 2
    Data width 64 bits
    Correction None
    Nominal Voltage 1.80 Volts
    EPP no
    XMP no
    JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency
    JEDEC #1 4.0-4-4-13-15 @ 270 MHz
    JEDEC #2 5.0-5-5-18-22 @ 400 MHz

    DIMM # 2
    SMBus address 0x52
    Memory type DDR2
    Module format Regular UDIMM
    Manufacturer (ID) Corsair (7F7F9E0000000000)
    Size 1024 MBytes
    Max bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
    Part number CM2X1024-6400
    Manufacturing date Week 23/Year 06
    Number of banks 2
    Data width 64 bits
    Correction None
    Nominal Voltage 1.80 Volts
    EPP no
    XMP no
    JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency
    JEDEC #1 4.0-4-4-13-15 @ 270 MHz
    JEDEC #2 5.0-5-5-18-22 @ 400 MHz

    Display Adapters
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Display adapter 0
    Name NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
    Revision A1
    Codename G94
    Technology 65 nm
    Memory size 512 MB
    Memory bus width 256 bits
    PCI device bus 1 (0x1), device 0 (0x0), function 0 (0x0)
    Vendor ID 0x10DE (0x0000)
    Model ID 0x0622 (0x0000)
    Performance Level 0
    Core clock 600.0 MHz
    Shader clock 1500.0 MHz
    Memory clock 900.0 MHz


    Software
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Windows Version Microsoft Windows 7 (6.1) Home Premium Edition Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
    DirectX Version 11.0
  4. grayggr said:
    Thanks for the reply my specs are below

    I will be ugrading to 4gb of ram at the same time too:

    Processor 1 ID = 0
    Number of cores 2 (max 2)
    Number of threads 2 (max 2)
    Name Intel Pentium E2220
    Codename Conroe
    Specification Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2220 @ 2.40GHz
    Package (platform ID) Socket 775 LGA (0x0)
    CPUID 6.F.D
    Extended CPUID 6.F
    Core Stepping M0
    Technology 65 nm
    Core Speed 2397.7 MHz
    Multiplier x FSB 12.0 x 199.8 MHz
    Rated Bus speed 799.2 MHz
    Stock frequency 2400 MHz
    Instructions sets MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, EM64T
    L1 Data cache 2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
    L1 Instruction cache 2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
    L2 cache 1024 KBytes, 4-way set associative, 64-byte line size
    FID/VID Control yes
    FID range 6.0x - 12.0x
    Max VID 1.238 V
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Motherboard

    Northbridge Intel P35/G33/G31 rev. A2
    Southbridge Intel 82801GB (ICH7/R) rev. A1
    Graphic Interface PCI-Express
    PCI-E Link Width x16
    PCI-E Max Link Width x16
    Memory Type DDR2
    Memory Size 2048 MBytes
    Channels Dual, (Symmetric)
    Memory Frequency 399.6 MHz (1:2)
    CAS# latency (CL) 5.0
    RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD) 5
    RAS# Precharge (tRP) 5
    Cycle Time (tRAS) 18
    Row Refresh Cycle Time (tRFC) 42
    Command Rate (CR) 2T
    MCHBAR I/O Base address 0x0FED14000
    MCHBAR I/O Size 4096

    Memory SPD
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DIMM # 1
    SMBus address 0x50
    Memory type DDR2
    Module format Regular UDIMM
    Manufacturer (ID) Corsair (7F7F9E0000000000)
    Size 1024 MBytes
    Max bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
    Part number CM2X1024-6400
    Manufacturing date Week 23/Year 06
    Number of banks 2
    Data width 64 bits
    Correction None
    Nominal Voltage 1.80 Volts
    EPP no
    XMP no
    JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency
    JEDEC #1 4.0-4-4-13-15 @ 270 MHz
    JEDEC #2 5.0-5-5-18-22 @ 400 MHz

    DIMM # 2
    SMBus address 0x52
    Memory type DDR2
    Module format Regular UDIMM
    Manufacturer (ID) Corsair (7F7F9E0000000000)
    Size 1024 MBytes
    Max bandwidth PC2-6400 (400 MHz)
    Part number CM2X1024-6400
    Manufacturing date Week 23/Year 06
    Number of banks 2
    Data width 64 bits
    Correction None
    Nominal Voltage 1.80 Volts
    EPP no
    XMP no
    JEDEC timings table CL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS-tRC @ frequency
    JEDEC #1 4.0-4-4-13-15 @ 270 MHz
    JEDEC #2 5.0-5-5-18-22 @ 400 MHz

    Display Adapters
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Display adapter 0
    Name NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
    Revision A1
    Codename G94
    Technology 65 nm
    Memory size 512 MB
    Memory bus width 256 bits
    PCI device bus 1 (0x1), device 0 (0x0), function 0 (0x0)
    Vendor ID 0x10DE (0x0000)
    Model ID 0x0622 (0x0000)
    Performance Level 0
    Core clock 600.0 MHz
    Shader clock 1500.0 MHz
    Memory clock 900.0 MHz


    Software
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Windows Version Microsoft Windows 7 (6.1) Home Premium Edition Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
    DirectX Version 11.0



    What psu do you have. A new 500w psu would be enough for one of the cards i mentioned.
    However that cpu is very outdated.
    If your serious about gaming ect you should look into upgrading the cpu to.
  5. Yeah, an E2220 is not very good these days... What is your PSU and what resolution are you using?
  6. Will open the case and double check but think it's a 500w one but 3 yrs old.

    Not really bothered about new new games just yet, as will get a new motherboard and processor at a later date, when I can afford them, but just bought a new 24" monitor, upgraded to Windows 7, and although the 9600gt runs ok at 1920x1080 (and was good at 1680x1050 which I played at before) for the games I play WoW, BFBC2, Civilization etc, I have noticed a drop in fps and read an upgrade to the gfx would make quite a difference.
  7. Give us the brand and model of the PSU. Unless it is quite poor(possible) it should handle the HD5850. That card is close to 3 times faster than your 9600GT BTW.
    Your motherboard can handle much better processors but even something rather cheap would be a decent upgrade especially if you are willing to overclock.
    http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Intel+Pentium+E5700+3.0GHz+%28Socket+775%29+Processor+-+Retail+?productId=43756
    That would give you twice as much cache and a .6 ghz boost which would help a lot and it can OC much higher. It's a nice deal and with the HD5850 would come in under your budget if you PSU ends up being able to handle the card.
  8. Just checked it's a Blue Storm II 500
  9. Yeah, that's not bad at all. Should handle any card within your price range.
  10. Great - thanks for the advice!

    Never upgraded an existing CPU before is it pretty straight forward?
  11. Yeah the psu will be fine, get the 6870 graphics card, I dont know where your buying from but where I am looking its only £10 more expensive so its worth it.

    A cpu is easy to install. Take the old heatsink off, remove the old cpu, usually has a little clip holding it down, when installing the new one there will be a small golden arrow at one corner of the cpu, it must align with the arrow on the cpu socket. Push the clip down, clean old thermal paste off the heatsink with some alcohol solution, reapply some good quality thermal grease to the cpu and replace heat sink. done. takes less than 10 mins
  12. Cheers
  13. You'll also want to update your motherboard to the latest BIOS before installing the new processor if it is still using an old one.
  14. Hi All

    I bought the HD5850 this afternoon, along with upgrading my ram to 4gb.

    The memory sticks were fine but I have a problem with the HD 5850

    It is placed correctly on the motherboard, and 2 x 6 pinn connectors also plugged in.

    I start the computer and the fans works on the gfx card, but my monitor says it cannot detect a signal.

    I can hear Windows 7 loading up but cannot see anything.

    Connections are all secure and tight.

    Ive tried HDMI, DVI and VGA leads but all to no avail.

    Ticketed XFX support and waiting for a response.

    Any more help appreciated?
  15. That is weird. If the computer wasn't detecting any video it wouldn't start up so the computer itself is seeing the card...
    You may just have gotten a defective unit, it happens. This soon after purchasing you should probably return it to the retailer but I guess seeing if XFX has any ideas first makes sense.
  16. Update

    Returned to retailer, they tested and confirmed defective card.

    Got a replacement and working great, thanks for your advice folks!
  17. seems to be alot of people gettin bunk cards, me included :(, brand new part = fail
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