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Upgrading from 8500GT w/ limited budget and PC specs

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July 18, 2011 6:55:14 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm just new here and I would like to get some advice from you. I already surveyed all the shops here in my area. I'm living in the Philippines and stocks are limited, so I'm going to list my PC specs and the available GPU in their shops w/ the cheapest price. I only have the model of the GPU, since it doesn't really matters who's the "2ndary" manufacturer.

I'm going to use this mainly for gaming and play games such as Crysis 2, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Starcraft 2. Preferably, play them in their max settings on a 1440 x 900 pixels (though resolution and settings doesn't count that much). Also to be used to view movies (not really as a home theater), and doing some video/photo editing. I already made some research and my choice would be HD 6850, but I'm not confident on my choice. My budget is only 8000Php (Philippines peso) roughly around $200, and can be stretch and cannot exceed more than 10,000Php ($250). I'm just going to add here the GPU that's not w/in my budget for comparison purposes.


PC specs:
Motherboard: P5GC-MX/1333
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7200 @ 2.53GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2048MB RAM Apacer UNB pc2-5300 CL5 1x2GB
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
OS: Microsoft XP SP3
PSU: 600W - Zeno Power
Monitor: ViewSonic 21" 1440 x 900 native resolution


GPUs on competition: (I'm going to use Philippine Peso price here. For rough estimated converted price to $ [Php/40 = $])
9400GT -2,900
9500GT -2,250
GT210 -2,100
GT220 -2,650
GT240 -3,000
GT430 -3,300
GT520 -2,500
GTS250 -4,990
GTS450 -5,400
GTX460 -18,000 (2GB)
GTX550 -6,500
GTX560 -14,000 (N560GTX)
GTX570 -19,000
HD3650 -2,435
HD4350 -2,950
HD4650 -2,500
HD4670 -3,500
HD5450 -2,275
HD5570 -3,200
HD5670 -4,650
HD5770 -7,500
HD6770 -6,350
HD6850 -8,990



Thanks for the feedback!


EDIT:
I must've confused you by misusing the term upgrade. What I am trying to mean is really replace. I'm replacing my 8500GT since it's broken after 2yrs of service. Moreover, please note: I'm not planning to change/upgrade/replace my other PC parts.
a c 1385 U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 9:11:21 AM

GTS250 for the price or GTS450 as a newer card with DX11 support similar in performance would be my picks.
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a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 10:37:12 AM

Is this: "ASUS P4V8X-MX - motherboard - micro ATX - Socket 478 - P4M800" your motherboard? Its P4 and AGP Mobo
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July 18, 2011 10:54:23 AM

You can't do much of an upgrade with that mobo if it is as FunSurfer stated, an AGP board.
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a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 12:04:58 PM

Assuming you do have a PCIe 16x slot (as per your E7200 CPU, nearly all LGA775 motherboards do) and based on the list you provide I would recommend the 6850.
It leads all other listed cards within your price range by a large margin.

Here is a quick slide from TechPowerUp! that should help you differenciate the performance of your GPU choices.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 12:08:37 PM

Im confused how a core 2 duo fit in a socket 478. Its impossible, since it is a pinned socket, and the core 2 duo has no pins.... http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/list.aspx?SLanguage=... I think you must have the motherboard model incorrect or your CPU model is incorrect. As the core 2 duo and socket 478 can not be used together.
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a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 2:42:08 PM

Check that you have PCIex16 slot and your PSU has enough power on the 12V rails and get the 6850.
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a c 1385 U Graphics card
July 18, 2011 11:27:26 PM

With a motherboard with PCIe X16 version 1.x it is advisable to stay away from GPU's version 2.1 since there have been multiple issues with no video displayed.
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July 19, 2011 7:24:45 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
Im confused how a core 2 duo fit in a socket 478. Its impossible, since it is a pinned socket, and the core 2 duo has no pins.... http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/list.aspx?SLanguage=... I think you must have the motherboard model incorrect or your CPU model is incorrect. As the core 2 duo and socket 478 can not be used together.



I do apologize for confusion about the mobo, It's actually P5GC-MX/1333


I know 6850 beats the rest on my list, but I think my specs would bottleneck the GPU, isn't it? I did further research and I'm down to 6 GPUs on the competition fighting for the position for the replacement.
NOTE: Please take into account my SPEC and considering that I've no plan on upgrading any of the parts except the GPU

GTS250, GTS450, GTX550, 5770, 6770, 6850.
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a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 8:07:46 AM

Even if your CPU does bottleneck your GPU, a 6850 will still allow you to game with higher settings compared to the competition.
At higher settings/resolutions (where you indicate you will be gaming at) any bottlenecks move away from the CPU and sit firmly on the GPU.
While your MAX framerates might be similar with a less powerful GPU, the 6850 will allow you to keep your MIN framerates higher in complex scenes and game with more settings turned up.

It is possible, however, to get the best of both worlds with out buying any other componets.
Your E7200 is highly overclockable and should have no issues pushing to 3.2GHz and beyond.
Even with your budget motherboard, you should be able to run at 3.16GHz simply by raising the FSB from 266MHz (1066FSB) to 333MHz (1333FSB) and locking the vCore to 1.35V.
Further tweaking should allow you to further raise the clocks and/or lower the voltage a bit.

If you would like a more in depth look into overclocking your CPU, please see the Core 2 Overclocking Guide or post back with your questions!
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July 20, 2011 5:18:35 AM

outlw6669 said:
Even if your CPU does bottleneck your GPU, a 6850 will still allow you to game with higher settings compared to the competition.
At higher settings/resolutions (where you indicate you will be gaming at) any bottlenecks move away from the CPU and sit firmly on the GPU.
While your MAX framerates might be similar with a less powerful GPU, the 6850 will allow you to keep your MIN framerates higher in complex scenes and game with more settings turned up.

It is possible, however, to get the best of both worlds with out buying any other componets.
Your E7200 is highly overclockable and should have no issues pushing to 3.2GHz and beyond.
Even with your budget motherboard, you should be able to run at 3.16GHz simply by raising the FSB from 266MHz (1066FSB) to 333MHz (1333FSB) and locking the vCore to 1.35V.
Further tweaking should allow you to further raise the clocks and/or lower the voltage a bit.

If you would like a more in depth look into overclocking your CPU, please see the Core 2 Overclocking Guide or post back with your questions!



Thanks for the overclocking idea. Yeah I would do that if I'll have the time then I would try and pray that I won't have any problems (especially destroying my CPU) by doing this.

Btw do you think 6770 or 5850 (just in case I'll find one) would be a better choice. Since I just have a generic PSU, 6770 is a better option since it requires lesser power. Moreover, based on reviews 5850 is cheaper + more powerful. What do you think?
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a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 8:45:13 AM

^Yes, a 5850 is more powerful than a 6770 & it even than the 6850. Sapphire recently released the 5850 Extreme really cheap. If you could find one there, then grab it.

The generic PSU is a concern though. If it doesn't have the PCIe 6/8PIN power connectors it is safer to go for the HD 6670 or 5670 which do not require PCIe 6/8PIN. However, it does limit your possibility to upgrade to higher resolution monitor since it will not be powerful enough to play 1920x1080 at decent settings.

The CPU is the least of your worries. It's a powerful gaming CPU & as stated earlier have great OC potential.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 8:58:33 AM

you also must consider the generic 600w psu may not be able to power the more powerful cards on the list. Please state the make and model of the psu.
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a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 9:34:30 AM

As with the above, please post the make, model and +12v amperage from your PSU.

If you can locate a 5850, it will offer around 10% better performance than a 6850 but will also draw a bit more power (151W vs 127W TDP).
It is not a bad choice but really depends on the price and your PSU.
Personally, if I had a choice between the two and they where similarly priced, I would chose the 5850.

Unless your PSU is suspect, a 6770 would be a worse choice than either the 6850 or 5850.
While its TDP is only 19W lower than the 6850 at 108W, the it only has around 70-75% of the performance (performance being equal to a 5770).

As for overclocking the CPU, as long as you keep the vCore at 1.3625V or below and the Max load temps do not pass 72°C you will not kill your chip.
You can validate both the stability of your overclock and the Max temps using prime95.
Just be sure to keep an eye on the temps for the first 10-15min of testing.
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July 21, 2011 7:57:06 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
you also must consider the generic 600w psu may not be able to power the more powerful cards on the list. Please state the make and model of the psu.

My PSU is: Zero Power 600W PSU. Price is 800Php = $20
outlw6669 said:
As with the above, please post the make, model and +12v amperage from your PSU.
I don't know how I'm going to check for the +12v amperage of it.


My current PSU is actually isn't searchable in the net. It's just actually a replacement for my previous PSU w/c is still under a warranty. My previous PSU is Techwill 600W PSU.


I should've know better and bought a "branded" PSU. tsk3


Ok guys, so what'll be now? 5850 or 6770? .... I think I'll find a 5850 first if it's available, if not, I'll just settle w/ 6770. Thanks!
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a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 8:15:13 AM

Yeah, I could not locate anything on the web about your PSU either :??: 
You should be able to locate the +12v amperage quite easily however.
Every PSU has a sticker on the side which shows the amperage on each rail and/or the combine amperage/wattage for the rails.

If your PSU only has one +12v rail please post back the amperage rating that is shown.
If it has multiple +12v rails what would be most important would be the combine +12v amperage or wattage.

As for the GPU, a 5850 or 6850 will perform loads better than a 6770.
Going from a 6770 to a 5850 will give you around a 50% performance increase.
If you can locate either of the former I would highly recommend the upgrade.
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a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2011 10:01:04 AM

They are not really that uncommon, in fact the ATX12V V2.x specification calls for separated +12V rails.
Usually though, as with the above PSU, this spec is cheated by creating virtual rails connected to a single actual rail.
This can make it difficult to tell how much power the PSU can actually handle if you do not know what to look for.

Using the pictured label as an example, there are 4 +12V rails each rated to output 16A.
In practice this means that any one rail can draw 16A before the PSU overloads and (hopefully) shuts down.
You might think then that you could connect 4x 16A devices (64A total) to the four +12V lines with no issues.
Unfortunately that would not be possible due to all lines sharing a common +12V rail.
The PSU shown above would unfortunately overload once a combine load of 56A (672W/12V) has been applied across all +12V rails.

Moral of the story, make sure to read the PSU label before you assume you have enough power to run Tri-SLI GTX 580s ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2011 8:03:05 AM

Ugh.
Sorry to say it, but your PSU is a disaster waiting to happen.
With a single +12V rail rated to 18A, it can handle less power than a decent 350W PSU (i.e. the Antecs Basiq 350W PSU has 23A continuous on the +12V rail).
You should Really put some cash aside to replace it and definatly Before you upgrade your GPU as all of the GPUs you are looking at could potentially overload your PSU and fry your system :??: 

A quick googling for a parts store in the Philippines leads me to recommend This Quality PSU.
The Antec VP450 is a quality unit and, at ₱1,650.00 should not overdraw your account.

Well, with the lecture about the PSU out of the way, I believe that the 6850 is your best option.
Although a 6850 and the PSU will be ₱640 over your stated budget, it will be money well spent.
While you could stick with your budget by getting a 6770 (your next best option), the 6850 is significantly faster and you will will be much happier with its performance when you turn the settings up.

Stepping up to a 5850 is also not a bad option (depending on the price).
Just be aware that, assuming you get the Antec 450W PSU, you would need an additional 6-pin PCIe power adapter.
While the PSU does have enough +12V amperage to power the card, it unfortunately only has one 6-Pin plug (the 5850 requires two).
Just something to keep in mind...
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July 23, 2011 5:32:19 AM

Best answer selected by bruno0920.
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July 23, 2011 5:57:56 AM

Ok thanks a lot outlw6669!

One question though, I'm so confuse about the Pins your talking about. In my current PSU, do you know how many pins does it have? Or what does this pins look like? Are you talking about the molex connectors (using my PSU as an example)

I know about PINS if we're going to talk about RAM and GPU, but how about the PSU?

Thanks for the very detailed info, I think I'm all set now. Just wondering how much does it cost to buy an additional 6-pin PCIe power adapter, and what does it look like.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 23, 2011 1:24:02 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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