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Looking to upgrade my GPU

  • Graphics Cards
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
July 25, 2011 7:57:56 AM

Hi guys,
I've been using a ATI 4870 1gb video card. For about a year now I've a problem where some games, not all, will either crash my PC or freeze it. I asked in the past if anyone had a solution to this but no one really gave me one, other than replace your video card.

So now I have the money to buy a new one. I don't have a big panel, I run games at 1440x900 which is the max resolution for my monitor. I'd like to buy something that will allow me to run all the games I want to play with the highest settings. Also I might be upgrading my monitor in the future so I'd like to have a GPU that can run games at high settings with a resolution of 1920x1200. I was thinking about getting the Radeon 6870 or the Nvidia 560. I just don't know if those are going to be overkill, and I am just gonna waste the performance of those cards.

Here are the spec to my PC:
CPU: Inter Core I5 750 @ 2.67ghz
Memory: 4gb DDR3 1333
PSU: Cooler Master GX 650w

I think that's all the relevant info. Oh, my budget is around $270 however I'd rather not spend that much.

Thanks for any help you guys can give me!!!


P.S: I am thinking about upgrading my ram also, Do you guys think I should, or should I wait for that? I was just thinking about it because ram is pretty freaking cheap right now, so I thought I would buy another 4gb. What do you guys think?

More about : upgrade gpu

July 25, 2011 8:29:44 AM

States or Canada?

But regardless i'd go for a 6870,6850, or GTX 560 all around 200
They'll easily Max out settings at 1440x900
July 25, 2011 8:30:47 AM

As for the crashing and freezing. My screen freezes when my card gets too hot.(80.C)
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July 25, 2011 8:42:24 AM

starravier said:
As for the crashing and freezing. My screen freezes when my card gets too hot.(80.C)

It'd be US. That is something that a few people mentioned I ran several tests and my card didn't seem to be overheating. It'd stay around 68 c and on full load never above 72c.
July 25, 2011 8:48:07 AM

I wouldn't know then :p 
July 25, 2011 9:16:41 AM

-Try setting the fan on manual, set the fan speed to 100% and retest the card and see if the trouble goes away or not.

-If that fixes the card, then you know it's not the power supply causing it, if it doesn't there is a chance that the power supply is weak.

-If the card still crashes, try dropping the memory speed to 700mhz, to see if it's the memory. try dropping the gpu clock to 600mhz. Mostly just try and find out what is causing the trouble.

If running the fan on max fixes the card and it stops crashing.


- Don't change any of the card's other settings. Just the fan temp control settings, it has a graph for the fan speed/temp.
- Lower the max temp more and low temp a bit. It has more than 2 fan steps, you will have to drop them each and try and make it work so the card runs something like 60c to 70c under full load but not have the fan always screaming, its a compromise between temp and fan noise.

-Once you get the hang of it, it's fairly easy to do. It might take a few trys until you get the right balance between the fan noise and temps.

There is a option to increase the gpu and memory voltage a bit, DO THAT AS A LAST RESORT IF ALL ELSE FAILS TO FIX THE CARD.

well good luck.

Best solution

a c 302 U Graphics card
July 25, 2011 4:51:50 PM

1) It is bothersome that you have current crashes, and don't know why. A frequent cause is a faulty graphics driver.
If you have updated to the latest drivers, then you might have a bad card or a flaky psu.
You might try cleaning our your drivers with a driver sweeper program and reinstalling.
Can you try reducing the clock rate on the 4870?
Try removing the side panel of your case and direct a house fan at the innards. If the problem goes away, you have a case cooling issue.

2) Since you want more graphics power, go ahead and make the upgrade anyway. It will eliminate the graphics card as a source of the problem.
Your 4870 is already a very good card. To see a real difference, make the jump a large one, or you may be disappointed in a marginal increase. GTX560ti or the equivalent 6950 would be the minimum. See if you can't stretch to a GTX570 or 6970. If you can determine that your 4870 is good, then sell it to get the funds for a stretch.

3) I would normally suggest using amd as an upgrade so you can reuse the amd drivers. It is simpler. However since you have been having issues with the 4870, I think I would clean out the driver and start afresh with a nvidia card.

4) Assuming your psu is good, it is capable of supporting a card up to the power of a GTX580.

5) If your 4870 is a XFX card, check to see if it is under their lifetime warranty.

6) Added ram is always good. Particularly if you are a big multitasker. Here is some justification:
August 1, 2011 9:39:43 AM

Best answer selected by caviconpoder.
a c 274 U Graphics card
August 1, 2011 4:57:26 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey