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I need some help please with upgrading to a new card.

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August 9, 2011 2:03:58 AM

Hello there, my name is Cris and i've come here in hope of having someone help me out D;

I've bought my PC about two years ago now with it having a Asus GeForce GT 220 (1gb) inside it, but recently after i've bought a 22" monitor that has a resolution of 1900x1080, i've noticed that my graphics card can't live up to the resolution and almost everything i played freely up until now on max resolution is barely able to make it over 30fps.
Especially games like Crysis 2 that i installed recently.

So i would like some help in deciding which card should i replace it with, i've been thinking of switching to Radeon cards since they are more friendly towards games than GeForce cards are and they are generally heard to be more cost effecient if you don't have a huge sum of money to spend.

My general PC specs are:

AMD Athlon x2 II 250 duo Core 3.0 mhz
Motherboard Asus M2N68-Plus PCI-E x16

Which card should i lean towards while having the following options available to me:

ASUS:
1Gb 5570/DI DDR3 128-bit, 650/1600MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I
» 1Gb 5670/DI DDR3 128-bit, 775/1600MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I
» 1Gb 6570/DI DDR3 128-bit, 650/1800MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I
» 1Gb 5670/DI DDR5 128-bit, 775/4000MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I
» 1Gb 6670/DI DDR3 128-bit, 800/1800MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I
» 1Gb 6670/DIS DDR5 128-bit, 810/4000MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I, Display port (A bit too expenssive but i'll manage xD)

GIGABYTE:
PCI-Express Radeon
» 1Gb 5570 GDDR3 128-bit, 670/1600MHz, Active Cooling GBT Fansink, 1x DVI-I, HDMI
» 1Gb 6570 GDDR3 128-bit, 670/1600MHz, Active Cooling GBT Fansink, 1x DVI-I, HDMI, D-Sub

HIS:
PCI-Express Radeon
» 1Gb HD5570 Fan (650/1000MHz) DDR-III (128bit) DVI+HDMI
» 2Gb HD5570 Silence (650/1000MHz) DDR-III (128bit) DVI+HDMI
» 1Gb HD6570 Fan (650/1800MHz) DDR-III (128bit) DVI+HDMI
» 1Gb HD6670 Fan (800/4000MHz) GDDR-V (128bit) DVI+HDMI


Could you help me please in deciding what card would be best? Since i'm pretty poor informed in what most of the differences between all of these cards are >.>

Also feel free to suggest a card that isn't in the list but reasonable to get. The cards that i've listed above are what is currently available in our town's tech storage, but i'll try to find the ones you could strongly suggest in other stores.

Thank you very much for your time.

More about : upgrading card

a c 141 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 3:28:03 AM

If you are looking for high graphics settings at 1080p none of the cards you have listed are going to deliver good performance at your resolution. The 6670 is the fastest of the cards you have listed and might be able to get you 30 FPS at high settings for some of the less demanding titles out there. Crysis 2 however, is a very demanding game, especially with the DX11 patch and Ultra settings patch. Do not expect good performance on anything but the lowest settings for that particular game at 1080p with any of the cards you listed. Maxing out Crysis 2 at 1080p in fact requires the minimum of a GTX 570, something way above your budget.

You're probably best off saving your money to get a much more powerful card, something like a GTX 460 1GB or Radeon HD 6850 or higher rather than buying any of the cards you have listed. You may also have to get a new power supply if you do go this route though, you didn't post the specs on that, and higher end cards are considerably more power hungry than the lower end cards you listed. You can check out the graphics hierarchy chart here if you need a rough idea of where a particular card falls performance wise.

If you absolutely must only go for a card you listed, the 6670 DDR5 is the most powerful and would offer the best performance out of those choices, but even it will struggle at your resolution if you want to crank the graphics options up to high, if you are okay with medium settings it will be an okay choice.
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 4:21:04 AM

I would have to agree with supernova that the 6670 is fastest card on that list but when paired with a Althon i'm not sure your going to like what you see in terms of performance.

What is your budget?

What is the resolution of your monitor?

What is the make/model of your Power Supply?

Most of the times when people go to upgrade their graphics cards that they bought from a PC company they will have to upgrade the Power Supply as well,so i'm just warning you.Once we get your budget and the rest of your specs we can start shooting info at you.
Related resources
August 9, 2011 1:24:44 PM

I think my power supply is 400wat and my current budget is about 120~140$.

I've also been thinking of a GTS 450 would be a decent enough choice.
Also HD's 6850 or even HD 5770 are expenssive here, much more expenssive than in europe or US, a 6850 is well over 200$ and a 5770 is over 160$ alone.

I've seen some GTS450 for 130$ altho, some for 150~160$, but i'm not sure what is the difference between then except for the distributor brand.
August 9, 2011 1:28:45 PM

The resolution of my monitor is 1900x1080, i posted that in the first post.
And i don't exactly want a card that will make everything run smooth on ultra for crysis, but just something that would be better by a long shot than my current GT220, enough to make me feel a difference.

Also i'm not sure how to check the exact brand of the power supply i have ;(
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 2:01:51 PM

What brand is your power supply? How many amps are on the +12/v rail(s)? Should be a chart on the back of your PSU for this info.

At 1920x1080 you definitly don't want anything less than a 5770 as anything lower will struggle with the 1080p resoultion.I would suggest getting the 5770 over the GTS450.They are meant to compete with each other but the 5770 is faster and consumes less power making it overall more effcient than the GTS450 and well worth the extra money.

I reccomend the 5770 but if that is just out of your budget then the 6670 would be the next best thing.The 6670 is still a huge improvement over the GT220.

Of course we still need to know the exact specifications of your PSU if you intend to use a 5770 or 6670.Some PSU's are very poorly built and can break under minor stress which wouldn't be good.

What country are you in?
August 9, 2011 2:40:00 PM

There we go, just checked my PSU, its a :

Asus ATX 500H, supply block.

Voltage 220~240 vac
6A
50-60HZ
450W total

500w peak
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 3:30:09 PM

Can you see a +12volt rail? List how many amps you see under it.

Asus is a reliable company but I've never heard of them making PSU's before.And basicly all i'm getting with a search is that it's a PSU that comes with a case.Where did you buy your PC from?
August 9, 2011 4:37:12 PM

It came with a pretty classic PC case from Asus V series, that looked something about like this:

But fully black and buttosn a bit differently displayed.
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 4:45:59 PM

Yah that's the same case I saw when I searched for it.

Thanks for the chart.Alright well it's capable of 360 watts so that's kinda good.It can definitly support a 6770/5770.Technically it can support a 6850 but that's pushing it and without knowing anything about it I wouldn't reccomend it.Also I forgot that anything more powerful than a 6770/5770 will probably start to get bottlenecked from your CPU.

Is the 5770/6770 within your budget?
August 9, 2011 5:02:32 PM

Its over 160$ over here, sadly it isn't unless i can find one for 120$ so i'll have to stick with the 6670 model then, which will cost me 125$.

Thanks alot for the help, i really appreciate it ;D
August 9, 2011 5:12:45 PM

Is the difference really that large between using a 6670 and 6770 on a 1900x1080 resolution?

Because i don't really have the funds to spend 165$ on a 6770(5770) at the moment , its way overpriced and i'll only feel bad if i do because in half a year i'm sure it will cost less than the 120$ 6670 ;(
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 7:00:25 PM

Yes it is.The 6770 is the very minimum of a card you would want to play games on at 1080p.The 6670 will struggle at that resoultion.

Although the newer model 6670 replacing the 5670 does have increased speed and more stream processors.So it is faster than the 5670 but i'm thinking it's still going to struggle.If it's the only card you can afford and you won't have more money for a while I would get it too.Anyway the 6670 is still a huge improvement over the GT220.

Here's some statics on the 6670 compared the GT220.

http://www.hwcompare.com/10877/geforce-gt-220-gddr3-vs-...
August 9, 2011 7:40:07 PM

Thank you for the very useful link btw ;D

And i've consulted a bit with the people around me and decided that i'll gather up a bit more resources and get a 6770 after all.

In the charts on the site tho, the difference in power consumption between the 6770 and the GT220 is like double, will it really be okay with my current supply ? o.o

And also there are several choices of the distributors, could you help me out with what the differences are between them?

Asus:
1Gb 6770 DC/2DI DDR5 128-bit, 850/4000MHz, PCI-Express 2.1, HDMI, DVI-I, Display port

Gygabyte:
1Gb 6770 GDDR5 128-bit, 900/4800MHz, Active Cooling GBT Fansink, 2xDual-link DVI-I, HDMI, Display Port, UDV

HIS:
1Gb HD6770 Fan Crossfire (850/4800MHz) GDDR-V (128bit) Dual-DVI+HDMI

Which one out of them is the better one and what is the difference?

a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 8:25:53 PM

A test system's(top of the line machine)full system power draw with a 6770 is right around 250watts.Your PSU has about 360 watts which is plenty for running a 6770.And note that in the test systems they use a lot more high powered stuff.Your Athlon dual core consumes very little power as well as the rest of your system.I'm betting that your system with a 6770 will barely break the 200 watt mark.

So to answer your question,yes it will be fine to run a 6770 on it.

Do you have links or pictures to each card?

The Gigabyte model has a nice O.C. but I personally would rather have a Asus card because I know their heatsinks are really good,depending on the model.

Does the Asus card look like this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 9, 2011 11:21:28 PM

I'm not sure what any of them look like sadly, because the site doesn't have any pictures of its video cards up.

I could make a phone call and ask them for details but that will have to wait till tomorrow, since its 2 am at the moment >.>

I just opened another online shop from my country, and found some images of it there (basically should be the same since the tech storage is the same for all the shops)




Not sure about the asus tho since i put in a image from the 5770, might be a genuine 5770 tho because i couldn't find any 6770 in that shop's list.


Also it says that the asus one is 850/4000MH, does that mean that its on passive cooling since its a tad weaker than the others?
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 9, 2011 11:43:32 PM

Well that's one of the lower end models that Asus makes but I don't acutally think thats correct image for the Asus model you posted in the thread above.I believe this is actually the correct one corisponding the the model number you provided.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That Asus 5770 is way way better than the the picture you got.

Another good one is the Sapphire card.The Vapor-X cards they make are really good.

The Gigabyte model i'm not able to find.But if it is a reference cooler like the one in the picture I would avoid it as those coolers can be very loud.Actually I found it here.This is the only one with a O.C. so this has got to be it.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Since they are all really good I would suggest going by which ever one is cheaper since your already over budget/tight budget.Which one is cheaper?
August 9, 2011 11:52:18 PM

I think that the Gigabyte one is actually this one:
http://www.exit.md/galerie-17559.html

Since i found it in another shop online


Well now that i've decided on buying a 6770 one, i guess 5 more or less dollars doesn't make a difference since i'm gonna spend over 160$ anyways >.>

Might aswell please suggest the one you think is better xD
Also i'd like it if it wasn't too loud ;D (My head still hurts even to this moment because my GT220 is pretty loud and whats worse, it needs oiling and its making a scratching sound thats driving me insane...)


EDIT: Oh and yes, i've asked this above but i was wondering why is the Asus model weaker than the other ones by specs?
All the others are 850~900Hz/4800 and Asus one is 800/4000
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 12:12:11 AM

The bearings in the fan probably need to be replaced.

Well out of all of those cards I would prefer the Asus card because of the DirectCU.Although I can't be sure if you can find that exact one.It should look like the one I linked with the black shell covering the heatsink.It's the DirectCU model(DC).

As a second best I would go for the Vapor X.

I'm not sure what you mean.I haven't found any cards that are 800.
August 10, 2011 12:16:15 AM

850/4000 i meant to say xD
The others are either 850/4800 or 900/4800

And i'll ask about it in like 5 hours if its that one or not, so as it seems the HIS one is out of the question and what about the Gigabyte one?

Also i've noticed those bars that come around the cards, are those a additional mean of cooling? (Active cooling?) Been bugging me for a while now.
If so then the gigabyte model should have those aswell no?
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 12:34:23 AM

The default 6770 speeds are 850/4000.When the speeds are higher than those that means that company has O.C.'d the card to increase performance.

The Gigabyte model has a nice factory O.C. and a decent heatsink but it's just my preference to not choose Gigabyte.I personally have just never seen their cards slug it out with the top dogs like MSI and Asus on a regularly basis.But thats just my opinoin.Lots of people like Gigabyte.

As for the HIS cards I don't hear much about them and don't particulary care for them.My impression of them is that they make their cards with cheap componets so they can sell it for cheaper.

The bars are actually pipes.You have pipe's that are connected at the processing chip and then the pipes go into fins where the heat can be disipaited by the fans.
Or am I mistaken?Which card are you talking about?
August 10, 2011 12:52:12 AM

No, you aren't mistaken, thats exactly what i was asking about ;D

Seeing as i'll be barely making it while using a 1080p resolution with this card, wouldn't it be better to buy the Gigabyte's Over-clocked card to increase performance?

Or is it possible to manually OC a asus card to 900/4800 without problems?

Why did you suggest the saphire as a second after the asus tho? ;o
Also how do i find out if a card has Direct CU or not?

EDIT: Doesn't the asus card with direct Cu look like this?
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 6:07:20 PM

Basicly DirectCU means Direct Heatpipe Contact.That means that the heatpipes are directly connected to the surface of the chip so it can disipate heat faster than normal.The picture I linked of a heatsink above is DirectCU.Usually Asus is the only company that does it.

That picture is a of a Asus card with DirectCU but it is a passive cooler(no fan) and you don't want that.Ususally a card that has Direct CU will have something labeldin the name like DC or DirectCU.

It would be better but as you said it is much easier and I think you can reach a much higher O.C. with the Asus card.

I suggested the Toxic after because I've heard lots of good things about the toxic.Really cool temps and nice O.C.'s.
August 10, 2011 6:54:35 PM

I've asked about the Asus card today and indeed it is the DirectCU black one that you provided pictures of, so then should i get it?

And still haven't asnnwered, can you O.C. the card yourself? How safe is it?
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 7:05:18 PM

Yes you can O.C. the card yourself.
It's pretty safe.
You can achieve those Gigabyte clocks on the Asus model rather easily.The Asus card should come with some sort of O.C.ing CD tool.

O.C.ing always has it's own risks.O.C.ing can reduce the lifespan of the card if the temps are to high.But with the Asus card i'm sure you can easily reach a good O.C. without causing harm to it.I would reccmend you hold off on O.C.ing until you fully understand it.Their are plenty of O.C.ing guides in the O.C.ing section here at Tom's.

I wouldn't hesitate to get the Asus model.Go ahead and get it!!!!
August 10, 2011 7:38:05 PM

Thanks alot, i'll do just that, you've been of a great help to me over the past few days, bearing with me all the way, really appreciate it.

Anyhow i can air-mail you a couple of beers? ;D

EDIT: Also was wondering, how is the noise level compared to my old GT220? ;D
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 10, 2011 8:04:08 PM

Well the GT220 isn't a very powerful card at all so you really shouldn't even hear the fan.The bearings probably went bad and a lot of dust could cause it to make a loud noise.

The 6770 is the start end of high performance graphics.High performance GPU's make lots of heat so the fan has to work harder to cool it.Although the DirectCU is good at disipating heat you will still probably hear the fan.All high end GPU's make some sort of noise impact.But one thing is that it's worth having that fan noise because the 6770 is way more powerful than the GT220.

Your Welcome.

Happy Gaming!!!
August 12, 2011 7:11:23 PM

I've also got antoher question.

The MCP on my motherboard is always at 58~60C, sometimes a bit higher, up to 63/65, is that normal or should i take somekind of measures?
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 12, 2011 7:27:59 PM

Whats the MCP?
NB? SB?


Send me a PM when you get the card up and running.Tell me how it is for you.
August 12, 2011 7:29:59 PM

I sure will, also the MCP is the south bridge chipset
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 12, 2011 8:08:39 PM

Those temps are normal for a SB.You can always replace the thermal compound of the heatsink which should decrease temps up to 10c.Also make sure that you have good case airflow.
August 12, 2011 8:42:16 PM

Okay thanks, then just adding a some thermal between the cpu and heatsink should help then ;D

Case airflow is okay i guess, the case has flow passages in the back, at the sides and in front aswell, i also clean the dust every couple of weeks ;D
a c 214 U Graphics card
August 12, 2011 8:50:43 PM

Some additional case fans would also improve airflow.

The thermal compound can be used for all of the chipsets that have a heatsink on the mobo(NB/SB/CPU).

But as I said it's not really a big deal.
!