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$300-$350 budget, but old(ish) system

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 4, 2011 12:16:31 AM

My system specs:
GPU - ATI Radeon HD 4870 (sapphire)
PSU - Advance EA4G-650, 650W
CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8500 @3.16GHz, 3.17 GHz. Wolfdale 45nm technology
Mobo- ASUS P5N-MX (socket 775) NVIDIA GeForce 7050 chipset (A2 revision)
RAM - 4GB single-channel DDR2 @266 mhz (4-4-4-11)
Case- Thermaltake Matrix (http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?A...)
Cooling- Eh, bit of a computer newb here, but the case has a TT-1225 12v fan, and apart from the mobo having one on the processor (and the gfx card obviously having one) there's nothing else. So air cooled.
Resolution- Samsung Syncmaster T220HD 1680x1050

Hi everyone. Got this pc custom built by some local guys around 2.5/3 years back. Served me pretty well but i'm finding some games such as Rift can be very choppy indeed with my setup. I've played WoW on occasion (which runs just fine) and starcraft 2 (which is pretty good, can have some issues at highest settings though). But with guild wars 2/sw:tor and sc2: HoTs on the horizon i'd love to be able to have a quality card so that I could play these somewhat taxing games at the highest settings, as well as my current games.

What I mainly want to do, if possible, is buy a high end graphics card which I can use in my current rig for a temporary boost, and add into a new pc in a few months (perhaps not until next year depending on how much cash I can earn working part time in college, I reckon my budget will be around $1000-1200 with a little flexibility depending on market + quality) which I plan on building myself. If this narrows my options too much because of the quality of my current system then no problem, I can wait till I can buy a whole new rig.

But i'd love a little advice to see if I could pull this off :) .

TL:D R - So is there any top cards I could go for with my current system, that would still be pretty damn good in 3-6 months time?

Thanks in advance!


More about : 300 350 budget ish system

September 4, 2011 6:12:12 PM

you should get a new gpu for that budget and overclokc the cpu to make up for the bottleneck get a 560ti and a good cooler for the cpu to oc it
September 4, 2011 8:32:09 PM

Thanks Machielste! Happy to hear my mobo and chipset can handle current gpu's, was half worried.

As I couldn't find a list on this site, is this list of GPU's and their performance more or less accurate? http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html# I know you recommended the 560ti but I can probably afford something slightly better if the prices on that list are roughly correct.

Is there any particular minimum wattage of fan I should be aiming for to overclock with?

Thanks for your time.
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a b U Graphics card
September 4, 2011 11:03:46 PM

Without a proper quad you wont see as much gain as you might think esp. With the ddr2 ram, it's pretty slow. If your CPU doesn't choke it down, and in some cases it will, your ram surely will. It will run fine and you will see a boost in performance but not near as much until you get your new system
September 4, 2011 11:45:07 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
Without a proper quad you wont see as much gain as you might think esp. With the ddr2 ram, it's pretty slow. If your CPU doesn't choke it down, and in some cases it will, your ram surely will. It will run fine and you will see a boost in performance but not near as much until you get your new system


Hm I should have put in my OP that it's 266 x2 (2x 2gb sticks of 266 ddr RAM) or perhaps that goes without saying :p .

Well at least its some boost until I can buy a brand new rig... hmm. Thanks for giving me a ballpark idea though, wouldn't want to be hit with disappointment over a non-massive boost, heh.

My most CPU intensive game atm is Rift @ 92-93% usage, so perhaps a graphics card could make a decent impact on that. I mean I suppose new games coming out may top that, but I hadn't expected my 4 gb of RAM to hold me back. Guess its quality over quantity when it comes to that. Or well, a mix of the two.

Thank you.
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 12:53:09 AM

Mike89_11 said:
Hm I should have put in my OP that it's 266 x2 (2x 2gb sticks of 266 ddr RAM) or perhaps that goes without saying :p .

Well at least its some boost until I can buy a brand new rig... hmm. Thanks for giving me a ballpark idea though, wouldn't want to be hit with disappointment over a non-massive boost, heh.

My most CPU intensive game atm is Rift @ 92-93% usage, so perhaps a graphics card could make a decent impact on that. I mean I suppose new games coming out may top that, but I hadn't expected my 4 gb of RAM to hold me back. Guess its quality over quantity when it comes to that. Or well, a mix of the two.

Thank you.

that's what I figured on the ram, and yeah, still slow, but grats on the new card, and good luck on the new system
September 5, 2011 12:59:44 AM

FlintIronStagg said:
that's what I figured on the ram, and yeah, still slow, but grats on the new card, and good luck on the new system


Cheers.

A final question, I assume then that pretty much any graphics card (the most recent ones I mean) would work with my mobo/chipset so i'm safe to go for the best available?
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 2:51:22 AM

Mike89_11 said:
Cheers.

A final question, I assume then that pretty much any graphics card (the most recent ones I mean) would work with my mobo/chipset so i'm safe to go for the best available?

True, but you wont see the full performance of the card until you upgrade your entire system
September 5, 2011 5:58:41 AM

FlintIronStagg said:
True, but you wont see the full performance of the card until you upgrade your entire system


Thanks, i'll just add it into my new system when I can afford to buy everything else :) .
!