Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Graphics card & CPU upgrade question

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 15, 2011 1:38:19 AM

I am thinking of buying a cheap graphics card to update my computer till I can spend a bunch on a more modern build. I was running two 8800GTSs with an AMD Athlon x2 5600+ on an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe mobo with 4 gigs of ram. One of my cards started artifacting really bad so I had to remove it. I've been running on the one for a while now, waiting on the new AMD proc's to do a new build.

Anyway, a new build isn't in my cards for now so I'm trying to get my PC up to Skyrim standards. I have a friend that will give me his old Phenom II X4 945 and according to the Asus website I should be able to run this am3 cpu in my am2 board. Is that right? Here's the CPU list from Asus, according to this the only thing I will loose is the LAN boot rom which I don't need. Am I reading that right?

http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/list.aspx?SLanguage=...

And I'm thinking of a 2GB GTX550 for a video card, I think the extra video memory will be a little more future proof for me. I run a small monitor and low resolutions but like to max textures and look good stuff. In that scenario a slower card with more Vram would be beneficial right? Also, I do a lot of solid modeling. Sometimes pretty big assemblies with lots of individual parts. I think more Vram would be better than a fast card with less memory but I really have no idea. I only occasionally need to work on stuff like that at home, so it's not the top priority.

Would it be reasonable to say that a PC like this would be on the mid to tail end for the next 6 months? I thought I would be able to make it on my PC as it is now but I can't run Skyrim at all and I'm rather upset about that :fou: 

Thanks guys!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
November 15, 2011 1:55:22 AM

Hey there! Sorry bout your 8800 failing, those were good cards.

Hmm, that's a good question. I did a little digging, and it looks like your board is AM2+ compatible, but not AM3 compatible. That means no-go.

However, you could very cheaply ($100) upgrade your mobo and ram to the new generation. DDR3 memory will feel a bunch faster, I can tell you that.

Now, the video card. A GTX 550 Ti 2GB is a bad idea. It's just not what you need! 1GB of Vram is never used at resolutions under 1080p, no matter what the textures are. Only when you get to 2560x1600 or multi-monitor displays do you need that extra GB of Vram. It's a marketing ploy, mostly. More unfortunately doesn't equal better all the time.

Instead, I recommend a 6870. It's about the same price, but has much more performance.

So, lemme know! Cheers!
m
0
l
November 15, 2011 3:34:53 AM

striker410 said:
Hey there! Sorry bout your 8800 failing, those were good cards.

Hmm, that's a good question. I did a little digging, and it looks like your board is AM2+ compatible, but not AM3 compatible. That means no-go.

However, you could very cheaply ($100) upgrade your mobo and ram to the new generation. DDR3 memory will feel a bunch faster, I can tell you that.

Now, the video card. A GTX 550 Ti 2GB is a bad idea. It's just not what you need! 1GB of Vram is never used at resolutions under 1080p, no matter what the textures are. Only when you get to 2560x1600 or multi-monitor displays do you need that extra GB of Vram. It's a marketing ploy, mostly. More unfortunately doesn't equal better all the time.

Instead, I recommend a 6870. It's about the same price, but has much more performance.

So, lemme know! Cheers!


Are you sure the AM3 cpu wont work on my board? According to wikipedia AM3 is pin compatible and backwards compatible (with mobo bios upgrades) with AM2+ and AM2 mobos. Asus apparently went up to beta with AM3 bios with my board (lucky!) so I think I can make it work. Either way I'll report back with how it worked since the thing is free anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_AM2

It is a shame that 8800 died, but according to wikipedia socket AM2 was released in 06, the first dual core cpus available were Windsor chips and that's what I'm running so this thing is probably about 5 years old and I'm just now not able to run games at all any more. That's epic!

I thought the extra memory might not be needed, but do you have a suggestion other than ATI? I don't much care for ATI and would like to be able to SLI two cards in case I have to wait even longer to build again.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
November 15, 2011 1:22:28 PM

Yeah, I suppose give it a spin on the board. Dunno if it'll work, but worth a shot!

Well, you can "SLI" 2 AMD (ATI) cards. It's called crossfire. The reason I suggested AMD is simply because right now, AMD offers a better value on low end cards.
The 6870 is about on par with a GTX 460 in price, but it beats it in frames per second. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=313 The gap gets even bigger in Crossfire. Therefore, the 6870 is a better deal.

However if you are TOTALLY against AMD, a GTX 460 can be found for as little as $170. A deal.
m
0
l
November 17, 2011 1:36:16 PM

I can't do Crossfire. My chipset is Nvidia, SLI only. I guess I'll have to learn to like ATI now that AMD owns them, but not on this build!

I think I'm going to go with a 460 for now, possibly another one later. Those numbers are plenty close for me, I'm not a hardcore gamer really and I doubt I'll notice a decrease of 5-10 FPS or so.

I am getting to build a FX pc anyway, even if it is just for work. I'm still happy! Might need that AM3 processor to upgrade my board bios for the FX cpu though.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2011 2:43:18 PM

red07g5 said:
I can't do Crossfire. My chipset is Nvidia, SLI only. I guess I'll have to learn to like ATI now that AMD owns them, but not on this build!

I think I'm going to go with a 460 for now, possibly another one later. Those numbers are plenty close for me, I'm not a hardcore gamer really and I doubt I'll notice a decrease of 5-10 FPS or so.

I am getting to build a FX pc anyway, even if it is just for work. I'm still happy! Might need that AM3 processor to upgrade my board bios for the FX cpu though.

Yeah, I hear ya! I was thinking if you get a new board, CFX is the way to go. But a pair of GTX 460's is certainly no slouch.
m
0
l
November 20, 2011 5:53:07 PM

Well the CPU upgrade worked, mostly. The arrow keys no longer work in BIOS, only the numpad arrows. Also the BIOS didn't pick up the multiplier of my CPU right, it auto set it to 5 instead of 15.

So in case anyone else was wondering, you can run an AM3 CPU in an AM2 board.
m
0
l
!