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New graphics card for core 2 duo 1.8GHz system with 4Gb ram

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October 6, 2011 2:49:47 PM

Hello,
My old nvidia 7600GT has stopped working and I'm looking for a replacement.

I run an ancient system with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, most likely E6300, at approx 1.8Gb. The system has 4Gb RAM and a 500W power source.

I'm willing to spend around 150$ to get a new graphics card and I was wondering if it would be possible to jump start the old system to run modern games by just upgrading the GPU or is the processor too old and I would be better of getting a cheap (and silent) GPU instead?

Also, will the 500W power supply be enough for the modern monsters?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
October 6, 2011 3:10:37 PM

woundedk said:
Hello,
My old nvidia 7600GT has stopped working and I'm looking for a replacement.

I run an ancient system with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, most likely E6300, at approx 1.8Gb. The system has 4Gb RAM and a 500W power source.

I'm willing to spend around 150$ to get a new graphics card and I was wondering if it would be possible to jump start the old system to run modern games by just upgrading the GPU or is the processor too old and I would be better of getting a cheap (and silent) GPU instead?

Also, will the 500W power supply be enough for the modern monsters?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.


I just upgraded my 9800gt to a 6870. Im running an overclocked e8500 core2duo at 4.2Ghz and 4gb of ddr2.

I can play Starcraft 2 on ultra settings at 1650x900 with no fps lag. ( just an example has we have kinda similar builds )

I think you would need to try overclock your cpu to around 3Ghz otherwise your cpu will bottleneck your graphivs cRd
really badly. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to play Bf3 on low or medium settings at a good resolution with no fps lag.

What games are you wanting to play? and are you willing to upgrade now or anytime soon?

October 6, 2011 3:14:33 PM

I was first thinking about a GTX460 or GTX560, but the power requirements might be too steep for my old machine.

Asus ENGTS450 DC SL/DI/1GD3 1 GB Silent
might be a reasonable option though it's not as near powerful.
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October 6, 2011 3:22:20 PM

an amd 6850 should have no problem, then you can carry it over to a new machine and get a 2nd (crossfire).

The scalability of the 6850 is very impressive.
October 6, 2011 3:22:58 PM

Whomastadon said:
I just upgraded my 9800gt to a 6870. Im running an overclocked e8500 core2duo at 4.2Ghz and 4gb of ddr2.

I can play Starcraft 2 on ultra settings at 1650x900 with no fps lag. ( just an example has we have kinda similar builds )

I think you would need to try overclock your cpu to around 3Ghz otherwise your cpu will bottleneck your graphivs cRd
really badly. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to play Bf3 on low or medium settings at a good resolution with no fps lag.

What games are you wanting to play? and are you willing to upgrade now or anytime soon?


Thanks for the information, this is already very helpful though your processor is quite a few steps above mine.

I haven't really thought about what I want to play since the GPU fried last night and I need a replacement soon. Playing modern games hasn't really been an option for a while so my gaming focus has been on the xbox360 for last year or two.

BF3 would be nice and my standards for good quality graphics are pretty low after the 7600GT so low settings would not be a huge problem :) 

Your processor is quite a bit more powerful than mine so it might still be a problem for me. Though you seem to be doing so well that it gives hope for my system as well.

I'm not planning to upgrade the other components if I can avoid it. Therefore I'm asking for advice about if I can actually make a modest gaming rig with a simple gpu upgrade or if i should just settle for a cheap gpu and play minesweeper :) 
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2011 3:25:59 PM

Your processor is going to keep you from playing modern games very well, I would just get something cheap and quiet like an HD 5570 unless you think you might upgrade the rest of your system soon and want something to last you for your next build.
October 6, 2011 3:45:42 PM

HD5570 seems to be hard to find in Finland at the moment and the delivery times seem to be 2 to 4 weeks so it's out of the question. Any thoughts on the GTS450 silent?
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2011 3:53:03 PM

the GTS450 is a better card than a 5570, just a little slower than an HD 5770, but it's usually kind of overpriced here in the U.S. so it doesn't get recommended alot, It is a solid lower mid-range card that would do well with your system, but a 5770 or 6770 can usually be found close to the same price and they are a little better. A 6570 or 6670 would be good options as well if they are available where you are.


a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2011 4:07:15 PM

I'd like to ask you about the PSU that you have. What is the manufacturer of your PSU?
You are going to be limited in buying a GPU since your CPU won't be able to cope much with it. You can always overclock it or you can upgrade your CPU to a decent Core 2 Quad.
The GTS450 is an okay card, as stated, it is slower than a HD 5770/6770, but the factory OC'd ones are faster.

You should upgrade your CPU first. Then go for a better video card. :) 
October 6, 2011 4:33:40 PM

If I had a working GPU, upgrading the CPU first might be an option :) 
What's the price range for reasonable (by no means high-end) processors these days?

The 5770/6770-series seem to be about 40$ more expensive than the GTS450 silent.
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2011 5:04:46 PM

You can get cheap Phenom II X 4 CPUs today. They are decent and cheap quad cores. But that means you'll have to upgrade your motherboard.
Unless you overclock your CPU just a little bit, it may bottleneck the GTS 450 as well. But there would only be a slight bottleneck. :) 
October 6, 2011 5:06:20 PM

Honestly, your at the point it where it's not worth sinking 150 into your computer. But it just depends on what games you want to run and what settings you care to run them at. What settings and games are looking at possibly playing?

You could probably run battlefield 3 with your computer and a gts 450 if you over clocked the processor to around 2.6ghz. but I definitely think your processor is the limiting factor though right now.
October 6, 2011 6:06:42 PM

Well, basically I need the computer up and running for other things than gaming. Gaming would just be a nice bonus, that I would be willing to spend a 150$ on. But I guess I'll get something semi-decent for $100 or slightly below and keep on xboxing :) 

Thanks for all the comments!
October 6, 2011 7:11:44 PM

Yes, for your computer I'd suggest not spending to much on it until you're ready to get a new computer. Get one of the video cards mentioned at the cheapest price you can. I think the gts 450 would probably be the best card for your system, you should notice quite an improvement over your 7600gt. The only thing is, if your running your processor at stalk clocks then it will be the limiting factor. If you upped the clocks 400mghz than I'm sure you'd get a decent amount of performance out of it and not have to upgrade the rest of your system.

The 6670 is a good alternative over the gts 450 if you can find it for a cheaper price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 4:11:20 AM

The HD6670 does come close to a GTS450 on some occasions and it's a lot less power hungry as well.

But I'm, asking our OP this question again,

What is the manufacturer of your PSU? The model name too.
October 7, 2011 10:03:58 AM

Unfortunately I'm at work and can't remember the manufacturer or the model of the PSU. It is a 500W PSU and if I had to guess the manufacturer could be a Chieftech.
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 10:49:01 AM

If it's chieftech, then it's okay. :) 
It can handle a GTS 450 without a problem.
October 7, 2011 2:37:54 PM

Thank you all for the input. I am now a happy owner of Asus 6770 DirectCU Silent. I went to the biggest local shop with the models suggested in this thread in mind and from the available selection the silent model seemed to be clearly the best power/price-deal even though my current setup will not be able to make use of all of the available power.
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 4:54:44 PM

You're next upgrade would be the CPU then.. :) 
October 7, 2011 7:07:07 PM

Actually the next step will mean upgrading the motherboard, CPU and the memory... Luckily, the GPU upgrade was immensely more powerful than I dreamed. Haven't tested too many games yet since I haven't (understandably) had any really new games, but Borderlands went from barely playable 1024x768 with minimum details to smooth 1920x1080 with full detail. It's amazing what one billion(!) transistors can do :) 

So I'm more than happy for the time being and I'll have plenty of time to plan the next step :) 

For anyone with similar problems I can say: go for a mid-range GPU and be amazed.
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 3:57:21 AM

I'm going to get one of them actually, (The HD6770). Still facing some obstacles though...
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