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Help on Buying a New Graphic Card for Skyrim and beyond

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October 26, 2011 3:13:07 AM

Hey guys, I need some advice on a new Video card, my wife is buying me one for a early xmas present and I have about 350 to 400 dollars for a new one. Now I have a Nvidia 8800 GTX 768 currently but I am mainly upgrading at this point for Skyrim in a few weeks, because I want to play that game on high settings and nothing less.

Current Specs:
Windows Vista 64 Bit
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40 Ghz (4CPUs)
4094 MB RAM
Direct X10
NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX 768
1000 Watt PSU

Not the greatest computer in the world, but a PC upgrade is out of the question. I have looked at my local BestBuy store and they recommend a EVGA-Geforce GTX 560 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 and or the TI superclocked version for 259.00. If this is recommended, which would I go for the Superclocked or regular?

I was also told about the GeForce GTX 570 SuperClocked Video Card - 1280MB, GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0 (x16), Dual DVI, Mini HDMI, DirectX 11, SLI Ready card.

Pretty much, like I said, I am upgrading for Skyrim and it has to play Skyrim on max settings but this new card has to last me for the next 3 yrs at the very least. Going to be playing SWTOR as well but I am positive any card that is an upgrade to what I have now is going to be awesome for TOR.

So any advice you guys give me is most appreciative. I am not the most computer savvy person in the world so please explain the whys I should and what I shouldn't so I can better understand.

Thanks guys
a b Î Nvidia
a c 109 U Graphics card
October 26, 2011 3:46:10 AM

what about a Radeon 6950 2gb?
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October 26, 2011 8:18:33 AM

Hi Chris

they will likely all be bottlenecked by the Q6600 imho

I speak from experience as I have a Q6600 in a redundant Dell system here and it bottlenecks (slightly) a single GTX 460



another 4GB ram wouldnt hurt but not a huge issue



the 1000W PSU would be enough for 2 x GTX 580 (sli), did the machine come with that or did you upgrade?



you will certainly see some improvement in latest and future gaming with an upgrade, for instance 560/560ti/570/6950 etc can all cope well with Battlefield 3 that was released this week - it's a monster of a game and taxes your GPU and system more than most games on the market today.

I'd recommend looking into overclocking the Q6600 towards the 3GHz mark if you do upgrade the video card. You'll need a good CPU cooler (are you using the stock intel cooler that came with the CPU?) If the CPU can not be overclocked due to your current motherboard or temperature issues I would suggest not looking higher than a good factory overclocked GTX 560 like these:

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

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

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


whilst you may be able to get better performance from the 560ti / 570 (compared to the 560) I dont think the extra cost will be worth it if you are still bound by the Q6600 @ 2.4GHz

Is this a Dell machine by any chance? what kind of resolution are you looking to play at? 1600x900, 1920x1080,
multiple monitors?


chaz



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October 26, 2011 9:11:25 AM

Its an Eagletech Dragon Aluminium Gaming Tower case for starters, as far as the 1000, I upgraded at the time of purchase through Ibuypower.com.

Thermaltake MaxOrb CPU Cooling Fan System Kit Silent & Overclocking efficiency for queit and performance, so yea that was the cooler that was designed for it.

For resolution I usually play in 1920x1080 in all my games.

Thanks
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October 26, 2011 9:16:26 AM

I also noted that these cards you linked are all 1gb, and not 2 gig, are the 2 gigs gonna cause my cpu to overheat or is it just overkill and wont do me any good, or should I say bottlenecking as you call it?
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 109 U Graphics card
October 26, 2011 9:21:17 AM

Chris7636 said:
I also noted that these cards you linked are all 1gb, and not 2 gig, are the 2 gigs gonna cause my cpu to overheat or is it just overkill and wont do me any good, or should I say bottlenecking as you call it?

2gb will be good if you play at 1080p
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a b U Graphics card
October 26, 2011 9:45:56 AM

The amount of memory on the GPU is not the issue here; your CPU will not be fast enough to allow a card such as the 560 to really stretch its legs. Since you don't plan to upgrade the rest of the PC, spending money on an expensive high-end GPU is a bit of a waste.

I agree with cps1974; a decent cooler + CPU overclock + new GPU will be the best option.
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October 26, 2011 10:44:13 AM

for most if not all current games 2GB is not really utilized and a bit of overkill from what I have read - that said there are rumblings that BF3 has changed that - a clan friend of mine reckoned BF3 on ultra (1920x1080 I think) was using almost 1.5GB (his card has 2GB or 3GB RAM)

what a great looking case, exactly what motherboard do you have? I'd suggest you do some cpu temperature testing @ load in the current set up to see if you have room for CPU OC without the CPU getting toasty (if you need me to name software you can use let me know)

the cpu will be the biggest problem for anything over and including GTX 460 imo

Ive taken a look at the cooler - it looks similar to my stock intel cooler for i5-2500K, reviews suggests you can get better - of course you need to make sure you can (a) overclock the cpu with your motherboard and (b) the cooler will actually fit in the case without infringing upon any lanes/cards that you intend to use. see this review of your cpu cooler - thermaltake V1 beats it by approx 5c or 6c at load and idle.. http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/ttmaxorb/4.htm (they used a similar cpu to yours, Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor, stock @ 2.4GHz and OC @ 2.7GHz


here's a comparision/review of different coolers, bear in mind it's from 2008 - not sure you will find more recent tests using socket 775 due to the number of CPU's that have hit market since

http://www.dragonsteelmods.com/index.php?option=com_con...

if you need to reduce temps by a few extra degrees Ive just found this and educated myself at same time... lapping the cpu cooler.. http://www.overclockersclub.com/guides/lapping/

anyway, im getting carried away now - back to BF3 for me



chaz




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November 5, 2011 9:57:38 AM

Best answer selected by Chris7636.
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