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What should i upgrade first?

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January 13, 2012 6:28:57 PM

my system

8800Gt sli
evga 780i sli mobo
2gb ram ddr2
500gb hard drive
antec 900 case
e8400 cpu @ 3.0ghz
750W Corsair modular psu


what should i upgrade first?
and something that will have a great impact?

I'm using 32bit and probably won't reinstall for a bit, so i think ram is useless.

needs: playing WoW at high settings without any lag.

with my current system, i lag everytime im in major cities, and lag outside as well.

Its unplayable and frustrating to say the least.

More about : upgrade

a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 6:41:01 PM

You should definitely upgrade your GPU first if your board allows for PCI-e x 2.1.

Otherwise a lot of that hardware is really old, you could be due for a full system overhaul. Save the hard drive, case, and PSU, but you could definitely update the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and GPU.
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January 13, 2012 6:51:06 PM

why do i need pci-e x2.1?

i have 2 x16 PCI Express 2.0 which should be good enough right?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 7:39:55 PM

I do not think 2gb of ram is sufficient today. After deducting for required hardware areas on a 32 bit os, you may only have 1.5gb or less to work with.
I think you would do well to add another 2gb.

It is not clear to me if your problem is with the cpu or the graphics configuration.
To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

Another possible issue is microstuttering which is more prevalent with dual cards of lower power.
Read this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

If you should change to a single strong card, your 750w psu is strong enough to handle any single graphics card sold today.
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January 13, 2012 8:08:27 PM

im thinking of upgrading my graphics card now and waiting for ivy to upgrade cpu

problem with upgrading ram is ddr2 is still relatively expensive

gnuit mentioned something about pci 2.1

why do i need pci-e x2.1?

i have 2 x16 PCI Express 2.0 which should be good enough right?

which card should i get?

my subscription for WoW isnt active so i cant run those tests

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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 8:15:13 PM

princeth said:
im thinking of upgrading my graphics card now and waiting for ivy to upgrade cpu

problem with upgrading ram is ddr2 is still relatively expensive

gnuit mentioned something about pci 2.1

why do i need pci-e x2.1?

i have 2 x16 PCI Express 2.0 which should be good enough right?

which card should i get?

my subscription for WoW isnt active so i cant run those tests


Most graphics cards now require either PCI-e x 2.0 or x2.1 x 16 to get the fastest speeds possible (I had an EVGA tech tell me this when I was getting SLI setup). As for which one you should get that all depends on what you want to spend and if you want to run multiple monitors or not.

RAM is still relatively cheap - whether you get DDR2 or DDR3 doesn't matter. Try something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 8:16:41 PM

princeth said:
im thinking of upgrading my graphics card now and waiting for ivy to upgrade cpu

problem with upgrading ram is ddr2 is still relatively expensive

gnuit mentioned something about pci 2.1

why do i need pci-e x2.1?

i have 2 x16 PCI Express 2.0 which should be good enough right?

which card should i get?

my subscription for WoW isnt active so i cant run those tests


I am not much in favor of temporary changes either. DDR2 is more expensive, but would be an effective change. When you abandom ddr2, it will still have a market value on e-bay.

You don't need pcie 2.0,2.1, or 3.0 either, at least not with today's graphics cards. The real fps difference is miniscule.

Something like a GTX570, or 6970 should run anything well on a single 1080P monitor.

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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 8:22:58 PM

geofelt said:
I am not much in favor of temporary changes either. DDR2 is more expensive, but would be an effective change. When you abandom ddr2, it will still have a market value on e-bay.

You don't need pcie 2.0,2.1, or 3.0 either, at least not with today's graphics cards. The real fps difference is miniscule.

Something like a GTX570, or 6970 should run anything well on a single 1080P monitor.


Um... what? Your graphics card won't work properly in a slot that isn't. Most motherboards today usually have 2.1 as the standard, only a few higher end ones have 3.0.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 8:44:06 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Um... what? Your graphics card won't work properly in a slot that isn't. Most motherboards today usually have 2.1 as the standard, only a few higher end ones have 3.0.


Correct me if I am wrong, but pcie 1/2/3 slots are both forward and backward compatible.
The main impact is what the maximum data transfer rate is, and that real world impact is small:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GTX_480_PCI-E...
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 8:45:07 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Um... what? Your graphics card won't work properly in a slot that isn't. Most motherboards today usually have 2.1 as the standard, only a few higher end ones have 3.0.


A slot that isn't what?

A mid range card won't even saturate 1.0 x16 bandwidth. PCIe is backward compatible. A 2.1 card should work fine in a 1.0 slot. If it doesn't it is because either the card or the slot do not conform properly to PCIe specs:

A quick primer on PCIe:

http://www.10stripe.com/featured/quick/pci-express-2-0....
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 10:55:01 PM

phensen said:
A slot that isn't what?

A mid range card won't even saturate 1.0 x16 bandwidth. PCIe is backward compatible. A 2.1 card should work fine in a 1.0 slot. If it doesn't it is because either the card or the slot do not conform properly to PCIe specs:

A quick primer on PCIe:

http://www.10stripe.com/featured/quick/pci-express-2-0....


Maybe the tech told me incorrectly but what I've been told is that for all cards to properly function you must have them operating in the fastest slots on the motherboard which are usually PCI-E x 2.0 x 16. And that if they're installed in the x8 or x4 slots they won't get the full functionality on them. Of course if I'm wrong about this I'd like to know what the correct way to do this is.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2012 11:39:45 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Maybe the tech told me incorrectly but what I've been told is that for all cards to properly function you must have them operating in the fastest slots on the motherboard which are usually PCI-E x 2.0 x 16. And that if they're installed in the x8 or x4 slots they won't get the full functionality on them. Of course if I'm wrong about this I'd like to know what the correct way to do this is.


He told you true, up to a point.

For a graphics card, there is perhaps a 1% difference in fps when installed in a x8 vs x16 slot, and that is only for the very fastest cards.
Full functionality-no.
True..yes. Meaningful...no.

Between a X8 vs X4 slot, perhaps 10%.
That is an unlikely scenario, but possible, and a bit more meaningful.
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