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Advice on new single slot graphics please & 4850 problem solving

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 9, 2011 12:41:09 PM

I currently have a 4850 single slot card in a P5Q motherboard. From what I can see visually, there *may* be space to fit a dual slot card, but a dual slot card would definitely be rammed RIGHT UP against a card I have directly beneath the pci-e slots on the motherboard layout so I am very aware that a dual slot card would either have next to no air flow, or would damage the card below it in the heat given off directly next to it.

The 4850 runs ok, but is starting to drag in the very latest games, and it's always been way (read: WAY) too loud for my liking under load. Plus playing the latest/intensive games under load have been shutting down or rebooting my system for a while now and the card gets very hot. I'm unsure as to whether this is a heat or power issue. Any help with that would also be appreciated?

But generally I'd like to upgrade the card anyway, it's just a question of whether it has to be single slot to fit in, and what is actually worth upgrading to. Right so my questions would be:

- Has anyone experience of an ASUS P5Q mobo and know if a dual slot will fit and not run into cramming problems?
- I've done a little looking around and seen that there may be single slot 6850's out there but can't find where to buy them? Also worried about buying another localised jetplane to whack in my system again, any advice on this?
- Other than that is the next best option for ATi a 6770? Or is there anything better?
- Have also noticed the 6770 seems to come in both single and dual slot formats so does anyone know anywhere decent to get the single format?
- Is going to a 128-bit card actually going to give me any worthwhile improvement in performance over the 4850?
- Plus (breathe), is there any decent Nvidia single slot cards out there?

My *ideal* wishlist would be: Single slot, Silent/QUIET!, 256-bit memory interface, DX 11 support, no heat problems or stupidly high power consumption.

Ok after looking at the advice on posting about finding new hardware I'm just going to copy & paste the suggested format to make it easier for you guys.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE:~£100 give or take a little (lower the better!)

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Playing any recent games (DX10-11), a lot of Starcraft 2, watch movies

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: HiS 4850 512MB and Corsair 650W

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0ghz, ASUS P5Q, 4GB G-Skill, NZXT Hush Case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anywhere, must be in UK or ship there cheaply

PARTS PREFERENCES: Don't mind if it's Nvidia or ATi, key thing is quietness, dx11 support and fitting in mobo. I would really like a 256-bit memory interface on the card but I realise there's not much out there at the moment in single slot format. Relatively low temps and power usage would be nice but not the most important things.

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440 x 900, I never use any other resolution.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Silent (or there abouts) cards would be prefered. The noise of my current 4850 is far too noticable to me when under full load, and in some games it causes the system to shut down under full load. I haven't figured out yet if this is a power consumption problem or a heat problem (it does get very hot, but I also realise could be power) - Any ideas on this would be appreciated!
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 9, 2011 1:03:13 PM

What is your definition of very hot for the card?, if it gets anywhere near 90c it can't be healthy, take the heatsink apart from the card, blow off any dust that's between the fins and reapply a decent thermal paste like AC MX-4.

Can you take a pic of the inside of your setup? that way I could tell whether or not a dual slot card would fit
December 9, 2011 1:12:54 PM

Right well looking at Catalyst Control Centre right now:

Activity: 6%
Clock speeds 500 / 750
Temp: 88 degrees C
Fan Speed 46%

I think that about says it all, lol! I am not really that confident to be taking things apart. I'll try get a pic to follow and then paste temp details when I'm running SC2 (one of the few most recent games that the card runs stably as I've managed to limit it to 30fps)
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December 9, 2011 2:03:18 PM

Right having looked inside the case again I think I can remember why I've had trouble in the past with larger cards, because there is a ridiculously placed motherboard heatsink to the side of the 2nd PCI-E 1x slot, about 3/4s of the length of a graphics card along, which a dual card would hit/cover. I remember having problems fitting a Sapphire 3870 before I got the 4850 because of it, I had to send it back and get the 4850 because the Sapphire card simply wouldn't fit with that heatsink there. Luckily the audio card in the bottom PCI-E 1x slot is low profile and doesn't obstruct it, but I think a whopping fan or heatsink cover might cause a problem? I could try to get one with a curved design to avoid the heatsink, but that still leaves the question of whether there's enough room below for sufficient air flow?

(Edit: See post below for link to the photo I took for you)

10 minutes with the case side off and a window open in the room (it feels blooming cold to me) the card temp has only dropped to going back and forth between 86 & 87 so I don't think it's a case cooling problem at least.

After 20 minutes of playing SC2 Temp rises to 99 degrees C and the graphics driver actually reset itself during play (no crash or system restart, just the driver) (Edit: the fan speed is also up to 70% at this point and starting to sound like a hairdryer)
a c 107 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 9, 2011 3:48:35 PM

If I remember right you can take that 1x slot card and put it down in one of those longer slots ( 4x ) without harm. that would free up space so you can add a dual slot card. ......... or you can google single slot cards and something will come up. or you can google 6850 ( or whatever ) single slot card and something should come up. they are out there because I've seen them but don't have time to look now.
December 9, 2011 3:58:26 PM

Thanks for the reply but I have been googling my backside off about it all for quite a while and not really finding any definitive answers. One review will contradict another etc. I'm on here looking for some experienced opinions or from people who know all the different card models and options (I know they are out there!) to fill in the blanks of what I have missed/couldn't find out from googling.

With regards to moving the sound card, it is a PCI-E card, not PCI so I can't move it any further down into those slots.
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