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Upgrading 8800GTX

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December 24, 2011 1:22:26 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within next couple weeks BUDGET RANGE: < $200 After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming [CoD MW3, WoW]

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: EVGA 8800GTX and OCZ ModXStream-Pro 700W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core2 Quad 2.4 GHz, MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R 775, 6GB memory; Antec 900 Case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Have always leaned towards NVidia

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI or Crossfire: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Main reason upgrading is that I have been having random game crashes (while playing Call of Duty) with strange noise emitted from speakers. My system is about 4years old and I have completely replaced memory. I'm not sure if it's my GPU failing or my CPU or MB. I don't think it's the PSU because I replaced my PSU about a year ago. Any feedback on this would be appreciated.

I'm looking for a decent card for a reasonable price.

Thanks.

More about : upgrading 8800gtx

a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 1:57:57 AM

Can you get hold of other cards? Do you have a friend that can lend you a GPU? This doesn't really sound like a GPU problem, but it could be.
The best card in that price range is probably the EVGA Superclocked 560, $180 after rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 24, 2011 2:12:53 AM

At that resolution, a 550ti will work and you'll save on the hydro bill lol...

Or, grab a couple of GTX 460's. Some makes/models are around the $100 mark. :) 

Before upgrading the gpu, I would track down what exactly is causing those problems. Check the capacitors on all your gear and make sure none of them look swollen, wet or rusty/dirty.

pEACe
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a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 2:19:07 AM

Don't go 460 SLI. You'll have micro-stuttering problems.
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a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 3:06:39 AM

kajabla said:
Don't go 460 SLI. You'll have micro-stuttering problems.

"Don't go 460 SLI. You'll have micro-stuttering problems." no he wont hell just have excellent performance.
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a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 3:08:49 AM

HockeyDad said:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within next couple weeks BUDGET RANGE: < $200 After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming [CoD MW3, WoW]

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: EVGA 8800GTX and OCZ ModXStream-Pro 700W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core2 Quad 2.4 GHz, MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R 775, 6GB memory; Antec 900 Case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Have always leaned towards NVidia

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI or Crossfire: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Main reason upgrading is that I have been having random game crashes (while playing Call of Duty) with strange noise emitted from speakers. My system is about 4years old and I have completely replaced memory. I'm not sure if it's my GPU failing or my CPU or MB. I don't think it's the PSU because I replaced my PSU about a year ago. Any feedback on this would be appreciated.

I'm looking for a decent card for a reasonable price.

Thanks.

If your into WoW that game likes Nvidia cards and a GTX 275 maxes it out nicely so any card better than that or at leased = is good enough and MW3 will run on anything LOL PS2 graphics engine LOL.
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December 24, 2011 3:09:24 AM

@magikherbs: I'm assuming you're talking about the capacitors on the MB?
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a c 271 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 3:09:47 AM

With a P35 board SLi isn't an option.
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December 24, 2011 3:12:47 AM

A little more detail on the crashes: It seems only Call of Duty: Black Ops and MW3 crashes my computer. Is there something about these games that is causing crashes that my other games such as WoW do not?
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a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 3:37:56 AM

HockeyDad said:
A little more detail on the crashes: It seems only Call of Duty: Black Ops and MW3 crashes my computer. Is there something about these games that is causing crashes that my other games such as WoW do not?

It cause you ripped COD that's why it crashes.WoW was optimized for PC but COD is a cheap console port.
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December 24, 2011 4:52:07 AM

I'm not sure if this is the same problem as you are having but here I go. I had a 8800GT that would crash under heavy ;pad and emit a buzzing from the speakers, the screen would go black, and would require holding down the power button for 4 seconds. After using a graphics card overclocking/monitoring program, I found out my graphics card was overheating. I also found out the default fan profile max fan speed was 37%. I created a custom fan profile that would spin it up to 100% at high loads/temps. This fixed the crashing problem for me.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 5:19:13 AM

newer nvidia drivers also have a sound driver for HDMI/sound. perhaps going back to an earlier driver will fix it.......... or look for and disable or uninstall the nvidia sound driver.


also, anything above a GTS250 is an upgrade. it's about on par with the GTX.
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a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 5:26:46 AM

Dude i run a 9600GT (3.2GB ram [32-bit], C2Q on a G35 mobo) and i could play MW1 and MW2 just fine...the only game that crashes for no apparent reason is BF3 :( 

Anyway, you should investigate further. That odd noise from your speakers should be because of the crash, nothing else, so i'm tempted to ask you to ignore it. Does it sound like the game sounds are looping?

Monitor your GPU temps as Axeman says, there could be an issue there, but i honestly cant imagine a bottleneck because my 9600GT could handle MW2 maxed out with a minimum 43 fps with 4x MSAA, and GPU usage would hit 98% at most (not 99%! :p  )...but wait, i play at 1024x768...ok at your resolution i suspect a bottleneck now...

so i guess check your temps...both GPU and CPU....usage too...

Also, i had weird crashes with FRAPS for some time with almost all games because i had set the output audio format to 192 KHz instead of the default 48 KHz. You could check there, though honestly it seems to be either temperature or something else.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 5:51:43 AM

seems like the DX9 games run fine but not the DX10 or 11 ..??? could be problems with the settings.......... need to be lowered drastically because the older cards can't handle what's being thrown at them.
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Best solution

December 24, 2011 1:46:08 PM

HockeyDad said:
@magikherbs: I'm assuming you're talking about the capacitors on the MB?


I meant any and every part should be checked for bad capacitors. eg.. mobo, gpu and the power supply

Plz do not change the fan profile and/or settings. While that may work in the short term, all that does is mask the problem. If the card is overheating, it is probably due to dust, bad thermal paste, bad case air flow and/or the heatsink's contact area has become warped due to the heat. The motherboard may have warped as well.

And.. I'm with Swifty on the drivers. lol My old GTX 285 didn't seem right with any driver set higher than 258.96. :D 

Speedfan ;)  http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php

pEACe
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a c 106 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 2:27:12 PM

For your budget you can either get a Radeon 6870

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB $164.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or if you want to stick with nVidia a GTX 560

EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Either card is a pretty big upgrade from your single 8800GTX. I would recommend you overclock that Q6600 to get the most out of a new card. After all, at it's stock speed that CPU may be a little slow for some of today's games, but OC'd to 3.4 it shouldn't have a problem ^_^
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a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 7:56:50 PM

Headspin_69 said:
"Don't go 460 SLI. You'll have micro-stuttering problems." no he wont hell just have excellent performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
From the Tom's review: "At least the company's high-end cards work together the way we'd expect. However, sporadic micro-stuttering brings us back to reality time and again. Cards like the GeForce GTX 550 Ti seem to be wasted on a SLI setup for this reason alone, achieving decent frame rates in the charts and nasty micro-stuttering in the real world."
I'd put the 460 in with "cards like the 550 Ti".

Micro-stuttering is not something that can be measured with standard performance numbers. He'll get excellent average FPS numbers, yes, but some of the frames will not be rendered on the screen and will be worthless.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
December 24, 2011 11:01:10 PM

kajabla said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
From the Tom's review: "At least the company's high-end cards work together the way we'd expect. However, sporadic micro-stuttering brings us back to reality time and again. Cards like the GeForce GTX 550 Ti seem to be wasted on a SLI setup for this reason alone, achieving decent frame rates in the charts and nasty micro-stuttering in the real world."
I'd put the 460 in with "cards like the 550 Ti".

Micro-stuttering is not something that can be measured with standard performance numbers. He'll get excellent average FPS numbers, yes, but some of the frames will not be rendered on the screen and will be worthless.

Why are you mentioning a dual card setup again?
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a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2011 2:26:22 PM

Just to correct that misguided post way back. It's been established that it's not possible here, but I felt like the "excellent performance" couldn't be left alone to corrupt future Tom's readers.
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January 2, 2012 11:07:22 PM

Sorry for the delayed response to the posts. I was hesitant about shelling out money for a new video card without knowing if that was the exact problem. Based on Magikherb's suggestion, I decided to take the card out once more and thoroughly inspect it and dust it. This time, I completely removed the fan assembly from the card, exposing the chip. I removed the old thermal past, air dusted really well, then reassembled. Another thing I did, was in the game settings, I set the view to windowed. I tried the game and I think it might have crashed one more time. And after several days now, I haven't had any crashes, even after several hours of play. Unfortunately, I don't know if it was the dust, the paste, or the game setting that did the trick. But, at least, the crashes seem to be gone.
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January 2, 2012 11:08:32 PM

Best answer selected by HockeyDad.
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January 2, 2012 11:43:27 PM

I went back and turned off windowed mode to see if that was the problem. And it was. I jumped in the game and a few minutes in, the game crashed again. I turned windowed mode back on and it worked like a charm. Anyone else have problems with games when run in fullscreen mode?
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