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Confused on upgrade path

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March 8, 2012 2:07:53 PM

Hello. I built my system about a year ago to date...

I have an intel SSD but it's on a 3gb/s mobo.. so it's not operating to it's full potential.

I'm getting some money in a few days and I'm unsure if I want to do a motherboard upgrade to get a 6gb/s motherboard or not, I have a 6850 GFX card that is artifacting, just a little. The thing is this card only artifacts ONCE IN AWHILE when I'm not gaming. It does it after I power the pc on, in a few spots in various areas on the screen... then I don't see it again, until a fresh boot.

Should I get a new GFX card or go ahead and do the mobo upgrade I've been wanting? Is my GFX card on the way out?

More about : confused upgrade path

a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2012 4:56:25 PM

There was a pretty interesting article here recently that covered exactly what you're talking about:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sata-6gbps-performa...

If you don't want to read the whole thing, the short summary is that yes, 6 Gb/s SATA will increase the performance of an SSD somewhat over 3 Gb/s- but even with a 3Gb/s connection, any SSD will blow away any mechanical hard drive. In other words, if you upgraded from a bicycle to a sports car for a 1-mile race, it wouldn't really matter whether you drove the sports car 120 mph or 140 mph; the practical benefit would be that you weren't going at bicycle speeds.

Also, since you specifically mentioned Intel, it would help to know which particular SSD you have. Intel makes both 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s SSDs, so if you happen to have the former, that settles the question for you.

In any case, I'd focus on the video card issue if you want an overall better experience. Don't know what to make of the "artifacting" without seeing it, since it's at startup; I've seen systems briefly display all kinds of garbage when you first turn them on without anything actually being wrong with the GPU itself. So that may or may not be a real sign of trouble. One thing you might consider is getting a second 6850 for crossfire - they do well and it would be inexpensive. Best case, you have a great setup for little money; worst case you're back where you started and if the card really is on its way out, maybe you can get a warranty exchange anyway.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2012 5:32:42 PM

capt_taco said:
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In any case, I'd focus on the video card issue if you want an overall better experience. Don't know what to make of the "artifacting" without seeing it, since it's at startup; I've seen systems briefly display all kinds of garbage when you first turn them on without anything actually being wrong with the GPU itself. So that may or may not be a real sign of trouble. One thing you might consider is getting a second 6850 for crossfire - they do well and it would be inexpensive. Best case, you have a great setup for little money; worst case you're back where you started and if the card really is on its way out, maybe you can get a warranty exchange anyway.


I'd definitely agree with upgrading the video card especially with the new 7870s on the horizon, but knowing your motherboard and make / model would also help to identify the issue at hand.
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