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Buying a new GPU.

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February 8, 2012 8:12:23 PM

Note: I do not want Nvidia and would prefer Sapphire over xfx/asus/gigabyte unless you can change my mind.


I'm looking to buy a new Ati/AMD GPU and I've got my eyes on this SAPPHIRE HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCIE which I really want I've spent all day reading reviews and looking at real life comparisons of this GPU to others and I've decided I definitely want this baby! But my Questions are:

Is my CPU good enough to keep up with this monster? Will it hold the GPU back?

Is 500w PSU enough? I've read up on it and apparently a lot of people have no problem with using a 500w PSU.
Does my PSU have the 2 extra power wires to power the GPU? If it doesn't how can I get them?
Here is what I'm talking about, hit ctrl+f and search for "75 watt"

What about my MOBO? Any problems with that?

£140 is the max I want to pay for a new GPU (I have found this GPU at £137 on amazon) and I will buy a better PSU if recommended to do so within good reason.

I mainly play games on my PC and can run most games like WoW and Skyrim on relatively high settings compared to most of my family and friends but of course I'm the only real gamer I know but I also know my system is WEAK right now and im just wondering if all I need is a new GPU to keep with the times.I'm not looking to run the best games on the planet with 54684 FPS. I just want a good upgrade.

If you guys don't think this GPU is right for me then which GPU would you recommend?


My system Specs:

Operating System
MS Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit (Soon to be 64bit)
CPU
Intel Pentium E6500 @ 2.93GHz
RAM
3.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 266MHz (4-4-4-12) (Soon to be 6-8gb @ 1333MHz)
Motherboard
Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. EP41-UD3L (Socket 775)
Graphics
2243W (1920x1080@59Hz)
ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series (XFX Pine Group) (HD Radeon 4650) (Mine has 1gb RAM)
PSU
EZCool Silent 500Watt ATX PSU

More about : buying gpu

February 8, 2012 8:32:47 PM

That card is a good match. In fact I wouldn't get anything more costly than that card due to bottlenecking from the CPU. But it's a pretty good matchup, and you should be happy with the results. You don't even need a new PSU.
February 8, 2012 8:46:40 PM

festerovic said:
That card is a good match. In fact I wouldn't get anything more costly than that card due to bottlenecking from the CPU. But it's a pretty good matchup, and you should be happy with the results. You don't even need a new PSU.


What about these wires then?

Quote:
Does my PSU have the 2 extra power wires to power the GPU? If it doesn't how can I get them?
Here is what I'm talking about, hit ctrl+f and search for "75 watt"


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February 8, 2012 8:48:27 PM

u ABSOLUTLEY should get a better processor than that a 6870 is a good choice though
February 8, 2012 8:50:27 PM

xtremegamer2da-max said:
u ABSOLUTLEY should get a better processor than that a 6870 is a good choice though



Could you explain why you think I need a better CPU? Ive never seen it go above 70% on my most demanding games. Which is good enough for me, It's always my ram and GPU holding me back.
February 8, 2012 9:34:26 PM

If I were you I would wait a week. According to MSI, HD7770 and HD7750 isnt far away. And maybe If you wait a few weeks more 7870 and 7850 will be an option too :) .
February 8, 2012 9:44:18 PM

Silba said:
Will they bump the price of the 6870 down? And how expensive and good are they compared to the 6870?

Sadly I have the feeling that this depends entirely to when nvidia shall answer. We need price wars so we can benefit from them :D .
I think that 7770 will perfom better than 6870 and it will have better price. But I am not sure.
One thing is for sure. Within 6 days we will know :) 
February 8, 2012 9:46:02 PM

Memnarchon said:
Sadly I have the feeling that this depends entirely to when nvidia shall answer. We need price wars so we can benefit from them :D .
I think that 7770 will perfom better than 6870 and it will have better price. But I am not sure.
One thing is for sure. Within 6 days we will know :) 



thanks alot for the info, ill wait for it to come out then wait a while for everyone to benchmark it and read up on some reviews and see what its like :) 
February 8, 2012 9:52:11 PM

Silba said:
thanks alot for the info, ill wait for it to come out then wait a while for everyone to benchmark it and read up on some reviews and see what its like :) 


You welcome :)  Cant wait to see the reviews too ^^
February 8, 2012 10:00:30 PM

It usually takes a while for a price drop when the new models come out. So factor that in if you need something soon.

Re; the power connectors, most cards come with molex-PCIe 6 pin connector adapters included, 2 if they have 2 power connectors on the card. If not order some with your card.
February 8, 2012 10:04:28 PM

festerovic said:
It usually takes a while for a price drop when the new models come out. So factor that in if you need something soon.

Re; the power connectors, most cards come with molex-PCIe 6 pin connector adapters included, 2 if they have 2 power connectors on the card. If not order some with your card.


Thanks :)  I've never bought a GPU before so I didnt know it would come with them or even the name for them... I've always made do with what was already inside my desktops :pt1cable: 
February 8, 2012 10:09:43 PM

In a worst case scenario they will give you the 2 molex = 1 PCIe connector. That would mean if you received two of these, they would require 4 free molex adapters from your PSU, is that going to work?
February 8, 2012 10:12:05 PM

Actually sapphire lists this on the accessories for the card you linked:

6 PIN to 4 PIN Power Cable x 2

That usually means 1 cable, and the other should be the regular PCIe 6 pin connector from the PSU. Your PSU already has 1 PCIe 6 pin power wire doesn't it?
February 8, 2012 10:16:34 PM

festerovic said:
Actually sapphire lists this on the accessories for the card you linked:

6 PIN to 4 PIN Power Cable x 2

That usually means 1 cable, and the other should be the regular PCIe 6 pin connector from the PSU. Your PSU already has 1 PCIe 6 pin power wire doesn't it?


I've just looked for myself, I don't see a single wire coming out of my PSU that turns into a 6pin anything.
Or even any free slots....


HMM How big is this connector we are talking about? i think i have a small one with 6 holes
February 8, 2012 10:20:23 PM

Silba said:
HMM How big is this connector we are talking about? i think i have a small one with 6 holes




The first one (left) is what it should like and the 2nd (right) one is what festerovic was talking about "they will give you the 2 molex = 1 PCIe connector"
February 8, 2012 10:27:17 PM

Memnarchon said:
http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/pcie6.jpg

The first one (left) is what it should like and the 2nd (right) one is what festerovic was talking about "they will give you the 2 molex = 1 PCIe connector"


I've nothing like those black connectors coming from my PSU, The only connector I can see that is free is a 4pin white socket.
February 8, 2012 10:31:21 PM

do you have 4 molex free coming from the PSU? Two of the adapter cables would suffice if the amperage from the PSU is enough (I and others on this thread believe it's not sufficient). So In Theory it would work with 2 of those cables and enough free molex in your system.
February 8, 2012 10:33:32 PM

Silba said:
I've nothing like those black connectors coming from my PSU, The only connector I can see that is free is a 4pin white socket.


Only one? not even two? Well you might consider on changing psu too, unless there is one more 4pin somewhere and you can free it (like a 2nd dvd rom)
February 8, 2012 10:37:42 PM

Memnarchon said:
Only one? not even two? Well you might consider on changing psu too, unless there is one more 4pin somewhere and you can free it (like a 2nd dvd rom)


festerovic said:
do you have 4 molex free coming from the PSU? Two of the adapter cables would suffice if the amperage from the PSU is enough (I and others on this thread believe it's not sufficient). So In Theory it would work with 2 of those cables and enough free molex in your system.



I've got 2 :)  I just tested 2 which I thought were duds because they were split off of my fan and HDD, got my volt meter out and I measured 5v and 12v on both molex?(4 pin white socket) connectors.

So would that 6 pin socket plug into both of these and then be enough to power the 6870?
February 8, 2012 11:00:39 PM

Silba said:
I've got 2 :)  I just tested 2 which I thought were duds because they were split off of my fan and HDD, got my volt meter out and I measured 5v and 12v on both molex?(4 pin white socket) connectors.

So would that 6 pin socket plug into both of these and then be enough to power the 6870?


I am afraid that its not possible. I dont know if festerovic can suggest a different solution but if you want to keep your current psu then:

1st. Go for 6850 http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1... it requires only 1 6pin.
2nd. Wait for HD7xxx that can use only 1 6pin. They will probably be superior to what 6xxx can offer with one 6pin.

Now if you want to change your psu then you can place a good psu (like a CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which is a great value for money and able to power almost any single gpu for just 59$ or 39$ after MIR) and make a little patience for the new gpus to arrive ^^

February 8, 2012 11:09:23 PM

Memnarchon said:
I am afraid that its not possible. I dont know if festerovic can suggest a different solution but if you want to keep your current psu then:

1st. Go for 6850 http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1... it requires only 1 6pin.
2nd. Wait for HD7xxx that can use only 1 6pin. They will probably be superior to what 6xxx can offer with one 6pin.

Now if you want to change your psu then you can place a good psu (like a CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which is a great value for money and able to power almost any single gpu for just 59$ or 39$ after MIR) and make a little patience for the new gpus to arrive ^^


_____________________________________________

Quote:
Only one? not even two? Well you might consider on changing psu too, unless there is one more 4pin somewhere and you can free it (like a 2nd dvd rom)


Confused.com !

You said it would work with 2x 4 pin sockets, now it's not possible? Did I miss something :(  ?

And damn! that PSU is a bit pricey... Now, about these connections. I see no reason for this not to work... If I power up another 250w power supply... couldn't I use that to power the GPU? Seems like a bit of a silly question to me as it is ONLY raw power being transferred with these sockets and no actual data... so it doesn't really matter where the power comes from? Or am I wrong?


Edit: another 250w PSU
February 8, 2012 11:22:28 PM

Silba said:
Confused.com !

You said it would work with 2x 4 pin sockets, now it's not possible? Did I miss something :(  ?

And damn! that PSU is a bit pricey... Now, about these connections. I see no reason for this not to work... If I power up another 250w power supply... couldn't I use that to power the GPU? Seems like a bit of a silly question to me as it is ONLY raw power being transferred with these sockets and no actual data... so it doesn't really matter where the power comes from? Or am I wrong?


Edit: another 250w PSU


The thing is that your psu should have at least one 6pin connector which it doesnt. 6870 needs 2 x 6pins. And since 2 x 4pins = 1 x 6pin so you need 4 x 4pins. Well you can take the power from an other supply I guess but I dont know if they start givin different volts (like 11,9 the 1st and 12,1 the 2nd) what will happen.

Also 6850 is only around 13% slower than 6870. And it requires 1 x 6pin


Also the new 7xxx that have around 6870 performance should be able to work with only 1 x 6pin judgin by the low power draw of 7970/7950
February 8, 2012 11:44:36 PM

Memnarchon said:
The thing is that your psu should have at least one 6pin connector which it doesnt. 6870 needs 2 x 6pins. And since 2 x 4pins = 1 x 6pin so you need 4 x 4pins. Well you can take the power from an other supply I guess but I dont know if they start givin different volts (like 11,9 the 1st and 12,1 the 2nd) what will happen.

Also 6850 is only around 13% slower than 6870. And it requires 1 x 6pin
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_6870/images/perfrel.gif

Also the new 7xxx that have around 6870 performance should be able to work with only 1 x 6pin judgin by the low power draw of 7970/7950



looks like I may have to wait for this 7xxx then or...




how about some of those :) ? :D 

sureley that will work? it will give me the required 4x 4pin molex connections to hook up 2x 6pin molex connections
February 9, 2012 12:01:34 AM

Silba said:
looks like I may have to wait for this 7xxx then or...


http://www.xsfans.com/images/medium/0115_MED.jpg

how about some of those :) ? :D 

sureley that will work? it will give me the required 4x 4pin molex connections to hook up 2x 6pin molex connections


:p 
I wouldnt try that, but I am not sure to give you a clear answer.
In the end maybe in 6 days we will see 7770 perform similary or better than 6870 requiring 1x6pin while havin the same price...
Just be patient for a few days :) .
February 9, 2012 12:05:26 AM

Memnarchon said:
:p 
I wouldnt try that, but I am not sure to give you a clear answer.
In the end maybe in 6 days we will see 7770 perform similary or better than 6870 requiring 1x6pin while havin the same price...
Just be patient for a few days :) .


B..B...But I don't want to wait for my new toy :( 







Okay, I'll wait :)  Thanks to you both for the Great! help :)  See you in 6 days!


Edit: Some insight into the 7770, I can't wait! 7770
February 9, 2012 2:02:51 AM

Silba you can use the molex power connector adapters that give you more molex ports to use with the adapters. You dont actually need a PCIE 6 pin power from your PSU. These things are recommended so that it works 100% of the time. But i have ghetto rigged many video cards with PoS PSUs that didnt have enough connectors for the cards, but did have enough wattage. Well, it "worked" but I wouldn't think it was worth the difference in buying a new PSU. I wouldn't advise 2 PSUs even though it also "works". I say that because I havent done too much gaming in instances where I ghetto rigged stuff.

My opinion: 6870s will not go down in price for another 4-5 months. I say that based on the last 3 gens of cards. If you wanted to take the 6850 route instead, many of the 6850s require 2 power connectors per card. They use them instead of the ref design due to overclocking capabilities. Good idea to wait.

While you are waiting lets OC that pentium...
February 9, 2012 7:05:22 AM

festerovic said:
Silba you can use the molex power connector adapters that give you more molex ports to use with the adapters. You dont actually need a PCIE 6 pin power from your PSU. These things are recommended so that it works 100% of the time. But i have ghetto rigged many video cards with PoS PSUs that didnt have enough connectors for the cards, but did have enough wattage. Well, it "worked" but I wouldn't think it was worth the difference in buying a new PSU. I wouldn't advise 2 PSUs even though it also "works". I say that because I havent done too much gaming in instances where I ghetto rigged stuff.

My opinion: 6870s will not go down in price for another 4-5 months. I say that based on the last 3 gens of cards. If you wanted to take the 6850 route instead, many of the 6850s require 2 power connectors per card. They use them instead of the ref design due to overclocking capabilities. Good idea to wait.

While you are waiting lets OC that pentium...


lol@ghetto rigging, I was considering soldering a bunch of wires together to make this work which I could easily do as I make electronic circuits nearly ever day but 'ghetto rigging' a £140 GPU doesn't sound nice >.<

Would it be safe to over-clock my CPU? It only has its standard heat-sink and fan but I did put some new better MX-4 thermal compound on it because it was getting way too hot (100c during a stress test). + I don't know how to OC CPU's :p 
February 9, 2012 10:56:29 AM

Would This Asrock mobo go nice with my setup? I'm looking at it because its supporting the 8gb of ram ive ordered @ 1333mhz.


But i see its g41... isn't that supposed to be bad for OC'ing? and is OC'ing my CPU really that important or is just a 'do it because I can' thing?
February 10, 2012 4:50:53 AM

if you are going to buy a mobo get a modern one, not a g41 that can't OC. You are looking for a p45 or x48 if you want to resuse the pentium and OC it. Maybe do some research on a cheap aftermarket cooler for s775 and take the cheap route. Can your asus board OC? Yes it will benefit your situation here, as you are going to be a little weak on the CPU side. If you OC, it will let the card perform better.

As for OCing the CPU there is a guide in that section if you feel like reading it. Otherwise the easy version is:

1. Adjust the FSB to something other than 266, like 333 for instance.
2. Increase the voltage of the CPU to 1.3
3. make sure PCIe bus speed is auto or locked to 100mhz.

See what happens when you do that.
February 10, 2012 10:40:54 AM

well, i m using Radeon HD 6870 graphics card.
its specification:
900MHz Engine Clock
1GB GDDR5 Memory
1050MHz Memory Clock (GDDR5)
134.4 Gbps memory bandwidth (maximum)
2 TFLOPs compute power
Double slot form factor
TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture
PCI Express® 2.1 x16 bus interface
February 10, 2012 1:53:55 PM

ThomasAnderson, not sure what the question is. The 6870 is a good card for older systems to max out on, if you get two in xfir e they are quite nice.
February 10, 2012 5:07:44 PM

festerovic said:
if you are going to buy a mobo get a modern one, not a g41 that can't OC. You are looking for a p45 or x48 if you want to resuse the pentium and OC it. Maybe do some research on a cheap aftermarket cooler for s775 and take the cheap route. Can your asus board OC? Yes it will benefit your situation here, as you are going to be a little weak on the CPU side. If you OC, it will let the card perform better.

As for OCing the CPU there is a guide in that section if you feel like reading it. Otherwise the easy version is:

1. Adjust the FSB to something other than 266, like 333 for instance.
2. Increase the voltage of the CPU to 1.3
3. make sure PCIe bus speed is auto or locked to 100mhz.

See what happens when you do that.



Could you recommend a suitable MOBO for me? Preferably under £40

And sorry... But just plain text telling me how to OC isn't enough, I've not the slightest clue what you just said :pt1cable: 
February 10, 2012 6:05:27 PM

lololol then :) 

Do you want to keep the penitum or do you want advice on a cheap upgrade ie. a new board and CPU?
February 10, 2012 6:07:42 PM

OCing is easy, but it is a little bit complicated. You have to do a little work in reading up on what you need to do if you want to do it with the best results. The items I mentioned to OC are all accessible through the BIOS.
February 10, 2012 7:06:44 PM

festerovic said:
OCing is easy, but it is a little bit complicated. You have to do a little work in reading up on what you need to do if you want to do it with the best results. The items I mentioned to OC are all accessible through the BIOS.


festerovic said:
lololol then :) 

Do you want to keep the penitum or do you want advice on a cheap upgrade ie. a new board and CPU?



;
Ok then, I'll read up on CPU OC'ing and yeah if you could suggest a new mobo + CPU that would be great, I don't really want to spend much on a new CPU though if my pentium is fine for now.


Mobo has to support 2x 4GB sticks of DDR3 RAM @ 1333MHz if possible though, or at least 1066 OC'ed to 1333MHz

Quote:
or at least 1066 OC'ed to 1333MHz


Where the 1333MHz will be down-clocked automatically by the mobo but able to over-clock to 1333MHz***
!