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Upgrade from PNY GeForce 9600 to a 2gb EVGA Nvidia 520. Worse Performance?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 18, 2012 12:20:45 AM

Hello,
I upgraded my graphics card to handle Skyrim better, and I'm seeing a drop of about 10 FPS. I'm even seeing worse performance on World of Warcraft. (Yes, I updated the drivers).

Specs:
Graphics Card EVGA Nvidia 520 (aka GeForce GT 520)
Power: 550 watt
CPU: Intel Dual E2180 @2GHz
RAM: 3 MB
OS: Vista 32bit
a c 1318 U Graphics card
March 18, 2012 12:26:38 AM

9600 is close to GT240 in performance, GT520 is close to GT220 and 9500GT that is why!
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
March 18, 2012 12:36:40 AM

i loved my 9600 gt and a good upgrade from that would be a 550ti which would start choking out that E2180
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2012 12:38:47 AM

The problem is...you downgraded your graphics processor
March 18, 2012 12:42:22 AM

Seriously? I saw a lot of good reviews of the 520. And my 9600 is a good 3 or 4 years old and with a quarter the graphics memory.
March 18, 2012 12:59:58 AM

JadedScribe said:
So this is a good upgrade? Sick of Skyrim lagging (on the 9600gt) http://www.bestbuy.com/site/EVGA+-+GeForce+GTX+550+Ti+2...


:ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch: 

Not at that price it's not. For $200, pick up a 560ti off newegg - it's VASTLY better than a 550ti (and your old 9600).

Protip: never buy a graphics card from best buy unless you hate your bank account. The 550ti is roughly $110 on newegg and IMO that's still a bit overpriced for what you get.
March 18, 2012 1:02:11 AM

BigMack70 said:
:ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch: 

Not at that price it's not. For $200, pick up a 560ti off newegg - it's VASTLY better than a 550ti (and your old 9600).

Protip: never buy a graphics card from best buy unless you hate your bank account.

I do hate my account
March 18, 2012 1:03:39 AM

The last time I looked at the graphics card selection at my local best buy I threw up a little in the back of my mouth. I love that I live near a microcenter. Seriously, don't buy computer components from best buy. It's not actually a very god buy.
March 18, 2012 1:05:21 AM

BigMack70 said:
:ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch:  :ouch: 

Not at that price it's not. For $200, pick up a 560ti off newegg - it's VASTLY better than a 550ti (and your old 9600).

Protip: never buy a graphics card from best buy unless you hate your bank account.


I've always liked Best Buy. Takes good care of their customers. (Able to return my 520 with no reciept and no box after 40+ days).

And actually, most of the 560ti's on NewEgg are about the same price as at Best Buy. (only about $30 difference, not including newegg rebate or shipping).
March 18, 2012 1:10:52 AM

Just to add...

Looking specifically at the one you linked, it's only a $30 difference from best buy (229 vs 258) and I HATE mail in rebates. In 6-8 weeks i'll have forgotten the extra $30.

I also don't have to sit around waiting for shipping and dealing with that (I live in an apt, will not sign for packages to be left at the door as there's no security here, so I have to arrange to pick it up).

$60 is a bit of a jump, but I'll take it for convenience if half of that requires me having to deal with a stupid mail in rebate.
March 18, 2012 1:10:57 AM

Hey man if you wanna overpay for your stuff that's your business. Just checked the 560ti prices and they're not awful on best buy's website (when I saw the 550ti at $200, I expected the 560ti to be pushing $300). That 550ti is roughly double the price it's worth, however. Even if you buy Bestbuy and overpay a bit, get the 560ti - it will be much better in Skyrim than a 550ti.

Current pricing tier for Nvidia is such:
~100-110: 550ti (a bit overpriced)
~160: 560 (overpriced)
~165-$190: 560ti
~230: 560ti 448
~250-270: 570
~$370: 580

Best buy to me seems to have bumped all those cards up one level on price compared to newegg. And newegg is just as good about their customers as Best Buy :) 

:edit: I linked to the nicest 560ti available for $200. There is one for $195 ($165 after MIR): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Zotac is a pretty decent brand so I dunno what the deal is with that card having bad reviews.
March 18, 2012 1:20:45 AM

JadedScribe said:
I've always liked Best Buy. Takes good care of their customers. (Able to return my 520 with no reciept and no box after 40+ days).

And actually, most of the 560ti's on NewEgg are about the same price as at Best Buy. (only about $30 difference, not including newegg rebate or shipping).


Actually, looking through the full list I see most need to be shipped to the store, so I'm willing to go with whoever has the bigger deal as the convenience factor (esp since I have to go to the store and return it anyways) is lost.

Ok, so what brand(s) should I be looking at?

I'm a coder, not a hardware person, lol ^_^
March 18, 2012 1:22:12 AM

JadedScribe said:
(Able to return my 520 with no reciept and no box after 40+ days).

I'm really glad to hear that. I don't mean to be a jerk; I genuinely mean this to be as constructive as possible, but if you're savvy enough to post here to ask about your graphics purchase, you are definitely savvy enough to research your purchase ahead of time using the Tom's Hardware guides. That info will definitely help you make confident purchases and avoid returns in the future. That Tom's graphics card hierarchy chart linked earlier shows your 9600 and GT 520 as being 7 tiers apart!

If it helps make it clearer, the 520 is the lowest-end card in the 500 lineup (on a scale of 520-590). The 9600 is close to the top of the 9000's, which went up to the 9800. To put it another way, the 9600 may be 4 or 5 years old, but it was designed to play games decently at that time. The GT 520 was designed to be low-power, low-performance and cheap. Newer only means better if you're comparing two cards that were designed for roughly the same consumer.
a c 243 U Graphics card
March 18, 2012 1:23:37 AM

A 560 Ti is going to botleneck like crazy on his 2Ghz Core2Duo. The slow CPU is also a problem for Skyrim. It will still be playable but not with the eye candy on.

Read this.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...


I think you should be looking in the GTX550 Ti / HD 6770 range for a balanced system.
March 18, 2012 1:38:43 AM

Yeah, I should have researched better. Now, the 560 will bottleneck on my processor, but will it cause worse performance than the 550? My CPU is next on my list of upgrades to make (followed by ram) so I'm definitely looking for staying power. I'm not looking for all the bells and whistles of skyrim at the moment, just to be able to play without huge lag spikes making the game unplayable for minutes at a time, particularly in combat.
a c 243 U Graphics card
March 18, 2012 1:50:09 AM

If you plan on upgrading your CPU/RAM to something modern ( not just a faster Core2Duo ) like a Sandy Bridge system then go for anything up to a GTX 570. Your 550w power supply should be sufficient for up to that if it's not a "junk" brand.
March 18, 2012 2:04:19 AM

JadedScribe said:
Yeah, I should have researched better. Now, the 560 will bottleneck on my processor, but will it cause worse performance than the 550? My CPU is next on my list of upgrades to make (followed by ram) so I'm definitely looking for staying power. I'm not looking for all the bells and whistles of skyrim at the moment, just to be able to play without huge lag spikes making the game unplayable for minutes at a time, particularly in combat.

CPU/GPU bottlenecks are very dependent on what is going on in the game at a given time. Outdoors in Skyrim with lots of long-distance detail turned on, CPU usage tends to be really high and you may hit a bottleneck there. But having a 560 will at least bring up your minimum framerates, and help a lot in more GPU-heavy situations. A 25-man raid in WoW is almost entirely on your processor once combat starts (even worse with Recount running), but a good GPU would help the rest of the time.

Both Skyrim and WoW are very extreme examples of CPU bottlenecking. Most games will not be quite so heavy on your processor.

You could look into a Radeon HD 6850/6870. While a bit slower than the 560 Ti they are still big upgrades to a 9600 GT. Both are very cheap for the performance they offer. They aren't being manufactured anymore though, so whatever you find on Newegg or wherever is likely whatever they have left in stock.
March 18, 2012 2:53:49 AM

anort3 said:
If you plan on upgrading your CPU/RAM to something modern ( not just a faster Core2Duo ) like a Sandy Bridge system then go for anything up to a GTX 570. Your 550w power supply should be sufficient for up to that if it's not a "junk" brand.


I am planning on upgrading to at least a quad core. And I'm running a Black Widow power supply that I have never had an issue with.

But as I asked, any manufacturers I should look for or avoid? Or just balance cost with rating?
a c 243 U Graphics card
March 18, 2012 3:43:18 AM

JadedScribe said:
I am planning on upgrading to at least a quad core. And I'm running a Black Widow power supply that I have never had an issue with.

But as I asked, any manufacturers I should look for or avoid? Or just balance cost with rating?



If that's a Thermaltake Black Widow I decrease my recommendation to a GTX 560 Ti from a GTX 570. Thermaltake power supplies are junk.

The best Nvidia cards are ( in my opinion ) EVGA, Asus, and Gigabyte.
!