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Benefit of Upgrading Graphics Card Only

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 27, 2012 12:37:12 AM

I have an aging build that I am considering upgrading the graphics card on. I recently upgraded to an Asus 24" Moniter at 1920x1080. This put a tax on the games I have been playing (Skyrim, Battlefield Titles).

How much will I improve performance with only a GPU upgrade? Am I bottle necked in other aspects?


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week.
BUDGET RANGE: ~$200

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Movies. Games to play: Skyrim, Diablo 3 (already pre-purchased :)  )

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:Gigabyte Radeon 4650 1gb / KINGWIN ABT-450MM 450W ATX 12V

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Motherboard: ASRock P45XE LGA 775
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz (OC to 3.6)
Ram: 4GB OCZ Gold DDR2 1066

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon (Good shipping prices to APO)

PARTS PREFERENCES: I Would prefer an Nvidia, I am also a fan of ASUS products.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I know I may be bottlenecked in other areas, so if a cheaper graphics upgrade along with another part would benefit me more i am open to suggestions. I have been eyeing the MSI GTX 560 FROZR II as a solid candidate.

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a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2012 1:04:48 AM

I had an HD 5850 with an E8500 and that proved to be a pretty good match up, it didn't seem to be too CPU or GPU bound playing at 1680x1050. If I were you I'd apply a slight OC to the CPU and go with either a GTX 560 or GTX 560 Ti. My personal favorite is the MSI GTX 560 Ti Hawk. It's a bit pricey, but it's darn near as fast as a GTX 570.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More in your price range though, any old refrence design 560 or 560 Ti will work fine. EVGA is a very enthusiast oriented company which offers good products and is very good about standing behind their warranty, even with OC or aftermarket coolers installed. The MSI you mention is also a solid choice in the slightly above $200 range.

If you wanted to save some money you should also consider the AMD/ATI HD 6870 which offers performance in between the GTX 560 and 560 Ti for around $150-175. Sapphire, Asus and MSI all have great offerings. MSI even offers a Twin Frozr or Hawk model equivalent to the 560 Ti.
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March 27, 2012 1:11:10 AM

I went through the same situation when BF3 came out. My build at the time was an intel q6600 with 4gb of ram. I decided to throw an ATI 6950 into the computer and see where I could go with it without having to upgrade other specs. I did this because I was waiting for Ivy bridge to come out.

Anyways, on my q6600 which has to be a solid 4 years old at this point, I can play BF3 with everything maxed at 1080p resolution. All of this by simply upgrading my video card to latest gen video card (at the time). After looking around into this, I found that processors play little role into gaming now and days and only really improve when doing tasks such as video editing.
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a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2012 1:35:20 AM

performance in most FPS (First Person Shooter) games is based 90% on GPU performance.

So upgradeing ur GPU will see good improvements in almost all FPS based games

there are some games where your CPU will limit things but you can always change that at a later date.
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a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2012 1:41:59 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
performance in most FPS (First Person Shooter)there are some games where your CPU will limit things but you can always change that at a later date.


Not with his current config. The E8400 is pretty much at the top of the LGA775 heap. The only real upgrades are the E8500/8600 (not much of an upgrade) and the later model 45nm Core2Quad's (Q8xxx, and Q9xxx series chips) which are too expensive to justify purchasing even on the used market since you can get new and better hardware for the same price.
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March 27, 2012 11:51:59 AM

Thanks for the input, it is good to know the rest of my system isn't bogging me down too bad yet. I'll be sure to update after I make the purchase today.
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April 6, 2012 2:17:17 AM

Best answer selected by neojofa.
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