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Graphics Upgrade

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
April 4, 2012 2:47:28 PM

Hello,

I am looking to possibly upgrade my graphics card in my system:

Currently:
CPU: AMD 64x2 DualCore 5400+ (plan to overclock)
Graphics: GeForce 9600 GSO, 768MB
PSU: Ultra 750W ATX
Not sure off hand my system board model...

My question is this: I'm currently playing Skyrim and WOW. Plan on playing Diablo 3 and GuildWars 2. Will I benefit significantly from a graphics card upgrade? And if so, any reccomendations on a good card that my system will support? Looking to keep it under $200.

Thanks guys!

More about : graphics upgrade

a c 255 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 3:36:02 PM

The cpu is a little weak and you would be much better off with a quad core , your psu is good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI R6870 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
$199.99 and a $20 rebate makes it $179.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
EVGA 01G-P3-1561-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$229.99 and a $30 rebate makes it $199.99

The Evga card is the card to get if you don't mind doing a rebate otherwise the MSI card is a good choice. After those two you can look at other 6870's along with 6850's and GTX 560's
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April 4, 2012 3:46:01 PM

Yeah, I have the AMD Black Edition. I'm planning on overclocking to 3.0GHz or 3.1GHz. I was hoping with that, and a new video card, I could get by for awhile, without having to upgrade my CPU. I'm hoping to put a graphics card in that will get me good results currently, and that I can still be happy with in the future, should I go to a quad cpu. Thanks for the suggesttions!
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 3:47:36 PM

Either of those cards he recommended will be severlely bottlenecked by your cpu.

I wouldn't recommend anything faster than a HD6770.
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a c 255 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 3:50:26 PM

If you can overclock your cpu to over 3ghz and be stable then that will help in running a new video card. What do you have for ram?
You do want to make sure that you don't have a bottleneck at either the cpu or the ram.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 3:53:04 PM

What motherboard do you have?

I'd say you need a GPU and CPU upgrade.

For example you can get a PII X4 965 for $125 ($115 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then maybe a 6850 1gb $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think this would be a better upgrade overall then getting a faster GPU with that old Athlon. But your motherboard needs to be compatible so it depends on what mobo you've got.
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April 4, 2012 4:07:56 PM

I believe this is my motherboard, but I'll have to verify tonight when I get home:
XFX nForce 750a SLI Motherboard.

I have 4GB of RAM. I believe it's DDR2...

I'd be all for Wolframs recomendation. Any idea if can slap that Phenom quad in that board and still get the benefits of the quad core? I guess I never realized that my motherboard may support an upgrade to a quad core cpu.

Thanks guys.
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April 4, 2012 4:13:25 PM

It's a socket AM2+ so I'm guessing the Phenom is gonna want an AM3+ board?
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 4:19:20 PM

No, you should be able to run Phenom II with a BIOS update. but it would be nice to have a Beastly chipset. Youl notice a frame jump by about 12 give or take. which is good
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April 4, 2012 4:41:40 PM

Hmmm, interesting. So it sounds like the best bang for my buck might be: The PII 965 CPU, and a 6850 graphics card? Then I could perhaps I can upgrade the motherboard in the future, if I'm not ready for a completely new rig by then.

I'm glad I posted here, you folks have all been very helpful. I'll keep researching and checking the thread until I'm ready to pull the trigger on this one.

Thanks again!
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April 4, 2012 4:46:39 PM

+1 560ti
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a c 124 U Graphics card
April 4, 2012 5:33:14 PM

You could also get a GTX 460 1gb for around the same price as a 6850. They're pretty close, performance wise but if you like Nvidia then that is a good option.

And the nice thing about AMD chipsets is you should be able to get an AM3+ board and still use the PII X4, and when piledriver comes out maybe upgrade to that (assuming it's as good as they say).
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April 4, 2012 6:18:11 PM

Kinda what I was hoping too. It's nice to have the option to do things in piece-meal. CPU, then board, then CPU...sprinkle in a GPU here and there...
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April 4, 2012 6:31:49 PM

Just upgrade your GPU to a something better, but dont try a hi-end card, it will be a bottleneck problem. Try a 460 - 560. Thats a great card for you. Or you can try a 6850. Whit that card you will play everithing on high!
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April 5, 2012 3:05:51 PM

So the more I research, the more I fear the upgrade to the P2 965. Other then the link that Wolfram provided, where the commenter 'claims' to be running the P2 on the AM2+, I see no credible evidence that says at 125W CPU wont fry on my system board Tis a shame, because I was getting excited about uprading to a quad...Which may indeed leave me back to just upgrading the GPU for now.
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a c 255 U Graphics card
April 5, 2012 4:38:57 PM

What you need to do is sit down with your finances and figure out where you stand with available money for computer parts. Also what you will be able to aford to save towards a new computer. Most likely you can use the same case and dvd drive so the components you need to upgrade would be;
1. cpu
2. video card
3.ram
4. psu

If by some chance you live in the U.S. then you could consider doing a preferred account at Newegg. What the benefit of that is you can make a purchase of $500 or more and charge it to your preferred account and you have up to one year to pay the balance with no interest if you do. As long as you make the minimum payment each month there is no interest but you do have to pay it off in a years time or the interest is added.
Newegg does have a lot of good prices with rebates on a lot of items and you could end up with a good system.
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April 5, 2012 6:13:51 PM

I hear ya, Inzone. I'm getting married later this year, so naturally I am bleeding money on an emergency scale. I guess really what I was hoping for was to get by till the end of the year on a graphics card. Then really get a screaming system when I don't have to put away ever dollar for the wedding.

It's nice to know about Newegg. I'll certainly look into that. I actually live right by a Tigerdirect warehouse, so that's where I do most my shopping. But no interest is good interest.

Anybody have any thoughts on how I'd do with just overclocking to 3.0 and trying the 6850 for the time being? My games play decent now, just looking to get them looking a little better...
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April 23, 2012 1:57:13 PM

So I bought a GTX460. Popped it in and powered up. Instantly smelled smoke. In fact, the whole basement ceiling filled with smoke. It actually looked eerily beautiful in the recessed lighting but it smelled terrible. One of the adapter cables (there are 2) that connects the GPU to the power supply completely fried. Melted and split in half. Delightful. Strangely enough, I still had video during these short few seconds during boot up, before I unplugged and I think both the card and my system board survived. Hopefully the power supply is ok...

Any ideas what would cause this? Needless to say I returned the card for store credit. I certainly am glad I didn't burn the house down, but needless to say, I'm a bit worried about getting a new card again...My PSU should've been more than adequate (750W, GPU needs 450W min). Perhaps just a faulty card? When I am brave I will put my old card back in and see if all systems are still go. YIKES!
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a c 124 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 2:51:20 PM

Was it the 6 pin cable that goes directly to the PSU, or was it a molex to 6 pin adapter cable? Possibly was a faulty adapter cable.

Also, if the adapter cable, was that rail (as in, the wire with the molex connector you used) loaded up with many other power sources? You should always try to spread the power sources out between as many rails as feasible. For example, don't use 2 molex to 6 pin adapters from the same line of molex plugs. Use 2 different cords/rails.
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April 23, 2012 3:02:00 PM

I used the adapter cable that came with the card, so it wasn't the cable directly to the PSU. And I think I did use two different cords/rails. Wasn't even thinking about the rail being loaded up, only did it because it was easier to get two different lines to reach to it, thean all from one. So weird.

And now that you mention it, I think I have two available 6pin, PSU cables. I'm not sure why I didn't use them...next time I sure will though!
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a c 124 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 3:10:17 PM

Weird. Well my best guess is that it was a freak accident where the adapter was poorly made, maybe 2 wires were somehow touching or something.

As for the PSU... well, it might have been damaged. But most decent PSUs have safety features to prevent them from getting damaged so it *should* be ok.

And yeah next time use the dedicated 6 pins from the PSU :) 
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