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Replacement for dead 8800GT, power concerns

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 29, 2012 3:39:22 AM


Dear Tom’s community,

Recently my 8800GT gave up the ghost, and I’d like some advice choosing a suitable replacement. I’m trying to factor in power concerns, motherboard space concerns, and what’s available in the 2012 market. I don’t want to pay too much for a card that’ll be bottlenecked by my older system, or pay too much for older tech, when something newer is more powerful and the same price.

I’m looking at possibly either a HD 7770 or a GTX 460 1GB, and would like advice on them, or any other cards you think are reasonable. I have specific concerns about each of these, which I’ve listed below.

I built my machine in 2008. I use it primarily for gaming and school work. My native monitor resolution is 1920x1080, and I’m still using XP. Not looking to overclock or do SLI/Crossfire.

Guild Wars 2 is coming out this year and I’d like to be able to play it along with some moderate FPS games like Tribes Ascend. Also would like to be able to play Starcraft 2, and Diablo 3. If I could do this reasonably, I’d be able to hold off building another machine for a year, and then hand this off as a complete working system to family members with an even older machine.

GTX 460 1GB was the first card I’m considering. Will I have enough power to support this? I’ve been using my computer daily for three and a half years, and wasn’t sure how much I should factor in capacitor aging, or if I’d even have enough anyway.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSI-N460GTX-M2D1GD5-OC2-GeForce...

The HD 7770 intrigued me, because despite being lambasted for not providing enough muscle for it’s price, it requires far less power than cards from the previous generation. I figured I’d wait a few months, and see if competition from NVIDIA and AMD fleshing out their product line doesn’t drive the 7770 down in price. Just the other day Tigerdirect was selling it for $ 109.

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

I am concerned that the 7770 won’t physically fit on my motherboard. It’s a double wide card, and it looks like the copper heatsink next to the PCI-Express slot. Or am I being alarmist, and will it be able to jut overtop of it?

Here are some pictures of the board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

I’m open to other ideas that you guys have. Should I look for something older on Ebay, like a GTX 260, to match my older components? I’d like to budget approximately $150 or less for this, but I’m more interested in value than a strict price limit. Guild Wars 2 doesn’t come out for a bit, so I’m not under the gun to buy a card immediately and can wait for prices to lower or deals to pop up. Open to buying from any source, and I’m located in the U.S.

My computer specs are as follows.

Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L motherboard (only has PCI-Express 1.0, I think)
Core Duo E8400, 3.0ghz
4gb DDR2
4 5400 rpm hard drives, 2 of them are Western Digital Greens
DVD-R

Antec Earthwatts 500W, model EA-500D
Side of it shows the 12v rails have a max load of 408W
12v1, and 12v2 are each listed as 22 Amps
It has 2 6 pin power connectors, and an 8 pin.

23” monitor, with native resolution of 1920x1080.
Still running XP

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

- Philipofmacedon
a b U Graphics card
April 29, 2012 4:19:02 AM

The thickness of the 7770 should only be an issue if you have PCI-E x1 cards in the 2 slots directly beneath the PCI-E x16 slot.

Performance wise, Techpowerup's review of the 7700 series says the 460 is about 6% faster on average in the games they tested. http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7770/26.html (gaming summary)

Both should be fine with that PSU. The 460 uses 172w and the 7770 uses 83w Max for both.
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