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Suitable Upgrade to a GTX 460 - Open to all Suggestions

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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 4:41:49 AM

I have been looking at upgrading my PC for about a year now and I can't decide if it is worth it. Plus I haven't paid attention to the graphics cards (Or been on the Tom Forums all that much) coming out since about the 6XXX cards started coming out.

So I am asking everyone out there if I should upgrade and what they think I should upgrade to. My problem is I only have a small PSU and to upgrade to a GPU I would want, I will have to upgrade it. Then there is the problem of the slow and lowly unlocked Athlon II x3 445 (Unlocked to Phenom II B45 3.2 Ghz without 3rd level cache) that I have.

So I wanted to ask the wise guys at Toms. It is totally open ended other than the fact I will not spend more than 400$ (I would love around 300$ or a lot less... ;) ) on the GPU itself and I don't want to get rid of the mobo (Just re-installed Windows a few months ago and finally got it running how I like it a couple of weeks ago, plus I don't want to spend more on a mobo right now).

An example of something I thought about would be to upgrade to a Phenom II x4 975, upgrade to a H60 so my extra 4GB RAM would fit and I can OC more, a 750 Watt PSU, and a GTX 570. Or the other option would be to get a 850 Watt PSU and keep the GTX 460 for CUDA purposes and run the 7950, but that would be more expensive and I am unsure if it is worth the price, heat, and power premium. My case is pretty small so fitting the two in there would be a tight fit and would make heat a serious problem....

A thought on the CPU, I have read horror stories about putting a 6 core AM3 CPU into my mobo so I would prefer not to get one.

Have fun and be creative :) .

My Current Rig
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
AMD Phenom II x4 B45 3.2 Ghz
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Heasink
MSI 870-G45
MSI Cyclone GTX 460 1GB OC'ed to 800/1600/2000
8GB DDR3 1333 G. Skill Ripjaw Series RAM
500 Watt PSU

I play:
Old Games that wouldn't require an upgrade
Crysis
Crysis 2 (Both to test my system. The games themselves were crap, in my opinion)
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Dragon Age
Dragon Age II
Batman Arkham Asylum

Games I Plan on Buying:
Skyrim
Battlefield 3
Batman Arkham City
Various Others I Can't Think Of

Programs I use:
Adobe Master Collection CS5 (I mainly use Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro)
Various Non-Demanding Programs

My Monitor Setup:
1x 24" 1920x1080 Monitor

Thanks Ahead All! :hello: 

More about : suitable upgrade gtx 460 open suggestions

a c 291 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 5:02:58 AM

What do you mean by "upgrade to H60 so the RAM would fit"? H60 isn't a very good cooler and it's expensive too. I would not recommend it.

Upgrading CPU will mean reinstalling windows. You may not need to, but expecting not to is wrong. It's always wise to reinstall them when you're doing such an upgrade anyway - that will eliminate driver problems.

I would not use a 6-core CPU for gaming either - they're terrible at performance.

If you're thinking about HD 7950, I'd suggest going for GTX 670 instead. I it's same price but it's performance is much superior to HD 7950. It trade blows with $70 more expensive HD 7970.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, if you want to save money, next logical scale down would be GTX 480. It's a very capable card today and you can get it for $209.99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's not worth going for GTX 560 because it wouldn't be much of an upgrade for you, and GTX 570 sounds a bad deal, when GTX 480 performs better and costs much less.
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 5:37:01 AM

Sunius said:
What do you mean by "upgrade to H60 so the RAM would fit"? H60 isn't a very good cooler and it's expensive too. I would not recommend it.

Upgrading CPU will mean reinstalling windows. You may not need to, but expecting not to is wrong. It's always wise to reinstall them when you're doing such an upgrade anyway - that will eliminate driver problems.

I would not use a 6-core CPU for gaming either - they're terrible at performance.

If you're thinking about HD 7950, I'd suggest going for GTX 670 instead. I it's same price but it's performance is much superior to HD 7950. It trade blows with $70 more expensive HD 7970.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, if you want to save money, next logical scale down would be GTX 480. It's a very capable card today and you can get it for $209.99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's not worth going for GTX 560 because it wouldn't be much of an upgrade for you, and GTX 570 sounds a bad deal, when GTX 480 performs better and costs much less.


I didn't even think of the GTX 480 :) . I have upgraded CPU's about 10 times without re-installing windows on various systems and it always seemed to work fine... I meant that the Hyper 212+ blocks two of my RAM slots and I have 2x2GB sticks that are the same model that I could stick into my system. The HXX series are small and from what I read awhile back do great. Is the H50 better? I remember reading that it did about the same or a little better than the Hyper 212+ and assumed the H60 would be better. If neither work great, then I can always just keep the 8GB for right now and upgrade later when I have money for 2x8GB.

(Edit) Would the B45 hold the 480 back? If I can save money for right now that would be great.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 5:42:15 AM

Yes it would. Why I said H60 isn't a good cooler because water cooling at this price point is pretty bad. Why don't you upgrade to GTX 480 and see first whether you need more RAM?
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 5:44:37 AM

Sunius said:
Yes it would. Why I said H60 isn't a good cooler because water cooling at this price point is pretty bad. Why don't you upgrade to GTX 480 and see first whether you need more RAM?


Sounds great. So you think I should upgrade the B45 to a 975BE?
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June 12, 2012 5:51:52 AM

gidgiddonihah said:
I didn't even think of the GTX 480 :) . I have upgraded CPU's about 10 times without re-installing windows on various systems and it always seemed to work fine... I meant that the Hyper 212+ blocks two of my RAM slots and I have 2x2GB sticks that are the same model that I could stick into my system. The HXX series are small and from what I read awhile back do great. Is the H50 better? I remember reading that it did about the same or a little better than the Hyper 212+ and assumed the H60 would be better. If neither work great, then I can always just keep the 8GB for right now and upgrade later when I have money for 2x8GB.

(Edit) Would the B45 hold the 480 back? If I can save money for right now that would be great.



I recently upgraded my computer and since I bought my new cpu/mobo a few weeks later, I used my old B35 together with a gtx670. Even though the cpu will hold back any decent, high performing gpu, my fps in the games you mentioned weren't too bad either.

Played BF3 Ultra with 40-60fps, even 64 Player-Map in Multiplayer never droped below 30 fps. Skyrim with Ultra and a lot of Mods gave similar fps as well.


So while it might not be an optimal long-term solution, you might just get a 480 now, look if you are happy with the performance of your pc and upgrade your cpu later on.
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 5:52:02 AM

I am just curious to know how long the 480 might be on Newegg. I will be getting my paycheck in a couple of weeks and it would suck if Newegg stops selling it before then as its a fazed out product by two generations... It's happened to me several times before. Any ideas?
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 5:54:02 AM

BeWater said:
I recently upgraded my computer and since I bought my new cpu/mobo a few later, I used my old B35 together with a gtx670. Even though the cpu will hold back any decent, high performing gpu, but my fps in the games you mentioned weren't too bad either.

Played BF3 Ultra with 40-60fps, even 64 Player-Map in Multiplayer never droped below 30 fps. Skyrim with Ultra and a lot of Mods gave similar fps as well.


So while it might not be an optimal long-term solution, you might just get a 480 now, look if you are happy with the performance of your pc and upgrade your cpu later on.


Think that's what I'll do. The PSU and GPU will kinda wipe out what I have allotted for spending money for the next month or two (Bought a pair of really expensive headphones last night), no more M&M's or Dr. Pepper for me :lol:  !
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:05:46 AM

here is what i think: unless you upgrade to the newest models (7xxx or 6xx series from AMD or Nvidia) dont bother upgrading. The GTX 480 might sound like a good option but trust me, you will pay the difference to a newer board in your electricity bill over 1 year. Trust me, the power draw of a GTX 480 its between 250 and 300W only for the card (depends if you OC or not) while a GTX 670 "only" has a 141W consumtion....
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:08:52 AM

crisan_tiberiu said:
here is what i think: unless you upgrade to the newest models (7xxx or 6xx series from AMD or Nvidia) dont bother upgrading. The GTX 480 might sound like a good option but trust me, you will pay the difference to a newer board in your electricity bill over 1 year. Trust me, the power draw of a GTX 480 its between 250 and 300W only for the card (depends if you OC or not) while a GTX 670 "only" has a 141W consumtion....


Power consumption really isn't a problem. You would pay thrice (more likely more) the electricity bill difference for the newer card.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:16:40 AM

I'd say you should upgrade to GTX 480 without upgrading the CPU. It's really not needed. You'll see how much of the performance boost you'll get and whether you're happy with it. It's almost best to keep the costs down if you can help it :) .
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 8:15:31 AM

Would a 650 watter support it? Or should I go with a 750 Watter? And yes, I love to save money too :) .
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 8:24:54 AM

Quote:
Easily yes.


Any good recommendations under 80$ without MIR? All of the ones I have looked at are way expensive. XFX, Seasonic, and Corsair...
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 9:24:05 AM

The Antec should be a nice little PSU for your needs. And a GTX 480 will be a nice upgrade :) . Sunius's advice was good: just upgrade your GPU for now and see how you get on.

As for buying a H60 I wouldn't bother the 212+ is a great cooler and 8GB is more than enough RAM for gaming.
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June 12, 2012 9:58:27 AM

Hold your horses.

Don't upgrade from B45 to 975, it's a complete waste of money. Just OC your current processor, it's simply a matter of bumping the multiplier while making sure that you have sufficient cooling. I own the phII x2 555, unlocked to B50, overclocked to 3.8ghz with a good cooler, and it's rock-stable at 1.4v

Don't upgrade to 480, it's a notoriously hot and power hungry card. The 570 is better and I would've recommended either this or the 6970, but the 7850 / 7870 cards are out so they're the best things you can right now in terms of heat, performance and power consumption.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 10:12:39 AM

Quote:
Hi,I'm sorry can you explain how a 6-core is terrible at performance?


Sure. 6-core sacrifices single threaded performance for multithreaded one. However, games don't use more than 2 cores, that's why 4 of its cores goes to waste and that's why it's performing terribly for its price.
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June 12, 2012 10:30:26 AM

6 and 4 cores phenom II can both overclock to around 4.0ghz and share the same architecture so no single-threaded penalty on the 6 core cpu. However, if your primary use for the rig is gaming, know that no game currently utilize more than 4 cores so there's no need for a 6 core cpu.

210$ for the 480 is a good deal, the card doesn't sell anymore in my country so I didn't know about it. However, I own the hd4870 which used to perform admirably. It's old now, though, so right now all that's left is a big card that is hot and sucks power. When it got older its temps got above 100*C (even after TIM replacement), and even though it's a blower type with custom cooling (sapphire model), my system got unstable in the summer. Luckily, I could undervolt it and have it remain at stock clocks, now the card is at 70-80 degrees.

That card made me hate big and hot cards, though, so for me a 7850 at around 30$ more is a better deal, even though on paper its performance is ever so slightly lower.

The 480 might be cooler and more silent with a custom cooling, but know that it's not a blower type (blower == blows some of the hot air outside the case), so the heat generated will still remain inside your case and you'll need to keep that in mind and might have to plan a better chassis ventilation.

I had to go through the same experience, and I will never ever get or recommend a huge card that's producing a ton of heat and sucks power. That's why I would personally purchase the 7850, even though it costs about 30$ more and its performance is ever so slightly worse than the 480. I believe the benefits far surpass the downsides.

Wouldn't blame you if you purchased the gtx480, though.
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June 12, 2012 10:55:15 AM

I undervolted the 4870, then got artifacts after 4 months, had to raise voltage a bit to make them disappear.

Also keep in mind that no chip is made equal so you can't guarantee that every 480 will undervolt @ stock clocks. But if we ignore that, keep in mind that the 7850 usually has a very high overclocking headroom and can surpass stock 480 at lower temps and heat.

I see your point though.
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June 12, 2012 11:37:29 AM

You see, the fact that you have 3 doesn't say anything about his. It's all statistics. And again, statistically, 7850s can overclock really high.
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June 12, 2012 11:54:19 AM

7850 overclocked to 1050mhz core and 5.4ghz mem performs anywhere between gtx570 and gtx580, sometimes reaching gtx580 performance, and with lower power consumption than the 580.

(Link - http://www.anandtech.com/show/5625/amd-radeon-hd-7870-g... )

Since the gtx 570 performance is anywhere between equal to 480 and up to 10% better performance, I would expect a 1200mhz 7850 to blow the 480 out of the water.

(Link of 570 performance - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-570-gf1... )
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June 12, 2012 1:08:11 PM

.. Which takes us back to thermals and power

Look mate, there's no question the gtx 480 is a great performer. However, its sub-par thermals and power are a deal breaker for me. That's subjective, of course, and you're obviously looking at it differently.

I guess since the OP isn't replying he probably made up his mind anyway so let's just agree to disagree and call it a day ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 1:33:28 PM

doron said:
.. Which takes us back to thermals and power

Look mate, there's no question the gtx 480 is a great performer. However, its sub-par thermals and power are a deal breaker for me. That's subjective, of course, and you're obviously looking at it differently.

I guess since the OP isn't replying he probably made up his mind anyway so let's just agree to disagree and call it a day ;) 


Hes a little protective over the 480s :whistle:  lol
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:40:47 PM

Guys, back up where you want me to overclock: I can't. The unlock made it completely unstable even 50Mhz up from stock no matter what voltage I run through it (Plus I have a locked multiplier due to the fact its just an Athlon II). Even at stock its somewhat unstable, i.e. giving me blue screens after being up for a couple of weeks.

Haha he didn't reply because he went to bed! :) 

(Edit) Also, if I choose any AMD/ATI card I will be forced to keep my GTX 460 in there, raising temp to a really high level and requiring a higher level PSU. That would negate any benefit from using a newer card from AMD/ATI. I use Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro which can all use the CUDA cores for hardware acceleration.
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:47:23 PM

Pretty set on the 480, unless someone has a really strong argument against it that doesn't include power or heat...
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:50:50 PM

:)  Ok. So one last question: I am pretty sure the GTX 480 will fit in my case as it claims it fits the 5970 which was the largest card on the market even when the 480 was out. Shouldn't it fit then?
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 6:54:18 PM

Gothams Finest said:
The Antec should be a nice little PSU for your needs. And a GTX 480 will be a nice upgrade :) . Sunius's advice was good: just upgrade your GPU for now and see how you get on.

As for buying a H60 I wouldn't bother the 212+ is a great cooler and 8GB is more than enough RAM for gaming.


My reasons for upgrading RAM were so I have more for CS5, which likes to hit the top of 8GB really fast. But I can wait and get something better in a little while :) .
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