Need an upgrade from Geforce 8800 Ultra... Looking to spend $80-100

BUDGET RANGE: $80-100 After Rebates ( Can be new OR used)
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming ( Want to be able to play Starcraft 2 at >60 FPS on a 4v4 map, want to be able to run Crysis 2 just for the novelty, and want to be able to play Tribes at full settings at >60 FPS)
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Geforce 8800 Ultra and Antec EA-650 650W
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core2 Quad Q6700 @ 2.66 Ghz, EVGA nForce 680i Mobo 122-CK-NF68, 4 GB Ram Mushkin (996587), Gigabyte 3DAurora Case, Scythe Heatsink and Fan on the CPU.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:,, something available in Canada.
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dual Monitors @ 1680 x 1050 for Windows 64 bit, 1920X1200 Max resolution for single monitor gaming.

I bought this gaming rig off of my friend for $300 dollars. I am using the Dual DVI on my Geforce 8800 Ultra to run my dual monitors, but I will be needing a new videocard so that I can have HDMI out for my LCD TV. The Geforce feels quite dated in some games and I want to upgrade to something newer and keep the 8800 Ultra as a PhysX card and to run 1 monitor while the new videocard handles another monitor and HDMI out to my TV(is this possible?).

I play Starcraft 2 quite a bit and my system slows down quite a bit in 4v4 online. I am also having problems running Tribes Ascend in max settings. I need to play on low settings to get decent FPS.

I am wondering what route I should take to upgrade this system... If I throw a GTX 470 in there will that work or will it be bottlenecked by the age of my system. I ran into a deal of $100 dollars for a used GTX 470 on my local classifieds.

16 answers Last reply
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  1. The 470 sounds good, it wouldnt be bottlenecked by your cpu. There really are almost no options for new cards in that price range, that are better than the card you have. To be a noticeable, worthwhile upgrade you would need to go the a gtx 470/gtx560 anyways. Beyond the 470/560 level you would most likely start running into some bottlenecking. If for some reason you dont get that GTX470, you might find a 550Ti on sale for around $100, but that wouldnt be a real big increase in performance
  2. Yea a GTX 470 or a GTX 560 ti 448 core on ebay.

    the best low end bang for buck is a GT 640 or a 7770. the 7750 requires no external power
  3. Thanks for the quick replies guys. So will this GTX 470 be enough to run games in high settings at good FPS. And will my Geforce 8800 Ultra still be usable as a Phys X card?
  4. pick up the 470 but forget having both cards in your rig with that PSU.
    the 8800 ultra is 185 watts and the 470 is 215 watts. you'll need 400 watts just for those and FOUR 6 pin power connections let alone the rest of you system; that cpu is 105 watts itself.

    and honestly having a physX card just isn't worth it.
  5. Honestly though, for $80-$100, you arent going to find much of an upgrade over the 8800 Ultra in my opinion, new that is.

    Sometimes you can find some other stuff used, like on CL the other day I saw a 4870X2 for like $90. I'm not pro-used card tho. They have a reason to sell the card.

    And yes, I agree, having a physx card is utterly pointless.
  6. New question guys. I can also pick up a GTX 460 768 MB for $60. Which is the better deal for my system? GTX 470 for $100 or GTX 460 for $60?
  7. i say sell your 8800gt and add the money you get to your budget and tell us!
    also get the gtx 470 which is asweet deal for 100$ .
    also tell us is it new or old?
  8. The GTX470 is considerably stronger than that particular, crippled version of the GTX460.
    It appears your PSU is sufficient; 600W will be needed for that system, assuming you leave the 8800 Ultra in it for PhysX.
  9. The GTX470 is alot faster, just dont leave the 8800GTX in there for Physx.
  10. To see any gains at all you will need at the very least a 256bit gtx460 to make your purchase even worth the money. The gtx470 at default is pretty fast especially for $100 and is a real compute card if you are into f@h or anything cuda related.
  11. on toms hierarchy chart the 8800 ultra is still quite high up, and they say there should be at least 3 tiers between the cards to make the upgrade worthwhile... GTX470 would fit that req quite nicely...,review-32442-7.html
  12. Wow thanks for all the answers. I appreciate it guys, its helped make my decision an easy one, gonna go for the 470 GTX. One question though, it seems there is differing opinions on whether I can use the 8800 Ultra as a PhysX card, so I'm not really sure what to do with my 8800 Ultra. I assume I won't get too much selling it privately so I would like to make use of it in some capacity.... Is there no way I can use it as a PhysX card?
  13. If you do decide to use your old G80 for dedicated physx you may as well underclock the core as much as possible on the 8800 ultra to save on power and reduce heat. The clocks are easily decoupled on these older cards vs Fermi and Kepler. Use rive tuner or msi afterburner. As for your power supply running both cards at once with any real load is going to be a problem considering how much each card uses. 200w for the gtx 470 and around 140w give or take for the G80 if it were ever fully loaded.

    Physx will only keep the shader portion of the G80 gpu loaded and isn't going to be fully loaded for at least a few more years till physx titles really become demanding. So only expect to see 15-60% loads on that 8800 ultra for physx.

    Now for the performance, to put it short 775 era systems greatly struggle when it comes to supporting dedicated physx cards due to the extra bandwidth needs to keep both cards fed compared to just sli where data is easily duplicated for each card. You might see some gains if there are any but you will need a better system to really see what that gtx470 + 8800ultra combo can offer.
  14. Thanks for all the replies guys. New question, Will my system be compatible with a GTX 570 and will my system bottleneck the GTX 570. The 470 is a good deal, but I found an even better deal on a GTX 570.
  15. Your PSU is sufficient for a GTX570.
  16. GTX 570 will run just even with a slight bottleneck but it could still handle a more powerful card. Just don't consider sli in the future.
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