Help getting new GPU on my super old rig

Well I've had my rig for about 5 years now. I'm considering building a new one but don't really have the money for it atm. My 2x8800GTX in SLI seem to be crapping out and I wanted to replace them with something decent if possible. I'm considering the 570 or the 660 TI but I want to make sure the rest of my system is compatible/won't bottleneck it too badly.

Vista 32 bit
4GB RAM
QX6700 overclocked @ 3.6 GHz
nForce 680i SLI board
1000W PSU

So mostly, would my CPU and the fact that I have PCI-E x16 slots bottleneck anything? I'm not sure what revision the PCI slots are, I think 1.1 but I could be wrong. Thanks for the help
33 answers Last reply
More about help super
  1. a q6600 can def bottleneck new cards...what resolution do you game on? I would suggest the 7850 or 7870 for your system they are some of the best bang for the buck....check newegg.com for the cards stay away from the xfx ones gigabyte makes great ones though

    edit: PCIE x16 1.0 slots will not be an issue
  2. I wouldn't say it would be that much of a bottleneck honestly. Unless we're talking super high end cards. At least yours is overclocked.

    As stated above, I would recommend the 7850 because of their very competitive price at the moment.
  3. I usually game at 1920x1200.

    I guess I hadn't really considered the 7850/7870 but it looks pretty appealing right now. $240 with a free game on newegg for the 7870 might just be what i go for.
  4. yea man I would def go with that bc at 1920x1200 you need some good graphics muscle and if you went with anything less you will prolly be disappointed.
  5. A single HD7870 is not going to suffer with a PCI-E 1.0 slot, it's just not fast enough to use the bandwidth.
    The CPU might be a restriction in some CPU intensive titles/applications, but it depends on what games you're playing/software you're using.
    How about you give us your budget and location? We get international posts you know ;).
  6. I'm in the US, don't really want to do a full rebuild at the moment b/c of money issues. Looking to spend $200-300 on a GPU because old ones are dying
  7. for that price range a 7870 is right up your alley...that or a 7850 but I would go with the 7870 you wont be disappointed.


    www.newegg.com great place to look for cards
  8. The 7870 is perfect, and your overclocked CPU still has some years left in it.
  9. Actually, at that resolution I'd suggest you push the budget a little and go for the HD7950 if you want to go the AMD route.
    Otherwise, I'd opt for the 660Ti, it's a bit faster than the7870 and has other advantages.
    It's an easier install, AMD and Nvidia drivers do not play nice together, and swapping chip maker can make life a little more complicated.
    You can use one of the 8800's for PhysX without playing further with the drivers-not a major issue, I'll grant you, but you've got the hardware, why not take advantage of it?

    You do not specify 'crapping out' ;) , can you be more specific?
  10. coozie7 said:
    Actually, at that resolution, I'd suggest you push the budget a little and go for the 7950.


    I agree. Although the 7870 will certainly satisfy your requirements, I'm one for thinking ahead when upgrading. If you go with a 7950 like the Gigabyte Windforce 7950 I just bought for my Phenom II system, you can flash the bios (it has a dual bios) with the Gigabyte 7970 bios here:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/117750/Gigabyte.HD7970.3072.120308.html

    and bring up the default clock speed to 1GHz and the memory to 1375. Mine is running rock solid with this bios (although you will lose the HDMI port - it doesn't work with this bios).
  11. coozie7 said:
    Actually, at that resolution I'd suggest you push the budget a little and go for the HD7950 if you want to go the AMD route.
    Otherwise, I'd opt for the 660Ti, it's a bit faster than the7870 and has other advantages.
    It's an easier install, AMD and Nvidia drivers do not play nice together, and swapping chip maker can make life a little more complicated.
    You can use one of the 8800's for PhysX without playing further with the drivers-not a major issue, I'll grant you, but you've got the hardware, why not take advantage of it?

    You do not specify 'crapping out' ;) , can you be more specific?


    Haha, I just mean one of them died. The other one seems to be working fine.

    My only reservation about the 660 Ti is the low bus bandwidth it has...although benchmarks seem to show it holding up pretty well regardless. But if I'm going to spend around $300 wouldn't the 7950 be better than the 660 anyways?

    Edit: And honestly, I couldn't care less about PhysX. I guess its sort of neat, but not a deciding factor at all, so I don't care about losing it by going the AMD route
  12. The 7950 is a faster card, it's just a little over your maximum budget of $300 and I do n't like to spend someone elses money too freely.
    The lower bandwidth is only really an issue with high AA settings on more demanding games, by which time the card is already starting to run out of computational power anyway, making the point moot.
    If you want PhysX I'd suggest the 660Ti, it's faster than the 7850/70 and it'll work with an 8800 as a dedicated second card out of the box.
    If PhysX is n't an issue, the then the 7950 is a VERY potent card, if a bit over budget.
    I'd suggest you steer clear of the reference design because they tend to be warm and a little noisy, but you've gotten used to that with the dual 8800s', have n't you ;) .
  13. yea thats a good point he can use an old 8800gtx for dedicated physx if he really wanted to

    and that is a very nice 7950 there I like sapphire cards
  14. Since he has the power supply, may as well do Physx. There's nothing that says he shouldnt.
  15. Alright, well I think I'm just gonna save the money and stick with getting the 7870 for now, maybe overclock it a little. I realize the 7950 is only like $70 more, but with my somewhat weak CPU it seems silly to go for it. Regardless, should be a noticeable improvement over my 2x8800 GTX's

    I think once I decide to do a full rebuild I'll see what's out and maybe sell my 7870 and get a higher end GPU. Any recommendations as to manufacturer for the 7870?
  16. For your rig, you could go with any GPU you choose (I'm for nVidia), as it will run at its max potential, just depending on your CPU. If you think your CPU will not suck too much on CPU-intensive titles, go ahead and get something high-end and futureproof like the Geforce GTX 560 Ti up to the Geforce GTX 680...

    *EDIT: 560 Ti's are getting very cheap, all the way down to $150, so get one, or even a pair, quickly!
  17. Well, I would prefer to avoid multi-card setups from now on. My SLI setup in the past, while definitely nice when it worked, was also a pain in a lot of ways. Messing with SLI profiles, heat problems, microstuttering, games not even taking advantage of both cards, etc.

    I'm not as hardcore of a gamer as I once was so I think the 7870 should work fine for the time being, and isn't an enormous money sink. Just not sure what manufacturer to get it from.
  18. amd 7000 series cards aren't going to work on your old mobo with pcie 1.1 slot. many will say it will but theres a good enough chance that it wont. better get the 660ti to avoid any possible compatibility problems. not to mention it beats out the 7870 and it comes with a free game too
  19. mohit9206 said:
    amd 7000 series cards aren't going to work on your old mobo with pcie 1.1 slot. many will say it will but theres a good enough chance that it wont. better get the 660ti to avoid any possible compatibility problems. not to mention it beats out the 7870 and it comes with a free game too


    Care to elaborate? I can understand having problems with my mobo since its so old, but why would, for example, the 7870 not work and the 660 Ti definitely work?
  20. I think both cards should work fine in the slot.
  21. there are isolated incidences where certain PCIE 3.0 cards did not work in PCIE 1.0 slots....never heard of this happening with a 7870 but I have heard of specific lower end cards and specific motherboards not working well together....very rare though.... BiggaWhat I think you will be fine
  22. @ BiggaWatt: Can't seem to find exactly which PCI-E revision your motherboard actually uses but I have to say there have been posts here where PCI-E 1.0/1.1 motherboards have had issues with certain AMD cards, although they are rare.
    If it was me, I'd already have a HD7870 on the way, but you're not me so if you're in any doubt and do n't want any possible hassles, I'd advise you to go for the 660Ti (or dual 560s?) unless you're feeling lucky.
    So, the question is-do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, pu** ? ;)
  23. ^^ haha this guy is a joker....if it was me I would already have a 7870 on the way as well I wouldnt be worried about the card not working in your rig the chances of that happening are super slim...I have not even heard of a 7870 even having this issue once so in my eyes there really isnt an issue
  24. ^ (Shrugs) I'm just a little more cautious than you, I guess ;).
  25. nothing wrong with that. sometimes you gotta live life on the edge though and take that risk of your pcie 3.0 card not working in your 1.0/1.1 slot...gets my adrenaline going haha
  26. Haha, adrenaline rush aside, is newegg pretty good about accepting returns if it doesn't work on my mobo? I've semi-changed my mind and am now deciding between the 660 Ti and the 7950, but would rather not dump $300 bucks down the drain on a 7950 if there is a chance I can't return it if it doesn't work
  27. no newegg is great when it comes to returns I have never had an issue...I am sure alot of other guys around here would say the same thing
  28. Interestingly I contacted customer support for Sapphire and Gigabyte. Gigabyte said there should be no problem using it in a PCI-e 1.0 slot, and that they haven't received any complaints about it. Sapphire, however, gave me a very blunt "No it won't work" answer. Guess I'll just go with gigabyte then, if it doesn't work I'll just return it.
  29. Sounds like a plan.
    From what I've gathered from here in the UK, the 'Egg likes to look after its customers, so buy with confidence.
    Drop us a line on this thread and let us know how it pans out, mate.
  30. Alright, well all seems well. Got it in the mail today, cleaned out old drivers, installed AMD drivers, and it was good to go. Seems to work fine in the 1.0 slot and is definitely an improvement over my old cards. Will need to try out some more CPU intensive games though

    Thanks for all the advice everyone, and if i need more in the future, I'll know who to bug :)

    Edit: I have noticed something a bit strange though. When using MSI afterburner to monitor hardware usage, for example, in the Witcher 2. All of my CPU cores are running at about 60-70%, RAM levels are fine...but my GPU is only around 50-60%, and my frames are only around 35-40 fps. Is there any reason why the GPU isn't running to capacity? Could that be a PSU problem or some limitation of PCI-e 1.0 slots? I know the pure wattage of my PSU (1000W) is more than enough, but I don't know much else about PSU's, and it is 5 years old after all. Anyways, just wanted to throw that out there. Thanks
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