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Budget upgrade from 8800GT

Hey all,

I built my current rig about 4 years ago. I'm running a Q6600 quad core OCed @ 2.7 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, and an 8800GT 512 MB. I recently started playing the "War of the Roses" beta, and I want to max it out. Presently, I can run it on mid-high settings, but the FPS isn't "perfect."

Obviously, this system is dated, and my best bet would be to do a whole new upgrade, but I don't have the cash. Bottom line, what would be the best bang for buck upgrade out there that would not be bottlenecked by the CPU or the PCI-E 1.1 interface that my mobo is limited to? I looked at the HD 6670 & 6770, but the 6670 actually looked like it performed worse than the 8800GT, and the 6770 was only a very small improvement.

I was looking at benchmarks and cards, and the 460 GTX stuck out, but I'm so out the loop these days with hardware that I honestly don't have a clue as to what would be a good value buy for my needs in this situation.

Thanks a lot.
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More about budget upgrade 8800gt
  1. What's your budget? The GTX460 is a good card, yet they don't really sell them new. The equivalent would be the Radeon HD 7770 or 6850. The 7770 is just a tad slower while using alot less power. The 6850 uses more and is just a little faster.

    Personally I would go with whichever one you can find a free game with.
  2. I am assuming that you are in the market for a good second hand card... best bang for buck I have found (I run a very similar system as you) is a 4870x2.

    I guess you are uk based?

    I got mine from avforums classifieds ( the goes like hell edition super overclock) for £65... It keeps up with 6970's and 7850's (according to 3dmark vantage and other benches) but suffers on heavily tesselated games.

    It should just about max out most games @ 1080p. If you have a higher res monitor (which I doubt as you are on a budget) then maybe you need better, but I think it is the best for the budget gamer.
  3. there is one on gumtree for £45...

    link

    http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/ati-radeon-hd-4870x2-2gb-ddr5-dual-dvi-pci-e-graphics-card/110451664

    Its in york and I don't know the condition but maybe worth a phone call.
  4. Quote:


    What's your budget? The GTX460 is a good card, yet they don't really sell them new. The equivalent would be the Radeon HD 7770 or 6850. The 7770 is just a tad slower while using alot less power. The 6850 uses more and is just a little faster.

    Personally I would go with whichever one you can find a free game with.


    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Is this fairly accurate? http://www.hwcompare.com/12029/geforce-8800-gt-512mb-vs-radeon-hd-7770/

    If so, it looks like quite the improvement at a nice price. Excellent suggestion. Are there any other cards similar to the 7770 or the 6850 that you'd suggest looking at? FWIW, $100-200 is ideal for me, so these cards are great.
  5. both the 6850 and 7770 are good choices. They are brand new, so have DX11 and better tesselation.

    What resolution are you on?

    They also consume lots less power if you worry about that. HOWEVER, my 4870x2 GLH Edition is better value. cheaper and better performance in most situations.
  6. americanbrian said:
    I am assuming that you are in the market for a good second hand card... best bang for buck I have found (I run a very similar system as you) is a 4870x2.

    I guess you are uk based?

    I got mine from avforums classifieds ( the goes like hell edition super overclock) for £65... It keeps up with 6970's and 7850's (according to 3dmark vantage and other benches) but suffers on heavily tesselated games.

    It should just about max out most games @ 1080p. If you have a higher res monitor (which I doubt as you are on a budget) then maybe you need better, but I think it is the best for the budget gamer.


    Thanks! No, I'm in the States. Was looking at the 4870x2. My only misgiving is that it's about as old as the 8800GT. Admittedly, it seems to perform at a much higher level, but unless I could find one for around $50-60, I'd probably go with something newer. Who knows though; I'll check e-bay.

    Any other cards you'd suggest?

    Also, my monitor is 1440x900 (about 4ish years old as well). I don't think that qualifies as high-res, but it's pretty enough for me.

    Also, this benchmark list, is it relatively useful as far as practical performance is concerned? I.e., can I take those numbers and assume that something rated at 2,000 is going to give substantially better FPS than something at around 900 (the 8800GT, for example)? http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html
  7. where are you based? check craigslist near you. I have had a look on ebay, not many great deals there.
  8. On the classified ads here there is a GTX480 for $125...

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/103992-41-sound-blaster-memory-possible-trades

    or a 6870 for $100 + shipping here:

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/104322-41-6870
  9. americanbrian said:
    both the 6850 and 7770 are good choices. They are brand new, so have DX11 and better tesselation.

    What resolution are you on?

    They also consume lots less power if you worry about that. HOWEVER, my 4870x2 GLH Edition is better value. cheaper and better performance in most situations.

    where are you based? check craigslist near you. I have had a look on ebay, not many great deals there.


    Was just looking at e-bay, yeah, they start at around $160.

    I'm on 1440x900.

    So the 4870x2 outperforms the 7770 and 6850 straight up?

    Based in the upper Midwest. I'll look at craigslist really quickly.
  10. and BTW at that resolution you could max everything on any of these cards.... Maybe look at getting a nice new 22" + monitor next. much better experience.
  11. MY 4870x2 outperforms those cards straight up as mine is factory oc'ed (a lot) MY 4870x2 has a triple slot cooler. it is a beast.

    A normal 4870x2 would be on par. virtually the same.
  12. You don't think the CPU or the old 1.1 PCI-E interface will bottleneck the cards at all?
  13. Best answer
    That 6870 for $100 looks pretty effin sweet dude. I would jump on it if I were you, best of both worlds. A proper upgrade and very much still current tech.
  14. at that resolution you will not see any issues. (the framerate will be bottlenecked @ like 120FPS(in that you could make it go 170 with a i7 or something , but it won't look any different, anything stable above 60 is fine)
  15. oh and BTW, this is what the HW compare says between a stock 4870x2 and the radeon 7770.

    http://www.hwcompare.com/11930/radeon-hd-4870-x2-vs-radeon-hd-7770/
  16. americanbrian said:
    oh and BTW, this is what the HW compare says between a stock 4870x2 and the radeon 7770.

    http://www.hwcompare.com/11930/radeon-hd-4870-x2-vs-radeon-hd-7770/


    Holy *** @ that power consumption. A stock 4870x2 kills that card; I can't imagine how well it does OCed.

    Was looking at the HD 6870. Just concerned about the PSU, as it's a 50 watt jump for that card vs. my 8800.
  17. take it with a pinch of salt. hwcompare is a brief of some basic technically specs, not a true performance picture.

    But it is like cars in some ways. The older honda civic type R is faster than the new one ( and has more space). an old porsche 911 turbo will still kick the ass off of a brand new middle range car (your pick).

    The 4870x2 is the old ferrari, sure there are newer better ferraris now, but if its a choice between an old ferrari or a new ford....

    EDIT: as far as power consumption goes it is also like cars you can get 70MPG from a car nowadays, but the old speedsters still guzzle.
  18. Hmmmm.

    This is my PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182032

    I'm assuming it's kosher? Looks like it's still being recommended for new builds as we speak.
  19. Yeah, I have a 800W modular PSU, figured it should be able to take anything that comes out (even 2 of most if needed as the max of the spec is 350W per card)
  20. yeah the spec sheet says you can pull 19amps on each of the two 12V rails.

    that gives you a max wattage of 456W. Should be plenty...

    (for the 6870)
  21. Good news is, I just found an HD6870 on craigslist as well for $100, about a couple miles away. I might commit. Not sure.
  22. This is an excellent upgrade for $100, right? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150521
  23. My suggestion:
    7850
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%204017%20600286767%20600298542&IsNodeId=1&name=Radeon%20HD%207850&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=20

    You can get a 6870 but for $30 more you're getting something better and new, I'd go for 7850 even if you're gaming at that resolution, its best to have extra power for when you upgrade later, than not having enough.

    6870 prices, just in case:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%204017%20600083901%20600083829&IsNodeId=1&name=Radeon%20HD%206870&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=20


    Performance comparison:
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=549

    Also, forget about the bottleneck, as I said before. More power is better than not enough.
  24. yes great upgrade, great price...
  25. Thanks for the reply!

    Problem is, I can get a 6870 locally for $100. No such deals for the 7850, I'm afraid. Performance bump looks marginal and hardly worth the extra $80.
  26. ^^ That card is $80 more than the 6870. But it certainly is a better card overall. MAybe you can find a second hand one cheaper, but they are so new few people are selling them much lower than retail...

    I suppose it is down to budget really.
  27. beaten fair and square Henry, you type faster than me ;)
  28. americanbrian said:
    beaten fair and square Henry, you type faster than me ;)

    :D
  29. Best answer selected by Henry Plantagenet.
  30. Strange that I was able to find that $100 deal for the same card a couple miles away. I just hope it hasn't been had by someone else yet.
  31. HD 6870 is GREAT at our resolution. I highly recommend it. Though I still have trouble keeping Crysis 1 and 2 at a solid 40-45fps...
  32. ^^ its probably the CPU that is dragging you that low, I bet with an OC'ed i5 2500k you would keep it up easily.
  33. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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