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Best under $200 upgrade card to play Tribes: Ascend?

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October 15, 2012 6:50:01 PM

I am currently using a ATI Radeon 5750 1GB DDR3 vid card on a Gigabyte AMD MA770T-UD3P MOBO w/Win XP 32 bit w/Phenom II X2550 Black edition CPU and 600 watt power supply. Unless I run the game with low textures (and perhaps low graphics), I get a message “not enough video memory” and a crash to desktop. I don’t even need to play the game. All I need to do is select “high” textures. My main question is, do I need to get a card with more memory (ie. 2 GB) or do I just need a better 1GB card? I am considering a Radeon HD 6850 but not sure if that will be enough of an upgrade. Any suggestions/comment are welcome. And oh yeah. Tribes: Ascend rocks! Get it for free!
October 15, 2012 7:51:33 PM

mmm try to update the graphics driver for fixing it and try again also check the gpuz
specification and match up with 5750 1 gb drr3
Related resources
October 15, 2012 9:13:33 PM

That's not much more ($170) than what a 5750 goes for, and I'm not sure it would make a noticeable improvement. I doubt it would be worth it. Not sure I want to spend over a $200.
October 15, 2012 9:46:58 PM

a 6870 is extremely better than a 5750, even the ddr5 models make it worth it. I would suggest the 7850 if you have the money for it though. Its about equal in performance to a 6950 give or take a few frames.

I run tribes maxed out with my setup, Athlon 2 x3 + 6870.
October 16, 2012 12:14:05 AM

pschmeer said:
I am currently using a ATI Radeon 5750 1GB DDR3 vid card on a Gigabyte AMD MA770T-UD3P MOBO w/Win XP 32 bit w/Phenom II X2550 Black edition CPU and 600 watt power supply. Unless I run the game with low textures (and perhaps low graphics), I get a message “not enough video memory” and a crash to desktop. I don’t even need to play the game. All I need to do is select “high” textures. My main question is, do I need to get a card with more memory (ie. 2 GB) or do I just need a better 1GB card? I am considering a Radeon HD 6850 but not sure if that will be enough of an upgrade. Any suggestions/comment are welcome. And oh yeah. Tribes: Ascend rocks! Get it for free!


It's a quad core that will help you. Dual core will never get the graphics performance you want.
Not enough space in a dual core processor. Not enough cache memory.

No matter what video card you install, you will still have problems.
You must run win 7 to get good graphic performance. XP is a joke compared to 7.
A motherboard that supports PCI 16X is highly recommended.
Getting good video quality is more work than the manufacturer tells you.
They are willing to sell anything that you pay for. But they don't tell you all the facts.
October 16, 2012 12:20:47 AM

soundguruman said:
It's a quad core that will help you. Dual core will never get the graphics performance you want.
Not enough space in a dual core processor. Not enough cache memory.

No matter what video card you install, you will still have problems.


I don't necessarily agree with that. Sure a quad will speed things up in many games that use all of the cores, but a graphics upgrade will help a lot here. I don't know what you mean by not enough space? Cache doesn't play that big of a part in game performance. I suggest a 7850 2GB. I have one and it plays all of my games on high in 1080p. Sure I have a much faster quad core processor, but that card hits his sweet spot as far a price goes.
October 16, 2012 12:26:00 AM

You are wrong.
With an inferior processor, an inferior OS, an inferior (non 16X) board,
no matter how much you spend on a video card, you won't get noth'in.

Although there are plenty vendors claiming you will. It's a sham.

Wise up and get real. A VW bug don't run like a Lambo.

Go ahead and spend all the money you want on a video card...
Then admit I was right.
October 16, 2012 12:48:52 AM

"an inferior (non 16X) board"

I don't understand this part, the motherboard has a PCIe x16 slot, granted it is 2.0 and not 3.0, but most cards can not full the 2.0 bus speed, yet.
October 16, 2012 1:00:17 AM

RAM PROBLEM:

I normally would recommend you get a 2GB HD7850, however you should NOT DO THAT because you have 32-bit Windows.

Windows 32-bit can only see 4GB of memory addresses. That includes:
- System RAM
- Video RAM
- minor other hardware reserved addresses

If you got a 2GB card you'd be left with LESS than 2GB for your System RAM regardless of how much you have on your motherboard.

I'm surprised the game crashed like that. I don't think I've EVER seen a game not run with 1GB of Video RAM and I've played pretty much every game. My HD5870 ran fine in Skyrim, Crysis 1 and 2, Witcher 2, BF3 etc.

*The bottom line is that apparently you need more than 1GB of VRAM, but if you do that you'll screw up your System RAM.

**For other games, if you're going to upgrade get the HD7850 1GB card for about $180. I tried to see any value below that compared to your card but it drops off quickly. The HD7850 is FAR BETTER than slightly cheaper cards and a $100 isn't enough better than your current card that it seems a worthwhile upgrade:

Final advice:
1) Wait and build a new system, or
2) buy this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bottlenecking of your CPU will occur but it will vary by the game. This card is still worthwhile. Your CPU should be overclocked if possible. If you don't have a non-stock cooler you can get something like this for $20: http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=67721&vpn=CNPS%205X%20...
October 16, 2012 1:01:21 AM

A X2 550 BE is still a very viable processor for gaming.
( I have a Micro ATX box running the same CPU and HD7770 and you'd be suprised what it can play well @ 1080p)

Simple answer is your getting out of memory errors and the program crashing you need more GPU memory. Why not just buy a better GPU, if worst comes to worst, The new GPU can be the first part of a PC upgrade with a new CPU and MOBO down the track.
Though I would reccomend an upgrade to Windows7 64bit, as it will make a pretty damn good difference to your PC and allow you to use DX10+ features of your card as well alleviate that memory limitation problem. (DO not go to Windows XP 64-bit, due to driver support issues for a lot of devices)

Everyone here will scream you need a new CPU and new MOBO because it's not the latest and greatest your running.
In the end you can listen to all the advice you want here, but you have to make up your own mind on what you want to do.
October 16, 2012 1:07:18 AM

Odd, I use a 5770, and I can play most games at max, I even just played Max Payne 3 and Witcher 2 at max settings (slightly decreased AA) and had butter smooth frame rate. I've also played Tribes: Ascend and I believe I had everything on max.

I would check and make sure that drivers are properly installed, and if they are, re-install them. Also make sure that no graphic settings are being forced in the graphics control panel.

October 16, 2012 1:07:23 AM

soundguruman said:
You are wrong.
With an inferior processor, an inferior OS, an inferior (non 16X) board,
no matter how much you spend on a video card, you won't get noth'in.

Although there are plenty vendors claiming you will. It's a sham.

Wise up and get real. A VW bug don't run like a Lambo.

Go ahead and spend all the money you want on a video card...
Then admit I was right.


You are incorrect.

A PCI-e v2 x16 slot can handle a GTX680 or HD7970, and only get bottlenecked by the HD7970 if running intensive GPGPU commands due to the intense CPU to GPU bandwidth.

His CPU will bottleneck at some point, however it will vary by the game. Most games with his CPU (with a 25% overclock) will run better with an HD7850 versus a cheaper card like the HD6870.

This information can be found on the internet easily if you know what to look for, especially the PCIe bus bandwith issue. It was a big deal when Ivy Bridge came out so it was tested extensively.

With the HD7850 and his CPU there are several fun games he could run very well, including Diablo 3.

October 16, 2012 1:15:41 AM

joshernater9 said:
Odd, I use a 5770, and I can play most games at max, I even just played Max Payne 3 and Witcher 2 at max settings (slightly decreased AA) and had butter smooth frame rate. I've also played Tribes: Ascend and I believe I had everything on max.

I would check and make sure that drivers are properly installed, and if they are, re-install them. Also make sure that no graphic settings are being forced in the graphics control panel.


The definition of "MAX" is generally at full quality while achieving 60FPS most of the time (usually at 1600x900 or higher).

I have a GTX680 (ASUS TOP) at 1300MHz and I can BARELY achieve 60FPS at MAX quality (without ubersampling). My HD5870 was closer to 30FPS with max settings.

It's not really worth arguing about but suggesting an HD5770 can run games like Witcher 2 and Max Payne 3 is a pretty misleading.
October 16, 2012 1:28:24 AM

photonboy said:
The definition of "MAX" is generally at full quality while achieving 60FPS most of the time (usually at 1600x900 or higher).

I have a GTX680 (ASUS TOP) at 1300MHz and I can BARELY achieve 60FPS at MAX quality (without ubersampling). My HD5870 was closer to 30FPS with max settings.

It's not really worth arguing about but suggesting an HD5770 can run games like Witcher 2 and Max Payne 3 is a pretty misleading.


My definition of max is at full quality, with smooth FPS (probably around 30+, it depends on the person and the game for me. Some games I can't stand not to have higher). On Witcher 2, I have everything on except Bloom (I don't like the effect it makes, which is why it's disabled), Vignette (pointless and annoying effect) and UberSampling (of course I can't run that). So basically UberSampling and Bloom are the only ones that would make a FPS impact that I have off, and I hate bloom. With these settings I get solid 30FPS at 1920x1080. It feels very smooth too, and I'm usually picky about frame rate.

My original point was, he should be able to run Tribes: Ascend with what he has perfectly fine.
October 16, 2012 1:28:46 AM

RadeonPro:
This is a MUST-HAVE tool. I used it a lot with my HD5870. I mostly used it to FORCE VSYNC or anti-aliasing if not supported in game. Another useful feature is the HALF VSYNC method. If your frame rates are in the 30's it's a useful thing to synch to 30FPS thus disabling screen tearing. Examples:

1) Mass Effect 1 and 2
- forced anti-aliasing (Supersampling looked far better than MSAA. I usually use MSAA for most games but Supersampling looked much better with the straight lines.)

2) Witcher 1
- forced VSYNC (witcher.exe in a subfolder). Provided you can achieve 60FPS you'll synch to that and eliminated screen tearing.

3) The Sims 3
- forced HALF VSYNC. (this not only eliminated screen tearing from not achieving 60FPS VSYNC but also eliminated a lot of stuttering for some reason.)

4) Forcing 50FPS VSYNC:
Some monitors support 50FPS at specific resolutions (support for PAL). I had several games that hovered in the 50's so I forced 50FPS VSYNC instead (my monitor supports it at 1280x720 and 1920x1080). I forced it for every game that I couldn't max at 60FPS because I could slightly raise the quality.

Example:
1. find the WITCHER exe and DRAG it into RadeonPro
2. enable VSYNC
3. check with FRAPS
October 16, 2012 4:25:02 AM

To the OP, how much system memory do you have?

To all, is is possible that he has 4GB of RAM and 1GB of VRAM and the system just does not know how to cope with it?
October 16, 2012 4:58:06 AM

bkoop said:
To the OP, how much system memory do you have?

To all, is is possible that he has 4GB of RAM and 1GB of VRAM and the system just does not know how to cope with it?


Windows should cope just fine.
This is how it works for 32-bit:
1) Windows adds up the Video RAM and the small amount of dedicated memory for other hardware (let's say 1GB + 400MB)
2) Windows SUBTRACTS this from the theoretical 4GB maximum it can handle.
3) If he had 4GB installed, he could then use 2.6GB of it.

Anyway, here are the basic requirements (512MB of VRAM) for one:
http://hi-rez.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/269/...

I googled and saw others with crashing due to insufficient memory:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/17080/discussions/0/88296...

Most people don't realize but Windows often buffers Video RAM to the System RAM. Anyway, it sounds like poor coding in the game.
October 16, 2012 5:17:10 AM

*Important:
Some people with hardware that supports it can tweak their system to support MORE THAN 4GB on Windows 32-bit!

Links:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366796%28VS.8...

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4875...

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736309%28W...

You can buy 8GB of DDR3 for $35 http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=70136&vpn=KHX1600C9D3B...

I have no hands-on experience with this workaround. Again, the hardware must meet the requirements but it's worth looking into.

If it DID work, then my advice would be:
1) HD7850 2GB and NOT the 1GB model (about $200)
2) overclock your CPU by 25% ($20 CPU HSF if need be)
3) 8GB DDR3 for $35
October 16, 2012 9:01:35 AM

photonboy said:
*Important:
Some people with hardware that supports it can tweak their system to support MORE THAN 4GB on Windows 32-bit!

Links:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366796%28VS.8...

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4875...

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736309%28W...

You can buy 8GB of DDR3 for $35 http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=70136&vpn=KHX1600C9D3B...

I have no hands-on experience with this workaround. Again, the hardware must meet the requirements but it's worth looking into.

If it DID work, then my advice would be:
1) HD7850 2GB and NOT the 1GB model (about $200)
2) overclock your CPU by 25% ($20 CPU HSF if need be)
3) 8GB DDR3 for $35


Until you do what I told you, you will get nowhere.
You are just throwing money away.
Overclock the processor? To make up for an undersized processor?
Cute idea, but it's just gonna fry your processor.
October 16, 2012 3:27:41 PM

WOW guys! Thanks for all of the advice. First thing I am going to do is upgrade to Win7 and add more RAM. I currently have 4 gigs (2x2), with two more open slots. I had purchased a 4gig stick before realizing I couldn’t use any more in XP, so the plan is to get another 4gig stick and use those two in the two open slots for a total of 12 gigs. Please let me know if you think that is a bad idea to mix the different sizes of RAM and whether I should rather just use the two 4 gig sticks. Next I will overclock the CPU a bit, as it is my understanding that the Phenom II black edition is very overclockable and easy to do (I have never overclocked anything). It is also my understanding that this particular CPU can be turned into a quad core (by unlocking two additional cores) very easily. I read that when I bought it. But I am skeptical that that will help with regards to this game, or any games, for that matter. After that, I will then consider upgrading the GPU. The thing is, I can run T:A with very acceptable FPS, but I have to turn the textures, and perhaps the graphic options, down quite a bit to avoid the “out of video memory” crash. Like most gamers, I want more eye candy w/o losing frame rates. But whether the additional eye candy is worth a couple hundred additional bucks is the question. Please continue to comment and suggest. AND, if you like first person shooters but don’t have Tribes: Ascend, you are missing out on a great game and a great deal. And “NO”, I don’t work for Hi-Rez.

BTW, I can run Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 juist fine with my rig. But again, I have to turn the eye candy down.

Thanks again. What a great site this is!
October 16, 2012 4:35:18 PM

soundguruman said:
Until you do what I told you, you will get nowhere.
You are just throwing money away.
Overclock the processor? To make up for an undersized processor?
Cute idea, but it's just gonna fry your processor.


Are you honestly saying his proc is bottlenecking a 5750 DDR3?
If you overclock a proc and fry it its your own stupidity thats just a simple fact. theres rated limits on voltage for a reason.
That previous sentiment about needing a 16x board is just stupid. a PCIe1.0 x16 board yes that is a requirement basically. 2.0 @ 8x and 3.0 @ 4x are the lowest numbers you should be looking at, you can run them lower but performance suffers a bit.

But yes, overclocking or unlocking cores would indeed help him. if he has spare cash just laying around then I suggest an i3/i5.

In CPU intensive games such as starcraft I would agree theres really no point in upgrading that high but he seems to be playing a wide variety of them. I went from a 6670 to a 6870 with my Athlon 2 x3 and it was a massive improvement in performance. I still haven't upgraded due to im still happy with the proc.

In tribes specifically CPU count seems to not matter to terribly much.

October 16, 2012 8:49:53 PM

I though i'd come back to say I just ran a test, and I'm getting a solid (and very smooth) 45FPS on Tribes: Ascend with no errors. Should work well for you.
October 16, 2012 11:14:00 PM

Hi again,
Let me REPLY to the updates and also combat some misinformation:

1. Overclocking:
a) I was recommending overclocking slightly if he invested in a better graphics card as an alternative to buying a new CPU. There WOULD be a benefit.

b) CPU overclocking is something many, many safely do and you can find lots of info on this. I've done it for many years. Again, I'm not suggesting a massive overclock with lots of risk. It's his own informed decision to continue.

People seem to think a small overclock will easily kill a CPU and it's not true if you have a good heatsink, do a little research, and don't push the limits too high. Again, there's LOTS of information on this for this CPU alone.

2) RAM:
*Make sure you use IDENTICAL RAM. Unless you can get another identical 4GB stick, buy a new 8GB (2x4GB) set. You can get a 1600MHz one for as little as $35 on sale.

3) Turn your DUAL CORE into a QUAD CORE? Easily? Maybe...
(This link suggests it is possible so info must be available. I strongly recommend a SMALL overclock only)
http://siliconmadness.blogspot.ca/2009/06/amd-phenom-ii...

4) Graphics card:
Now that you're going 8GB and Windows 7 64-bit your memory limit is gone. The best value for you is the HD7850 2GB. And make sure it is a 2GB version. Sapphire is a quality brand and my first choice. Gigabyte and Asus are good too. MSI is in the news for overvolting so that's worth keeping in mind.

5) CPU bottleneck:
Some games with an HD7850 will definitely be bottlenecked by your CPU. For about $100 you can buy a much better CPU. On the other hand your CPU, especially with a small overclock, will play many games nicely with this card. It varies quite a lot between games.

Summary:
- CPU overclock/unlock info
- don't use a STOCK CPU HSF for overclocking
- HD7850 2GB? (not 1GB)
- 8GB DDR3 1600MHz (identical RAM modules!)
Good luck!
October 16, 2012 11:29:33 PM

I honestly don't think you should be telling him to upgrade just yet....he doesn't seem like he needs to. I can play Starcraft II, Diablo 3, Witcher 2, Tribes: Ascend, etc with full eye candy and great FPS, and there is a small difference between our cards. I would check to see what's wrong with your current GPU first. I mean, if he really wants to upgrade then go ahead, but for what he's doing I don't really think he needs to.

Maybe get 8GB of RAM now, but I would wait a little for the GPU until you really need it. Maybe Christmas.
October 16, 2012 11:53:29 PM

Hes using a 5750 DDR3. I can't seem to find any benchmarks anywhere on the 5750/6750 DDR3 versions compared to the ddr5 but I would have to imagine it would be quite a bit slower. :/ 
October 17, 2012 12:28:12 AM

mouse24 said:
Hes using a 5750 DDR3. I can't seem to find any benchmarks anywhere on the 5750/6750 DDR3 versions compared to the ddr5 but I would have to imagine it would be quite a bit slower. :/ 


Past benchmarks indicate the difference would be somewhere between 0% and 10%. The choice of DDR3 is often out of cost for lower-end cards that aren't bottlenecked by the slower memory. I've seen a small speed difference but never a large one.
October 17, 2012 1:03:43 AM

joshernater9 said:
I honestly don't think you should be telling him to upgrade just yet....he doesn't seem like he needs to. I can play Starcraft II, Diablo 3, Witcher 2, Tribes: Ascend, etc with full eye candy and great FPS, and there is a small difference between our cards. I would check to see what's wrong with your current GPU first. I mean, if he really wants to upgrade then go ahead, but for what he's doing I don't really think he needs to.

Maybe get 8GB of RAM now, but I would wait a little for the GPU until you really need it. Maybe Christmas.


I'm not forcing him to upgrade. It's his choice. There are plenty of games that look far better with a better graphics card and also many games that don't. I can list 15 games that I need a GTX680 for the best quality.

Diablo 3 ran at 120FPS at full quality, 1920x1080 on my HD5870.

Witcher 2 runs at just over 60FPS at full quality, 1920x1080 on my GTX680 (Asus TOP).

Tribes Ascend would likely fall between these two (at full quality).

Starcraft 2 is different. They actually have a CPU benchmark and a GPU benchmark. A large number of objects FIRING at each other can bog down a low-end CPU so you could play at say 30FPS and drop down to 10FPS at times if the CPU is not adequate.

*So I'm not TELLING him anything. If he wants better quality then get the HD7850 2GB which is IMO the best value right now. If he's happy with the current quality then fine.
!