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Older PC, New Graphics Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 27, 2012 4:18:55 AM

Hi guys,
I recently posted in the new system builds section of the forums for a 2k gaming PC. After much thinking and as it turns out, I'm better off spending that money somewhere else.

My question is simple, I want to play games like Black Ops 2, Heroes of Newerth, Battlefield 3, and Dota 2 at High settings, and my PC is a bit older, so what kind of a graphics card would you guys recommend?

Here is my build:

gigabyte g41m-es2l mobo - it has a PCI-Express x16 slot, running at 1.1 I believe
Intel Core 2 Duo e7500 OCed to 3.4ghz
4GB DDR3 ram
Sapphire Radeon 5770
WD 250gb hard drive
500-550 watt PSU (I believe it's cooler master)
My monitor is 23" @ 1080p (samsung lcd)

My processor has a good heatsink installed on it and it idles around 40C (avg of both cores) and the same is true for my GPU. I have a midtower case with 80mm and 120mm fans installed. My PC is pretty good and can handle all that I can throw at it; the problem is that I have to play games at 1680x1050 or 1440x990 with medium settings on and many extras turned off, and while it performs well at those settings, extreme gameplay scenarios do lag sometimes.

I am leaning towards the gtx 660 ti, which seems to have very good performance in BF3, which would indicate that it could easily handle Black Ops 2 and Heroes of Newerth/Dota2. Can a GPU only upgrade allow my rig to play these games at High/Mid-High settings? I've seen people play these games at low settings on low-end graphics cards (such as BF3 on a 6550D), so it's not like these games are extremely graphics-intensive. What do you guys think? Are any of my PC components likely to bottleneck the gtx 660 ti? Can my PSU handle it? I want to hear all your opinions!

More about : older graphics card

a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 4:38:43 AM

i put a 7870oc into a friends c2d e8400 overclocked a bit which is faster than your cpu by a bitand that cpu was holding back the 7870 in bf3 in 64 player maps so in my opinion unless your planning on upgrading your cpu in the near future i wouldnt go higher
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a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 4:47:53 AM

Grab some more RAM, DDR3 is cheap. If you are comfortable with it, an older C2Q can be bought cheap on ebay. OC to 3.6-3.8 and the CPU shouldn't be a bottleneck anymore.
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a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 4:53:15 AM

ntwpro said:
Hi guys,
I recently posted in the new system builds section of the forums for a 2k gaming PC. After much thinking and as it turns out, I'm better off spending that money somewhere else.

My question is simple, I want to play games like Black Ops 2, Heroes of Newerth, Battlefield 3, and Dota 2 at High settings, and my PC is a bit older, so what kind of a graphics card would you guys recommend?

Here is my build:

gigabyte g41m-es2l mobo - it has a PCI-Express x16 slot, running at 1.1 I believe
Intel Core 2 Duo e7500 OCed to 3.4ghz
4GB DDR3 ram
Sapphire Radeon 5770
WD 250gb hard drive
500-550 watt PSU (I believe it's cooler master)
My monitor is 23" @ 1080p (samsung lcd)

My processor has a good heatsink installed on it and it idles around 40C (avg of both cores) and the same is true for my GPU. I have a midtower case with 80mm and 120mm fans installed. My PC is pretty good and can handle all that I can throw at it; the problem is that I have to play games at 1680x1050 or 1440x990 with medium settings on and many extras turned off, and while it performs well at those settings, extreme gameplay scenarios do lag sometimes.

I am leaning towards the gtx 660 ti, which seems to have very good performance in BF3, which would indicate that it could easily handle Black Ops 2 and Heroes of Newerth/Dota2. Can a GPU only upgrade allow my rig to play these games at High/Mid-High settings? I've seen people play these games at low settings on low-end graphics cards (such as BF3 on a 6550D), so it's not like these games are extremely graphics-intensive. What do you guys think? Are any of my PC components likely to bottleneck the gtx 660 ti? Can my PSU handle it? I want to hear all your opinions!


Get a 7850 2 GB and you will max out almost all games with no bottlenecks. Personally I think a 7870 would be fine too.
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a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 4:57:30 AM

i dont know what prices you have where you are i find the even the 2nd hand c2q are way overpriced i sold my old c2q mobo and ram and it was 2 years old and it only cost me 50 bucks extra to get a 2500k and a comparable motherboard and ram. if your gonna do upgrades an ivy i3 will be quicker in games and probably cost similar price so check your options first before you get an old c2q i always suggest against it. you could be up and running an i3 for a little over 170 at a guess plus you can ebay your old kit
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a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 2:45:43 PM

jasont78 said:
i dont know what prices you have where you are i find the even the 2nd hand c2q are way overpriced i sold my old c2q mobo and ram and it was 2 years old and it only cost me 50 bucks extra to get a 2500k and a comparable motherboard and ram. if your gonna do upgrades an ivy i3 will be quicker in games and probably cost similar price so check your options first before you get an old c2q i always suggest against it. you could be up and running an i3 for a little over 170 at a guess plus you can ebay your old kit


Yeah I agree with him. Get a new mobo and CPU. Hell a Phenom II x4 @ 4.0 GHz would be decently stronger and the motherboard with it would possible cost as little as $140.

I recommend you get a 7850 or 7870 now, and then in a year or two get Intel's Haswell or AMD's Excavator.
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November 27, 2012 2:57:18 PM

I forgot that my power supply has a 6 pin PCI-E connector, so that pretty much limits me to the 7850 - I can upgrade my PSU but if I'll get bottlenecked hard on any GPU higher than the 7850, then I guess there really isn't any point in doing so. The 7850 only requires a 6 pin power connection, how do you guys think my rig with the 7850 will be able to play bf3, dota2, black ops 2, hon, and etc.?
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a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 3:00:35 PM

ntwpro said:
I forgot that my power supply has a 6 pin PCI-E connector, so that pretty much limits me to the 7850 - I can upgrade my PSU but if I'll get bottlenecked hard on any GPU higher than the 7850, then I guess there really isn't any point in doing so. The 7850 only requires a 6 pin power connection, how do you guys think my rig with the 7850 will be able to play bf3, dota2, black ops 2, hon, and etc.?


It will run all of those completely fine. BF3 may be slightly bottle necked by the cpu, but not much. Remember that BF3's max FPS is what will be limited, not the minimum which is the most important.
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a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2012 7:46:18 AM

CaptainTom said:
It will run all of those completely fine. BF3 may be slightly bottle necked by the cpu, but not much. Remember that BF3's max FPS is what will be limited, not the minimum which is the most important.
remember hes only running a c2d might be ok single player but they are serious bottlenecks in the multiplayer maps, very laggy.
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a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2012 3:06:27 PM

jasont78 said:
remember hes only running a c2d might be ok single player but they are serious bottlenecks in the multiplayer maps, very laggy.


I guess idk since I have only played online using an overclocked i5-3570k lol. However I still find it hard to believe that a c2d at those clocks would seriously lag anything. If anything I would imagine his max framerate online would be around 40 FPS.
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December 2, 2012 2:06:08 AM

Hey guys,

Seeing as an SSD, ivy bridge core i5, and a strong GPU will substantially improve my overall PC performance, I've decided to build a budget PC.

The specs follow: (I've already bought the processor, memory, CPU heatsink, SSD + HD)
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.79 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.79 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($36.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($73.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Cooler Master GX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1069.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-01 23:01 EST-0500)

What do you guys think? I'm thinking it might be a bit overkill for the games I mentioned (BF3, Black ops 2, HON, Dota 2) but, if I can get the remaining parts (mobo, case, PSU, GPU) on sale and with a bit of patience, I can hopefully get the build to $900. So far with the CPU, heatsink, memory, SSD + HD I am up to $420, including shipping and tax and without rebates - I think I'm doing good.


I'd like input from everybody, especially people who use the 7950, especially in games like those above. And also, I'd like to Crossfire soon.
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December 2, 2012 2:22:09 AM

it seems extreamly good it will definitly get you future proofed for a long time if you are willing to spend that much it looks good
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