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Best Graphics Card for a Q9550?

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • Power Supplies
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 27, 2012 7:31:07 AM

Recently the Power Supply went rogue on my Q9550 machine, and took my old GeForce GTX 280 with it. This motivated me to start building an entirely new system for my primary use, which shall be done soon. But I want to put my old Q9550 system to work as well as a secondary machine, rather than just cast it to the side.

My plan is to designate it as my "multimedia and big screen gaming machine" that will be permanently hooked up to my HDTV.

Specs:

Q9550 (OCed from 2.83 to 3.4 ghz, I probably don't know what I'm doing but I have NOT been able to get any more out of it unfortunately. It's also been a hot chip since the day I got it)
4 GB DDR2 (Since I stupidly got 4x1GB and DDR2 is expensive now, I'm not planning on adding any more RAM)
850W CorsairTX Power Supply
etc.

I already got a replacement for the Power Supply (it was under Warranty), so now the machine is just missing a Graphics Card. My old GTX 280 served the machine extremely well on my small monitor, but since I will now be dealing with 1920x1080 resolutions I was hoping to get something stronger.

Since I am in the possession of a GTX 670 which I'll be putting into my new desktop computer, I went ahead and tried it out in this computer to see how it fit. It's nice! But after playing Arkham City for the first time with the Q9550+GTX 670 combo, with just "acceptable" results at max settings, it's apparent that the CPU probably limits the GTX 670, and I hate the thought of its power going to waste.

So what I'm hoping to find, is a card that's in the sweet spot for this machine, that will have good performance at 1920x1080. It's OK if the card I'm looking for that you can recommend happens to be an older gen card that I could perhaps find used on eBay or something. I'm not really worried about the price, I just want to find the sweet spot for Q9550 that will maximize its performance, but if the price of the card ends up being even close to $300+ish, I'll be tempted to just get another GTX 670 despite the bottlenecking since it seems like such a sweet-spot buy and could have more potential use in the future and I could enjoy a warranty etc. But was just wondering if there's a "Q9550 soul mate" card out there that would fit this system's power perfectly, maximizing the performance with a Q9550 and 4GB RAM while being stronger than the GTX 280 was, that I can find for a price that makes the savings seem worth it. If that doesn't seem to exist, I'd probably be inclined to just go with another 670... is that a total waste on a Q9550? It's hard for me to tell.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

More about : graphics card q9550

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a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2012 8:18:04 AM

Have you set the 670 to make the physx calculations instead of automatic?
Your cpu might be old, but its not bad by any means (hell im still runing a Q6600 on 3 ghz and i can play every timetle out there except Starcraft 2 with a 560 Ti).

If i had your system id go for a 660 Ti probably (since my budget is a bit tight). I know the ATIs have better performance i general, but since nvidia can do the physx calculations, the CPU wont be as constricted as with an ATI.

Also, you running 64 bit OS? IF not, Ram could be a mall bottleneck.
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November 27, 2012 9:06:42 AM

cats_Paw said:
Have you set the 670 to make the physx calculations instead of automatic?
Your cpu might be old, but its not bad by any means (hell im still runing a Q6600 on 3 ghz and i can play every timetle out there except Starcraft 2 with a 560 Ti).

If i had your system id go for a 660 Ti probably (since my budget is a bit tight). I know the ATIs have better performance i general, but since nvidia can do the physx calculations, the CPU wont be as constricted as with an ATI.

Also, you running 64 bit OS? IF not, Ram could be a mall bottleneck.


Yeah, Windows 7 64-bit

Thanks for the suggestions, and the encouragement! I do want to give my Q9550 some more love in the future and probably wouldn't even be looking at upgrading yet if my video card hadn't died, but just worried about wasting money on a video card it can't use. Also, thanks for pointing out the Physx calculation option to me, it was set to Auto or whatever so I've fixed it to the 670 now!

In the meantime, after reading some Overclocking Guides on here I was able to get my Q9550 to 3.8 ghz! I haven't run it through Prime yet, but I'm still happy because it's the first time I was able to get into Windows with more than 3.4. :bounce:  Already I tried some games with promising results. It's still a bit hotter than most people's Q9550s seem to be as always, but the funny thing is that the heat hasn't seemed to increase much at all with overclocking. My chip just seems to be consistently warm at idle whether it's at stock or OCed.

If I can get a good overclock to stick, that should sway me towards a better video card because I assume potential CPU bottlenecking would be alleviated somewhat?
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November 27, 2012 10:01:37 AM

Best answer selected by Centimetro.
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November 27, 2012 10:01:41 AM

whoa, silly me. You gave me the idea to do some more digging through my settings, and I discovered an ancient configuration I had set YEARS ago with D3DOverrider and RivaTuner, to theoretically minimize input lag. It looks like these settings were severely hampering my GTX 670, and after getting rid of them it seems to be able to handle all my games, including the Batman game. Yay! So I guess the "old man" Q9550 is capable. I'm sure the bottleneck is there, but I'll just give it some love and put a good card in. Thanks!
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