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Worth updating this systems graphic card?

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  • Memory
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2012 10:30:20 AM

Heya :) 

Its an old system, and I will hopefully get a new one when the wife lets me! however, I wonder if the current system would benefit from a graphics card update? if so, what would you recommend?

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
Memory: 6144MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 6142MB RAM
Page File: 1963MB used, 10319MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
User DPI Setting: Using System DPI
System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 32bit Unicode

Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce 9600 GT
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0622&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_A1
Display Memory: 3816 MB
Dedicated Memory: 1001 MB
Shared Memory: 2815 MB
Current Mode: 1360 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)

Thanks in advance for your time and advice :) 

More about : worth updating systems graphic card

a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 10:34:37 AM

Definitely! Something like a GTX650 would deliver a huge improvement, and you could probably go higher still. What kind of money are you looking at putting on it?
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 10:38:22 AM

Is that the maximum resolution of the display? Please post the specs of the powersupply, a stronger graphics card may need more power than the currently installed unit can provide.
Silly question I know but: Is this for playing games, if so which ones? ;) 
For a gaming rig the card is a little weak, you'll certainly get better graphics with a stronger card.
The Q6600 is a fairly old CPU but it's still useful, adding a better cooler and delving into the Dark Art of overclockig will unleash some extra horsepower.
Related resources
December 29, 2012 10:39:42 AM

Agreed, those core 2 quad6600 s where quite strong i had a 480 in one and it ran like a raped ape!!O.o
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 10:40:26 AM

Id personally get a GTX660.

Going from a 9600GT to a 660 will blow your mind. Im not sure what the power draw is from a 9600GT so you "May" need a PSU upgrade. Overall, I personally think that's a decent build that's just lacking a bit in the Graphics department. :D 

Core 2 Quad's still do good in the CPU market. So I think you'll be alright in that area for the time being.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 10:43:45 AM

If it can run a 9600GT, it can definitely run a GTX650, but it would be useful to know the PSU if you're gaming and want more muscle than a GTX650 could provide.

Simmons, it's 95 watts TDP and 140 watts on the GTX660 so not miles apart :-) GTX650 is 65 watts by the way.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 10:48:20 AM

sam_p_lay said:
it's 95 watts TDP and 140 watts on the GTX660 so not miles apart :-) GTX650 is 65 watts by the way.


With Great Power, comes The Great Electricity Bill :lol: 

And a GTX 650 would be enough if you game a little... And no PSU upgrade.
However a GTX 660 will give a massive Boost around 5-6 times. (Read it somewhere)

December 29, 2012 10:53:25 AM

Really? its like 4-5 years old or so..I never thought it would be able to run modern cards! I havnt thought about any budget, was even wondering if its worth upgrading at all!

Are you sure its a q6600? those specs are straight from copy paste and I just want to make sure since it doesnt mention that on dxdiag.

The power output is a 'win-power ATX-500, max output 500w'. Theres a whole bunch of numbers under that on the supply if they help at all :) 

Thanks for your time guys, sorry for the newbie questions :p 
December 29, 2012 10:56:43 AM

Wow this forum replies fast lol!

Yes its for gaming :)  thats all I really do with my PC outside of things you could do with a calculator like typing and wotnot. P0lanetside 2 atm is what I play most but I have to turn it down to minecraft levels just to make it playable. Generally I avoid newer games since its an older system, hence questions :) 
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 11:03:35 AM

ijcoventry said:

Are you sure its a q6600? those specs are straight from copy paste and I just want to make sure since it doesnt mention that on dxdiag.

:p 

Go to START, right click on Computer, then select properties.

It should tell you exactly what CPU you have.

Your PSU is not one of the better rated PSUs, I recommend geting something from Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, PCP&C, XFX, or Enermax in the 500-600 watt range( maybe a little more), especially if you plan on overclocking. Good Luck!
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:05:39 AM

+1 to that, except Enermax. And not all Corsair, Antec and PC P&C units are Seasonic-built. All XFXs are though. I thought Q6600 too (I used to have one also) and the specs look right. A GTX650 should deliver easily double your current performance. A GTX650 Ti would add ~40% again. And a GTX660, ~50% again.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:09:41 AM

Not to mention if the PSU is 4-5 Years old, the Capacitors (And other components in general inside the PSU) have surely aged a bit and are not as efficient.
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 11:09:42 AM

One last piece of the puzzle remains, Watson: What is the monitors actual resolution?
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 11:13:11 AM

sam_p_lay said:
+1 to that, except Enermax. And not all Corsair, Antec and PC P&C units are Seasonic-built. All XFXs are though. I thought Q6600 too (I used to have one also) and the specs look right. A GTX650 should deliver easily double your current performance. A GTX650 Ti would add ~40% again. And a GTX660, ~50% again.

It doesn't have to be Seasonic built to be a good PSU..I've even seen some Rosewill's with a good rating... ;) 
December 29, 2012 11:16:00 AM

Okay i checked it doesn't say q6600 when i clicked properties...so is it something else?

it literally says " Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz "

Yes that is the monitors default resolution yes, its only a tiny LG screen :) 
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:18:53 AM

clarkjd said:
It doesn't have to be Seasonic built to be a good PSU..I've even seen some Rosewill's with a good rating... ;) 


This is true - I have a Corsair TX850 that's not a Seasonic-built model and it's been going strong for ages. However it doesn't make for a simple answer for the less technically-literate. A much easier answer is "stick with Seasonic-built and you can't go wrong. These guys use Seasonic units:...". There's a lot to be said to not complicating things :-)
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:21:03 AM

ijcoventry said:
Okay i checked it doesn't say q6600 when i clicked properties...so is it something else?

it literally says " Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz "

Yes that is the monitors default resolution yes, its only a tiny LG screen :) 


Yeah it'll be a Q6600 - still a quality CPU.
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 11:28:50 AM

AH HA! The games afoot!
It's almost certainly a Q6600 CPU, not the fastest out there but good enough.
I'd go with the others here, the PSU could be better, but it'll depend on if you want to get into overclocking, for now it should be enough. Just check carefully that it has enough PCI-E connectors, again, it should be OK, but there's no harm in making sure befoe pressing the 'add to cart' button.
The GTX660 (non Ti) is the very, very maximum to consider and at such a low resolution I'd be inclined to suggest the GTX650Ti as being a better fit.
Do n't be bothered with the PCI-E versions, the cards being mentioned here will take no noticeabe performance hit running in your (I'm assuming) older PCI-E 1.0 motherboard.
This chart is useful:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-graphics-card-revi...
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:36:02 AM

I'd agree if the GTX660 and GTX650 Ti weren't so closely-priced. For the price difference, GTX660 makes more sense interms of value when performance difference is pretty major. Sounds like an overall upgrade is potentially coming up (if OP's wife gives the go-ahead :-)) and then he'll unlock any remaining GPU performance that was bottlenecked, maybe get a 1080p monitor too. A shiny new 24" IPS and i5 3570K would be a bit let down by a GTX650 Ti compared to a GTX660.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:40:12 AM

+1 sam_p_lay
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 11:41:26 AM

@ sam-p-lay: Depends on what the OP is planning, but if shiny new setup is in the offing in the near future-especially a monitor upgrade-I agree totally, I'd even suggest getting a new PSU and even stronger card now to carry them over into the new build/upgrade later might be the best soloution here.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 11:49:14 AM

PCI-e is the "Bus" you insert add-in cards into. They've had several revisions. ex 1.0 ,2.0, 2.1, 3.0 The x4, x8, and x16 after that is the slots speed/bandwidth

Check out the Wikipedia.org PCI article. Good read =D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 29, 2012 3:25:23 PM

@ ijcoventry: I take it you're in good old Blighty, old boy?
If so here's a few names to look at: Scan, Aria, Dabs, Overclockers, Misco, Ebuyer, Novatech and Pixmania.
As an upgrade to the existing system the GTX650Ti you linked to on E-bay is a good one, decent seller too, an importaint point when dealing on E-bay.
I'd go for the 650Ti upgrade now, maybe add a better cooler into the mix and overclock the CPU as well then aim to replace the whole box later, maybe mid year then either E-bay it as a going concern or donate it to the wife/kids/granparents (there's nothing wrong with greasing the axles of life;)).
December 31, 2012 12:07:44 PM

Sorry i havnt been able to find the thread since i didnt bookmark it. Silly me! and it got buried rather quickly! managed to find it on history :p 

Yeah I certainly am :)  living in Norfolk at the moment.

Yeah thats basically what I was thinking of doing :)  however I know little to nothing of overclocking, so gonna have to do the homework there.

I havnt bought the graphics card yet, probably going to do so in a couple of weeks (xmas is expensive lol) but I am a bit worried about the pci-e slot thing. Going by the wiki link pic it looks like its the 16x upside down? but idk, if anyone can tell heres a pic

December 31, 2012 12:46:10 PM

Also forgot to ask, I have read alot of people saying the older gtx 560 ti is actually more powerful for gaming, especially when utilising anti aliasing in more graphically demanding games, is this still true? since most of the articles I have read are from mid way through this year, and dont take into account more up to date driver performance and wotnot.

Also it seems the complete overhaul of the system probably wont be until sometime in 2014 due to financial reasons, so which would be better to go with? a gtx 560 ti or a gtx 650 ti. The game I play the most is planetside 2 incase that makes a difference :) 
December 31, 2012 12:58:40 PM

For some reason I am unable to edit messages, so apologise for the spam. But I also wanted to add the ram is ddr2. Does this make a difference on what card will run happily?
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 31, 2012 1:20:43 PM

Which bit of dull, dull, damp, dull Norfolk are you stuck in?
I'm in Norwich;).

Yes, the 560 Ti seems faster:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_7750_IceQ_X/1...

Just do n't pay over the odds for one. And check your powersupply has the correct
PCI-E plug/s to run it.
The PCI-E slot looks fine to me.
Motherboard and card memory operate independantly there will be no problems there.
Most games will benfit from a faster CPU, especially since many only use a single core anyway, be aware overclocking can be dangerous and you may have probelms installing a better cooler, so it's time to do a little homework;). Remember the 6'P' rule: Proper Preperation Prevents P@@@ Poor Performance.
December 31, 2012 1:30:35 PM

Ah! We live just outside of Fakenham in a tiny village :)  its definitely dull and damp here. Took some getting used to since I grew up in London near heathrow but I doubt I could go back lol.

How do I check the pci-e plugs on new cards to see if they will fit my psu? is there a spec somewhere that details it? only I dont have the psu box it came in any more :s

Yeah I am gonna read up alot about it before attempting it! But I will certainly try once I am learn-ed ( and when I work up the bottle :p  )
December 31, 2012 1:58:22 PM

I have to say; no matter where I look, the older 560 ti is around £120 used and £200 new. Where as the 660 is about £160 give or take. 660 has higher benchmarking too. so hmm...
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 31, 2012 2:50:29 PM

Yeh, had a quick look around, the 560s' are really overpriced, and I'd not recommend a used unit, we get quite a few posts here about dead or misperforming stuff from E-bay.
You're looking for these leads:

http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/connectors....

One should already be in use on the 9600 itself, so if you get a card that uses a single connector, you'll be fine power wise anyway.
As for card, if you're not going to be able to heavily upgrade/replace the system fairly soon I'd stick with a GTX650Ti (or HD7850) as being the upper end of what you can realistically use, either of those cards will run even demanding games (CPU allowing) at your resolution at maximum settings and ensure smooth gameplay. A GTX660 is just, to my mind, too much and too much.
December 31, 2012 3:17:06 PM

Okay I am completely at a loss, the 9600gt isnt actually connected to the psu at all? its literally plugged into the slot and thats all :o 

Yeah im leaning to the 650 ti aswell, due to what I read, with my cpu and screen size, the 660 wouldnt actually give much more bang for the buck and cost £50-60 more
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 31, 2012 3:35:13 PM

I do n't think all of them needed an extra conector and usually if a card needs to be given extra power and is not connected it makes a loud noise-or just won't work. Look around the cards edge, though, the socket is usually on the side facing the hard drive bays or on the side facing out, a rectangular block about 20x15 m.m. 3pins wid and 2 tall.
Somewhere in the tangle of leads sprouting from the powersupply you should find one 6 pin connector, if not all is not lost most cards come with converters (third from bottom in the page I linked to), not usually reguared as a good idea but for a card with limited power draw it'll be fine.
a b U Graphics card
December 31, 2012 3:42:04 PM

GTX560 Ti is around 30% faster than the the GTX650 Ti, and around 25-30% slower than the GTX660. As you say, they're stupidly overpriced in Britain new. GTX660 is massively more capable though if you can afford one, over 50% gain on average and very reasonably-priced.
December 31, 2012 4:45:23 PM

okay on even closer inspection its not even a free lead, its actually this



which has one of the 4 pin leads (horizontal, not 4pin box eg: 0000 ) coming from the back of the lead going into the dvd drive. Alongside the one that looks like the basic phoneline connector.

Am I out of luck without buying a new power supply?
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 31, 2012 5:14:37 PM

Close, but this is what I mean:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CB...

The 6 pin end goes into the card the other two plug into connectors from the powersupply. As far as I know every card sold comes with these included.
Most PSUs' have at least one fairly large bundle coming out of them which will hold several of the white, 4 pin (molex) connectors.
That card does n't look too bad, it's also very short so fitting it should be easy.
Can you post a pic of the PSU label? either that or post its make and model, that way we can be sure it'll be OK.
One point about overclocking is that it can dramatically increase the power consumption of the CPU and PSUs' lose performance with age, also cheap, no brand units are notorious for not giving their rated output-An old, poor quality unit combined with a dose of overclocking and a more demanding graphics card is asking for trouble.
December 31, 2012 5:56:27 PM

I will post some pics tomorrow, as my wife is at work (I need her smartphone to do it), however I am certain this is what I have

: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-QUIET-SILENT-WINPOWER-PLUS-...

However I cant see any black SATA leads in there.

The spare lead that I have in there appears to be a 'molex' which is coming out of the back of the lead connected to the DVD drive, out of the back of the spare molex comes the floppy disc lead, which was the one I was referring to as the old phone connector. Would this be useable with the adapter and leaving overclocking until I get a new psu?

The 'molex' coming from the back of the dvd drive looks exactly like the 2 adapter ends on the adapter you linked (opposing the 6 pin) and are what I would call 'female' as in they dont have any sticking out part.

Sorry for my complete ignorance to this subject, I must be making you guys cringe lol :) 
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 31, 2012 8:26:57 PM

Yes, and for obvious reasons they are 'female'-it's a engineering convention: things with holes in are 'female' things with protrusions that fit into said holes are 'male' .
Checked the link you posted, it has no PCI-E cnnectors and only a few Molex.
To be brutally honest, this is exactly the kind of non brand PSU I has in mind: It's rubbish.
These things will run and run, as long as the are lightly loaded but they lack protection, and when they blow they can really blow, it's not unknown for them to wreck an entire system when they fail.
Times are tough all around (I'm unemployed) so I know how hard this is going to be to swallow but you really should change it, and quickly.
Aim at between 500 and 600 Watts from a good maker: Antec, OCZ, Pc Power and Cooling, Silverstone, Corsair, XFX and FSP are amongst the better ones.
Expect to pay £50-60, maybe less if you collar a 'special'.
Hows this grab you?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-xfx-pro-series-core...
Glad you cut down the card budget now are n't you ;(.

Accepting ignorance is good, it leads to questions they lead to wisdom ;) .
December 31, 2012 9:07:52 PM

Times are very hard, sadly. Wish I could win the lottery lol :p 

Sadly this could lead an end to my updating for now. At least for a few months maybe longer due to time of year :( 

Idk, 100 quid give or take for a major upgrade is possible but with an added psu it could spell problems.

Are there any in the 30-35 quid range you could recommend? what about this one?

http://www.dabs.com/products/ocz-technology-500w-corexs...

Since nvidia specify the 650 ti to only require 400w, would a 500 watt be enough in total?
a c 199 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
December 31, 2012 11:12:59 PM

It's a good one, and at a knockdown price. It'll handle a GTX650Ti AND an overclocked CPU with NO problems-Good find that man! :) .
!