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Upgrading my GPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 6, 2013 12:00:28 AM

I bought an iBUYPOWER Gamer Extreme 547SLC Phenom II X4 955(3.2GHz) 4GB DDR3 750GB NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit in 2010. It's worked great for Battlefield 3, which I've played since it came out in Oct. 2011.

However, I just bought Crysis 3 and the GPU that came with my computer is not DirectX 11 compatible. Imagine my surprise. I'm not the most savvy computer hardware person, but I'm usually able to upgrade my own computer components. In this case, though, I'm a little intimidated. The Gamer Extreme is water-cooled. I've never upgraded a water-cooled computer.

I want to upgrade my GPU but I'm not sure if the one will work with my computer. Perhaps you can help me.

According to the GeForce the GeForce GTX 670 is at the top end of the recommended specs for Crysis 3. Can you tell me if it's compatible with my computer and if it is, will it work with my preexisting water-cool set-up?

I really appreciate any help I can get. Thanks in advance.

Here are the complete specs for my computer and below that the specs for the new GPU:

Model Gamer Extreme 547SLC
Type Gaming
Processor AMD Phenom II X4 955(3.2GHz)
Processor Main Features 64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Cache Per Processor 4 x 512KB L2 Cache
Memory 4GB DDR3 1600
Hard Drive 750GB SATAII
Optical Drive 1 24X DL DVD+/-RW Drive
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTS250 1GB
Audio Sound card - Integrated
Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps
Power Supply 700W
Keyboard iBUYPOWER USB Deluxe Keyboard
Mouse iBUYPOWER USB Mouse
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Special Features NZXT Apollo Gaming Tower

iBUYPOWER Gaming Liquid Cooling-Overclock Ready
Motherboard
Chipset AMD 770
CPU
CPU Type Phenom II X4
Installed Qty 1
CPU Speed 955(3.2GHz)
L2 Cache Per CPU 4 x 512KB
L3 Cache Per CPU 6MB
CPU Socket Type AM3
CPU Main Features 64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Graphics
GPU/VPU Type NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
Graphics Interface PCI Express 2.0 x16
Memory
Memory Capacity 4GB DDR3
Memory Speed DDR3 1600
Form Factor DIMM 240-pin
Memory Spec 2GB x 2
Memory Slot (Total) 4
Memory Slot (Available) 2
Maximum Memory Supported 16GB
Hard Drive
HDD Capacity 750GB
HDD Interface SATA II
Optical Drive
Optical Drive Type DVD±RW
Optical Drive Spec 24X DL DVD+/-RW Drive
Audio
Audio Chipset Integrated
Audio Channels 8 channels
Communications
LAN Chipset Integrated
LAN Speed 10/100/1000Mbps
Front Panel Ports
Front USB 2
Front Audio Ports 2
Back Panel Ports
PS/2 1
Rear USB 6
eSATA 1
Rear Audio Ports 6 ports
S/P DIF 1 x Optical
Expansion
PCI Slots (Available/Total) 1 x PCI-Express x16
2 x PCI-Express x1
3 x PCI
=============================================
GeForce GTX 670

GPU Engine Specs:
1344CUDA Cores
915Graphics Clock (MHz)
980Processor Clock (MHz)
102.5Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)
Memory Specs:
6.0 GbpsMemory Clock
GDDR5Memory Interface
256-bit GDDR5Memory Interface Width
192.2Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
Feature Support:
4.2OpenGL
PCI Express 3.0Bus Support1
YesCertified for Windows 7
3D Vision, 3D Vision Surround, CUDA, DirectX 11, PhysX, SLI, TXAA, Adaptive VSync, GPU Boost, FXAASupported Technologies2
3-waySLI Options3
Yes3D Vision Ready
Display Support:
4 displaysMulti Monitor
4096x2160Maximum Digital Resolution4
2048x1536Maximum VGA Resolution
YesHDCP
YesHDMI5
One Dual Link DVI-I, One Dual Link DVI-D, One HDMI, One DisplayPortStandard Display Connectors
InternalAudio Input for HDMI
Standard Graphics Card Dimensions:
9.5 inches Length
4.376 inches Height
Dual-slotWidth
Thermal and Power Specs:
97 CMaximum GPU Temperature (in C)
170 WMaximum Graphics Card Power (W)
500 WMinimum System Power Requirement (W)5
Two 6-pinSupplementary Power Connectors
3D Vision Ready:
Yes3D Blu-Ray
Yes3D Gaming
Yes3D Photos

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March 6, 2013 1:04:29 AM

As far as compatibility with your motherboard it will function, however not to its full potential due to the fact that it does not support PCI express 3.0 a fellow builder and good friend of mine had a 660ti running on a standard x16 and still noticed a substantial increase above that of his 460. As far as your liquid cooling, I cannot answer that because I only have experience with self contained CPU coolers.
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March 6, 2013 1:10:35 AM

I upgraded my prebuild dell xps 7100 (phenom ii 830, an underclocked 955 I believe) to a 660 ti and it flies.
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March 6, 2013 1:41:25 AM

Is the GPU watercooled as well?

If not, you're fine to upgrade.

If so, then try selling the entire thing to a sucker on ebay or creigslist - then you can buy a new rig. (It's starting to be close to time to upgrade, and that computer wasn't exactly extreme anything when it was brand new - just like most prebuilts.)
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March 15, 2013 7:23:20 PM

Update: I decided to take your advice, DarkSable, and get a new pc. I looked into a boxed computer but realized that I really didn't like that option. I did some research and I ordered the parts for a custom built. It should kick ass when I'm through. And I've overcome my reticence about liquid cooling. This is my new config:

Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock (the fans are all neon blue LED)

CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 (CW-9060007-WW) Water Cooler

Rosewill Stallion Series RD700 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000

GIGABYTE GV-N660OC-2GD GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Kingston HyperX Black Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX16C10B1B/8 X2

OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-256G 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

1 x APC LE1200 6.5 ft. 4 Outlets 680 j 1200VA Automatic Voltage Regulator

I'm looking forward to building this sweetheart and then breaking it in on Crysis 3. After I get the new on up and running I'm going to sell the new one on eBay. Thanks again for the advice.

Whaddaya think, guys?
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March 17, 2013 12:03:05 AM

I'd personally go with a fx 8350/8320 just because of their reviews and how they preform on crysis (+ video editing which I do) and a 7870 or 7950 over the nvidia stuff.
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