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Need an upgrade, £300 Budget [Need Assistance]

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July 25, 2009 8:32:16 PM

Greetings,

It has come to my attention that my computer needs upgrading to support newer games scheduled for release, i got my machine christmas 2006 and need assistance on what to upgrade with a budget around £300

My specs:
P965 Platinum intel chipset
Q6700 2.66Ghz CPU Quad
Nvidia 8800GTX
4GB Kingston DDR2 RAM 667 Mhz
Vista 32-bit
Monitor running games @ 1280x1024 Res

I use my computer for games only and want the upgrade so i can play upcoming games at high settings without any real fps problems.

If anyone could shed some light on a wise place to start for an upgrade i would be very grateful

Thanks in advance.
July 25, 2009 8:47:58 PM

buy Win7 64 and install it when it comes out.
get a 5870 when it comes out
and get a nice heatsink and overclock that CPU upto 3.6GHz.
July 25, 2009 8:56:17 PM

At that res a 5870 might be a bit overkill, but that sounds about right. See what you can squeeze out of that motherboard and RAM, which are the limiting factors on the OC.

If you don't get a good OC, consider a new P45 board and some 800mhz RAM, but there is no need to assume you won't get what you need out of that hardware.

Hopefully you have a quality 500W or so.
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July 25, 2009 8:59:54 PM

Thanks, helloworld_98 for the reply

i was hoping to upgrade fairly soon, do u know a released Graphics card similar to the 5870 that would work with my board, i dont think my board supports SLI (Crossfire only?). Bare in mind all i can run is 1280x1024 with my current monitor.

I am avoiding upgrading to Win7 64 because i dont want to find any of my hardware/software has problems with driver/compatibility.

thanks again

July 25, 2009 9:06:05 PM

Proximon said:
At that res a 5870 might be a bit overkill, but that sounds about right. See what you can squeeze out of that motherboard and RAM, which are the limiting factors on the OC.

If you don't get a good OC, consider a new P45 board and some 800mhz RAM, but there is no need to assume you won't get what you need out of that hardware.

Hopefully you have a quality 500W or so.


Hello Proximon,

i have thought about a monitor upgrade which i may get a few months from now.

My knowledge is limited, when u refer to a quality 500w do u mean my power supply, if so is that the requirement for a graphics card such as the 5870.

And are you recommending a new board 4gb of 800mhz RAM instead of a graphics card, or on top of a graphics card upgrade.

Thank you for bearing with my lack of knowledge.
July 25, 2009 9:16:02 PM

Hello recommended an overclock, and I'm saying your MB and RAM might limit that.

So, "If you don't get a good OC, consider a new P45 board and some 800mhz RAM, but there is no need to assume you won't get what you need out of that hardware. "

Sorry, thought that was pretty clear. When you overclock and Intel CPU such as yours, you must also push the board and RAM. Your older board and slower RAM will not automatically handle the OC, but they MAY.

Certainly a 4870 1GB would be a good buy today, and enough for a 22" monitor.
July 25, 2009 9:25:10 PM

Proximon said:
Like this:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/168816


It seems like a decent card and at a good price, with my current spec would there be any possible worries when running this card? what PSU would be required to run it?

I still have about £100-200 left in my budget are there any other upgrading opportunities you could spot based on my specs.

thanks in advance Proximon :) 
July 25, 2009 9:55:17 PM

I would like to add that my PSU is a 580W Hiper Type-R PSU and would like to know if this will affect my choices in GPU ?

I have heard mixed reviews, some saying it should be looked at as a 450-500w psu.

i even found a quote saying my current 8800GTX would draw as much power as a 4870

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
*substituting the 8800GTX for the 4870, the 8800GTX actually draws more power*

this has left me slightly confused and any further input is greatly appreciated !

thank you.

July 25, 2009 10:04:47 PM

That is correct, the TDP on the 8800GTX is 155 watts where as the 4870 is only 150 watts. Its because the 8800GTX is a 90nm chip and the 4870 is a 55nm chip. The smaller fabrication techniques use less power, hence the 40nm 4770 performs about the same as a 4850 and almost doesnt need an auxiliary power connector.

As for PSU wattage requirements, generally our suggested wattages run on one assumption, that its a good brand. Good brands are Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and OCZ. You will need about a 500 watt PSU for a 4870, that Hiper one doesnt count as good and if its aging a bit i would definitely suggest swapping it out for a better one.
July 25, 2009 10:15:38 PM

hunter315 said:
That is correct, the TDP on the 8800GTX is 155 watts where as the 4870 is only 150 watts. Its because the 8800GTX is a 90nm chip and the 4870 is a 55nm chip. The smaller fabrication techniques use less power, hence the 40nm 4770 performs about the same as a 4850 and almost doesnt need an auxiliary power connector.

As for PSU wattage requirements, generally our suggested wattages run on one assumption, that its a good brand. Good brands are Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and OCZ. You will need about a 500 watt PSU for a 4870, that Hiper one doesnt count as good and if its aging a bit i would definitely suggest swapping it out for a better one.


thanks hunter, i thought as much with regards to my crappy PSU brand i will put a PSU at the top of my replacement list before i buy my GPU. i will do a little research into a new PSU, any recommendations for a new one at all ?

Baring in mind the price of the 4870 currently do you think it is the best choice? and what do you think about crossfire with this card, is there any need, i am not going to be playing games like Crysis's requirements and i can only afford to stick with my 1280x1024 monitor RIGHT NOW.

Thanks in advance !:) 

July 25, 2009 10:21:29 PM

I can run crysis smoothly on high settings at 1280x1024 with a 4850 512mb card, a 1GB 4870 should be able to do even better so you should be able to play just about anything with it at that resolution.

As for the PSU i suggest this corsair
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/132563
July 25, 2009 10:25:05 PM

Thats great, wow i didnt realise the power of the card obviously. thanks for you help hunter

so thats
£110 Card
£60 PSU

I have about £100-120 left in my upgrade budget, Does anyone have any other viable upgrades for my rig?

Thanks in advance.
July 25, 2009 11:01:56 PM

It's really a matter of seeing what you can do with the current equipment then checking back in. You could get an after market cooler now, that would be a good start.
This Akasa is a nice option you Brits have:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...
You'll want to grab the MX-2 paste listed under it.

This Titan cooler is probably a bit better:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...
If you want to spend more. heat may be a factor for you so the extra 2C might come in handy.

It's sad about the Hiper-R really. I had a lot of hope for it last year, as initial tests looked good. I think it was mostly a QC problem. They no longer get recommendations.
July 25, 2009 11:22:29 PM

Thank you for the recommendations Proximon.

is the Cooler necessary to run the 4870 for longer periods of time or are you just recommending options to use the remainder of my budget.

I know very little about cooling and would have no idea what to do with the MX-2 Paste you speak of.

I would like to know whether my rather old
ATX case would be a problem for any of these cooling options and whether this should be a priority replacement before the cooling
here is my current case:
http://www.atxcases.com/products/productdetails.asp?mai...

i wont be fitting any of this myself and would like to save myself some time and hassle for the fitter before i buy any product that wont work with my case.

Thanks again for any input in advance !

July 25, 2009 11:28:52 PM

Everything should fit in that case as it takes an ATX motherboard.

The coolers proximon listed are for the CPU, the thermal paste is because metal on metal leaves a tiny air gap and air doesnt transfer heat well so you apply the thermal paste to the top of the cpu before applying the heatsink to remove the air gap and improve heat transfer. It will keep your CPU cool and allow you to achieve a higher overclock than the stock cooler that came with the CPU.
July 25, 2009 11:36:17 PM

hunter315 said:
Everything should fit in that case as it takes an ATX motherboard.

The coolers proximon listed are for the CPU, the thermal paste is because metal on metal leaves a tiny air gap and air doesnt transfer heat well so you apply the thermal paste to the top of the cpu before applying the heatsink to remove the air gap and improve heat transfer. It will keep your CPU cool and allow you to achieve a higher overclock than the stock cooler that came with the CPU.


ah i see, well its a relief to know that case replacement is not a necessity, so until i decide overclock my current 2.66 Ghz Q6700 new cooling is not required?

It seems my CPU can achieve greatness that im just not using, i will looking into the new cooling and read how to actually overclock it once i get the new PSU and 4870 i have been recommended.

Thanks alot for your time Hunter. Have managed to find a good upgrade option for £100+ under budget that will fill my gaming needs in a few hours of being on this site.

Thanks again.
July 25, 2009 11:44:02 PM

I'm not so sure on the case. It's 7.5" wide where most newer cases are over 8" wide.

A quick visit to the converter shows the Akasa CPU cooler is 6.3" tall. It's too close to call without trying.
!