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I may need an Upgrade


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22 replies to this topic

#1 mikerox

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:30 PM

As some of you may recall, earlier in the summer I was searching for parts to build a PC that would be proficient in gaming and still be inexpensive. However, in the end I ended up buying a high power PC for $749.99 (my folks were more comfortable purchasing a PC than having me build one is it likely not work). It works great. Its current configuration has an AMD Athlon X2 5200+ Dual Core Processor, 4 GBs of 800MHz DDR2 RAM, and 500 GB of harddrive space. The only two problems with this PC is the OS (Vista Home Premium x64-bit) and the Graphics Card (ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO). The Vista thing I can live with, but I still have an issue with the 2400. The issue: it sucks. It's slow. The reason this is a problem is becuase I have a game that I am trying to play (Supreme Commander Forged Alliance) and the card simply can't handle it. After 30 minutes of gameplay, the game slows to a crawl. I know it's the graphics card. The funny thing is that it can render the graphics of the game with little hindrance. It's the framerates that suffer. I've tried using patches, I've upgraded the latest drivers. I've even tried using the overclock capabilities of the ATI Catalyst Control Center, but the fastest it can process graphically is at 600MHz, which is simply sad. lol

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I'm obviously going to need an upgrade, but what would be the best economically friendly solution - purchasing a second 2400, purchasing one card of a higher core grade, or purchasing two cards of a higher core grade (Radeon HD 4000 for example)? I'm hoping the purchase will not excess $125.

Thanks in Advance.

Edited by mikerox, 17 December 2008 - 02:52 PM.

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#2 Lucky23

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 08:06 PM

What size monitor?
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#3 mikerox

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:00 PM

What size monitor?

20 inches.
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#4 dpunisher

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:28 PM

After 30 minutes of gameplay, the game slows to a crawl


That part bothers me. If the videocard was the problem, framerates would be bad all the time, not after 30 minutes of gameplay. Might want to check CPU/GPU cooling as a possible cause.

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#5 Vaerli

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:44 PM

yeah, sounds like a cooling problem. I know when my temps start reaching 60 degrees Celsuis, lots of my games start getting a bit slow and laggy(framerate lag), but thats because i have the fan speed set too low through speedfan. Thats my fault(I set it down because my CPU fan is loud at full), and i can run pretty much any game. I've come across it in counter strike quite a few times.

Open up the case and clean it out if its somewhat dusty. That could be a problem with cooling...

Also, if you're looking for a good graphics card, i personally would go with an 8800GT, which are getting down to around 120-150$ now. Its what i've got...

here's a decent one- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814133205

oh, and here's a good prices 9800GT too- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814127387

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#6 Sterling14

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:25 PM

Like everyone said above me, this sounds like a cooling problem.

If yuo are looking for a new graphics card, for that price range, I would actually recommend one of the new ATI 4830's http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....eon%20HD%204830 . These cards are on the same performance level as the 8800gt's, but once you turn anti-aliasing on (which may or may not be a big deal) they usually beat the 8800gt. Also, they are generally cheaper.
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#7 mikerox

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:36 PM

After 30 minutes of gameplay, the game slows to a crawl


That part bothers me. If the videocard was the problem, framerates would be bad all the time, not after 30 minutes of gameplay. Might want to check CPU/GPU cooling as a possible cause.


I just downloaded SiSoftware Sandra. The program indicates that the CPU temp is at a solid 39 Degrees Celsius, and the ATI Catalyst Program indicates that the GPU runs at 60 Degrees Celsius with the clocks maxed out. From what I know, they're running quite comfortably...

yeah, sounds like a cooling problem. I know when my temps start reaching 60 degrees Celsuis, lots of my games start getting a bit slow and laggy(framerate lag), but thats because i have the fan speed set too low through speedfan. Thats my fault(I set it down because my CPU fan is loud at full), and i can run pretty much any game. I've come across it in counter strike quite a few times.

Open up the case and clean it out if its somewhat dusty. That could be a problem with cooling...


Well, looks like I'm wrong there. I'll check out the innards of the PC this weekend and clean out any annoying dust that I find. I'll also inspect the fans to make sure they're running solidly (as quiet as this PC is, I really should check that out). lol

Though even if I get the Temp down, this definitely won't help the overall performance. The framerates are still fairly poor during the start of each game. The only way to acquire a smooth framerate for me is to set the graphics to low fidelity, which looks horrible, so it's definitely the card overall. I'll give both the NVidea and ATI cards a look over. Thanks guys. :thumbsup:

Edited by mikerox, 17 December 2008 - 10:45 PM.

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#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:46 PM

The HD 4830 is a good card, so is a 9800 GTX.

Edited by DJBPace07, 17 December 2008 - 10:48 PM.

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#9 mikerox

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:58 PM

I'll be looking for a couple days before I come to a final decision, but here's one that's caught my eye:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814161252

Apparently, it has a default clock of 780 MHz, a memory clock of 2000MHz, and 512MB GDDR3 RAM. From the looks of it, it's also overclockable and CrossFire supported, which naturally rocks.

For $92.00, I think that's a good deal. However, y'all are more experienced than I in these affairs, so what do you think?

Edited by mikerox, 17 December 2008 - 11:15 PM.

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#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 11:24 PM

The HD 4670 has about half the number of Stream Processors as the HD 4830. The more processors, the more computing horsepower it has. An HD 4670 in Crossfire is roughly equivalent to a single HD 4850.

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#11 Vaerli

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:19 AM

For the rest of the graphics card stuff, i'm gonna leave it for the most part... Most anything is good enough that you'll come up with. Just make sure you've got the right slot type, and the room for the card, since most of them are double space cards.

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#12 DJBPace07

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:48 AM

Not only are they double slotted cards, some are also very long. The 9800 GTX is about 11 inches. Make sure you also have a powerful enough power supply.

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#13 mikerox

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:58 AM

The HD 4670 has about half the number of Stream Processors as the HD 4830. The more processors, the more computing horsepower it has. An HD 4670 in Crossfire is roughly equivalent to a single HD 4850.

It looks like stream-processor wise, the HD 4830 and 4670 cards seem to be top notch for the price range that I'm looking at, though I might choose the 4830, given what you've said.

Thanks for your assistance. :thumbsup:


For the rest of the graphics card stuff, i'm gonna leave it for the most part... Most anything is good enough that you'll come up with. Just make sure you've got the right slot type, and the room for the card, since most of them are double space cards.

Not only are they double slotted cards, some are also very long. The 9800 GTX is about 11 inches. Make sure you also have a powerful enough power supply.


Well, at 600w, I think it'll be sufficient. Again, thanks. :huh:

Edited by mikerox, 18 December 2008 - 11:03 AM.

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#14 mikerox

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 04:58 PM

I'm sorry to revive a dead topic, but I thought it would be more practical to just ask here instead of making another topic essentially centered on teh same topic. The video card seems to have a bit of a heating problem, yet there is only a minimal amount of dust in the computer. It seems as if the most dust in the computer that could induce excessive insulation would be on the outer edges of the fan blades. I have the computer on an open-air temperature test (meaning that I am operating the PC with the side panel off and the PC [securely] in my lap. On idle the card defaults at 50 degrees Celsius. I've only had this computer for a couple of months, so there really hasn't been a great opportunity for a great deal of dust to get in the case. Is there any way to help cool the case off until I can get a replacement card?
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#15 Sterling14

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 09:43 PM

50 degrees Celsius is perfectly normal for graphics card idling. Heck, mine (ATI 3870) usually idles just under 60C . What problems are you experiencing with it?
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