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Video Card Upgrade


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7 replies to this topic

#1 CloudberryJam

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:54 AM

Hi, first of all let me just say I'm a complete noob when it comes to computer hardware. I know how to install things into PCI slots and how to install drivers but that's basically it.
I want to upgrade my video card in preparation of all the new video games coming out this winter, and because I'm not really happy with the current FPS that I'm getting with some games. I have a budget of 500 US$, but if I can spend less for a good upgrade that would of course be wonderful. Here is what I currently have:

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 8/5/2010, 22:41:12
Machine name: ALIENWARE
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Ultimate (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.100218-0019)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: alienware
System Model: alienware
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
Memory: 2814MB RAM
Page File: 1711MB used, 4126MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode

---------------
Display Devices
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Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce 8800 GTX
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0191&SUBSYS_039C10DE&REV_A2
Display Memory: 1894 MB
Dedicated Memory: 743 MB
Shared Memory: 1151 MB
Current Mode: 1680 x 1050 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: ACER AL2216W
Driver Name: nvd3dum.dll,nvwgf2um.dll,nvwgf2um.dll
Driver Version: 8.17.0012.5896 (English)
DDI Version: 10
BGRA Supported: Yes
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 7/9/2010 15:37:00, 9818728 bytes
WHQL Logo'd: Yes
WHQL Date Stamp:
Device Identifier: {D7B71E3E-42D1-11CF-6664-90231CC2C535}

I've been looking around Newegg.com (where I usually buy computer parts), but the problem with being a complete noob is that I don't have a clue on what is actually better, or if the products will even work with what I have. I would prefer a NVIDIA product, since I actually know how to configure the settings in the control panel for some of my older games.
Any assistance you guys could offer would be most appreciated.
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
-- Samuel Johnson

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 05:08 AM

It is a really good time to wait if you are looking for a high end card in the $500 range.

ATI is releasing the Southern Islands chipset in <90 days (likely) so there should be a whole new videocard line to play with by Christmas. NVidia finally got moving with a decent GTX 460 chipset that brought the midrange prices down, and may expand on that to compete with Southern Islands. The videocard world is in a bit of flux now as new releases are imminent.

If you need something now, it is down to an ATI 5870, a GTX480, or dual GTX 460's(1 gigabyte) in SLI (assuming your board can do SLI). No idea what power supply you are running now, but both of the NVidia suggestions are going to require some serious watts.

You are quickly reaching the point where your CPU will limit/is limiting your framerates.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#3 JonM33

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:17 AM

The GTX 460 would be a serious upgrade over what you have now and will work: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130565

#4 dc3

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:31 AM

One very important factor is how large your PSU is. As dpunisher pointed, some of the boards are power hungry. Most manufacturers will post the power requirements for their board in the specs. Just make sure you PSU will handle the power requirement.

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#5 JonM33

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:29 PM

The 8800 GTX required a pair of 6-pin PCIe connectors. He will be fine with a GTX 460 because that is all it requires as well.

#6 CloudberryJam

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 01:35 PM

Thank you all for the replies :thumbsup:

How do i find out how good my PSU is? I looked through the complete spec sheet that I got when I got the PC and I couldn't find it. Do I have to actually look inside my computer to find it?
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
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#7 JonM33

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 02:19 PM

I'm pretty sure that you have greater than a 330W power supply that the GTX 460 needs. As long as you have the pair of 6-pin PCIe cables that your 8800GTX used then you will be fine.

#8 dpunisher

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 02:28 PM

There is only about a 20 watt difference between an 8800 GTX and a GTX 460. Hopefully a system wouldn't balk at that small demand.

And yes, you will have to pull the side cover and read the specs from the power supply. If the amps/watts aren't listed on the side, at least get a model/part number to look up specs.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)





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