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Upgrading Video Card (and system)


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#1 Davidian

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 12:57 PM

Hi there everyone, I usually build my own systems but have got really out of touch with things recently.

My system was origionally designed as a work station for Audio Production, but had an OK graphics card.
Recently I have got back into gaming, and have found my card some what wanting...

Ultimatly if i could i would build myself a brand new top spec i7 system (even though I have been an AMD head most of my life)

For the short term i am going to upgrade a few of the things I could then port over to the new system, such as Graphics card, and Velociraptor drives.
Eventually I will get the new Mobo ram, and processor.. but that will have to wait for my next bonus in at least 6 months.

My system Speck below

Mobo: Asus - m2n32 WS Professional
CPU: AMD - Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 3.2ghz
Ram: 4gb 800mhz ram (although as i am on XP only 3 is recognised)
HD: 2 x 500mb 16mb cache internal, 1 external 1tb hd
Video: GeForce 8600 GT 512mb
Audio: Maudio Delta 10/10

What I would like to know is if I can support some of the newer graphics cards, and if they will run at full spec.

I don't really want to spend more than 130

Looking at Graphics cards on novatech I can get some fairly decent cards for that price.

This is the most expensive ATi Card (in my range): http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...163-05-20r.html
and this is the most expensive Nvidia Card(in my range): http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...utopdi1gd5.html

(and yes my PSU could easliy support any of these cards)

some of the other cards in the range

ATi: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c.../h577fl1gd.html
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...163-02-20r.html
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...ore2di1gd5.html
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...ch/57701gb.html

Nvidia: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...sgh8hx3oxj.html
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...nov-gtx460.html
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...p3-1452-ek.html
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...yclone1goc.html

Any help on this would be great
Thank you in advance to anyone that replys!

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 10:04 PM

Any Radeon 5770 graphics card would work well in such a setup. The GeForce GTS 450 isn't as fast as a Radeon 5770 in most setups, therefore, I would easily go for a 5770. Hold off on replacing the CPU and motherboard for a while if you can. Intel and AMD are going to be releasing new CPU designs over the next few months.

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#3 dpunisher

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:00 AM

Ditto on the 5770.

AMD/ATI is releasing the new generation 6XXX on 12 October so prices are going to drop even further. I saw a 5770 (I think) for $125 after rebate on Newegg last week. Gonna be some basement bargains soon.

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

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#4 Davidian

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 12:15 PM

Any Radeon 5770 graphics card would work well in such a setup. The GeForce GTS 450 isn't as fast as a Radeon 5770 in most setups, therefore, I would easily go for a 5770. Hold off on replacing the CPU and motherboard for a while if you can. Intel and AMD are going to be releasing new CPU designs over the next few months.


Excellent News, I will be waiting at least 6 months for new mobo and processor anyway (thats when i get my next bonus)

If I get a mobo that can support DDR3 ram, will i still be able to use my DDR2 until i can afford to get new ram as well?

Ditto on the 5770.

AMD/ATI is releasing the new generation 6XXX on 12 October so prices are going to drop even further. I saw a 5770 (I think) for $125 after rebate on Newegg last week. Gonna be some basement bargains soon.


Ah, now i don't know weather to wait or not.
I bought FF14 and even with everything on minimum and all efects off its unplayable
(though that said one guy with an i7 3.2 12gb ram and 2 gtx 295s said it was unplayable unless things were on medium)
If i bought it now i would get the card in a couple of days...
however with my financial situation waiting would be the best option

I'll wrestle with my conscience and see what traspires


Thank you both so much for your help, I really apreciate it!

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#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:18 PM

DDR2 and DDR3 are not mutually compatible, you either get a motherboard that can take DDR2 or one that can take DDR3, AMD's new CPU's, and Intel's, will both be using DDR3. I have Final Fantasy XIV and am playing using an Intel Core 2 Quad 9450 with two 9800 GTX's in SLI at 1920 x 1200 resolution. It's choppy but playable, however, that isn't good enough for me and I have a Radeon 5850 on the way. The GTX 295 is a dual GPU card. FFXIV is having issues scaling with multi-GPU setups whether or not they are on a single PCB or two or more add-in cards. It also doesn't help matters much that Nvidia completely screwed up the latest set of beta drivers when it comes to SLI. I had to manually alter the SLI profile to get reasonable performance. BTW, if you're on the Besaid server I'm Alistair Winters. I haven't gotten past the initial areas around Limsa Lominsa.

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#6 Davidian

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:30 AM

DDR2 and DDR3 are not mutually compatible, you either get a motherboard that can take DDR2 or one that can take DDR3, AMD's new CPU's, and Intel's, will both be using DDR3. I have Final Fantasy XIV and am playing using an Intel Core 2 Quad 9450 with two 9800 GTX's in SLI at 1920 x 1200 resolution. It's choppy but playable, however, that isn't good enough for me and I have a Radeon 5850 on the way. The GTX 295 is a dual GPU card. FFXIV is having issues scaling with multi-GPU setups whether or not they are on a single PCB or two or more add-in cards. It also doesn't help matters much that Nvidia completely screwed up the latest set of beta drivers when it comes to SLI. I had to manually alter the SLI profile to get reasonable performance. BTW, if you're on the Besaid server I'm Alistair Winters. I haven't gotten past the initial areas around Limsa Lominsa.



I can't remember which server i went for, although i can delete and recreate my character as all i did was create it and once in game i could barely move the mouse let alone character.

Although i think i chose one of the servers with only one choco instead of 3 (I assumed that meant a server that was the least full and therefore less laggy)

my new card should arrive sometime between friday and monday

Hopefully it will allow me to play the game - if it doesn't then I am going to send it back
I will have to wait till i can afford an upgrade in 6+ months...

by then hopefully diablo 3 will be out!

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#7 Davidian

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:33 PM

Wow i love novatech... arrived today. 36hrs is fantastic for free delivery!

I have everything on medium apart from shadows which are at low and the res at 1920 by 1080.


The curser is still laggy.. it actually feels like pushing a stick on a gamepad with the way it moves... you sort of move the curser and it follows.

Its actually made me consider plugging my old PS2 controller to USB adaptor in and playing with that.

When running arround I still get lag too...

I dont think it is connection lag, i have a 24mbit connection... my download transfer rate is usually around a 2MB/s and upload around 150kbps

I also hate how long it takes all the NPC's to appear around me.. i run somewhere and am like "there is nothing here" about 1 min later suddenly they start appearing.

So anyway, I am doing that first quest from the adventurers guild where you have to go and find some battlecamp or something.. and she shows me on my map and i run off.. realising i have forgotton what she told me.. check my journal.. just mentioned the name of the camp...

So i run back to her in the hope she will point it out on the map again and that I will make myself actually pay attention.. I try and open up a chat dialouge and can't move... all i can do is rotate the camera....

i am stuck like this for 5 mins before the server crashes, and I haven't been able to get back on for the last 30....

so after all the problems with play and the game initially... its still not exactly performing anywhere near my expectations...
maybe its that fangul server (or whatever it was called) - do you know if any server is better for any particular location around the world?

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#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:46 PM

There is a hardware mouse option in the FFXIV Config program under the graphics tab. NPC's take a long time to show since most are near population centers which are bursting with new players since it is launch week. Lag is a problem that will get better over time, part of what you see in terms choppiness is related to lag, the other is the graphics card and CPU. FFXIV is the most demanding game in terms of graphics right now and a Radeon 5770 is still a mid-range card regardless. You still have a mid-range system, no fault at that, but it is as it is. I have a more powerful system than you and I needed to upgrade to a Radeon 5850 to play a little more smoothly. Server problems, again, are expected, I had the server crash in the middle of a quest which was annoying. All of the servers are located in Japan, the only difference is the population of the servers. I chose Besaid because it has the linkshell (A loose guild of players) I wanted. For a little extra performance, I suggest the following: Turn on the hardware mouse, do not turn on multisampling, turn off ambient occlusion in the graphics, consider turning off depth of field if performance still isn't where it should be, consider lowering the resolution on the game, and consider reducing the buffer size.

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#9 Davidian

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:26 PM

I have reached a far worse problem....


I turned on my pc after work yesterday.... and it read "No signal" on both monitors...

strange i thought.. anyway i turned off and on a few times without any luck.

I unplugged and plugged the card back in and it worked.. although i had to resetup all my graphic options as it had reverted to mirroring my monitors.

Today i get in after an overly long day... same thing happens... only this time after an hour I still cant get the bloody thing to work.

I search forums from my phone... with strange solutions like "change your cable" and "use a different DVI adaptor" - I try all of these things but NOTHING works...

I even try taking out my ram and having everything unplugged and starting it up that way.

Nope, still no joy...

In the end I think.. well this is the clean version of what I thought "oh well lets just put in the old card for now so i can at least watch a couple of episodes of house" - no signal...

I try different cables on different settings going into different monitors....

NOTHING.

So now BOTH of my cards don't work.
The lights come on, the fans spin, but there's noboday home.

I've spent the last 2 hours fiddling...
I can't see anything... one of the suggestions i couldn't do was changing a BIOS setting... but there is no signal so i can't see to get there...

I am furious.

I'd rather have a system that I couldn't play FF on but everything else works, than a system that everything works on.... apart from the graphics.

Any suggestions on what I can do?

(in regards to the FF tips, the hardware mouse worked, and when out of the built up areas there was little to no lag)

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#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 10:06 PM

Let me see if I have this down. None of your GPU's work, even the old Nvidia card? I assume you've tried resetting the BIOS by removing the CMOS battery and switching jumpers? See 2.6 Jumper in your motherboard's manual on how to do this. If you can confirm everything comes on, such as the hard drives, the CPU fan, and the PSU cables are all connected, this may indicate a problem with your motherboard.

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#11 Davidian

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:18 AM

I hadn't tried resetting the bios, however i just did, and still no luck (although i was doing this with the new card)

everything definitly comes on, all the fans are running, the harddrives are ticking, the psu is working, everything is plugged in over the board, even the graphics card has its lights on and the fans spinning.

I wonder if switching graphics card fried someting on the mobo which is why the old card isn't working either.

The new card problem was intermitent... it worked.. then didn't, then worked fine for a few power ups and downs... and now neither card works...

i hope this is covered on my insurance

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#12 Davidian

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:20 AM

the strange thing is... the pc doesnt seem to be booting up...

I let it go for as long as it would usually take to boot up.. and then some.. i dont have start up sounds, but i did leave the shut down sound on.

i then tried to blindly shut it town.. first bu ctrl + esc then u and u....
when that returned no result i just tried pressing the off button, which i have set to shut down... hold for power off, press for shut down...

this also did not work....

I thought, thats strange... if the system is halting, for whatever reason, i should be getting some beeping stating that there is some sort of error...

to test this i removed the ram and turned it on...

no beeping, same results...


so i am resigned to thinking i'm buggered......


i've been looking at mobo bundles.... everything else (as far as i can tell) works
I can't buy my mobo anywhere
the ones that are sort of like it are not quite good enough...

so i suppose i should upgrade....

this looks quite appealing: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/m...MBB-9504G3.html

however I am not sure how much difference having a pcie 2.1 card in a pcie 2.0 slot makes....

if you have any other ideas of what to get, or if i should wait for these new processors to come out, than please let me know :thumbsup:

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#13 Davidian

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:38 PM

looking at the bundle above again, i am less impressed... the mobo doesnt look all that amzing..
I have a thing for workstations... until now they have always seemed to work better than normal mobos, and seeing as i do alot of audio production they suit my needs...

i don't know if i should just settle and get a mobo like this: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...-ma770-ud3.html till new processors come out...
I dont know if the GPU will work with that mobo, and i think i might need to get a new heatsink as the one i have is massivly wide, so wide that in my current setup i had to put the ram (which has its own heatsink) in slots 3 and 4 instead of 1 and 2...

my currant case wouldn't fit this, and i think it is quite a bit out of my budget... http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...a-x58a-ud9.html still looks pretty cool though

this is much more in my price range and looks pretty good: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...0-g0eay00z.html - and the only affordable i7 on the 1366(x58) socket is: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...bx80601950.html

Of course I havent considered that I would also need to buy ram on top of that... it seems to start at around 100 for tripple channel http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/c...3m3a1600c9.html


Now these bundles seem a bit better: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct....odid=BU-056-OE#
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct....rodid=BU-029-OB


do you have any info on the new processors? have any benchmarks come out? - have AMD finally taken back the top slot in the market?

Edited by Davidian, 03 October 2010 - 04:52 PM.

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#14 DJBPace07

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:49 PM

AMD and Intel compete with each other at the sub $300 (Sorry, I don't have the GBP conversion in my head) quite nicely, but, once you get over that price point, Intel dominates. Intel and AMD are both going to be releasing new CPU's over the next few months with Intel's being the Sandy Bridge and AMD's being Bulldozer. The new high-end Intel CPU's will be using Socket LGA 2011 which will be replacing LGA 1366 and will have no backwards compatibility. AMD will be launching Bulldozer on the AM3+ socket. AM3 CPU's will work on AM3+ motherboards, but the new AM3+ CPU's will not work in AM3 motherboards. Both sets of CPU's will be using DDR3. In gaming, the graphics card is usually the determining factor, in terms of performance, with the CPU not really affecting much past a certain point. Which is why, in some games, a Radeon 5870 paired with a Phenom II X4 965 running at a 1920 x 1200 resolution will often have the same performance as a system with the same GPU but a higher-end Intel CPU. Of course, bottlenecks happen and a very low end CPU will be unable to feed such a high-end graphics card fast enough, but most newer quad core CPU's should be able to.

Idea:

Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD/USB3 AMD 870 - I suggest this if you are not going to be using Crossfire. The AMD 8 series of chipsets are newer with USB 3.0 and SATA 6. If you are going to want Crossfire, the Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H AMD 890GX would be the way to go.

CPU: AMD Quad Core Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz - This is essentially the less powerful version of the Phenom II X4 965 and 970. In fact, those two CPU's are higher clocked versions of this CPU at a higher price. This CPU is Black Edition which means it is unlocked allowing for very easy overclocking, well past the Phenom II X4 970. If you are going to be doing any 3D rendering or using applications that can use all six cores, the AMD Phenom II X6 1075T Black Edition Six Core 3.0GHz would be nice too. Just like the 955, the 1075T is Black Edition.

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz - You will need new RAM, this should be enough. This is a single stick of 4GB worth of RAM, you can add three more and max out the RAM in your PC at 16GB, though, there is little reason for a home user to do so. You will need a 64-bit version of Windows to use 4GB or more of RAM.

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#15 Davidian

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 02:10 AM

Thank you for your help i will definitly consider all those options,

I didn't think single channel ram was supported on mobos anymore (shows what i know eh?)

The reason for the cores and the ram is mainly audio production.

VSTi's and Samplers use alot of ram and processing power (saying that I haven't needed more than i the x2 3.2 with 4 gig of ram)
Windows 7 64 is definitly on the cards

Also I would love to get a couple of those velociraptor drives (also good for adio production and mixing)

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