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Advice on updating my Geforce 9800 GT Video Card


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#1 Slave2Society7

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:59 PM

Hey guys, I was hoping some of ya could help give me an idea on a decent upgrade for my graphics card. I have had this GeForce 9800 GT for maybe 2 years or so..but even though it still meets most of the games requirements it always runs hot. It goes from idling around 58C to like 106+C when running certain games. I've gotten stronger fans and a graphics card cooling fan, but it doesn't help enough. I've also read online that other people have had the same problem with this card.
So anyway, I'd like to get something more up to date for around $100 or so, preferably an nvidia card because my motherboard is nvidia. Not really sure how important that is though. Well let me start off posting my specs:

Video Card: nVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.00GHz
PSU: Thermal-take TR2 RX-550 ATX12v 2.2
Memory: 6GB of RAM (DDR2)
Motherboard: MSI K9N2 SLI Platinum , Chipset is nVIDIA nForce 750a SLI, AMD K10
OS: Running 64bit Windows 7 (w/ Exp. Pack 1)

P.S. One other question, during lots of programs being open and a new game running my Processors cores max out at 77C (But is normally in the lower 60's) and my mother board shows two temps in Hardware Monitor and they will get to a max of 74C and 36C, while normally being at 59C and 31C. Just wondering if any of that stuff is running to hot by any chance. Thanks so much in advance ;)
Colin
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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:10 PM

Just because your motherboard uses a (bad) Nvidia chipset, doesn't mean AMD cards are out of the picture, they will still work normally. However, you won't be able to use Crossfire. Have you tried checking your temperatures with the side panel on your case open? The Phenom II's have a maximum temperature of 70 degrees C before things start throttling down and shutting off. Has your CPU always been this hot? As for your graphics card, the HIS H675F1GD Radeon HD 6750 1GB is a great card. On the Nvidia side, the GIGABYTE GV-N26UD-896M REV2.0 GeForce GTX 260 is good too. The GTX 260 has better performance, but is long at almost 11 inches and is more power hungry.

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#3 Slave2Society7

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:57 PM

Thanks for the quick reply! I'm not sure if my CPU has always run that hot. I never checked until I had problems with games shutting down because of the overheated GPU. Although I just toggled out of playing Skyrim to check this board and my core temps are at 65C, the minimum shows as 56C. Although I bet when I toggle into the game again it may go back up to 77C (The Max it's ever hit) because I notice my GPU temp is now 58C and I KNOW that's gonna shoot up when I go back to the game. I used to always have my side case off, but since I added so much stuff to suck the heat out, I've but it back on and haven't noticed much of a difference.

As for the cards, they look good to me:) I don't know much about their stats. these days so I'd just be taking your word for it. I'd probably go for the less power hungry one for less stress on the CPU. Also the Gigabyte card seems to have a metal case on it like the 9800GT and that worries me as far as temp. wise. So my Nvidia chipset isn't a good thing huh? Is that why I wouldn't be able to use crossfire? It would probably be ok since I don't know what crossfire is lol, mind letting me know what I"m missing out on? :) Thanks again!
Colin
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#4 Slave2Society7

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:59 PM

Oh yeah, CrossFire... multiple cards. I can live without that.
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#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:55 AM

In terms of power hungry, I am referring to stressing your power supply unit, but that shouldn't be a problem given your wattage. How many fans does your case have and what size are they? If you have model numbers that would be great. Ideally, the larger the fan, the slower it has to spin to move air. Usually, this results in high air flow and low noise. I believe the casing on the Nvidia card is plastic, same as the AMD card. Few graphics cards have metal casings as they would get hotter quicker and retain more heat. Does that motherboard have other heat sensors? If so, what are the other readings? Are they high too? I am using a full ATX case with many fans, one blowing air over the hard drive cage, another blowing air into the rest of the case, two fans on top blowing air directly into the CPU cooler, and a single fan blowing out the back.

Crossfire and SLI are nice features, but they shouldn't be something to focus completely on. Nvidia is getting out of the chipset business and their nForce line of chipsets are not very good. Many of the Nvidia exclusive features of nForce, mainly SLI, have been licensed out to Intel and AMD for use in their own chipsets.

Edited by DJBPace07, 26 November 2011 - 12:56 AM.

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#6 Slave2Society7

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:58 PM

Thanks for the info. and sorry for the late reply. It's been a crazy weekend:). Anyway, my case is a Sagitta Raidmax Gaming Development, but is obviously poor for gaming. Here is what it looks like:
Posted Image
Posted Image
It came with a fan sucking air out from the back and the little LED fan sucking air out on the side. They are both sooo weak. It's supposed to pull air through the front vents, but they are small vents and right behind them is a metal wall for the drives to sit.
So what I did was move the weak fan from the back and put it in the front to suck at least a little air in. and bought this fan to replace it: Scythe DFS123812-3000 "ULTRA KAZE" 120 x 38 mm Case Fan AND also bought this AzenX Blitztorm BT-SC70BBL 70mm Red LED PCI Slot Case Cooler. These fans are blasting out heat, but obviously things aren't great. Maybe I should buy a stronger side panel fan and front case fan (although the space to fit one in is tiny)??
Also I was recently told by a few people that an upgrade for my graphics card would be pretty pointless unless I was gonna spend around $200. Whatcha think about that? Are those two cards you mentioned much better then what I Have? Thanks so much for your help!
Colin
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#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 03:58 PM

Using theoretical specs, the Radeon 6750 is more powerful than a GeForce 9800 GT, the GeForce GTX 260 is even more powerful. The 9800 GT wasn't meant to be a high end graphics card like the 9800 GTX, so it is very much outclassed with modern card designs. The GTX 260 was originally aimed as a higher-end card so it does consume more power and is designed for gaming with increased shaders, faster memory, and more bandwidth. However, it is still an older card and does not allow for DirectX 11. The Radeon 6750 is a midrange card that fits in between the GTX 260 and 9800 GT but also has DirectX 11. It is a much newer design with similar benefits, like the GTX 260, but is more power efficient with good heat generation. Given your case design, I would consider the Radeon as it is shorter and doesn't put out as much heat as a GTX 260. An alternate card which is a bit higher end than a 6750 is the HIS H677FN1GD Radeon HD 6770 1GB and is about $10 more.

As for heat, are you using a standard heatsink on the CPU and did you have to apply thermal compound yourself or was it pre-applied? Have you moved the case recently to the point where the CPU heatsink and fan may have lost contact? Another point of consideration is the GeForce 9800 GT. It is a single slotted card that dumps the heat back into the case rather than out the back like a dual slotted card would. It is possible the 9800 GT could be contributing to the heat issue more severely.

Edited by DJBPace07, 27 November 2011 - 04:02 PM.

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#8 Slave2Society7

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:48 PM

Wow thanks for all the good info! The thermal compound was first pasted on a couple years ago when my g/f and I built the computer. Then about six months ago when I first noticed heating problems I wiped off the old paste and applied it again. I haven't moved the case around much at all really, and certainly not enough to cause the CPU heatsink and fan to lose contact. I really hope that your right on the possibility of the 9800GT causing the heat. Then the problem will be resolved with a simple card swap.

Well so far you have me interested in the Radeon HD 6770, it sounds good. I like the idea of being able to get DirectX 11 and the fact that it blows out it's hot air. Heating issues aside though, is upgrading from my 9800 GT to this Radeon 6770 much of an improvement and worth spending the $110 in your personal opinion? The reason I ask is because some other people said that even though my card is a few years old it's still a tire 1 card for it's time and that I'd have to spend like $200 to $250 to get a worthwhile upgrade. I see that you are apart of the BC staff and seem to know your stuff, so I trust your opinion. As always, thanks so much for your continued support;)
Colin
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#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:48 PM

One of the problems with comparing such an old graphics card to what is out now is that there are no direct comparisons as most review sites have moved on. The 9800 GT is slower than a 9800 GTX and the Radeon 4850 is roughly equal to the 9800 GTX, and the GTX 250 is a rebrand of a 9800 GTX. Here are the theoretical specs comparing the two cards. Another step up in performance would be the HIS H679F1GD Radeon HD 6790 1GB, and if you wanted to go higher, the SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB would be next. All of these will offer an improvement over the 9800 GT.

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#10 Slave2Society7

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 07:52 PM

Yeah I see what you mean on how it's hard to compare with my old card. That link that showed the specs side by side was good though. But I don't know how significant the differences in most of the specs actually are or if I would even notice them. But I think I'll get one of the 3 cards mentioned above. It's actually going to be bought for me for my birthday so it depends on how far I can push it:) lol I'm gonna shoot for the SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB though. I should notice improvement for sure with that huh? Then I'll see how the temps look once I have the new card. Good plan? Thanks a lot bud!
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#11 philo-sofa

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 10:40 PM

Sounds like a plan - if interested ahead of time here's roughly the kind of performance difference you'll see (a 6850 is a few percent slower [yes slower] than a 5850):

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/178?vs=164&i=87.90.93.99.102.115.118.121.122.123.124.125.126.127.128

Edited by philo-sofa, 28 November 2011 - 10:41 PM.

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#12 killerx525

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:34 PM

You would notice the difference because when increasing the graphic settings of the game, it won't be laggy and it would achieve higher FPS depending on the game.

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#13 Slave2Society7

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:36 PM

Hey sofa! Thanks for that link. I see your right, the 5850 is a slightly better card.. why is that the only one (that I've seen) with a lower number but is better? Any idea? Also that link compares to an 8800 GT, not my 9800 GT. But I'm sure the difference isn't too big. I can't believe how much lower my temp is gonna be! That looks great! So in YOUR opinion, is this a worthwhile update considering my budget? To me, the people saying I needed to spend over $200 were wrong.. unless I wanted to get something super new. Thanks again! :)
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#14 Slave2Society7

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:37 PM

Awesome KillerX, that's what I wanna hear:) Thanks man.
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#15 philo-sofa

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 05:59 AM

Hey sofa! Thanks for that link. I see your right, the 5850 is a slightly better card.. why is that the only one (that I've seen) with a lower number but is better? Any idea? Also that link compares to an 8800 GT, not my 9800 GT. But I'm sure the difference isn't too big. I can't believe how much lower my temp is gonna be! That looks great! So in YOUR opinion, is this a worthwhile update considering my budget? To me, the people saying I needed to spend over $200 were wrong.. unless I wanted to get something super new. Thanks again! :)

Happy to be of some help. The reason that the 5850 is faster that the 6850 is due to a change in naming conventions - in the 3000, 4000 and 5000 series AMD/ATI cards a '700 series' (e.g. 4770 or 5750) was a midrange card and an '800' like the 4870 or 5850 was an enthusiast card. Starting with the 6000 series AMD changed it so that '800 series' like the 6850 was midrange and the new '900' (e.g. the 6970) was enthusiast - they basically just added a hundred to each card's numbering system. The end result is that the 6850 should actually be compared in an inter-generational (as well as pricing) sense with the 5750 - compared to that it's a fair step up. Different naming shenanigans happened with the 9800 GT, inasmuch as Nvidia just took the 8800 GT, bumped up clockspeeds a few percent and renamed it the 9800 GT - the entire 9000 series was one of the more cynical attempts at BS marketing in computing history.

IMO yes this will be a hugely worthwhile upgrade. The rest of your system is good - there's nothing else to hold you back gaming wise. This is a textbook example of you getting a large return on upgrading one component - you really should see a massive jump in framerates from a 6850 :)
i7 860 @ 4.0Ghz | Prolimatech Megashadow & 120mm Gelid | MSI P55-GD65 | 8 GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 CL8 | Sapphire AMD HD 6970 (flashed from HD 6950) @ 910/5600 MHz | 2x 160GB Intel 320 Series (RAID 0), 1.5TB + 2TB Seagate | Corsair AX-750 | Silverstone TJ10B-WESA | Samsung 2443BW | Logitech G19 | Logitech G500




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