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Inexpensive but worth upgrating a HD6850?


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#1 Slave2Society7

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 04:23 PM

Hey guys, thanks for your time! :)

Ok so right now I have an AMD Radeon HD 6850 (Memory 1024MBytes GDDR5)

 

Since my b-day and Christmas are in this month my folks are asking what the heck I want, but I know they don't have much money so I don't want to push their limits. My question is if there is an affordable graphics card out there that would be worth an upgrade? I'd say max $200? Not really sure.. The cheaper the better obviously.. I don't even know what they can spend. I just want to play the new games without having to always set the settings at their lowest like I do now:/ BUT I'm not needing the highest settings either, just an improvement worth buying. (Though I'd like to see a card that I SHOULD upgrade to for more money just to know where I stand and to gloat over it haha :P I can make a goal!)

 

Ok with that said, I may have been left behind in the technology rush lol, however I do know that not just any computer can take on certain graphics cards. Hopefully my computer can even handle an upgrade:) So here is some information on my PC:

 

Windows 7 64-bit

6GB of ram (I was going to ask for an upgrade to 8GB until I thought about the card)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 3Ghz  (Socket AM2+)

MB: MSI model: MS-7374 nForce 750a SLI

 

Edit: Darn I always forget something! :) I'm also thinking about getting a new 80mm side fan for my case because that one is broken as well. I was wondering if I should have it suck out air or blow air in? I've had temperature problems before so everything I do matters. There is a strong fan in the back sucking air out at 4500RPM and no fan in the front.. I think there isn't one in the front because it's a tight as hell fit and would bring the air into a wall of metal! Here is what the case looks like: http://www.raidmax.com/product/sagitta.html I may have to start a new thread on this, but figured I'd try to throw it in with this post. THANKS AS ALWAYS:)

 

Thoughts anyone? :)

Thanks in advance for anyone's help! I know this forum is the best at what it does!

 

Colin


Edited by Slave2Society7, 04 December 2014 - 06:29 PM.

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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 11:14 PM

You could fit a new GPU, yes.  It may be that performance will be held back a bit by the rest of the system, but you should see some improvement in frame rates etc.

 

The cards I think are in the frame at that price are the Radeon R9-280, R9-280X, R9-285 and Geforce GTX760.  Here's a list sorted by price of some of the deals available on those cards.  Any of them are significantly more powerful than the HD6850.  However there are a few things to bear in mind.  The R9's in particular need a lot of power (about twice that of the HD6850 for the R9-280X). Your power supply needs to be high quality, and 600w or more for that particular card.  Looking around some of those Raidmax cases had bundled power supplies.  This will not be good enough, unfortunately.  If you've upgraded it already, then it could be OK.  The Geforce GTX760 is not quite as power hungry (needs about 50w more than the HD6850) but still needs a good quality power supply.

 

I can't find any maximum card length specified for that case, so you'd have to measure to check to see how much space is available.  The GTX760 and R9-285 tend to be less long than the R9-280/X cards which can be over 12" long, which might be a problem on some cases.

 

I think if you fitted a side fan it should be blowing in.  Both the power supply and your existing case fan blow outwards.


Edited by jonuk76, 05 December 2014 - 11:16 PM.

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#3 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 03:52 PM

Oh man jonUK you are spot on with the info. I needed! :) Thanks bud. Just when I thought I wasn't going to get a response too.

 

So luckily I did upgrade my power supply some time back... what I'm seeing is a..Thermaltake TR2 RX-550 (ATX12v2.2).. now looking at your post I see you said 600w and by looking at the 550 in the name of mine..ehh I'm assuming it's 550w? :\ so a bit short huh? Maybe I only have the choice of the Geforce GTX760 or am I screwed at this point?

 

I also have to replace my back fan which is like $20 to $25 I believe.. that's a 120mm 3000RPM 133.60CFM sleeve bearing. And it's important for my hot computer! I might escape without replacing the side one though.. ehh sorry getting WAY off track here..

 

So.. Unfortunately, I'm behind the times here and none of the names of these graphic cards mean anything to me anymore so I'll end up asking for exactly what I'm told to by you kind folk. :)

 

jonUK, I have a couple questions about your awesome link.. are those cards that will work with my system based on my system specs? or just cards that are in my price range? Also, I see cards that look pretty much the same for completely different prices that are confusing the hell out of me. Could it be just BAD deal vs. GOOD deal? Or am I missing something? An example: At the top of the list there is the Radeon R9 280 3gig 950Mhz. for $164.99 (Which my parents parents will no doubt chose cause it's the cheapest unless I knew that a little more money would make a good difference) and on the same list there is the same card for $229.99 with the only visible difference being that it has LESS Mhz, 840!!!

 

My folks are on my ass about this, they don't understand it takes research..lol. So maybe this info will help you help me: I wont be running tests or anything with the card, the only things I'll really look for are to be meeting system requirements for games and being able to raise the visual settings a bit on some of them.. simple as that :) If it's not worth it I could cry off and get 8gig ram instead of 6gig.. (not exciting lol) Oh yeah and jonUK it looks like the card could be about an inch and 1/2 to 2 inches longer. It IS a tight fit in there!

Sooooo with knowing what ya know and the power supply I have, can we narrow down the options if there are still any? :) I may have to make a random pick if they don't stop rushing me lol. As ALWAYS thank you so much for your help and time!!! I REALLY REALLY appreciate it. I'd be lost without ya!

 

Colin

P.S. jon thanks for the side fan info as well ;)

 


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#4 splico

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 04:04 PM

In my opinion what you are looking is stock clocked GPU vs some overclocked by manufacturer. Is that better or worst choice is little tricky question, personally I don't like overclocking if it's not extreme. Theoretically that could mean shorter life of hardware, higher the mhz higher the temperatures but it could also mean few FPS more in games. 


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#5 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 04:24 PM

Holy crap I asked my father to try and measure the length of my video card and he accidentally let the mettle tip touch and spark the GPU and it rendered my screen black! Seems ok now though.. ehh scary. Anyway.. I had an update: looks like my current card is 10inch long and a new card would fit up to a 12inch one at a close fit

 

splico, thanks for your reply. Sadly I don't know much about overclocking, I only know it means pushing the cards limits. Never have done it and probably never will, unless you are suggesting different? Also, are you saying that the higher the clocks Mhz the worse it is? Because of heat and power? That important stuff to know! Thanks,

 

johnUK, sorry bud, I know I'm hammering you with questions, but I have just one more:) I noticed that most of the cards you are suggesting (not all) have 2GB memory instead of 3GB. Is that not too important of an issue then? Either way, 2GB is twice what I have now! :)


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#6 splico

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 04:32 PM

splico, thanks for your reply. Sadly I don't know much about overclocking, I only know it means pushing the cards limits. Never have done it and probably never will, unless you are suggesting different? Also, are you saying that the higher the clocks Mhz the worse it is? Because of heat and power? That important stuff to know! Thanks,

 

 

I am saying that when comparing same GPU from different manufacturers, you need to check did they implement a better cooling solution with overclock, most of them just overclock card and sell it like that without modifications of cooling and that is in most cases bad idea in long term usage, if that is case better pick little less MHZ you won't even notice and always you can do little overclock yourself if that makes you happy. Never had any sense to me why people are squeezing 5% change in preformance, who notices that?


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#7 splico

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 04:49 PM

About this spark with GPU I have to share one experience. Few years ago I had ultra silent PC without any fans, even PSU was fanless design and me and my friend were doing some HDD swap and testing so I accidentally unplugged one SATA drive and plugged another while PC was still turned ON. Scared the hell out me. Still works like nothing happened xD. Who would say SATA is hotswap drive. Still do not try it :DDD.


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#8 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 04:58 PM

splico, I agree. From what I have heard about overclocking it always sounded like a waste of time to me.. hence the reason I don't know about it much. Did you see the link that jonUK posted with the cards? I've been looking at the under $200 ones. Close to having to choose! So I look at the cheapest on the list, which is this one, and it looks fine to me. I see newegg is the actual merchant and I like that site and it's on sale. As it IS the cheapest of it's kind on that list, can you see any red flags as to why? Cause to me I don't see anything. No mention of overclocking either. I'm a nervous buyer lol. Still not sure if I should go for something else with 2gig memory for some reason... I dunno.. as you can probably tell, I'm rattled hah. I'll be back in a couple hours probably. Thanks again!


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#9 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 05:00 PM

About this spark with GPU I have to share one experience. Few years ago I had ultra silent PC without any fans, even PSU was fanless design and me and my friend were doing some HDD swap and testing so I accidentally unplugged one SATA drive and plugged another while PC was still turned ON. Scared the hell out me. Still works like nothing happened xD. Who would say SATA is hotswap drive. Still do not try it :DDD.

Good God, that makes me feel better lol! That would of freaked me out too!


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#10 splico

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 05:11 PM

Comparing that card with http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-video-card-r9280atdfd I would say that Gigabyte is overclocked model but if you check on the pictures Gigabyte implemented solution with 3 fans compared to 2 fans on XFX model. I would say Gigabyte looks better even in cheaper and overclocked solution, 3 fans must cool better then only 2 no matter what. 


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#11 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:02 PM

WoW you really looked into this stuff for me! Thanks a lot! When you refer to the Gigabyte one you mean the one that I posted earlier right? I see everything you are saying and you're 100% right that the cheaper Gigabyte one rather than the XFX one IS better! And mentioning the 3 fans is huge plus for me, good spotting that! I had a Radeon that kept overheating bad! So I say unless you think otherwise or if jonUK says anything, I'm gonna try and ask for the Gigabyte Radeon R9 280 3GB WINDFORCE for $164.99. I was pretty excited about it when I saw that it meets the "Recommended Requirements" for most games until I remembered my CPU is another story:( It wont overwork my CPU and kill it, right? lol


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#12 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:06 PM

Wow I just realized it you click anywhere else to get that card it's nearly $200, but if you click on the view button you see it for the deal! Is this pcpartpicker.com an amazing deal finding site I should have bookmarked or something??


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#13 splico

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:12 PM

WoW you really looked into this stuff for me! Thanks a lot! When you refer to the Gigabyte one you mean the one that I posted earlier right? I see everything you are saying and you're 100% right that the cheaper Gigabyte one rather than the XFX one IS better! And mentioning the 3 fans is huge plus for me, good spotting that! I had a Radeon that kept overheating bad! So I say unless you think otherwise or if jonUK says anything, I'm gonna try and ask for the Gigabyte Radeon R9 280 3GB WINDFORCE for $164.99. I was pretty excited about it when I saw that it meets the "Recommended Requirements" for most games until I remembered my CPU is another story:( It wont overwork my CPU and kill it, right? lol

 

Yes I meant that one. I would say that GPU is on the edge for your CPU could be little bottlenecking from CPU and I have no idea (maybe someone else has) how to determine will your CPU bottleneck the GPU without testing it with that particular GPU in PC.

FRAPS is a small utility that I have used many times over the years. It is a small, free download that installs in seconds. Here is where you can find it: FRAPS Home Page

What You’ll Do

  1. Download, install, and run FRAPS  (There is online help which describes everything)
  2. After you get the FRAPS settings the way you like (elementary stuff BTW), start up your favorite game
  3. Play a while and take note of the Frames Per Second (FPS). The FPS will commonly jump all over the place depending on how much action is taking place. Try to settle on an average throughout your game play. Take note of the maximum and minimum as well.

Note:  anything less than 30fps is going to start looking like a fast slide show instead of a smooth, flowing video image.

In any case, if you are seeing sub-par Frame Rates, lower some of the graphics settings in the game. Anti-aliasing in particular, will cause some big performance hits. Take note of your changes so you can return them to the original status if you need to.

I think the best approach is to avoid changing a whole bunch of things. Just pick one, lower it, and test again. It’s much easier to keep track of things that way.

Now, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for…

  • If lowering the graphics settings has no effect on frame rates, then the bottleneck is your CPU
  • If lowering the graphics settings increases the frame rate, then your GPU is reaching its upper limits

Edited by splico1985, 06 December 2014 - 07:16 PM.

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#14 Slave2Society7

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:44 PM

Ok wow I follow you and I'll save what you just said so I'll be able to do that test with my card and the new one I hopefully get as well! But I might be slightly confused about the most important part.. I'm gonna say what you said in different words and you let me know if I'm right lol

If lowering the graphics settings has no effect on frame rates, the CPU is holding back the GPU (Which WILL probably be the case)

and

If lowering the graphics settings increases the frame rate, then the GPU is unable to do any beter.

That about right? :P Gee that really was close to exactly what you said.. Just being sure.

 

So anything under 30fps is really low enough where you should consider changing things.. ok!

Oh also.. BIG question I've been wondering for a long time..what is Anti-aliasing?? and did you mean turning it on requires more from your system or turning it off?

Man, you have no idea how much your helping me


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#15 splico

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:55 PM

That is correct understanding :D.

 

Anti-aliasing is the option that "smoothers" the edges of rendered graphics / pc game. See this picture and you will get the point what it does:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/pA7uy.png

Turning it off will give you much more FPS but game graphic will look worse, meaning that anti-aliasing is that option that kills preformance of most GPU(lower FPS with turned on) but it gives you better looking games.


Edited by splico, 06 December 2014 - 07:55 PM.

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