Upgrade help for an older system

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by erikthereddest, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. erikthereddest

    erikthereddest New Member

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    Nvidia 8800GT 512MB
    Hello all,

    This is my first post here, but I have been visiting these forums for several years. When I had this question, I thought of the expertise of this community and figured it was the best place to go.

    I have a desktop that I ordered from CyberPower back in December '07, and while it's been a great rig for my needs, nowadays it's not doing so hot.

    I have very little money to work with (about $100 or so), but had this system built with upgrades in mind and think I can get a little more life out of it if I play my cards right. Here's the setup:

    ASUS P5N-E SLI nForce 650i motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.00GHz (Water cooled, ASETEK 120MM watercooler)
    EVGA GeForce 8800GT 512Mb PCI-E
    4 Gigs of Muskin 1024Mb DDR2 Memory (PC6400)
    Sigma Shark 635W PSU
    Windows 7 Professional 64bit

    I've seen some 8800's around to SLI for about $79, but I thought I might ask if it wouldn't be more worth it to go for a newer card for about $50 more. I know there's the bottleneck issue with old CPU's matched with new cards, but I've been running this processor pretty cool over its lifetime, so I figure I could overclock it a bit if I needed to. Other than the CPU, however, the system runs pretty hot. The GPU doesn't seem to get enough circulation, and for a few years the case fans were actually reversed, so the GPU's been running at 70C almost constantly, 90C+ under load. I think part of that might be that I don't seem to have the case fans connected in such a way that I can control them with Rivatuner or other programs, but otherwise there are no obstructions or other reasons that I can see as the cause. So, here are some things I was wondering about:

    -Would it be better to SLI, or buy a newer card? If newer, what would be best considering my low budget?

    -What's the deal with manufacturers? How much can you really mix and match? I know SLI'd cards need to be very close if not identical to avoid problems, but does it matter if I have a different manufacturer for my motherboard than my graphics card?

    -Would it be better to upgrade something else? RAM, CPU, or possibly even a new motherboard? I've got a pretty big case, but I wouldn't be against replacing it if it would help with the heat issue. I also plan to apply new conductive gel to the heat sinks and water block when this upgrade happens.

    -Any ideas about the fan issue? I think maybe the case fan power cables might be plugged into the wrong ports on the motherboard, but I can't figure out where they should be, or why I can't seem to gain control over fan speeds.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Sorry for the wordiness, I'm an English major... :nerd:
     
  2. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    In all honesty, you'd be better off saving up some money and upgrading the entire system. If your intention is gaming, your 8800GT is going to struggle with most newer games due to the small 512mb memory. SLI won't increase memory. For SLI, as long as the cards have the same specs, you should be fine. It is possible to pair cards with different clock speeds and memory capacities, but you'd lose any advantage that 1 card has over the other....you also increase the potential for problems.
     
  3. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    Id buy a whole new system too
     
  4. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

  5. Saad

    Saad Master Guru

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    I'd recommend you get a new system..but if that not an option, then i suggest you upgrade the video card..id suggest a radeon 5770 1gb..they're at about $110..it'l be atleast twice as fast as your current card...and I'd also overclock that cpu towards 3.4 to 3.6ghz..that'l help a bit....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102873 $89.99 after rebate..

    i know this is the nvidia section but theres nothing to recommend in this price range..the gts 450 is for about $110 to $120 but the radeon 5770 beats it in almost every benchmark..
     
  6. erikthereddest

    erikthereddest New Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses!

    Yeah, of course I'd buy a new system if I could afford it- don't think I'm not drooling over the new stuff any less than the rest of you guys. Right now I just need a stop gap until I can get a better job, pay down some debt, etc.

    So to be clear, buying an all-new system is not an option. That $100 is relatively flexible, possibly up to about $200, but obviously the cheaper the better.

    I've seen the 5770 mentioned in a bunch of threads, and I like that deal you linked, Saad, so thanks for that. Are we sure that's compatible with my motherboard? If so, I'll probably just go with that.

    Keep in mind, I'm well aware I'm not going to get anything approaching max graphics with a rig like this. Any significant improvement, even if its practically nothing compared to top-of-the-line, is great as far as I'm concerned.
     
  7. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    Here's what I've found to work best for upgrades.

    Pickup a small bank or safe, whatever. When you have a spare $5, $10 or $20, place it in the small bank, safe, whatever. If you can manage at least $20 a month (I know, it's not really a lot of money compared to hardware prices), that's $240 a year. If your current system can hold you over for the next 2 years and you manage $20/month....that's $480. By that time, even going entry-level should provide a reasonable performance boost.

    Of course, this doesn't help you right now. It's just a suggestion for later upgrades. For the current situation, either a GTS450, which is roughly $110....or the Radeon HD5770. GTX550Ti isn't a bad option either, though it's about $130. I wouldn't bother going any higher than those cards as you won't see any advantage.
     
  8. deefop

    deefop Member Guru

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    personally i would overclock the cpu as much as you can( a decent OC on that dual core could provide you a LOT more performance in games and you said you have a watercooler anyway) and then pick up a 5770, the cheapest one you can find. That will run you about 100$ and give you a pretty significant boost. In fact you'd be able to play every modern game on the market, albeit at a slightly lower resolution with low/medium graphics settings.
     
  9. Saad

    Saad Master Guru

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    ok i found another decent deal: a radeon 6850 for $129.99 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125353

    now this will be approx atleast 4 times faster than your current 8800gt...

    (dont go any higher than a 6850/460 on the gpu..NOT WORTH IT with your current system)
    if you overclock that cpu to about 3.6ghz you'l be able to max out most games(depends on your resolution though 1680x1080 probably)...now before everyone starts yelling bottleneck, trust me for most games there will be non(insignificant)...ive used a 6850 with a core 2 duo e7500 @ 3.66ghz and the only games that suffered a lot were online bf 3/gta 4/flight simulator x


    oh and yeah both the cards will be compatible with your current motherboard..pcie 2 is backwards compatible with 1 :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  10. KopyKat007

    KopyKat007 Master Guru

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    Yeah right now on newegg they also got Evga GTX 550Ti FPB for $129.99 after rebate as well, i bought one of these last month when it was 139.99 and i mailed in for the EVGA $20 rebate and got it for $120 in the end.

    Overclocked real nice for a simple OC with the programs it comes with like EVGA and OC Scanner.

    Went from 951core/2178 memory to 1020/2228 and then i didn't really want to push it on stock votage more but i still think i can get like 20-30 more on memory for sure but im just staying simple and it does everything i want it to do.

    Another great card for the price: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...rue&Keywords=(keywords)&Page=1#scrollFullInfo
     

  11. erikthereddest

    erikthereddest New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, everyone!

    I think I'm probably going to go for the Radeon HD 5770, since so many people (here and elsewhere) have recommended it, and because it seems to run cooler than the comparable GeForce card (since heat is an issue I am concerned with), and after all it's a bit cheaper than the alternatives.

    I was curious about water cooling- very unlikely that I would do it, but I figured I might as well ask. Is the card that Saad linked: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102873
    one that I could use a liquid cooling kit with? I understand you can't fit one on all of the cards of this series (something about it being "non-reference", whatever that means). Just curious if anyone knows anything about how that would work.
     
  12. KopyKat007

    KopyKat007 Master Guru

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    Well my Geforce is running at like 35-36 degrees right now and ive had no heat problems with this card, my old geforce 8800gts 512 on the other hand ran quite a bit hotter overall from day one.

    To each there own lol.
     
  13. erikthereddest

    erikthereddest New Member

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    So, no one knows anything about water cooling this card? Can someone tell me how I can find out if the one I'm looking at is "non reference"?
     
  14. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    For the Price of water cooling, You could just get a better card w/256-bit memory interface :nerd:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  15. erikthereddest

    erikthereddest New Member

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    So, looks like I missed the deal I was looking at- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102873

    Still not bad, but I was looking at this one instead (which I gather is a bit of a rebranding of the 5670):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161375

    One con is that I've grown used to a dual-screen setup, but I only use the second (cheap) screen for desktop space, not gaming, so I'd be ok with going back to one.

    Is this card compatible with my motherboard?

    Does anyone have a better deal out there for a Radeon HD 5770 or something similar?
     

  16. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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  17. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    5770s are kinda slow so they dont put off much heat. if your going to put water cooling on it, best to use that money to a better card lol
     
  18. erikthereddest

    erikthereddest New Member

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    Forget about water cooling it.

    That was just asked out of curiosity, but clearly to get helpful answers, I can't afford to stray from very specific questions.

    I guess the problem is that I need to update the OP? I don't know.

    airbud7 - Are you saying that with this card:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161375
    I should be able to hook up more than one screen? I am aware of adapters, my current setup uses one, but my GeForce 8800 GT has two outputs, whereas the description for the linked card clearly lists "1 x displayport".

    Can this card handle multiple displays or not?

    Also, is this card compatible with my nForce 650i SLI motherboard?
     
  19. KopyKat007

    KopyKat007 Master Guru

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    If your using DVI then it must look like this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...rue&Keywords=(keywords)&Page=1#scrollFullInfo

    Notice it says DVI Ports: 2

    Also this card is on sale again at 140$ with the $20 mail in rebate. Not sure about dual monitor performance though, i bought it for just one monitor and its performing great for $120 bucks, OC's great too lol.

    So depending on your dual monitor hookup type make sure it says 2 ports for those hookups.
     
  20. angmar

    angmar Maha Guru

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    sadly a 100 dollars with your current rig is not going to get you far.....at all. Save your money buy a new board an cpu an memory...an then replace the graphics card when you can. A 100 dollars will do next to nothing for you. You might be able to get a good open box deal on a radeon 6850 or gtx 460 for around a 100 bucks but your cpu is going to severely limit the power of the card to the point where you may as well just buy a slower older model for less money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

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