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Old 06-22-2008, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default gfx card upgrade question

I'm looking to upgrade my 7900GT to something new.
My water cooling leaked all over the back of the card while i was on vacation. I had it volt modded to 1.45V and OC'd like crazy at the time. i get back and my room mate is like, your computer's not workin. it was a train wreck to say the least.

I took everything apart and scrubbed it with alcohol. you can still see some corrotion on some of the sodering points. Amazingly, it still worked, but i get artifacting regularly. At stock voltage and clock, its very annoying. I havent been gaming cuz it doesnt work any where as well as it used to and i dont want to strain the card and be totally sol if it decides to go on me

my rig is as follows:

AMD 3800+ x2, 1.8 MHz, was water cooled, now Scythe Ninja
2 GB DDR 400 Corsair Value Select
MSI KN8 Neo4-F, nvidia nforce4 standard chipset
36 GB WD Raptor (OS)
500 GB WD Seagate (Media)
7900GT stock w/ Zalman VF500 and ramsinks
Antec 550W Trupower PSU (+5V, 40A;+12V, 30A; 3.3V, 32A;-5A, .5A; -12V, 1A; +5V B, 2A)


Can I use a new generation card, i'm thinking ATI's 3870 or 4850 card with out bottle necking at my ram or processor? I definitely want to get back to OC'ing my processor and try and run crysis.
I dont even know if my rig will run the newer cards, or an ATI card for that matter because it is the nForce 4 standard chipset. My PSU is a concern too. the specs for the 4850 are:
"450 Watt or greater power supply with 75 Watt 6-pin PCI Express® power connector recommended" I'm pretty sure a "6-pin connector" is th
e 5V rail, in which case i have 200W available, no problem, but i'm not sure if i'm right.

I want to upgrade to a higher bandwith processor/ram in the near future and would like to keep the gfx card. i think i want to wait for a DDR3 rig to be affordable (totally skip DDR2)
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Old 06-22-2008, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

ok, i looked around alittle more, now i think its the +12V rail that powers the gfx card, i think i'm still good on the power though

from a bench mark i was looking at with the 8800GT, 9800GTX and 4850GT... The power consuption is between 179-303 Watts (Idol-Full Load). At 12V thats about 15-25A. i'm rated at 30A, cutting it pretty close. On a rating i found for the 9800GTX, they say that they want 24A or more w/ a Core2 rig. Will my 3800+ require lower power/run slower?
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Old 06-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

I would snag a 4850 or a 9600GT myself, but I am a bang-for-buck kind of guy. Since your mobo is non SLI or Crossfire, a single card will have to do. The 4850 is about the same as a 9800GTX, and the 4870 is due out shortly. I haven't seen a lot on Nvidia's new cards other than they are way overpriced.
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

i'm in the 200-225 price range, the 9800, 8800, and 4850 all perform comparably PC Perspective - AMD Radeon HD 4850 512MB Preview - RV770 Discovered for about the same money. the 4870 is supposed to be out of my budget, but we'll see. the 8800GT is available for about 170, it really seems like the best deal, but the 4850 has the better technology (55nm)

will the fact that my rig is DDR instead of DDR2 make a difference?
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

You are going to bottle neck all the newer cards for sure with that system.

I'd look into building a new rig.
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

i've oc'd my 3800+ upto 2.5MHz, i think (its been awhile)

would that make a difference?
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

yeah only because its a single core proc and 2.5ghz isn't that high of a clock. Is that board a skt939? If so get an opty or a x2 if you can.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

His processor is x2
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

ha. i missed the x2... well, if its a 939 then i would try and pick up an opty regardless and OC it. Or if you can get up to like 2.5+ you should be ok and won't see a huge bottleneck.
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: gfx card upgrade question

Go for the 4850 and see if you can find a better s939 CPU along the way. The top s939 chips are the 4800 X2, the FX 60, and the Opty 185.
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