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Upgrade Advice from 8800GTX

Mistwalker

Senior member
Feb 9, 2007
343
0
71
So, I have an E6600 (running at 3.2), 4GB DDR-800, Asus P5B Motherboard, and a GeForce 8800GTX. I'm looking at upgrading to a 4870x2 (or 280 I suppose) for the next couple years of hardcore gaming and am willing to spend $500-600 on the card, assuming that's all I need.

Some questions...

Processor and Motherboard limitations - Would my current CPU and motherboard (PCI 1.0 slot) hold back a new card? If so, how badly?

Price - 4870x2's, with the current exchange rate, run in the $750-800 dollar range here in Japan. Is there any online retailer that ships internationally? I could be raped on shipping and still come out way ahead...unfortunately shipping it to the house in the States and having family send it here is not an option just now.

Power - I'm using a Corsair 620HX, I assume that would handle any single card (even an x2)--what do you think? I do also run 6 hard drives in the system...

Resolution - I game on an LCD HDTV at 1920x1080, which immediately makes the top of the line cards seem like overkill. Still, because of the resolution I expect to play games with all the details and settings maxed with nary a frame rate hiccup, and am hoping whatever card I buy lets me continue to do that for a couple years (barring another Crysis).

I have a few weeks off over Christmas and New Year's I'd like to break in the new card with, Dead Space, Witcher's Enhanced, Fallout 3, maybe Crysis...so I'll probably look to make any purchases towards the end of November. Any advice, AT gurus? I've thought about upgrading the CPU to an E8200 or similar but am fairly certain I'd need a new motherboard, and then I'm possibly stuck upgrading memory, pushing me way over budget (assuming $800-1000 all told is my limit).

Any comments, advice, oberservations much appreciated!
 

zagood

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
4,103
0
71
I'm wondering similar things, but my current gear is one step back of all yours. e6400@3.2, GB p965, 8800GTS 640, and 16x10.

I've come to the same conclusion that to upgrade one, I'd have to upgrade all the others, except for the monitor.

lowest possible upgrade for processor to actually make a difference is the e8400. q6600 if you don't care as much about power and heat (since you're going to be overclocking either of them). Price difference between the e8200 and e8400 is negligable, and much better performance with e8400, probably because of more L2 cache.

Charts:
http://forums.anandtech.com/me...=2242200&enterthread=y

Motherboard, for budget lean toward the p35. Super budget, update the bios of your P5B for 45nm compatibility. You'll still have PCIe 1x but it won't kill you TOO much.

Oh...your original question...

Don't buy a new video card now. I know you're probably jonesing, I know the feeling, but there really isn't anything spectacular (like the 8800GTX was) on the market right now. Also, all those games you mentioned except Crysis will be able to be played at fill eye candy at 19x12 with your current rig.

Just my 2c. It's a great time for every price level of video card EXCEPT high end. The "fastest" single-slot video card option still suffers from crossfire problems that turn it into a single 4870 on some games. The "fastest" single-gpu video card is, well, very fast, but not "kill the competition" fast. I'm just unimpressed.

If I'm paying $500 for the 4870x2, I want it to be twice as fast as the $250 4870.

It's not.

If I'm paying $350 for the gtx 280, I want it to be 32% faster than the $240 gtx 260.

It's not.

I'm rambling, but hey, you get my point?

-z
 

Mistwalker

Senior member
Feb 9, 2007
343
0
71
Originally posted by: zagood
I'm wondering similar things, but my current gear is one step back of all yours. e6400@3.2, GB p965, 8800GTS 640, and 16x10.

I've come to the same conclusion that to upgrade one, I'd have to upgrade all the others, except for the monitor.

lowest possible upgrade for processor to actually make a difference is the e8400. q6600 if you don't care as much about power and heat (since you're going to be overclocking either of them). Price difference between the e8200 and e8400 is negligable, and much better performance with e8400, probably because of more L2 cache.

Charts:
http://forums.anandtech.com/me...=2242200&enterthread=y

Motherboard, for budget lean toward the p35. Super budget, update the bios of your P5B for 45nm compatibility. You'll still have PCIe 1x but it won't kill you TOO much.
Thank you kindly zagood, what you say does make a lot of sense. I was figuring I have $600 to throw into my system, and while the value is questionable I'd get the most gaming bang for those bucks by just sinking it into a high end video card.

On the motherboard, I thought the P5B was a P35 board? I'll double check, but I'm pretty sure it's stuck with one PCIe 1x slot. So long as the next chipset step up (to accommodate say an e8400) allows DDR2 memory, I'll live. Any Crossfire-capable boards you'd recommend?

Originally posted by: zagood
Oh...your original question...

Don't buy a new video card now. I know you're probably jonesing, I know the feeling, but there really isn't anything spectacular (like the 8800GTX was) on the market right now. Also, all those games you mentioned except Crysis will be able to be played at fill eye candy at 19x12 with your current rig.

Just my 2c. It's a great time for every price level of video card EXCEPT high end. The "fastest" single-slot video card option still suffers from crossfire problems that turn it into a single 4870 on some games. The "fastest" single-gpu video card is, well, very fast, but not "kill the competition" fast. I'm just unimpressed.
What would your thoughts be on this: spending the money on the CPU--say e8400--and motherboard, then put the rest into a 4870 1GB card? It would be a decent all-around upgrade over the 8800GTX (if not as drastic) and pave the way for Crossfire upgrades down the line.

 

BoboKatt

Senior member
Nov 18, 2004
529
0
0
I still find it hard to upgrade my 8800GTX; in fact I have 2, one in each of my systems.

Your mobo is a 965 based chipset not P35 so not sure you would be even able to get the new cpu's. Then again a p35 mobo is soooo cheap or p45 if you really had to do it. Then again you are in Japan... maybe not so cheap then.

You have 4GB or RAM and you golden there.

the 620 Corsair is still a sweet PS - very capable, however I am not sure just how hard say a newer 4870x2 or 280 would be on that but I have seen reviews where it was not an issue (as long as you don't have 5 HD, 2 DVDRW, 12 fans and LED's, etc)

Another reason why the 8800 GTX rocks... your 620 Corsair is magic with it and runs it fine... and you might have to go out and get a more powerful PS just to run one of these newer monstrous video cards that WILL run hotter, will run louder, will require a lot more power etc..

As for the 8800GTX, it sucks that the benchmarks for those cards have completely disappeared off the face of sites comparing them to the newer video cards like the 4870's or 260's etc. In my case, I really really cannot find a game that I cannot play well at 1920x1200. I don't play Crysis so maybe that's not a fair comparison for you but otherwise, it's still a very capable card.

I was blown away when the 8800 GTX came out, as I was blow away when the first GeForce 256 came out. I have yet to see jumps like that and hence sticking to my 8800 GTX till someone comes out with an eye opener again.
 

brencat

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2007
2,171
3
76
Mistwalker, your system is still quite capable. I'm not sure the upgrade you're thinking about makes sense $$ wise. As mentioned, the 8800GTX still kicks ass. And your CPU has 4M L2 cache so upgrading to a 6M cache E8400 @ 3.8ghz OC isn't going to make much sense either since your current CPU isn't bottlenecking anything at 3.2ghz, nor would it bottleneck either of the cards you're thinking of buying.

If it were me, I'd sit tight and wait 1 more generation of vid cards, or at least until the price of the GTX280 or 4870X2 come down substantially in price. Save your money and take your girl out instead...

:)
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
0
8800gtx pretty much equals a HD4850 in terms of performance, and still beats it at 1920*1200. The only REAL upgrade is a gtx280 or HD4870 X2. A 3.2ghz conroe is still sufficient and doesn't require upgrading. It's probably best to wait till ATI releases their new cards, and buy a p45 mobo and crossfire 2 of those cards. You could re-use the CPU and RAM to cut costs.
 

emilyek

Senior member
Mar 1, 2005
511
0
0
GTX260 216, 4870, GTX280, 4870X2

In that order. If money is no object, 4870X2; if it is, 4870.

No reason to get a 4850 or lower.
 

Tempered81

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2007
6,375
0
76
I would get this:

Motherboard
x38/x48 for ~$150 (crossfire)
p45 $100 (also decent at x-fire)
p35 $70 (single cards)
Sli board if you want sli

cpu:
E8500 (oc 4.3ghz+) $185
E8400 (oc 4.2ghz+)$155
E7200 (oc 4ghz+)$120
Q6600 (oc 3.6ghz+)$180

Excellent cpu air cooler: $50
true, tru 120, xigmatek 1283, cpns 9700, tuniq, etc.

Ram:
pc1066 2x2gb ddr2 ~ (going rate - maybe $40)

Video:
hd4850 ($150)
2 4850's ($299)
gtx260 ($200)
gtx260 216 ($250)
4870 512 (220)
4870 1gb ($260)
9800gt ultimate sli ($260)
9800gtx+ sli ($310)

$400 - $750
 

Ares202

Senior member
Jun 3, 2007
331
0
71
Something that no one has mentioned is that you could buy another 8800gtx on ebay US or UK from a seller that ships worldwide, for <$120 (get him to post it as a 'gift' as there should be no tax) and pick up an SLI motherboard that would beat out the GTX280 easily in all games except the ones that dont scale well with SLI at all

 

cusideabelincoln

Diamond Member
Aug 3, 2008
3,268
7
81
Jared: He's in Japan so prices are going to be much different.

BoboKatt: The 8800GTX is pretty similar to a 9800GTX and HD4850, so when you look at benchmarks use those as reference.

Mistwalker: Save your money. In fact, save up more money. Your system is still pretty capable, and upgrading to a GTX 260 or HD4870 is only going to net you, at most, a 30% performance improvement. That really isn't a cost effective measure for only a 30% improvement, and while an HD4870 X2 would give you a noticeable boost it is still very cost ineffective. Save your money and wait for prices to drop.
 

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