Solved What options do I have for upgrading old video card?

December 13, 2015 at 19:21:25
Specs: Windows Vista 64, Intel Core 2 Duo E8500

I have an older system and I would like to know what my options are, if any, to upgrade to a better graphics card and improve performance.

Asus P5Q-E mobo
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
Evga 9800 GTX+
Windows Vista 64

I am looking at the GTX 750 Ti, but I'm wondering if it will just bottleneck with older technology. Any advice would be appreciated.

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December 13, 2015 at 20:51:52
The GTX750Ti is a great card for the price range and will draw less current than your older card. I do not think that it will be a problem running on your system (though you may want to wait for additional opinions on this). If you want additional performance improvements consider additional RAM, Overclocking your CPU, an SSD, and possibly Windows 7 64bit. I would not spend too much on an older system but it may have some additional life left if you do not expect too drastic an improvement overall. Note that the GTX750Ti would be good to keep even if you built a new system in say 6 months so it would not be a waste of money.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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December 14, 2015 at 13:25:06
✔ Best Answer
If you're not a gamer (you didn't state that you are), I see no point in upgrading the graphics card. In fact, you might wanna consider downgrading to a more modern power efficient card. However, if you are a gamer & willing to spend a little more, I'd go with a GTX 950 over the GTX 750 Ti.

And echoing what was said by Fingers - overclock your CPU (1600MHz FSB rather than 1333MHz), add more RAM, & switch to a better OS.

EDIT: I didn't realize I was in the gaming forum when I responded so I'm guessing you are a gamer!

message edited by riider

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December 14, 2015 at 18:19:03
Thanks a lot guys. I went with the GTX 750 Ti since it's a good budget card. I also realized my PSU is really old so I'm upgrading that as well (EVGA SuperNova 650).

For RAM, I checked the QVL in the Asus P5QE manual. Crucial is a reputable brand and on the QVL so I went with them. I went to their website and ordered two Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB Kits (2GBx4) DDR2-800 UDIMM. This will boost it to 8 GB.

If I overclock the CPU, should I replace the factory fan and add any additional cooling? Any recommendations there?

And yes I'm a gamer!

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Related Solutions

December 15, 2015 at 14:17:43
Why upgrade the PSU? If your old one could handle the 9800 GTX+, it will certainly handle the GTX 750 Ti. I posted the links in my other response to show you the wattage differences:

As for RAM, if you already had 4GB, why would you replace all of it? If you had 4 x 1GB, you should have just removed 2 of them & replaced with 2 x 2GB for a total of 6GB. Unless it wasn't DDR2-800? Even so, DDR2 is expensive, my guess is over $120? If that's the case, you're investing WAY too much money in an old system.

To overclock, just lower the CPU multiplier to 8.0x, lock the PCIe at 100MHz, then increase the CPU frequency to 400MHz (1600MHz FSB). That will only increase the overall CPU clock from 3.16GHz to 3.20GHz, but the FSB will run 20% faster. You can then experiment by raising the CPU multiplier a little at a time.

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December 15, 2015 at 20:02:32
Thanks and points taken. The RAM in my machine now is Super Talent 2x2gb DDR2 PC5300 667. 2 slots are free. I couldn't find another 2gb stick on newegg, but I found this for $24.99:

Would that have worked? If so, then yes, I way overspent on the Crucial. This is a learning experience for me so I appreciate the straightforward answers.

Thanks for the OC advice. I have an Asus AI Tool that will allow me to easily OC to the specifications you provided. I notice my heat sink is dusty, but I live overseas and coming by a can of air is easier said than done. I suppose I could simply disconnect it and manually huff, puff, and blow it out? Should I stress test the processor since it's a bit old?

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January 19, 2016 at 21:59:23
Hey guys,

Just to circle back and let you know the results.

Asus P5Q-E mobo
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (stock speed, but want to OC 400x8)
Cooler Master Hypo D92 (to overclock)
500 GB Crucial SSD
Asus GTX 750 Ti (2 GB DDR5)
8 GB Crucial DDR2 800 (4x2GB)
EVGA Supernova 650 80+ PSU

I took your advice upgraded the video card, memory, SSD, and OS, along with other components. Everything installed fine. The difference an SSD makes is tremendous and the new card ran SOMA great. I was actually able to play it with high settings and finish it.

A couple of things to note:

I then had some trouble with Windows 7 (Home Premium 64-bit) update. When I would go to the control panel and select "check for updates" it would just search for updates indefinitely, even after activating the product. I did a clean install twice just to make sure, but still ran into the issue. I do live in central Asia, so maybe there's an issue with connecting to the Microsoft servers so far away. But then again, I ended up switching to Windows 10 via the free upgrade, so maybe distance from the servers isn't an issue after all.

An interesting point is that the Windows 10 Setup wizard will eventually have to search for updates, which brought me back to the same problem I had with Win 7. To solve this, I continued to let the Windows 10 setup check for updates and then I ran the Windows Update Automated Troubleshooter at the same time. It was a frustrating issue, but this solved the problem and nudged the installation process forward. I read online that other users were having this issue, so I just thought I'd share what worked for me.

Long story short, Win 10 runs great and I can run Fallout 4, though at low settings to get > 40 FPS. GeForce Experience says that my PC doesn't meet the minimum requirements; though, the only requirement it doesn't meet is the CPU. Interestingly, I can run it at high settings between 25-30 FPS, but it's a bit jittery. At low settings, the graphics still look good and the game is fully playable and enjoyable. The only exception would be shadows and other lines, which can look jagged because of FXAA. I still see it as a win.

Now, I haven't OC'd the processor yet. One issue I'm having with Fallout 4 is that the game will sometimes crash my PC. It's weird. I ran the game all day the other day and had no issues. Then yesterday it happened a couple of times. I downloaded HWMonitor to check temps and everything looked okay. I wonder if it's just unreliable electricity or something. I read that other users have issues with the game crashing their PCs. Maybe a bug or something? There isn't anything to see in the event log, other than the PC reset, so it's difficult to diagnose. I feel I shouldn't OC the processor until this gets resolved (if it's resolvable). The PC is, after all, still using older significant hardware (mobo and CPU). No BSOD of though.

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January 20, 2016 at 20:21:24
Have you made sure that you have the latest drivers for your motherboard directly from Asus? If not then try that next.
I had an issue on my latest build where occasionally I had a crash coming out of sleep. This apparently was a compatibility issue between the SSD controller and the motherboard/chipset drivers even though I had the latest at the time. As time went by and it did not get better, I checked for a newer driver set and a few of them had newer versions. Installing these appears to have solved this issue for me. While you are not likely to have very new drivers for an older motherboard, using the latest might help.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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January 21, 2016 at 21:52:26
I flash-updated the BIOS when I had Windows 7 installed, but unfortunately I can only download drivers up to Windows 8.1. I'm not sure if there are any other options.

I suppose this may be the end of the line for the board. With that said, I played Fallout 4 again yesterday with no issues, other than the local utility workers cutting the power at random times with no warning. Such is life here. I'll be overseas for almost another year and I'm happy with the results. I'll build a new system once I return.

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January 22, 2016 at 14:27:18
If you can enjoy it now more than before then it was worth it for a year. I like to use a UPS for all of my desktop machines so power issues are practically eliminated and you can continue for a while and shut down when you need to and are ready with less chance for hardware damage and software issues. Enjoy.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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