Video card bottleneck question

Home built / HOME BUILT
September 10, 2009 at 17:03:49
Specs: Windows XP x86 SP3 , 4 GB
I currently have an XFX 8800GTS 320MB graphics card. I would like to upgrade to this card. I have a Biostar TForce 520 MPC motherboard, and was wondering if this motherboard would bottleneck the GPU because this isn't a very high-end board.

Also, is that the best card I could get for the money?

Thanks,

Tony


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#1
September 10, 2009 at 17:24:29
No mention of the CPU or RAM? Without even knowing, my advice is to stand pat until you're ready to go all the way.

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#2
September 10, 2009 at 18:31:26
4 GB Crucial Ballistix RAM, and an AMD 64 X2 6400+.

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#3
September 10, 2009 at 22:07:31
Your CPU and RAM are more than strong enough to drive a GTX-260

Just make sure that your power supply can keep up with the new card.


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Related Solutions

#4
September 10, 2009 at 22:37:54
Ati radeon hd 4770 512mb great perfomance with low price or if you got extra bucks ati radeon hd 4870 1gb.

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#5
September 10, 2009 at 22:56:41
"AMD 64 X2 6400+"

I built a system with that for a friend. I am very impressed with it's performance.
....

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.
Some power supplies have more than one +12v amperage rating - in that case you add the rated max amperages to determine the total +12v amperage rating.

If the PS doesn't have enough capacity, a video card often works for a while anyway, but the PS is overloaded 100% of the time and is eventually damaged and fails.
......

Newegg and TigerDirect currently have a good sale price on the XFX 4890, but apparently, according to user reviews, it's relatively noisy, because you must run it's fan at about 75% or more to cool it well.
(Minimum 500 watt power supply capacity and two 75 watt capacity 6 pin PCI-EX connectors from the PS to the card).

If you can't afford that, a 4850 or 4870 is excellent too - the same friend with the 6400+ system has a Sapphire 4850 I installed for him (it has a very good fan, not as noisy as others).


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#6
September 11, 2009 at 01:49:03
Thanks for the replies. I looked it all up and I need a new PSU because mine doesn't have 36 amps on the 12 volt rail. I think I might just upgrade the motherboard, video card, and the GPU.

Got any suggestions on a good, but fairly cheap motherboard, and PSU? Not sure what my budget would be just yet.

I used Newegg's power calculator, and with what I have now, It says I'm under-powered by 62 watts. I have a Thermaltake PurePower 500w PSU. Would I see any performance increase if I bought a better PSU, and kept my current GPU?

Thanks,

Tony


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#7
September 11, 2009 at 08:24:12
I wouldn't go by that newegg figure.

"I have a Thermaltake PurePower 500w PSU"

See my info in the last response of mine. That meets the minimum PS capacity requirements for the XFX 4890, and if you get a 4850 , or 4870, their minimum PS requirement is a little less than that - 450 watts I believe.

"Would I see any performance increase if I bought a better PSU, and kept my current GPU?"

No, of course not.

If your current PS meets or exceeds this requirement with your current video card, or a video card you're thinking of buying, you don't need to be concerned about it's capacity:

"Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements."
NOTE THIS....
"Some power supplies have more than one +12v amperage rating..." (they have two) "...- in that case you add the rated max amperages to determine the total +12v amperage rating.

Thermaltake is one of the brands that has decent amperage ratings at +12v , what they should be in relation to the wattage capacity, so that probably is not a problem.

You can get a PS with more capacity in any case if you like, but you don't currently require one.

From what I've seen personally seen, and read on the web, the 6400+ is an excellent cpu, the best one of it's type. When the first Phenoms came our, reviews said it out performed them all , overall.

If I were you, I would upgrade the video card and get a PS with a larger capacity if needed for the card being on the system. If you upgrade your system later with components rather than buying an assembled system, you'll probably need a PS with more capacity in any situation, so buying one is not wasted money in that case, and you'd certainly be able to use the video card in a newer mboard.

How many cores a cpu has is mostly marketing hype.
Most people have very few programs, or no programs at all, that can use more than one cpu core. Server operating systems and some server software can use more than one core, Vista and Windows 7 can use more than one core if you use a program that can use more than one core, and some recent games can use more than onecore in Vista or Windows 7. Other than some recent games, most programs that can use more than one core are usually a lot more expensive to buy.
......

By the way, the peformance bottleneck in modern systems is the speed of the hard drives.


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#8
September 17, 2009 at 18:40:03
Thanks for the info. Can you recommend a good PSU and GPU for $200 or less?

Thanks,

Tony


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#9
September 17, 2009 at 19:41:15
"...a good PSU and GPU for $200 or less.."

See response 5 regarding video cards - I'm a long time ATI video and AMD cpu fan - I don't know a lot about NVidia stuff.

If you get the 4850, for sure, your present cpu is more than sufficient - it might meet the minimum requirement for a 4870 too. I recommend the Sapphire 4850 - it has a better fan than average, runs somewhat cooler and quieter.
If you don't get that, look at the user ratings for the card on www.newegg.com (US orders only) or www.newegg.ca (Canadian orders only?) or TigerDirect.com, or TigerDirect.ca (cheaper choice overall for Canadians to order from of the two - you can order from TigerDirect.com but you get wacked with extra charges and an extra wait of up to a week after it crosses the border) to see what they say overall about how cool the card runs and whether the fan is noisy. Sometimes it's just a matter of a default setting in the card's software that needs tweaking to make the card run cooler . You don't necessaily have to buy the card from there, but that reveals how well the fan/heatsink works.


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