Go Back   Steam Users' Forums > Steam Discussions > Hardware and Operating Systems

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-01-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
w00ties
 
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Reputation: 381
Posts: 3,955
Upgrading PC: Choosing a Video Card

Hey,

I?m going to upgrade my PC this summer, every time I load up TF2 or L4D my video card overheats within 20 minutes and performance drops. Originally I thought that I would just buy an expensive PC case (my current one has no side which means the only fan [apart from the CPU and GPU fans] is gone). Although I?ve decided to try to increase the performance because even when I first load up a game there are still slowdowns and it doesn?t run at max settings (I?d like to see dynamic shadows in L4D one day, adds to the atmosphere).

I used to upgrade my PC on my own, but I've been out of the swing of things for a long while and don't know where things stand in terms of performance - everything moves so quickly in this type of game haha.

Currently my specs are:
eVGA 6800GT
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5000+
2GB RAM

I just bought my motherboard, RAM and CPU last summer so I don?t really want to upgrade them again at this stage, but I plan on buying a new case, new video card, and (if necessary) a new PSU. I didn?t want to spend too much, but if there?s going to be a substantial performance increase by spending a few extra dollars I wouldn?t mind. I was thinking $80-$100 for a case, around $60-$70 for a power supply, and maybe $100-$140 for a video card. My only real question is what video card to look at.

I?ve had a look at the ?best graphics card for the money? article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-gtx,2270.html

Although even in looking at that I don?t know how the recommended cards for the price range will handle the games I want to play.

I want to play TF2, L4D, Oblivion, Empire: Total War & Dragon Age: Origins (TF2 is probably going to be my most played game, so I?d like to handle that maxed ? and Oblivion is surprisingly demanding for those of you who don?t know).

These are the only games I?m really thinking of playing for the next long while, I have a 360 so for most games I use the console ? it?s just my competitive FPS cravings that I need a PC for. I?m looking for visual improvements, I don?t want to be able to just run the game because that?s what my PC is doing right now. I?d like to see some solid performance with good settings.

I?m not sure whether to get the 8800 (I heard the 9800 isn?t much better than it, and 8800 is cheaper) or save longer for a GTX 260 (if I want to think about the long run, I?m trying to avoid upgrading soon again [although the GTX260 is $250 where I live so I?m not sure if I?m up for that]). Or if I go to ATI whether to get a 4850 or 4870. Would dishing out more cash be a better choice? I know there?s potential for the CPU to bottleneck, but I?m thinking that if I get a decent GPU now I can just upgrade the CPU later when I wanted improved performance again (instead of upgrading both).

I?m in Canada so I?ll probably be buying from: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/

8800:
XFX GeForce 8800 GT (1)
XFX GeForce 8800 GT (2)

4850
XFX Radeon HD 4850
XFX Radeo HD 4850 XXX

The ATI cards seem a bit pricey, but if it?s a noticeable performance increase over the lower versions and will run the games I want to play better then I guess I could try to get one of them.

Thanks for any tips.
________
buy air one vaporizer

Last edited by w00ties: 01-26-2011 at 03:48 AM.
w00ties is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
Durial32I
 
Banned
Join Date: Oct 2008
Reputation: 11
Posts: 1,576
If you're having trouble with overheating then i wouldnt get a 8800, i heard they run hot and you wouldnt max tf2 settings at a high resolution with a 8800gt,nevermind oblivion which you said requires a good graphics card and whatnot, I would get a good case/ fan so you can get a radeon 4830/4850
Durial32I is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
NitrousX
 
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Reputation: 746
Posts: 2,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durial32I View Post
If you're having trouble with overheating then i wouldnt get a 8800, i heard they run hot and you wouldnt max tf2 settings at a high resolution with a 8800gt,nevermind oblivion which you said requires a good graphics card and whatnot, I would get a good case/ fan so you can get a radeon 4830/4850
I have two 8800 GTS 512's and they idle at 40 celcius and load of 54'ish. This is with a fan speed of 56%. I'd recommend the ATI Radeon 4850 or the NVIDIA Geforce GTX275. Both are fairly cheap and should with in with your system fairly well.
NitrousX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
w00ties
 
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Reputation: 381
Posts: 3,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durial32I View Post
If you're having trouble with overheating then i wouldnt get a 8800, i heard they run hot and you wouldnt max tf2 settings at a high resolution with a 8800gt,nevermind oblivion which you said requires a good graphics card and whatnot, I would get a good case/ fan so you can get a radeon 4830/4850
Yeah. If only talking about the graphics card I'm going to get overheating issues whether I keep what I have or upgrade to something.

But I plan on buying a new case with plenty of fans to stop the overheating. I wouldn't think about buying a new graphics card while I'm getting overheating issues with a 6800, the overheating issues will be dealt with once I upgrade.

Edit: If you guys recommend dishing out for the 4850, would it be better to get the regular version or the XXX version. A review from TigerDirect.ca says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerDirect Review
[On the 4850 XXX] Honestly it a great video card, i bough this card a fews week back, i play crysis with this card on high setting and it ran very smooth with no lag at all and my system not even closth to high end. just a msi mother board amd athlon 64 x2 5000+ 2g of ram 250GB SATA hd. great video card get it you wouldn't disapionted.
That seems to be what I'm looking for. He has the same CPU & RAM, and I imagine if he can run Crysis then other games should be fine. What do you think?
________
pot news

Last edited by w00ties: 01-26-2011 at 03:49 AM.
w00ties is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 12:08 PM   #5
JimmyB
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Reputation: 6
Posts: 207
after owning a 4850 for a few weeks i thought it was a brilliant card, though i needed to turn up the fan speed in the CCC overdrive section, 35%-40% will keep it nice and cool though a little noisy, i have a 4870 1gb now and to be perfectly honest there is not a huge increase in performance in 90% of the games i play.

q6600 @ 3.4Ghz
3gb ddr2 pc6400 Ram
xfx hd4870 1gb (only about 10%-20% better than the xfx hd4850 1gb)
JimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #6
w00ties
 
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Reputation: 381
Posts: 3,955
Is XFX a reliable brand? With these responses I think Im going to go for the XFX 4850, I just don't know whether it will be the regular version or the XXX version.
________
Kawasaki Z1

Last edited by w00ties: 01-26-2011 at 03:49 AM.
w00ties is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
mav
 
Guest
Posts: n/a
If you're in doubt about the PSU necessary wattage to run all the required operations in your computer, refer to this website to calculate the wattage. Fill the gaps with your new spec if you have one. Buying an undersized and cheap PSU can roll out many problems, including hardware malfunctioning due to high temperatures.

Please also understand that a decent PSU is a lot better than buying a handful of fans if the problem is not over the processor or/and the GPU. I've had issues in the past with my GPU spiking up to high temperatures (95 celsius or more) because my PSU was undersized. I've bought a 350W Seventeam PSU and so far I have not had any problem with overheating. (my computer has only one fan and one heat sink).

Last edited by mav: 05-01-2009 at 01:06 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
JimmyB
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Reputation: 6
Posts: 207
i would go for the standard xfx version of either the 4850 or 4870 thought the higher clock speeds might cause your cards to run a little hot, but on the upside the xfx4850 (either the xxx or non xxx) have a non stock cooler which non of the other manufacturers use, imo the normal xfx 4850 os better, besides you can oc it your self too, and in regards to the psu i would make sure you have at least a 650w with 2x6 or 1x6 and 1x8 pin plugs for your gpu and future upgrades.
JimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 03:12 PM   #9
lhwj
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Reputation: 829
Posts: 4,950
I found you a cheaper XFX 4850 at NCIX here: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...X&promoid=1005

Quote:
but on the upside the xfx4850 (either the xxx or non xxx) have a non stock cooler which non of the other manufacturers use,
I think nowadays all 4850 vendors have custom coolers. Originally they were single slot but they're hard to find nowadays.

May I also mention that the brand new 4770 is cheaper and about 95% as powerful as the 4850. It's also quite frugal in terms of power consumption (~80 watts loaded) and should handle TF2 very well at max settings, even at 1920x1200. Here's a link: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=38...anufacture=XFX

Luke
lhwj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 03:25 PM   #10
masta121
 
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Reputation: 702
Posts: 4,107
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhwj View Post
I found you a cheaper XFX 4850 at NCIX here: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...X&promoid=1005



I think nowadays all 4850 vendors have custom coolers. Originally they were single slot but they're hard to find nowadays.

May I also mention that the brand new 4770 is cheaper and about 95% as powerful as the 4850. It's also quite frugal in terms of power consumption (~80 watts loaded) and should handle TF2 very well at max settings, even at 1920x1200. Here's a link: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=38...anufacture=XFX

Luke
My Diamond model has a nice custom cooler with quad copper heatpipes and an aluminum heat sink. Keeps it really cool.
masta121 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 03:55 PM   #11
w00ties
 
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Reputation: 381
Posts: 3,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhwj View Post
I found you a cheaper XFX 4850 at NCIX here: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...X&promoid=1005



I think nowadays all 4850 vendors have custom coolers. Originally they were single slot but they're hard to find nowadays.

May I also mention that the brand new 4770 is cheaper and about 95% as powerful as the 4850. It's also quite frugal in terms of power consumption (~80 watts loaded) and should handle TF2 very well at max settings, even at 1920x1200. Here's a link: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=38...anufacture=XFX

Luke
Thanks a lot, I really appreciate that. I'm a bit worried in going below the 4850 because I heard Empire: Total War is extremely intense graphically. Although I think if I was only concerned about TF2 alone I'd be all over that.

I think I'll be going for the standard 4850, 650W PSU and a solid case.

Do you guys have any recommendations for cases?

I was looking at the NZXT Zero 2 Craft Series, but I'm not sure if shelling out $125 is too much if I'm not using SLI video cards or overclocking the system. The ventilation and fans are what caught my eye. I'm a bit paranoid that I'll run into the same overheating issues I am now if I don't spend a lot.

Also, how much is reasonable for a PSU? I've heard some horror stories with bad PSU's wrecking systems so I'm a bit paranoid there. Again, I won't be going crazy with dual video cards or overclocking, so I'm not sure if I should dish out for a crazy gamer PSU like the OCZ GameXStream700 or just go for something midrange like the Ultra LSP650.
________
Buell XB9R

Last edited by w00ties: 01-26-2011 at 03:49 AM.
w00ties is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
lhwj
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Reputation: 829
Posts: 4,950
What is your current power supply? If you want a decent one any 400 watt Corsair, PC Power and Cooling or Silverstone will do. Avoid unknown or infamous brands. This is mine, and it will easily power your system, you don't need 700 watts. http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=33...r&promoid=1005

My friend can max out E:TW on his 4850. I've tried the demo at max settings and it runs reasonably well. (I have a 4850 too) My resolution is 1440x900.

Luke
lhwj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:30 PM   #13
w00ties
 
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Reputation: 381
Posts: 3,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhwj View Post
What is your current power supply? If you want a decent one any 400 watt Corsair, PC Power and Cooling or Silverstone will do. Avoid unknown or infamous brands. This is mine, and it will easily power your system, you don't need 700 watts. http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=33...r&promoid=1005

My friend can max out E:TW on his 4850. I've tried the demo at max settings and it runs reasonably well. (I have a 4850 too) My resolution is 1440x900.

Luke
Oh excellent, JimmyB (above) said I need at least a 650Watt, the fact that I only need a 400 is great news. My PC is not with me at the moment, but I believe I have a 400Watt ULTRA. I think I'll probably switch over to one the brands you suggested once I upgrade my PC, just in case my PSU is one of the problems (I think it's about four or five years old).

The 4850 sounds awesome if it can run E:TW, I don't think I even play with a resolution as high as yours so it sounds perfect.

Thanks a lot.
________
YZF-600R

Last edited by w00ties: 01-26-2011 at 03:50 AM.
w00ties is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:39 PM   #14
lhwj
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Reputation: 829
Posts: 4,950
I'm not too sure about Ultra's quality (they definitely aren't the best around) but its 12 volt rail has 20A, this gives it 240 watts. With a 4850 that consumes 110 watts loaded, you have about 130 for the rest of your components. Your 5000+ has a TDP of about 89 watts so that would actually be stretching it a little tight there, because your motherboard and disk drives also need a little bit of power too.

Don't tell me you're running at 1024x768, if you consider 1440x900 high resolution (generally it's 1920x1200 and above). If so it's time for a monitor upgrade.

Luke
lhwj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2009, 04:51 PM   #15
w00ties
 
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Reputation: 381
Posts: 3,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhwj View Post
I'm not too sure about Ultra's quality (they definitely aren't the best around) but its 12 volt rail has 20A, this gives it 240 watts. With a 4850 that consumes 110 watts loaded, you have about 130 for the rest of your components. Your 5000+ has a TDP of about 89 watts so that would actually be stretching it a little tight there, because your motherboard and disk drives also need a little bit of power too.

Don't tell me you're running at 1024x768, if you consider 1440x900 high resolution (generally it's 1920x1200 and above). If so it's time for a monitor upgrade.

Luke
I was just browsing the 400Watt PSU's and came across this Corsair . I've never really understood PSU's, so what you said kind of went over my head. But this chart says the +12V = 33A. Do you think that would make sure the rest of the system has enough power?

Also, I do normally run at 1024x768 - I thought it was a good resolution haha. It's mostly because I got the best performance with it on the 6800 at the settings I wanted, I guess I'll need to try stepping it up when I get this new system set up. I just got a new HDTV actually, so I'm going to try hooking it up to that (or would that degrade performance some how?).
________
KTM RC8

Last edited by w00ties: 01-26-2011 at 03:50 AM.
w00ties is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Steam Users' Forums > Steam Discussions > Hardware and Operating Systems


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Site Content Copyright Valve Corporation 1998-2014, All Rights Reserved.