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Any Videocard savvy people?Follow

#1 Sep 04 2010 at 11:27 AM Rating: Good
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Hoping there's a techie in here, because I'm always lost when looking for new parts!

I'm using a Geforce 8800GTX, Which was super good when I bought it, so I thought it would handle FFXIV well. Well aparently it doesn't because I have to turn many settings down or off to get a smooth ride. Either my card is frying out, or I'm having ventilation issues (why do they install with the fan facing down...), OR it's just time to upgrade!

So I'd like to stick with Nvidia Geforces since I've been mostly satisfied. Went into best buy and was faced with 3 versions... Can't decide which is right for me!

My main concern is that I have no idea what will be compatible with my motherboard. So as a point of reference all I have to go in is that i'm running a Geforce 8800GTX, with the power supply and connectors to accomodate it.

Any ideas on what to get?
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#2 Sep 04 2010 at 11:47 AM Rating: Good
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First you want to be sure on whether or not you're running on PCI-E or AGP...I'd be almost certain you're running PCI-E but it's still good to check, you can most likely do so by opening up the computer case and looking at the slot your graphics card is plugged into.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AGP_slot.jpg

If you have a slot like the red colored one here, you have AGP, in which case you'd be hard pressed to find an upgrade from what you have as it's an older graphics slot standard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PCIExpress.jpg

If your slots look more like the top three of these then you have PCI-E. You might not need the shorter slots as I believe those are for SLI/Crossfire, please correct me if I'm wrong.

If you have PCI-E and want a Geforce card, you might want to consider going with a Geforce 400 series card, as they're the most recent IIRC. I'm not familiar with the new naming conventions for nVidia, I know for older thousands series cards the first digit refers to the chipset series, the second digit refers to quality, and the GT, GX, GTX, etc. suffixes usually mean even higher quality. If you are strapped for cash you could also go with a Geforce 200 series, which would be pretty good...and of course the 9000s are always decent but they're getting on in age so you may only see a minimal improvement from upgrading to that.

And always remember when shopping for GPUs to keep in mind that your new card may have power requirements that your older card simply didn't need. I'd say if you have a 500-600 watt power supply you should be fine, but don't take my word as gospel because the graphics card you get may require even more, plus you have to factor in the power usage of the rest of the components.
#3 Sep 04 2010 at 11:53 AM Rating: Good
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either buy a second card on ebay for SLI, or buy a Fermi card and turn your 8800 into a PhysiX card. XIV does have physics, but I'm not sure if it's affected by PhysX.
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#4 Sep 04 2010 at 12:15 PM Rating: Good
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I had a look in my case and it looks like i have both types of slots (?) but im not sure because they dont seem labeled on the motherboard like your 2nd image... Is there a way to check this via control panel to be sure?
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#5 Sep 04 2010 at 12:22 PM Rating: Good
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Ok i checked a program that tells you, i have PCI-E! (thank you excellent PC store that put me ahead of the curve back then)! ~ Insert plug for Sigmawave computers in Montreal ~

Anyway so now that's out of the way, Is it safe to just go with the more expensive of the options for Geforce? The price difference isn't that great.

What else do I need to look out for besides power supply and that I have PCI-E?

How about the install process, am I going to run into problems with the old card's drivers messing up the new card installation?


Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:23pm by RattyBatty
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#6 Sep 04 2010 at 12:37 PM Rating: Good
There's PCI-express and PCI express 2.0, I'm assuming you have the first one. Depending how old the motherboard is, you might have 1.0... 2.0 was released in Jan 07 I think, so anything around that time, or before won't have it. If you only have 1.0, the cards you'll find online might be limited (or anywhere for that matter). If it's 2.0, then you have a ton more options.

You have any idea what type of mobo you got? Also, a lot of 2.0 cards are backwards compatible.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:39pm by Montsegurnephcreep
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#7 Sep 04 2010 at 12:38 PM Rating: Good
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This Geforce 9800GT Seems to be the most expensive one at best buy. Anyone know if this is still low grade? Since the above poster said they dont do the x000 name anymore, does it mean this is an old card, not much better than 8800 GTX?

Ah so confusing...


As for the motherboard concerns above. HEre's what the report looks like about it:
Specs

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:40pm by RattyBatty
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#8 Sep 04 2010 at 12:41 PM Rating: Good
Here's a good chart to check out, http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/132
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#9 Sep 04 2010 at 12:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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If you are willing to spend $200 on the video card, go with the GTX460. At $300, you can get GTX470. At $400, you can get ATI 5870.
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#10 Sep 04 2010 at 12:45 PM Rating: Good
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The 9000 series is the one that is older, you might not see too much improvement. The 200/400 series are better...it's just a little confusing at first because nVidia always had names like 5500 or 9800GTX and you could easily say 'Well, 9800 is better because it's a higher number'

Then instead of doing a 10,000 series they just sorta decided 'Let's go back to 200 and really mess with their heads!' =P

So it would go like this, to be concise.

400 series i.e. GT 480 > 200 series i.e GT 260 > 9800GT > 8800GTX
#11 Sep 04 2010 at 12:46 PM Rating: Good
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Ok based on that chart, looks like its actually worse in many respects... Man. Am I reading it right? Compare 8800 GTX with 9800 GT and correct me if i'm reading wrong.

It looks like the one with highest numbers all around is the GeForce GTX 285, its so weird how a higher number can have lower stats... no wonder i'm lost.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:47pm by RattyBatty
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#12 Sep 04 2010 at 12:46 PM Rating: Good
That motherboard's fine. So depending which video card you go with, personally if I had the cash I start out with the GTX 460 or something along those lines to actually make a noticeable difference. What kind of CPU do you have, depending what you have, you could see a bottleneck effect, that LGA775 socket seems to support up to a core 2 quad.

As for the power supply, you can easily find online what the power recommendations are, some of the new ones require quite a bit to get going.
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#13 Sep 04 2010 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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The 9800 will not be much of an upgrade actually. If your computer can handle it I would be looking at the geforce 4xx models. Check your power supply though, because it has to have enough plugs and watts/amps.

The markup is horrible at bestbuy. Do yourself a favor and shop online. Here is an example of a card on my wishlist. I would go no lower than a 460, based on my research.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/buy_now_results_ci.html?id=GFGTX460

Or if you have a microcenter near you, go there and talk to them or call. They know it inside and out and have pretty good deals. www.microcenter.com

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I used to have two 8800 gtx cards. One burned out due to heat issues. Performance though was not that much better with two.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:55pm by Parsalyn
#14 Sep 04 2010 at 12:50 PM Rating: Good
Right, like Parsalyn said, check out newegg.com or .ca, or tigerdirect.ca, tons of stuff there. Most new cards require 2 6-pin adapters to get enough juice. If you find out what kind of Power supply you got, that too will help as the Amps well help tremendously if they're high enough.
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#15 Sep 04 2010 at 12:50 PM Rating: Good
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For CPU i have Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600.
Yes that PC place set me up real good at the time. It was a beast back then and he said I should be ok to upgrade for a while.

So I should be able to accomodate the 460~ series cards then? With possibly just a power supply upgrade?
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#16 Sep 04 2010 at 12:52 PM Rating: Good
Ya, most of these cards are backwards compatible, would just need a touch of research, and if you check what kind of PSU you got, we can figure that out. If check the side or the back you should be able to figure it out. The watts are somewhat important, but if you have a 900Watt PSU with multi rail at 20amps, it's gonna be sh*t.

Just checked, the 460 will work in 1.0 and from what I'm reading you won't lose much performance if any at all. And that CPU should be fine too.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 2:54pm by Montsegurnephcreep
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#17 Sep 04 2010 at 12:57 PM Rating: Good
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Im trying to check my power supply but it seems to be encased in the ANTECdesign case I have. I can't even tell where that compartment opens!..

Really weird the more i look at it the more it seems like that compartment can't be opened... Would would i even change the power supply in that case..

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:00pm by RattyBatty
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#18 Sep 04 2010 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
Even if you just open the side panel, you can't see anything?
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#19 Sep 04 2010 at 1:01 PM Rating: Good
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When i look at the power supply area inside the tower, it looks like a little gray AC unit with a fan grill on top, and looks like it's all made up of one bent sheet of metal. No openings or access flaps appaent to me.. Looks like it's part of the tower itself.


.. Unless that whole thing IS the power supply, in which case it just says ANTEC, no voltage info or w/e, just a serial number.

(sorry got confused because the antec case is made up of many neat enclosed compartments, which their power supply looks like one of..


Ah it is, ANTEC Trio... looking up the model

Quote:
The Antec Trio-650 is NVIDIA SLI-certified and delivers 650 Watts of power. Besides that, it also has three +12V rails which allow you to distribute your power more evenly, resulting in a more stable system. In addition to that, it also has a 120 mm low-noise cooling fan which has up to 85% of energy efficiency and Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) to allow the Antec Trio-650 to deliver cool, quiet, and cost-reducing power for all your system needs. Additionally, it also comes with a universal input that automatically adjusts for 100V to 240V power grids. It also has accurate power rating to allow the Antec Trio-650 to deliver its full rated power, 24 hours a day rated at 50 degrees Celsius. Also, the fan only power connectors allow the Antec Trio-650 to control case fan speeds, hence reducing total system noise. Besides that, the Antec Trio-650 has dedicated outputs for stable output and less ripple noise, as well as feedback loop circuits for tighter load regulation to maintain accurate voltage to all components. Other than that, the Antec Trio-650 also incorporates a heavy duty protection circuitry that prevents damage resulting from short circuits (SCP), power overloads (OPP), over voltages (OVP), and under voltages (UVP). Other features include 4 SATA connectors for Serial ATA drives, two PCI-E connectors for PCI-Express video cards on 550W and 650W models, andgold plated connectors for superior conductivity. The Antec Trio-650 has safety approvals to meet UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, C-tick, CCC and CB.


Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:05pm by RattyBatty

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:11pm by RattyBatty
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#20 Sep 04 2010 at 1:05 PM Rating: Good
Hmmm, there's usually 4 screws holding it, they should be near the A/C connection for your power cord. Well here's something to check, check to see if you have two 6 pin connectors, one might be in the video card already.
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#21 Sep 04 2010 at 1:05 PM Rating: Default
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460 and don't use the 8800gtx as physics. apparently the fermi cards won't produce better results as the technical assistance support people of nvidia have said :X
#22 Sep 04 2010 at 1:06 PM Rating: Good
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Updated power supply info above.

And another chart about it.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:09pm by RattyBatty
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#23 Sep 04 2010 at 1:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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A couple notes:

1) Don't buy video cards from a retailer, buy them online from somewhere like newegg. Retailers charge huge markups.
2) The 9800 GT was a low end card when it was released, a couple years back. Definitely don't get that.

I'd suggest a GTX 460 if you intend to stick with GeForce. They'll run you roughly 200ish and will give you plenty of bang for your buck and great performance for several years to come before you have to replace it. Just make sure your PSU can handle it. EDIT - Antec 650W should handle a 460 fine.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:10pm by Mikhalia
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#24 Sep 04 2010 at 1:14 PM Rating: Good
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Ok so I look all clear for GTX 460?

If so can someone just point me to the exact one I should buy online? (I'm in Canada if that helps). I also get confused by different manufacturers selling the same card. What I have now is PNY.
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#25 Sep 04 2010 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
So there's 3 12 volts at 19Amps each, so it's a multi-rail... Depending who you ask, some will say this is fine, while others will go for the single rail. So 3 of them at 19 is what, 77Amps? OR you could get a single rail at let's say 80AMPS... The GTX 460 uses up 24amps give or take from what I've read, now what sucks with a multirail, is once you've used up the 38, it's gone and won't allocate it anywhere else. Where as a single rail, you use the 24amps, the remaining 56 amps are free to go where you need them.

All this being said, what you have, should be fine! I wouldn't change anything unless you notice some stability issues, but even if you're hogging up 38, that still leaves quite a bit for everything else.

Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:19pm by Montsegurnephcreep
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#26 Sep 04 2010 at 1:20 PM Rating: Good
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Here is a really good chart to go by. It is based on user submissions and you can see how many samples for each card.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

Can anyone confirm that the powersupply that was posted is sufficient? I don't know what canada has available for online purchasing, any canadians here?
#27 Sep 04 2010 at 1:21 PM Rating: Good
Ya, in Ottawa here, I always use Tigerdirect.ca... or you can use newegg.ca, same site really though, they all sell the same ****.

Once you've found a few GTX 460's, it'll be a matter of reading reviews.
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#28 Sep 04 2010 at 1:23 PM Rating: Good
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Well I don't really care if i have to get it from the US, I just threw it out there in case someone knows an online place that would save me on shipping. These things are never too heavy anyway so should be fine.
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#29 Sep 04 2010 at 1:24 PM Rating: Good
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Ok looks like I'm going with the GTX 460!

Thanks for the help guys. And thanks to Sigmawave computers in Montreal for setting me up for the future back in like 2007!

I looked on tigerdirect.ca and am faced with the daunting list of different makes and makers... Can someone just pop in and tell me which to get lol. (why is superclocked cheaper than the regular one..)
Linky

ps: Rateups all around.


Edited, Sep 4th 2010 3:28pm by RattyBatty
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#30 Sep 04 2010 at 1:27 PM Rating: Good
Once you've chosen the video card, just read up on it a touch, see some reviews, but everything should be good to go. You can always double check quick on a place like Tom's Hardware too.
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#31 Sep 04 2010 at 1:39 PM Rating: Good
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I usually go with EVGA or PNY. When you are looking at your list, the price differences are mainly because some have more megabytes of ram. So decide on the big one or little one and whether you want used or new :)
#32 Sep 04 2010 at 2:00 PM Rating: Default
IMHO, These are great cards, from reputable companies ^^
I have personal experiance with EVGA, and they are very reliable cards.
This one is nice because it gives you a little more umph for your money.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130571
This card has a really beefy fan, so I would check out how much room you have, then look at the dimensions, but for heat management, this is a good one. Also, it has a slightly faster core clock, and shader clock then the other 460's. The pipeline it uses also is faster than the EVGA model, so it will react quicker in certain situations, like background drawing and such..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127510
And last, but by far not least, is this little wonder!! The advantage to this guy, is that it is the same manufacturer as your MOBO, so it will be a nice match (In theory). It is also a litte faster than the other 2, and a little cheaper!!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121389
Now that that is out of the way.. how much ram you sportin'? Ram upgrades usually aren't a bad idea either, but thats a whole new thread lol.


Edited, Sep 4th 2010 1:02pm by gizmonix
#33 Sep 04 2010 at 2:01 PM Rating: Decent
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PCI-E and PCI-E x 16 are two VERY different things, also for a 400 series vid card youll probably want a slighty larger psu

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