What are the things i must know when upgrading my graphics card / RAM

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#1 Posted by Zupermann (6 posts) -
Hello everybody, Im new to this forum but i had a question. It is time to upgrade my graphics card and my RAM memory, but i dont know on what thing i have to pay attention when buying. These are my specs: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP2 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz: 46 °C Yorkfield 45nm Technologie 4,00 GB Dual-Kanaal DDR2 @ 401MHz (5-5-5-18) MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO.,LTD G31M3(MS-7529) (CPU 1): 33 °C W2261 (1920x1080@60Hz) 896MBGeForce GTX 260 (EVGA): 42 °C 932GB Hitachi HDT721010SLA360 ATA Device (SATA): 30 °C ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks :)
#2 Posted by kraken2109 (13198 posts) -

With the ram you have 2 options, since it appears you have 2 2GB sticks to get your 4GB total (DDR2 800mhz)

Either buy another 2 2GB sticks at the same speed (DDR2 800mhz) if your motherboard has 4 slots for ram.

Otherwise buy 2 4GB sticks of DDR2 to replace what you have.

There's a problem though - DDR2 is essentially out of date now and may be hard/expensive to buy. DDR3 is the current standard but will not work in your PC.

As for graphics card, how much are you planning on spending?

An AMD 7870 or nvidia GTX 660 should double the framerates of your 260 so they would be a good choice.

#3 Posted by Zupermann (6 posts) -
Do you think i actually need more RAM when playing games? Or when i upgrade my 260 to a AMD 7860 i still have a lot of improvement? Because the AMD 7870 is within my price range.
#4 Posted by kraken2109 (13198 posts) -
[QUOTE="Zupermann"]Do you think i actually need more RAM when playing games? Or when i upgrade my 260 to a AMD 7860 i still have a lot of improvement? Because the AMD 7870 is within my price range.

It's up to you. If you were buying a new PC i would recommend 8GB, but since DDR2 is so expensive now it's probably not worth it. A 7870 should be a good improvement too.
#5 Posted by LordEC911 (9972 posts) -

4GBs is basically a requirement nowadays.
If you were building a new system with DDR3 then 8GB would be the way to go.

I just got two 1GB sticks of DDR2 from my buddy for my old computer and it helps quite a bit. 

#6 Posted by Blistrax (1071 posts) -

Hello everybody, Im new to this forum but i had a question. It is time to upgrade my graphics card and my RAM memory, but i dont know on what thing i have to pay attention when buying. These are my specs: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP2 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz: 46 °C Yorkfield 45nm Technologie 4,00 GB Dual-Kanaal DDR2 @ 401MHz (5-5-5-18) MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO.,LTD G31M3(MS-7529) (CPU 1): 33 °C W2261 (1920x1080@60Hz) 896MBGeForce GTX 260 (EVGA): 42 °C 932GB Hitachi HDT721010SLA360 ATA Device (SATA): 30 °C ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks :)Zupermann

Your memory is fine. You only have two DIMM slots, and your motherboard only supports up to 4 gigabytes, anyway, so you'd just be replacing what you have, and by MSI's own admission, only certain sticks will work in there. Also, DDR2 is antique, and the price and availability will reflect that. I don't know why you think you need to do anything about your present RAM. Any improvement from faster sticks would be very, very slight indeed. It's time to start thinking about new mobo/CPU.

Your CPU is pretty good. You can put just about any graphics card with it and not bottleneck so much it's a waste. The considerations are price, physical size, power supply and manufacturer. How much do you have to spend? Is your case big enough to accommodate a long card (9--11 inches)? Do you have room for a double-wide (are your PCI slots full?)? Will the new card need extra 6-pin power connectors, and how many watts will it use? Do you want Nvidia team green (with tesselation, Physx and CUDA) or AMD team red (more bang per buck on average)? I have had good luck with Nvidia, and I don't know much about AMD. EVGA has been good to me.

Price is the critical factor within your other limitations. Bells and whistles aside, the more you spend, the better your games will run, mostly. There are only a couple of spots where the AMD card clobbers Nvidia for price/performance.

#7 Posted by Zupermann (6 posts) -
But i need a whole new motherboard when i'm planning to go for DDR3 right? And does the 7870 or 7950 fit in my motherboard?
#8 Posted by Blistrax (1071 posts) -

But i need a whole new motherboard when i'm planning to go for DDR3 right? And does the 7870 or 7950 fit in my motherboard? Zupermann

You can't use DDR3 in your present mobo.

Your mobo has a PCIe x16 slot, so you can use any graphics card, as far as that goes. Whether it will fit physically and whether your PSU will do it only you can tell.

#9 Posted by Zupermann (6 posts) -
Thanks for all the help! :) I am using a Cooler Master Elite 335, this tower will be big enough for those cards nowadays? I can spend up to around 250 - 300 --> $320 - $384
#10 Posted by Blistrax (1071 posts) -

GTX 670. The size is OK.

Thing is, it's 2-slot, so the PCI slot right next to it will be covered. Also, it wants a minimum 500-watt PSU with two 6-pin PCIe connectors.

#11 Posted by Zupermann (6 posts) -
And the 7950? Because i do not see much difference except the price is alot lower
#12 Posted by Blistrax (1071 posts) -

Like I said, I do Nvidia. And for me, one more frame per second is worth an extra $100.00, and we're talking 10 fps in some games, which is huge when it's 20 fps vs. 30 fps. That said, the 7950 is a good card, and it, too, will blow your GTX 260 out of the water.

#13 Posted by kraken2109 (13198 posts) -

Since cards are getting smaller and more efficient, most cards now will be smaller (or at least no bigger) and use less power than your GTX 260.

7950 is a good choice for price to performance ratio. GTX 670 is better, but the 7950 is better value.

#14 Posted by blaznwiipspman1 (6090 posts) -

the 670 is not much better than the 7950, not worth mentioning anyways.  As for the computer, it looks alright and you can get more life out of it if you overclock your cpu to the max it can go.  

#15 Posted by homeboylizard (1289 posts) -

the 670 is not much better than the 7950, not worth mentioning anyways.  As for the computer, it looks alright and you can get more life out of it if you overclock your cpu to the max it can go.  

blaznwiipspman1
I thought that a 7950 blows GTX 670 out of the water with 1100-1150 MHz. O.o
#16 Posted by superclocked (5863 posts) -
$269.99 - SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card w/ Crysis 3 & BioShock: Infinite for free
#17 Posted by blaznwiipspman1 (6090 posts) -

[QUOTE="blaznwiipspman1"]

the 670 is not much better than the 7950, not worth mentioning anyways.  As for the computer, it looks alright and you can get more life out of it if you overclock your cpu to the max it can go.  

homeboylizard

I thought that a 7950 blows GTX 670 out of the water with 1100-1150 MHz. O.o

 

Yeah it probably does since a 7950 isn't clocked that high to begin with either way and it competes on even ground with a 670.  Its capable of overclocking much higher while the 670 doesn't have much room left.