Upgrading/Question. Help?

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KoutaFG
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I have a $220 budget, with the budget I have now, I am wondering if there is a video card worth getting, that beats my current video card the XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition video card, I have been looking at the 400 GTX series and I'm sure I know enough to know there is something better

but does any one thing I could get a new card with a real noticeable difference, that would justify spending $220

the fan in my current video card sounds like its starting to die and I don't feel like finding a replacement or getting one of those replacement heatsinks blah blah blah,also I wanna have directx 11, anyways, any one wanna be so kind and answer my question?

Thanks.

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 CPU: Phenom II X4 945e 3.0 Ram:(2 x 4GB DDR3 ) GPU : GTX 760 PSU: Corsair 750w

KoutaFG
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I am wondering though, would upgrading my GPU or upgrading my Ram would raise my fps, currently I have four gigs of ddr2 800 I think, though my system can do ddr2 1066 or maybe even 1200 I can't remember, I'll have to look it up but I'm wondering what one would be a better to upgrade at this point.

KoutaFG
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I am looking to raise my FPS in a "Game" that deals with a lot of constant rendering of textures and meshes, a sandbox game sort of, one would consider it a sandbox game on steroids, Second life would be the name of the "Game" I'm talking about, currently I'm averaging 20FPS, though the server I am is one of the more well developed servers but I also have Anti-aliasing Disabled.

In any case, I'm wondering if upgrading my GPU would raise my FPS more or upgrading my Ram/Memory.

Fnawesome
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always go gpu, its more expensive for a reason, cause it will help the most. even a 200 dollar gtx 460 should put your fps to at least 35 if not higher

KoutaFG
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Ah thanks, noted.

KoutaFG
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Maybe if someone things I should go with a video card, could they post a link to a video card that I'd see a really notice able change?

Fnawesome
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KoutaFG
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Fnawesome wrote:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130567&cm_re=gtx460_1gb-_-14-130-567-_-Product

40% increase from your current gpu

Interesting, where did you get the 40% from?

I was also looking at, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130555

Razear
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It would be wiser to get the 460 over the 465 because the 465 uses a slightly older GPU architecture (which contributed to the massive power consumption and heat issues) even though it's actually faster.

KoutaFG
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Razear wrote:It would be wiser to get the 460 over the 465 because the 465 uses a slightly older GPU architecture (which contributed to the massive power consumption and heat issues) even though it's actually faster.

Ah, noted, well then I'll aim for the 460, thanks for the info

KoutaFG
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Razear, So, the 460, with it, will I see a large difference from what I am currently using or?

Razear
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To be honest, I would aim for a GTX 570 or 580 if you already have the GTX 260 now. The GTX 460 isn't that big of a difference.

KoutaFG
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Razear wrote:To be honest, I would aim for a GTX 570 or 580 if you already have the GTX 260 now. The GTX 460 isn't that big of a difference.

Well all I got is 220, will not be able to spend any more then that so, you think I should get the GTX 460 or should I upgrade my ram?

Razear
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4GB would be sufficient, you'd benefit more from upgrading your card.

Go for the GTX 460 then, I would also consider a 6870 since you've got an AMD setup.

KoutaFG
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Razear wrote:4GB would be sufficient, you'd benefit more from upgrading your card.

Go for the GTX 460 then, I would also consider a 6870 since you've got an AMD setup.

Well there is no 6870 under $220 so what about this one, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150512

KoutaFG
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Also, I'm not sure but I think one set of my ram is running at 600 something, not sure though, not sure how to tell either heh.

I have both CPU-ID and PC Wizard but not sure what to look at to find out what each stick of ram is running at or can run at.

I mean I could open up the computer but meh.

hnkftalnot
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Opening it up wouldn't tell you at what speed it's running ;)
Look at the memory tab in CPU-Z, it should look like this:
http://img227.imageshack.us/i/cpuzsl500rj0.jpg/
Baseclock (not shown) at 200, with a RAM divider (FSB:DRAM) of 1:2 gives 400MHz RAM speed, which is 800MHz effectively (Double Data Rate).

The 6850 is a bit faster, but also $50 extra over a GTX460.. I would then rather aim for the 6870, perhaps they get a little cheaper once the 69xx are out.

KoutaFG
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So if my (FSB:DRAM) is 3.5, that would make it?

hnkftalnot
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KoutaFG wrote:So if my (FSB:DRAM) is 3.5, that would make it?It's in the top box next to "DRAM Frequency". Since you probably didn't overclock anything, the FSB (baseclock) is 200 and that would make it: (200/3)*5 = 333.3 MHz.
There should be an option in the BIOS to change this divider.

KoutaFG
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hnkftalnot wrote:KoutaFG wrote:So if my (FSB:DRAM) is 3.5, that would make it?It's in the top box next to "DRAM Frequency". Since you probably didn't overclock anything, the FSB (baseclock) is 200 and that would make it: (200/3)*5 = 333.3 MHz.
There should be an option in the BIOS to change this divider.

I actually went into the bios and learned that one set of the ram from the total of four 1gig sticks are ddr2 667, and the other two are ddr2 800 so yeah, think I should stick with the video card I have and upgrade my ram to ddr2 1066? with 200 bucks I could probably get 8 gigs of that or at least 6gigs, though I'm running windows vista 32 bit so would be pointless huh, hm maybe I should spend the money on a new OS?

hnkftalnot
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No, don't buy new RAM. Going to faster DDR2 doesn't result in noticeable improvements, only if you're short on RAM it would be beneficial getting more, but 4 GB should be enough.

It was in my understanding that the memory controller can't mix different speeds, and if you do mix all RAM sticks will revert to the speed of the slowest stick. If CPU-Z reports 333MHz then I think none of them are actually at 400.

The only real RAM upgrade would be going DDR3 but that requires another motherboard as well, and you'd probably still not see a real difference if you're not benchmarking or overclocking. If you were building a new PC I'd say go with the fastest (DDR3) you can find, but you're asking what the best upgrade would be for $220 and that isn't on RAM.

You could check your Vista installation disc if it also has the 64 bit version, but spending half your budget on a new OS for just 750MB of RAM (3.25 vs 4) also isn't worth it.

As mentioned before, a new videocard would best answer your question. Although I'd still change the weird RAM setup you have now, it's not a priority and also not an upgrade you would really notice.

KoutaFG
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hnkftalnot wrote:No, don't buy new RAM. Going to faster DDR2 doesn't result in noticeable improvements, only if you're short on RAM it would be beneficial getting more, but 4 GB should be enough.

It was in my understanding that the memory controller can't mix different speeds, and if you do mix all RAM sticks will revert to the speed of the slowest stick. If CPU-Z reports 333MHz then I think none of them are actually at 400.

The only real RAM upgrade would be going DDR3 but that requires another motherboard as well, and you'd probably still not see a real difference if you're not benchmarking or overclocking. If you were building a new PC I'd say go with the fastest (DDR3) you can find, but you're asking what the best upgrade would be for $220 and that isn't on RAM.

You could check your Vista installation disc if it also has the 64 bit version, but spending half your budget on a new OS for just 750MB of RAM (3.25 vs 4) also isn't worth it.

As mentioned before, a new videocard would best answer your question. Although I'd still change the weird RAM setup you have now, it's not a priority and also not an upgrade you would really notice.

When it comes to changing ram setting, I know nothing about it, so I wouldn't know what to do, at best I could tell you what bother board I have and or typing what is said in my BIOs I found where you do change settings but I don't know enough about bios setting to know I'm not going to blow up my computer.

Every thing in the Bio is basically set to auto so . . .

KoutaFG
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Under Memory Z, this is what info I could get from my memory

The first two sticks of ram is
Corsair DDR2 800 pc2 6400 400mhz
Scram cycle time 2.5ns
Part number Cm2x1024-6400c4

and in the last two, my motherboard was not sure or just couldn't give all the info, so I got,

Samsung
Part# M3 78T2953ez3-cep
Scram cycle time 3.0ns
s# f10c7b82

Then under adv Dram Config,
Dram Timing set to Auto, with the options of, DCT 0, DCT 1 and Both
1T/2T Memory timing, set to 2T
DCT Unganged Mode Enable
Bank intereaving auto

FSB/Dram Ratio, set to Auto with the options 1:1, 1:1.33, 1:1.66, 1:2 and 1:2.66 or Auto again.
Under that there is Adjust Dram Frequency (MHz) 667, but I cannot change that, its faded out.

My motherboard is the MSI 784GT-E63

hnkftalnot
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The partnumber you gave doesn't exist, but what comes closest is M378T2953EZ3-CE6 which are 1GB sticks at 333MHz 3.0ns CL5, which matches what you said before. So what happened is the BIOS sets all the sticks to match the slowest, which is 333Mhz, to ensure they all run fine. Again, this is not a real problem and it won't matter much for the actual performance you get, but if you like you can try to overclock the whole set to 400Mhz.

The first two PC2-6400 sticks will accept this, but the two Samsung sticks might not be too happy with the increased speed. To stabilize them at 400Mhz you can either loosen the timings or increase the voltage, this is not without risk and your system may not be able to boot like this so be prepared to reset the CMOS when that happens. There's a button for this on the lower right hand corner of the motherboard; it's the middle one of the three grey buttons. Shutdown the system and press it, and the BIOS will be all to default again. You can safely play around with the timings but be very careful with the voltage, this is not performance-RAM so increasing the voltage might not benefit it and can even damage it.

First, download memtest86 and install it to a CD or a floppy. You'll be booting from this so you can stresstest the new settings.

Go into BIOS and set the FSB/Dram ratio to 1:2 (FSB is 200 so this would result in a Dram freq of 400). Save changes and reboot into memtest and do a stability test.
If it doesn't boot or is unstable in memtest, loosen the timings: go to Dram Timing and select only the Samsung sticks (probably DCT 1). A value called "Cas Latency" or something similar should appear, change that from 5 to 6 and leave the rest on Auto. Save changes and try running memtest again.

If it's still not stable you can try giving it a bit more voltage, the Corsair sticks should handle 2.1 volts but I'm not sure about the Samsungs. In the test found here they upped the voltage to 2.2, but this is really at your own risk. Gather some more information about it and decide for yourself if you're comfortable with this, I can't decide this for you.

If it doesn't work out don't worry, you won't notice a real difference between 667 and 800Mhz anyway.

KoutaFG
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How about a SSD, maybe I should get one of those, I mean looking at windows rating for my computer, it says my lowest score is my hard drive, my hard drive being a 5.5, every thing else is 5.9

hnkftalnot
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The windows experience index isn't very accurate, and harddrives are always rated the lowest. An SSD is faster, but I wouldn't worry about it. IMO they are still too expensive.

KoutaFG
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Hm well things did work out money wise so my plans where dashed, something came up and I needed what money I had.... *sad face*

Thanks for the help non the less.

Tiv
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That sucks, but maybe the next build will be even better. :)

I sleep fine at night knowing we are banning people who deserve it.  Tivon
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