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Upgrading video card to play high-end games currently have E4400

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#1
This is just to branch off from CDdude55's thread because it was a similar problem. niko084 suggested that I create a new topic to reflect my own CPU's problems and to not create confusion. If you have not read it yet, please refer to this topic at my first post and onward:

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showpost.php?p=1034577&postcount=84

Also a word of caution before splurting out processors; in the first quote box contains the link to my mobo's compatibility with processors.

Like I said in my first post in this thread, Gtx 280 for a budget of $450. All you'd need right now is a gtx 260/4870 and that's all you would need for a bit, but gtx 280 would last longer. The option I suggested above is much better for gaming though, money aside.
I'm pretty n00b so please bear with me. I'm a e4400 user with a xfx 8600gt xxx at 1600x1200 and I was thinking of upgrading the card to a gtx260/280 to gain some better leverage playing the high-end graphic games such as Far Cry 2. I went with e4400 around ~2years ago because I read that the e6xxx series wasn't that much greater than the 4400 (and 4400 was cheaper), including the fact that e4400 had perfectly fallen under my budget when choosing the cpu for my new mobo. I'm not too familiar with the terms, but I'm guessing that "bottleneck" refers to a loss in performance due to inferior hardware. Is it absolutely horrid that I don't upgrade my cpu to use a gtx260? If possible, I'd like to just upgrade my card to a gtx260 and keep it like that for I don't know, 5-6 years. If I lose something like 20 fps than the gtx260 can output, that's something that's fine with me as long as it still outperforms the 8600gt (basing on COD4 framerates around the net, each card on good machines, 260gtx @122fps@1680x1050res, 8600gt @~40FPS@1600X1200). Thanks in advance.

Edit: My mobo supports q6600. I'm hoping that I won't have to upgrade because then there would have been no point in building a budget gaming rig. I got the 8600gt as a gift. Though, if the q6600 becomes dirt cheap someday, then I'll reconsider. The highest core2duo my mobo supports is e6700.

http://processormatch.intel.com/CompDB/SearchResult.aspx?BoardName=dq965gf
The e4400 is still a capable processor I'd either get a Q6600 or a E8400 if your are content with changing the CPU. The 8600 GT isn't a powerful card and never was and any mainstream graphics card would probably be 3-4x faster. You haven't stated your budget yet but the cheapest and fastest card (best band for your buck) is the ATI 4850 and if you've got money to spend the ATI 4870 X2 is up your ally. Also expecting a graphics card to last 5-6 years is farfetched, you wouldn't expect a gaming card to last a day longer than 3 years of playing new games at high/medium settings and after 3 years the card would most likely be demoted to old games, office applications, etc.

I'd suggest you establish a budget and open a new thread and clearly state your full specification and then let us help you.
My mobo doesn't support the E8400 so I'd have no choice but to get a Q6600. 3 years of new games sounds more reasonable, yes. After all, the Unreal 4 engine is right around the corner, right? :laugh::toast: As for my budget, let's say around $600 would suffice. Also, thank you for answering my post, I appreciate it.

--edit--
Getting a new mobo that supports the E8400 goes for < $140, but then I'd still have to buy the E8400 that's ~ $180 = ~320 without video card, a 4870 x2 is something like $500, a 260gtx goes for something like ~$360 and a 280gtx goes for >400, Q6600 Kentfield is around 200. If I can avoid a new mobo and processor I'd save a lot of money. Then again it seems to be inevitable to buy a new processor to support a newer card.

If I work with my current mobo and decide to buy the Q6600 that would be 200 without card, beating a new mobo that supports E8400 + the E8400 itself by about ~$120 which I can then spend towards a new card.
 
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#2
Should just copy that post and paste it into here instead of the link, make it easier :)
I'll get ya my opinion here in a few minutes got a bit of work to do.
 
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#3
Thanks, and done:laugh:
 

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#4
You can buy a nice p35 board(DFI Blood Iron), an e8400 and a gtx260 for around $520. Sell your old board and cpu, and then it's more like $420.
 
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#5
What is the budget you are looking at?
 

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#6
I think what I posted in CDdude55's thread pretty much applies here.
Even more so I think, because you have the 8600GT which is an inferior card to CDdude55's 8600GTS and which is the one I had myself, together with my (still current!) E4300 overclocked @ 3.0Ghz.

When I first built my rig ~ May 07 I bought an 8600GTS 256MB. I thought the 8600GTS with E4300 was fantastic. And sure it was because my previous 'gaming':rolleyes: rig had been a P4 1.6Ghz and an FX5500 GPU..... on it I didn't really play games - I viewed slide-shows if I wanted to see the game graphics, and played the game when I made the settings to remove any graphic embellishment... :laugh:

Last November, nearly a year ago, I bought the 8800GT. Believe me game fps got up to 3x as much with that card compared to the 8600GTS I had. Not to mention that now I could play the games on high settings and with AA.

To give an idea, the 8600GTS used to get ~5K 3dmarks and the 8800GT ~12K 3dmarks.

A further example is that with a core 2 duo @ 3Ghz and the 8600GTS I used to reach max fps in Oblivion (with most shadows disabled) of ~ 40 but in the more taxing parts of the game ie Oblivion gates and heavy grass it used to be an unplayable 15fps and sometimes dropping to even less. When I got the 8800GT Oblivion went up to a flat 60fps (vsync so capped at my monitor's refresh rate) and in the more taxing parts of the game it sometimes drops to ~40 fps which is not noticeable to the eye, and that all with settings maxed out and with a 1680x1050 22" monitor not the 1280x1024 17" I had at the time of the 8600GTS!

So that's just to illustrate what a now-outdated card which is still better than the 8600 can do.

If you use your pc for gaming, you'd be impressed if you purchase a high/mid-range current card. I'm not saying 280's in SLI, but even a single 9800GT or if you can afford more a GTX will do wonders!

Check out the 9800GTX
Btw.... if you really think you can go on without changing graphic card for a whole 5 or 6 years..... I'll promise to thank every post of yours for a whole year following! :laugh:
 
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#7
Btw.... if you really think you can go on without changing graphic card for a whole 5 or 6 years..... I'll promise to thank every post of yours for a whole year following! :laugh:
Ya... That's not possible to play games well that are new after the first 3-4 years... Lets step back 6 years now, what did we have... x800? was that out yet? I don't even remember....

Needless to say, if you want to keep a video card that long, you better be looking at a 4870x2 or GTX280 because that's the only thing that stands the smallest chance.

You are really far better off buying a upper midrange card like a 4850 / 9800gtx+ / 4870 / gtx260 and sticking with it for a bit until something else comes out in 2 years that costs $200-$250ish, you will spend the same amount of money and keep good performance all the way through.

Not to mention in the coming years your mainboard and processor will have to take the long road to the trash can...
 

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#8
Ya... That's not possible to play games well that are new after the first 3-4 years... Lets step back 6 years now, what did we have... x800? was that out yet? I don't even remember....

Needless to say, if you want to keep a video card that long, you better be looking at a 4870x2 or GTX280 because that's the only thing that stands the smallest chance.

You are really far better off buying a upper midrange card like a 4850 / 9800gtx+ / 4870 / gtx260 and sticking with it for a bit until something else comes out in 2 years that costs $200-$250ish, you will spend the same amount of money and keep good performance all the way through.

Not to mention in the coming years your mainboard and processor will have to take the long road to the trash can...
No, go back 6 years and it was the Geforce 4, Radeon 8500, Geforce FX, and Radeon 9700
series. I picked up an FX5900 for $256 in 2002.
 
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#9
No, go back 6 years and it was the Geforce 4, Radeon 8500, Geforce FX, and Radeon 9700
series. I picked up an FX5900 for $256 in 2002.
Aww the 9800 wasn't even released yet?

I can't even remember, but ya that's pretty much the point, even an x800 is all but worthless, x1950xtx is pretty worthless so...
2900xt is meh alright in the best...
 

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#10
Aww the 9800 wasn't even released yet?

I can't even remember, but ya that's pretty much the point, even an x800 is all but worthless, x1950xtx is pretty worthless so...
2900xt is meh alright in the best...
The 9800 was probably out, but insanely expensive. The 9800 really only lasted till F.E.A.R, MAYBE Oblivion on crappy settings. So, that was 2002 till about 2004 for prime gaming and 2005 for crappy settings. So call it 2-3 years of good gaming life for a video card.

Edit:
Yeah, the 9700 was released in August of 2002 to compete with the Geforce 4 TI 4600. Early 03 was when the 9800 was released.
 

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#11
In 2001 I had a Pentium 4 1.6Ghz, 256MB RAM, and an MX440 which I think had 64MB vram...
 

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#12
onetymeohnly,

Any of the following graphics cards would be suitable for your purpose and would complement your current E4400 CPU without bottlenecking: ATI 4850, 9800 GTX+, GTX 260. They all perform similarly so you can't lose even if you pick one randomly. Personally I'd go with the ATI 4850 because here in the UK it's cheaper than the GTX 260 and usually performs on par or faster than the 9800 GTX+. I have no discrimination towards any of the cards as they are all fantastic cards and to a certain extent equivalent in performance.

Although I feel that your E4400 is more than up to the task of supporting a new GPU if you are content on changing CPUs I'd get the Q6600. You could get dual core solution such as an E6700 or E6850 as suggested by another gentleman poster and hence leaving you with more money towards a better GPU such as the 4870 X2 or GTX 280.

But like I said you could randomly select any one of the above mentioned cards even with your current CPU and you'll be set for up to 3 years, also you might want to invest in another 2 GBs of ram because my feeling is that new games like Alan Wake and Far Cry 2 will use a lot of ram.

Edit:

PS. Look out for the 4850 X2 which is around the corner. That is going to be a killer mainstream card!
 
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#13
Ya... That's not possible to play games well that are new after the first 3-4 years... Lets step back 6 years now, what did we have... x800? was that out yet? I don't even remember....

Needless to say, if you want to keep a video card that long, you better be looking at a 4870x2 or GTX280 because that's the only thing that stands the smallest chance.

You are really far better off buying a upper midrange card like a 4850 / 9800gtx+ / 4870 / gtx260 and sticking with it for a bit until something else comes out in 2 years that costs $200-$250ish, you will spend the same amount of money and keep good performance all the way through.

Not to mention in the coming years your mainboard and processor will have to take the long road to the trash can...
I know, I know. Until I read professional reviews I had believed my brother into believing that my 8600gt would last 2 more years. So as silly as it may seem I just doubled the the number in terms of lasting years. Up until a year and a half or two ago I was using a card that I had been using for a long time...something like 5 years?...since Counter Strike 1.3.:eek: I forgot the exact model but it was an ?? I forget.[Edit: Not AMD Athlon, that's a processor stupid]

From what it looks like, I'll get a gtx260 with the same mobo and I'll wear that down for a few years and when it's time to trash my board (if possible sell it if anybody would want it) and as you said just make another bargain gaming rig that would fit the mainstream cards during whenever that time comes. I know I'll be here at this forum 2-3 years from now asking for your consultations.
 
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#14
I know, I know. Until I read professional reviews I had believed my brother into believing that my 8600gt would last 2 more years. So as silly as it may seem I just doubled the the number in terms of lasting years. Up until a year and a half or two ago I was using a card that I had been using for a long time...something like 5 years?...since Counter Strike 1.3.:eek: I forgot the exact model but it was an AMD Athlon.

From what it looks like, I'll get a gtx260 with the same mobo and I'll wear that down for a few years and when it's time to trash my board (if possible sell it if anybody would want it) and as you said just make another bargain gaming rig that would fit the mainstream cards during whenever that time comes. I know I'll be here at this forum 2-3 years from now asking for your consultations.
That's probably the best idea if you don't want to spend a ton of money but want to keep good gaming ability. The Gtx260 is better than my HD4850 and even my 4850 will play anything right now.
 
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#15
That's probably the best idea if you don't want to spend a ton of money but want to keep good gaming ability. The Gtx260 is better than my HD4850 and even my 4850 will play anything right now.
Very cool, that's what I'll be going for then. I really appreciate you guys helping me decide which video card to go for, you were extremely helpful and know your stuff :laugh:. Cheers for 2 years of better gaming! :toast: