View Full Version : Ultimate Noob with questions

12-27-05, 02:35 PM
Greetings all -

All apologies for the lengthy first post, but any feedback is welcome...

I have recently upgraded my graphics card from an Nvidia GeForce 2 MX400 to an xFx GeForce 6600 GT. Obviously, the difference in performance is extreme. Seeing as I am making such a large generational leap in technology, I am really unsure what to expect as "normal" performance.

I was able to get Far Cry to run (at a horrid framerate) with the old card with everythign set to "low". It did not make for a very pleasant experience and directly led me to upgrade the GPU

What I was wondering was if my performance is typical or could be even better.

The details:
3DMark05 - score was 3391.
Far Cry** = playable with all settings are Very High
F.E.A.R.** = demo = playable framerate with some reduced lighting effects
C.O.D.2** = demo = playable framerate with all options on

**I avoided using FSAA or AF on any of these because, quite frankly, I have read that using these options can serverely tax a GPU's abilities. I wanted to get a good idea of what "baseline" performance looked like before getting into other options. (I am coming to this from running Far Cry at about 18 FPS in 800x600 resolution with alll options set to "low", so cut me a little bit of slack...:) )**

My CPU = Athlon 64 3400+
My GPU = xFx Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT (PCI-e)
My Ram = 1024 MB DDR
MY HD = 200 GB 7200 rpm
My PSU = stock 300w unit

My Temperatures of 6600GT = 50 C at idle, 68 C at peak (after 2-3 hours of gaming with Far Cry running)

I have only had one crash and that was when I attempted to let the system detect the best overclocking settings and then tried to run 3DMark05 with them (575 core, 1180 memory).

After having read all the dire warnings about needing a minimum 450W PSU I was worried the thing would not work at all in my system, but so far (about a week with constant use) it has been flawless, as near as I can tell.

My questions for any kind soul who would answer would be:

Does running this card on that PSU represent a longterm danger to burning up the card prematurely?

Even though I am getting vastly superior performance to what I used to get, what objective tests can I use to be sure I am getting the most out of my card? ( I have used 3DMark05 and am lookign to get 3DMark03 and AquaMark as well, is there anythign else I should look to use?)

As a Noob, I was not planning on doing much overclocking anyway, but does the limited PSU wattage play a role in crashing the system or was that more due to just havign the card detect its own optimal overclocking settigns, which seemed a bit high to me?

Thanks in advance for any advice or direction on this!

12-27-05, 03:01 PM
You have a nice upgrade. (xmasmile)

If can run the games you listed and can get enjoyment out of the gameplay then your system is sufficient. Of course, you can tweak it and get more. How much more depends on the capability of your 6600GT which appears to be doing the job well.

Your 300W psu is probably a good one, furnishing the necessary voltage for your setup and as long as you are not experiencing power supply problems it should not damage your present equipment over the long term.
A good 350W, like an Antec or Enermax would probably be better for what you have but the old saying, 'if it ain't broke don't try to fix it,' may apply here.

We have a 6800 GS review coming up shortly and hopefully it may help answer some of your questions.

12-27-05, 04:07 PM
i think the power supply might be a liability, i've been lead to believe that the stock psu's in cases can be of poor quality depending on who made it, but that's a nice upgrade, and the numbers are right in line with how they should be

12-28-05, 10:14 AM
Your 300 watt power supply probably has sufficient amperage on the +12v rail.

However, not knowing the amp rating of the +12v rail, I cannot say for certain.

Adding more components in the future (like an addition hard drive or optical drive) could result in instability.

By the way, you might want to use RivaTuner to monitor your in-game (load) temperatures, the driver control panel takes a few moments to appear after exiting a game and by that time the temperature has dropped significantly.

Also, about overclocking the 6600GT AGP... The "detect optimal frequencies" (or whatever it says...) isn't the best way to overclock. The best way is to slowly up the frequencies until you start artifacting, and then drop back a little and benchmark/stress test it a lot to test for stability. Many people using a 6600GT AGP with stock cooling can see a 10 percent overclock on the core and memory without any issues. Results may vary, however.


12-28-05, 01:33 PM
Thanks to all who provided feedback....much appreciated.

I will probably look to upgrade teh power supply at some point, but unless I start seeing major drops in performance, I doubt it will be very soon - gotta pay for all the Christmas gifts I just gave out...lol.

Thanks again for your help.