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Old 03-19-11, 03:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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Old 03-19-11, 03:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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I tried messing with some of the settings in the bios and got it to 3.1~3.2 ghz stable, but I'm not seeing any real performance gains. I might mess with it a bit more, but trying to make heads or tails out of this "engrish" bios settings sure is a headache. I'll see if I can hit 3.5 and see what happens.

5770 is up to 935/1350 @ 1.2 volts. Still, not noticing any performance gains in games.
That's strange. Maybe your CPU in general is just too underwhelming for the card? I had something similar happen with my dual 640MB 8800GTSs back in the day. Was running them with an Opty185 @ 3GHz... no matter how I oc'd the CPU, stock to 3GHz just didn't a huge jump in performance and SLi scaling was 50% at best while on line reviewers were getting far better scaling and far greater performance, but with oc'd C2Ds. When I upgraded to this i7 and had near 100% scaling across the board with significantly higher performance as well. This 920 is at 2.66GHz stock and the Opty185 operated at 2.6GHz stock but even with that opty @ 3GHz it just couldn't feed those cards like this 920 did @ stock.

I know it's towards the outer limit of your budget, but maybe get this Phenom II x6 as even at stock it's a considerably more stout chip and it should OC very well just by upping the memory speed alone-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103851

That'd also give you two extra cores which is always good to have. Being that it utilizes TurboCore it'll OC up to 3.5GHz on it's own when the extra umph is needed... could save you a hassle of trying to OC it manually since it sounds like your board has a wierd BIOS.

Or, if you really can't put out that kinda' money go for a higher end quad maybe? Any one of these here will likely be considerably faster than your current CPU and should aslo OC a bit better as well. These quads don't feature TurboCore so they wont automatically OC- you'll have to do that in the BIOS but just upping your memory speed should get you a great OC none the less.
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Old 03-19-11, 12:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

I got it at 3.3 and stable. Running all night with no errors yet. Dunno if I'm doing it right.



Not really any noticeable improvements, still, lol. Maybe like, 10 FPS.

That 6-core is sooo tempting. But I'm not even sure if this motherboard can handle it. Last thing I'd want to do is get that CPU and find out that it's not supported by my bios. The website is very, very vague. It's a Zotac 750a, so if you know anything of it supporting a Thuban, please let me know and I'll consider getting it. I see that is says that it supports the Phenom II 965, so there may be a slight chance that it may work, you think?

If I pay and upwards of $180+ for a quad Phenom II, I might as well get that Thuban.
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Old 03-20-11, 01:13 AM   #16
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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I got it at 3.3 and stable. Running all night with no errors yet. Dunno if I'm doing it right.



Not really any noticeable improvements, still, lol. Maybe like, 10 FPS.

That 6-core is sooo tempting. But I'm not even sure if this motherboard can handle it. Last thing I'd want to do is get that CPU and find out that it's not supported by my bios. The website is very, very vague. It's a Zotac 750a, so if you know anything of it supporting a Thuban, please let me know and I'll consider getting it. I see that is says that it supports the Phenom II 965, so there may be a slight chance that it may work, you think?

If I pay and upwards of $180+ for a quad Phenom II, I might as well get that Thuban.
That's only a 500MHz OC. For a lot of the higher OC's the PhenomIIs get they run a considerably higher voltage... I'd not recommend doing that yet though.

Keep playing with it, see how high you can OC that CPU. The 5770 is likely fine with the OC you currently have. If you can get that thing to about 3.5 - 3.8 GHz that'll probably be a great place to camp. Though to get it that high you may have to start upping the voltage. Your cooler will be up to it, just your mobo might not so take it slow and easy.

Considering you're gaming at a lower resolution the performance of your CPU becomes a much larger factor than when gaming at higher resolutions, so every bit of OC you can squeeze out of that CPU helps.

This probably should have been asked a while ago... what games are you playing, and what in-game settings are you using, as well as what settings do you use in the CCC? You mention older titles not playing well... which ones specifically? I've been playing RTCW, Deus EX, Jedi Knight series- all @ 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200 w/ 8xSSAA via CCC and they play like they're pegged at 60fps. But maybe you're not playing games *that* old.

I literally just finished a game of C&C3, playing at 1920 x 1200 all in-game options maxed and 2xSSAA via CCC and it played fine.

So maybe if you let us know what games you're playing, what the in-game settings you're using are, as well as what you have set in the CCC... that could help us better make recommendations. But at that low of a resolution you should practically scream through any game you throw at your rig.
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Old 03-20-11, 02:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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Keep playing with it, see how high you can OC that CPU. The 5770 is likely fine with the OC you currently have. If you can get that thing to about 3.5 - 3.8 GHz that'll probably be a great place to camp. Though to get it that high you may have to start upping the voltage. Your cooler will be up to it, just your mobo might not so take it slow and easy.
It's BSOD'ing at around 3.4~3.5. I think I need more/better motherboard options because the only thing I can do is up the FSB. I have no multiplier controls or anything, whatsoever, lol.

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Considering you're gaming at a lower resolution the performance of your CPU becomes a much larger factor than when gaming at higher resolutions, so every bit of OC you can squeeze out of that CPU helps.
Should I just get a CPU? Or should I just opt for a better motherboard and RAM for now?

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This probably should have been asked a while ago... what games are you playing, and what in-game settings are you using, as well as what settings do you use in the CCC? You mention older titles not playing well... which ones specifically? I've been playing RTCW, Deus EX, Jedi Knight series- all @ 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200 w/ 8xSSAA via CCC and they play like they're pegged at 60fps. But maybe you're not playing games *that* old.
I've tried numerous drivers and CCC/CAP options. Also using RadeonPro for profiles and such. It's just not happening. I have VSYNC enabled for work-related stuff, and that's about it. Everything is always set to default except for gamma and monitor scaling. I use RadeonPro for making game/application profiles, so I leave most of the CCC options alone.

I always have VSYNC enabled in games because of the awful tearing. Triple-buffering is as well. But all of this is enabled through RadeonPro via profiles.



1.) Assassin's Creed II (Holding off on Brotherhood until I can get this sorted.)
Playing at 1440x900, with ALL of the available options maxed out, I get about 40+ FPS staring at the wall. When I'm running around and panning the camera and stuff, it stutters or drops really low. I've seen it display an FPS as low as 18 to 23 FPS in some parts. Really irritating when running from guards, lol.

2.) Borderlands
Same res, options maxed. No AA. Sometimes it can be as 50+ fps smooth, but then as soon as there's a firefight or something, it crawls down to less than ~25 fps at times. Friend with Phenom II 945 and GTX 260 216 is smooth as butter. Even went to his house and gave it a test. Was like day and night.

3.) Dragon Age: Origins
Older DX9 title. Should be able to max everything and I can, but it gets really slow at times. Same res, maxed options. When I first got to Ostagar, my frames dipped into the low 20's right by the blacksmith. When you talk to the templars guarding the mages towards the front, I hit a low of 17fps.


I even did a completely fresh Windows install a few months back, and I have the same symptoms. It's kind of irritating to say in the least.
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Old 03-20-11, 04:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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It's BSOD'ing at around 3.4~3.5. I think I need more/better motherboard options because the only thing I can do is up the FSB. I have no multiplier controls or anything, whatsoever, lol.


Should I just get a CPU? Or should I just opt for a better motherboard and RAM for now?



I've tried numerous drivers and CCC/CAP options. Also using RadeonPro for profiles and such. It's just not happening. I have VSYNC enabled for work-related stuff, and that's about it. Everything is always set to default except for gamma and monitor scaling. I use RadeonPro for making game/application profiles, so I leave most of the CCC options alone.

I always have VSYNC enabled in games because of the awful tearing. Triple-buffering is as well. But all of this is enabled through RadeonPro via profiles.



1.) Assassin's Creed II (Holding off on Brotherhood until I can get this sorted.)
Playing at 1440x900, with ALL of the available options maxed out, I get about 40+ FPS staring at the wall. When I'm running around and panning the camera and stuff, it stutters or drops really low. I've seen it display an FPS as low as 18 to 23 FPS in some parts. Really irritating when running from guards, lol.

2.) Borderlands
Same res, options maxed. No AA. Sometimes it can be as 50+ fps smooth, but then as soon as there's a firefight or something, it crawls down to less than ~25 fps at times. Friend with Phenom II 945 and GTX 260 216 is smooth as butter. Even went to his house and gave it a test. Was like day and night.

3.) Dragon Age: Origins
Older DX9 title. Should be able to max everything and I can, but it gets really slow at times. Same res, maxed options. When I first got to Ostagar, my frames dipped into the low 20's right by the blacksmith. When you talk to the templars guarding the mages towards the front, I hit a low of 17fps.


I even did a completely fresh Windows install a few months back, and I have the same symptoms. It's kind of irritating to say in the least.
Hmm... that buddy of yours with the GTX260... maybe see if he'd let you put your 5770 in his rig.

You'd have to completely uninstall the nvidia drivers first. I mean *completely* remove them. Then, install your 5770, install the latest CATs, and try some games.

I used to own a GTX260 Core216 and honestly this 5770 seems roughly on par with it, maybe the slightest nudge faster.

I always use vsync and tb as well.

As to your rig... I can't say for certain but I'm thinking it's your CPU holding you back. Here's what I'd recommend as far as upgrading- keep your CPU, for now at least. Get a new mobo, one of those AM3b mobos because those will accept the new bulldozer AM3+ CPUs. Any mobo that uses the AM3b socket will likely be an enthusiast grade mobo and thus will have ample OC'ing options and support. This should allow you to get your CPU to about 3.5Ghz stable, might even allow for 3.8GHz stable. This should be sufficient to feed you 5770 untill you can afford a better CPU. Then after Bulldozer has been out for a while pick up a bulldozer in the $150 - $200 range whenever you can afford it.

See if your buddy will let you try out your 5770 in his rig. Just be certain to completely uninstall the nVidia drivers first. What I'd do is DL the latest CATs so they're on his computer. Then completely uninstall the Forceware drivers. Power off system, install your 5770, power system up, install latest CATs. Restart system and then try some games, see how well they play.

Unfortunately I don't own any of those three games you've mentioned. But I don't believe any of those are very taxing in the graphics department. If I'm recalling correctly I can play Crysis @ 1920 x 1200 all in-game options maxed with no AA and it remains smooth (dips to 20fps at times). Dropping it down to "High" allows me to use some AA and it doesn't really go any lower than 30fps.

Oblivion I can play 100% maxed w/ AA @ 1920 x 1200, Metro 2033 all in-game options maxed save for the DX11 DoF and I have to use the AAA option for AA or whatever it's called. Hovers around 30fps if I recall. STALKER series I can play maxed, L4D and L4D2 maxed with 2xSSAA. Newest RTS title I own is C&C4 which I play 100% maxed with 2xSSAA.

Are there any other titles that it's slow in? I'm not opposed to doing some testing for you if I have the game. You could see how well my 5770 performs in comparison to yours. I know my 920 is over kill for this GPU but I do find it kind of surprising that your PhenomII could be chocking the GPU... but it's possible.
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Old 03-20-11, 04:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

Ah, if it was that simple. I live about 80 miles away from him and see him once a year during Christmas, lol.

I might be able to get a hold of a GTX 275 to test out. My Sister's boyfriend traded up his GTX 480 to a GTX 580 for $10 that bastard. Up until now, he's been using the 275 for PhysX. Not sure when this is going to be, though.

When I played Oblivion at @1440x900 with everything maxed out, I got a whopping 27 FPS. With some mods to optimize the game, I was able to get it at around 35+. it was one of the first games I tried when I got this card. Nevertheless, I was very underwhelmed. I can install Oblivion again and check it out to test. I have it sitting right in front of me. Been meaning to pick it back up and finish before Skyrim comes out.

I did try the Dragon Age 2 demo, and it was choking pretty bad with DirectX 11. I got a whopping 22-30 FPS and stutter galore. Had to cancel my preorder because it was utter crap.

Crysis was horrible for me. All I remember was that it wasn't playable at all for me. It would stutter depending on what was going on. I haven't bothered downloading it again through Steam since reformatting.

I'm at a real impasse here. In one hand, it may be the CPU/Motherboard holding me back. On the other, GPU. I know this isn't much to go on. but I went to yougamers.com and checked the game compatibility thing.


Assassin's Creed II


I'm barely eeking by, lol. So given this specific situation, what would be the order of upgrading? I might just move to an NVIDIA card this time around because of the CUDA. I could use the extra processing. But if the CPU is holding me back, I'd have to think about that as well.
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Old 03-20-11, 07:52 PM   #20
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Ah, if it was that simple. I live about 80 miles away from him and see him once a year during Christmas, lol.

I might be able to get a hold of a GTX 275 to test out. My Sister's boyfriend traded up his GTX 480 to a GTX 580 for $10 that bastard. Up until now, he's been using the 275 for PhysX. Not sure when this is going to be, though.

When I played Oblivion at @1440x900 with everything maxed out, I got a whopping 27 FPS. With some mods to optimize the game, I was able to get it at around 35+. it was one of the first games I tried when I got this card. Nevertheless, I was very underwhelmed. I can install Oblivion again and check it out to test. I have it sitting right in front of me. Been meaning to pick it back up and finish before Skyrim comes out.

I did try the Dragon Age 2 demo, and it was choking pretty bad with DirectX 11. I got a whopping 22-30 FPS and stutter galore. Had to cancel my preorder because it was utter crap.

Crysis was horrible for me. All I remember was that it wasn't playable at all for me. It would stutter depending on what was going on. I haven't bothered downloading it again through Steam since reformatting.

I'm at a real impasse here. In one hand, it may be the CPU/Motherboard holding me back. On the other, GPU. I know this isn't much to go on. but I went to yougamers.com and checked the game compatibility thing.


Assassin's Creed II


I'm barely eeking by, lol. So given this specific situation, what would be the order of upgrading? I might just move to an NVIDIA card this time around because of the CUDA. I could use the extra processing. But if the CPU is holding me back, I'd have to think about that as well.
I *highly* doubt it is your video card simply cause I'm not having any of the performance issues you are, I'd I've the exact same GPU, only a far faster processor.

You should exceed the recommended specifications for almost every game out there. Honestly, if you were to replace anything right now, I'd likely start with the motherboard. Sounds like it is a bottom-of-the-barrel, ultra-cheap mobo. I've bought those before myself.

However, I'm quite certain you can pickup a socket AM3b mobo for about $150 - $200 shipped off of newegg. I'm stressing the AM3b socket because you'll be able to drop a bulldozer CPU in it after a simple BIOS update one Bulldozer is released. Not only that, one of those mobo's would likely let you OC that CPU of yours to 3.5 - 3.8GHz stable, assuming the CPU itself and RAM are up to the task.

There's also the off-possibility that it could be a software issue... maybe something you're running in the background doesn't play well with the CATs. A less likely issue but possible none the less.

I'd see if you could try that GTX275. If it solves your issue then maybe investing in something like the GTX460 wouldn't be a bad idea. It's not night-and-day faster than your 5770, but it is faster none the less.

If you see next to zero performance gains then it is something else holding your rig back and the first thing I'd replace is that mobo with a nice socket AM3b mobo. OC that CPU as high as you possibly can, then enjoy that. When you have the extra cash (beit a year and a half from now or sooner) drop a bulldozer in there and appreciate a rather hefty speed boost across the board.

Seriously, since you're gaming at such a low resolution that 5770 should be beyond adequate for near any game out now and soon to be released.
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Old 03-20-11, 08:17 PM   #21
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

I'm beginning to think you're right.

I'll be able to get the GTX 275 in a few hours! Woot. So I'll have to prep the PC to see if I can see a difference. If all goes well I'll report back with my findings.

Thanks, Redeemed!
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Old 03-20-11, 08:22 PM   #22
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I'm beginning to think you're right.

I'll be able to get the GTX 275 in a few hours! Woot. So I'll have to prep the PC to see if I can see a difference. If all goes well I'll report back with my findings.

Thanks, Redeemed!
NP bro. Let us know how the 275 works for ya'.
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Old 03-23-11, 07:36 AM   #23
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ARGH! Connection died or something when I hit submit, and when I it "back" it was all gone. Not typing all that again, lol.

Anyways, I''ll recap real quick. I did notice an improvement in the same areas in the games I mentioned above. Was a clean install, so I'm sure there were no conflicts. not sure if it's my motherboard taking a liking to NVIDIA cards, but that would totally suck if it did. It is an NVIDIA chipset afterall.


Now, begs the question of what to do?

I got a little more monies in my pocket, so I can get something a little beefier than what I initially stated. Now I'm not sure which would be more beneficial, but I'd love to just max as much as I can as far as settings goes for games and just enjoy playing them for a change.


I found these that may be in my budget.
  1. HIS 5870 for $190 after $20 MIR.
  2. GTX 470 for $175 after $50 MIR.
  3. XFX 6870 for $190 after $30 MIR.
  4. GTX 460 1GB with 336 stream processors. $140 after all rebates.
  5. MSI 870-G45 AM3 770 mobo (for Bulldozer) with 4GB of DDR3 1600 ram for $112 w/ shipping+tax?

... or just get something else? The GTX 470 is pretty bad with heat/power consumption, but for that price, is it a good deal? The GTX 275 was SCREAMING in my box. Case temps were much higher too.

Love NVIDIA cards, but other than a GTX 460 I don't think I'd like having one of those power suckers in my rig ever again. I like PhysX and CUDA, so I'm kind of torn. Not all programs use it, and not sure if I want to SLi/Crossfire for a while. But I do have the options to add another card in my current motherboard if I happen to get another one.

I'm kind of at a loss... I think all of those upgrades perform amiably, but I'd like to keep the upgrading to a minimum for a while after this. I guess it boils down to is which I can keep the longest as an upgrade?
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Old 03-23-11, 08:43 AM   #24
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Default Re: Urgh... upgrade advice.

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ARGH! Connection died or something when I hit submit, and when I it "back" it was all gone. Not typing all that again, lol.

Anyways, I''ll recap real quick. I did notice an improvement in the same areas in the games I mentioned above. Was a clean install, so I'm sure there were no conflicts. not sure if it's my motherboard taking a liking to NVIDIA cards, but that would totally suck if it did. It is an NVIDIA chipset afterall.


Now, begs the question of what to do?

I got a little more monies in my pocket, so I can get something a little beefier than what I initially stated. Now I'm not sure which would be more beneficial, but I'd love to just max as much as I can as far as settings goes for games and just enjoy playing them for a change.


I found these that may be in my budget.
  1. HIS 5870 for $190 after $20 MIR.
  2. GTX 470 for $175 after $50 MIR.
  3. XFX 6870 for $190 after $30 MIR.
  4. GTX 460 1GB with 336 stream processors. $140 after all rebates.
  5. MSI 870-G45 AM3 770 mobo (for Bulldozer) with 4GB of DDR3 1600 ram for $112 w/ shipping+tax?

... or just get something else? The GTX 470 is pretty bad with heat/power consumption, but for that price, is it a good deal? The GTX 275 was SCREAMING in my box. Case temps were much higher too.

Love NVIDIA cards, but other than a GTX 460 I don't think I'd like having one of those power suckers in my rig ever again. I like PhysX and CUDA, so I'm kind of torn. Not all programs use it, and not sure if I want to SLi/Crossfire for a while. But I do have the options to add another card in my current motherboard if I happen to get another one.

I'm kind of at a loss... I think all of those upgrades perform amiably, but I'd like to keep the upgrading to a minimum for a while after this. I guess it boils down to is which I can keep the longest as an upgrade?
Hmm... tough call.

The way I look at it is- that CPU is likely holding you back, even with your buddy's GPU. You can *always* drop a faster GPU in the computer. You cannot always drop a faster CPU/mem in it. For example, once BD releases there's no saying how long current AM3 chips will be available- as it stands your mobo cannot run the 6-core parts, you're limited to only the quads... how long after AM3+/BD release will these parts still be available?

I'd probably say go for that mobo and the memory. DDR3 is the RAM of the future, not DDR2, that mobo will allow you to drop BD right in with a simple BIOS update first. Also, with that mobo you'll be able to drop a faster GPU in at any point in time. So this is likely what I'd suggest.

However, every one of those options would likely benefit you- it's just you're gaming at such a low resolution I'm pretty much 100% certain your video card isn't your problem... unless, of course, it is defective? That's always possible, but it'd be one of the most odd defects I've ever heard of- normally defectice cards give horrible visual artifacts, not simply bad performance.

Tough call, I'd go for the new mobo and RAM simply because that opens up your upgrade possibilities in the future significantly. Also, with that mobo you'll likely be allowed higher maximum oc's on that CPU. Have you read any reviews for that motherboard to see what people are capable of getting on it?
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