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Need a GPU recommendation

By TylersDream502 ยท 10 replies
May 6, 2012
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  1. So here is the rather important system information needed for someone to help and want to make it easier for those to answer my question, so here:

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHZ (Will upgrade possibly)
    PCI-E X16 Slot unsure if it is 1.0 or 2.0
    1000W PSU
    2.00 GB of RAM (Will be upgrading to 4 GB, 6 GBm or 8 GB)
    Windows Ultimate SP 1

    I am looking to buy a new GPU and have an available PCI-Express Slot so what can you recommend me at this point, the price Im trying to keep to the maximum $300 or less.

    I understand my system is kind of old but Ive been upgrading it over the years and its kept somewhat current if this decision to buy a new GPU falls through Iam going to save up to build one on my own I was just wondering if I can get a new GPU slap it in there and play skyrim preferably at somewhat decent settings.
  2. TylersDream502

    TylersDream502 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here is the CPU-Z readout.

    Attached Files:

  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Your $200-300 budget will grab you plenty of different GPUs, from GTX560 TI's, to GTX570, HD6870, HD7870 etc. The PSU is serious overkill as it stands, so it will power any GPU you care to throw at it. Top end GPU's will potentially bottleneck due to your CPU, however. My advice would be to make a midrange GPU purchase, like the GTX560 TI, or HD6870/7870, to avoid that problem.

    I'd recommend you upgrade your RAM to at least 4GB at the same time though. Also, pretty much any GPU in your budget range will play Skyrim at decent settings.
  4. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,365   +278

    Whoah 1000W? Get a good 600W-700W PSU and it will still be enough in most cases.
  5. TylersDream502

    TylersDream502 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Lol Artix it is a bit much

    Yeah it powers my PC pretty efficiently, and I am going to upgrade my RAM as well any suggestions on a good ram combo?

    Thanks Leeky for your input on GPU selection.
  6. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,365   +278

    Depends really, the RipJawsX by G-Skill (8GB 1600Mhz) is a good, cheap and plenty full kit. But if you want something beafy and good quality then Mushkin Ram Kits are pretty well up there...
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    No problems with the advice.

    Without sounding pedantic though, your PSU is actually doing the complete opposite. PSUs are notoriously inefficient when underpowered (e.g. extremely low loads), and efficiency tends to go out of the window. 550-600W from a top quality manufacturer would be absolutely plenty for your setup with any new GPU. I run a Antec HCG-620, which again is more than plenty, even with stacks of mechanical disks. I mention this because it's important to realise that going bigger is not necessarily better in every scenario.

    The other side of the argument is also that of adaptability long-term. A 1KW PSU will power high end gaming rigs with multiple GPUs without breaking a sweat -- assuming it is high quality of course.

    G.Skill Ripjaws, Corsair, Kingston, Crucial, Mushkin, they're all very good. Just make sure you buy a "matched" set of RAM that's at least 8GB, and DDR3-1600. I assume you can use DDR3 RAM though? And 8GB at that? And your OS is already 64bit? If it's no to any of these, I'd re-consider your options before upgrading anything.
  8. TylersDream502

    TylersDream502 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    DDR3 RAM will not fit in DDR2 RAM slots, or vice versa. You have two DDR2 slots, currently using 2x 1GB branded DDR2 PC2-5300 (333MHz) memory sticks. DDR3 RAM is not an option for you.

    I would recommend you at least consider a motherboard upgrade to a new chipset, and a new CPU/RAM.
  10. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,365   +278

    Oh snap, did not realize he was using a DDR2 board. Yeah mobo upgrade is a must, you would pay quite alot for DDR2 sticks upgrade since they are low in demand :3
  11. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,229   +1,306

    Your power supply is fine, just because it is 1000w doesn't mean it will use all of it at once. It certainly isn't overkill. Anything higher than 1200w starts to be overkill unless you have lots of hard drives or a multi-GPU setup. Thing about bigger power supplies is they have to work less to put out the same about of power, IE more efficient. Since it doesn't have to work as hard you also extend the life of the PSU.

    Aside from a ram upgrade and a GPU your computer seems fine. Nothing really wrong with DDR2, I still have 2 gaming rigs running with 2gb of DDR2-1066 and 8800GT's. I would say you don't need more than 6GB of ram, but it never hurts to have more. Not so much for gaming, but things like photoshop, database software, and video editing.

    Your system cannot take full advantage of a GTX570, but if you plan on a CPU/mobo upgrade then I would recommend you get it anyway. My overclocked GTX 460 gets some nice frames in skyrim maxed at 1080p(8xAA), so I don't think you need anymore than a 550ti or a 560. Skyrim isn't that demanding of a game. I personally like to stick with nVidia but I'd be happy to give you an AMD recommendation if you like.

    With all that said, this is my recommended upgrade path:

    GTX570(or 560)
    Add 2gigs of ram, ram's cheap. A 2x1gb kit of DDR2 will run you about $30. That will give you a nice boost in performance until you can upgrade
    CPU/mobo upgrade. I prefer AMD because they don't inflate their prices to pay for advertising.
    When ever you upgrade the motherboard you will most likely have to upgrade to DDR3. I feel most people don't need more than 4gigs. I got a nice 8gb set of corsair 1600 on sale for $25 so keep an eye out for the prices. This stuff goes on sale quite often.

    Have fun!

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