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Hardware  » Is It Enough to Just Upgrade Video Card?

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33 posts found
  BitterClinger

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 208

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, ArcheAge

 
OP  2/14/13 3:57:53 PM#1

I don't really play the latest and greatest first person shooters or anything like that. The single-player games that I do play on my PC (Dragon Age, Crysis, Witcher 2) all run flawlessly.

The immediate problem I am trying to solve is lag in Guild Wars 2, specifically in places like the Black Citadel and the bandit caves in the human area. I also imagine that I will be seeing similar graphics and potential for "laggy" areas in TESO when I give it a try later this year (hopefully).

So, based on my current specs, do you think it would suffice to simply upgrade my video card to something better?

------------------

 

System Information

------------------

Operating System   : Windows XP Professional

Processor          : Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz (4 CPUs)

Memory             : 3264MB RAM

Page File          : 811MB used, 4339MB available

DirectX Version    : DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)

 

---------------

Display Devices

---------------

Card name        : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+

Chip type        : GeForce 9800 GTX+

DAC type         : Integrated RAMDAC

Display Memory   : 512.0 MB

Current Mode     : 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)

Monitor Max Res  : 1600,1200

Driver Name      : nv4_disp.dll

Driver Version   : 6.14.0013.0142 (English)

DDI Version      : 9 (or higher)

 

I was hoping to get away with a GTX 660 until I am prepared to do the whole rig. How does the 660 compare to what I have and would it perform better than my current card given the age of the rest of my components?

 

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  Elsabolts

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Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 2641

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2/14/13 4:00:31 PM#2

not an expert but looks like you need more Ram.

  BitterClinger

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 208

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, ArcheAge

 
OP  2/14/13 4:02:34 PM#3
Originally posted by Elsabolts

not an expert but looks like you need more Ram.

 

Upgrading RAM is a problem.  I'm avoiding an OS upgrade until I finish a project I am working on.  More than 4GB is wasted on 32 bit Windows XP.

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  Rukushin

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/07/04
Posts: 46

2/14/13 4:07:08 PM#4
Definitely your vid card ios something I would upgrade if it were me. A 660 should be just fine. Even a GTX560 works great for me even though i will be getting a second soon since they have dropped in price so much. Dual 560s...I cant wait ^_^
  Varthander

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/07
Posts: 452

Forum ranks are useless.

2/14/13 4:08:08 PM#5
Processor, ram, and "maybe" G-Card are a bit outdated. What i recomend its 8 GB of ram, intel i5, and something like a Gforce GT 545 or similar, with that specs you should be able to get going another 4 or 5 years.

  User Deleted
2/14/13 4:15:09 PM#6
You could get away with a G-card upgrade but be very careful which one you get because, as my brother learned a year ago, a G-card will fry your south bridge quite readily if your motherboard was not built for the graphics card ( and I am not talking preformance or stress but actual frying, the graphics card was too close to the south bridge on the motherboard and it slowly got cooked by the higher temps the new graphics card outputted compared to the old one).
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13305

2/14/13 5:21:54 PM#7
If it's for Guild Wars 2 in particular, then the processor is likely to be more problematic than the video card.  Your system is pretty well balanced, though, so it's not like you've got a bunch of great parts with just one holding you back.  At some point, you have to say, getting five years out of the old computer was pretty good, but it's had a nice life and it's time to move on and replace the whole thing all at once.
  Quizzical

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2/14/13 5:26:18 PM#8
Originally posted by Rukushin
Definitely your vid card ios something I would upgrade if it were me. A 660 should be just fine. Even a GTX560 works great for me even though i will be getting a second soon since they have dropped in price so much. Dual 560s...I cant wait ^_^

Bad idea unless you've already got two of them.  One higher end card is much better than two lower end cards in SLI.  SLI leaves you very dependent on Nvidia driver teams to optimize things for every particular game, and an older architecture that was mostly discontinued nearly a year ago isn't going to be the focus of their driver updates anymore.

Also, at current prices, the GTX 560 costs about as much as a far superior Radeon HD 7850.  As is usual with older, discontinued gaming cards, they stop producing them and leave the last ones in stock at silly prices in hopes that people who didn't get the memo that it's not 2011 anymore will read something old, think the card is still current, and overpay for it.

  Quizzical

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Posts: 13305

2/14/13 5:28:19 PM#9
Originally posted by Varthander
Processor, ram, and "maybe" G-Card are a bit outdated. What i recomend its 8 GB of ram, intel i5, and something like a Gforce GT 545 or similar, with that specs you should be able to get going another 4 or 5 years.

That's a very strange recommendation on the video card, when one considers that it was never sold to the general public and offers performance that would barely beat out modern integrated graphics.

  User Deleted
2/14/13 5:28:36 PM#10

If you do go for a new video card, watch for one that will work okay with the power supply.  I hear some of the more recent cards are serious power hogs and could damage your system.

 

One of the HW gurus could help.

 

Also a bump on some of the modern games being cpu locked.  Unless an engine is specifically written to make use of the GPU, most of the additional speed boost from a faster GPU will be wasted.  One reason devs do this (avoid using GPU) is because a game that makes heavy use of GPU will run like crap on a system that doesn't have a good one.

 

  Hrimnir

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/24/10
Posts: 1090

2/14/13 5:31:09 PM#11

You really need a better processor also.  Unfortunately games STILL aren't properly multithreaded and don't take as good of use of multiple processors as they could, so single core speed is still VERY important.

Think of it like a water pump and a water hose.  Your CPU is the pump and your video card is the hose.  If you buy a new hose thats capable of 600 gallons per minute, but your pump can only supply 480 gallons per minute, then you aren't doing yourself any favors.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3358

2/14/13 6:21:49 PM#12

GW2 in particular is very CPU sensitive, although it tends to be more core-count sensitive than speed sensitive. You have a quad-core already; it is a bit older, but it's still not a bad CPU.

RAM could be part of the issue: your stuck with what you have now without an OS upgrade, and while GW2 is only a 32-bit app, your trying to run WinXP (which uses about 1-2G alone, depending on how much stuff you have in the background), and GW2 (which uses 1-2G by itself), all inside of 3.2G of RAM -- I'll let a math major do the math on that, but there are times when it's going to hit the hard disk for virtual memory, and those times it's going to lag and come to a screeching sluggish slow down.

But I agree with you - more RAM also means an OS upgrade, and if you were to drop an OS upgrade on there, it either becomes locked to that motherboard that has a limited life, or your paying twice as much for the retail edition.

A video card would help some, but it wouldn't be a miracle drug. I can recommend this:

Go ahead and plan on a new computer "eventually" - the one you have now is not going to get miraculously faster, but a GPU may get you another year or two out of it.

With that in mind, get a decent video card now, such that it will still have some legs in a year or two - basically anything AMD 78XX (or better) or nVidia 660 (or better). Keep your 9800 in a box though - don't trash it.

Use that newer video card in the planning for your next computer: it may not be latest generation anymore, but it'll still have some life left in it. Drop your older 9800 back in this old computer, and either sell or donate it as a complete and working computer (they are worth more that way).

  Barbarbar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/10
Posts: 258

2/15/13 1:45:58 AM#13
Originally posted by Hrimnir

You really need a better processor also.  Unfortunately games STILL aren't properly multithreaded and don't take as good of use of multiple processors as they could, so single core speed is still VERY important.

Think of it like a water pump and a water hose.  Your CPU is the pump and your video card is the hose.  If you buy a new hose thats capable of 600 gallons per minute, but your pump can only supply 480 gallons per minute, then you aren't doing yourself any favors.

 

You must mean that the GPU is the pump and the CPU is the hose. If you get the best CPU on the market, you aren't "pumping" anymore game to the GPU.

The CPU can either be a bottleneck, or not a bottleneck. Hence it's a hose.

  Barbarbar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/10
Posts: 258

2/15/13 1:53:13 AM#14
Originally posted by Ridelynn I can recommend this:

Go ahead and plan on a new computer "eventually" - the one you have now is not going to get miraculously faster, but a GPU may get you another year or two out of it.

With that in mind, get a decent video card now, such that it will still have some legs in a year or two - basically anything AMD 78XX (or better) or nVidia 660 (or better). Keep your 9800 in a box though - don't trash it.

Use that newer video card in the planning for your next computer: it may not be latest generation anymore, but it'll still have some life left in it. Drop your older 9800 back in this old computer, and either sell or donate it as a complete and working computer (they are worth more that way).

 

 

I have to say I think, thats a bad idea. He will probably also need a new PSU to do that. It will only mean his expensive GPU is sitting hampered in an outdated system, getting older by the day. I wouldn't do that unless I was rebuilding within a month or two.

Get a HD7770 and call it a day. Moneys gone enjoy it as long as it lasts.

  stayontarget

Guide

Joined: 10/04/08
Posts: 6127

Girlfriends come and go but Epic battles are Soulbound

2/15/13 2:02:50 AM#15

It depends on the game's engine,  but on a few MMORPG's they use cpu just as much as a videocard.  GW2 uses an upgraded / modified Havoc engine so it probably uses both CPU/Vidcard.  One quick why to see how well your computer is handling the game is to check CPU loads / temps and VideoCard temps.

 

If your CPU has high load / temps and the Videocard sitting at idle / low temps then the CPU might be bottlenecking

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  Kabaal

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/05
Posts: 2945

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2/15/13 2:07:04 AM#16
Originally posted by Barbarbar
Originally posted by Ridelynn /snip

 

 

I have to say I think, thats a bad idea. He will probably also need a new PSU to do that. It will only mean his expensive GPU is sitting hampered in an outdated system, getting older by the day. I wouldn't do that unless I was rebuilding within a month or two.

Get a HD7770 and call it a day. Moneys gone enjoy it as long as it lasts.

His total system power consumption will be almost identical changing from the 9800GTX to a 7850, if his PSU can handle one then it likely will have no trouble with the other.

I probably wouldn't go higher than a 7850 or 660 tbh unless the OP knows he will definitely be upgrading the rest of the system in the near future. The 7850 will be slightly bottlenecked already and anything higher won't give any improvement over it in the current PC. No point in shelling out the extra money for something that's performance may go untapped for a year or two when at that point it would be a low end card.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

  Barbarbar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/10
Posts: 258

2/15/13 2:21:02 AM#17
Originally posted by Kabaal
Originally posted by Barbarbar
Originally posted by Ridelynn /snip

 

 

I have to say I think, thats a bad idea. He will probably also need a new PSU to do that. It will only mean his expensive GPU is sitting hampered in an outdated system, getting older by the day. I wouldn't do that unless I was rebuilding within a month or two.

Get a HD7770 and call it a day. Moneys gone enjoy it as long as it lasts.

His total system power consumption will be almost identical changing from the 9800GTX to a 7850, if his PSU can handle one then it likely will have no trouble with the other.

I probably wouldn't go higher than a 7850 or 660 tbh unless the OP knows he will definitely be upgrading the rest of the system in the near future. The 7850 will be slightly bottlenecked already and anything higher won't give any improvement over it in the current PC. No point in shelling out the extra money for something that's performance may go untapped for a year or two when at that point it would be a low end card.

The thread wasn't really recommending a 7850 was it?

  BitterClinger

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 208

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, ArcheAge

 
OP  2/15/13 8:31:23 AM#18

Thanks for the input folks! I went ahead and ordered the GTX 660 SUPERCLOCKED 2048MB GDDR5. I also picked up a Razer Naga Special Edition - Molten based on recommendations from another thread in this forum.

I've already got a 750W PSU in my machine that seems to be handling things quite well.

Thanks again!

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  Hrimnir

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/24/10
Posts: 1090

2/17/13 5:25:10 PM#19
Originally posted by Barbarbar
Originally posted by Hrimnir

You really need a better processor also.  Unfortunately games STILL aren't properly multithreaded and don't take as good of use of multiple processors as they could, so single core speed is still VERY important.

Think of it like a water pump and a water hose.  Your CPU is the pump and your video card is the hose.  If you buy a new hose thats capable of 600 gallons per minute, but your pump can only supply 480 gallons per minute, then you aren't doing yourself any favors.

 

You must mean that the GPU is the pump and the CPU is the hose. If you get the best CPU on the market, you aren't "pumping" anymore game to the GPU.

The CPU can either be a bottleneck, or not a bottleneck. Hence it's a hose.

You need to do more research on how game engines work.  Some are more CPU intensive than others, but all game engines have to have data processed by the CPU before the GPU can handle it.

If it helps, think of it more like an engine and a turbocharger.  The turbocharger runs off the exhaust from the engine to create spinning motion on a compressor wheel which compressors the air on the other side of the wheel to increase the air/fuel ratio the engine is burning and creating more power.  If you put too large of a turbo on too small of an engine, the engine doesnt have enough power to "spool" the big turbo and as a result the big turbo can't perform at its max capability.

GPUs are not entities that operate independantly of the rest of the PC, the entire pc works together to produce the desired goal.

GPU's came about because CPU architecture is not particularly good at processing things like triangles and various other graphically related computations.  So the point was to offload THAT PORTION of the workload to a specialized "graphics" processor.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

  Barbarbar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/10
Posts: 258

2/18/13 12:03:30 AM#20
Originally posted by Hrimnir
Originally posted by Barbarbar
Originally posted by Hrimnir

You really need a better processor also.  Unfortunately games STILL aren't properly multithreaded and don't take as good of use of multiple processors as they could, so single core speed is still VERY important.

Think of it like a water pump and a water hose.  Your CPU is the pump and your video card is the hose.  If you buy a new hose thats capable of 600 gallons per minute, but your pump can only supply 480 gallons per minute, then you aren't doing yourself any favors.

 

You must mean that the GPU is the pump and the CPU is the hose. If you get the best CPU on the market, you aren't "pumping" anymore game to the GPU.

The CPU can either be a bottleneck, or not a bottleneck. Hence it's a hose.

You need to do more research on how game engines work.  Some are more CPU intensive than others, but all game engines have to have data processed by the CPU before the GPU can handle it.

If it helps, think of it more like an engine and a turbocharger.  The turbocharger runs off the exhaust from the engine to create spinning motion on a compressor wheel which compressors the air on the other side of the wheel to increase the air/fuel ratio the engine is burning and creating more power.  If you put too large of a turbo on too small of an engine, the engine doesnt have enough power to "spool" the big turbo and as a result the big turbo can't perform at its max capability.

GPUs are not entities that operate independantly of the rest of the PC, the entire pc works together to produce the desired goal.

GPU's came about because CPU architecture is not particularly good at processing things like triangles and various other graphically related computations.  So the point was to offload THAT PORTION of the workload to a specialized "graphics" processor.

Dude. I don't ned to do more research, because your analogy is the wrong way around. Or at least a bad one. Calling the GPU a hose, as if it plays a passive part, and insinuating that it is the CPU that runs the game is just plain wrong.

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