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Graphics card(s) suggestion for p5ne sli and overclocked e6420 conroe

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
This happens to be my first post on a forum ever biggrin.gif

I have decided that I want to play Rift and am too poor to afford a new computer, leading me to learn about overclocking from you guys. smile.gif

I need to upgrade my video card(s) as my previous ones were 7600GSs and i believe one of them fried due to poor case ventilation (they were passively cooled). I am working on an extremely fixed budget but I would like to get the graphics at least off of the "low quality renderer" setting. I need to pick out one/two video cards that are reasonably priced but of decent quality. I don't know much about picking decent video cards and I bought, a few days ago, 2 9500GTs from Newegg. After being displeased with the performance I looked up more about them on the internet and realized I'm an idiot. Now I'd like to return them and get decent graphics cards for my money.

My question is what would be a good graphics solution for about $200 total? $150 would be much better but I'm starting to see that as less likely. I don't mind doing the $200 or oven just a little over if it will keep my computer playing some games for another year or two (like maybe Starcraft 2 eventually). Mainly, however, my intention is Rift.

In case I didn't properly put my information in my profile, here are my system stats (plus overclock info, thx to you all):

mobo: Asus P5NE-SLI
Processor: e6420 Conroe 2.13 Ghz (overclocked to 2.8 Ghz,400x7)
- V-core: 1.25
- NB: 1.55
Temps: 25C/45C (idle/load)

RAM: 3 Corsair XMS2 800 DDR2 1 Gb (5-5-5-12 T2)
Voltage: 1.9

all cooling/heatsinks are stock

I don't really care whether it is one card or two SLI'd; I've had hiccups with getting SLI to work properly before but that isn't a big deal. Any suggestions here would be great.
Tips for boosting my overclock are always welcome too smile.gif

If you need any more info please let me know.
Thanks in advance and sorry about the length!
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
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post #2 of 9
For around that price that you mentioned.
AMD 6850/6870
The highest for Nvidia would be the GTX560 (non-ti)

As for OC'ing your CPU.
Read this.
http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/497993-newbie-guide-overclocking-updated-core-2-a.html
post #3 of 9
Well, I say you should Grab yourself a Nvidia GTX 550/550 TI In SLI. That should be good enough for your system. Also, you should try to find yourself a Corsair Hydro H60 CPU Cooler If you want to OC the crap out of your CPU. Your not going to be able to play any modern day games on high settings unless you really get to 3.6Ghz + on a Dual-core. I play BF:BC2 Maxed out @ 3.9Ghz @ 65FPS/40FPS when recording @ 60FPS.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, I'm trying to look into those cards on my mini-netbook as my desktop continues it's Prime testing frown.gif very slow...

The 6850/70 cards seem great but would SLIing the 550 GTX produce a better bang for the extra bucks? I don't mind going over my numbers a little bit with the 2 cards if you guys think it is worth it.

Another question regarding manufacturers: does it matter which one I go with? As an example, per Newegg the Asus 550 touts slightly faster core/shader speeds (overclocked stock I'm guessing) and supposedly cooler temps; what are your opinions on that? I'll link a newegg comparision for pricing/rebates/models:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709&IsNodeId=1&srchInDesc=6870&page=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=48|14-500-194^14-500-194-TS%2C14-500-193^14-500-193-TS%2C14-121-434^14-121-434-TS%2C14-131-374^14-131-374-TS%2C14-150-506^14-150-506-TS

These obviously are just a few manufacturers/cards but hopefully it carries the point of my question.

Btw mbudden I like your sig (was WoW before Cata and then getting sucked into Rift) and I've started reading the overclocking guide you linked, thx for that smile.gif

One last question if that's alright:
I've recently bought 2 other Corsair XMS2s to go with my original ones (5-5-5-12 originally, new ones 5-5-5-18 running at 5-5-5-12). One of the two sticks came DOA (won't even POST) so I have to send it back to Newegg anyways,which is why my stats show 3 GB. Should I get a replacement from Newegg for the 3+ GB total RAM (I know Vista can't utilize all 4) or is the little extra not worth the $20?

Thanks to you both for helping me out with this, I'm a noob to overclocking and a super-noob to graphics cards biggrin.gif
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh I'll also look into that cooling suggestion for the CPU, thx for that too.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Link7211;14509058 
Thanks for the suggestions, I'm trying to look into those cards on my mini-netbook as my desktop continues it's Prime testing frown.gif very slow...

The 6850/70 cards seem great but would SLIing the 550 GTX produce a better bang for the extra bucks? I don't mind going over my numbers a little bit with the 2 cards if you guys think it is worth it.

Another question regarding manufacturers: does it matter which one I go with? As an example, per Newegg the Asus 550 touts slightly faster core/shader speeds (overclocked stock I'm guessing) and supposedly cooler temps; what are your opinions on that? I'll link a newegg comparision for pricing/rebates/models:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709&IsNodeId=1&srchInDesc=6870&page=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=48|14-500-194^14-500-194-TS%2C14-500-193^14-500-193-TS%2C14-121-434^14-121-434-TS%2C14-131-374^14-131-374-TS%2C14-150-506^14-150-506-TS

These obviously are just a few manufacturers/cards but hopefully it carries the point of my question.

Btw mbudden I like your sig (was WoW before Cata and then getting sucked into Rift) and I've started reading the overclocking guide you linked, thx for that smile.gif

One last question if that's alright:
I've recently bought 2 other Corsair XMS2s to go with my original ones (5-5-5-12 originally, new ones 5-5-5-18 running at 5-5-5-12). One of the two sticks came DOA (won't even POST) so I have to send it back to Newegg anyways,which is why my stats show 3 GB. Should I get a replacement from Newegg for the 3+ GB total RAM (I know Vista can't utilize all 4) or is the little extra not worth the $20?

Thanks to you both for helping me out with this, I'm a noob to overclocking and a super-noob to graphics cards biggrin.gif

TBH. 550's are kind of a joke. If you're able to spend a little more, then I would suggest looking at getting a GTX560ti or even looking at our Marketplace for some used GPU's.

And about the Superclocked GPU or whatever. Don't waste the money. Just get the standard one. You can OC the GPU on your own using MSI Afterburner.

But the lyrics from my sig are from a song. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Link7211;14509080 
Oh I'll also look into that cooling suggestion for the CPU, thx for that too.

I highly suggest looking at the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+. Cheap, and very effective.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbudden;14509353 
TBH. 550's are kind of a joke. If you're able to spend a little more, then I would suggest looking at getting a GTX560ti or even looking at our Marketplace for some used GPU's.

And about the Superclocked GPU or whatever. Don't waste the money. Just get the standard one. You can OC the GPU on your own using MSI Afterburner.

But the lyrics from my sig are from a song. smile.gif



I highly suggest looking at the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+. Cheap, and very effective.

I'm going to be a buttface and say this, But Water is far better. I'm not going to spend 50$ on a Hyper 212+ when I can spend 60-80$ on a far more effective watercooler.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I suppose my current upgrade thoughts are this:

My goal was/is to update my system somewhat for as little as possible, max $300 for everything (lower end new gaming machines are around $500 new, hence my limit for what to put in an old machine).

current costs so far:
$40 2 x Corsair CMS2 1 GB (must RMA one, DOA)
$130 2 x 9500GT (need to RMA both for better cards, possible 15% restock hit)
$25 Logisys PSU, SLI Ready 575W +12V=25A 2x 6-pin PCI-E connectors
total so far: ~205 (without RMA shipping costs)

So it all comes down to a balancing act. The GTX 560 TI and the 2 550 TIs SLI'ed seem to benchmark around each other with the 560 sometimes better. My only concern here is that if I do the 560 would my PSU be able to handle it? It seems to be rated at +12V=30A so wouldn't I have to RMA this PSU and get a stronger one?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh and regarding the CPU cooling my case is an issue as well. I have poor case circulation so I took the side off and have a floor fan helping keep air moving (just taking the side off helped me lower temps). To run everything overclocked at 1.35 Vcore or higher I would have to either keep the side of the case off or invest in at least a stronger fan to replace the one on the side.

case off 1.25 Vcore max temp hit under full load: 50C
Case off 1.35 Vcore max temp hit under full load: 57C (lower ambient room temp too, might have hit 60C with higher room temps)
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
e6420 Asus P5NE-SLI Corsair XMS2 3x1 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 Vista 32 bit 
MonitorPower
Vizio E3D420VX LCD TV Logisys 575W SLI Ready 
  hide details  
Reply
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