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Having trouble deciding on which card:

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
So heres my situation: I need a graphics upgrade and intended to do a full computer build but wont have funds for a full rig for another 6 months minimum. I'd like to get a card that I can pull out and put into the new rig at that time; maybe adding a second for SLI. I'm a die-hard NVIDIA guy but that is about the extent of me knowing which card really fits my bill. I also want to get an opinion from you guys as to whether a new card is actually going to help my performance or if my bottleneck is elsewhere, heres my current rig:
Quote:
XFX MDA72P7509 nVidia nForce 750a SLI AM2+/AM2 Phenom FX/Phenom/Athlon /Sempron Socket AM2/AM2+ 2600 MHz PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) ATX Motherboard

AMD Phenom X4 9550 Agena Quad Core Processor 2.2Ghz Socket AM2+ 4MB Cache 95W

CORSAIR TWIN2X4096-8500C5DF 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) DDR2 Memory Retail

EVGA GeForce 8800 GT Video Card - Dual Slot Edition, 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) DUal DVI, HDTV, Dual VGA Support [[[core: 704mhz shader 1760 memory 1000]]]

ZALMAN CNPS 8700 LED Copper AMD CPU AMD CPU Cooler

OCZ OCZ800EXS 800W SLI/CrossFire Active Power Supply
Originally I was going to do a memory upgrade as well but as you can see i'm delimited by my mobo to DDR2 1033 which is now about 150$ if you can even find the stuff. It's actually the root cause of me planning a full rig build in the coming months.

Primary system use is WoW, currently running on "Good" settings, goal is ULTRA settings with no frame lag in 25 man raids and ideally enough headroom for fraps recording as well @ 1818x1080 or 1920x1080. I wont OC in my current rig, but it is a possibility moving onto the new system (would be a first time experience apart from the tiny tweaking in precision on my current card)

So 2 primary questions:
1) Will I benefit any from getting a new card and swapping it in, or is the bottleneck something else about my system

2) Which range of cards should i be looking at? Remember, about 6 months down the road I'll be building a new rig and could potentially SLI the card at that point if the need arose. I'm really looking for 'the best bang for my buck' kind of card, not a 'spend my life savings for marginal gains' card.

As an aside, I'd like to hear input on monitors (23 or 24" Widescreen) also! Looked around some and it seems the Dell SP2309W compares really well for its pricepoint.
post #2 of 3
I would try to find a gtx 470 for around $200. Its a great card, and is amazing in SLI. However, it will most likely be bottlenecked by your cpu speed. 2.2ghz just isnt enough to match up with todays gfx cards, but you should be able to easily OC to at least 2.6ghz and get rid of a lot of the bottleneck.
1200P COD MACHINE
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 720 @ 3.6 ASrock M3A770DE Triple Crossfired 4850's 2x4gb GSkill Sniper DDR3 1333mhz @ CL8 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
64gb M225 SSD + WD Caviar Black 640gb External Windows 7 Ultimate 64 28" Hanns G 1920x1200 
PowerCase
BFG EX1000w NZXT Phantom 
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1200P COD MACHINE
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 720 @ 3.6 ASrock M3A770DE Triple Crossfired 4850's 2x4gb GSkill Sniper DDR3 1333mhz @ CL8 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
64gb M225 SSD + WD Caviar Black 640gb External Windows 7 Ultimate 64 28" Hanns G 1920x1200 
PowerCase
BFG EX1000w NZXT Phantom 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hmm yea, I've been doing some research on the 470 and the 460; If I catch some 470s going on sale for around 200 I would definitely consider it but not the $260 i see them listing at right now. If i've not caught one on sale in the next couple weeks I will likely pick up a 460. Which brings an important question: is there absolutely any reason to pay for a superclocked version of the card or should I just try to clock it myself?

I assume the response will be something to the effect of: "buying an SC ensures they've been tested at those clocks for stability, a non SC may fail to oc to the same speed."

But really... how likely is it that if i buy a standard 1gb 460 at default clocks, that I wont be able to OC to SC speeds?
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