Need help for upgrading my current Graphics Card

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011
Hello Guys,

Recently,I've been looking for a new Graphics Card around the internet that is for normal gaming(That can handle Heavy games),a budget graphics card,that is kinda fast and cheap and obviously faster than my crappy,slow Video card.

So first here is my specs: (bought the Computer in 2010 btw)

CPU:Intel Pentium Dual Core E6300 2.8Ghz
Graphics Card:ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB PCI-E x2.0 (4300/4500 Series) --> i know, its crappy ;)
Case:Raidmax ATX-238WRP Tornado 450W ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case (Red)
Hard-Drive:320GB SAMSUNG HD322HJ (SATA)
Operating System:Windows XP 32-bit SP3 [Upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 32-bit Later this month]
Memory:4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz
Motherboard:Gigabyte G31M-S2C/ES2C(PCI-E x1.0 slot)
Monitor:acer X233H 23-inch Widescreen LCD

Now,i found some Decent Video-cards on the internet and they are: (from lowest to highest cost that i can afford)

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6790 1GB GDDR5 - 167$ (PCI-E 2.1)
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 - 173$ (PCI-E 2.1)
Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX550 TI 1GB GDDR5 - 183$ (PCI-E 2.0)
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 - 187$ (PCI-E 2.1)
Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX560 DC2 1GB GDDR5 - 273$ (PCI-E 2.0)
Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce GTX560 Ti 1GB GDDR5 - 297$ (PCI-E 2.0)
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB Windforce x3 - 315$ (PCI-E 2.1)
The Reason for the little overpriced video cards is because of my country's Taxes etc.(i'am not from The US nor America itself)

So,Here is some Questions:
1.Which Graphics Card of the above should i pick for my current specs of my computer?
2.Will the video cards above run and work with my PC's Specs?
3.will any of my specs Bottleneck the GPU's Performace? Motherboard has PCI-E Slot x1.0, will the x2.1 PCI-E GPU's work on the x1.0 slot? if not then how about the x2.0 GPU's?
5.will my computer run Games maybe at 1900x1080 with low-high settings(games like GTA IV,GTA V,COD,Battlefield,NFS,Crysis,....) with the new GPU?

the GPUs listed above are the only GPUs that i can Afford,... So Please Pick the appropriate/Matching GPU With my current Specs and Also if you want,you can suggest any other Budget Video-card or anything Else(post suggestions below about Which PSU i'll need and other components if necessary),ill be happy read it.

[By the way, i brought my computer to it's store to check if i can change the GPU to The HD 6870 so the Guy over there told me that i should buy a new computer/motherboard if i want to upgrade the GPU .]

At this Point, I don't know What to Choose and what to Change so ill leave it to more experienced People on This Community.

Again,my point of this thread is to Pick the Appropriate GPU for my Computer and getting any other Tips & Recommendations about this Subject.

Thank you very much for your Time,and i apologize for my poor English.


1.Which Graphics Card of the above should i pick for my current specs of my computer?

the low end ones are better fit, the a dual core pentium wont get you far on 1920x1080 on higher settings. The card that is the best price to performance ratio that you have listed is definately the 6870

2.Will the video cards above run and work with my PC's Specs?

It will work, dont expect to max stuff though because a dual core will bottleneck in the heavier games you listed.

3.will any of my specs Bottleneck the GPU's Performace?

Cpu will at higher resolutions Motherboard has PCI-E Slot x1.0, will the x2.1 PCI-E GPU's work on the x1.0 slot? if not then how about the x2.0 GPU's?

its occasional that a 2.1 card might not work in a 1.0 slot but it rarely happens

5.will my computer run Games maybe at 1900x1080 with low-high settings(games like GTA IV,GTA V,COD,Battlefield,NFS,Crysis,....) with the new GPU?

that i would need first hand experience. i know for sure it will have trouble at a high resolution because the games you listed are very badly coded or demanding

(GTa 4 and most likely 5 was a bad console port, COD is fine, Battlefield is demanding, NFS i think should be fine, Crysis is badly coded that even the best cards do not get past 60 fps with all settings maxed)


Dec 7, 2011
As your cpu is not too strong to provide a complete amount of power for those gpu's to run potentially, I wouldn't recommend anything higher than 6850, this one is very smart and fast GPU. Overclocking the cpu might decrease the chances of bottleneck. PCI-e slots versions doesn't matter you can use a latest graphics card in PCI-e 1.0 with no trouble. The most important thing is PSU, do you have PSU or seeking it for too.


Jul 28, 2012
price performance go 6870. you should get decent framerates at high settings,
but not ultra settings for BF3 and Crysis. Take some of the money you would
save by not getting a card way more expensive than the 6870 and get a decent
air cooler to push your pentium 6800. you might get 4ghz+ which would be
more than a match for a sandy bridge pentium.

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011

well, the 450W PSU came with the case so i dont remember/know if The PSU Even has 2+6 Pins connectors that is required to connect/power-up the card.,,and also the card require AT LEAST 500W i'll Take a consideration about it.

btw the GA-G31M-ES2C motherboard,as it was told, has a 1.0 PCI-E Slot and the 6870/6850 has 2.1, i read alot of articles in this website and found that some PCI-E 1.0 motherboards has the support for the 2.1 GPUs,it depends on the Type of the motherboard your using; and some of them don't 50/50 Chances. My motherboard has been released in 2008
but its latest BIOS Update was released in 2009 but from it's changelog didnt read as "this motherboard now supports PCI-E 2.1"...etc,so i dont know if it even support the 2.1.

so i'am not sure about it... but can you tell if my motherboard support PCI-E 2.1 or not ? (the motherboard's name:GA-G31M-ES2C (rev. 1.0) ); because iam worried if i buy the GPU and it'll not work...

by the way, thank you for your replay and help & thanks to all of the people who helped me with this subject.
The 6870 is a good choice. Any graphics pcie card will work in any pcie x16 slot, they just work at the slower speeds, which should be fine for your build.
No it's not a good choice. Not only his power supply isn't enough for that, you'd better not put PCIe 2.1 card in 1.0 slot/

@OP: I think your best option is GTX 550 Ti, even though it's overpriced and performs worse than hd 6850. OR upgrade the power supply and get GTX 560/GTX 560 Ti.


Jul 28, 2012
Ok,... so i googled your case and power supply and it does 21 amps on the
twelve volt rail, 34A on the 5v, and 28A on the 3.3v. also there are no pcie
power connectors so unless you have adapters, buy adapters or the cards
you are looking for include adapters then will need a card that gets all its
power from the pcie x16 slot (75w in slot, 75w per 6 pin connector, adapter
is 2 50w molex to 1 75w pcie 6pin.) I might reccommend the HD7750 (50w).
if you overclock you may get close to the performance of some of the
cheaper cards on your list and even save a little money in the process. I don't
know which rail the CPU uses if you overclock it but the pentium E6800 is
65w or less and overclocked to 4ghz with little or no voltage increase would
make it close to 100w. the 6850 is 130 max and the 6870 is like 151 w max but
that is if you stress it with something like furmark. in games it won't get any-
where near that. so if you are looking at cards with molex to pcie adapters
included either one should work. OH WAIT! looking at pics of you case and the
dimensions of your mobo the 6870 may be too cramped or not fit. it is a pretty
long card. the 7750 is very short and the 7770 is short too. the 6850 is usally
about 9.5in which is the width of most atx mobos but wider than yours. you may
want to measure the distance from the inside back of your case to the hard
drive cage and get a card shorter than that, maybe with possible power
connectors that face the side and not the end of the card. Hope this helps.

P.S. your old card is a pcie 2.0 card. there were only compatability problems
between some of the very earliest pcie 1.0 mobo (like nforce 4) and the very
first pcie 2.0 video cards like 8800gt but your newer intel 30 series mobo should
work fine with any pcie 2.0, 2.1, even 3.0 card (like the hd7700s) and don't
worry about the lesser bandwidth of your mobo. a 16x pcie 1.0 is like running
16x pcie 2.0/2.1 in 8x mode. the drop in performance should be less than 5%
and you still get the same amount of wattage from the slot.

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011

hello once again and thank you for your reply,
about my Case, i was planning on asking about it on this thread later this evening but you went first :D; so about it,i Made some measurements and it turned out[measured from back of the Case(where you stick the GPU's Rear I/O to it) to the end (right before the place where you put your HDDs,Optical Drives,.. in;the hard-drive cage)],the length was 26cm(10.23 inches).
so can the GPU fit into the case ?; because even THE place where you put your HDD's,Optical Drives is empty, just 1 optical drive placed on the top and the HDD on the bottom which makes the center empty, so can that GIVE more room for even longer cards to fit or not?
P.S:right now when i look at my Current GPU (HD 4350),I still have room for longer GPUs than the HD 4350 to fit in(maybe 2.7Inches longer than the 4350;the 4350 is still short tho).
So My PSU (450W) Can handle the GPU that requires AT LEAST 500W?(because i heard that some PSUs quality better when other; so They can handle more than it actually can) and i dont know if my PSU's Quality that good,i mean its brand is unknown.
ALSO, My PSU didn't come with a PCI-E connector which to connect to the GPU,and the problem is i cant really find a place to stick the adapter to the PSU(means that the connectors that came with the PSU(Molex) are already connected expect for one; look,there are 4 connectors, one connected to the HDD,second Connected to a fan,third is connected to another fan and the fourth is not connected to anything)--> and i'm required 2x 4 pin to 6 pin power cables to power-up the GPU.So the best solution is to disable one fan and connect the 2 unconnected molexs to the adapters?



Jul 28, 2012
I'm guessing your config is such that of the 4 molex connectors and 1 sata
power connector on your psu that the sata hdd uses the sata power, the
optical drive uses a molex, your two fans use molex and then the unused
molex. not sure I would reccommend disconnecting any of your fans. the
6870 and 6950 are both like 10.5in long so will not fit, they and the gtx560s
(ti and non) require 2 pcie 6 pin connectors and the other three cards on your
list require one six pin. like you and I have said, you wont be able to use the
gtx550ti, hd6790 or hd 6850 unless they come with an adapter or you buy one
separately and the other cards on your list are not options at all. you might
seriously consider the hd7750 or maybe the 7770 ghz edition (80w) and over-
clock them. the former card may approach the performance of the lower cards
on your list and an overclocked 7770 should work like a 6870 or gtx 560 non ti.

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011

The thing is,the Molex,SATA,CPU,M/B 20+4 PIN,floppy cables are messy, meaning i dont know where are they placed exactly.if i'm looking from the outside,i see that the 20+4 PIN Cable is connected to the motherboard,the CPU cable is connected to the CPU AND the SATA nowhere to be found(i cant see it from the outside,maybe it's hidden inside) BUT the Hard-Drive is connected to the molex cable with a SATA 15pin Connector to 4pin Molex Power Connector so 1 molex is used,Now the Second molex is(you're correct)connected with the Optical Drive and the third is connected with the first fan but the second fan is connected,I dont know how, with the second molex(that is connected with the Optical Drive).so to make another molex empty, ill have to connect the hard-drive with the SATA cable that came with the PSU right? then ill have 2 molexs empty but there is another way, and that is to buy FAN-Molex adapter and connect the two fans into one Molex cable.(the two fans are addons,not A CPU fan).
i'm trying to stay away from the 7750 and 7770 for a different reasons:
1.the 2.1 GPUs may have compatibility issues with 1.0 PCI-E slot so the 3.0 GPUs will be even worse
2.these cards from my local store cost 173$-187$ and ALOT slower AND Cost more than the 6850/6870
3.even them(7770/7750)requires 500W PSU just Like the 6850/6870 needs so it doesn't make any difference in terms that the 7000 series have less Power Consumption than the 6850/6870.
4.I'm Not an expert for Overclocking the GPU; and Afraid from corrupting/Burning it.and even Tho if I OC the 7770/7750 it'll not most likely reach 6850/6870's Performance because there is alot more difference in terms of Performance Between the cards

but i didn't Get an exact answer about the PSU's Power, CAN my Raidmax RX-450K 450W PSU Handle the card's Power?(because i even read articles on other forums saying "Stay away from Raidmax PSUs" "They are Have Low Quality PSUs" and stuff like that).
I've seen 2 versions of the HD6870 on sapphire's Website:- 6 PIN to 4PIN Molex - SAPPHIRE HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCIE -
2.two 6 PIN to 4 PIN - SAPPHIRE HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCIE -
cant tell the difference :(
and i checked the length of the 6870/6850 on the internet and it turned out to be like 22-25cm Long. so here are the Problems and their solutions about the 6870/6850 fitting with my current specs: (i combined the problems to ease the process)

1.6870/6850 will work on a G31 1.x motherboard - UNKNOWN - 50/50 Chance(depends on the Motherboard itself and it's BIOS Version)
2.I Have 2 empty Molexs for the card- YES(by combining two fans with one molex by using the FAN-Molex adapter)
3. My 450W PSU Will Power-up the 6870/6850 - NO/YES(Pending answer)
4.The HD 6870/6850 will Fit into my case - YES(verified on the internet from Youtube/Google/Forums about the length of the two cards)

So at this point,What should i Change from/Add to the components,Any suggestions on the Specs?Should i Change the PSU and The Motherboard or not?(I not sure if i'll have to change the motherboard but i Doubt with the PSU-maybe ill have to change it after all?),Post your suggestions & recommendations Please :D

P.S. Will The Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 6870 TOXIC Edition be also an option to Buy instead because the difference between the normal 6870 and the Toxic Edition is only like 20$ and has almost the same requirement except that it is Overclocked from the Box.



Jul 28, 2012
If you aren't comfortable overclocking the gpu are you amenable to over-
clocking the cpu? if you don't your gpu will be bottlenecked. it seems that
the 6870 in any form is not an option because it requires more power
connectors than you can provide. it needs 2 6 pin and each 6 pin adapter
requires 2 molex so 2 6pin four molex. you can do the 6850 though. do the
thing you said about buying a power cable that splits for the fans. as for your
mobo supporting the gpu it is not so much an issue of your mobo supporting
the gpu as it is the gpu supporting the mobo. like i said before early pcie 2.0
cards like 8800gt had problems with supporting the earliest spec pcie 1.0
mobos because they didnt properly/entirely do the work to support the bus'
inherent backward compatability. later cards from both nvidia and ati/amd
fixed that. the only thing you give up is bandwidth, but with these level of
cards the amount of measurable performance difference is negligible.

as for you psu the reccommended output for a given gpu is based on a decked
out system with tons of HDDs/optical drives and again I don't know which rail
the cpu uses but with 21A on 12v(252w and the most important spec for gpu)
the 5v at 34A(170w) and the 3.3v at 28A(92.4w) you obviously wont get all
that at once since it adds up to 514.4w but with 130w gpu, 65w cpu(closer to
100w at 4ghz) 20w HDD(or a lot less) 20w mem, 20 optical(or alot less) mobo
at say 50w fans at 5w x2 and cpu fan at 5w that comes to...

130 gpu
100 cpu overclocked
75 drives, mem, fans
50 mobo
355watts and that is only when everything is maxed at once (not often, if
ever). you still have almost 100w in reserve for more HDDs you probably won't
add because of the relatively cozy fit of your current components plus hd6850.

I'm pretty sure the cpu, mobo and mem use 3.3v and/or 5v and that the gpu,
drives and fans use 12v. If you want to oc the E6800 go into bios and lower the
mem multiplier to match the system clock(E6800 is 10.5x266 but is your mem
really ddr2 400 or is it ddr2 800 with 400 base ddr to 800?). lower to 2/3 of your
400/800 starting clock and begin moving the base clock up about 10mhz at a
time and do a burn in test with prime 95 to check for temps and errors. keep
going till you either get errors or temps your not comfortable with and back off
10mhz. you should get close to 4ghz cpu clock. If you get a decent socket 775
compatible air cooler like cooler master hyper 212+ which goes for $20 US and
free shipping. Hope this helps.


Jul 28, 2012
actually i dont know how well your mobo's g31 chipset or the included bios
support overclocking the cpu(if at all). but finding a better socket 775 mobo
nowadays would likely be prohibitively expensive for your upgrade budget.
same goes for a better power supply. Even a quality antec 380w would likely
be more than enough for your relatively modest system requirements, but it
costs money too. If your mobo can OC, though, try my suggestion.

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011

so the conclusion is to Buy the 6850/6870,Install it on the motherboard,power-up the Computer and see if everything works fine,if it did,i'll do some benchmarks on the computer with different utilities to Test the GPU with my Specs and if i didn't get good results(did not get the GPU to its full potential), the CPU will be the Reason for that(bottleneck),then ill have to buy a new CPU (Quad-core) or Buy a Decent cooler and OC The CPU,Right? and if the GPU had its full potential without doing anything to the CPU then i'll be Fine and wont be having to change anything,Right?
and if after Installing the GPU and the computer wont Power-up then ill have to change the PSU or the Motherboard,Right or Wrong?

*if ill buy a new cooler, will the Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 PLUS or Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP be enough? if not then how about the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO Rev. 2 or Thermaltake SlimX3? Post Your Suggestions & Recommendations please.



Jul 28, 2012
Ok, the 6870 is not an option with your current setup due to a definite lack
of a suitable number of power connectors, but a 6850 is doable. You may
want to download and install the latest version of prime95 and do a torture
test of your cpu and mem with current cooler and settings and see what
temps you are getting. after reading about easy tune you are probably better
off trying to make adjustments in the bios as far as memory ratio, fsb speed
and cpu voltage. I'd like to know more about your ram. maybe power down,
unplug the PSU's power cord and pull out a stick and document what is on
the sticker and put it here. if it is infact ddr2 400 and not ddr2 800 (400x2
ddr) then you may have a hell of a time trying to overclock. it you do have
ddr2 800 then try modifying the mem ratio so it runs at 533 then start upping
the fsb (266x4 quad pumped) by 5 or 10 mhz at a time and torture test at
least 15 min checking for temps and errors. when you get to 333mhz the
cpu should be at 3.5ghz. that is doable without modifying voltage and is
a 25% oc to start. your chip is overclockable but your mobo is likely not
ideal for overclocking endeavors. a p35(performance) or x38(extreme) from
that era would be better, but yours is g31 w/onboard graphics. However...

while the heatsinks look a bit skimpy, your voltage regulators/capacitors seem
built for extremes. forgot to mention if you oc the proc and get errors or temps
over 70c, back off the fsb by 5 or 10 mhz and try an overnight torture test
checking errors or temps. if all is good that is a stable overclock. looking at
various reviews i wouldn't go with the thermaltake or the arctic cooler HSFs
you asked about. What about a Cooler Master Hyper TX3? also if you do get
a 6850 it depends on the game to some extent whether your cpu will bottle-
neck it but you definitely want to try and oc the proc if you can. getting a
core 2 quad may be difficult nowadays and if you cant oc what is the point.
you may be looking at saving more for a more complete system overhaul.

also what country are you in? where are you thinking of buying components?
in a shop? online? a list of your preferred site(s) or retailer(s) would allow us
to better reccommend parts we know will be available to you.

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011

Hello Once again,
from reviews and unboxing videos on Youtube, i Found that the 6870 Require 2x (ONE)4 pin To 6PIN adapter (like: and The 6850 only requires 1x (ONE)4 pin molex to 6 PIN adapter(also like the Picture that i attached as a link),These type of cables that comes with the cards so ill need 2 Empty Molexs to connect with the 6870.but i think you're referring to the two molexs to 6PIN Adapter because each molex can get upto max 60W and the PCI-E Connector requires 75W so 1x two 4 PIN to 6 PIN Adapter Has at least 120W of Power(molex+molex=60W+60W=120W)to work with the card otherwise this will happen(,right or wrong?(correct me if i'm wrong)

About the RAM, Yes its Running @800Mhz,you are Right,so i'll need to OC the RAM to run @1066 right?it'll burn or corrupt?because Once Again iam not n OCer and this is the first time i'll try to OC the CPU.(btw I got 2GB DDR2 "Kingston" Stick and 2GB DRR2 "Transcend Information" stick)

Now about the CPU,The Cooler Master Hyper TX3 you suggested aint available in the shop/online but the ones i suggested( Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO Rev. 2,Thermaltake SlimX3, Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 PLUS,Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP are,and at a decent price) and i heard that the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO Rev. 2 is a great Quality cooler but im not an expert in CPU cooling things so ill leave it to you to decide from the Website that i'll provide you Below which recommended Cooler To select/Buy.
Do you want me to OC/Do the Torture test the CPU With it's stock cooler or after i buy the new cooler? i heard i'll need to Unlock the CPU?How?;and can you provide me a step-by-step Quick tutorial how to change the CPU's/Memory's Clock?

i Currently live in Israel(moved from Europe to Israel) and the prices are higher here because of the Taxes,..etc;I'm going to buy the Components from my Local Computer store(It's name is:Ivory),and if you go to gigabyte's "where to buy" Tab,Ivory Store will appear on one of them;the Store aint far from my home,They also have their Website ( ),you're advised to Translate the Website with Google Translate(from Hebrew to English)and it'll convert the Language into English so it'll be similar to The US-based Computer Websites and easy to understand(this store aint A rubbish store or something, its A respected and one of the most Popular Computer Stores in Israel).currently, I'm Giving you the Components and their Prices from their Online store.(i Converted the Shekel to US Dollars in this Thread so it'll Ease the Picking;You can Convert them,too,By: Price(in Shekels) /4=US Dollars);feel free to Surf on the Website and Suggest Any Component to Buy But also be at a reasonable Price please.
P.S. Another Preferred site: (Most of it in English but you can Translate some Hebrew words to English)

Lastly, i found a Power Supply Calculator ( ),Filled My exact current Specs BUT with the HD 6850/6870 and with The "OCed"CPU(3.5ghz) ;and Set the Capacitor Aging to 15% since i've been using the PSU for Over 2 Years till Now,the results turned out to be:-
with the 6850:
Recommended PSU Wattage - 423W
Minimum PSU Wattage - 373W
with the 6870:
Recommended PSU Wattage - 456W
Minimum PSU Wattage - 406W
*(Note: I'm not Sure about the Capacitor Aging;it said if i've been Using the PSU for +1 years,ill need to Set the Capacitor Aging to 10%-20%, so i set it to 15%[if i lower the Capacitor Aging, the Recommended/Minimum PSU Wattage Will be Less and vice versa]).
So Will My PSU be fine With this Results Above if I Install The 6870/6850 into the Motherboard?

******P.S. There is a All-In-One PC in the store,costs 600$ and it's Specs are Incredible:
CPU:Intel® Core i7 3770 3.4GHz Ivy Bridge w/Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Rev2(can be changed to 3770K)
Motherboard: Asus P8H61-M LX H61 Chip
Hard-Drive: Western Digital 500GB SATA2 / SATA3 7200RPM 16MB(Replaceable for 1TB By contacting them)
Memory: Kingston 2GB DDR3 @1333MHz (Can another 2GB stick be added by Contacting Them)
PSU: FSP 350W Active PFC(Can Be Replaced by Contacting Them)
GPU: Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (Also a GPU Can be Added By Contacting them)

However, i have a rule, i Only buy a new PC Every 4 years(I hold this Computer for like 2 years now,2 Years to go),SO I cant do a Complete Overhaul to the computer Right now, and if my current computer cant Handle Future Games at reasonable settings, then ill have to Replace one of it's Bottlenecking component ,and which is The GPU Right Now, With a new one(Faster/Budget one). :D*****

i Highlighted the Paragraph above with * to indicate that this is only a piece of Info,to let you know that if you seen that pc above, in the wesbite,you can Ignore it,i Know Its Powerful and cheap But iam not ready to Buy a Completely New PC if you advised me to.

Side Note: My CPU is not E6800(2M Cache, 3.33 GHz, 1066MHz FSB), Its E6300 (2M Cache, 2.80 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB)

Please Once Again Post your Thoughts & Suggestions.

Josh West

Dec 25, 2011

Hello, if you read the whole Conversation, The Conclusion was to buy 6850 and not the 6870 because of my CPU.;and by meaning Overclocking, how much do you expect to increase The GHz to? 3.5-4GHz as jtenorj Suggested?; and about the PSU, The thing is,I Just Wanted to Change the GPU only but the to Change the GPU i'll have to overhaul Other components Like the CPU,PSU,.. but i did calculations With PSU Calculator and it turned out that the Recommended PSU Wattage w/ the 6850 is 423W (With the Capacitor Aging set to 15%) and with the 6870 The recommendations was 456W; i have 450W Power Supply so the PSU wont much of Problem With the 6850? If i still need to Upgrade The PSU , Should i Upgrade it to 500W?or Stick with my Current 450W(The model is: RaidMax RX-450K 450W Power Supply)?
and about the Connectors, i got Right now 2 Empty Molex Cables to Connect With the 6850(but i think it Requires One empty Molex), will the 6PIN to 4PIN Adapter that comes with the Card work With My PSU's Molex Connectors because i've seen on Other Forums about Someones PSU's Molex cable Burn from Connecting it With the Adapter to the GPU and almost Damaging all his components(Here is the Picture: ),So Should i Go for It or no? (Post your Thoughts Below Please)
About the CPU, Which Cooler You'd recommend for me?(to make the choice easier,please read the conversation Between me and jtenorj)



Jul 28, 2012
sorry i took so long to get back on here. spent lots of time researching the options
open to you mainly from ivory's site( can't figure out how much shipping might add
to the bill from wellcom and ivory seems to mostly have free shipping and a better
selection of PSUs and coolers) and you should be able to get a decent combo of
new GPU, PSU and cooler for about the same or less than you were willing to
spend on the most expensive card on your list.

No you don't want to use the cheesy adapters and getting a newer better PSU
will alleviate your need to use provided adapters or find suitable ones. I read the
thread of the original poster who posted the pic of his fried adapter cable and
you don't want to risk one or more of your components to catastophic failure.

Why getting win 7 32bit? the hard limit of 4GB includes your 1GB gpu and only
allows access to 3GB or less of your 4 GBs of mem. 7 home prem. 64 bit limits
to 16GB for system mem with GPU allowed above and beyond so that you can
totally use all 4GB of your mem. that your mobo supports.

found a neat user on youtube that has a mobo similar to but not the same as
yours(FUzzyBUnnyBOoties) and the main differences I can tell are you have
aluminum heat sinks where his are copper(copper better) you both have solid
state caps for voltage regulation(good) but he has iron ferrite chokes for it as
well(better, or just market speak?)and he has gbit lan vs. your 10/100mbit.
when he mildly overclocked his Q9300 he added a small fan to the main chipset
heatsink but maybe your 80mm side fan helps there. His mobo can go 450mhz fsb
and over but maybe you can get at least 350 or over. search youtube useing
"overclocking basics gigabyte ga g31m" without quotes and maybe check out some
of his other vids as well. he has es2l where you have es2c mobo.

I do suggest doing some tinkering with your current cpu, cooler, mem and mobo as
is to get some idea of your bios overclocking options and practical limilts. you likely
wont want to overclock your memory but with the auto adjusting that your mobo
may be able to make to automatically loosen your ram timings at higher speeds for
greater stability? You do want to underclock your memory to start by adjusting the
ram ratio so it runs 533 instead of 800(266x2 vs. 266x3). that way as you raise ur
fsb speed your mem will come back in to spec moving up thru 667 back to 800
(333x2 and 400x2). also while only earlier extreme editon intel processors and
current k model processors have fully unlocked upper multipliers, most chips are
multiplier locked as far as raising like above yours of 10.5. however, it is quite
common to set multipliers lower to save power at idle or with light loads as was
the case when fuzzybunnybooties reboots into windows and his normally OCed
Q9300(7.5x433=3.25) was running at 2.6(6x433). if you can drop your multiplier
to 6x then you can start turning up the fsb to see the limits of your mobo (6x333
=2.0, 6x350=2.1, 6x400=2.4, 6x450=2.7 so under your normal 2.8ghz cpu clock).

with a good aftermarket cooler you should get to 3.5 easy with little or no voltage
inclrease needed(10.5x333) and who knows you could get to 4.2 (10.5x400)with
somewhat higher voltages but with them and temps still within reason for a stable
long lasting overclock. as far a coolers on ivory I suggest nothing less than zalman
cnps 9500at for 165 shekels/41.25usd. requires removing mobo to mount backplate
and some gloves to protect your fingers from fins but not entirely sure of thermal
paste quality. the design may possibly aid in cooling surrounding components too.
also nice flat bottom contact with cpu heatspreader. 92mm fan.

The cnps7x led for 180/45 uses push pins to mount(pro easy? con acceptable
mounting pressure?) and has high quality thermal paste. not as good at cooling
surrounding components though. also uses direct touch heatpipes making the
application of paste a little more complicated. 92mm fan.

coolermaster hyper n520 for same price has 2 fans to help cool other components,
flat base, and included paste but mounting is tricky since you tighten up the cooler
to the backplate from the back of the mobo. 92mm fans.

scythe kama cross 2000 same price, back mount, one downward facing fan to help
cool other components, flat bottom, questionable paste. 120mm fan?

then noctua nh-u9b se2 with 2 fans like above but for 195/48.75 has flat base, back
mount, decent paste. 92mm fans.

corsair a70 same price 2 fans, direct touch heatpipes and back mount that hardware-
secrets says performs as well and noctua nh-d14 w/included pastes but somewhat
noisier vs. being about half the price. 120mm fans on a70 vs 140mm fans on noctua.

scythe ninja 3 rev b same price, one fan, massive heatsink surface area wise but not
too tall and many heatpipes. questionable paste, flat bottom, back mount. possible
passive cooler(non OC) or lower rpm fanspeed with ok airflow but quieter. 120mm fan

scythe mugen 3 rev b at 220/55 and similar to ninja. fewer reviews than ninja and
don't know if it performs much better for the price.

finally to top off coolers there are 2 noctuas for 235/58.75 one is dual 120mm fans
and one is one 140mm top down. both perform well for an OCed proc and help cool
surrounding components but the NH-U12P SE2 will be better for a top OC but the
NH-C12P SE14 will better cool your chipset and voltage circuitry. both are flat bottom
and decent thermal paste and have back mounts.

all coolers should fit in your case but perhaps not with the side 80mm fan installed.
your choice will be dictated first based on the price of the other components you pick
to stay on budget, then variously by noise, ease of install/paste application, and if
it helps cool the rest of your mobo. also all fans user swappable except 9500at.

PSU either corsair cx500 v2 for 330/82.50 or corsair gs500 for 360/90. both 500w,
sleeved but not modular with single 12v rail and 2 pcie 6+2 pin connectors. they are
slightly smaller in all dimensions than your psu so will fit in your case and are 80plus
certified. their eps 12v 8pin mobo connectors break in 2 so you get the P4 connector
you need in the corner of your mobo to properly power it without running into your
rear i/o ports. warranty for both is 3yrs parts/labor. both have the 24pin mobo power
connector you need and at least 5 sata, 4 molex and 1 floppy connector. The gs500
costs more for several reasons. it has 1 more sata, 1 more floppy and 4 more molex
than the cx500 as well as a 140mm double ball bearing fan versus a 120mm sleeve
bearing fan. Lastly and probably most important is that while the cx500 builder series
psu has 34 amps on the 12 volt rail(408 watts) the gs500 gamer series has 39A on
the 12v rail(468w). since you will probably want to keep this psu thru a few builds it
is nice the extra amps on the 12v rail will alow for more powerful cpu and/or gpu in
the future if you decide to spend a few extra bucks and go that route. oh and the
gs500 has a blue led that you can turn on or off via a button on the back. and the
cx500 is 4.52 lbs whilethe gs500 is 5.62 lbs or 1.1 lbs/500grams heavier. the weight
of a power supply can give you an idea of the quality of the gut components. over
200 user reviews on the egg for cx500 with average 4/5 egg rating. great review of
gs500 on hardwaresecrets.

sapphire radeon hd GPUs
6790 for 665/166.25
7770 ghz ed. for 181.25
or 6850 for 770/192.50

i understand your feelings about the 7770 but hear me out. If you are going to OC
your e6300 why not your gpu? 7770s are great at it and this sapphire model is no
exception. no this is not the more expensive overclocked version but it has the same
cooler and should go far. using a free download of MSI's latest afterburner software
and tweaking the voltage to at least 1.25 you should be able to get the core to
around 1250mhz or higher and maybe the mem to 6-6.4 gigatransfers per second.
from 1ghz core and 1.2ghz(4.8 gddr5) a 25% core boost and 25-33%mem boost!
granted your bandwidth would be 96-102.4GB/s a ways off from 6870 at 134.4 and
5850 at 128 but I thought i remembered something about the memory cotroller in
the 7000 series getting a 20-25% boost in efficiency(maybe wishful thinking) but that
combined with the efficiencies of the GCN architecture should definitely make it play
like a 6870 or gtx 560non ti. Heck, even hardocp's original review of a lower over-
clocked xfx 7770ge brought the same level of gameplay experience subjectively
compared to both the 6870 and even the more expensive gtx 560ti. Same settings
and even though the 7770 did have lower FPS it still felt smooth at the same level
settings the other cards were at. you know from reading recent gpu articles here at
techreport that average framerate is not the best indicator of actual observable
performance. tack on the fact that recent driver updates from AMD boost performance
substantially across the entire 7000 series line and the picture is even brighter.

this post has gone on quite long and you may already have the version of windows
you were planning to get or have already pulled the trigger on a card but if not I hope
some of this will be helpful to you. also, if you want to quote this, may I suggest some- what hypocritically that you write your response and only toss in partial quote blocks
where needed so the forum page doesn't get impossibly long to scroll thru. just sayin'
like don't reply to me/this exact post of mine per say, but rather use the "add reply"
button at the bottom of the page and then highlight, copy and paste any particular
section(s) of this post you want to address into your forum reply in quotation marks?


Jul 28, 2012
oops, forgot this is toms. while there are certain things a like more than others on the
various tech sites i visit, I prefer gpu reviews on hardocp and techreport. been using
hardocp for gpu reviews for years and recently within the last year techreport changed
the way they do gpu reviews by recording the amount of time cards take to render each
frame. it shows that simple average or minimum frame rates recorded with fraps or the
like may not give you a true sense of how smooth gaming will be on a given card in a
given game. for example one card might take 500ms to render one frame and about 10
ms to render the frames before and/or after it in a given second giving the impression
that its fps in that second was about 50 which most sites would say is pretty good.
another card may render the same game with all frames about 25ms in the same given
second with the appearance of 40fps average. most sites would make the second card
look significantly slower but would you rather have a card that is constantly 10fps
higher than what most people consider minimum or a card that will throw in half second
stutter frames from time to time but reports as having an overall higher framerate? that
card with the 500ms frame destroys the illusion of fluidity. there are two flaws with the
way techreport reviews. one is the use of very short playtimes but is neccessary so
that their frametime graphs stay resonably readable. the other is that like most sites
they use the same setting for all compared cards(so called apples to apples) hardocp
has been doing it different than most sites by actually sitting down playing thru games
for a while and fiddling around with the settings on a card to find its best combination
of in game settings and resolution that "feels" playable. they generally test cards in
about the same price range against each other(not always) to see if they can truly play
a game/s with same settings or if one card may be able to turn up settings/res in a
game and still be playable where another card may not or even need settings/res to be
turned down to get a fluid gaming experience. Granted the subjective analysis used to
determine this is not as scientific as techreport but is more like real users actually play
games on their cards. So I read both(and others just for the heck of it to see if everyone
is reaching similar conclusions or if some sites are wrong like not comparing the right
cards to each other based on price/perf. or not using the latest drivers which can make a
big difference when buying a new card). you don't get a new card that came out months
or years ago and use the same driver it launched with, you use the latest drivers which
can(especially with a major generational GPU architectural overhall) seriously improve
a cards performance compared to when it first launched and may have had a few bugs
successfully ironed out in the meantime.

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