Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

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Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:01 am

My video card is apparently toast, but I'm having a hard time selecting a replacement that will be equal to or better than what I had, and that will fit my case and PSU. I use my card mainly for gaming and video playback, but I'm not a hardcore user of either one (e.g. I watch dvds on my PC and the last game I bought was Fallout New Vegas).

My box is an HP Pavilion (m9450f). Complete specs are here (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=120&prodSeriesId=3794173&prodTypeId=12454&prodSeriesId=3794173&objectID=c01556504), but I think this is the basic relevant information:

GPU: nVidia GeForce 9800 GT (http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_9800gt_us.html)
Processor: Core 2 Quad Q9300 (Y) 2.5 GHz (95W), 1333 MHz front side bus, Socket 775
Chipset: Intel G33 Express
Motherboard: Asus IPIBL-LB
Power supply: 460W - not sure about the amps on the 12+V rail (???), but this seems to match the PSU in my case: http://www.itwinkle.com/hp46posu51.html

I'm willing to spend about $200, or so.

I'd rather not replace the PSU unless I absolutely must. I'm comfortable switching out the card, but I'm slightly less confident that I'd get all the wires plugged into the correct sockets if I have to replace the PSU.

My main concern (other than the PSU) is the amount of space in my case. Most of the cards I've seen that I think might be good replacements are dual-slot cards. I do have an empty slot above my current card, so a dual-slot card would technically fit, but there's a little PCB board plugged into the motherboard immediately above it. It's about 2x3 inches and is parallel to the video card; if I were to move my existing 9800 "up" a slot, it would be nearly touching this other board, i.e. within 1 or 2 millimeters. I'm wondering if heat could damage that PCB, whatever it is, if the new card runs as hot as the old one when it was failing (which was hot enough to burn my finger - I have no idea if it always ran that hot, or if it only got that way at the end).

Here's a pic to show you what I mean: http://tinypic.com/r/x4ps88/7

There's plenty of room lengthwise, though, so I could get something longer than the 9800 GT.

I'm sure you guys get these sort of questions all the time, judging by the similar posts I've found elsewhere, but the video card market seems to evolve fairly quickly so I'd appreciate any insight into the current state of play, so to speak. Thanks!
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:12 am

A Radeon HD6670 would be the safe bet, providing roughly equivalent performance and more features at lower power consumption, heat output and physical space.
Or a HD5750/6750 (same card, different names) or HD5770/HD6770 (same card, different names) if it isn't much more expensive.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:07 am

You should be able to fit any reasonable mid-range graphics card into the same PCIe X16 slot that your current graphics card occupies, even those with dual-slot coolers. The ATX specification defines how wide the cards can be so that they all fit together. There won't be any interference with the small card in your third (PCIe X1) slot.

Radeon HD6850 ($160 -20MIR) or HD6870 ($175 -20MIR) would be an excellent choice for a good gaming experience. For the small $15 incremental cost, the HD6870 provides noticeably faster performance and a free game. You could probably also do well with a GeForce GTX560 ($182½ -20MIR).
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:12 am

I wouldn't worry too much about putting in a double width card. As long as it is a shrouded design (as are the hsf's on almost all cards), that little card shouldn't cause interference. The intake fan on a DW card should be somewhere to the left of where that little card is. One thing to note, the hottest parts of DW video cards are usually the back part near the power plug (power circuitry gets hot) and on the backside of the card opposite the chip. My experience has shown that the plastic shrouds do a pretty good job of keeping the scaldings parts shielded from other components and fingers.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:40 am

Coming from a 9800 GT? Pick a card, any card.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:21 am

With approx 200$ ide go with a 560 or 6870 mabey even a 560ti,but if u have any power supply concerns grab the 6870 its the least power hungry of the bunch,ohh and btw i wish people would say what resolution they game at,heck you might have:)Sorry is it just me or does that motherboard and PS look like it was made in 1990 fugly,reminds me of my old nvidia original 300 TI card,dang to savemy life i cant remember the original NV ti card name i had 500ti ahh someone will know.Please refresh my memory!Must be a fragmented sector in my brain,defragging now :roll:
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:44 am

Yeah, a GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6870 for sure. Either one would be an excellent choice. Personally I would go with the Radeon since they have a better track record with AA, but the Geforce is actually a smidgen faster and has those (questionable) nVidia perks.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:54 am

Meadows wrote:Coming from a 9800 GT? Pick a card, any card.

:lol: :lol:
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:17 am

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:Yeah, a GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6870 for sure. Either one would be an excellent choice. Personally I would go with the Radeon since they have a better track record with AA, but the Geforce is actually a smidgen faster and has those (questionable) nVidia perks.


pricing for Radeom 6870

pricing for a GTX 560
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:08 pm

What resolution is your LCD running at?

I'd probably go Radeon 6850 or 6870 myself, but a Geforce 560 might be a good fit too.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:48 pm

Well, don't buy just any card.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:12 am

I didn't even think about my display, but for those who've asked: I have a 24" LCD that I run at it's native resolution of 1900 x 1200. Not sure if or how much the resolution changes when gaming, but IIRC, I was able to play Fallout 3 & New Vegas at or near the maximum settings.

It looks like the consensus is either a GTX 560 or a HD 6870. As far as I can tell these are pretty equivalent cards (at least according to this handy chart I found: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-radeon-geforce,2997-7.html). But I did notice that the 560 recommends a minimum 450W PSU, while the 6870 calls for a minimum 500W PSU. My PSU is only 460W. Are these hard-and-fast numbers, or do I have enough leeway to go with the 6870? From what I've read elsewhere, under-powered PSUs can be a problem for graphics cards, but I don't quite understand why, or even if it's the watts or the amps that are more important.

Also...

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:Personally I would go with the Radeon since they have a better track record with AA, but the Geforce is actually a smidgen faster and has those (questionable) nVidia perks.

What's "AA" and what are the nVidia perks?

And finally, when it comes to actually purchasing one, should I prefer or avoid any particular manufacturer (e.g. EVGA or Sapphire, etc.)? Or is this pretty much a commoditized market where I should just buy whatever is cheapest?



Meadows wrote:Coming from a 9800 GT? Pick a card, any card.

Come on, it's only three years old. ;)

Thank you all for the awesome response and the specific recommendations. I know just enough about hardware to be dangerous, so I appreciate your help in narrowing this down to a more manageable decision-tree.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:26 am

TR's testing shows the Radeon HD6870 uses less power under load than the GeForce GTX560:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20957/9
Your existing power supply should have enough capacity for either of these cards.

Note that the Radeon HD6870 uses two 6-pin PCIe power connectors. See the 5th image here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGall ... 14-102-948
You can see in the 6th image above that Sapphire has included two 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe power adapters in the box in case your power supply is lacking a PCIe connector.

GeForce GTX560 also requires two 6-pin PCIe power adapters. You can see in the Newegg catalog image that Asus has included one 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe adapter in the box:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGall ... deo%20Card

XFX offers the best warranties in the graphics card business. I have also been pleased with attractively-priced Radeon graphics cards from Sapphire. If you go with a GeForce graphics card, EVGA is their premier ODM, but only a few of the EVGA cards carry a lifetime warranty.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:33 am

JustAnEngineer, thanks for pointing out the power supply requirements and connectors in your last post. It prompted me to check my PSU, which, I discovered, has only one 6-pin PCIe power connector. That means I'll have to use one of the 4-pin adapters for the second 6-pin plug on the card, presumably. Can I just plug the adapter into any open 4-pin Molex? and for the adapter that had two four-pin connectors merged into a single 6-pin connector (i.e. the one that comes with the GTX 560 you linked to), do I need to connect both 4-pin leads, or only one of them? (I only ask because the adapters that come with the HD 6870 only have one 4-pin connector).

And just to be explicit so I'm sure I understand what I'm doing, are these the correct 4-pin connectors? See http://tinypic.com/r/aax769/7 and http://tinypic.com/r/rucork/7. These pics are actually of the same connector from different angles, but I have other similar open connectors elsewhere in the case. At least a couple of them seem to be on the same wire/circuit, and they all look like something used to splice together wires (see the second pic, for example), rather than the terminal point of a normal plug-in. That, combined with the PSU specs, makes me think there might be only one 4-pin 12V power source coming from the PSU, which is what makes me think any plug is as good as another. See here (http://www.itwinkle.com/hp46posu51.html) for details, but these are the connectors supplied by my PSU.

Connectors
    1 x 24-Pin Main ATX Power Cable
    1 x 4-FDD Power Cable
    1 x 4-Pin P4 Aux Power Cable <-- plugs into the GPU via a 4-pin to 6-pin adapter
    4 x PATA (IDE) Power Cable
    5 x SATA Power Cable
    1 x 6-Pin Power Cable <-- plugs directly into the GPU with no adapter

Does that seem right, or at least reasonable? Sorry to be such a pain with all the questions - but it seems like the more I learn, the more of them I have. Thanks again for your help (and also to everyone else who's contributed).
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:00 am

A Radeon 6850 should be fine and is what I would buy.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:37 am

The PCIe power adapters should work fine for you in almost any configuration. The one with two Molex connectors is to allow you to split the load across two sets of wires so that you don't overload one with the up to 75-watt demand of the PCIe connection. That's conservative, but probably not necessary (as evidenced by the other brand using only one Molex connector per PCIe connector).

Your existing power supply has enough capacity to handle the load. Each of its two +12V rails is rated at 18 amperes (216 watts).
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:22 am

Understood, and thanks again (everyone) for the info and advice.

I ordered the 6870, btw. So with any luck, my next post will be to report how easy it was to install, instead of another boneheaded question about what plugs into what. :)
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:39 am

A HD 6870 or GTX560 would be ideal, for the budget u have.
I bought a 6870 for my friend's PC this weekend, and he is pleased by its performance.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:28 am

Don't forget to fully uninstall all the Nvidia drivers before installing the new Radeon, and then install the latest Catalyst drivers downloaded from AMD rather than letting Windows install standard drivers. Other than that, you should have no problems.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:26 am

Hi folks. Finally got my new card installed about an hour ago, and so far everything seems good.

It was harder to remove the old card than I expected, but ultimately not too bad once I unplugged some stuff to get the wiring out of the way. I had a brief period of panic installing the new 6870 when I realized that the drive cables were in the way - I thought I was going to have to get a shorter card or a single slot card. But a little quality time with google convinced me that I probably couldn't hurt anything by moving the cables, so I switched them over to the next empty SATA connectors on the board and crossed my fingers. After that, it was a tight squeeze, but the new card did ultimately fit.

Booted up and got the drivers installed and everything seems hunky dory, so far. I have a sense of accomplishment all out of proportion to what I actually did, but either way, it feels good to have my main box up and running again. :)

So one last time: thanks everyone for your ideas and advice, and for helping me with my technical questions. I couldn't have done this w/out your help (although hopefully next time I won't need quite so much of it). You guys rock.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:15 am

And next week you'll be building a box from scratch.

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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:11 am

Captain Ned wrote:And next week you'll be building a box from scratch.


This.

Once you realise how simple it is to actually add/remove things from your PC with almost no consequences (if you have even the slightest bit of ability to follow instructions and use some logic when assembling things) you'll be building your own PC's left right and centre.
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Re: Please recommend a replacement for my GeForce 9800 GT

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:10 am

yogibbear wrote:This.

Once you realise how simple it is to actually add/remove things from your PC with almost no consequences (if you have even the slightest bit of ability to follow instructions and use some logic when assembling things) you'll be building your own PC's left right and centre.

The week after that he'll dabble in water cooling just enough to realize that these rules no longer apply. :P
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