From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

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From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:23 pm

Hello,

I am considering doing an upgrade to the graphics card of my computer. My GeForce 8000GT has served me well for a few years but at last some games are having issues running smoothly.
For example, Metro Last Light at lowest setting (resolution is 1080p though) is still unplayable. Mechwarrior Online glitches when there's a lot of things going on at once.
I am thinking of purchasing the GTX 650 Ti (1GB) because it's priced fairly low (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125447) and I don't feel like spending too much money.
But I am concerned that I won't be really getting much of an upgrade at all since the rest of my system isn't all that up to date and maybe the cards are more or less on par.

Here are my system specs...

Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
Motherboard Model: Giga-Byte GA-EP35-DS3L
Motherboard Slots: 4xPCI, 3xPCI Express x1, 1xPCI Express x16

Two of these sticks
Module Manufacturer: Muskin
Module Model: 991533 (996533)
Module Size: 1024 MBytes
Memory Type: DDR2-SDRAM
Memory Speed: 400.0 MHz (PC2-6400)

And another two of these sticks
Module Manufacturer: G Skill
Module Model: F2-6400CL5-2GBPQ
Module Size: 2048 MBytes
Memory Type: DDR2-SDRAM
Memory Speed: 400.0 MHz (PC2-6400)

Video Chipset: nVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (G92GT/D8P)

Would it be a worthwhile investment in getting the new card? Or would I have to upgrade everything else.

Thank you.
Last edited by moejoe on Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:27 pm

This will be a significant performance improvement and should also run more efficiently. I use a 650Ti and really like it. Something you did not list, which will help determine if you're best served with a 650Ti or something slightly fancier like a 760 is what resolution you like to play games on. It'll be fine for sub-1080p max settings (or 1080p at slightly reduced settings) but will have problems trying to do both at once and is a poor choice for dual displays. Cards don't go obsolete like they used to so going for the good stuff makes more sense, but there's also no point paying a premium for performance you won't actually need.

Eventually you'll want to upgrade the rest of that but fast duallies like the E8400 are still capable of holding their own for most applications. The dirty little secret of software development is threading is hard and developers are lazy so most applications don't make effective use of more than two CPU cores. MWO is a massive bugfest so it's not a good indicator of whether your system has issues.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:41 pm

Don't worry, the cards are not on par. At all. To speak in ballpark terms, the GTX 650 Ti should be about twice as powerful as your 8800 GT. And it has twice as much memory to go with it.

You should be able to play the games you mentioned at 1080p very well, you might even be able to use Medium detail instead of Low. (If that doesn't cut it for you for an upgrade, you might want to try the 660 Ti instead, which is again -- on paper -- twice as powerful as the 650 Ti, letting you play with the highest detail settings in almost all games.)
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:05 pm

Short answer, yes the 650 Ti should work OK with your current system. Its possible your current system won't gain much though.

Up until 9 months ago I was running a system almost identical to yours. I was happy, everything I tried to run worked fairly well. Then my 8800GTS died on me. I picked up a GTX 550 really cheap and it worked but it seemed lacking in some way compared to the old 8800. Then my CPU cooler fan started making noise and looked to be on its last legs. That got me looking around online and then I caught the upgrade bug. Ended up with a i5-3570k, GTX 680, 32GB ram and lots more HDD/SSD storage.

While your Core 2 duo is doing the job OK now, have you even considered upgrading it? If so you might consider doing so now and do it all at once before things start to die on you. I have found that once it starts you might as well save your time and money and not even try to save a old system.

Assuming you can afford a new build I would seriously look at a variation on the Sweet Spot in the last TR systems guide. Pick a case to your choice and a video card, the 650 Ti or for around $50 more consider the GTX 760 to go with that build and you will have a sweet gaming system for around $1000.

Which ever route you take I will caution you to consider a video card with more than 1GB of vram. My 680 has 2GB and I am maxing the memory out with Skyrim. 2GB seems to be the sweet spot right now but I can see where 3 to 4GB would be useful, in my case any ways.
Last edited by Khali on Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:59 pm

I'd say a 650Ti is best with your current system.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:17 am

Right now you can get a Sapphire HD7850 1GB for the same price as that GTX650Ti 1GB after a $15 rebate.

The HD7850 should outperform that 650Ti in all areas:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/778?vs=781

So getting it for the same price is an excellent deal.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:57 am

If you're playing a lot of modern games, you might actually benefit more by upgrading your Core 2 Duo to a Quad. Modern games are CPU-bottlenecked. My own experience has proven that upgrading your GPU will stop yielding results once you hit the CPU limit. Here's some more detail:

viewtopic.php?p=1101768#p1101768
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:12 pm

JdL wrote:If you're playing a lot of modern games, you might actually benefit more by upgrading your Core 2 Duo to a Quad. Modern games are CPU-bottlenecked.

Oh cut the crap. His GPU was outdated 3 years ago. A GPU upgrade is way overdue, the CPU can wait.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:37 pm

I upgraded from a GTS 250 (a glorified 9800GTX+) to a Radeon HD 7850 2GB and I have no regrets. A Core 2 Duo still does "good enough" for single-threaded games like StarCraft 2, but does not do well in situations where multiple cores can be used. I want to say Battlefield 3 and Crysis 3 are part of that that statistic. But yes, even if your performance still sucks, a 650 Ti Boost (don't go with the vanilla 650 Ti) or a 7850 or higher can be swapped into a new system.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:02 pm

Meadows wrote:
JdL wrote:If you're playing a lot of modern games, you might actually benefit more by upgrading your Core 2 Duo to a Quad. Modern games are CPU-bottlenecked.

Oh cut the crap. His GPU was outdated 3 years ago. A GPU upgrade is way overdue, the CPU can wait.

I'd definitely upgrade the GPU first but the Core 2 Duo will hold the new GPU back from delivering on its full potential. I remember upgrading from a Q6600 to a i7-920 a few years ago and the GPU I was using at the time performed substantially better once it was paired with the new CPU.

Edit: The CPU is over 5 years old!

Edit 2: The E8400 gets 1.74 in Cinebench R11.5 when run on both cores. To put that into perspective my 3770K gets 1.93 on a single core. I would definitely consider a new CPU at some point in the not to distant future.
Last edited by End User on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:15 pm

Ok, please ignore this if it's outside your comfort zone, but is that E8400 at stock clocks?

If so, you might want to give 400FSB a try, that will take you from 3.0 to 3.6GHz, and those Wolfdales could generally do that reliably, on stock voltage.

That wouldn't get you to a modern CPU's performance level, but it might be enough to make the GPU upgrade more meaningful.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:14 pm

I wouldn't spend too much on the graphics card with an old processor. The 650Ti is pretty robust at 1080p, the 7790 is pretty similar but uses less power, can be had for only $99 and comes with a free game. Both cards are going to be 2-3x faster than your 8800GT, most importantly the biggest improvement will be in newer, shader-heavy games.

I went from a 3.2GHz dual-core E8600 to a 2.8GHz quad-core Q9550 and noticed a big improvement in gameplay smoothness. Now, Q9550's are still expensive ($150+ on ebay) so not worth looking at, but you can pick up Q8400's for about $50-75. I know the clockspeed is 333MHz slower, but the extra cores seem to help in a lot of games, especially if you have other stuff running in the background like movies/music/torrents/browsers. They also overclock well, if you fancy trying that.

Certainly a new Haswell processor is the best-performing option, but if you can fnd a Q8400/Q9300/Q9400 for cheap you'll get more improvement-per-dollar than dropping $350 on a new CPU/Board/DDR3
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:03 pm

wow, thanks for the many replies!
I agree with, as many have pointed out, that my CPU is very old. I just can't get myself to buy a CPU+Motherboard+RAM combo - especially considering I bought extra RAM earlier this year, also thanks to you guys :) .
Luckily, Chrispy_ mentioned getting a multi-core CPU for reasonably cheap might be the way to go! Or overclocking which I may or may not do... depends on how satisfied I am with a new GPU.

To help me decide I decided to take the TechReport approach and plot all the relevant graphics cards on the value plot. I did this by digitizing the data from three of this website's reviews. The dates of the reviews are given in the graph legend (I am to lazy to find the links again). Some of the data was omitted (due to cluttering) and I only showed up to $300. Since three different reviews obviously have different systems and games tested I had to scale each dataset relative to each other so that the FPS of one set for a particular card matches the FPS of the same card for another set. You will notice that there will be doubles of the same card plotted (but different color) which I kept there so one can see what data I used to link the different reviews. I also had to scale the price of all cards relative to the newest review (since cards get cheaper with time; finding the actual prices online would be best). The GTS 250 is the card that is the closest to the 8800GT so I included it by averaging the data from the September 2012 review and finding the cheapest unused price online. The arrows point to the cheapest card at a given FPS (the "obvious choice"). Finally, I kept the style of the graph the same as in this website so that it's easy to relate to.

Image

GTX 650 Ti Boost seems like a significant enough improvement from the GTS 250 whereas the more expensive cards don't seem worthwhile to pursue for the little bit more in improvement. Do you think this graph is deceptive or more or less accurate? The only thing I see that is obviously off is that the 7850 and 7850 2GB aren't quite on top of each other which may be due to the uncertainty in the FPS or the fact that they were tested for different games or updated drivers. Another comment I have is that error bars (as determined by the standard deviation) would be an excellent addition to these review plots so that one can see which data is significantly different or not.

PS. sorry if the image is too large.

Edit: I updated the graph to reflect current prices on newegg.ca (if it wasn't found I used newegg.com, if not there then ebay.org). The dashed line is a logarithmic fit to the lowest price at a given fps cards. Top-left inset in the graph gives the current estimate of the value (FPS/$) of the card in the current market as determined from the derivative of the logarithmic fit. Green named cards are average valued across manufacturer (PNY, GIGABYTE, etc...) and from two different reviews scaled to fit the same FPS.
Last edited by moejoe on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:27 pm

What display resolution do you use? GPU performance means nothing if it's more than a given resolution can effectively use, likewise there's no point selling yourself short if the card is likely to last 2-5 years (as is likely given hardware trends). To use an extreme example, a GTX Titan will choke on dual 4K displays while even crappy integrated graphics can run 1024x768 at high settings.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:04 pm

right i should have mentioned that i use 1920x1080.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:30 pm

Meadows wrote:
JdL wrote:If you're playing a lot of modern games, you might actually benefit more by upgrading your Core 2 Duo to a Quad. Modern games are CPU-bottlenecked.

Oh cut the crap. His GPU was outdated 3 years ago. A GPU upgrade is way overdue, the CPU can wait.


Not crap, son. Experience. I upgraded my own box from a Core 2 Duo + GeForce 8800GT to a Radeon 6850, and as stated in my other post link, I was disappointed by the upgrade because I still could not get smooth frame rates at any resolution / graphic settings. When I swapped out the CPU, that's when I saw the difference.

The point: In modern / multi-threaded games, a CPU upgrade will guarantee improved frame rates and overall smoothness, whereas a GPU upgrade by itself will still be lacking, and may even make the CPU bottleneck more pronounced!
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:29 am

Nice work on the value graph, but those results don't include the bottlenecking your old processor will cause, and those prices don't reflect current deals at Newegg or Tigerdirect, so it's actually not as useful as it looks.
You get points for effort at least ;)

If you're prepared to drop in a cheap quad-core, it's probably worth going up to a 1GB 7850 or a 650Ti Boost, since you'll be able to take advantage of the extra graphics horsepower with a quad core.

I think on a dual-core (even overclocked), your gaming experience is going to be primarily hampered by a low minimum framerate caused by a shortage of threads. Windows background processes are going to interrupt one core, and plenty of games use two threads or more.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:20 am

Quick check at Newegg:

660Ti 2GB for $215 after $20 rebate and comes with 1 game.

7850's w/2GB start at $145 after $15 rebate and come with 2 free games from a selection of games.

7870 GHz w/2GB start at $175 after $15 rebate and also come with 2 free games from a selection of games.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:46 am

3.6GHz on an E8400 is super simple. I'm not going to argue that a C2Q or i5 would be better, but overclocking is FREE. Try it, then make your decision whether or not you want to upgrade CPU.

Everyone hates Tom's Hardware, but they've got the only relevant link I can find. Read this article on comparing C2D and C2Q at stock speeds and OC'd compared to IVB.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:54 pm

You know, THG or not, that kind of validates what I think what I'm trying to stress:

In five of the eight games tested, the overclocked 4GHz Core2 Duo was still significantly slower than a stock-clocked Core2 Quad, and those can be overclocked too ;)

Here are the game engines for the tests where the dual-cores did okay:
  • BL2 = Unreal Engine 3, as old as the hills (2006), based on DX9
  • Starcraft II = SM2.0, designed for good performance on old hardware
  • Skyrim = Bethesda's Creation Engine, which is new! (but optimised for DX9-level consoles)

Basically, old dual-core friendly games are behind us.
Modern games will break dual-cores, especially given that the next generation of console ports are going to be optimised for eight threads!

I'd recommend not buying a graphics card more than $100 unless you're expecting to move to a quad core in the near future. A 7790 or 650 (non-ti!) does a fine job on every game that still runs acceptably on dual-core processors. I know such cheap cards can't handle modern games very well, but neither can an E8400, - even at 4GHz.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:12 pm

JdL wrote:Not crap, son. Experience. I upgraded my own box from a Core 2 Duo + GeForce 8800GT to a Radeon 6850, and as stated in my other post link, I was disappointed by the upgrade because I still could not get smooth frame rates at any resolution / graphic settings. When I swapped out the CPU, that's when I saw the difference.

The point: In modern / multi-threaded games, a CPU upgrade will guarantee improved frame rates and overall smoothness, whereas a GPU upgrade by itself will still be lacking, and may even make the CPU bottleneck more pronounced!


In your Experience. did you happen to try disabling Hyper Threading? A portion of one of the threads is going to be eaten by thread scheduling and there is always the possibility of data doing a hurry up and wait while the core switches to process the other thread.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:56 pm

mikepers wrote:Quick check at Newegg:
660Ti 2GB for $215 after $20 rebate and comes with 1 game.
7850's w/2GB start at $145 after $15 rebate and come with 2 free games from a selection of games.
7870 GHz w/2GB start at $175 after $15 rebate and also come with 2 free games from a selection of games.
7950's w/3GB start at $204 after $25 rebate and come with your choice of 3 games from the NS:F Gold list.

At this rate, it's not going to take you long to talk yourself into a Titan. :lol:


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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:45 pm

DPete27 wrote:3.6GHz on an E8400 is super simple. I'm not going to argue that a C2Q or i5 would be better, but overclocking is FREE. Try it, then make your decision whether or not you want to upgrade CPU.


I had my C2D at 4.0 GHz before switching to a C2Q @ 3.0. In BF3 in particular, the diff was night-and-day.
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Re: From 8000GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:49 pm

farmpuma wrote:did you happen to try disabling Hyper Threading?


Aw come on... you know that C2D and C2Q's don't have HyperThreading.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:19 pm

I sincerely apologize. Both my P4 and my E4400 have been out of commission for quite a while. It seems I currently have more imagination than memory. [/red face smilie] Two weeks plus of sleep deprivation?
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:18 pm

I updated to the plot (see above post) to include current prices (read edit note for more details). Yeah I know the plot is even more irrelevant for my case because my CPU is bottle necking. But it was amusing to do. :p
Unfortunately there's no try before you buy but I am quite set on the 650 Ti Boost. In a few years when mid range GPUs can handle 4K monitors I'll make my next GPU purchase. Until then I'll probably upgrade my CPU. I'll make a post when I try it out for those who may be interested.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:17 pm

Have you looked at the power consumption and noise levels for the 650 Ti Boost? Talk About a prime example of pushing a chip too far...I'd rather buy a $99 7790 or a $140 7850 2GB.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:08 am

I haven't worked with a representative sample of the current gen, but the 660 Ti I got is very quiet and cool, and well-behaved. If the 650 Ti is loud and hot as reported, it might be worth it to aim even higher, and let the 660 Ti enjoy the easy life.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:36 pm

650 Ti, 650 Ti Boost and 660 (non-Ti) are all the same silicon - GK106.

Reports of hot/noisy or cool/quiet are all down to the cooler and clocks used by a particular manufacturer and there is almost no way to know without looking at a review.

As a rule of thumb, the model is of no consequence - if you want cool/quiet get the reference-clocked model with the fancy dual-fan cooler instead of the bargain-basement "OC Edition" with a wimpy reference cooler.
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Re: From 8800GT to GTX650Ti(1GB)

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:07 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:650 Ti, 650 Ti Boost and 660 (non-Ti) are all the same silicon - GK106.


That's why I put forward the 660 Ti, which is based on a very cut down GK104. It's the smallest/lightest design on the GK104 core, and gets the large and quiet reference cooler from the other GK104 designs, and isn't a huge amount more expensive.
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