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Need advice buying graphic card

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Jose Navarro, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Hello! guys

    I want to change graphic card, so as im not a smartguy hardware I want to know if the graphic card is compatible for my botherboard. What things do you look for in the motherboard and video card?

    My motherboard is MSI CX-7529. Can and use 2 graphic card in this motherboard?

  2. From what I found you can only use 1 PCIE video card. (thing is though, what I found is not exactly the data of the CX-7529 but another 7529, that has 1 PCIEx16 slot)

    What is your current graphics card?
  3. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    Are you sure your motherboard is correct? How old is it? Is it in a system like a Dell or HP? If so, what is the designation of the computer? I ask these questions because I find nothing about this specific motherboard at all. I am usually pretty good about finding information, but there is none to be found about the motherboard you have listed.

    That being said, more than your motherboard information is needed to be able to make an informed suggestion on how to upgrade. Your current CPU, ram, power supply wattage and graphics card information would be helpful. Also knowing what OS you are using would be helpful as well.
  4. Hello Peter, I use 840GS 1024mb
  5. Jim My specs are

    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU 8400@3.00 Ghz
    Ram 4GB DDR2
    GeForce 8400GS 1024MB

    How do I know my PSU without open the case? is there any program?
  6. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    It appears your system is a little older, but still capable. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on a new graphics card though based on what you listed unless you plan on upgrading the CPU as well. With your current config I would say avoid using dual graphics cards right now even if your motherboard has the slots for it. This will tax your CPU quite a bit and yours being just a dual core may not perform too well with today's cards.

    Also, with the amount of ram you have, using more than a single card will also require that you use a 64bit version of Windows in order to be able to see and address all of your ram. Ram available is calculated with both system ram as well as graphics ram, and there is a 3Gb limit for most applications in the 32bit versions of Windows. Your current config shows you to have a total of 5Gb of ram unless the graphics card is one that is built into the motherboard and is using system ram instead.

    As far as knowing your CPU, you are pretty much going to be limited to opening the case and then hoping that the PSU has some indication on it describing it's capabilities. If this is a prebuilt system, you may find that it doesn't list anything. Keep in mind too that some prebuilt systems use proprietary hardware and might not be able to be upgraded. One of the main requirements of a PSU for using SLI or XFire is that it has 2 6 pin adapters to plug into the video cards. If your system doesn't have more than 1, that will give your answer right there.
  7. There is a huge room for improvement from the 8400GS. You don't need to change CPU or anything else, you'll get a big performance boost with buying a single new graphics card. I wouldn't bother with SLI or Crossfire if I were you, especially that the "relatives" of your motherboard only have 1 PCI-E x16 slot.
    - If your 8400GS is an integrated card though, you might want to make sure that you have that 1 PCI-E slot on your motherboard. If it's a pre-built PC there is a chance you not. Also make sure you have enough room for a new graphics card (as that'll be bigger).
    - PSU performance is usually written on the side of the PSU, inside the case of your PC.

    I would put a Radeon HD6770 in that PC. That is much cheaper than the nVidia cards available here on the market. That video card needs 1 PCI-E x16 slot, one 75W 6-pin PSU cable, and it is recommended to have at least a 450W PSU.

    If you want to make sure the PSU is enough, you can buy one too. I bought a 460W PSU for about 10€ back in 2008.
  8. Ive seen the HD6770 and its big dont know if will fit, heres my psu http://[​IMG]
  9. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    Your PSU is only 250W, so way too small for an updated graphics card. You would need to replace it with at least a 400W to 450W PSU in order to be able to do the upgrade.
  10. Xosé Estrada

    Xosé Estrada

    Better a 700W or more :)
  11. A is more important than W, there are PSUs that rate high wattage but offer little amperage to where it counts.

    I have 8800GTS 512MB and it seem to run everything just fine still if being old, it did cost 160 euros when I bought it, don't know what is today equivalent of that, though, year or two ago everything better was quite bit more expensive than what I did pay from this card. Before that I had 8600GT, it was huge improvement to performance and also this one is quieter than 8600GT.

    Just be careful, it is not very clear which card is faster and which is slower, Tom's hardware vga charts have been quite helpful when I did last time tried to find out which car is good and which is not.
  12. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    Watts are amps multiplied by volts. This being said, a 450W PSU would be equivalent to 37.5 Amps for the 12V rail. This is more than enough to handle a single GPU as long as it isn't a high end 68XX or higher one. I would opt for around 600W to go with the higher end cards, but as I mentioned a few posts up, replacing the GPU isn't really a good option unless you replace the motherboard, CPU and Ram.
  13. Note that some PSU makers claim higher wattage by putting more amps to lower than 12V rail, which is kind of cheat to get more wattage, it is generally known that wattage is misleading and one should check that he has enough amperage for all rails individually. Also 12V rail is usually no more than 20A because of safety reasons, so 12V rail is split to several, which can complicate things further.

    At one point there was bit of issues, when there was need to get more than 20A from single 12V rail and new PSU did not deliver more than 20A to 12V, however back then extra power connector was not possible to connect, so it had some dangers, but today I think all gfx card makers are getting it right.

    Also as OP's machine is already those that require more of 12V than those of lower voltages, it will be important to make sure PSU one is buying is not one of those that put more amps to lower voltage rails to 'boost' wattage readings.

    When choosing PSU I like to refer this page, I like my pc silent and more noise means psu heats more and wastes electricity or is too weak, well generally so, many exceptions are to that rule:

    Even thread is old, it has still working link to calculator and some good information of subject, electricity is not getting old with computers:

    Good thing with Core2 Duo is that it is taking quite little power, I have E6750 with 8800GTS and I think my PSU is 385W (I bought it at 2006 can't remember that far), it is under 400W for sure, but it has enough amperage because it has less amperage to lower voltage rails and more to 12V, I did buy PSU when I still worked as Computer technician, soon need to get new one as PSU output decreases with age, so it is now perhaps 75-80% of what it was at new.

    There is just lot more things to consider than just Wattage when choosing PSU, I usually don't even look at wattage as it is just a selling point as is Megapixels with digital cameras, they don't tell anything about how good camera really is.
  14. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    I hate to keep doing this, but again the information is not quite accurate. This very moment you are able to buy PSU's that are capable of putting out upwards of 60A on a single 12V rail. This one is rated at 54A on a single rail and there are larger PSU's out there with single rail design. The reason that PSU manufacturer's moved to multiple 12V rails was so that they could lower the Amps per rail and also limit the draw on a single rail to allow the PSU to perform with more efficiency. This would lower the variance in the fluctuation of power on the 12V side of the PSU.
  15. It was safety reason, actually still is, but some are not perhaps following ATX specification very closely anymore?
    After reading that, I don't think that I would be interested from PSU that is single rail design.