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? on what my system can handle.

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Michael Heikes, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. I am looking into getting a better video card for rfactor 2 and I would like to get away with just replacing that part of my computer. Can I upgrade to something better for rfactor 2 without changing anything else at this time? What video card would you recommend? I am new to the computer scene and I bought this computer like this minus the power supply (400w before). Thank you.

    My Specs:
    AMD Phenom II x2
    Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P
    4gb (2 x 2GB) ram
    GeForce 9800 GT
    700w power supply.
  2. I don't play rfactor2 so I can't say for sure but a 6870 or 560Ti would probably be a sensible upgrade for you. If possible I would look into upgrading to a quad core CPU as well, I would recommend a 955BE (though I'm not too familiar with AMD CPU's tbh). I would also get a cooler for the new CPU for overclocking (not sure how capable that mobo is though).

    I think we can better answer your question with a bit more info from you though:
    - what is your budget?
    - what resolution / settings do you want to play at?
    - are there any other games you want to play? if so at what settings?
  3. I would like to keep it under 200 but a little over that would be ok. I play at 1920 x 1080 right now. As far as any other games go, nothing in the near future. I believe rfactor 2 is probably going to do it for me for a while. I suppose I might take a stab at GTR3 but I wonder if that will be that much of a leap over rfactor when that comes out. Hard to tell right now I guess.

    My main question is can a higher performing video card be to much for the processor I have right now. Will I get the full potential out of either of those video cards if my CPU was still the same? CPU's can be pretty expensive right?

    So from what little I know the GPU is made by a company and all these other companies make the rest of the video card, is that right? Which companies are reliable? It seems like there are so many different brands of the same level card. Or are they all equal and your just paying for the brand or casing and fans around the card?

    Thanks for you help.
  4. Sorry for so many questions.
  5. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    First off, without knowing the speed of your CPU it is difficult to say what exactly would be best to run with it. It looks like it is a dual core, but with it being a Phenom II it should be mounted in a socket AM3/AM3+. If this is the case, it shouldn't be that tough to upgrade the CPU if you need to at any time.

    As for the graphics card, that system should do well with any of the newer cards as long as you don't get one with more than 1Gb of ram on it if you are running 32bit version of Windows. In 32Bit windows you already have more ram than it can handle so having more graphics ram would reduce the system ram by that much more. If you are running 64bit version of Windows then this does not apply.

    As for brand and how things perform, you are right there are several brands out there with the same basic card. The differences could be slight, or non-existant or they could be large depending on what the manufacturer decided to do. They will all perform the same, but there will be things like games included or a graphic port not added or different fans and shrouds. Have a look HERE and look in the price range you are looking at to see what Tom's suggests for your price range. This site has been around for quite some time and I have seen that they are not biased and are not paid by companies to promote product. So if they say it is good, they you can usually believe them. For the brands, find the brand that offers what you are looking for in the card. If you want the crossfire or SLI bridge, make sure there is one listed before you buy. If you wish to get additional software, choose the product that has the game or what ever you are looking for. In the end performance is going to be about the same regardless of brand, and from what I have seen, pretty much all companies are good with their support at the present time.

    Finally, as to how the games will perform, there are many different factors that will determine this. The CPU, ram, GPU, system software, game software and internet speed if it is an online game. Game performance is usually linked to a single core of multi-core systems at present, but there are games that can take advantage of all available cores. With this being said, the faster a single core on the CPU is, the better the games will like it. GPU performance has a large effect, but going with crossfire or SLI may not change how the game performs due to issues with SLI and crossfire. On single card setups if you have 64bit Windows the options are large, but 32bit Windows has some very large limitations so be careful.
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Thanks Jim for all that info.

    The invoice for the computer says AMD Phenom II x2 3.1 GHz Socket AM3 Dual - Core Processor.
    I am running a 64bit version of windows.
    Cable internet 60gig down 10 gig up.
    4gb of ram right now, and it does look like I have two more slots for ram. Now can ram effect anything in a bad way? What I mean by that is if I were to fill those two open slots with two more (2 x 2gb) would that effect the system at all?

    Wanting to upgrade just for rfactor 2 and lets say GTR 3 as well. I don't think there are any specs on GTR3 yet but I don't think it will be too much higher then what rfactor's requirements are but who really knows right now.

    So am I good on the speed of the CPU and having the 64bit version of windows to run a 1gb card?
    I have seen crossfire and SLI bridge before and I have no idea what that is. Is that something that connects two video cards together, just guessing?
  7. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    Jim, you are the best!. I don't have to ask questions anymore. I just look for your posts for they are so comprehensive.:)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Danny Asbury

    Danny Asbury

  9. Mike, both ASUS and EVGA are great manufacturers, however those are different cards. The ASUS card you linked is a GTX 560 and the EVGA is a GTX 560 Ti. The EVGA has more cores.

    I would split the difference in price with this
  10. What does the "Ti" mean?

    Since ram is affordable I am going to pick some up as well when I pick a video card. I have 4gb (2 x 2gb) right now. If I were to get 4gb (2 x 2gb) more and use up the other two slots would that have a negative affect on my system? I was reading somewhere online that using all four slots is not as good as only using two. So if that is really the case should I get 8gb (2 x 4gb) or just get 4gb (2 x 2gb) and have all four slots filled up. If I do go the route of filling up all four slots will all the slots have to be filled up with same type/brand of ram?
  11. The Ti means that the chip has more shaders and is therefore a better card. Very confusing of Nvidia to do it this way, they also have a 560Ti with 448 cores (instead of 384) they just call them 560Ti 448 cores.

    You don't need to get RAM of the same size/brand but if you mix frequencies they will all run at the lowest. If you bought 1600MHz and you have 1333MHz installed they will all run at 1333MHz. You can put 2x2GB or 4x4GB in the other 2 slots it doesn't matter.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. thank you.
  13. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    The only thing that is going to happen in a negative way by adding ram in the other 2 slots if the ram is the same as the original is that you will use a little more power, and it will have a very very slight impact on system performance. The impact is so slight you will never see it unless you have specialized test equipment connected to the computer to watch for it. As glight has mentioned though if you have slower ram in the system already and install faster ram, all of the ram will run at the slower speed. This is the reason that most folks only use 2 at a time.
  14. Thank you.
  15. Well they had a deal on some RAM today so I picked up 8gb (2x4gb) and I will just take out the 4gb I have in there now.

    Then I went with the EVGA card I was looking at earlier. It had the best reviews and a good warranty so I spent a little more.

    So in a week or so I should have it all and hopefully it arrives in good condition.

    Thank you all for your help on this.