New graphics card or new system?


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Mother board : Abit IP35 Pro
Graphics card : Geforce GTX275
Processor : E8400 3.0Ghz dual core
Memory : 4 Gig ddr2
Monitor : 1680 x 1050

Is there any point changing to a new graphics card using the current cpu?

The motherboard will take a quad core, but not PCI Express 2 only PCI E 16.

I like the idea of just being able to swap out the vid card for something faster.
I dont like the idea of taking out the MB to get at the bolts to the cpu heat sink.

Any sugestions?
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I would personally get a cheapish CPU cooler and try overclocking your CPU firstly. Have a read of some guides. You should easily be able to get to 3.6GHz (perhaps even with the stock Intel cooler) and with a reasonable cooler could push to 3.8GHz. The Abit IP35 Pro was a very good motherboard when it was released and coupled with a decent cooler you could get to around 4.0GHz if your lucky. Overclocking will essentially reduce the bottleneck that upgrading the video card would introduce.

Your current resolution shouldn't be taxing to any new cards. I would however not bother witht the GTX560 (it's essentially a rebranded and slightly overclocked GTX460) but consider the GTX560Ti for only a few £££ more or the HD6870 for a bit less.

NVIDIA provides drivers for Vista 64-bit, just go to their website and download the relavant ones from there.


Active Member
Ok, I took your advice, picked up an Asus GTX560ti DirectCU11.
The cpu is now clocked at 3.5GHz, but not that easily, reaching about 58c.
Not sure if it's worth going further, since the processor is running about 90-95% in Farcry.
With a slight boost on the graphics card they should be evenly matched, at least in this game,
dont have anything else to try right now.

Thanks for the advice.


Active Member
Just one thing to add.

I had a look at the heatsink on the cpu, it was full of dust.

Cleaned it all up, now the cpu is doing 3.6GHz at below 50c :)

Not sure how much faster it will go.

The new graphics card is way quieter that the old one too.

The upside of this is when in 2d mode the pc is now almost totaly silent.

Very happy :)


Good result. 72ºC is the max safe temperature but ideally you don't want it going over 60-65ºC. Going from 3.6GHz to 3.8GHz sounds like it should be fine but pushing to 4.0GHz might just be a bit too far.


Active Member
It seems to run fairly well at 3.8GHz, but is only stable in crysis at that speed if everything else is shutdown.
That was also the case when it was running at 3.6 the first time, before changing voltage settings.

It's currently running stress test on the GPU, looks stable at 950MHz, up from the 822 default.
But it sounds like a hair dryer, once the GPU temp hits 72c, the fan goes nuts, heh :)

It's actualy quite good fun to play with.

There's a copy of farcry 2 in the post, is that likely to push the system more?


Not bad at all. Far Cry 2 is a pretty old game and certainly won't push the system harder than Crysis (pretty renound for how hard it works the CPU). Yeah overclocking can become quite addictive, always trying to push it further and harder. Is that 72ºC with the GTX560Ti or the GTX275?


Active Member
That is with the new card.

The final overclock the system will do is about 3.7GHz

The vcore for the CPU hardly raised any more regardless of how high it's turned up in bios. I think I read about that somewhere, Vdroop.
I've no intention of doing the motherboard mod for that.

The memory will run at tight timings with the CPU at 3.7GHz, and no higher.
So that looks like a good place to stop. :)

Crysis is so much better this time with maxed out setting. :)

EDIT: CPU @ 56c, cpu FAN @ 1260rpm, the fan was used to keep the noise low.
Is the CPUID Hardware monitor acurate for voltage mesurments?
Would it be worth putting a faster fan on the heat sink, and increasing the voltage in the bios way up? Harware monitor is showing lots of head room for more voltage compared with the max chip voltage.
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Active Member
Would it be worth putting a faster fan on the heat sink, and increasing the voltage in the bios way up? Harware monitor is showing lots of head room for more voltage compared with the max chip voltage.

No - not without checking!

Do not put the voltage too high or your CPU will die. I can't remember the guidelines for your CPU off the top of my head but I don't think you want to run it over around 1.4V... but please check that figure as I've not had a C2D for a while.

Your best bet is to look for overclocking reviews on google ((I think anandtech and tomshardware both did them) for your CPU and check their guidelines for 'safe' overclocking voltages.

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