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Need to replace a GTX460 in an old computer

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NewbieOneKenobi

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
Hi!

Here's the facts:

1. My computer is an e8600 CPU (lapped, mid-range aftermarked cooler, box-shaped, low-profile) with an Asus P5Q-E mobo, 8 GB (4X2 GB) DDR2 @ 800 MHz (A-DATA Vitesta), Samsung F1 HDD (probably a low-rotating SATA2 drive), OCZ ZS 650 Watt PSU (46A/550W on the 12V line according to specs; seems to be an unsplit line, as in there's no 12V1 and 12V2, just 12V).
2. My graphics card was a GTX 460 (the Gigabyte version with twin fans) that seems to have sustained some damage during a reset after system crash. I've reverted to a Radeon 4850 with Accelero + 12 cm fan.
3. Stability wasn't perfect on the nVidia, but crashes requiring a reset were extremely rare. It was mostly lag and stuttering until the graphics driver recovered. By contrast, the ATI driver usually can't be relied on to recover. (In the past, I had different results with different driver releases, from either manufacturer, including near-complete stability and/or recoverability with the Radeon.)
4. There are definitely some problems with the power grid in my apartment. It's an old installation, and older devices (without all the protections) had much more problems before.
5. My PC case is a big black iron oven from Chieftec. It's so cool and the airflow is so big that you can't put your feet next to it when typing or you'll end up with a cold. Temps are usually quite good. But I still suspect the cooling inside the case is bad, for some reason. It's a midi tower, therefore an Accelero heatsink with a normal 12 cm fan on it means the fan is like 5 cm/2'' above case floor (currently set to exhaust, am thinking about flipping it to intake).
6. I have a low-profile PCI-E soundcard very close above the GFX card, preventing exhaust air from the CPU cooler from whipping the GFX card on its back (or at least with regard to a large part of the surface).

So far I've been led to think that temps, air flow and electricity problems are the root of my occasional problems with GFX crashes (and more so on the ATI 4850 than the nVidia 460). Hence I'm tempted by the GTX 960's relatively low power requirements. However, I'm put off by its 128 bit bus and some other such problems, as well as the fact that the slightly cheaper Radeon R280X is actually faster (but hogs more power).

I'm also tempted by the GFX 750ti's even lower power requirements and its 60W TDP (yup). But I don't actuallym fully know what TDP really means for me here. But I'm put off by the fact that it costs only a little less than the 960 or 280.

Old (and used) ATI 7950 and 7970 cards can be had for relatively great prices here.

Here = Poland, so can't rely on price proportions from the US market. Things are really different here (as well as much more expensive in general).

The 960 is the most expensive of all listed, but a used 960 can be had for just about the same price as (or a little more than) a used 280X, 7900 series etc., which are all similarly priced. 750ti and R270 cards tend to be a little less expensive (up to 33% in the most extreme cases) and are similarly priced to each other.

Curiously, used GTX570 cards seem to be only a little more expensive than used GTX460 cards and a lot more powerful. But also a lot more power-consuming, which is another big concern for me.

... And I'm kinda reluctant to buy old tech like that, but at the same time I know I'm not gonna be playing DX11 games on this rig (DX10 is challenging enough as it is). Shaders, support, whatever.

I don't have any preference for ATI or nVidia. My priority is no crashes from the card and no awful vibrations from the cooler. Silent operation when not actually gaming would be great; silent gaming would be even better.

Can't upgrade the PC any further. Can't replace it right now, as I have some urgent expenses with higher priority this year and the next.

I also have a second 4850 card (Gainward, reference-style cooler), but Crossfire gave me BSODs right away in 2012 or 2013, when I last tried; should I try again?. Could be a bit of a problem fitting all the cards in and especially with the Accelero and big fan.

Usage background: As a translator by occupation, I work with some heavy-duty text editors but no video or graphics. Games I play tend to be 2012–2013 releases like Starcraft 2, Shogun 2, Crusader Kings 2. Might want to play some newer strategies or RPGs though. It would be very important for me to avoid crashing when playing ladder/ranked games in Starcraft or anything else multiplayer with a ranking, and to avoid frequent system resets.
 
OP
N

NewbieOneKenobi

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
Update:

Basically torn apart between older and newer (especially for Radeons), nVidia and ATI etc. in the mid range (but also the slightly higher): nVidia's GF 570 ti vs Radeon 270 vs 7850-7950, or even the occasional cheaper GF GTX 960 or used 770, which is slightly more expensive than cheaper Radeon 280X cards

I'm a bit wary of used nVidias, though. I've had ATI cards with poor support or even poor design and suspected damage, but I've never had a Radeon just die on me. On the other hand, my GTS 460 survived only 2.5 years, and years ago my 7600GT died during warranty. The ATI HD2600XT which I got in exchange still works in a computer that's always on, in office applications, after many years of hardcore gaming; currently, I'm using a spare old HD 4850 of which I wasn't even the first owner. This kind seems to form part of the same larger picture with how nVidia ends up using cheaper components, 128-bit buses etc. Hence, I'm afraid of mid-range nVidia cards. I suppose a used 760–770 or 660–680 could actually not die on me as fast as a new-in-box 960 or 570ti.

Next, still power issues, or rather power intake and wattage dumped into the case both. The little 750ti really looks attractive with that low 60 TDP, I suppose a full-sized cooler should keep it cool and stable, which is a must for me for ranked multiplayer games. Otherwise probably too little upgrade from the dead 460, isn't it?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
So many threads about this system!

Anyway, I would rock the 960 as well because its a better 1080p gamer than the 750Ti.

If I was you, with your crappy power in your house, I would get a UPS and see if that stabilizes things before you go off buying cards. It could help, then again it couldn't.
 
OP
N

NewbieOneKenobi

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
So many threads about this system!

Sorry. I went a bit OCD about asking the questions in the right places. I can never find the right balance between either thread spam or an omnibus thread. I'll try to improve my ways.

Anyway, I would rock the 960 as well because its a better 1080p gamer than the 750Ti.

Thanks. Yeah, 1080p is a must for me. Native resolution on my screen and all. And AFAIK the 960 SLIs whereas the 750ti does not, and with my PSU I could probably add another 960 at some point, I guess. What about used cards, though? — 7870XT Tahiti cards can be had for 60% of the price of a new GTX 960, as well as other higher-end ATI 7000 series cards, typically, and new 280X Radeons also tend to be cheaper than the GTX 960.

If I was you, with your crappy power in your house, I would get a UPS and see if that stabilizes things before you go off buying cards. It could help, then again it couldn't.

My neighbour did that and has been all the happier for it. Yeah. I guess justify it as a work-related expense too. I'm also going to either buy a new case or fool around a bunch of forgotten fans I found today and get some better airflow in the hotter places.