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  1. #1
    Joined
    Feb 2002
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    32

    Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I'm looking to upgrade my video card. I'd like to run Battlefield 3 at 1680x1050 smoothly on the lower settings. I'm also hoping to run Crysis 3, Black Ops 2, and some other future games on lower settings (though I know this will be less likely as time passes ).

    I currently have a Galaxy 8800 GT PCIe 2.0 video card. I've got an old Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 mainboard with a 3800+ (edit) X2 dual core CPU. The board has a PCIe 1.0a slot, which currently hosts the 8800 GT without issue.

    I was thinking of upgrading to either a Radeon 7770 (PCIe 3.0), Radeon 6850 (PCIe 2.1), or Geforce FX 560se. I'd like the Radeon 7770 in particular, since it only has an 85 watt TDP. I know the PCIe standard is supposed to be backward compatible, but I'm still worried about the newer cards working with my board. Has anyone out there successfully run one of the above cards, or a close family member (7850, 6870, 560 ti etc ) in the Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 board?

    I've got a Corsair 450 watt power supply, which has 2 PCIe power connectors (I've read its internals are used for 500 watt power supplies from other manufacturers).

    I know I'm more CPU bottle necked at this point, but I don't have the money for a full CPU/board/memory upgrade right now.

    The system hosts 2 pci usb controller cards, a pci Soundblaster Audigy 2 soundcard, and four hard drives, two SATA and 2 IDE. One of the SATA drives is currently working intermittently since the system experienced a brown out; with all drives enabled, the system will soon hang, though I can use the system fine with the problem drive disabled, and boot into the problem drive with the others disabled. I don't know if the brownout fried one of my SATA controllers, something else on the board, the drive itself, or my power supply. This is an additional concern with upgrading the video card, as I'm afraid putting a card with two high of a power requirement into the system may break the power supply or fry something else

    Thank you for your advice ahead of time.
    Last edited by clysyk; 08-02-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    32

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I forgot to mention that I had a 3800+ [B]X2[B] dual core Winchester Athlon. I know that doesn't make much of a difference in speed. If I were able to get a 2.8 GHz Opteron or FX57, would I still be CPU bound with the 8800 gt? If I chose to upgrade later, would any of the cards I mentioned earlier work with the current board? I know they'd be overkill, but I could always pull them to another machine when I upgrade eventually.

    I agree the CPU would make the most sense for the upgrade, but I've never replaced a CPU before, and I'm fearful that I may destroy my only gaming PC in the process if I mess it up

    Thanks again everyone for the advice.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Auckland
    Age
    35
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    30,892

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    The cards you mentioned earlier should work with your current motherboard. Testing required to make sure. Your system seems to meet the minimum system requirements for Battlefield 3 as it is. Any new parts can be used for a more balanced system later when upgraded/replaced. I think the minimum PSU requirement for the 7770 is 450W.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Sep 2002
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    5,287

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I doubt power requirements would be an issue since the 7770 uses less power than the current 8800GT.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Feb 2002
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    32

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I had originally planned on upgrading my mainboard, cpu, and memory at Christmas, instead of upgrading the video card, but I was able to bump my upgrade schedule ahead. My wife wanted a Ninja blender and a rice cooker, so I was able to upgrade early. Yay!

    I got the following parts from my local retailer Memory Express. Prices are in Canadian dollars. The Canadian dollar is worth a little more then the American Dollar right now:
    AMD FX-4170 Processor - $122 (after 125% price difference beat against Directcanada.com
    Asus M5A97 R2.0 AMD 970 Motherboard - $96.82 (after 125% price difference beat against Directcanada.com
    Kingston HyperX blu 8GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (2 x 4GB) - $29.99 (sale price, got it a week ago today before sale ended)

    I also splurged and paid $26 for a 2 year instant in-store replacement warranty. I know most of the time this is a waste of money, you can RMA the parts yourself and you get extended warranties with credit card purchases, but I bought it mostly for convenience and piece of mind. Given the cost of the parts, $26 seemed a reasonable price for this.

    The shop puts the board, cpu, and memory together and does a basic function test for free when you buy all three parts together, so that simplified things for me

    I swapped in the new parts over the weekend, and now Battlefield 3 runs very well, albeit on lower settings. I was able to run on ultra, but the frame rate was a bit choppy with my old 8800 GT. Still, I had a lot of fun and am very happy to run it. I stuck with playing 64 player team death match on foot, and enjoyed the novelty of actually seeing who was shooting me and who I was shooting at

    Using the Windows 7 Sysprep tool, I was able to put the system in out-of-box mode prior to swapping the hardware. This saved me the trouble of doing an OS wipe and program reinstallation. I still backed up my user profiles and my other critical files. I'll probably do an OS wipe later, but I just wanted to worry the hardware this time.

    I was able to get an old case, power supply, DVD burner, and video card from my work. I combined the above components with my old motherboard, CPU, RAM, and my old IDE drives (now unusable without an adapter with my new board) into a backup/spare machine. I even had an old XP installation on one of the IDE drives, and with a video card driver update and installation of the driver for the onboard sound driver, I had a machine read to go

    I know Piledriver is coming, but the upgrade had to come now, and within a $250 budget. Also, the FX-4320 specs wise doesn't look much better then the 4170, and even if the FX-8350 were available today, I doubt it would be in my budget. Budget also precluded me getting a quad-core intel chip, as the least expensive quad core is is $179.99 for just the chip! I also thought about getting an FM2 processor, but the onboard video is still inferior to my GPU, and the processor and full atx motherboard were both more expensive with a slower clock speed. I could have gotten a 990 board, but that would again be more money, and I'm not planning on crossfiring/sliing in the near future (are those word? you know what i mean )

    To get back to the original point of this thread, I probably will still perform a graphics upgrade at some point in the future. I'm thinking I'll see what the price of a Geforce 650 TI or Radeon 7770 are fetching around boxing day. Actually, I can think about a 7850 or 660 if the price is right, now that I know I have a 550 watt power supply

    Thanks again everyone for your help and advice in my upgrade odyssey. As this thread has changed from a video card upgrade, if an admin feels it should be moved to a different section of the forum, please feel free to do so. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Joined
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    23

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I just wanted to share with the world, since this is one of the forum posts I came across that contained the information I was looking for. I have an Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 and I was tired of using my PCI Express v1.0 video card and was wondering if the nVidia Geforce GT 640 was compatible since it was a v3.0 card. It turns out it works with no problems at all.

  7. #7
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    32

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    Quote Originally Posted by blueboxguru View Post
    I just wanted to share with the world, since this is one of the forum posts I came across that contained the information I was looking for. I have an Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 and I was tired of using my PCI Express v1.0 video card and was wondering if the nVidia Geforce GT 640 was compatible since it was a v3.0 card. It turns out it works with no problems at all.
    Glad you found this helpful. You should also be able to upgrade further to a Radeon 7750 or Radeon 7770 if need be, but you're probably CPU limited for newer games as of now, like I was. Good luck with whatever future upgrades you may have.

  8. #8
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    32

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    One more question in regards to a future graphics update:
    When I put in the new CPU/motherboard/RAM, I put Windows 7 in out out of box mode before doing the swap, which worked fine. In the case of an upgrade to either an Nvidia card, or an AMD card, would uninstalling the old video card drivers be enough, or should I again put the system in out-of-box-mode to ensure a clean driver installation? Thanks!

  9. #9
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    32

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I'm thinking of grabbing a Zotac Geforce 650 TI video card from my local supplier for $115 (American and Canadian dollar is about the same right now). I missed a $100 yesterday on a HIS Radeon 7770, but I could also get that fro $120. Is either card a worthwhile upgrade to an 8800 gt? I'm limited to around the $100 mark for my card budget. Are there any more budget cards on the horizon, like the GTX 655? Does anyone expect prices to drop further by Boxing Day (day after Chrismas) which is usually better then Black Friday for sales up here in Canada)? Thanks!

  10. #10
    Joined
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Vvardenfell
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    53
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    10,805

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    There is no way that prices are going to drop between now and Boxing Day, because manufacturers are looking to the presents market. Prices never drop on anything at this time of year. I'd say yes, both cards are a step up. The 650 certainly is.

  11. #11
    Joined
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    32

    Re: Vid Card Upgrade for Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 motherboard

    I bought the $115 Geforce GTX 650 TI on Monday and installed it on Friday; its working well. My 3dMark Vantage 3d score increased three fold from the 8800 gt (3dMark 2011 would not run on the 8800 gt).

    I uninstalled the drivers, and ran driver cleaning software in safe mode, just to keep on the safe side. There's been no sign of system instability since I installed the new card.

    At 1680x1050, the Skyrim settings checker bumped everything to high, and it seems to be working quite well. I've uped the settings of Battlefield 3 to Ultra, and notice a wee bit of slowdown rarely, but it is still very playable. I suspect for most games it would work at 1080p resolution quite well, so I'd recommend this card for those looking for a good card at a moderate resolution with a single monitor. I don't know about $150, but I think at $115 this was an excellent value. As noted by the above poster, I suspect the price well drop again following Christmas.

    Thanks again for all the advice everyone.

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