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Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed

justanub123
I have an HP Pavilion Elite e9260f PC Desktop with an NVIDIA GeForce GT230 that has 1.5GB dedicated memory. It plays COD just fricken' great, but it can not last a second in Darkest of Days or Mass Effect 2 on high... Yes, I can play Darkest of Days w/ Anti-aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering off perfectly fine, but with it... Eeew. Just inches along... Ugh, painful. I'm not a graphics-obsessor (or try not to be, since it's a rat race these days) but I want the full potential of the product to be usable... I don't want to upgrade my stupid graphics card, since its so damn expensive with flashy GTX290s and even good ol ATi has gone to makin' expensive DirectX 11 cards the size of 90's VCRs on steroids.

  So... is overclocking safe? Is it inexpensive and/or free? (Whoa, yea, I know, free... what a thought, graphics upgrades being free! If only it were so.) If so, how do I do it? I think I need some software, but I'm a tech rookiee, so the pros' advice is very much welcome. I don't wanna blow myself up overclocking it past its limits. This would also greatly enhance my COD enjoyability, since this is a COD forum anyway.

                                       Plz advise. Thanks in advance. =)
  • 1. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    Horrorman
    I think you would have more luck if you posted this in the PC section on here. On this section there are more console people than PC people...but maybe Firestorm or another PC guy who visits sometimes on here can help you
  • 2. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    214_Firestorm
    First of, its a HP machine so it more than likely has alot of "bloatware" that can be either disabled or removed.
    would need to know everything installed before I could even begin to tell you what could/couldnt be disabled and/or removed.
    But dont bother with that because the following;

    Second, the GT230 is a budget version GPU and are only available in OEM systems.
    The GT230 has even been discontinued by Nvidia.
    This really isnt that bad of a card, not that great either.
    So needless to say if your really wanting everything @ max, you'd need to replace this card with something better.

    Third, what I'm seeing is the HP Pavilion Elite e9260f came loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium
    (You didnt list your OS)
    Win 7 like Vista has alot of settings to make it look all nice and pretty.
    Disable all that crap and your system preformance will improve.
    Cant go much further than that because, Vista or Win7?
    Vista = No help from me because I only ran it 2 weeks before returning to XP.
    Win7 = Can tell you how, but even this I'm highly considering droping back to XP.

    Fourth, NO overclocking is not safe no matter what anyone tells you!
    And the only thing its guaranteed to do is shorten the lifespan of the product.
    In the case of that GPU however, that may not be such a bad thing.
    (If its dead, you wouldnt be so reluctant to replace it! lol)
    If this is something you really want to do however go here first:
    http://www.overclockers.com/
    Warning: Even the pro's fry very expensive equiptment when overclocking.

    Lastly.
    If everything is working well and on high without anti-aliasing/anisotropic Filtering
    (You 'prolly are getting a hint at what I'm about to say? lol)
    Leave AA and/or AF off!

    But you may also be able to override the ingame settings via the Nvidia control panel and still use both while maintaining preformance.
    This is just something you need to play with until you find that sweet spot.

    Also;
    Lowering your screen resolution can and will provide a preformance boost while allowing AA & AF to be used.
    Forget the myth that only 1920x1080 is HD because every available resolution on your PC is in HD!
    So a lower resolution will only serve to increase your preformance,
    and the only time (with games) that lower resolutions will start to look bad is with huge displays (60+ inch)

    Also note: Games are for the most part made for console systems (360 & PS3)
    Neither or none of them really has the guts available to run anything at a native 1920x1080
    So whats happening is games are being upscaled to these resolutions by the video hardware (TV)
    Same thing will happen when you set the resolution to a lower rate on a PC,
    the monitor will upscale the image to fit the screen size.
    (Thats assuming anything other than a multiscan CRT is being used)
    I expect flames from the consolers over the last part in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! lol
  • 3. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    justanub123
    Thanks for helpin me out, Firestorm. And yea, ur prolly right. I shoulda figgered overclocking was a stupid idea. And lol, I will never switch to consoles. PC Power! lol. I'm thinkin' an ATi Radeon HD 4870 would be a good upgrade. I do have some "bloatware" on this comp, but I have perfectly fine performance on COD, just not Darkest of Days and Mass Effect 2. Maybe the bloatware should go, but I don't think I would notice any really huge increase in performance from now. Do u think my comp could run a Radeon HD 4870 w/out overheating and blowing up in my face? I rly wanna upgrade w/ATi cause I have a great history with them and they use up less power than NVIDIA cards ( on paper, anyways) I am also convinced they are ever-so-slightly-cheaper than NVIDIA, since they are kinda behind with software. NVIDIA's PhysX and CUDA cards are ridiculously more expensive than the same card model w/out those features, and ATi doesnt have those. I always was pretty fond of Catalyst too. The reason I haven't alrdy upgraded and shut up about it is because this PC was '09's Xmas splurge, and it might be a little too soon to go out and spend the usual big bucks for an expensive, high-end Radeon HD card. It seems like all good cards are really expensive these days, tho. Btw, I am determined to find this "sweet spot" u talkin about, and its true I have my card set on "Quality" on the NVIDIA Control Panel. Maybe if I set it to low-quality, high-performance I might even get Ambient Occlusion, but that's a battle for another day, I guess lol.

               P.S - I have Win7 and it PWNS. It can bring up processor's power, give u DirectX 11 support, and it's better than Vista, which for gamers was alrdy an ok product. (The processor boost wasn't needed anyway, tho, since I was smart enough to get an Intel Core i5-750 with 2.66 GHz, not a half-assed Core 2 Duo or somethin')
  • 4. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    214_Firestorm
    Overclocking isnt exactally a stupid idea,
    Intels I7 for instance automatically adjust its clock speeds depending on load.
    Any GPU you see with "OC" normally after the model number is factory overclocked.
    Just not always wise for an end user to do, even with plenty of experiance at it you can fry stuff fairly easy.

    Yes your machine would handle the 4870 with ease, but rather than the 4870 check into a Nvidia 9800.
    Last I knew they are a bit more money but prices have droped since then also, and they outpreform the 4870 with ease.
    I didnt look at the output for the PSU thats in your machine, but dont be surprised if you must replace it if/when you upgrade that GPU.
    ATI is also now using CUDA (slightly different name but same basic thing, name offhand is unknown)
    And yes BTW, the 9800 is a better card than that GT230, even though the GT230 is newer.

    Heat is always a problem, but with a well vented case you shouldnt have a problem with any card on the market.
    Didnt look that case over very well,
    but I'd assume because it has an I5 that its well withen Intels specs for that & therefore adequate for any available card on the market.

    Keep in mind that the 2x slot width of the higher end cards isnt due to the size of the electronics involved.
    All that extra space is due to the heatsinks & fan, remove the heatsinks/fan from any & they will fit into 1 slot.
    (Thats not saying to remove the heatsinks/fan becuase yes that will fry the card quick)
    Have a look at factory water cooled cards and compair that with a air cooled version of the same card for an example.
    Was going to add that before but forgot, smaller these electronics get the larger the heatsinks need to be to keep them cool.
    Its a catch 22
  • 5. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    justanub123
    Two questions. 1: Is an NVIDIA GeForce GTS250 a good upgrade from my card? It's relatively cheap at MicroCenter.com and has more power by a fair amount than a  9800GT card, like what u posted.

                   2: Is the GTS250 gonna burn up in my case? It only needs a 450W Power supply minimum (not like I'd ever go with minimum, anyway, but still) and to make it easier, I'll list some specs for ya.

                                                   Specs:
    Intel i5-750 w/ 2.66GHz

    NVIDIA GeForce GT230 w/ 1.5GB dedicated memory

    1 Terabyte hardrive

    8 GB DDR3 system memory

    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


    Computer Model: HP Pavilion Elite e9260f
                                                   P.S - Here's a link to the page on MicroCenter.com where I found the NVIDIA GeForce GTS250 I liked for its price and power:                        http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0326042  BTW, I knew the GT230 wasnt as good as 9800GT, but I think GTS250 is better than both if I calculated correctly lol, and it has 1GB dedicated memory, while its virtual equivalent in power, the 9800GTX+ rarely comes in 1GB dedicated memory form.
                                                    
                                                    Please advise.
    Edit: The reason I didn't post my power supply is because I could not find the damn specs for it. *sigh* Damn comp aint easy tov navigate...
  • 6. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    majorrodriguez

    214_Firestorm wrote:

     

    Overclocking isnt exactally a stupid idea,
    Intels I7 for instance automatically adjust its clock speeds depending on load.
    Any GPU you see with "OC" normally after the model number is factory overclocked.
    Just not always wise for an end user to do, even with plenty of experiance at it you can fry stuff fairly easy.

    Yes your machine would handle the 4870 with ease, but rather than the 4870 check into a Nvidia 9800.
    Last I knew they are a bit more money but prices have droped since then also, and they outpreform the 4870 with ease.
    I didnt look at the output for the PSU thats in your machine, but dont be surprised if you must replace it if/when you upgrade that GPU.
    ATI is also now using CUDA (slightly different name but same basic thing, name offhand is unknown)
    And yes BTW, the 9800 is a better card than that GT230, even though the GT230 is newer.

    Heat is always a problem, but with a well vented case you shouldnt have a problem with any card on the market.
    Didnt look that case over very well,
    but I'd assume because it has an I5 that its well withen Intels specs for that & therefore adequate for any available card on the market.

    Keep in mind that the 2x slot width of the higher end cards isnt due to the size of the electronics involved.
    All that extra space is due to the heatsinks & fan, remove the heatsinks/fan from any & they will fit into 1 slot.
    (Thats not saying to remove the heatsinks/fan becuase yes that will fry the card quick)
    Have a look at factory water cooled cards and compair that with a air cooled version of the same card for an example.
    Was going to add that before but forgot, smaller these electronics get the larger the heatsinks need to be to keep them cool.
    Its a catch 22



    Are you IT? I've always wondered what your Job Description is.
  • 7. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    214_Firestorm
    Correction, for some reason I was thinking ATI's 3000 series with the last post.
    The 4870 would get you a bit better preformance than the 9800,
    And Nvidias 250 is just a rebranded 9800
    But thats all likely a moot point.

    Was just trying to see the output on your PSU which none list,
    But the tag can be seen with newegg's image viewer (just not legible however)
    Removing the right side cover of the case you would be able to see its output specs.
    And what you are most concerned with for the GPU is amps available on the 12 volt output.

    But now the bad news,
    I'm doubting you could get a full length GPU into that case!
    Looks very tight inside, way too tight.
    You would have to do alot of measuring to see for sure if you could get one to fit or not.
    Something just not possible to do via images.

    MajorRodriguez wrote:

     

    Are you IT? I've always wondered what your Job Description is.


    I sometimes wonder what my job description is too! lol
    I'm a US autoworker (GM), former EDS (IT)
    (I had a bit to do with whats under the hood of your Escalade, scarry 'eh? lol)
  • 8. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    justanub123
    *sigh* Ugh, please don't tell me that I can't fit a full-size graphics card in my case. lol, please, this is ridiculous. This comp was bought just like 2 yrs after my laptop cuz the damn laptop had no graphics card (big whooops, huh?) and only an NVIDIA motherboard thingey instead that sucked badly for new games. Man, PC gaming aint easy, is it? I prolly bet from the other HP models I seen that my power supply is 460W, so good enough for graphics card... barely. And if my case can't even FIT a fuckin' upgrade, I might just go nuts. Is there any way Ican kinda... I dunno, expand the case? Or move something around a bit...?
    BTW, r u kidding? A GTS250 is the same as 9800GT? It better not be, for the price difference lol! Sheesh... Will 9800GT last me a while and play good higher-end-graphics-games like Darkest of Days or Mass Effect 2? The NVIDIA recommended card for those is 8800gt, so of course it barely performs at max w/out AA and AF on my card... Oh well, I always knew never to go with the recommended... Sort of... Would it perform better on a 9800gt? Perhaps even (gasp) max?!

                                   P.S - Maybe I need a guide for this ****, I obviously cannot do it real well by myself, as u can c with this lovely mess.

    Edit: I found at MicroCenter.com an NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT for 95.99 Is that a good upgrade? I wanna run my games at max, damn it, lol, and I want a card that can do that without costin like... 400 bucks.  Here's the link: http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0329225   So... If it will work for what I wanna play, then great. If not, I'll pull out some hair and do a bit more digging, I guess. I also found a decent-looking 500W power supply at Bestbuy.com Here's the link:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Antec+-+EarthWatts+500-Watt+ATX+CPU+Power+Supp ly/8545158.p?id=1188560188623&skuId=8545158&st=power supply&cp=1&lp=14   There. It's even green, or so it says, anyway, and 500W may not be much, but I think its enough to run the 9800gt w/out burnin it up.

                                                 Please advise.
  • 9. Re: Graphics: Overclocking For Nubs Expert Needed
    SoylentBob
    Just to be clear...
    You have an actual graphics card and not an onboard chip, right?
    Sometimes those are hard to disable, and you might have to run a two monitor setup (you don't need two monitors) if it lets you.

    Back in the PCI days, they had 90 degree card "risers". You may be able to find something similar to allow a bigger card. You can always get a new case (about $20) and transplant the guts to fit a big GPU.
    Mid-tower ATX at least.
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