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Thread: Go cheap or go BIG?

  1. #1
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    Default Go cheap or go BIG?

    That is the question.

    My system is in my Sig and sys drop down. I am looking to upgrade the graphics. I was looking to SLI. Currently only running a single 8800GTS 640mb and was maybe going to buy 2 8800GT 512mbs for 90 bucks since as a single card is still better then mine. I know my CPU is going to be the biggest bottleneck in almost any gfx upgrade, is a new gfx card like the GTX 460 1GB going to be worth the investment until maybe this time next year when I can then do the board and cpu/ram comfortably?

    I'm not looking for the answers to say, why not wait until next year. I was planning to build a new system with an i5 or i7 but now just looking to keep costs somewhat down to get more bills paid and still have fun gaming on the newer games.

    Just played Crysis 2 Demo on lowest setting (Gamer) and it was playable but choppy. I am willing to bet my CPU is causing issues, but at 150ish for even the Core 2 Quad, am I going to see that investment returned if I get a gfx upgrade too?

    Just a core 2 quad and 2 gtx 460's is about $530 on the egg. I was able to get the gts/c2d to last the last 3ish years, is the cost worth the upgrade or do I just look at 1 460 and a budget i5 build?

    I know there is 2 cards on ebay right now and none on my local craigslist but I am guessing the cards might sell for more then I am really willing to pay for a card this outdated. If I were to get the 460/s I would probably run the 8800 as the physics unless it won't be needed with the power of the 460's ..

    I am considering SLI 460 because it would be a huge increase in performance, little more future proofing then my 8800 was and is about $40 (before any rebates applied) cheaper then a single 480 card with significantly more performance too.

    Should be updated now, but I am running win xp 32bit (yes i know i can't use all the ram available now). Will be getting win 7 64bit soon. Also, I would've liked some water cooling, but not sure that can be an option now (if SLI'd) after seeing the cost of the block for the card. I would not remove the H50.

    *update*- after looking at some liquid setups, that option isn't available anymore.
    ~100 for a Koolance GPU block
    ~129 for the Koolance Res/Pump/Display
    ~20 for compression fittings
    ~10 for hose
    ~70 for Black Ice GT radiator/fittings

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  2. #2
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    If you decide to get rid of your 8800, let me know. Mine needs some company...

    BTW: Your biggest bottleneck WILL be your GPU then the CPU. I still game on my system, but the GPU is now showing it's age.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  3. #3
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    From personal experience, I can assure you; a nice C2Q is still a very capable CPU. I have a Q9450 and have yet to see it struggle on anything.

    On the GPU front, I have two GTX260's with full-coverage waterblocks that I'll be looking to sell soon, once I confirm that the second one works (I'm pretty sure it does, just want to make sure before I sell it). I'm looking to get $250 for the pair. Also, I have a Black Ice Extreme III for sale for $50. Unfortunately, I can't help with the compression fittings, but I could throw some nice barb fittings in for a good price. Let me know if you're interested.

    For a pump, there are other, cheaper, better (imo) options. Or, you could probably find someone on the board here looking to sell a pump.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  4. #4
    rawrnomnom diluzio91's Avatar
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    lol... that gtx 260 was working when i passed it along!
    Not dead yet

  5. #5
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    Quote Originally Posted by diluzio91 View Post
    lol... that gtx 260 was working when i passed it along!
    Yeah, that's why I'm pretty sure it's working; I just haven't actually gotten the rest of my system working yet, so I haven't been able to confirm.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    OK, I may be getting persuaded into getting 2x 460's and skipping on the C2Q and seeing how that is. You guys are saying that the GPU is the main bottleneck in my current system but that would change with the new cards. But the new cards, if I remember correctly, are much more efficient at taking the main load of the graphics work now compared to 3yrs ago. Does that apply for Games as well or was it just movie playback (avi, mpeg, dvd)?

    Do you guys think there would be any performance increase to run the 8800gts as the physics proc? If not, i might have one to sell you Airbozo.

    While those 260's are really tempting, if I'm going to make a jump, I think I will make the whole jump.

    The compression fittings just seemed like a good choice, but aren't required. I don't know what I would have room in my case for a 3x 120mm rad. And yes it would have to go in it. I wouldn't feel comfortable traveling with the hoses exposed to snagging. I'll have a look in the bay and see if maybe I can get the rad though. If I can get a good loop for cheaper then I found, it might be an option although, it is more for looks then performance since I have only had minimal overclocking exp. and currently have everything at stock.

    On Backup:: CPU- Q9300 Stock HS/F :: MB- Intel board :: RAM- 4 GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 (2x2GB) :: GFX- 8800GS HDD- 320GB OS; 1x2TB Storage :: ROM- DVD-ROM :: PSU- Antec 48W :: OS- Win7 x64 :: CASE- CM Centurion 590 :: MON- Dell 1708FP :: MOUSE- Logitech G5 ::

  7. #7
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
    Do you guys think there would be any performance increase to run the 8800gts as the physics proc?
    I don't think so. At least, it probably wouldn't be noticeable.

    One other thing I didn't think to ask..what resolution is the monitor you game on?
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    Thanks on the 8800.

    The native res is 1920x1080 but the only time i use that res is for movies on the tv. I usually run the desktop and play games at 1280x720. Some of that is for obvious hardware reasons and some for just overall size of everything can be a little overwhelming in FPS's.

    Monitor is a Samsung Syncmaster 2350

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  9. #9
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    Yeah, if you're only gaming at 1280x720, even a single GTX460 would be massive overkill atm, and I think in a year would still be overkill (though maybe not as massively). Bump up to the 1920x1080 your monitor can actually do and you might start seeing the limits of a single GTX460 in a year.

    Let me put it this way. I game at 2048x1152 (yes, strange resolution, I know....highest res monitor you can get short of WQXGA and a $1000 price jump and nobody makes it anymore ) and with the single GTX260 I had last time my system was actually up and running, I had all of two times that I ever had any lag when gaming with everything turned all the way up:
    1) Far Cry 2 if I was staring at a field on fire with people driving across it shooting at me
    2) Prototype, if I was flying a helicopter that was on fire and smoking and I moved the camera into the smoke
    In those two cases, I saw a framerate drop just a tad below noticeable....and never any time else, playing any other game.

    I say this not to discourage you from purchasing hardware (especially hardware I'm trying to sell you ), but to make sure you know if you're going to be wasting money on hardware that you'll never fully utilize.

    There's a very good reason why Eyefinity and nvSurround exist. Completely aside from being awesome, modern GPUs had hit a wall where even a line or two down from the top end could power any game on the market at max settings, on any common (ie, less than W/QXGA) resolution monitor. They were in a very strange position where for at least a year or two the hardware had outpaced the software. IDK if this will change or not, but I would be a bit surprised. So, to justify to the consumer making ever faster and faster GPU's, they made it so it could drive more than one monitor in a gaming environment. Don't get me wrong, I think it's awesome, just...single monitor gaming, especially at low resolutions, doesn't require the big guns anymore.

    EDIT:
    I forgot..I did have to turn my graphics settings down in Fallout New Vegas, but that was because of problems with the drivers, not the hardware not being up to the task.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Go cheap or go BIG?

    Depending on the game I would like to even have the option for 1080 but with the current card, 720 and med-high, it can be difficult to run. Being able to get all the eye candy plus the option to 1080 would be awesome. The reason I was looking at SLI is because the situation I fell into now. I told myself I would just add a second one later, but then it's too late and the cards are really old or old and hard to find.

    On Backup:: CPU- Q9300 Stock HS/F :: MB- Intel board :: RAM- 4 GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 (2x2GB) :: GFX- 8800GS HDD- 320GB OS; 1x2TB Storage :: ROM- DVD-ROM :: PSU- Antec 48W :: OS- Win7 x64 :: CASE- CM Centurion 590 :: MON- Dell 1708FP :: MOUSE- Logitech G5 ::

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