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Upgrade from GTX 275 SLI?

My friend is currently upgrading his rig with new parts and the time has come to replace his aging Two-Way SLI GTX 275s. This will be a long thread, so prepare to get those reading glasses ready...

First of all, the Specs
Case: NZXT Phantom 410
PSU: Seasonic X850
GPU1: MSi Lightning GTX 275 1792MB
GPU2: EVGA GTX 275 1792MB
Heatsink: Corsair H100
Motherboard: EVGA 790i Ultra SLI
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333
CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 @3.8GHz


Section 1: The CPU
The QX9650 (AKA: The 3930K of 2007) is equivalent to an i5-760, the difference between an i5-750 and i5 2500K with a GTX 580 was a whopping TWO FPS in Battlefield 3. Due to it's age, we have decided by the next tick (Broadwell) he will get something to replace the somewhat aging QX9650.

Note: Before you scream "You have a huge bottleneck, get a 3970X and a Sabertooth X79." Read the above and please remember we do not have an unlimited amount of money to spend.

Section 2: The GPU upgrade..
Currently, with his GTX 275 SLI Setup, the card is becoming too impractical and is missing out on DX11, due to these reasons, he wants a new card that will give him both a good performance boost and better power efficiency/noise. Due to his good experience with ATI 4870s, he is open for both Nvdia and AMD Graphics Cards. With his budget of $500, I would have recomended a Sapphire Vapor-X 7970 in a heartbeat, should it have been a single 275, but since GTX 275 SLI=~GTX 460 SLI=~1.5 GB GTX 580. These factors cause me to not be so sure that a 7970 would really be that big of an upgrade that he is also striving for. Although the new features of Southern Islands and DX11 are great, I am fearing the main gaming performance will not be increased so much or will it be a great/massive increase? What are some options he could consider that within the budget?
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrade gtx 275 sli
  1. The Q6660 Inside said:
    This will be a long thread, so prepare to get those reading glasses ready...


    This is a long post?

    That rant aside, consider a GTX 660 Ti in SLI or HD 7870 XT/LE in crossfire.
  2. slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:
    This will be a long thread, so prepare to get those reading glasses ready...


    This is a long post?


    Well, by most standards yes :D
  3. slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:
    This will be a long thread, so prepare to get those reading glasses ready...


    This is a long post?

    That rant aside, consider a GTX 660 Ti in SLI or HD 7870 XT/LE in crossfire.

    The 7870XT in CF seems like a good choice and i've heard some really neat things about Tahiti LE in CF , but is running in the quite high end of the budget. I will see the gaming performance compared to per-say a GTX 480... As for the 660Ti SLI, that is quite a bit too much for the budget..
  4. Best answer
    The Q6660 Inside said:

    The 7870XT in CF seems like a good choice and i've heard some really neat things about Tahiti LE in CF , but is running in the quite high end of the budget. I will see the gaming performance compared to per-say a GTX 480... As for the 660Ti SLI, that is quite a bit too much for the budget..



    You said $500, You can pickup a 660 Ti for around $260 after rebates pretty easily.

    Also, the 7870 XT and 7870 Tahiti LE are the same product.

    Alternative, consider a GTX 650 Ti Boost or GTX 660 SLI config.
  5. slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:

    The 7870XT in CF seems like a good choice and i've heard some really neat things about Tahiti LE in CF , but is running in the quite high end of the budget. I will see the gaming performance compared to per-say a GTX 480... As for the 660Ti SLI, that is quite a bit too much for the budget..



    You said $500, You can pickup a 660 Ti for around $260 after rebates pretty easily.

    Also, the 7870 XT and 7870 Tahiti LE are the same product.

    Alternative, consider a GTX 650 Ti Boost or GTX 660 SLI config.

    I was aware of that Tahiti LE and the XT are the same chip. Also, a 660 SLI seems to be quite neat, even better than the 680 according to benchmarks, and the war on microstuttering will continue :P .
  6. GTX 660 SLI will smoke both the 680 and 7970 by a solid 20-30% in most games. MSI, Asus and Galaxy probably have the best 660s in their lineup and they're well within the budget. Look them up.
  7. 2x MSi GTX 660 OC TwinFrozr IIIs seem like a really good pair of cards, even looks exactly the old GTX 275 Lightning's style. The warranty of 3 years is also quite good.
  8. hizodge said:
    GTX 660 SLI will smoke both the 680 and 7970 by a solid 20-30% in most games. MSI, Asus and Galaxy probably have the best 660s in their lineup and they're well within the budget. Look them up.


    Even the GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI outperforms a GTX 680
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Boost_SLI/
  9. slomo4sho said:
    hizodge said:
    GTX 660 SLI will smoke both the 680 and 7970 by a solid 20-30% in most games. MSI, Asus and Galaxy probably have the best 660s in their lineup and they're well within the budget. Look them up.


    Even the GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI outperforms a GTX 680
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Boost_SLI/

    Tempting, I will recomend him either the Ti Boost SLI or the insanely overkill (Worked last time with the 2x 275s) GTX 660 SLI.. I will wait for some other's opinions before wrapping up this thread. Also, for $400 there appears to be 6990s and GTX 590s floating around ebay, are they any good?
  10. The Q6660 Inside said:

    Tempting, I will recomend him either the Ti Boost SLI or the insanely overkill (Worked last time with the 2x 275s) GTX 660 SLI.. I will wait for some other's opinions before wrapping up this thread. Also, for $400 there appears to be 6990s and GTX 590s floating around ebay, are they any good?



    It is an option. I am not a fan of used electronics. The GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI is pretty similar in performance to a GTX 590.
  11. slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:

    Tempting, I will recomend him either the Ti Boost SLI or the insanely overkill (Worked last time with the 2x 275s) GTX 660 SLI.. I will wait for some other's opinions before wrapping up this thread. Also, for $400 there appears to be 6990s and GTX 590s floating around ebay, are they any good?



    It is an option. I am not a fan of used electronics. The GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI is pretty similar in performance to a GTX 590.

    Is the 6990 any better? I always heard back in the day that the 6990 had better performance, but at the cost of permanent ear damage :D.
  12. The Q6660 Inside said:
    slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:

    Tempting, I will recomend him either the Ti Boost SLI or the insanely overkill (Worked last time with the 2x 275s) GTX 660 SLI.. I will wait for some other's opinions before wrapping up this thread. Also, for $400 there appears to be 6990s and GTX 590s floating around ebay, are they any good?



    It is an option. I am not a fan of used electronics. The GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI is pretty similar in performance to a GTX 590.

    Is the 6990 any better? I always heard back in the day that the 6990 had better performance, but at the cost of permanent ear damage :D.


    The Hd 6990 is a little slower than the GTX 590.
  13. slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:
    slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:

    Tempting, I will recomend him either the Ti Boost SLI or the insanely overkill (Worked last time with the 2x 275s) GTX 660 SLI.. I will wait for some other's opinions before wrapping up this thread. Also, for $400 there appears to be 6990s and GTX 590s floating around ebay, are they any good?



    It is an option. I am not a fan of used electronics. The GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI is pretty similar in performance to a GTX 590.

    Is the 6990 any better? I always heard back in the day that the 6990 had better performance, but at the cost of permanent ear damage :D.


    The Hd 6990 is a little slower than the GTX 590.

    I see, and I've noticed a pattern in GFX Card Problems as bonus.
    FX5800: Leaf Blower
    8800 GTX: Egg Cooker (Although the best GFX card ever made IMO)
    2900XTX: Blunder 1.5
    GTX 480: Pizza Cooker
    6990: Ear Destroyer
  14. The Q6660 Inside said:

    I see, and I've noticed a pattern in GFX Card Problems as bonus.
    FX5800: Leaf Blower
    8800 GTX: Egg Cooker (Although the best GFX card ever made IMO)
    2900XTX: Blunder 1.5
    GTX 480: Pizza Cooker
    6990: Ear Destroyer


    Pick up an Asus DirectCU II model and you shouldn't have any heat or noise issues :)
  15. slomo4sho said:
    The Q6660 Inside said:

    I see, and I've noticed a pattern in GFX Card Problems as bonus.
    FX5800: Leaf Blower
    8800 GTX: Egg Cooker (Although the best GFX card ever made IMO)
    2900XTX: Blunder 1.5
    GTX 480: Pizza Cooker
    6990: Ear Destroyer


    Pick up an Asus DirectCU II model and you shouldn't have any heat or noise issues :)

    If he goes for the Boost I would recomend him the N650Ti BOOST TwinFrozr, as he has quite a good history MSi's TwinFrozr Line Up. I think the Non-Ti 660 TwinFrozr III SLI just seems to be the natural choice.
  16. Update: The Microcenter has been raided and the N660TF 2-way SLI has been placed in the rig, the power consumption is much lower that he decided to reserve the MSi GTX 275 Lightning for PhysX (Old cards never die and it matches :P), thanks to the X850 being able to cope with the latter. As for the EVGA GTX 275, it is in a wooden box right next to the 4870 that preceded it, ready to be awaken, some day....
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