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Upgrade to Opty or add another 7800GT

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February 28, 2006 3:30:42 AM

I am considering upgrading but not really sure which way to go. I am torn between getting a new Opty 170 CPU or waiting towards the end of the year and just getting another 7800GT to complete the SLI. I was just a little worried from seeing the game benchmarks that difference seems very small between 1 and 2 cards. I just really don't want to pay $350 to get 5 more FPS. If anyone has used 7800GT in single and SLI could let me know if it is worth getting.


3500+ Winny
MSI K8N Neo4 Plat SLI
2x1gig OCZ Platinum
BFG 7800GT
74gig Raptor
36gig Raptor
Ultra 500w PSU
February 28, 2006 3:37:37 AM

Tough choice. Upgrading to a dual core cpu is what i would do.

-mpjesse
February 28, 2006 4:03:35 AM

Yes that is why I'm torn I really want a dual core but was considering waiting for the AM2 release in June hoping they would drop the price a little on the current versions. Maybe sneak in on a Opty 175.
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February 28, 2006 4:39:15 AM

I posted a link to an opty review here. Good stuff.
IMO go dual core. Get an opty 165, and OC it. Newegg has 165's for $332 shipped and 170's for $419 shipped. Read the review, 165 is the way to go.
Some games benefit from dual core now, and the rest will soon. Use the money you save to put toward the next gen of graphic cards, which will beat an SLI current gen setup for sure. Unless dual cards (ala SLI or Crossfire) mature very rapidly, which I doubt, it is pointless.
Dual core support, on the other hand, is inevitable. You will be glad you did.
As far as AM2, why bother? You want performance now. Future proof? Dual core.
Economic feasibility? In 9 months, which would be easier to dump on eBay: two last gen 7800GTs or a MSI board with an opty that is "guaranteed to over clock to XXXX"?
-just my 2 pennies.
February 28, 2006 4:47:06 AM

Quote:
I posted a link to an opty review here. Good stuff.
IMO go dual core. Get an opty 165, and OC it. Newegg has 165's for $242 shipped and 170's for $419 shipped. Read the review, 165 is the way to go.
Some games benefit from dual core now, and the rest will soon. Use the money you save to put toward the next gen of graphic cards, which will beat an SLI current gen setup for sure. Unless dual cards (ala SLI or Crossfire) mature very rapidly, which I doubt, it is pointless.
Dual core support, on the other hand, is inevitable. You will be glad you did.
As far as AM2, why bother? You want performance now. Future proof? Dual core.
Economic feasibility? In 9 months, which would be easier to dump on eBay: two last gen 7800GTs or a MSI board with an opty that is "guaranteed to over clock to XXXX"?
-just my 2 pennies.


You might want to update that, I think you mean $342 on the 165. No way are you gonna find it for 242. If you did, I'd buy them all and send them to eBay for a quick buck. Plus the link shows them as $328 plus $3 shipping.
February 28, 2006 4:59:20 AM

You're right; my bad. Updated.
February 28, 2006 5:01:25 AM

CPU upgrade will probably give you better total system performance, and dual core is the way to go (makes a huge difference IMHO). The 7800 GT should be able to handle what you throw at it at the moment with a good CPU, the worst case being you need to turn down AA or the resolution a little bit. You'll get more out of waiting for the next gen cards to come out in a year than you will with SLI now, while the CPU will probably last you longer.
February 28, 2006 6:02:22 AM

In my experience (louched of friends) SLI tends to give a performance increase between -10% and +30%, +40% if you lucky. That does not nearly match with the price and not to mention the power draw etc. etc.

I would go for the Opty, you'll see a bigger performance gain, and Yay for ocing!

SLI was a gimick used by Nvidia to sell more cards basically, no thought really for what it could do for performance.
February 28, 2006 6:30:52 AM

If you get a SLI setup, and your games support SLI, your minimum (weighted) frame rate will rise considerably.

Moving to a dual-core would also help there aswell, but not as much. (Very few games minimum frame rates benefit from multi-core systems).

The upshot of SLI is you can port it to a new mobo later on,... the CPUs value will drop off sharply by Q3 2006, the video cards value will drop aswell by then, just by not as much.

From a reseller value perspective in 6-12 months, and also from a minimum weighted frame rate perspective (assuming games benefit) going SLI may actually provide a better overall system experience today, while maximizing reseller value tomorrow.

Still a tough choice either way, do you do anything besides gaming that will benefit from the dual-core ?
February 28, 2006 2:59:03 PM

Some Photoshop CS2 and ocassionally some video editing. But mostly gaming.
February 28, 2006 5:16:10 PM

It seems like the general consensus is to go for the Opty. I would like to try some mild overclocking not crazy but maybe bump the 170 up to 2.4ghz. I have only used stock cooling in the past can anyone suggest an excellent air cooling setup.

Thanks for all the responses.
February 28, 2006 5:28:21 PM

The opty 165 is an excellent choice and just use the stock cooler that comes with it. Its excellent. I installed it using AS5 and temps are awesome. There is a drawback to using the stock cooler and that is, it is noisy compared to my zalman cooler on my Intel machine. Doesn't bother me though.
February 28, 2006 7:00:35 PM

The reason I was looking at the 170 vs 165 is the 10x multiplier. I would prefer the 165 and just overclock it. But I seem to have a difficult time gettting over 220 FSB with my setup. I don't know if its the ram, the mobo, the processor, or more likely me. But even loosening the timings up to 3.4.4.8 and lower the HTT to 4x it is still unstable. I bumped the vcore up a little more but didn't help. Should I try lowering the DDR from 400 to 333mhz? Thats the part that confuses me, if you lower the DDR speed isn't that lowering the FSB too? I also hear people talk about the memory divider but I don't see that in my bios and I don't really know what it does. I see people with like yourself with 250+ FSB and my ram (2x1gig OCZ Platinum) is suppose to be overclockable (maybe not that high), I'm sure I am doing something wrong. Any ideas?

3500+ winchester
MSI K8N Neo 4 Platinum SLI
2x1gig OCZ Platinum 2.2.3.5. 1T
February 28, 2006 7:51:22 PM

I'm with everyone else, get the opty. One caviat, if you like to run 16x12 with eye candy then that's what SLI is for. Anything less is a waste IMHO.
February 28, 2006 9:09:20 PM

get an opty the price of a 7800 will drop
February 28, 2006 9:21:42 PM

You have a pretty good CPU for gaming. Your bottleneck is the video card. Most new games aren't very CPU-demanding...
February 28, 2006 9:25:47 PM

get the opty 165 or 170. The new stock cooler is all you need, I have my 165 running @ 2.8ghz with 1.45volts temps idle 34-35c full load both cores 46-47cc
March 1, 2006 1:58:28 AM

Quote:
You have a pretty good CPU for gaming. Your bottleneck is the video card. Most new games aren't very CPU-demanding...


He has a bottle neck?

I would've thought the 7800GT would be more than adequate at the moment.
March 1, 2006 2:03:55 AM

Quote:
You have a pretty good CPU for gaming. Your bottleneck is the video card. Most new games aren't very CPU-demanding...


He has a bottle neck?

I would've thought the 7800GT would be more than adequate at the moment.
It depends how you look at it. Obviously he want to improve his gaming experience and then a better video card is the way to go.

Personally I would think a 7800GT is more than enough to satisfy my gaming needs...
March 1, 2006 2:10:30 AM

what resoultion do you plan on playing your games at, cause higher res play will be far more dependent on the video card, and works very well with sli, while gaming under 1024x768 will be more dependant on the cpu, figure that out and you have your answer. 8)
March 1, 2006 2:13:59 AM

and yeah one 7800gt should be more than enough, as well, your cpu looks pretty good as well, really don't know why your considering an upgrade already, money to blow? :p  :?
March 1, 2006 2:19:29 AM

You certainly have a lot more moolah than me - I'm still on a 6600GT! :D 

So basically to me price vs performance is very important, and in that respect SLI is totally not worth it.

Really it would be better to sell you 7800GT in a x months and get an up to date single card.
March 1, 2006 2:24:52 AM

Quote:
You certainly have a lot more moolah than me - I'm still on a 6600GT! :D 

So basically to me price vs performance is very important, and in that respect SLI is totally not worth it.

Really it would be better to sell you 7800GT in a x months and get an up to date single card.


6600 GT? HAH! AIW 9800 Pro AGP baby!! But then, the games I play aren't really graphics intensive. At least until Elder Scrolls Oblivion comes out.
March 1, 2006 2:26:35 AM

I usually play games 1280x1024 or around there with everything maxed except aa and af. 2x4x AA and 8x AF.
March 1, 2006 2:27:44 AM

Quote:
and yeah one 7800gt should be more than enough, as well, your cpu looks pretty good as well, really don't know why your considering an upgrade already, money to blow? :p  :?


you guys obviously didn't read my second post :wink:

i have money to blow, but i don't cause its not worth it.
March 1, 2006 2:29:54 AM

well then it appears your on the bubble between, gpu intensive, and cpu intensive, but if you were playing at 1900x1440 then definatly sli, but for now you probably wouldn't notice a difference if you bought either a new cpu, or gpu.

best move, don't. :wink:
March 1, 2006 2:30:27 AM

In that case, unless there are some major SLI driver revisions that will improve its performance, I would go for the opty, or you could sit on your money and get a single up to date gpu in a few months.

SLI is an evil NVIDIA gimick to make us buy more gpus mmmmm.......gpus..........
March 1, 2006 2:33:56 AM

Quote:
6600 GT? HAH! AIW 9800 Pro AGP baby!! But then, the games I play aren't really graphics intensive. At least until Elder Scrolls Oblivion comes out.


Same I never play FPS's, usually its civ, Darwinia, Sim city 4 and various Impressions city builders. :lol: 
March 1, 2006 2:39:48 AM

what games did you wnat to play again? was it fear, can't remember and too lazy to go to first page
March 1, 2006 4:21:51 AM

Yes right now I am playing fear. Patiently waiting for Crysis.
March 2, 2006 12:34:48 AM

well then stick with single cards unless your playing super high rees cause sli doesn't improve fear that much... all i can say is keep the 7800gt or upgrade to x1900xt, that's the only way to improve fear that much from what you have now for the best bang for buck

trust me, i looked up all kinds of info like 2 weeks ago when i bought my new rig
March 3, 2006 12:16:29 AM

I am going to buy a new CPU and Mobo. I have someone wants to buy this one so there is nothing like a good excuse to upgrade.

Opty 170/ MSI K8N Diamond Plus
!