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too many decisions.... more ram? crossfire? better oblivion?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 15, 2006 5:58:14 AM

Well here's a lot to put in one post but hopefully this one lives awhile...1

I want to get better performance out of oblivion.... and I'm running this rig

3.2 Intel p4 HT
1 gig ddr2 ram
sapphire x1800 XT

that's the basics of it at least... the only relevant parts.

here's the cunundrum... I want to add another gig of ram but I can't because I don't have any more slots unless I buy 1 gig sticks but I already have the 2x512 sticks so that's out of the question... in order the ?s are...

1. I'm not sure that memory is the problem but I don't know how to check if getting more RAM would help... what tests can I run to see if this works.

2. If I get a new mobo I wonder if getting something with crossfire capability because I read an article benchmarking 2 x1800 XTs and finding really good performance jump with them running in dual gpus...

here's the article: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/oblivion_high-end_p...

3. Will dual gpu x1800 XTs even be worth the upgrade in the future-- I mean if I'm looking to get a new card next year will buying another XT (when you factor in the price drop that will occur in a year) be a better buy than just say whatever nvidia or ATI turn out in a year? or buying the 1900 or nvidia competition once its price lowers. See how this gets sticky?

4. What about powering these things??? my psu is ENERMAX Noisetaker EG495P-VE 485 W. Will more RAM with this card, my 6 fans, the video card, 2 hard drives and 2 optical drives crap out?

so three questions== will more ram see a distinct difference in Oblivion (how can I tell???), is crossfiring my card a good thing, will buying dual gpus get better performance? my heads crapping out i'm gonna let everyone put in more input before I go any further...

thanks!!!
April 15, 2006 6:21:17 AM

what socket is ur cpu
April 15, 2006 6:24:12 AM

775
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April 15, 2006 6:30:34 AM

well personally i would wait till the next generation of cards comes out and either a) buy a second card then or b) buy a new single card with room to upgrade then and i cant remember where i saw but in oblivion they were getting 50 or so frames a sec (cant memba properly so dont take my word for gospel) with a crossfire solution with max details incl. hdr at 1600x1200 im not sure if that was outdoors or not so its up to you if u want to spend that much money to be able to run those detail levels at that frame rate.
April 15, 2006 6:58:03 AM

if I wait till the next round of cards and get something like a 1900xt or something better and try to crossfire it does that make the 1900xt just act like a 1800 and makes it worthless? is there any point to that?? id be disappointed if I only got good performance out of the 1800xt for a little while and then with my next upgrade couldn't get anything out of it.
April 15, 2006 7:03:15 AM

Well, if I'm not mistaken the 775 chipset supports assymtric and symmetric ddr2 configs. Thus, you have 4 slots for ddr2, and if you occupy 2 already with 512mbx2, then you can simply insert one gig - but I see that your ECS only supports 2 Gig (either DDR or DDR2).

I recon getting a new Mobo, and honestly I'd also recommend going the AM2 route from AMD, which supports DDR2. Slap an Opti in there, with a X1900XT and you'll be well away.

Furthermore, 2gig won't boost performance, but it will increase loading speeds and the speed at which textures are loaded from mem to gpu. This results is faster execution, and efficiency. You might also gain FPS rise on min FPS.
April 15, 2006 7:07:48 AM

Personally, I'd get 2 gigs of ram first. I've got an ATI Radeon X600 and it preforms fine, it's not' the bottleneck on my system right now.

Instead, the bottleneck is the fact that I have 1 gig of uber cheapo ram. If you play BF2 then you'll see that the ram is a bigger bottleneck. Your X1800XT will hold you up for a while now, since I'm thinking of upgrading to one of those soon, after I get more memory.

I'd get 2 gigs of whatever ram, Probably you'll want DDR2-533 or 667 (if your board does not suck then 667 will work). You'll notice a big jump in the amount of lag just after loading something big and just lots of general stuff. Sadly 1 gig isn't gonna cut it for much longer.
April 15, 2006 7:10:16 AM

that sounds like really good advice... that only leads me to think this upgrade should be waited on a few more months until I can shell out for a nice chip.

I am amd/intel stupid and can't for the life of me understand how amd chips have a slower hz that the intel counterpart and a 1mb cache and still cost 400 dollars and "outperform." I'm just dumb, i'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.
April 15, 2006 9:00:43 AM

Well, I'm no CPU boffin. But AMD probably has better ways to deal with data transfer and calc than Intel when it comes to games. I have no idea as to how a 1.8Ghz cpu can out run a 3.2 for instance, but I guess the onchip mem controller has alot to do with that.

Intel sends data from CPU to Northbridge Chip (memory controller) and then to RAM (and vice versa). But AMD doesn't have a Nortbridge, their mem controller sits on the CPU itself. Thus, when you buy a new AMD cpu, you get a refined memory controller in that cpu, as opposed to Intel's memory controller where a new mobo will get you better memory controller.
April 15, 2006 12:09:09 PM

A bit off topic but how does the X1800xt run oblivion, what kind of effects and setting do you have on? Im only asking because Im going to get one in a about a week or so.
April 16, 2006 9:33:43 AM

Quote:
Well here's a lot to put in one post but hopefully this one lives awhile...1

I want to get better performance out of oblivion.... and I'm running this rig

3.2 Intel p4 HT
1 gig ddr2 ram
sapphire x1800 XT

that's the basics of it at least... the only relevant parts.

here's the cunundrum... I want to add another gig of ram but I can't because I don't have any more slots unless I buy 1 gig sticks but I already have the 2x512 sticks so that's out of the question... in order the ?s are...

1. I'm not sure that memory is the problem but I don't know how to check if getting more RAM would help... what tests can I run to see if this works.

2. If I get a new mobo I wonder if getting something with crossfire capability because I read an article benchmarking 2 x1800 XTs and finding really good performance jump with them running in dual gpus...

here's the article: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/oblivion_high-end_p...

3. Will dual gpu x1800 XTs even be worth the upgrade in the future-- I mean if I'm looking to get a new card next year will buying another XT (when you factor in the price drop that will occur in a year) be a better buy than just say whatever nvidia or ATI turn out in a year? or buying the 1900 or nvidia competition once its price lowers. See how this gets sticky?

4. What about powering these things??? my psu is ENERMAX Noisetaker EG495P-VE 485 W. Will more RAM with this card, my 6 fans, the video card, 2 hard drives and 2 optical drives crap out?

so three questions== will more ram see a distinct difference in Oblivion (how can I tell???), is crossfiring my card a good thing, will buying dual gpus get better performance? my heads crapping out i'm gonna let everyone put in more input before I go any further...

thanks!!!


I didnt read if someone else answered right but here is my take if you want it.

For your point number 1: I saw a performance guide on gamespot with different set ups. They showed that 1 gig or 2 gig of RAM didnt make any difference at all. Of course some people did have a bit of improuvement as i saw in forums, but i think you should focus on something else.

Point number 2: Well me personally imma go SLI for my PC, SLI is tried, tested and true as crossfire if fairly new and more expansine( i think)

Point number 3:Cant really answer for sure but if you compare with me...Ill buy 2 7900GT for less then the cost of a 7900GTX and get a better performance. Chances are that might work the same way for ATI

Point number 5: I wouldnt go bellow a 550W PSU.

Note that im in no way a techie or expert in PC building, my friend is tho, i just try and get info anf this is all from what i gathered searching websites and forums.

Hope this helped
good luck
!