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Opinion on system upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 23, 2007 4:10:51 PM

Hey all, I've been thinking of doing some system upgrades for a bit and am undecided what i should do.

I currently have a AMD X2 4200+, 2 gig of DDR2 800 RAM, 2 Barracuda 120Gig HD in RAID 0, and 2 BFG Geforce 7800 GT OC running in SLI.

I am not convinced the jump to a Intel Core 2 Duo is worth the price cost right now, since i'd need a new MB and processor. But i AM looking at foregoing SLI in favor of a shiney new Geforce 8800 GTX. But the more i think about the more i realize i'm just not sure if the graphics card is worth the performance jump. I also have a Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC so i will be pushing 2560x1600 resolutions, which my SLI setup has a bit of trouble with for the newer games.

Thoughts?

More about : opinion system upgrade

May 23, 2007 4:21:07 PM

You'd definitely see a jump in performance if you went to a GTX. Is it worth it? I can't tell you, only you know. Are you happy with your performance now? Do games run relatively smoothly? Do you have the PSU to handle a GTX? Do you have the extra cash to spend? Those are a few things you should ask yourself, then go from there.
May 23, 2007 4:32:58 PM

Yeah, Gary is right!
If you do not satisfied with your current performance, a 8800GTX would be good upgrade but just make sure you PSU can handle that card!
If you wish to play 2560x1600 with decent FPS, then maybe you want to go for 2x8800GTX plus a better CPU.
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May 23, 2007 4:33:59 PM

At the resolution you are running I would upgrade to the GTX. Your processor still has plenty of life left in it. If you are running XP, then your 2GB of memory is plenty for any current games.
May 23, 2007 4:42:23 PM

Well... running vista actually, but not for long... i'm sick and tired of all the issues. I predict a hard drive format in my not too distant future... even tho getting RAID SATA running on XP is a day long affair when you don't have a diskette drive in your computer... :( 

Like i said, i do have some issues with performance with my SLI setup. I can under no circumstances use anti aliasing at 2560x1600 or my computer chokes, and i definately have framerate issues even with it turned off.
The money i'm not thrilled about but i'm a video phile so i usually just find a way to save up the money for what i want.
2 8800 GTXs are definately out of my reach right now. And i'm not too interested in SLI to be honest since i can't run multiple monitors off it. I was running the Dell 3007WP with 2 2007WP's on either side of it and it was glorious... *sniff*
and i don't know if the performace gain from SLI is worth the cost of 2 cards. as an upgrade path when the cards come down in price, definately.
May 23, 2007 4:44:21 PM

and my PSU can handle it. Its a 650W OCZ SLI ready. Its got 2 Geforce 7800GT's plugged into it so it should be able to handle it.
May 23, 2007 4:52:46 PM

In that case, go for the GTX.
May 23, 2007 4:54:49 PM

The most bang for your buck right now is to get a single GTX. If you can wait a while you can see how the 8900 series will perform and get one of those or stick with the 8800GTX at a lower price point.
May 23, 2007 4:59:43 PM

Cool;
Thanks for the advice guys. Is there any word on when the 8900 is expected to ship? Since it might be best to wait for a price drop on the 8800GTX if its out right away...?
May 23, 2007 5:02:56 PM

If you feel like you need some more speed, I would strongly recommend NOT touching your CPU or RAM, because it's just fine. However, I do recommend springing for the 8800 GTS, and NOT the 8800 GTX, because it's the most bang-for-your-buck. And finally, you mentioned that getting RAID / SATA for XP isn't too fun... I suppose if you need to back up your data and destroy the RAID array or something that would be true, but what I always did was burn a CD with all the drivers I needed on it, and it's pretty straightforeward if you hit F6 during the install. Just a thought.
May 23, 2007 5:08:01 PM

Yeah, the reinstallation would be a lot simpler if thats the case, but i don't know if its just my version of XP or what, but i can't install drivers from a CD, only a floppy. I do have to hit F6, but then it requires a floppy with the drivers, won't let me select any other source... its easy enough, I have about 4 or 5 floppy drives just lying around and i just temporarily plug it in and have it hanging out the side of my case... its just a massive pain when compared to an installation of vista... too bad thats the ONLY part of vista that isn't painful.
May 23, 2007 5:42:13 PM

Estimates for the release of the 8900 are all over the place. For example, this website says some time in June. There is certainly no guarantee on the release date. If you do decide to go with the GTS over the GTX you better get the 640MB version to support your high resolution monitor. It takes a lot from a GPU to support that excellent monitor you have. I still think the GTX is more appropriate at your resolution.
May 23, 2007 5:49:31 PM

listen friend
if u want to buy an 8800gtx in sli then i would recommend that u upgrade your cpu as it will bottleneck with the vga card severely
i would recommend u to get an 8800gts 640mb in sli that would be better
your cpu will have hard time going on with a single 8800gtx
if u plan to upgrade your cpu then u must go with a 8800gtx
anywyas this is what i think
May 23, 2007 5:53:38 PM

I think you're right Jim. The 600 meg version of the 8800 is good but not so much cheaper than the GTX that it is a steal. I think the higher clock speeds and extra RAM would make a huge differnce.
May 23, 2007 5:57:36 PM

I won't be getting the 8800 GTX in SLI anytime soon. But you do make a good point on the processor. At the moment i think of it as the weak point in my system right now. For a single GTX, what processor would you recommend?
May 23, 2007 6:30:23 PM

Core2Duo E6420(can easily OC to 3.2GHz)/E6600(can easily OC to 3.4GHz) & above!
AMD Athlon64 X2 5200+/.../6000+ (socket AM2 of course!)
May 23, 2007 7:00:07 PM

Check out this review and see how at the higher resolutions, and quality, that the processor makes less difference. So, if you are going to be running at the maximum resolution on your monitor upgrading the CPU and motherboard won't provide much of a gain with the GTX.
May 23, 2007 8:18:49 PM

um... if anything.... that review seems to indicate that i should upgrade my processor if i want to get the full benefits of the card...
May 23, 2007 8:28:27 PM

Look at the graphs which clearly show that higher the resolution and quality the smaller impact that processor speed makes. At your resolution the difference between their two systems was less that 10% on all of the tests. My point is that as the resolution increases the CPU speed becomes much less import than the speed of the GPU. At lower resolutions the CPU can limit the GPU. At the lower resolutins the FPS are usually pretty high anyways, so upgrading the CPU may not make a noticable difference. You can't tell the difference between 200 and 300 FPS on a game.
May 23, 2007 8:38:59 PM

You can't?
Is there something wrong with your eyes? Cause i'm pretty awesome... ;) 

Good advice tho everyone... i appreciate it.
May 23, 2007 9:00:22 PM

Yeah, I am old so my eyes aren't so good any more :wink:
May 24, 2007 9:03:11 AM

if u plan to sli in the future, then i would say that u go with a e6600 or qx6600. as thy will perform well. and remember to take a good psu, u now the consequences if u dont.
!