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video card update advice, switching from ATI to Nvidia

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May 5, 2008 6:12:40 AM

Hello all. I'm thinking of updating my video card, but I'd like to know what difference, if any, it will make.

My current system specs:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition 5.1.2600 (WinXP Retail) SP2
DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2000 MHz (10 x 200) 3800+
3072 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
ATI Radeon X1800 XT
Asus A8N-SLI se motherboard


As you can see, I have an SLI motherboard. I'm thinking of moving to an Nvidia 8800 GT, or possibly two of them in SLi. Can anyone tell what kind of performance gains I would be likely to achieve with either he single, or dual ?
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 10:59:56 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums mate :) 

8800GT is a very good upgrade fro X1800XT, u will see about %70-%80 or even more performance gain

for SLI vs CrossFire, what resolution do u play @ ?
Read the FAQ and it will help u :
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245454-15-crossfire...
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 1:34:10 PM

I'd start with one 8800GT/GTS I upgraded to an 8800GTS/512 from an ATI x1900xtx OCed and it was a nice jump for me. It would be much more of a jump for you. You probably won't need SLI unless you are running higher resolutions.
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a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 1:46:40 PM

Your X2 3800+ will limit you a little, but it will still be a nice system. I wouldn't SLI with that processor, though.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 1:48:23 PM

Yes, for the price right now, the 8800GTS G92 512 IS the card to buy.
It is faster and cooler running at stock speeds than any 8800GT, and the GTS is VERY friendly overclocking.
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 1:51:38 PM

EXT64 said:
Your X2 3800+ will limit you a little, but it will still be a nice system. I wouldn't SLI with that processor, though.


^^ What he said. I'd only get one 8800GTS G92 512MB. Add another later when you upgrade the motherboard/CPU/RAM.

What kind of PSU do you have?
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 1:55:15 PM

^
|
I agree with the above 2. Get a single card and then work on your CPU/mobo/ram situation.
May 5, 2008 2:17:09 PM

I would wait a little longer, graphics power is due a big jump, it's 18months plus since the 8800gtx so we're well into moores law territory now.
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 2:23:52 PM

dos1986 said:
I would wait a little longer, graphics power is due a big jump, it's 18months plus since the 8800gtx so we're well into moores law territory now.

They've really worked on getting power requirements down lately and made cards a little "greener". You are right that we are due for a performance boost. However all the current highend cards will crank out all you really need to run any modern game. Until the new mystical cards come out that blow everything out of the water, i will work with what is on the table right now. Besides, you know graphics card manufacturers aren't going to put something out that makes all other cards obsolete. They still want to make money off the current cards that are already on the shelves. Plus you will pay an absolute premium for the new cards and won't even be in most people's price ranges.
a c 273 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 5:25:25 PM

WarKirby said:
Hello all. I'm thinking of updating my video card, but I'd like to know what difference, if any, it will make.

My current system specs:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition 5.1.2600 (WinXP Retail) SP2
DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2000 MHz (10 x 200) 3800+
3072 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
ATI Radeon X1800 XT
Asus A8N-SLI se motherboard


As you can see, I have an SLI motherboard. I'm thinking of moving to an Nvidia 8800 GT, or possibly two of them in SLi. Can anyone tell what kind of performance gains I would be likely to achieve with either he single, or dual ?

2x 8800GT's + that CPU? [:mousemonkey:2] , it'll work...mostly :whistle: 
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 6:25:32 PM

Well most games are GPU limited thant CPU limited and i think 2 8800GTs will be fine with a X2 3800
May 5, 2008 7:19:27 PM

Thanks for the replies : )

My PSU is 700w. I recently upgraded it to fix some problem I thought I had, but didn't.

I was preimarily worried about the CPU being a limiting factor. The motherboard is Skt939. Are there any other decent CPUs available for that, or would I need a new motherboard to get a better CPU too?

I use 1280x1024 resolution pretty much constantly. It's the highest my monitor supports (not widescreen)

There seems to be vocal support for the 8800 GTS 512. Is this a better card? And how much does it cost relative to the GT?

Also, all the manufacturer choices are confusing me. I wanted to look at nvidia cards and inno3d, xfx, sparkle, etc, kept coming up. Took a bit of researching to figure out what was going on. Is there any noticeable difference between manufacturers? Is one better than the others?
May 5, 2008 7:21:12 PM

Oh, also. I do quite a lot of rendering textures/scenes in blender. Would replacing the video card give any noticeable performance improvement there, or is that a CPU thing?
May 5, 2008 7:57:45 PM

Don't use SLI for 1280x1024. You'll get almost no benefit. Go with 1 8800GTS 512 (G92). It's slightly more expensive than the 8800GT but is faster and cooler. They're running about $190-220 after $30 rebate right now.

NVidia makes the GPU, the other manufacturers make the card. The usual differences are in the cooling systems they use or the stock overclock they'll do. It generally doesn't matter which manufacturer you choose, though EVGA cards are somewhat unique in that they have a "step-up" program allowing you to upgrade your card within 90 days of purchase.
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 8:01:54 PM

WarKirby said:
Thanks for the replies : )

My PSU is 700w. I recently upgraded it to fix some problem I thought I had, but didn't.

I was preimarily worried about the CPU being a limiting factor. The motherboard is Skt939. Are there any other decent CPUs available for that, or would I need a new motherboard to get a better CPU too?

I use 1280x1024 resolution pretty much constantly. It's the highest my monitor supports (not widescreen)

There seems to be vocal support for the 8800 GTS 512. Is this a better card? And how much does it cost relative to the GT?

Also, all the manufacturer choices are confusing me. I wanted to look at nvidia cards and inno3d, xfx, sparkle, etc, kept coming up. Took a bit of researching to figure out what was going on. Is there any noticeable difference between manufacturers? Is one better than the others?


Sorry, nothing at newegg that would work on the socket 939. There used to be an Opteron but it's gone. I suggest you keep the mobo/CPU/RAM as they are until some time next year and then upgrade them all together.

You totally don't need SLI for 1280x1024.

700W is plenty for SLI, but you don't need it.

The 8800GTS 512 is better than the 8800GT ( it has 128 stream processors instead of 112) and a better cooler and tends to overclock better. Cost: shop around. The prices are very close now.

nVidia makes the chipset, then gives it to partners like inno3d, xfx, sparkle etc who do the rest and sell the card. BFG, eVGA and XFX are my favorite nVidia partners. Differences range from quality of parts (especially coolers) to warranty terms to step-up programs (eVGA, recently BFG too but not for the 8800GTS yet IIRC) to quality of support.


May 6, 2008 12:56:29 AM

aevm said:
That AM2 CPU will fit in a socket 939 mobo, no problems, just use a big hammer to adjust it a bit :) 

that's sarcasm, right... ?
May 6, 2008 1:57:23 AM

And does anyone have a recommended manufacturer for the card ? I've found one that looks suspiciously cheap....
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 6, 2008 1:58:25 PM

WarKirby said:
that's sarcasm, right... ?


Yes. Bad news, sorry, you can't use AM2 CPUs, and nobody makes socket 939 CPUs any more. Still, your current CPU cam last you for a few more months, maybe even until Nehalem is out.
May 7, 2008 12:52:38 AM

Nehalem? What is that?
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 7, 2008 1:31:44 AM

That's Intel's latest and greatest buzzword. Google it, you'll find plenty of stuff. It's the code name for their future CPU architecture. New CPUs, supposed to appear next year, which won't work on current LGA775 motherboards.

Tell you what, when you're ready to upgrade your CPU and MB ask on this forum again. No need to worry about it now.
May 7, 2008 1:55:56 AM

WarKirby said:
Thanks for the replies : )

My PSU is 700w. I recently upgraded it to fix some problem I thought I had, but didn't.

I was preimarily worried about the CPU being a limiting factor. The motherboard is Skt939. Are there any other decent CPUs available for that, or would I need a new motherboard to get a better CPU too?

I use 1280x1024 resolution pretty much constantly. It's the highest my monitor supports (not widescreen)

There seems to be vocal support for the 8800 GTS 512. Is this a better card? And how much does it cost relative to the GT?



The 8800gt is good, but I'd wait till the end of the month and see how the 4870 Pro runs against it. The Pro will have GDDR3, just like Nvidia's cards, but the XT will have GDDR5 (but won't be due until July because of GDDR5 memory shortages).

If you want to do SLI, I'd consider two 9600's instead. I also don't think you can do anything to better your CPU situation short of getting a new board, in which case you'd be better of going Intel with Crossfire; thus making waiting for a 4870 a good idea.

At your current resolution, you'd be CPU limited with SLI. Save up for a nice Wolfie, new motherboard and Crossfire, that's my advice. Me, I'm waiting for the Deneb vs. Nehalem shoot out to decide which way to upgrade, and I'm CPU limited right now too.

aevm said:
That AM2 CPU will fit in a socket 939 mobo, no problems, just use a big hammer to adjust it a bit :) 


When people make jokes like that, I always worry that somebody will sort of believe them and do something really really stupid... :lol: 
May 9, 2008 12:17:55 PM

Ok, I'm probably just going to go with the single 8800 GTS as people have suggested. I was looking for the 512 version, and found it. But I also found this one:

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(15521)EVGA-eGeForce-8800-GTS-640-MB-DDR3-PCIE-Dual-DVI.aspx

Which apparently has 640 MB of video ram. Would this be better than a 512 version, or is it not that simple ?
May 9, 2008 12:20:22 PM

Other than that, I'm looking at this one: http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(28704)INNO3D-GeForce-8800-GTS-512MB-DDR3-PCIE-HDTV.aspx

Which is a 512 version. Which would be better ?
a c 273 U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 1:04:20 PM

The 512 is the kiddie as it's the newer G92 GPU whereas the 640mb card has the old 'n crusty G80 GPU.
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 1:40:05 PM

crusty ?!!! lol
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 1:45:23 PM

Maziar said:
crusty ?!!! lol

:lol:  :lol: 

@WarKirby:
The 512MB version is faster than the 640MB.
a c 273 U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 4:40:07 PM

Maziar said:
crusty ?!!! lol

:ange:  I couldn't resist.
a c 169 U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 4:42:19 PM

:D 
!