how well would 2 GTX 280 cards scale with a Q9450 OC'd to 3.2GHZ
From reading past articles on high end SLI setups, I have noted that scalability is restricted by CPU speed. For example, in some tests I have seen that 2 GTX 280 in SLI will actually lower frame rates in games (as compared to single GTX280) when there is a less powerful CPU driving the system.
Having also read the current article on Tom's that illustrates how well the GTX280 scales with the core i7, I noticed that the stock speed Q9770 (I believe it is stock at 3.2 GHZ no?) allowed much better scaling than previous tests I have seen that utilized a 2.93GHZ processor.
My question then, as I own a Q9450 overclocked to 3.2GHZ, is do you think that 2 gtx 280 would scale well with this CPU (I have 780i motherboard by the way) or do you think it would perform poorly in SLI with this CPU and 780i combo?
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Well, as you said, it did pretty well with a QX9770 at stock. So, I'd expect very similar results with a Q9450 @3.2
what resolution do you plan to use?
I'd switch up to a q9650 before getting a 2nd gtx280 though. That'd let you OC to 4-4.5ghz and you'd get even more out of your vid card.
Youll be fine OP. Keep the chip, switching out to a Q9650 which is $570 for a 1-3fps gain is.....not smart.
Yeah, save the money and concentrate on boosting your GPU setup instead.
Both AMD and nVidia will have their next-gen 40nm GPUs out in a few months, supposedly. I was considering the 295 as an upgrade from my GTX8800 until I found out the 295 is a sandwiched board. And that I'd probably have to upgrade my PSU as well.