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GTX 260 (55n 216) on PCI-E 1.1? bottleneck the bus?

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a b Î Nvidia
January 7, 2009 12:01:54 PM

So I have been playing with my new eVGA GTX 260 55nm and my performance test and from what I am seeing is it really hasn't given me a HUGE difference from my 8800GTS/512 (OCed to all hell). I can run many games with better AA but that is about all. Nothing outstanding. My buddy just got a new i7 Oced to 3.8GHz and we threw this thing in there and it made a huge difference over 1 8800GTX. It kept up with 2 8800GTX's in SLI to exept for 3Dmark06. but in a FarCry2 bench my card actually outperformed his 2.

So my question is. What is hindering my card. Could it be the 1.1 PCI-E bus. Would it be to my advantage to get a cheap P45 board until I can upgrade to an i7 sometime. I'd hate to not take advantage of my new card. Or is it my OCed e6400 (3.0 GHz) CPU?

January 7, 2009 1:31:08 PM

GTX 260 do not take advantage for the 2.0 PCI-E. So there is no bottleneck.
You do not see a huge difference performance because GTX 260 is not mach faster than the 8800GTS/512.
a b Î Nvidia
January 7, 2009 1:44:30 PM

It does have an onboard physics processor that seems to help with AA and certain settings. Crysis I see a good increase, but others I do not. It's wierd. Although my buddies i7 runs Farcry really well DX10 all settings maxed.

I think my next step is Vista as I need DX10 now.

I am just trying to see what I am behind in my system. I think at this point it is the CPU. But I'm not ready to drop $600 to upgrade the MB,CPU,MEM. I might have to upgrade the PSU as well, not sure if mine can take it.

One cool thing is I can still use my Thermalright cooler, I just need to get a $10 plate for the new i7.
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January 7, 2009 1:58:11 PM

i think your expectations were too high
a b Î Nvidia
January 7, 2009 2:08:52 PM

alvine said:
i think your expectations were too high

I think you are right. :-\

I sold my 8800GTS on ebay for $130 + shipping which covered the posting and shipping. I got the GTX 260 just before the price increase, or before they took away the instant savings, whichever way you want to see it. So I got it for $255 + shipping. so really I payed about $130 for the upgrade. Ehh. I do see that the physics help in some games. I have to patch a few as well because im getting funny artifacts which I think are really just issues that need patched.

Crysis get the hottest temps by far so it seems to run well at 666/1200. Apparently the higher OCed cards are far and few in between. But from a stock 576/998 or whatever it is, I can't complain to much.

I think I will upgrade to vista and see what DX10 gives me. And wait to see what Intel shoves out the door after the i7. I've had my e6400 and 975x for about 2.5 years now, since 9/2006. It has served me well I think. This will be the 3rd video card in the system.
a b Î Nvidia
January 7, 2009 2:39:36 PM

Many things:
1) I agree that your expectations were a bit high.
2) a stock gtx260-55nm may not be that much better than a highly overclocked gts8800.
3) The E6400 at 3.0 is not as fast as a E8400 and is probably having a hard time driving the vga card. What does the task manager say about your CPU utilization while gaming?
4) Some games can use DX10 which can really help. You might want to snag a windows 7 beta to try.
5) Benchmarks I have seen show very little difference in fps when using pcie 1.1 vs. 2.0. The differences were only a few percent, and that was when the vga system included SLI of top end cards.
I do not think the pci-e is an issue.
6) Some games can use more than two cores. The i7 system you tested on would address that issue. I look at task manager while playing games, and it is shocking how little cpu activity there is on my i7 920. I don't see the need for an upgrade there for a very long time.
7) I think your 600w psu is good enough until/if you get into multiple vga cards.
8) I would not get into interim motherboards. A good x48 might cost what a X58 board will, and the 920 cpu is what a Q9550 costs. I expect the ram cost to come down monthly.
Save for the i7. You can then either sli the GTX260, or trade for the next best thing.
a b Î Nvidia
January 7, 2009 3:03:34 PM

1) Yes I agree. I does seem that some games benefit much more than others though. Crysis being one of them. FarCry2 went from no AA to 4xAA
3) My buddy has an e6850 that can OC pretty well and give 3.6GHZ he offered to trade + a few bucks. Dunno how much benefit that would give.
4) I'm going to purchase Vista Ultimate 64 bit soon (I have 4Gb of RAM)
5) I know the 8800 and 9800 cards didn't benefit much because the PCI-E 1.1 bandwidth still wasn't being fully used. I wasn't sure about the G200 chips.
6) Yeah that is true, I wonder how much benefit I would get if I dropped in a quad core in my current system? I also don't what to pump more money in my older system when I could be saving for a new MB,CPU,MEM.
7) Yeah even the Q6600 at 3.0Ghz test systems with my card are pulling 300-400W only. So i think im good. I don't plan on running 2 cards ever. I just sell my current card and buy the next best single card.
8) I think the i7 is the next step for me. I know they are coming out with the mainstream chips to so I will see how they fair.

THANKS!
January 7, 2009 3:53:42 PM

At what resolution are you playing?

The GTX 260 is much more powerful than an 8800GTS 512. I suspect your CPU is hindering your GPU from the gains you were expecting. Core i7 sound like a good solution to your problem.
a b Î Nvidia
January 7, 2009 4:15:42 PM

I'm not saying it is a problem. But something is hindering it. Is it really the CPU or the entire bus architecture itself? My buddies i7 is just rediculous. We had all 3 of his 8800GTX's in Tri-SLI and he got 23xxx on 3DMark06. Im wondering if the entire 775 slot structure is what is doing it.
January 7, 2009 8:13:34 PM

That's a possibility, since it's a 975 instead of a 30- or 40-series MB. I would think a 260 is close to flooding a 1.1 bus. I'd be willing to bet a 4870X2 or 280 floods it.
a b Î Nvidia
January 8, 2009 3:05:24 AM

Yeah i think my money is best saved for a whole system overhaul to an i7 in the future. I don't want to dump alot of money into it before then unless I will see a noticeable gain.
January 8, 2009 3:18:29 PM

the cost to upgrade to an i7 rig will be substantial, new MB ,cpu, ram and more than likely a PS. The e6400 is not a real power house, looking at toms CPU charts, you could get a 40% increase in FPS with a e8500. If you invest in a i7 rig you'll find you need another GTX 260 to balance out performance.
January 8, 2009 4:14:55 PM

sdnerf said:
If you invest in a i7 rig you'll find you need another GTX 260 to balance out performance.

Balance out performance? Yes, the CPU will be a little underutilized with a single 260, but a 260/i7 rig will definitely outperform a 260/C2D rig.
a b Î Nvidia
January 8, 2009 4:16:49 PM

for me I will need a PSU as well. It would be a $750 upgrade. That is with DDR3 1600 3GB Dominator kit, i7 920, and Gigabyte Motherboard or Asus (the lower end boards). I'd get a corsair 650 watter or something equivianet. It has 52A on a single rail, that should handle it fine.

As far as a 2nd card? Why would I need that? I put my card in my buddies i7 system and it rocked the hot totty.
!