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Upgrade Path

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January 17, 2009 5:12:00 PM

Hi guys!

So...I currently I have an 8600 @ 3.8ghz on a 780i xfx mobo with one GTX 280 OCX. Would it be best for me to jump to a I7, a GTX 295 or a second GTX 280 OCX for SLI. The only thing with the 280 is that Im running a 700w thermaltake toughpower so I probably would have to purchase a new power supply...and um...my case is a cosmos 1000, and im not sure that it would be the best option for cooling down 280's in sli. The 295 could be cool...I just get cautious about dual vid card single slots since my experiences with the GX2. An I7 would definately be the most expensive route and Im not sure that is totally worth it at this point. Your opinions are greatly appreciated guys!

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January 17, 2009 8:03:02 PM

bump :bounce: 
January 17, 2009 8:46:55 PM

Well...what's your budget and what do you use it for?
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January 17, 2009 9:03:05 PM

mmm...I wanted to keep it under 1000.. And I use it pretty exclusively for gaming. Wow, Eve, SupCom, CoH, L4D...Anything new and impressive.
January 18, 2009 2:27:45 AM

If you bought your GTX280 from a vendor like evga that does upgrades I would see if you can upgrade your 280 to a 295. Otherwise I'd go with another 280 if your motherboard can handle SLI. Oh and a stonger psu.
January 18, 2009 2:29:48 AM

I'd go for another GTX280 and a new power supply if you have to. You have a good system; unless there's something that it can't do, or you have cash to burn, it seems a bit pointless to go to I7 now. I'd go for the second video card.
January 18, 2009 2:32:06 AM

I should also add that, since you use your system mostly for gaming, a Core I7 won't really benefit you, as not many games benefit from a quad-core CPU. If you were doing a lot of video editing and encoding, then I7 would be worth it, but your E8600 is great for gaming.
a c 107 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 4:44:15 AM

Add another GTX 280 as two of them in SLI are faster than a single 295. That should give you a bigger boost in gaming than going with an i7. I say hold out for a while and then you can use the two 280s with a faster i7 than what is out now.
January 18, 2009 1:28:16 PM

the REAL question is what resolution do you play at?


every other question comes after that.
January 18, 2009 2:13:36 PM

Ah! Yes, I totally forgot. I play at 1980 X 1080 Resolution.

I have def. been leaning towards getting an additional gtx 280, but again a few things concern me.

First is the power supply which is gonna run me around 250 bucks for something that can support dual gtx's (im not sure the 700w thermaltake can do it). When coupled with the price of a new bfg gtx 280 ocx im back up in the 700 dollar range.

Second, my case is a cooler master cosmos 1000. Not a bad case by any stretch of the imagination, but its active cooling seems to be lacking, especially for the GPU. I'm not quite sure that it will be able to keep these cards cool enough for stable operation.
January 18, 2009 4:16:04 PM

Your ToughPower ranks as TierII, and depending on +12V amps and # of rails, I would think that 700W should be enuf to keep up with a dual SLI setup. If you step up to 3-way, then you should look to a 900-1000W unit.
January 18, 2009 5:06:13 PM

Its got 4 12v rails at 18 amps with one -12v rail at .8 amps.
January 18, 2009 5:31:06 PM

There should also be a listing for 'Max' or 'Combined' +12v. Thats going to be the important one. Each rail can give up to 18A, but not all 4 at the same time.
January 18, 2009 6:13:52 PM

Well, the bfg GTX 280 I just looked at on newegg recommends a psu of 575w at 42amps. I'm not sure 56amps will be enough to run two of those cards at full tilt along with your overclock on the e8600. If it does you'll be running the power supply near the max. You can always try it out and if you have stability problems related to underpowering you can always go get a beefier psu.

I'd also check to see if you have spare 6 pin and 8 pin connections to power the card.
a c 277 U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 8:44:53 PM

Sell the GTX280, replace it with the GTX295. Not quite as strong as sli GTX280, but still a big jump.

Plan on upgrading to i7. Supreme commander is multi core capable, and a good X58 mobo will be able to use a second GTX295 later if you should need it.
a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2009 11:32:14 PM

I would think about another 280 if I were you. That seems like a pretty killer rig like that.
January 19, 2009 12:39:52 AM

Yeah...I was leaning towards the 280 at first...But after looking at my PSU (it doesnt have another 8 pin connector for sli) and adding the prices together:
385 for BFG GTX 280 OCX + 200 for decent PSU...Im at around 600 bucks. almost 700 after taxes.. I wish I would have just bit the bullet and got the better psu to start with, instead of going kind of mid range and having to upgrade over and over lol. The 295 kind of scares me though (thinks back to the 9800 gx2<shutter>)
January 19, 2009 2:44:54 PM

So...should I just do it and buy the psu + 280 or the 295?
January 19, 2009 5:22:45 PM

If you can sell your GTX280 and get a GTX295 for a reasonable price that would save you money that would have otherwise gone into a new power supply that you can put into a i7 upgrade for later. Or you could see if you can upgrade your 280 to a 295. I think I heard bfg does upgrades now. Or I could be completely wrong.
a c 277 U Graphics card
January 19, 2009 5:51:05 PM

Your PSU can deliver 43a on the 12v lines. How do I get that?
go to the newegg link, and look at the individual photos.
one of them will show the label on the psu.
There it says in fine print on the side that the 3v + 5v lines max usage is 180W.
Subreact the 180w from the 700w total, and you get 520W left for the 12v lines.
Divide that by 12v to get 43a capability.
I think this method is ok, but I could be corrected.

The EVGA site requires a 550W PSU with 40a on +12v for your GTX280, so you are good there.
The GTX295 requires a 680w psu with 46a on the 12v lines, so you will have a problem there.

I am generally not much in favor of SLI unless you need more than a single card can deliver. You pay much more for marginal returns.
If you want to upgrade, I think you will need a better PSU. There is a very good deal on the PC P&C 750W unit for $70 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has a single 60a rail and 2 6-pin and 2 6/8 pin connectors.
With that, you could go to a GTX295. Pay for it by selling your psu and gtx280.
Reviews I have seen indicate that it is a very good card.
January 19, 2009 7:03:31 PM

Oh..and once again, I really appreciate everyones input in this matter!
January 20, 2009 2:29:40 AM

well...since no one replied I went ahead and ordered that silverstone PSU. I think I'm going to go ahead and go with 295 and either sell the 280 or put it in a second computer.
a c 107 U Graphics card
January 20, 2009 5:06:49 AM

Hmm.. I wonder why new egg doesn't have anything over 600W by FSP. Anyway that's a really good price on that silver stone PSU so I'd go for it. I still say you're better off going with another 280 so you can SLi them, but it's up to you.
!