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Need help in upgrade path!

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  • Graphics Cards
  • CPUs
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 14, 2009 4:25:59 PM

Hello all!

I am currently debating two options- buying a new CPU or new motherboard and starting over. This is what I have now:

EVGA 590 SLI MB
AMD 4800+ OC'd to 2.911MHz (best I can get stable)
2 Gigs GSkill DDR2 800
2x EVGA GTX280 in SLI

The 280's in SLI are not giving me the performance I hoped for- I believe the CPU is bottlenecking the system?! CPU is 90-100% when gaming/benchmarking...

I can get a X2 6000+ for $75 from 'egg and OC it for all it's worth

-OR-

I can get a ASUS M3N-HT Deluxe/HDMI (nForce 780a chipset, still dual 16x PCI graphics) for $135 and transfer everything over, then save up for a better CPU and RAM and deal with it for a while.

Questions:

Will a Triple/Quad core over a X2 make a huge difference (FPS) in general gaming?

Will DDR2 1066 make a difference over DDR2 800?

And on a side note- does anyone have experience with SLI-ing 280's: where do I put the bridge- forward-most or rear-most? do I need 2 (or a double) bridge? I'm not entirely sure I'm running in SLI right now?!?! I used to research the internet and find my answers, now there is so much conflicting crap out there I can't be sure!!!

Thanks in advance, I always appreciate all comments!

Buttmonkey64 :sol:  (don't ask...)

More about : upgrade path

a c 332 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
May 14, 2009 4:42:48 PM

A Tri-Core scales better than a Quad when used for gaming, I don't think that the faster RAM is going to reap any noticeable performance increase. And checking your SLI mode is as easy as right clicking on desktop > Nv control panel > 3d settings > enable SLI indicators.
May 14, 2009 5:09:26 PM

I should also add that I game on a LCD projector w/ 1600x1200 max resolution (it can do higher). The reason for the 280's is I already had one, and just got a decent deal on another. I figured I could get screaming FPS at that resolution with all settings maxed. haven't tried it yet- just did some benchmarking:

That Star Tales Benchmark

1280x1024 res
HDR and Depth ticked
Avg 48 FPS
Max 228 FPS
Min 18 FPS

3DMark05 got either low 11K or 13K, can't remember- at work right now. I thought that was really LOW!

I also was thinking about upgrading to Vista- get DX10. When Win7 comes out it will be buggy, to say the least!

Buttmonkey64 :sol:  (don't ask...)
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May 14, 2009 5:14:39 PM

Mousemonkey said:
A Tri-Core scales better than a Quad when used for gaming, I don't think that the faster RAM is going to reap any noticeable performance increase. And checking your SLI mode is as easy as right clicking on desktop > Nv control panel > 3d settings > enable SLI indicators.


concerning the Tri-core- that's what I was thinking too! but for the $$$...

RAM- I thought I was smart, guess I've been out of the loop for too long...

the "enable SLI" is ticked, but something just doesn't seem quite right???

Thx for the reply-

Buttmonkey64 :sol:  (don't ask...)
a c 332 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
May 14, 2009 6:11:32 PM

At 1280 x 1024 you won't be putting the cards to use, try running your benchies @ 1900 x 1200 (or higher) as well to check the difference between CPU (low res) and GPU (high res). If you have the SLI indicators enabled then you should have green bars at the left hand side of the screen whenever SLI is used by a 3d app.
May 15, 2009 1:39:22 PM

OK- found the SLI indicator bar, it is working. I don't understand WHAT it's doing, but it's doing something! I will monitor this post until lunch, and unless I'm told otherwise I am going to order a X2 6400+ from 'egg for $99. It won't be the first time I've wasted $$$...

Oh yeah- if I come across a sweet deal on 4 Gigs of DDR2 1066 RAM, will it work if I use it in my current system (as DDR2 800) until I get a new MoBo? I'm still going to build a new system eventually but I need to get my game on NOW!!!

Thx mousemonkey for your help!
a c 332 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
May 15, 2009 7:18:57 PM

The bars represent the usage on each card so the the closer they get to the edge of the screen (one up, one down) the more you are benefiting from SLI. Check your mobo manual for RAM compatability as it may be fussy as to which 1066 modules it wants to play nice with.