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What would you do? Old FX-53 System, $1k budget

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May 23, 2009 1:52:59 AM

Edit: This build has changed a lot, please scroll down to see more.

First, let me give you the background on my old PC from Dec 2004 (I actually haven't used it for about 3 years since I've been out of the country):

AMD Athlon FX-53
Corsair DDR 400 1 gb (1 X 512)
MSI K8N Neo Platinum 2 (Nforce 4, Socket 939, AGP, NO PCI-E!!!, Sata 1.5 I believe)
EVGA Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra AGP
Western Digital 500 GB 16 MB Buffer SATA 3.0
Western Digital 250 GB 8 MB Buffer SATA 1.5
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2
Antec True Blue 480 W Power Supply (NOT ATX 2.0, so I've only got a 20 pin, 1 4pin, 5 molex, and 2 sata)
Some DVD burner combo I can't remember, it might even be SATA... most likely IDE.

The case got busted up when it was shipped cross country 3 years ago so my parents put it into an antec 300. I believe at the moment that it's also running Windows 7 RC 64 bit but I have no idea how well it runs it. Worst case scenario I can go to 32-bit W7RC or back down to Win Xp (shudders).

Anyways...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: The end of June

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 Max (but please see my options below)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (left 4 dead, bioshock, mass effect, fallout 3), movies, surfing the internet, video editing, office applications, photoshop

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, headphones (and anything else you would re-use from above)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: New egg

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Intel and Nvidia, but I can be persuaded otherwise

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, on air, but nothing extreme

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 22" 1680 x 1050 or 21.5" 1900 x 1080 (help me decide)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need to leave room to buy an additional 2-3 120mm case fans for the antec 300


Anyways... my options as I view them:

1) Buy a good monitor and just wait until next year or later this year for windows 7, office 2010, core i5, gtx 300, whatever heck else comes out.
2) Do a cheap upgrade ($500 or less with monitor)
3) Do the $1000 upgrade (with monitor).

So which option would you choose, which parts would you replace (and ebay) and which parts would you buy?

More about : system budget

May 23, 2009 6:38:29 AM

I would go for the 22" 1680x1050 monitor because 1. It will be cheaper most likely; 2. It won't require you to get as good of a GPU to play your games well, or alternatively your games will play better with the same GPU due to the lower resolution; 3. I think that 22" is too small for 1080P resolution, things are just really small on the monitor and you need to lean in close to see them.

I would just do the full upgrade now, spending $500 will feel like a waste because you will end up needing to replace those parts soon. You will get more for your money if you actually spend more right now.

Reuse the Antec 300 Case, and buy everything else new.

Here is what I would do:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720
Motherboard: GA-MA790XT-UD4P
GPU: 2x HD 4770's in crossfire (if you can find them...)
Ram: G Skill 4GB DDR3 Ram
HDD: WD6401AALS
Optical: LG Sata DVD Black Drive
Cooler: Sunbeam CCTF or Xigmatek HDT-S1283
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 600w
Use Windows 7 RC for now. You can get the 64bit version...don't get 32 bit its a waste. Its free until March of 2010, and then you will have to do a reinstall.

The ATI/AMD choices are opposite of what you said you wanted, but these are the best value currently for a gaming system. The Phenom II X3 720 is an excellent CPU, and is roughly equivalent to the E8500 from intel in gaming, in many other multithreaded apps its better. The 4770's offer exceptional performance for the price and are the most efficient GPU's on the market due to their new 40nm manufacturing process.
May 23, 2009 6:53:20 AM

O/T

I help upgrade and repair rigs and some are slightly dated and what some peeps on 939 do:
try to get a cheap 2nd hand mobo with PCIe and maybe slot in something like a HD3450/4350 HDMI and u have a HTPC there ..or just sell it off to recover some dough i guess ^^
Related resources
May 23, 2009 7:00:41 AM

I would go with a Gigabyte G31 motherboard (its an older chipset, but does everything you need):$52.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

either E8400 or an E7400 CPU:$167.99 - $119.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4 GB ram:$59.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For GPU either 4850 or 9800gtx (aka 250gtx):$119.99 - 129.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dump the rest of you money into an LCD TV to get the biggest bang for your buck......something like this:$449.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 23, 2009 7:08:13 AM

3lvis said:
I would go with a Gigabyte G31 motherboard (its an older chipset, but does everything you need):$52.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

either E8400 or an E7400 CPU:$167.99 - $119.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4 GB ram:$59.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For GPU either 4850 or 9800gtx (aka 250gtx):$119.99 - 129.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dump the rest of you money into an LCD TV to get the biggest bang for your buck......something like this:$449.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



That's a good board for the e5200, but a bit low end for the e8xx cpu.

Also I think the 4850 and the 9800 gtx is a bit low end to support the resolution of a 32" monitor.
May 23, 2009 7:16:33 AM

+1 to xthekidx suggestions. The e8400/e8500 is probably the best cpu for current gaming. But as games start to utilize more cores, the phenom x3 will become a better gaming cpu.
May 23, 2009 9:00:01 AM

See... my thing is, I have this nasty feeling that by the end of this year or early next year some really good tech is gonna come out...
May 23, 2009 9:06:22 AM

There is always new tech coming out. But when it does, it's ungodly expensive.
May 23, 2009 9:18:27 AM

aford10 said:
There is always new tech coming out. But when it does, it's ungodly expensive.


Yeah. I used to always get the most expensive stuff. Hell that athlon fx-53 was like $700 when I bought it.

Now I don't feel like taking the hit. Everyone talks about future-proofing too... but by the time I get to the point where I want to update, the socket I have is already out of production and they've got some new video card slot specification.

That's why I was leaning towards even a $500 upgrade. I mean if a $2k system lasts me at most 4 years... then $500 every year would net me a better system at the end.
May 24, 2009 12:12:07 AM

Ok... so now I'm leaning heavily towards the upgrade. But I have a new question... is a core i7 build worth the $200 premium over a core 2 duo build?
May 24, 2009 12:16:33 AM

Personally I'd take the Core i7, I heard that the LGA775 socket is pretty much dying.
May 24, 2009 1:13:00 AM

Imo, I would wait till mid July. The i5 CPUs should (supposedly) be out then.
May 24, 2009 1:41:07 AM

The core i7 could be worth it, but it depends on what you do. For gaming, no its not worth it at all.
May 24, 2009 1:56:56 AM

AKM880 said:
Personally I'd take the Core i7, I heard that the LGA775 socket is pretty much dying.


It's not dying. There's newer sockets out now, big deal.

The best cpu has to be based on the tasks the user performs.
May 24, 2009 2:13:32 AM

aford10, you do make a real good point however.
May 24, 2009 7:09:15 AM

As long as the CPU's for LGA 775 get the job done, the socket will keep going, which will be for some time to come as the Core 2 CPU's are still quite potent. The best Phenom II processor still cannot match the best Core 2.

Core 2 will be around for a while yet, it will most likely be occupying the budget/mainstream market in the next year or two, as Core i7 and core i5 take the midrange to high-end market.
May 24, 2009 8:34:26 AM

After doing some research... I think I'm going to jump into a core 2 build. I don't need a core i7, a high-end dual core should be fine for me, especially if I overclock it

Anyways the build I am considering is this:

ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-U12P 120mm SSO CPU Cooler (gonna add an extra fan for push pull)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will reuse the DVD drive (I almost never burn anything anyway), the sound card, and the hard drives... although I am considering a caviar black or a velociraptor.
May 24, 2009 1:27:20 PM

I recommend the cpu that fits the people's needs. It doesn't need to make sense to you.

If it's a budget build for general use, AMD is probably the way to go.
If it's a gaming machine, dual core is the way to go.
If it's a higher end, all purpose PC, i7 is the way to go.
May 24, 2009 1:49:20 PM

Quote:
Again, why would yo spend $190 for a dual core 3ghz processor when you can get a quad core 3ghz Phenom 2 for the same price? Makes no sense.

Not to mention the Phenom 2 system would be upgradeable to newer processors where the s775 would only be upgradeable to currently available quads.

Also the memory I linked has the same specs and is over $30 cheaper than what you selected....also dont forget, Athlon 2 and Core i5 will be released in a few months.


I thought the core 2 was faster clock to clock compared to the phenom 2.

Edit... after doing some research... the phenom 2 940 is looking pretty interesting...
May 24, 2009 10:23:37 PM

Quote:
Yes socket 1366 has been out for a while, socket 1156 will be out in 2 months, yet your still recommending s775 which are way overpriced....makes no sense to me

Why do you think they are overpriced? I think they are priced well, considering how fast the architecture is and the tremendous gains you can get out of the by overclocking. Just cuz they are older doesn't mean they are outdated, they are still faster than anything that AMD has come up with. The Phenom II 940 is a good deal, but you can't compare a 3.0ghz Phenom II to a 3.0ghz Core 2. The Intel chip stomps the AMD chip all over the board.

Just because Phenom II has more processors that will come out for that socket means he will take advantage of that either, that argument is only valid for those people who upgrade their CPU's on a yearly basis. Most people will get one CPU and use it for 4-5 years and then just build a new PC. If you don't upgrade the CPU every year, by the time you are looking to upgrade the CPU, the new processors that are out will be running on a new socket, AM4 perhaps and would be bottlenecked by an old AM2+ motherboard. Sockets have about a 2 year life-span usually.
May 24, 2009 11:47:25 PM

Not directly, but they're close. I'm not sure who'd argue that a $190 dual-core that OCs into the low 4Xs is better value than a $190 quad core that OCs comfortably into the high 3.Xs, and performs only slightly better per clock per core, even with more-expensive DDR3.
May 24, 2009 11:49:01 PM

xthekidx said:
Just because Phenom II has more processors that will come out for that socket means he will take advantage of that either, that argument is only valid for those people who upgrade their CPU's on a yearly basis. Most people will get one CPU and use it for 4-5 years and then just build a new PC. If you don't upgrade the CPU every year, by the time you are looking to upgrade the CPU, the new processors that are out will be running on a new socket, AM4 perhaps and would be bottlenecked by an old AM2+ motherboard. Sockets have about a 2 year life-span usually.


Yeah, I usually upgrade after 3-4 years (I guess in this case almost 5) so I end up being unable to re-use most of the old parts (like this situation now). The ONLY thing I could possibly see myself upgrading is the gpu in a year or two.

So I don't care if it's AM2 or 775 unless it'll bottleneck the processor I plan to buy today. The only thing I care about now is how well this computer will handle today's applications. By the time tomorrow's applications are optimized for quad cores and I start noticing a slow down, it'll be at least 3 years down the road... so future-proofing for me doesn't do much.

I mean I got a 64-bit cpu pretty much right after they were first released... and almost 5 years later, I still haven't had a chance to use it in a 64 bit environment. I bought a few $500 graphics cards in my day and while the first time I did it, I saw a HUGE jump in performance, my biggest shock came when I upgrade from a ti4600 to a 6800 ultra and saw that 3dmark 05 still kicked the ultra's ass. To make things worse, since I used v-sync, I didn't see an improvement in any of the games I played. To add more insult to injury, 3-6 months after I bought those video cards, a bigger and better card would come out and my video card's price would be cut in half. I guess all of that is the reason I set my budget down to $1000. Could I afford a $4000 core i7 965 with a gtx 295 system... probably. Would it be a good purchase? No.

Err... yeah, I guess I should get off my soap box. LOL. I guess you can see how bitter I am about spending $2500-$3500 for systems (just the towers!) in the past. Add in the monitors and I guess I was paying $3k-$4k. Ugh.

So... basically, I'm really hesitant to pay a premium for a piece of hardware with functions i won't use. Do I need a dual core? Yeah, that's pretty much a given. Do I need a quad-core? More than likely, probably not... especially since the C2D is so damn fast. So after I do more research on the phenom, if the C2D really outshines the p2 in the apps I use, I'll go C2D. If the difference is small, I'll go p2... since quad core apps ARE coming within the next year or two.
May 25, 2009 12:02:47 AM

I'm not sure about that. The difference between a quad-core and a dual-core will get alot more evident a few years from now. Right now, the e8X00 is better in dual-threaded games well OC'd. Right now, even the old Phenom II 9950 outperforms the e8400 in quad-threaded games.
http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,669595/GTA-4-PC-CPU-...
Bottom line is, I'm alot more sure a 940 won't bottleneck you in three years than I am about an e8X00, 4gHz or no.
May 25, 2009 1:12:33 AM

Well, now I'm leaning more heavily towards the AMD platform...

If I get a

AMD Phenom II 940
Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P (790x based, not fx or gx)
Sapphire Radeon 4970 1gb

it's about $4 cheaper than a

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
EVGA Nvidia GTX 260 Core 216

I would use the same PS, RAM, monitor, and heatsink for both builds.

Decisions... decisions.

Edit: After looking at these benchmarks, I'm pretty much sold on the p2 platform.
May 25, 2009 2:17:18 AM

Ok... so I've decided to go for the Phenom II 940 but with a GTX 260 core 216 instead.

Any ideas on what I should do for the hard drive? Splurge on a velociraptor? Get a caviar black? Or just stay with the 500 gb WD I've got now (it's 16 mb and SATA 3.0 anyway).
May 25, 2009 2:53:59 AM

Are you sure? You wouldn't be able to SLi it in the future... I'd keep the 500Gb
May 25, 2009 3:34:46 AM

smithereen said:
Are you sure? You wouldn't be able to SLi it in the future... I'd keep the 500Gb


I'm not a big fan of dual graphics cards solutions to be honest. I mean, the graphics performance increase isn't linear and they suck way more juice so I'd need a better PSU... not to mention they would increase the ambient temps and I'd have to deal with squeezing them into my antec 300.

I'm only gaming at 1680 x 1050 anyway.

I'd much rather just get a better video card in a year or two than deal with sli. :ange: 
May 25, 2009 3:40:36 AM

It's up to you.
May 25, 2009 7:38:31 AM

Quote:
Quote:
Why do you think they are overpriced? I think they are priced well, considering how fast the architecture is and the tremendous gains you can get out of the by overclocking. Just cuz they are older doesn't mean they are outdated, they are still faster than anything that AMD has come up with. The Phenom II 940 is a good deal, but you can't compare a 3.0ghz Phenom II to a 3.0ghz Core 2. The Intel chip stomps the AMD chip all over the board.


C2D is not faster clock for clock than Phenom2, they bench almost exactly the same. The Q9550 is almost dead even with the P2 940 clock for clock and it costs $80 more. Not to mention you cant upgrade it at all.
Only a idiot would spend the same amount on a 3ghz dual core over a 3ghz quad core.

The only thing they benchmark "almost exactly the same" is in gaming, which as everyone knows is GPU bound, not CPU. In games where the CPU matters a lot such as FSX, the Q9550 widens the gap. And despite being slower in clock speed, the Q9550 still is faster than the Phenom II 940 in gaming. Look at tasks that are dependant on the CPU like video editing or 3d rendering. The Phenom II 940 gets trounced by the Q9550, and barely hangs with the Q9400.

Benchmarks: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=349...

Only an idiot would assume that the Q9550 was priced at $80 more for no reason. Who cares if you can't upgrade it to a different processor? By the time you need to upgrade it AM3 will be EOL and AM4 or LGA 1455 or w/e will be the new thing.

May 26, 2009 1:34:52 AM

I see why zip's saying get a Phenom II, but it really depends on how often the OP plan to upgrade. If OP plans to upgrade completely a year or two down the road then the road then LGA775 makes sense. But if OP is planing on partial upgrade (ie swap out CPU) for a few years then the Phenom II/i7 makes sense.
May 26, 2009 3:10:06 AM

You will all probably all laugh at me for this but I've decided to go with a core i7. It puts me up to $1,200 total... but honestly, I think it's worth it. I won't have any regrets. I just hope I get a d0 stepping. Hopefully one month will be enough to thin out the c0's or bring in even more price savings.

When Windows 7 comes out, either at the end of the year or early next year, I'll pick that up along with a new hard drive and a new dvd drive. If I need one, I'll grab a new sound card too.

Then in two years I'll upgrade the gtx 260 to something better and 4 years down the line I'll worry about a whole new build.
May 26, 2009 3:50:22 AM

Congraguations. Enjoy your build!
May 26, 2009 1:27:40 PM

Quote:
OMG. Well first you wanted to stay under $1000, then you just wanted a $500 upgrade including monitor. You kind of defeated the entire purpose of this post.

If you had just said you definately wanted to build new and you wanted to spend $1200, everyone would have recommended i7 anyways. Instead you wasted everyones time.


How is asking for advice and getting recommendations wasting anyone's time? Unless of course you're the kind of person who believes that if you've sat down and given somebody your advice that they're automatically required to take it... and if you're that kind of person, I don't think you should be giving out advice.

I wanted people to give me some decent options that I probably hadn't thought about. Someone told me that going for a 21.5" 1920 x 1080 monitor was too small. I took that advice. Someone told me that going for a $500 upgrade wasn't worth it if I was willing to spend $1000. I considered that. Then people said that I should look into a phenom 2 over a core 2 duo. I listened to that and started pricing it out. And that's when I compared builds and realized that I'd only be saving $200 over a core i7 build.

All in all, this thread has been very helpful to me, I figured out what build to go with... and I sincerely doubt that I wasted people's time. They were on this board to give advice anyway. If they hadn't "wasted" it on me, they'd have "wasted" it on somebody else.

And actually, my build is actually about $1.1k, I just forget to mention that I added some peripherals to that build (headphones, mousepad, etc) that bumped the price up.

Was I bad for saying $1000 max, yeah, I should of said around $1000. For that I apologize.
May 26, 2009 5:00:29 PM

You will enjoy an i7 build.

Post your final build list so we can critique and refine it.
May 26, 2009 11:28:17 PM

xthekidx said:
You will enjoy an i7 build.

Post your final build list so we can critique and refine it.


Ok... here's what I'm shooting for:

Intel Core i7 920
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(I was considering the SLI gigabyte board for the same price but I read some reviews that said it didn't handle memory as well, it's too cramped, and it doesn't have an esata port... on the other hand, it apparently overclocks like a beast)

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (7-7-7-24 @ 1.6V)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(I was going to go for the 2ms Asus model but the price jumped up $20 bucks... and I doubt I'll see a difference between 5ms and 2 ms. On a side note, I just noticed a 23" Asus 2ms 1980 X 1050 for $187.99...)

Antec 761345-75120-9 120mm Case Fan - Retail (3 of these)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(I know a lot of people go Scythe but I read some reviews about some weird high-pitched sounds coming from them. Can anybody comment?)

Other things that I didn't really mention that I needed and didn't include in the budget:

ENCORE ENLWI-N PCI 2.3 Wireless Adapter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PLANTRONICS GameCom 367 Closed-ear 3.5mm Circumaural Stereo Headset
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XTRAC PADS Ripper Optical Mouse pad
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Link Depot 10 ft. 1394 Cable, 6 Pin to 4 Pin Model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 26, 2009 11:28:45 PM

Quote:
LOL, I should have said you wasted MY time. I was advising you of the best performance for the dollar. If you had stated you wanted to go high end right off the bat, it would have saved me and the others some trouble.
Enjoy your new computer.


Sorry for the trouble, but thanks for your opinions.
May 27, 2009 12:04:38 AM

xthekidx said:
The motherboard might be a problem for you. You can't SLI on that motherboard, only crossfire and you have an Nvidia GPU. If you want to add another GPU later, then Go with the Asus P6T or switch the GPU to a 4870 1gb, like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I might spring the extra money for the plain vanilla P6T in case I ever want to sell it.

But I'm not sure I'd ever SLI. I'm using an Antec 300 case which will be cramped as it is with one GTX 260. On top of that I'd have to buy a 1000 w power supply which is $120+ over the one I have now.

I mean it sounds cool... and I considered popping in two GTS 250's instead of a GTX 260, but I just couldn't justify the added cost. I don't game enough anymore... and by the time I get to the point where I feel like I'd need to add another GTX 260, the GTX 300s/400s/500s/1 millions will probably be well established and offer close performance for a single card.
May 27, 2009 12:48:38 AM

You wouldn't need a 1000w PSU, a 750w PSU would be enough for two 260's.
May 27, 2009 1:27:25 AM

xthekidx said:
You wouldn't need a 1000w PSU, a 750w PSU would be enough for two 260's.


If I bump up my PSU to an 850 and then go to the plain p6t it puts my price up by about $70... which may be worth it in the long run. I'll have to think about it.
May 27, 2009 2:39:58 AM

So if I change the board and the PSU it goes frrom $1265 to $1340 total... which is spitting distance to $1450 which would get me 2 gts 250 1gbs in SLI.

Costs creep up too damn easily, lol.
May 27, 2009 2:58:37 AM

How about using the 650tx PSU and going with two GTS 250's? or two 4850's?
May 27, 2009 3:17:06 AM

I thought about that. I wish I could find some decent benchmark comparisons of the gts 250 1gb in sli vs the gts 250 250512 mb in sli.
May 27, 2009 3:20:41 AM

I hope you mean 256mb... that would depend hugely on the res you play at.
May 27, 2009 3:27:26 AM

smithereen said:
I hope you mean 256mb... that would depend hugely on the res you play at.

512mb...

The two are pretty close. At high resolutions the extra memory matters more. It is worth it to get the 1gb versions if you will play at 1080P IMO.
May 27, 2009 3:35:02 AM

LOL, my bad. I meant 512, not 256.
May 27, 2009 3:39:38 AM

Well if I go for sli cards, I want to make sure my system gets enough juice... so the extra $30 for the 850 over the 650 would be worth it.

I have to figure out if I could fit the two cards in SLI in my antec 300 with 2 harddrives. I know the gts 250's are about an inch shorter than the gtx 260's... but still.
May 27, 2009 4:09:23 AM

650w would be plenty for that system, really. It wouldn't use more than 400w I would guess at full load, and the 650TX can handle peak loads around 900w. Go for the 750tx if you want to be safe. The 850tx could handle three of those cards just fine and would be overkill for 2 IMO.

Take a look at this: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3517&p=13

The GTS 250 is more efficient than the 9800GTX+'s that they used, and at load, their power consumption was 408w using an i7 965 CPU.
!