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I'm deciding on GPU upgrade

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  • GPUs
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Last response: in Systems
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June 16, 2009 6:54:29 AM

I have been wanting to upgrade my GPU for a while. My system is as follows:

Phenom II X4 940 BE * OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 2GB X 2 * Xigmatech HDT-S1283 w/smoky white LED fan (Dark Knight) * IC Diamond 7 TIM
GeCube HD3870 512MB * dual monitors: Hannspree HF229H & Viewsonic 1916w
Antec 900 w/3 front & 1 side intake, rear & top exhaust * Antec EA650 * 3 x WD5000AAKS 500GB SataII
PhenomMsrTweaker 17.5 multiplier x stock 200 speed = 3.5 in P0 state, down to 1300 in P1 (idle/not busy); great temps: 29C idle, 47C load

I have been noticing in the charts that Crossfire 3870's seem to really kick ass, so I am inclined to get this deal at Newegg,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102719

which expires in 10 minutes (it's onlly an add'l $5 savings, but heck, you know how it is to save a bit). But I think I need some advice before jumping in to Crossfire. Especially since my board has only one PCIE 2.0 16 slot, the other, which is meant to be used for Crossfire, is runs at 8, meaning the Crossfire would run at 8. Would that effectively cut performance in half, from what I see on the charts? Is it a terrible idea? I can otherwise just go for a single card upgrade to a 4850 or similar, but the 3870 is such a great deal right now, and I already have one, so it sounded worthwhile...

OK, 7 minutes left... I think I am going to go for it and will still value anyone's wisdom, and can report back here on how it works out. The card does have Newegg's standard VGA return policy, just in case...

Thanks in advance!

Will

Edit: Just went to Paypal & back... yippee... what a deal (if it's a good setup after all), otherwise, what a waste of shipping the return back!
:lol:  :pt1cable:  :bounce: 

More about : deciding gpu upgrade

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 7:18:59 AM

Why haven't you mentioned what board you have? Is this a 790GX?

If so, both slots will operate at x8 in crossfire, but it's hardly a big thing. You will loose maybe 5 FPS in some games compared to a 790FX board.
June 16, 2009 7:38:04 AM

Proximon said:
Why haven't you mentioned what board you have? Is this a 790GX?

If so, both slots will operate at x8 in crossfire, but it's hardly a big thing. You will loose maybe 5 FPS in some games compared to a 790FX board.


Doh!! So sorry, I thought it was in my little description above. Yes, it's the GA-MA790X-UD4P. I think I'm covered with my PSU, (Earthwatts EA650) at least from the calculations I've done with Antec's & that other major PSU calculator... so that's good news for sure, a real boost will be great. Thanks, proximon.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 8:20:53 AM

I'm glad you did the calculations, because I'm clueless about 3870s. Be sure to check actual amperage required though, not just total watts.
I think if you look in my guide you will find a link in the PSU section to an article that has actual total wattage figures for 3870CF...

Yep there it is
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-powe...

WOW.... 219W at the wall. Don't bother checking the amps. Pad that to 250W, then add margin and figure ideal efficiency, and the EA650 still looks like overkill.
June 16, 2009 8:59:19 AM

What kind of games do you play?

Do you play games that are 3d? Newer or older?

The 3870s are great, and the X2 is a excellent GPU - but have you looked at the 4870?

I would recommend the 4870 series. Two if it fits your budget. Even one has Increadible power for all current and future games, and way overkill for video and 2d apps.

I am currently running 2x PNY 9800GTX in SLI and really happy how well they work. 3dMark Vantage, 2006, 2005 run smooth like a video. Crysis, Fallout3, and all my old games run like you'd expect two year old software to run now. I bought the 9800GTX's on ebay used, with box, for under $90us each, and upgraded Power supply to a 1kw Silverstone Stryker ($200) and retired my Enermax Liberty 620w. If you want new, Newegg, Tigerdirect have near wholesale low prices, and occationally Amazon.com has errors on their prices that are lower if you catch them at the right time.

Kris
kassenz at yahoo
June 16, 2009 12:42:05 PM

kassenz said:
What kind of games do you play?

Do you play games that are 3d? Newer or older?

The 3870s are great, and the X2 is a excellent GPU - but have you looked at the 4870?

I would recommend the 4870 series. Two if it fits your budget. Even one has Increadible power for all current and future games, and way overkill for video and 2d apps.

I am currently running 2x PNY 9800GTX in SLI and really happy how well they work. 3dMark Vantage, 2006, 2005 run smooth like a video. Crysis, Fallout3, and all my old games run like you'd expect two year old software to run now. I bought the 9800GTX's on ebay used, with box, for under $90us each, and upgraded Power supply to a 1kw Silverstone Stryker ($200) and retired my Enermax Liberty 620w. If you want new, Newegg, Tigerdirect have near wholesale low prices, and occationally Amazon.com has errors on their prices that are lower if you catch them at the right time.

Kris
kassenz at yahoo


Actually, I am just an occasional gamer, but am a computer geek since 1977, and have the time right now to enjoy learning and building a kickin' rig. I do like to have the power there should I want to get into gaming more seriously. The games I do play are usually the puzzle-logic type, like World of Goo, Crayon Physics, though a few years ago I was addicted to Age of Empires, maybe will get into it again. Really, though, I have been meaning to upgrade the GPU ever since I upgraded my case from a Lanbox to an Antec 900 and swapped mobos and CPUs... I do a lot of video editing/encoding so that's the main reason for wanting a better graphics solution. Actually, it was Proximon who gave me some great advice a month or two ago when I was deciding on a case & other upgrade options. (thank you again, Proximon!)

The Phenom X4 940 @ 3.5ghz encodes video noticeably faster over the dual-proc Athlon X2 I had prior. Even more so in the Antec 900, plenty of circulation. Temps were problematic in the Lanbox; system shutdown more than a few times during encoding. I'm relieved that the 3870 CF is a valid way to go. Looking forward to setting it up in a few days.

Thanks,
!