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Choosing the most balanced GPU

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September 26, 2009 10:10:09 PM

I kinda stuck in a GPU delimma. I am coming from a 8600GTS and seeking a new GPU.

I play:
Oblivion (with qarl TP3)
MoHPA
Turning Point: FoL (no comment please)
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Fallout 3
and about 12 or so "smaller" games

All titles are played @ 1600x1200 No AA, and just enough AF and a few polishers (supersample, increased texture filters, etc.)

System is custom
ASUS P5N-D
WD Blue 500
Crucial PC-6400
Corsair TX-750
Intel PD 950 (SL95V)
LCS with 3Q of water at 40GPH with a 340 cubic inch radiator (I got tired of heat and noise, so I took this thing out of a busted A/C)

I am looking at either the $150 (post rebate) GTX260 or the $120 9800GTX+

On the one hand I have the 260, unfortunatly aftermarket coolers are EXPENSIVE
On the other I have the 9800GTX+ that I think is compadable with this:
http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1153&ID=15...

If I got the 9800GTX+ I could get the GPU cooler (It's not compadable with the G200s, they have a 51mm pattern as opposed to the G92s 53mm holes)

My question is, will a stock cooled GTX260 give me enough benifit on a Pentium D 950 to pass up a watercooled 9800GTX+?

Also, both GPU and CPU will be overclocked to the point of becoming absurd.

On a related note I'll need a reccomendation on a NB cooler for the P5N-D.

SLI is an eventual probability.

More about : choosing balanced gpu

September 26, 2009 11:33:56 PM

either get the gtx260, or wait a few months, maybe october or november for the hd 5770, it should be more powerfull than the gtx260, for about the same price
September 26, 2009 11:43:10 PM

xaira said:
either get the gtx260, or wait a few months, maybe october or november for the hd 5770, it should be more powerfull than the gtx260, for about the same price


P5N-D is an NVIDIA MCP with the full gambit of NForce software, so an ATI card is pointless. Besides, last i heard the GT300s will be out for Black Friday, and that should drop the GT200s about $20.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 27, 2009 12:26:52 AM

azconnie said:
Besides, last i heard the GT300s will be out for Black Friday, and that should drop the GT200s about $20.

Where did you hear that?, link please.
September 27, 2009 12:29:55 AM

Mousemonkey said:
Where did you hear that?, link please.


I don't have a link, I just google GT300 every 2 days or so and restrict the news results to 24 hours.
a c 271 U Graphics card
September 27, 2009 12:49:42 AM

Until that particular rumour mill generator can spit out some hard evidence of the cards existence first, I wouldn't put any faith in a predicted release date.
September 27, 2009 1:02:21 AM

Radeon 4890s OC really well
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 27, 2009 1:39:51 AM

You shouldn't be considering a GPU upgrade without also getting a new CPU. That motherboard can handle core 2 duos and a 2.5 ghz E5200 is only $68. It can usually be OCed up to 3.5 ghz easily even on stock cooling, close to 4 ghz with a decent cooler. Worlds better than that Pentium D.

azconnie said:
P5N-D is an NVIDIA MCP with the full gambit of NForce software, so an ATI card is pointless.
The only thing that's pointless is that you think this is true. It shouldn't matter at all.
September 27, 2009 1:53:36 PM

jyjjy said:
You shouldn't be considering a GPU upgrade without also getting a new CPU. That motherboard can handle core 2 duos and a 2.5 ghz E5200 is only $68. It can usually be OCed up to 3.5 ghz easily even on stock cooling, close to 4 ghz with a decent cooler. Worlds better than that Pentium D.

The only thing that's pointless is that you think this is true. It shouldn't matter at all.


Well, when I say an ATI is pointless, what I mean is that I bought an Nvidia MCP for the specific purpose of unifying my drivers, and utilizing the SLI technology. While technically an Nvidia fanboy, I respect the contriutions and competition of ATI.

I suppose more properly I should have said an ATI card is pointless in my configuration.

Oh, and thanks for telling me about the E5200, the only reason I have a D950 is that it is a remnant of my previous configuration, and I havn't upgraded that particular component yet. I was planning to drop my multiplyer from 17 to about 13 or 14 and OC the FSB to C2D spec and hopefully hit 4GHZ core, but if I can get a real C2D @ 4ghz for $70 that would be even better.

Edit*
I just looked up the E5200, it looks more like a lateral shift to me. My cooling system keeps my CPU sub 40 without question, and that at a 26 ambient with the radiator being passivly cooled in a closed system. What little i may get out of the cache change I don't feel will justify $70 plus the labor of changing the CPU when I could OC my 950 t0 4GHZ on a 13x multiplier. If someone could finf a real C2D for sub $100ish I'd be more interested.
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 27, 2009 10:57:16 PM

The Pentium D and Core 2 Duo architectures are entirely different and comparing them based on clock speed is totally meaningless. A core 2 duo is not quite but almost twice as powerful as a Pentium D on a clock for clock basis.
Also an E5200 is a real C2D, it has a Wolfdale core just like all the other dual-core C2Ds. If you plan on OCing then the ONLY real difference between the various chips is the amount of cache as they all OC to basically the same level. The E5xxx chips have 2mb of L2 cache. You can also spend $50 more for an E7xxx chip with 3mb or $100 more for a E8xxx with 6mb but for that price you should probably just get a quad-core chip.
September 27, 2009 11:15:52 PM

I have never actually tried a C2D core to compare. So, eventhough it says Pentium E5200 it is a C2D? Is that some sort of crossbranding to give Wolfdale to older/cheap boards or something?

Well, in that case, I can get a C2D E7500 (2.93/1066/3MB) for $120, or a C2Q Q8200 (2.33/1333/4MB) for $150.
Considering I got the D950 for $80 I could hock it and pay over half the E7500 then get a pair of 512 DDR2s for the other two banks and use the P5N-Ds double dual channel thing (dual channel A & B), plus bringing myself to 3G of RAM.

All that aside, I still need a good opinion on a watercooled 9800GTX+ vs a GTX 260.

For the sake of arguement well assume I have an E7500 if it helps.

At this point I'm just waiting till about the 5th of nex mo. to see what game bundles there are. Last mo. they had Farcry 2 and COD MW bundled plus the Cryostasis download upon register. Now all they have is that Batman thing, and since Jack Nickolson isn't the Joker I'm not interested. Maybe Farcry next mo. or maybe even Fallout GOTY *fingers crossed*
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 27, 2009 11:37:27 PM

It has nothing to do with older or cheaper boards. The different name is purely a marketing ploy to try to encourage people to spend more for what is basically the same chip(an effective one as you seem inclined to do so despite having it explained.) If you are going to bother spending the extra money go with the quad-core.
Definitely get the GTX 260 if you are going to upgrade the processor.
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 27, 2009 11:40:43 PM

Oh yeah, If you only have a gig of RAM an upgrade there is a must. Two 1gb so you have 3gb total would be a better call.
Also I don't know if you'll be able to get much for a Pentium D at this point.
October 4, 2009 2:55:55 AM

jyjjy said:
Oh yeah, If you only have a gig of RAM an upgrade there is a must. Two 1gb so you have 3gb total would be a better call.
Also I don't know if you'll be able to get much for a Pentium D at this point.


I actually alraedy have 2x1GB RAM, adding the third would fill all my slots, and max the 32 bit support. Also, I'm not trying to argue about the E5200, I an see intel doing a marketing thing like that, I've just been told that A=B before. I actually found an odd pricing quirk too, The going price on Amazon for a D950 is $150, and I can buy a Q8200 for $140, so the D950 is listed for $140, and when it sells I'll buy the Q8200 same day. I'm not itching to be rid of it... but a Q8200 would be nice. I'm not a real graet overclocker, 300Mhz is all Ive ever gotten out of a CPU so the 7x multi and 1333 FSB would be better for me. Although there is a Q6600 GO for $140, and 1:1 RAM at 1600 FSB, 3600 core would be nice Anyway, I think I'll go ahead and get the GTX260, and the quad will come when it comes. Also, I know that most apps don't go over 2 threads, but come on, 4 processors. I seel that like tri-SLI, no longer improving perormance worth the price point, but oh boy can you brag. :D 
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 4, 2009 3:29:24 AM

I guess that's a top of line chip for certain old motherboards so you lucked out there(if it does sell.) I think the same is true of the socket 939 dual cores. They aren't very good by today's standards but they are the best chip a lot of old systems can upgrade to. They stopped being made long ago so they still fetch a decent price second hand.
The GTX 260 should definitely do well at your resolution. You should be able to max out all the settings on the games you listed plus most other games when you get the new CPU.
October 11, 2009 1:42:24 AM

A sale would be nice. The only reason I have a D950 is because of my last MOBO (ECS (NEVER AGAIN!!) 945 PL-a). Not exceptional, but it was a $40 doorway into PCIe. The only reason I had the D950 is because I had bought another processor (forgot the model) and it was one stepping and the ECS board only supported the other stepping, so I got the 950 on ebay as a stop gap, I belive is the term. To date I have sold that processor (maybe a D930, but like I said not sure) for $80, anda Celeron D someting (3.x GHz stock) that came with my pilot barebones for $20. Technically speaking Im on my third rig, computer building is a time delayed trial and error thing. To date I have had:

first rig:
PCChips AGP mobo
7300 GT
Celeron D (something)
400 watt generic PSU
Hitachi SATA 2

Later I got the D930 for the PcChips and used that for a month until a capaciter fell off the board (you read that right)

I then got the ECS (looked good on paper, but so dose communism). Forced by error to get the 950. Kept other periferals. The ECS board caused problems from day 1, but I thought operator error. I repeat myself, ECS is crap. But I did get a chance to hock the 7300GT ($90), and buy an 8600GTS (in the pre-9xxx days) for $40 new. Swapped DDR for DDR2 too. Did hours of research and bought the P5N-D, rebuilt my cooling system (forgot to mention I bought an evercool WC-202 and put it on the ECS) with the AC radiator I mentioned in my original post (the 950 ran @ 50*C idle, runs @ 30 now :D  ). About an hour after installing the big radiator my decorative hose connection on the top of the case failed, and the 8600 got wet :sweat: . So I hope you'll forgive me for not just bounding off to buy a Quad today. Oh, forgot to mention, just bought a new (to me) truck. Funds are alittle low.

Holy crap, I'm having a expository conversation with a stranger online... My god... I NEED a new hobby. I mean... this is... I have a girlfreind for gods sake! Why am I reaching out for compaiononship in an online computer tech support forum? Is it really that important to talk to someone that knows the "CPU" is a tiny thing inside the tower?

Yes... yes it is.

I'll be convincing myself of this statement for the next few hours if ya'll need me... :pt1cable: 
!