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G.Card Conundrum: Start a 2-stage upgrade or wait for more 5870 stock?

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November 4, 2009 2:01:50 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP BUDGET RANGE: Total Rig is $1700 now + $1000 later

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, movies, surfing, CAD, F@H

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA - Missouri

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Something available

OVERCLOCKING: Yes; Moderate, air-cooled SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

After months of comparing, mind changing, financial delays, more comparing because of new tech hitting the market during the delay, etc, etc, ad nauseum, I am finally ready to order my new rig and get out of the stone-age. Unfortunately my graphics card of choice, the vaunted Radeon HD 5870, is out of stock everywhere reputable I've checked.

I'm coming off an ancient Socket 754 system running a GeForce 7800gs, so about anything I could buy today would likely be a massive upgrade. With that in mind I'm considering buying a GTX-260 now then upgrading to a GTX-3XX card when it comes out later and switching the 260 to a secondary-display/PhysX card.

Does that sound like it would be a worthwhile plan, or am I placing too much faith in nVidia's ability to keep their prices competitive with what ATI is churning out?

More about : card conundrum start stage upgrade wait 5870 stock

November 4, 2009 2:56:39 AM

If you are wanting to purchase a GPU to hold you over until the release of Nvidia's GTX3xx cards or a 5870 is in stock, I would pick up this ATI 4870... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is a good value for the performance you'll get. It will get you by until you next stage in Dec or early 2010.
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November 4, 2009 3:09:12 AM

tecmo34 said:
If you are wanting to purchase a GPU to hold you over until the release of Nvidia's GTX3xx cards or a 5870 is in stock, I would pick up this ATI 4870... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It is a good value for the performance you'll get. It will get you by until you next stage in Dec or early 2010.


True, very true, but I was thinking of the fact that SLI doesn't force you to use identical cards, while Crossfire does.

With that, I could keep the 260 in the system and leverage it for a little performance gain and some extra F@H ooomph once I get my next upgrade.
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November 4, 2009 3:27:47 AM

Wyldfire said:
True, very true, but I was thinking of the fact that SLI doesn't force you to use identical cards, while Crossfire does.

With that, I could keep the 260 in the system and leverage it for a little performance gain and some extra F@H ooomph once I get my next upgrade.

SLI does require the same two cards to be linked in SLI. With Nvidia, you can run one card as the GPU and one as a Physics card, but they are not linked by the SLI bridge.

Once you make your jump to Stage 2, your new GPU will have enough horses without the original CPU. I thought F@H had more to do with CPU power versus GPU, so the extra GPU won't matter. Is that not correct on it relying more on the CPU power?
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November 4, 2009 3:38:49 AM

Wyldfire said:
True, very true, but I was thinking of the fact that SLI doesn't force you to use identical cards, while Crossfire does.

With that, I could keep the 260 in the system and leverage it for a little performance gain and some extra F@H ooomph once I get my next upgrade.


You are completely wrong, SLI needs the exact same card (vendor can be different), like 260GTX with 260GTX. On the other hand, a ATI 4870 can crossfire with 4850. Therefore, you are completely wrong.

Look at ati's chart
http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/images/crossfirex/CF_...

"After months of comparing, mind changing, financial delays, more comparing because of new tech hitting the market during the delay, etc, etc, ad nauseum, I am finally ready to order my new rig and get out of the stone-age."

Well USB 3.0 is releasing soon, so you are not waiting? I thought you've done research?
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November 4, 2009 3:45:34 AM

Overshocks... What about SATA 6.0 as well? Haven't you done your research? :p  :D 
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November 4, 2009 4:11:36 AM

tecmo34 said:
Overshocks... What about SATA 6.0 as well? Haven't you done your research? :p  :D 


I wasn't mentioning sata 6, doesn't mean I don't know about it. Haven't you learned some comprehension in school? Don't try and bash me and start an efight, so pointless. Suggest something that's productive for the OP
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November 4, 2009 4:21:31 AM

My best suggestion is to go ahead and build your new system, using your curent 7800GS card. Get the 5870 when it becomes available. You will always lose money on an interim card.

Alternatively, look at a GTX295 from EVGA. It is in the same performance class as the 5870, but costs $100 more. With any luck, you will be able to use their 90 day "step-up" program for the next best thing.
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November 4, 2009 4:27:13 AM

^There's no point buying a gtx 295..that's wasting money period.
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November 4, 2009 4:31:06 AM

tecmo34 said:
SLI does require the same two cards to be linked in SLI. With Nvidia, you can run one card as the GPU and one as a Physics card, but they are not linked by the SLI bridge.

Once you make your jump to Stage 2, your new GPU will have enough horses without the original CPU. I thought F@H had more to do with CPU power versus GPU, so the extra GPU won't matter. Is that not correct on it relying more on the CPU power?


Okay, so I apparently misunderstood the PhysX-card bit. I never actually intended to do a dual-GPU configuration, so I haven't paid much attention to what happens with such setups. This idea is just something to try getting some sort of long-term use from what would otherwise be a stopgap, throw-away upgrade.

As for F@H, it's my understanding that they have another cloent that will allow you to use CAL and CUDA techs to significantly boot the amount of work the rig can do. I may be again totally mistaken, but that's what I got from a quick read-over on their GPU FAQ. (Link)
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November 4, 2009 4:33:03 AM

geofelt said:
My best suggestion is to go ahead and build your new system, using your curent 7800GS card. Get the 5870 when it becomes available. You will always lose money on an interim card.

Alternatively, look at a GTX295 from EVGA. It is in the same performance class as the 5870, but costs $100 more. With any luck, you will be able to use their 90 day "step-up" program for the next best thing.



Unfortunately, my 7800GS is on an AGP interface, otherwise I'd have upgraded to a newer card ages ago.

Like I said... stone age. :( 
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November 4, 2009 4:38:58 AM

You are still proceeding with your build when usb 3.0 is this near?
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November 4, 2009 4:50:32 AM

overshocks said:
You are still proceeding with your build when usb 3.0 is this near?


Thing is, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not here.

The USB/SATA 3 boards are already out... they're just all P55 boards.
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November 4, 2009 4:55:11 AM

F@home has a GPU client that produces much more work than the CPU client.

As for the idea of using the GTX 260 as a physics card will work although I question how beneficial it will actually be.

As for the EVGA step up plan, its a very very limited plan. I have 4 days left to upgrade my GTX 275 and you know what my choices are from a drop down menu in my profile?

GTX 295 Co Op 509 bucks
GTX 260
GTX 250
9800 GT
9600 GT Low power
9500 GT

Obviously not many options as I would think that the GTX 285 and the new GTX 275 Co Op would be an option. EVGA told me the GTX 275 Co Op is too new and I can only choose from the drop down list.

Personally I think that the step up program sucks. I would expect there to be more than one option since I didn't actually pick the top end card offered at the time.

If I were you I would build a nice system with maybe 1000 ~ 1200 bucks and a XFX 5770 in crossfire possibly pushing you closer to a 1400 budget. Don't spend the extra 1000 on top of that just yet. If you used a 754 socket this long you should be happy to use this system for at least 3-4 years easy...

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November 4, 2009 5:21:52 AM

Your thread got me emotionally distraught and forced my hand to create this thread to unite all of the other unhappy step uppers with EVGA, lol.

I need to get a life... ;) 
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Best solution

November 4, 2009 2:16:25 PM

Since the OP needs some sort of a graphics card right away,and the existing card will not work, I think that maybe some sort of an interim card might be a good idea. You could buy something decent like a GTX260/GTX275/4870/4890 . It should run most games decently at 1920 x1200. You may find that nothing stronger is needed. With experience, you could then decide if you want an upgrade later, and how strong it needs to be. Let me assume that the new mobo will have sli capability. But, you will have to spend a bit more up front for a stronger SLI capable PSU and a SLI capable mobo.

Upgrade options would be:

1) Add another GTX260/275... in SLI 2) Sell the interim GTX260/275... on e-bay and get a 5870 or whatever. If you buy a XFX product, they have a transferrable warranty which should make marketing the card easier.

2) If you want the best available card to keep for a long time, then the best thing is to defer your build until you can snag a 5870. I like the single chip card to avoid multiple gpu issues. I like the 40nm process for cooler running and lower power. If you can't wait, then pay an extra $100 for a GTX295.

As to the Step-up program, I have to agree that it is not the best thing, particularly if you got a good price on the original card. You will pay the retail price on the step-up, and you will be credited only with your original purchase price. You will also be without a card while the exchange is being made. The upgraded card you want may not be offered.

I think the best strategy is to get a good deal on a single current card that satisfies you now, and plan on selling it when you want to buy the next best thing.
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