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Seeking a new card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 19, 2009 11:30:16 PM

Hello everyone.

This is my first post on Tom's Hardware, and I am glad to be a part of such a vast community of knowledgeable folks. I know you all might have heard this one before but, as the title implies, I am seeking a new card...... Or not..... Bear with me.

I have recently upgraded to Windows 7, and I was thinking of enhancing my video quality now that I "have" DirectX 11 (or so says my DxDiag....) I chose to do this because I was sort of upset to see that some of the games I ran on Windows XP with Direct X 9 (Age of Conan, Dawn of War 2) were chugging along in mediocrity when I turned up the settings or when things in the games escalated. I currently have a 512mb nVidia 9800 GT that I bought earlier in the year with which I was expecting to upgrade to an SLI functionality. My plan was to buy the EXACT same card later as to avoid any real compatibilty issues and to have some space in my case. However, the particular brand of card I purchased a while back is no longer distributed ANYWHERE. So now I am stuck. On one hand, I could still upgrade to a SLI setup with my current card using a different chassis, or I could change my card to something else. I am having trouble deciding on this. Should I stick with the current card and expand on it, or should I just but a new card with a higher memory capacity and upgrade from there in the future? This is my current card:

BFGE98512GTOCXFE GeForce 9800 GT

I believe Newegg still has the product's profile, and it is on the BFG website. Does anyone have any suggestions on what cards to buy in order to supplement or replace this? My current PSU Wattage is 1200, with 400-450 watts used in the rig (I hope), so if it could fall in to those parameters I should be okay. Also I am sure that my board only supports SLI. The board is this:

ASUS M3N-HT Deluxe/HDMI

I believe that is the proper title. I have a few ideas for some cards, but I just want to hear some educated opinions. Thanks.

More about : seeking card

November 19, 2009 11:40:26 PM

Thanks for responding so quickly! I see your point... It is big. Will a run of the mill ATX have space, you think?
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November 19, 2009 11:44:08 PM

The 275 is 10.5", while the 9800GT is 9". See whether the gap between the end of the card and any other components is smaller than 1.5". And, of course, make sure there's an extra slot on the back of the case (the 275 is double-wide).
November 19, 2009 11:49:22 PM

Barely enough space. I have just a .5" gap between the end of that card and a steel skeleton used to house extra drives and such.
November 19, 2009 11:51:14 PM

Double wide? As in it takes two slots? (Sorry I sound like a fool)

November 19, 2009 11:53:26 PM

No, the steel housing aligns perpendicular to the PCI-E slots.
November 20, 2009 12:00:31 AM

gendoikari1 said:
Are there any other PCI-E slots that might have a larger gap? If not, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is the same length as the 9800GT.


This one was actually one of my choices... I could not find the dimensions for this though. Looking at the specs, they seem to be more or less identical. Can I put these two cards together in an SLI format? They are different chipsets.
November 20, 2009 12:10:22 AM

Come to think of it, I cannot use SLI because of the power limitations....
November 20, 2009 12:12:16 AM

sealwarrior said:
Thanks. I see this is a GTS. Is it possible to combine different chipsets for SLI functionality? I am assuming no, and that this card would be a recommended upgrade to my current one, right?

I don't think SLI would be possible between the two because everything save manufacturer has to be the same (clock speed, GPU, memory size, etc.) A 9800GT and the 9800GT would work, however.
November 20, 2009 12:18:55 AM

gendoikari1 said:
I don't think SLI would be possible between the two because everything save manufacturer has to be the same (clock speed, GPU, memory size, etc.)


Right, I thought so. Doesn't hurt to be hopeful, I suppose. I am just comparing these two right now. Stream processors have a minute increase on the XFX and the memory interface for both cards are identical.... You wouldn't happen to know how this card performs perchance? Or where I could go and compare it's performance with other cards?
November 20, 2009 12:29:45 AM

Sorry, I just found one on GPU Review.com. I hope I didn't waste your time there.
November 20, 2009 12:35:52 AM

sealwarrior said:
Right, I thought so. Doesn't hurt to be hopeful, I suppose. I am just comparing these two right now. Stream processors have a minute increase on the XFX and the memory interface for both cards are identical.... You wouldn't happen to know how this card performs perchance? Or where I could go and compare it's performance with other cards?

The card is pretty much a 9800GTX+, except with more memory, a bit higher clock speeds and much shorter. Also, like the GTX+, it is a die shrink compared to the GT so cooling performance is increased (and it only needs 1 six-pin power cable, unlike the GTX+).
Edit: Well, whatever then. It is the best Nvidia card that is under 10". The 4870 is better in some benchmarks, but it is longer than the 9800GT (and the 4850 is worse compared to the 250).
November 20, 2009 12:51:35 AM

Sorry it took so long to respond, I was still doing some comparisons. I just want to ask if it would be unwise to put a larger card in despite the space limitations. Aside from the trouble it would cause installing such a brick of circuitry, would it heavily alter the airflow in my rig? Would there be anything else to worry about?
November 20, 2009 1:10:08 AM

It would be unwise for the next-largest card (9800GTX+/GTX 260) would have to go about an inch into your drive bays, and you (presumably) don't want that.
November 20, 2009 1:16:42 AM

"Presumably" is correct. I have funds to spare, but not enough to spend on a card and a shiny new case. I appreciate the time you took giving me advice. I will try the XFX card you recommended, as that is still a very good card for my purposes. Thanks a lot for your input. It's greatly appreciated!
November 20, 2009 1:18:17 AM

Er.... Just one more question gendoikari1, how do I close this thread?
November 20, 2009 1:23:41 AM

sealwarrior said:
Er.... Just one more question gendoikari1, how do I close this thread?

That... is the one thing I can't help on. Just leave the thread.
Glad to be of service!
!