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NVidia vs. ATI AMD system: the Architects computer

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November 25, 2009 7:55:01 AM

Hi there

I need some help considering a new system build.

I am studying architecture, and am putting a build together for a computer that will be the best for my work. I use mainly Photoshop, Revit 3D modelling and rendering software, and 3D Studio Max. My main concern is two-fold: running large files in Photshop and Revit is essential, but cutting down on rendering times is also important.

Another issue is that I am in South Africa, so prices, exchange rates and stock availability and brands are different to other places!

Right, so my build stands at:

AMD Phenom II x2 550 be
4gig DDR3 1333

...and the hold up comes with the motherboards. My options have exhausted my budget and am playing around to get the best combination within my budget.

My options are:

MSI M/B with ATI chipset (Xfire, hybrid Xfire etc) and a sapphire 4670 512 DDR3

or a MSI M/B with nVidia chipset SLI (R200 cheaper than ATI) and a MSI 9600 GT 512 DDR3 (R200 more than sapphire)

while I don't see me using SLi or crossfire in the near future, it doesnt make sense to me to get a nVidia chipset board and ATI card and vice versa. But if it really doesn't make a difference, I could get the cheaper nVidia chispet board with a more expensive better sapphire 4830 card? Would that be better?

Another worry for me is that Sapphire seems to always get great reviews for ATI cards, but MSI has more mixed reviews for nVidia cards? Should I stick with the (seemingly better) Sapphire ATI cards?

Thanks for your time, I would really appreciate any input and advice!
November 25, 2009 10:56:45 AM

Hmm i dun think those apps take advantage of GPU acceleration while being CPU intensive tasks so why dun concentrate on getting as much processing power as u can - i vote the Athlon 2 x4 620 or the lowest end Deneb x4 the 925 as per which is within your budget ^^ Go with an IGP chipset like 785G/790GX?
November 25, 2009 11:00:26 AM

Thanks! I've just been reviewing my hardware options, and at the moment i'm looking at an ASUS 785G M/B with the Athlon 2 X4 620 CPU as a better option! Think its the best option actually

But surely a decent entry GPU would help, like a HD 4650/4670 rather than relying on the IGP??
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November 25, 2009 12:02:11 PM

Well some 785G have 128mb sideport memory if u worried about IGP stealing RAM from system but if i were u i would fork out for a discrete if i am 100% the app get GPU accelerated by default and/or via some plugin hehe
November 25, 2009 12:33:00 PM

thanks man, great help! If i still wanted to use the PC for a bit of casual gaming in downtime, what would be a good option?? looking for a quiet, stable low power card..

my options seem to be (all sapphire as i've heard good things) HD 4550 passive, HD 4650 1gig DDR2 passive, or really fork out for a 4670 DDR3 passive card. I would go for a standard 4670, but apparently they really loud.

the HD 4650 1gig DDR2 seems attractive to me for gaming possibility and no noise?
November 25, 2009 12:39:38 PM

That would depend on what type of gamer profile u fit to be honest:

1. No compromises/Full HD/ eye candy
HD 4890 / GTX 275 min

2. "I game on my terms" i.e low power GPU with lowering of settings and/or resolutions depending on how GPU intensive game is
HD 4770/GTS 250/HD 5750...

3. You mean i can game on 1024 x 768 OR 1280 X 1024? Wow
GTS 220/HD 4670
November 25, 2009 12:54:25 PM

ssa, haven't really seriously played a game in years to be honest, but i want the option. i still play legend of zelda - a link to the past SNES on my HTPC for instance, but if i had the option i'd definitely get into some newer games.

i'm basically looking for a decent, quiet reliable 512mb-ish (DDR2 or DDR3) for a good price that can handle a few games.

i think it might be worthwhile forking out for a HD 4670, but i'm worried about loud fan noise, which would suck for work. but i can get a silent heatsink Sapphire HD4670 it seems. do you think that's a good option (it might be a bit pricey for what i need)? i read a good review on it. otherwise i'm just gonna get a cheap HD4550 or 4350 or something, unless there's any better recommedation?
November 25, 2009 12:59:13 PM

Nah no worries the HD 4670 is a popular card for my clients andmy favourite is the Sapphire HD 4670 with native HDMI - very good temps and low noise at load and can do 1280 x 1024 good while being low power/noise enuff go be a HTPC card as well hehe I would say if u wanna fork out for a discrete the HD 4670 is an good choice for casual gamers the others u mentioned lack teeth to be even considered entry level gaming cards IMO :p 
November 25, 2009 1:08:15 PM

cool thanks batuchka! you've really been a great help!

think i'm all sorted then! gonna fork out for the HD4670 if can, otherwise a HD4500 just for now.

the athlon II x4 you recommended does exceptionally well for renders and photoshop it seems, which is great. So i think i've found the best PC for me then!

Thanks again for the great help!!

Cheers
November 25, 2009 1:18:12 PM

Glad to hear and welcomed ^^
November 25, 2009 1:22:30 PM

cool

what power supply would you recommend? i had a 470watt gigabyte one in mind, but am wondering if i need that much? and could i sent you the html of the components from the shop if you could check them out maybe?

thanks
November 25, 2009 1:32:51 PM

Sure but a link to that Gigabyte PSU specs would suffice - have to study its amps and such to make a call Dun recall Gigabyte make top of the line PSUs but certainly not door stop fodder so sounds good
November 26, 2009 5:13:19 AM

thanks again batuchka!

here's the link of my power supply options: http://www.comx-computers.co.za/computer-hardware.php?b.... wouldn't wanna spend more than R400 but if i must i must. don't even know what wattage i should be looking at really? wanna keep it low if i can

Note: i'm probably getting a HD4550 first off, which is very low power, but i may upgrade to a HD4670 soon tho..

that's actually the vendors i'm ordering everything through, so it has all the stuff i'm looking at
November 26, 2009 6:43:52 AM

do you have any experience with the Sapphire HD4670 with heatsink only? i read one good review, but thats all i found.?
November 26, 2009 6:59:58 AM

Yes - work with the Sapphire HD4670 with active cooling a lot - are u referring to the passively cooled version?
November 26, 2009 7:05:16 AM

yeah i was referring to the passive one.

well, if i'm working, not using intense graphics, would the fan on the active not push so much, and it would be quite. how strongly do you recommend the HD4670 in my situation?

would using the IGP make rendering and photoshop suffer at all?
November 26, 2009 7:12:58 AM

For the most part in offices, peeps are on doing fine on IGP for this line of work. If you do however get a discrete the HD 4670 non passive is fine if u are paying a premium for the passive one hehe
November 26, 2009 7:27:21 AM

Well having seen the benchmarks the 790GX get better frames ingames but the 785G is more geard for HTPC so pick which ever fits your needs hehe
November 26, 2009 7:31:04 AM

Thanks!

yeah, i'll go with the 790GX i think, and use IGP for now. how about the PSU tho?
November 26, 2009 7:35:05 AM

An 80+ in the 380-430 watt range would do A quality PSU is the foundation by which any DIY rig ought to be built upon and is always a sound investment ^^
November 26, 2009 7:43:10 AM

cool, thanks again batuchka! you've been invaluable help.

think thats it then so i can stop taking up your time!
November 26, 2009 8:49:57 AM

Twas a pleasure and u are welcomed ^^
!