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GPU ugrade! but wich one?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 25, 2010 1:29:53 AM

Allright, i am thinking of upgrading my comp this month, mainly so i can play games on stereoscopic 3D.

I am currently using a 8800gt alpha dog and a 9500gt for the physics.

I would like to upgrade my main graphic card ( and maybe promote the 8800 to physics if its possible and if i still have enough power to do so ), for something a little more powerfull, knowing that 3d gaming will require twice of the framerate. As a student in software engeneering, i also dev alot of graphical applications with openGL/dx so more shader cores would definitly be welcome here :p .

I currently have no idea of what to look for, i was waiting on the fermis since last summer, but apparently its not going to be as awesome as expected and way over my current budget. A card under 250$ would be great, but i could invest up to 300$ if there is really some "awesome value" i should go for.

I am also going to buy some 1900x1080 120 hertz screen, probably the gd245hq along with a 3d vision kit from nvidia (unless someone has another solution that could work ATI)

I should say that i tend to prefer nvidia's solutions, but without being an epic fanboy. The main reason why i would like to stick to nvidia is for their stereoscopic solution, wich is the only one i have found yet that is accessible and supporting 1900x1080 stereoscopic, so unless someone learns me a way to get nvidia's solution working on an ATI card or some other hd stereoscopic solution, i would like to stick to a card supporting the nvidia-3d-vision.

The problem is that ATI cards are really appealing in terms of game performance for the price you can get them at, but they won't support the damn 3d-vision-kit, and I really can't skip the 3d kit being developping a project that will need it.

Thanks you very much :) !

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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2010 1:39:13 AM

Unfortunately I think ATI has just begun laying the groundwork for their 3D Vision equivalent. Someone still has to make the hardware. So I think right now if 3D is a must you'll need to go NVidia.

Now, as for the card, the ferminators should be "released" in about a month. If you can wait that long, great, I'd say wait. If it is really pressing, get the best GTX260/275/280/285 that you can within your budget.
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February 25, 2010 1:44:40 AM

the gf100 based gpu released on mars 26 will only be the 480 and 470, and i doubt to either even close to be under the 300$ mark.

Of course i can wait, the 8800 being still fully function if we ignore this ugly sounds it makes, but the gf100's mid range cards might not be release until Q1 2062 -_-'.

In addition, every single article i read concerning the fermis that does not come from nvidia tends to say its overrated and will fail to ATI's 6xxx. :/ 

edit: oh also... do you think fermi could drop the 200 & 300 (if they are out by then) series cards' price?
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2010 1:57:51 AM

300 series are just OEM (and so far very low end) cards.

As for the 200 series I'm not sure, depends on how many of them they still have laying around.

At current prices, it looks like your best bet would be a GTX260 (216). That should be a good upgrade over an 8800GT, but depending on the game it might not be enough power. Still ,for the price it is not bad.
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February 25, 2010 3:57:07 AM

EXT64 said:
300 series are just OEM (and so far very low end) cards.

As for the 200 series I'm not sure, depends on how many of them they still have laying around.

At current prices, it looks like your best bet would be a GTX260 (216). That should be a good upgrade over an 8800GT, but depending on the game it might not be enough power. Still ,for the price it is not bad.


allright thanks you, might wait till fermis are out just in case i can catch some price drops but yes the 260 looks great for a descent price.

What do you think of gigabyte's 260 "super-overclocked" (SOC)??
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 25, 2010 8:45:06 AM

Don't pay extra for an overclocked card. You can almost always get better results on your own easily.
I believe a GTX 275 can still be found for $250ish.
Have you considered ditching the 9500GT and just getting another 8800GT for SLI? It will be less than half the price of the GTX 260 and give similar performance. The Nvidia cards in your price range are simply very poor buys for the money right now.
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2010 12:23:32 PM

They (275) should be, but Newegg no longer lists any except the PhysX Co-op. Obviously if your supplier has them, they would be the way to go (over the 260).
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a c 173 U Graphics card
February 25, 2010 12:48:53 PM

I have two 9800gt 1gb in sli and they are the same as the 8800gt except for a few small changes. I think sli will be a decent upgrade that will get you by till prices either drop or the opportunity for a GTX275 or a 285 would turn up on the second hand market.
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February 25, 2010 6:54:27 PM

Best answer selected by edyn.
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February 25, 2010 6:56:45 PM

Allright, i will look arround for a good 275 deal then ( the 8800 belongs to a friend of mine but he does not have enough power to run it at the moment, so the SLI upgrade would not be a great idea for me).

Any card brands i should be looking for? (zotac? gigabyte? evga?)
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2010 7:05:35 PM

eVGA is one of the big ones. In the past they used to have a good warranty/etc. XFX is a good one too. However, if they all seem to be using similar coolers at the same clocks, then the difference is small.
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February 25, 2010 7:18:32 PM

EXT64 said:
eVGA is one of the big ones. In the past they used to have a good warranty/etc. XFX is a good one too. However, if they all seem to be using similar coolers at the same clocks, then the difference is small.


i have alway had NOISY as hell xfx cards, so ill look for the eVGA ones :p 
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February 26, 2010 12:37:43 PM

yep had my 275 order got to "all backordered" argh. The sales customer offered me exactly what you suggested (the gtx 260 oc) as a slightly cheaper but almost as good replacement, so i went for that. The benchmarks also look very impressive for the 220 can$ it cost me :p .
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a b U Graphics card
February 26, 2010 6:49:28 PM

Yeah, that is a seriously OC'ed card. A lot of the NVidia cards in that price range are not very good buys, but this card is the exception (in my opinion). It looks like a great buy. I hope it works well for you.
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February 27, 2010 6:12:08 AM

ill throw some update as soon as it gets here and i can play a bit with it and see how i can tweak it out.

By the way, do you know any program i could use to modify the gpu's clocks/ voltage/ fan speed?

i guess SpeedFan can do the fan for these too right? and what about clocks? I know its possible to do it with cpus using special programs and having enabled an option on some motheroboards.

thanks :) 
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 27, 2010 9:28:28 AM

I do not believe you can modify the voltage of a GTX 260.
Rivatuner is a nice program for overclocking and more. You can use it to set up various profiles with certain core/memory/fan speeds for different situations(for example high OC/modest OC/default)
It can also display/log temperatures, memory usage, fan speeds, ect.
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a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2010 12:24:44 PM

I heard that one does decent OCing (presumably at stock volts) and even if you could up its volts I wouldn't recommend it as it could be high already.
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