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Help GTX 480 or Silent WC'd GTX 260 SLI

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March 18, 2010 10:48:19 AM

Hi all, :hello: 

Require advice on new card for card, really want to pop my cherry with water cooling but the GTX 480 is out next week and as a keen overclocker, full water cooling kit is a must at some stage, at the moment i have a sheepish H50 DIY kit as follows,

QX6850 @ 3.33Ghz (H50 Water Cooler)
GTX 260 @ 690Mhz Core / 1174 mem
4GBDDR2@ 1066Mhz
Corsair TX850watt






Budget: £500 budget
Preferd online retailer: ebuyer / scan / overclockers
Prefered Manufacture: Any
Deadline: 27th March 2010

Direct X 11 Option 1) GTX 480
Silent OC'd Option 2) A>New Case maybe Coolmaster CM 690 II,
B>2nd GTX 260
C>CPU/GPU Water Cooling Kit

Any comments would be most helpful.
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 11:39:49 AM

Probably just grab an HD5970, especially if your board support Crossfire/Trifire.

Wait a couple of weeks for GTX480 benchmarks.
March 18, 2010 11:46:39 AM

QX6850 @ 3.33 with water cooling? are you using warm water? LOL, kidding, but you should be able to hit higher with water cooling, hell, i have my Q6600 @ 3.6 on air temps average load @ 60*celcius.

I agree with Shadow here, wait for the GTX 480 bench's, it may bring the 5xxx series cards down a bit which could work out in your favor.

Related resources
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 11:48:09 AM

shadow187 said:
Probably just grab an HD5970, especially if your board support Crossfire/Trifire.

Wait a couple of weeks for GTX480 benchmarks.


I believe he would have to get a new case if he was going for a HD5970 as his GTX260 is basically touching his HDD cage.

@ OP, I don't really see the point in going SLi with another GTX260 as its old tech (obviously no DX11)

I think the best thing to do is just wait a few more weeks and then weigh up your options then, You may decide to grap a GTX4xx series card or you may see prices of the 58xx series cards from ATi come down and go for that. Don't see any rush as im sure your GTX260 doesn't struggle to much.
March 18, 2010 9:14:58 PM

Thanks for your quick replies, i agree with you both just wait for benchmarks.

The board is Tri-SLI only so better keep to Nvidia.
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 9:22:21 PM

Wait for Benchies, but if you are stuck on staying with Nvidia, you'll want Fermi, if only because it'll be DX11 and you'll be wanting that going forward. Personally, I'd go for a single ATI card (probably 5970) instead if the benchmarks come out close to the rumors even if you don't have the option of crossfire in the future with your mobo.
March 18, 2010 9:39:31 PM

jonpaul37 said:
QX6850 @ 3.33 with water cooling? are you using warm water? LOL, kidding, but you should be able to hit higher with water cooling, hell, i have my Q6600 @ 3.6 on air temps average load @ 60*celcius.

I agree with Shadow here, wait for the GTX 480 bench's, it may bring the 5xxx series cards down a bit which could work out in your favor.


cheers for your comments i just need an opinion as what to do this has helped me stay on course for next week folks lets see what tomshardware brings :D 

As for the overclocking the QX6850 runs 130watts compared to 95watts q6600 so that maybe a factor also the nforce 6 board wont let me push the FSB on Quads for some reason (had no probs with a dual core) thankfully i have a unlocked multiplier. :D  Had it running intel burn test stable @ 3.66Ghz but then PRIME95 kept failing on some cores. loosened RAM timings and dropped it down to 3.33 and its now also PRIME95 stable. only thing ive noticed as ive only had QX6850 2 weeks, is my system locks up for 20-30 seconds and comes back to life maybe its vista i dont know.
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 9:43:47 PM

You could always push the voltage a little higher at the 3.66 GHz and see if you can stabilize it there- I don't imagine you're temps are getting too high if you've got (even a fairly simple) water cooling system on there.
March 18, 2010 10:11:57 PM

flyinfinni said:
You could always push the voltage a little higher at the 3.66 GHz and see if you can stabilize it there- I don't imagine you're temps are getting too high if you've got (even a fairly simple) water cooling system on there.


ive got it set to AUTO & it sets volts to 1.424v @ 3.66 so my Voltage regulators are awfully hot its trial and error, dont know what to do but stay on track for next weeks nvidia launch
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 10:20:55 PM

Your CPU will bottleneck a lot of cards too..
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 10:26:37 PM

Well, if you have it set to auto, you're less likely to get a stable OC. bumping that voltage up just a tad, even 1.45 might stabilize you, should not hurt your regulators unless you have a really cheap motherboard. Its generally better to manually handle your core voltage when overclocking, just takes a bit more patience and trial/error.

Shadow- if he's running a core2quad at 3.33 GHz, thats gonna bottleneck? Doesn't seem like you'd hit a CPU bottleneck that easily, and especially not if he got it to 3.66.
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 10:30:00 PM

Lower-End quad-core running the equivalent of an HD5870? I guess that would work, but tri-SLI won't do him any good at that...neither will that 850Watt.
March 18, 2010 10:31:21 PM

shadow187 said:
Your CPU will bottleneck a lot of cards too..


maybe its just moeny dude but also id have to upgrade my PSU aswell for SLI GTX 480 i heard they take 300w juice each thats 600w & my PSU is only 80% efficient i.e. 672w been researching this along time i go round i circles dude i hope im not the only one. :??:  if i could id overclock a hexacore i7 980x @ 4Ghz (total 24Ghz) and have done with it for 3/4 years
March 18, 2010 10:34:21 PM

flyinfinni said:
Well, if you have it set to auto, you're less likely to get a stable OC. bumping that voltage up just a tad, even 1.45 might stabilize you, should not hurt your regulators unless you have a really cheap motherboard. Its generally better to manually handle your core voltage when overclocking, just takes a bit more patience and trial/error.

Shadow- if he's running a core2quad at 3.33 GHz, thats gonna bottleneck? Doesn't seem like you'd hit a CPU bottleneck that easily, and especially not if he got it to 3.66.


no actually i nearly forgot your right it doesnt bottleneck during playing BC2 & Crysis ive had task manager running for CPU usage and EVGA Precision for GPU usage and the CPU is about 60% GPU 99% its the only way to be sure am i correct?
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 10:37:12 PM

Thats a good 850W PSU- you can get a full 850 W out of it (the efficiency works the other way- you get 850 from the PSU, but you pull 1060ish W from the wall.

Your CPU should run a 5870 or even 5970 fine. It might bottleneck at Tri-SLI, but then you'll be needing a lot of other stuff to run that as well.

Edit- yeah if you have a 60% CPU load and a 99% GPU load, you ain't CPU limited.
March 18, 2010 10:37:26 PM

a 3.3ghz quad is NOT going to bottleneck.

id say grab a 5970 after prices drop, even if you need a new case. if the benchies released thus far are at all accurate, then Fermi cards will be overpriced for their performance.
March 18, 2010 10:47:03 PM

2102070,15,433036 said:
Thats a good 850W PSU- you can get a full 850 W out of it (the efficiency works the other way- you get 850 from the PSU, but you pull 1060ish W from the wall. quotemsg]

i read wiki wrong yeah your right thanks for the spot, gonna have to do all my research again

would be cutting it fine with 600w of GPU's though maybe GTX470 rumoured @ 225w in SLI 450w would work nicely
March 18, 2010 11:03:38 PM

flyinfinni said:
Thats a good 850W PSU- you can get a full 850 W out of it (the efficiency works the other way- you get 850 from the PSU, but you pull 1060ish W from the wall.

Your CPU should run a 5870 or even 5970 fine. It might bottleneck at Tri-SLI, but then you'll be needing a lot of other stuff to run that as well.

Edit- yeah if you have a 60% CPU load and a 99% GPU load, you ain't CPU limited.


read wiki wrong yeah your right thanks for the spot, gonna have to do all my research again

would be cutting it fine with 600w of GPU's though maybe GTX470 rumoured @ 225w in SLI 450w would work nicely
a b Î Nvidia
March 18, 2010 11:08:03 PM

Just wait for benchies. If an HD5970 offers better performance than a GTX470SLI at lower power, then that'd be great.

You only have to wait a couple more weeks. nVid or ATI, just wait.
March 18, 2010 11:27:41 PM

tomaso1z said:
If i could id overclock a hexacore i7 980x @ 4Ghz (total 24Ghz) and have done with it for 3/4 years


Unfortunately 6 4 ghz cores does not equal 24GHZ. I cant believe no one else saw this lol. Each core is like its own processor they dont all combine and make a super high frequency chip. Instead they work as 6 fast processor all taking a bite out of whatever instructions it gets just as long as the software supports multiple cores. Now for software that doesn't support multi cores it has a turbo boost which will allow 1 or 2 cores to be overclocked temperature permitting.


Now onto your dilemma If your that dead set on nvidia then you already made up your mind so no need to post on here just wait til the 470 and 480 are released and get them. IMO you are better off with a 5970 over the fermi your CPU will never be able to keep up with dual 480s maybe if you could get a higher overclock but that is doubtful. The 600 series nvidia chipsets are the worst overclockers especially for quads like you found out. You will never be able to utilize the full potential of that processor in that board so if your dead set in keeping that QX your best bet would be to factor in a new motherboard with your video cards so you can really unleash the beast within that chip, you should have no problems getting that chip to 4 ghz with its unlocked multi and a decent water cooling but your board is limiting it and make you put way more volts into then needed. Well i think i gave you enough to think about for now. :o 
March 19, 2010 5:32:28 AM

saaiello said:
Unfortunately 6 4 ghz cores does not equal 24GHZ. I cant believe no one else saw this lol. Each core is like its own processor they dont all combine and make a super high frequency chip. Instead they work as 6 fast processor all taking a bite out of whatever instructions it gets just as long as the software supports multiple cores. Now for software that doesn't support multi cores it has a turbo boost which will allow 1 or 2 cores to be overclocked temperature permitting.


Now onto your dilemma If your that dead set on nvidia then you already made up your mind so no need to post on here just wait til the 470 and 480 are released and get them. IMO you are better off with a 5970 over the fermi your CPU will never be able to keep up with dual 480s maybe if you could get a higher overclock but that is doubtful. The 600 series nvidia chipsets are the worst overclockers especially for quads like you found out. You will never be able to utilize the full potential of that processor in that board so if your dead set in keeping that QX your best bet would be to factor in a new motherboard with your video cards so you can really unleash the beast within that chip, you should have no problems getting that chip to 4 ghz with its unlocked multi and a decent water cooling but your board is limiting it and make you put way more volts into then needed. Well i think i gave you enough to think about for now. :o 


thanks for the explanation of 24ghz i was just speaking in-theory like, and yea i read about i7 turbo boost clocking just 1 core for single core apps, neat stuff.

As for cpu/board i could try swapping 680i for a 750i the reason for nforce is so not to loose my raid/windows installations but thats another dilemma.
a b Î Nvidia
March 19, 2010 8:52:46 AM

It would be a lot better for you to get a board that is a killer overclocker than to bottleneck you CPU with too much GPU. 2xGTX480 runs 600Watts out of your Power supply, plus your overclocked CPU runs about 130 you said. Leaves 100 watts left.
March 19, 2010 1:05:58 PM

tomaso1z said:
thanks for the explanation of 24ghz i was just speaking in-theory like, and yea i read about i7 turbo boost clocking just 1 core for single core apps, neat stuff.

As for cpu/board i could try swapping 680i for a 750i the reason for nforce is so not to loose my raid/windows installations but thats another dilemma.

Well nforce chipset aren't that great in general for overclocking the 750 might be a lil better but if you really want to overclock you need a P45 motherboard.
March 19, 2010 1:14:40 PM

I agree with some people here and disagree with some people here.

Your CPU (if clocked at 3.33) will not have an issue pushing the likes of a 5870 at all. Case-in-point, my Q6600 (@ 3.0, 3.2 & 3.6) pushes the 5870 along just dandy, i also brought the 5870 beast to my friends house, he has an i5 750 @ 3.33, i saw no noticeable improvement on 5 different games...

CoD MW2
WOW
Star Trek Online
Fallout3
Dirt 2

As for overclocking the CPU, you are safe up to 1.5 volts so i would say 1.44/1.45 is a safe option. You are ok on load temps up about 65 degrees celcius, anything higher and you might want to back down...
a b Î Nvidia
March 19, 2010 2:32:20 PM

saaiello said:
Unfortunately 6 4 ghz cores does not equal 24GHZ. I cant believe no one else saw this lol. Each core is like its own processor they dont all combine and make a super high frequency chip. Instead they work as 6 fast processor all taking a bite out of whatever instructions it gets just as long as the software supports multiple cores. Now for software that doesn't support multi cores it has a turbo boost which will allow 1 or 2 cores to be overclocked temperature permitting.


Now onto your dilemma If your that dead set on nvidia then you already made up your mind so no need to post on here just wait til the 470 and 480 are released and get them. IMO you are better off with a 5970 over the fermi your CPU will never be able to keep up with dual 480s maybe if you could get a higher overclock but that is doubtful. The 600 series nvidia chipsets are the worst overclockers especially for quads like you found out. You will never be able to utilize the full potential of that processor in that board so if your dead set in keeping that QX your best bet would be to factor in a new motherboard with your video cards so you can really unleash the beast within that chip, you should have no problems getting that chip to 4 ghz with its unlocked multi and a decent water cooling but your board is limiting it and make you put way more volts into then needed. Well i think i gave you enough to think about for now. :o 


Lol- I didn't even notice that (I got stuck on correcting the PSU part and missed that entirely.) Good call.

tomaso1z- I would lean towards a single 5970 or GTX470 SLI if I were you (depending on benchmarks of the GTX470). You could probably do GTX480 SLI, but you'd be getting close to your PSU's max. With the other two, you'd be good on power and they'll both provide GREAT performance (again, most likely, but depending on benchmarks in a few days), and will be lots less money than 2 GTX480s (possibly + a PSU)
a b Î Nvidia
March 19, 2010 3:49:18 PM

Alternatively, you could wait a month to see what ATI does with pricing. Though I doubt any changes over $50 are going to be made, always the chance!
March 19, 2010 4:44:15 PM

jus wanna add my 2p's worth.

Personally i think your CPU is fine.

I have a phenom 9850 and noticed ZERO gain from goin 2.5 to 3.0ghz.

CPU bottlenecks arnt an issue, only against MAX fps performance.

eg.

core i7 @ 4ghz will show 100fps max 60 avg and 30 min.

phenom would show say 75 max 54avg and 30min figures wont add up but for arguments sake

the min fps is determined on the graphics card as its pushed to its limits.

so real world performance isnt that different.

so as long as you can always stress your card to the max you wont get many benefits from a faster CPU unless were talking like going from an athlon 64 3000+ or summet.

If your card isnt stressed to the max then you'll see significant increase on your max fps score....but thats it....max fps doesnt matter really you cant notice over 60 odd FPS anyway.

The min FPS is what matters because if it drops below 20fps frequently it renders the gsame unplayable.


IF i were you i would go gtx 470 route. 225watts, less heat, neary 25-30% cheaper for 10-15% less performance. Smaller PSU needed. win win all round i think.
I think also more prone to bigger price drops later on aswell when it comes to getting others for SLI....like we was with the gtx 260 last year.

my 2p worth anyway.
March 19, 2010 6:05:25 PM

Only a few select games will be CPU limited with ANY cards, running any Intell Quad core faster than a 6600 at stock.

(GTA IV, Flight Simulator, Oblivion)
March 20, 2010 8:49:09 AM

flyinfinni said:
Lol- I didn't even notice that (I got stuck on correcting the PSU part and missed that entirely.) Good call.

tomaso1z- I would lean towards a single 5970 or GTX470 SLI if I were you (depending on benchmarks of the GTX470). You could probably do GTX480 SLI, but you'd be getting close to your PSU's max. With the other two, you'd be good on power and they'll both provide GREAT performance (again, most likely, but depending on benchmarks in a few days), and will be lots less money than 2 GTX480s (possibly + a PSU)


Thanks to all comments & encouragment back on CPU to help single core apps im back up to 3.66Ghz, after 3 hours trial & error manually changing voltages, found a lower stable vcore 1.40v. Stable in vantage, prime95+furmark & then intelburntest. I put my fans on 100% (re-arranged case see link/photo http://bit.ly/cfoZST) and had a go for 4Ghz and couldn't get it (intel burn test) stable went all the way up to 1.6vcore i bet i could have gone further.

As for graphics Id like to see these benches as soon as possible nail biting stuff. it looks like its a GTX 480 or SLI 470 as flyinfinni mentioned & I would like to get hold of a watt meter and see exactly how much watts im pulling on these new cards taking into account ((850/0.8*1)= 1062.5 - 850 = 212.5) 212watts of heat. Anyone used a LCD watt meter before?
a b Î Nvidia
March 20, 2010 11:51:31 AM

Love your cable management.

But yes, you have a good motherboard. Just wait for benchies; if an HD5970 outperforms a GTX470SLI by a good amount, go for it. If it doesn't, then GTX470SLI for you.
a b Î Nvidia
March 20, 2010 3:43:27 PM

Nice build man- well done. Also- good job on getting to 3.66! Sometimes auto-vcore will set it too high and cause more problems that way. Good work:-)
March 28, 2010 9:31:10 PM

has everyone seen the benches then? what your thoughts?

Couldn't ignore the hype, went to the SCAN UK Nvidia Launch event on saturday and pre-ordered 470's i do like the 480 heatpipes but the prices turned out way too high for me, so bought a 12" lighting kit ready to CRANK THAT SH#!T UP! (so nvidia say) hope you like :D 
March 28, 2010 10:00:36 PM

Why get the GTX 470 over a 5870 or a 5850 and OCing them?
March 28, 2010 10:09:46 PM

Might want to buy a new power supply.
March 28, 2010 10:12:17 PM

Might want to but a new AC.
March 28, 2010 10:41:59 PM

and why? the 470 max out @ 215w you do the math
March 28, 2010 10:44:46 PM

And the power usage is just as insane.
March 28, 2010 10:46:07 PM

builderbobftw said:
Why get the GTX 470 over a 5870 or a 5850 and OCing them?


basically i have no corssfire support, SLI only so got one 470 now and one next pay day and overclock them and CRANK THAT SH#!T UP! simples
a b Î Nvidia
March 28, 2010 10:48:01 PM

tomaso1z said:
basically i have no corssfire support, SLI only so got one 470 now and one next pay day and overclock them and CRANK THAT SH#!T UP! simples

Enjoy, I know someone can't grasp that you have a sli setup, lol.
Let us know how the 470 rolls .
March 28, 2010 10:51:47 PM



looks like 480 SLI by the looks of it and ive gone for a total max 430w 470 SLI along side 850 watts PSU anyway? got a watt meter will post back with results soon as they arrive if it plops i made a honest mistake just have to wait and see :sarcastic: 
March 28, 2010 10:54:46 PM

notty22 said:
Enjoy, I know someone can't grasp that you have a sli setup, lol.
Let us know how the 470 rolls .

aye lad you probably right, yea will post back if all goes well
March 28, 2010 11:15:47 PM

tomaso1z said:
aye lad you probably right, yea will post back if all goes well


I think you would be fine running 470's in SLI stock but you mentioned you were going to be ocing as much as possible so i would get a better power supply just to make sure everything is good.
March 29, 2010 9:23:03 AM

xx12amanxx said:
I think you would be fine running 470's in SLI stock but you mentioned you were going to be ocing as much as possible so i would get a better power supply just to make sure everything is good.


hmmm yes good call i read power consumption goes up loads OC'ing best stay away from OC then, thanks for the advice saw some wattage figures here you can see 480 SLI hitting 860w!
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3783&p=19
a b Î Nvidia
March 29, 2010 4:46:10 PM

If you read the review here on Toms, the Power consumption of the 480 is HIGHER than a the 5970! That is crazy. The 470 is lower, but still high. You may be fine with your 850W supply, but you may want a little more if you are gonna go crazy with the OCing. You may also want to put an air-conditioning unit blowing into your case! lol:-)
March 29, 2010 7:24:23 PM

flyinfinni said:
You may also want to put an air-conditioning unit blowing into your case! lol:-)


Quote:
Might want to but a new AC.


Good joke! :kaola:  :kaola:  :kaola:  :kaola:  :kaola: 
April 15, 2010 3:22:47 PM

ha lol funnly enough ive actually considerd an ac unit :S

the fermi's are really strecthing out the release date arnt they... so ive had time to re-plan.

As you guys have hinted been looking at the benches/power/prices and starting to favour the 5970 especially after seeing them @ £525 brand new, im sure they were £600 1 month ago, have the prices come down then? the only thing thats holding me back is the 2gb memory which i assume you only get 1gb usage in games?
April 16, 2010 12:06:21 AM

tomaso1z said:
ha lol funnly enough ive actually considerd an ac unit :S

the fermi's are really strecthing out the release date arnt they... so ive had time to re-plan.

As you guys have hinted been looking at the benches/power/prices and starting to favour the 5970 especially after seeing them @ £525 brand new, im sure they were £600 1 month ago, have the prices come down then? the only thing thats holding me back is the 2gb memory which i assume you only get 1gb usage in games?


no you get 2gb for games. why wouldnt you?

if i were in your position id get the 5970 for sure. i think the reason the price has dropped in the UK is because of the incredibly weak US dollar.
April 19, 2010 3:24:15 AM

Quote:
Jesus dude, get some ddr3 RAM, its the 21rst century u know?


i dont even know what to say to this. i feel very tempted to insult you and tell you to leave, but i wont.

there is NO noticeable performance gain when moving from DDR2 to DDR3, especially not in games. DO NOT come into a forum, spouting rubbish and encouraging people to spend money on upgrades they do not need.
April 19, 2010 1:17:13 PM

Quote:
Jesus dude, get some ddr3 RAM, its the 21rst century u know?
Get the gtx 480 4sho, it's the fastest single GPU, don't hesitate, buy it then get watercooling. It doesn't shine now, but once dx11 gets groovy it will knock ur knickers off.



Fact, once dx11 gets "groovy" (what, are we stuck in the 60's/70's?) ATI will have come out with their 6xxx-series cards by then and i predict that they will pull ahead of Nvidia in performance as well as price.
!