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GTX 480 SLI + PPU?

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April 28, 2010 10:01:49 PM

Hi, this is my first time posting here, I decided to join as I'm a long time reader of tom's and I'm tired of scouting forums for similar questions that I'm asking myself.

I'm in the works of building myself a new gaming pc, I do like nVidia's 3D Vision, the realism of PhysX and I'm drooling over the thought of those features shown on 3 screens.

So I was looking at this setup: 2 GTX 480s in SLI and a PhysX-Dedicated card.
My first question: what PPU should I choose to prevent bottlenecking as I've seen in some reviews of this setup? would a GTX 260 be fine or should I Upgrade to a GTX 285? Money isn't a problem really, I just want the best rig possible for gaming.

However, I heard that there are problems running 3 screens on the SLI setup... Is this true?

I will be pairing these cards with a Intel i7-980X, ASUS Rampage III Extreme and an Antec TruePower Quattro 1200W.
(Everything WILL be watercooled as I know these cards get really hot especially when they're all cramped up like this)

If this question has already been asked and answered , I'm sorry. I've looked for it but haven't found anything so jusst link it.

Thanks.

More about : gtx 480 sli ppu

a c 130 U Graphics card
April 28, 2010 10:56:15 PM

A better setup would be to use An HD5970 + HD5870 + PPU. Less power, better performance, and all the features are still there.

A GTX260 would be just fine for PhysX.

April 28, 2010 11:04:31 PM

shadow187 said:
A better setup would be to use An HD5970 + HD5870 + PPU. Less power, better performance, and all the features are still there.

A GTX260 would be just fine for PhysX.


I have thought about that setup but i like the 3D Vision nVidia offers as im a fan of eye-candy and the GTX 480 seems to scale better with AA and tesseellation which more and more games will offer over time (talking about tessellation) when developpers will start to implement DX11. A good example of this is the Heaven Benchmark, im aware its sponsered by nVidia, the GTX 480 fares way better than the 5870 and minimum FPS is better than both the 5870 and the 5970.

I'm not a fanboy i currently own a i7-920 with a 5870 but im selling it to my friend who doesnt really know anything about computers but likes to game, so im currently trying to put together a new build, just looking for opinions.

To be honest tho, im considering the setup you mentionned but im just too lazy to configure drivers to get the PPU to work with ATi cards.

EDIT: Power doesnt really matter as electricity here in Montreal is extremely cheap, and the heat problems of the 480 wont be as bad with the watercooling setup.
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April 28, 2010 11:09:59 PM

Off:
I don't think he's worried about the power requirements, or the power draw... :D 
April 28, 2010 11:39:01 PM

oh well that ATI setup i was looking at is getting more and more tempting -__-
so from what has been posted, I should be able to get a 5970 + 5870 + a GTX 260 for PhysX on 3 monitors without any problems?
Ive read that eyefinity has problems with more than a dual crossfire setup? has it been fixed in the lastest drivers?
a b U Graphics card
April 28, 2010 11:40:55 PM

DaviSiete7 said:
im a fan of eye-candy
Look over the benchmarks at Hardware Canucks review of the 470 (480 results there too)
I had noticed the generally higher minimum frame rates and interesting AA/AF DX11, SSAO & Tessellation results. That might indicate good things going forward 'eye-candy' lovers.
a b U Graphics card
April 28, 2010 11:47:28 PM

The 5970 + 5870 will cost you around 1,100.00$+ I would suggest you wait till the Asus Ares or Vapor X 4Gb is released. Then use 1 massive card as primary and the second card for PPU.

Primary :



PPU :

April 28, 2010 11:56:25 PM

shadow187 said:
I'm not sure if it's Quadfire or both Quad and Trifire. It might also work better if you have an HD5870 Eyefinity edition as the leading card.


Yea, I was looking at the E6 for the 5870 and the 3D support for ATI has put on a few more points for ATI.

However if you look at WR2's post, the GTX 480 has better AA and tessellation performance...

Might also wait for the announced GTX 480 512-cores (GTX 485?) or even nVidia's Dual-GPU card to see what I should get (and that might be another year knowing nVidia...). I'm gonna be keeping this setup for a long time so a few month's wait should be beneficial.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 28, 2010 11:58:36 PM

ATI's refresh will be out this fall, as well as the ARES HD5970 plus the Sapphire HD5970 4GB.
April 29, 2010 12:01:36 AM

I guess waiting is looking good.

I think i might just build my system minus the GPU and just pick up a 5830 for now until Im completely certain of the card I want.
a b U Graphics card
April 29, 2010 12:11:13 AM

Nooooo stay away from the 5830, the 5830 is by far the worst AMD card you can buy when it comes to price/performance. You might as well pay 50 dollars more and get a 5850. The 5830 has half the RoP's of a 5850, make sure you understand that =)
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 29, 2010 1:01:49 AM

An OC'd HD5770 beats it.
April 29, 2010 1:06:09 AM

yea just meant i was getting a less expensive card for the moment :p ,
I was obviously gonna check specs before but the 5770 looks good for now.
a b U Graphics card
April 29, 2010 1:13:49 AM

To the OP, if you want the fastest, and you want that physX, dedicated card. I would go all Nvidia. In part because you have to go through some hoops to get the dedicated physx card to work with ATI gpu(as main). If your going to sink mucho bucks in to dual cards with a third for PhysX. You might have glitches, every set up does, you don't want to doubt yourself because your hacking the drivers. If you went all EVGA, that type of setup basically gets you personal dedicated tech support. They have a CA location.
The 5830 has noted, is really hampered because of the rop's . Hocp just did a O/C article on a 5830, they did everything they could to make it perform and look good. At over 900mhz it still can't match a stock 5850.
http://www.evga.com/articles/00539/ To go with that water blocked 260
a b U Graphics card
April 29, 2010 1:44:05 AM

There isn't even good games like physics. Not games you would play more than once or twice at least. They will never be online multiplayer games with physics support, thats for sure.

If you are going for 3 displays then definitely go with the 4GB 5970s when they come out. The GTX 480 doesn't have the ram to run the displays as good as a 4GB card.

Also a 980X would have small gains over an i7 920. Games are not well threaded applications like winrar for example. Games only use two cores at most. A third one would be only good for running background processes. Something like 6 is just unncessary. Then again if you have more money than you can spend, go with whatever.

You need more than 1200W. GTX 480 Tri sli consumed a little over 1100W at stock clocks. Power supplies can degrade a bit over time and you might be thinking of overclocking some. Some hefty OC with water can easily push a few hunfred wats.

Also I recommend a window mounted AC unit. Trust me, you will need it. Running a single 5970 + i7 turns a computer into a space heater. With SLI/Crossfire + PPU to add a computer would create more heat than a refrigerator.
April 29, 2010 2:28:42 AM

rofl_my_waffle said:
If you are going for 3 displays then definitely go with the 4GB 5970s when they come out. The GTX 480 doesn't have the ram to run the displays as good as a 4GB card.

Also a 980X would have small gains over an i7 920. Games are not well threaded applications like winrar for example. Games only use two cores at most. A third one would be only good for running background processes. Something like 6 is just unncessary. Then again if you have more money than you can spend, go with whatever.


I was thinking about getting a CF 5870 Eyefinity6 setup which would be equal to the 5970 4GB technically.
I have realized that heat would be an issue with these components and since 5870s run relatively cool, with a waterblock they would be even cooler.
As you said, few games offer PhysX support and i know of a way to use the cpu to compute the physX calculations.

This would technically leave me to a Dual 5870E6 setup with no PPU, completely different than what i had in mind at the beginning :p .

As for the 980X, I have the money and the foolishness to dish out 1000$ for a cpu so i say, why not :) .
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 29, 2010 9:35:26 AM

If you're not planning on running 12 monitors, just get 2x ASUS DirectCU editions and overclock those. The E6 setup is good for more than 3 monitors, so if you're doing that, then sure, get one.

Like I said, it might be wise to have an HD5870 E6 as your lead card, and an HD5970 crossfired to it.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
May 16, 2010 7:06:26 PM

rofl_my_waffle said:
There isn't even good games like physics. Not games you would play more than once or twice at least. They will never be online multiplayer games with physics support, thats for sure.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a great multiplayer game that takes everything NVidia has to offer and makes it look beautiful. In addition, Just Cause 2, another big NVidia-supported game, is definitely something I would play more than just once or twice. And have you heard of Mirror's Edge or Batman: Arkham Asylum?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
May 16, 2010 7:10:45 PM

Here's what I recommend. This is what I'm currently doing. Get one GTX480 and one dedicated PhysX card. The GTX260 is fine. Then wait for NVidia to release a new, better, more efficient card (like 32nm or 28nm). If it takes too long and you get impatient, THEN get a second 480 in SLI with the first. Personally I'm waiting for a possible 485.
!