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Decisions decisions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 1, 2010 8:27:49 PM

Hello there, I'm fairly new to these forums, thought I'd get some advice considering the very helpful posts in response to a question in the RAM section.

I am designing a build for myself with the primary purpose of gaming, I have already done a fair amount of research and have come up with these major parts to help in your choice making, I'm pretty much scouring every forum on here building this spec up lol.

Case:
NZXT Lexa

Motherboard:
ASUS Maximus III Gene

CPU:
Intel® Core™ i5-750 Processor (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz)

RAM:
G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

This setup from what I can tell is going to be a powerhouse, and not bad price wise either! If you have any opinions on the hardware I have chosen so far, please let me know, I am eager for input.

Moving on to the reason for this post, graphics card/s.

I've looked into it a little but I am by far not an expert on current graphics card technologies, but have found a possibility in this card:

GPU:
Geforce GTS 250 1GB DDR3 PCI-E 2.0

At the moment I am considering running a single one (am I correct in saying I can run this at 16x?) or in an SLI configuration with 2 of the cards running at 8x each.

Usage: Gaming
Parts Preference: ATI or Nvidia, I am partial myself to Nvidia, but if you have ATI suggestions go for it!
Budget: $300 or less per card.

Aditional comments: I am looking to run modern games at a resolution of at least 1280x720 with very high settings at 60fps as a minimum, if that's not possible then just throw cards at me!

If you know any better card than the one I have in mind, think bang for buck and power here ... Then please please list your suggestions.

Thanks a lot!



More about : decisions decisions

June 1, 2010 8:50:05 PM

Any problems you can see with the card I mentioned? Those 2 are a little outside my price bracket lol.
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a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2010 8:50:21 PM

What modern games are you considering running? There's quite a difference between Modern games' requirements depending on the game itself (IE: Crysis and Modern Warfare, or Star Wars - The Old Republic and World of Warcraft).

Short Version: Your GTS 250 won't handle Crysis at 1680x1050 on high settings, but on Modern Warfare 2 it would be just fine. So it definitely depends on what games you're using.

EDIT: What's your budget like and what's your Power Supply going to be?
June 1, 2010 8:52:14 PM

borisof007 said:
What modern games are you considering running? There's quite a difference between Modern games' requirements depending on the game itself (IE: Crysis and Modern Warfare, or Star Wars - The Old Republic and World of Warcraft).

Short Version: Your GTS 250 won't handle Crysis at 1680x1050 on high settings, but on Modern Warfare 2 it would be just fine. So it definitely depends on what games you're using.

Personally I'm going to go ahead and suggest stepping it up to at least a 5850 or something equivilent for future proofing


Well, lets say Crysis at 1280x720 on high settings, either with single or 2x SLI with the GTS 250. The higher memory bandwidth is compelling with an SLI configuration.

Thanks for the advice about that card, I'll look into it!

EDIT:

Budget I mentioned in the original post: $300, and lets say as an example power isn't going to be a problem.
a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2010 8:56:41 PM

1280 x 720? What monitor are you using and why would you want to run Crysis at that low of a resolution? I definitely don't like to be too judgmental, however I can't help but question why you would build such a rig for playing games at that resolution.

EDIT: For 300 bucks, you should get a 465: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Double Edit: This is with the inclination that you would play games at a much higher resolution. If you're having to play games at 1280x720, time to invest in a new monitor.
June 1, 2010 9:01:13 PM

I also edited mine ;) 

Because on a general level I tend to play games at that resolution as I generally record via Fraps for 720p YouTube.

Would the card I mentioned run these games that such a resolution? I'd like to have greater resolutions obviously, but for the spec of this card/s my basis is 1280x720 at 60 FPS.

Would the dual GTS 250's suffice?
a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2010 9:09:42 PM

Dual GTS 250's would probably suffice, the only thing you may have an issue with (rarely, but it does happen) is with SLi compatibility/scaling issues, although Nvidia has addressed many of these problems greatly and has offered pretty good support in those areas.

Source: http://www.guru3d.com/article/vga-charts-december-2009/...

Assuming a near perfect scaling for SLi (let's say 75% to be safe), at 1900x1200 on a dream machine it would push near 35 fps. However you'd run at so much lower of a resolution, so hopefully you'd be alright.

Mind you that two 250's would be around $240 plus tax and then you're having both cards running at 8x vs a single 465 is $40 more than that that's using all 16 lanes. There's a lot to be considered.
June 1, 2010 9:18:31 PM

No, I CAN play them at higher resolutions, I just record under lower resolutions.

In looking at the specs of the GTS 250 and the GTX 465.

A dual configuration of the GTS 250 under SLI makes the most sense. The GTX 465 is really really power hungry at 550w, as opposed to 2 GTS 250s at 150 each.

Some of the specs such as Graphics Clock (MHz), Processor Clock (MHz) and Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) the GTS 250 rocks the 465. Most of the others would only be trumped by the 250 in an SLI configuration.

But the 465 has CUDA cores and GDDR5 memory, the Nvidia product page doesn't really specify which GDDR version the 250 uses.

In the end the prices kind of determine the guy I'm going with.

GTS 250 x2: $289.98 ($144.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GTX 465 x1: $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The end point is when it comes to the stats, the 250's in SLI would rival or surpass the 465 in most aspects, and only a $10 difference.

Anything to add or comment on regarding that analysis?
a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2010 9:44:07 PM

Found performance comparisons:

GTS 250 SLi review: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gf-gts25...

GTX 475 performance: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-465-sli-revie...

The GTX 465 seems to come out on top consistently vs the SLi solution. Not to mention it's less heat overall, more stable, more current (allows you to add another 465 in the future for very good SLi performance and futureproofing) for only a few bucks more?
a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2010 9:46:17 PM

I will agree that a 465 SHOULD be competing with a 5850 and it doesn't, and that I would normally recommend a 5850. The problem is price, a 5850 is breaching his $300 price limit so I can't recommend it (DERRP EDIT: I'm dumb: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
June 1, 2010 9:54:23 PM

In looking at those comparisons, yes the 465 does beat the 250 at higher resolutions.

I would think at lower ones they would be more evenly matched.

Besides in looking at the GTX 465 SLI review when playing Crysis Warhead with both running at 2x AA @ 1920x1200:

1x GTX 465, 33fps
1x GTS 250, 22fps

I can only imagine that 2x GTS 250 would increase that frame rate to double that, unless I am misunderstanding the stats. In taking into consideration the actual system involved, I can't see much difference as the i5 core I am pegging can pretty much match the i7 965 when overclocked, the only other relevant point there is the RAM on the test system has 2GB over mine. But at lower resolutions, that shouldn't matter TOO much.
June 1, 2010 10:09:50 PM

Forgive me, but some of those specs when looking at the ATI Radeon™ HD 5850 I don't quite understand SOME the terms.

The ones that make sense, clock speed is slightly surpassed with the 250 in the lead, as is the memory bandwidth in a 250 SLI vs 1 5850.

Most of the other terms I can't match up with the specs of the 250, I need help there if you can!

Here are the stats of the 5850:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
June 1, 2010 10:46:46 PM

Well, so far, hunting down the right power supply is really kicking my butt!
!