Graphics Card Purchase - Multicard, Sli or Single Card

Im looking to buy a new graphics card, i currently have a 8800GTX, which works all the current games (crysis, just cause 2, Metro ) on full settings and high resolutions. However im thinking to get another card, so that i can future proof my system and be able to use DX11 and 3D Vision, 3D Blu Ray. My Current Spec is as follows.

Intel Core 2 Duo 3Ghz
2x 2gb 800mhz DDR2 Gieg Dragon Ram + 2gb 800mhz DDR2 Corsair Ram (i have another 2gb stick of corsair ram which wont fit for some reason??? anyone know why?)
250GB Maxtor Hard Drive
300GB Seagate Hard Drive
Asus Striker Extreme Motherboard
1000W PSU
1x nVidia 8800GTX 756mb Graphics Card
LG Blu Ray Rom/DVD RW
32" Sony Bravia LCD 1080p TV

I was thinking about getting the GTX480 and either running it by it self, or in Multi Card setting with my 8800GTX. or getting 2 cheaper cards and running them in sli. What do you think? and do you have a better alternative?

Also for some reason i have started getting a whistling sound from the bottom of my computer since installing the extra 2gb ram and the blu ray drive. the sound is coming from the bottom part of my PC, there is two cards installed there 1- the 8800gtx and 2-the wifi card. what do you think is the problem??
35 answers Last reply
More about graphics card purchase multicard single card
  1. If you aren't planning on spending more than $500 on gpu's then get 2 GTX 460's in SLI. There is no point on getting a single 480 unless you plan to SLI it in the future.
  2. Thanks ehanger

    is the 460 as good ?

    so not to put the 480 and 8800gtx together then?

    im assuming u dont no why the computer is whisteling then?
  3. i agree, if you see the article about the GTX 460 in sli, for the same price, you get much better performance than one single GTX 480!

    with the sli GTX 460, there's more efficient idle power consumption and less heat problems than a single GTX 480, and your power supply will be more than large and powerful enough to handle the sli...

    you probably have the Core 2 Duo E8400? maybe a bit of an overclock, the 45nm chips can really take good strain, with a great CPU cooler! your pc will be banging!!

    why I say that is for better communication between CPU and GPU, remember the 400 GTX series are powerful cards with great clock speeds and memory rates!

    So I don't think you should waste money on one card when there's much more versitility with two cards (graphics and physx separation, multi-screen capabilities and the sli cards work great in 3D! (trust me on that one at least)

    hope this is the answer you were hoping for!!

    Dane
  4. Dane Bouwer said:
    i agree, if you see the article about the GTX 460 in sli, for the same price, you get much better performance than one single GTX 480!

    with the sli GTX 460, there's more efficient idle power consumption and less heat problems than a single GTX 480, and your power supply will be more than large and powerful enough to handle the sli...

    you probably have the Core 2 Duo E8400? maybe a bit of an overclock, the 45nm chips can really take good strain, with a great CPU cooler! your pc will be banging!!

    why I say that is for better communication between CPU and GPU, remember the 400 GTX series are powerful cards with great clock speeds and memory rates!

    So I don't think you should waste money on one card when there's much more versitility with two cards (graphics and physx separation, multi-screen capabilities and the sli cards work great in 3D! (trust me on that one at least)

    hope this is the answer you were hoping for!!

    Dane


    Thanks Dane

    Yes i think its that processor, to be honest its the best one i have ever had, i dont think i really need to move up to the i7 anytime soon either. your right they are really good chips. unless the new GPU would be restricted by the CPU?

    Is the 460 much more powerful than my 8800GTX? cos i seem to be getting alot of performance out of it, it plays crysis on very high settings on my 1080p TV for god sake!! :) :) lol

    do you have any benchmarks for this card and similar spec to my pc?

    i assume you have 3d then? is it any good?

    and you wouldnt know why my computer is whisteling at the moment would you??
  5. what about the 470?
  6. do u no which brand to go for?
  7. ok i have found these cards, which is the best?

    Gainward GTX 460 Graphics Card
    426018336-1213 - 1GB Gainward GTX 460 GS GLH, 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 800MHz, 336 Cores, D-Sub/ 2x DL DVI-I/ HDMI
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-Gainward-GTX-460-GS-GLH-4000MHz-GDDR5-GPU-800MHz-336-Cores-D-Sub-2x-DL-DVI-I-HDMI


    60XGH6HS3GXW - 1GB KFA2 GTX 460 LTD OC, 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 810MHz, Shader Clock 1600MHz, 336 Cores, 2x DVI-I/ mHDMI
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-KFA2-GTX-460-LTD-OC-4000MHz-GDDR5-GPU-810MHz-Shader-Clock-1600MHz-336-Cores-2x-DVI-I-mHDMI

    TGT-460-A2-1024-UC - 1GB Point of View GTX 460 Ultra Charged, 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 820MHz, Shader Clock 1640MHz, 336 Cores
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-Point-of-View-GTX-460-Ultra-Charged-4000MHz-GDDR5-GPU-820MHz-Shader-Clock-1640MHz-336-Cores
  8. hello?
  9. Any Evga cards in the UK? Gainward is the only company ive heard of of those 3, dunno much about them though. And without a good OC on that proc, like 3.8ish, you'll proll ybe bottlenecking your cards a bit. And you'd see a decent gain from an i5/i7 system, but I dont think its totally necessary at this point.
  10. A 460 reference would probably be just fine. Seems like you could adjust the clocks on your own and save a bit, too.

    However, I'm a fan of getting the one best card (of nvidia's stable) and then as your pc ages you can always drop another in when they're MUCH cheaper. SLI has very good scaling by what I've read. Most of this is just preference, though.

    As for the whistling sound, check any holes for air flow. See if there's a way to obstruct parts of your case to cause it to stop. Try disabling case fans for short periods to see if it changes anything.

    Hope this helps.
  11. You need a better processor, do that BEFORE upgrading your graphic card

    there is no point of having an ultra fast GTX 460 with an ultra slow Core 2 Duo, believe me

    upgrade to a intel core i5 655k, buy the Coolermaster V8 ($60), and overclock that puppy to 4.4 Ghz

    If you can just go for the intel core i7 875k, if you live near a Microcenter it's sold for less than $300.

    If you are part of the Microcenter rewards program, add a 5% discount to that

    Just buy a DVD, and after 15 days return with the receipt and you'll get the discount

    you will see a BIG difference

    Then, you can buy a MSI GTS 250 Twin Frozr, after 30 days, return it, and upgrade to a MSI Cyclone GTX 460

    Believe me, I had the E7400 and Radeon 5850

    The reviews said I should be running Crysis at 42 FPS or so, but I was barely reaching 30 FPS

    the CPU was a bottleneck

    So don't waste your money on GPU, buy a good CPU, a good CPU with a medium GPU will do better than a slow CPU with an awesome GPU card
  12. Thanks guys for your suggestions.

    The whistling is coming from the bottom of the computer I have checked this while the case was opened. It's not because of fans or anything, its from the hardware.

    @Rafara I appreciate your point, but as I stated I had no problem running crisis on the highest settings at 1080p on my 32" screen so I don't think my CPU will be a bottleneck at the moment, I can still run the new big games on high settings. The upgrade of gpu is only for future use, and a general feature update of my pc so I can try the latest techmologies like 3d. Changing the CPU would involve changing motherboard and possibly RAM to Ddr3. I think that's that's to much hassle at the moment and would over complicate things, no?

    @ petey Yes we do have evga in the UK. Are they better than gainward?

    @dredj are u saying I should get the 480 and keep the other slot for a second one in the future?
  13. your computer whistling? maybe it found a great tune, and your pc is a bit tone deaf!! :):) just jokes, whistling is DEFINITELY airflow, try clean components, fans etc.... first i heard about that!!

    you said something, actually questioning the GTX 460 being more powerful than the 8800 GTX.... well of course man!! the core ratio, Direct x11 options and so much more!!

    but......if your budget allows this, now this is totally different.... your other option is getting the GTX 480 and running it alongside (not Sli) with your 8800 GTX, then when the good times come around again, buy another GTX 480 (I simply offered my other advice about sli-ing the two GTX 460 for budget purposes!!)

    what you can do is run the cards together, yes it can be done, run the physx off the 8800 GTX and the other visual aspects through the GTX 480!

    this works great and less strain off your GTX 480! (but the card can take huge amounts of strain!!

    let me know what you think about my option!

    Dane
  14. hi dane :) its 100% definately not airflow, as i said it still does it with the case wide open, but only when im working the pc for example when i was running alien vs predator. this has started after i added the RAM, when 1 of them didnt fit it made that noise but didnt boot up of course, so i removed it and kept the other stick of ram.

    Yeh that was my original plan, to put a GTX480 and my 8800GTX at the same time :) i just wasnt sure if it would be stable or cause to much heat.

    Everyone seems to think my CPU is not powerful enough for the new GPU, which im finding strange as i have said multiple times that i can run crysis etc. on the highest settings with no problems. surely my CPU is good enough?
  15. and which manufacturer should i go for?
  16. what? your CPU not powerful enough? please, i overclocked my E8500 to 3.7 Ghz and temporrarily put a GTX 480 in, and no bottlenecking at all... the Chip is a great chip, and could handle the communication between GPU and CPU perfectly!!

    but obviously a better chip will do better, as any other upgrade!! my personal favourites :

    Inno 3D
    Asus
    MSI
    XFX
    (JUST NOT PALIT!!!!)

    THESE I WOULD RECOMMEND!
  17. what about gainward or evga?

    how do you overclock a CPU? everyone seems to do it, but i have never even tried, im worried i might ruin it :)

    i think the whisteling is from the GPU?
  18. um, i'm not sure about those cards, heard some funny stories about them, and have nver bought, nor recommended them to anyone!

    overclocking a CPu is easy, but only if you know how, one must be careful with the strain and RAM frequencies, your RAM being at 800mhz, so your CPU chip could take a bit of strain! its much safer done in the Bios than programs on the desktop itself.

    what you can do is look at the overclocking section of Tom's hardware, there i learned everything i needed to know about overclocking 2 years ago, and had so much fun since!! the steps are very straight forward, but still, if you're not sure on what to do and how far to push, rather see an expert that can either strain for optimum performance and stability!!

    just type: ''how to overclock CPU'' in the search tab and you'll find everything you'll need to know!! :)

    okay, wait, you say the whistling is coming from the GPU and you still argue that it can't be a fan? :lol:

    don't worry about the whistling, ten to one, something is stuck or irritating your GPU fan, nothing to worry about, but trust me, it can get irritating!! if you have time, take your card out, dismantle the fan carefully and give it a good blow, not with a hairdryer or vacuum, bacause this could lead to static damage or other damages.... just a gentle blow will do, then see if this corrects it! if you are unsure about the dismantling, take it to an expert for some help!

    back to the overclocking, remember, there are ratio's, multipliers and communication aspects that must be understood before any playing around should be done, but you WILL find all you need to know if you type the above phrase in!!

    so have you chosen what you gonna do about your GPU purchase?
  19. i will probably go for the 480 then. just need to find a brand and hopefully a resonable price :(

    il see what i can do with my current GPU, i hope its ok though.

    yeh will have a look at overclocking. im not that amazing with computers though, so dont wanna do anything to risky.
  20. why the sad face? the GTX is a great card, the best from nvidia!
  21. yeh but its also £400 :( hmmm
    oh well i guess its worth it for the future :)
  22. buddy, you said in your first post that you were looking to buy it.... if your gave me your budget options, i would have given you other recommendations!!

    but trust me, its totally worth it, and the card is just the next step in generations to come
  23. dont worry its within budget :) just a bit pricey thats all lol
  24. price!! huh!!! lets talk about price and my exchange rate!! you'll get a good laugh!!

    for a GTX in my currency here in south africa it works out about R 7200-00
    now if you convert it to Dollars, its roughly $1000-00 dollars for the card!!!

    thats really depressing!!

    but i'm working hard for my raise!! :) thats if i get one!!
  25. wow!!! thats a criminal price!! but then again $1000 is about £500 so its still about the same as here :(
  26. yeah, pity we don't live in the USA, things are worked out so much cheaper, till they order Rooibos tea from South Africa again! (thats Redbush tea, native to SA)

    then we'll get them!!!

    wow but we really derailed from the topic! :)
  27. true :)

    i wish i could export stuff from the USA without TAX being added when it arrives here :( would be so much cheaper
  28. you telling me.....

    and the americans are quick to say :upgrade this and upgrade that!!

    when i post something i always look at the budget and see if it fits in range!

    pc components are hectically expensive and i try to see other alternatives rather than upgrading, but if there is nothing else one can do than you must really know that the upgrade is necessary!! did you come right with your GTA 4 problem?
  29. no im at work at the moment, havent had chance to check it out yet.

    but i just ordered the 3d vision kit, and the samsung screen from Dabs ( i got it for half price just because it doesnt have a VGA cable!! :p ) all together it was 250 :) thats pretty good, no? :)
  30. for optimum 3D visuals, I hope you purchased the screen having at least a 120hz refresh rate! recommended by nvidia for all 3D users!!

    but that does sound like a good deal!! I'm hoping to add 3D in the future, played in 3D on a friends rig with 3 x 40" LED 3D compatibility Screen, with 3 x GTX 480 Cards!!

    WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!

    have fun and let me know when it arrives!!

    Enjoy!!
  31. yep its a 3d 120hz Samsung screen, so its all set and ready. I also installed another 2gb RAM so i now have 8gb :) but to be honest i havent really noticed a difference.....

    Yesterday i ran windows update, and for some reason now it wont boot up. it does the windows loading thing in the begining then just turns to black screen. do you know why?
  32. um... wow,

    is your windows authentic? because i never run windows update, too afraid i lose any information or they change any system settings that i've personalised...

    can you run your system in safe mode? when you start your system up, keep pressing either F11 or F8 or F10, according to your system settings and motherboard options... this will take you to a choice screen and run in safe mode....

    when your computer has started which i'm sure it will, put automatic updates off, and run an anti virus (AVG, AVAST-free download) and restart your pc, i'm sure the problem would be resolved.... this happened to me the last time i ran a update, never did it again!!!

    hope this helps, let me know if it does help!! (pretty sure your motherboard will have the F8 option to restart in boot options... then just choose safe mode!!)

    good luck!!

    Dane
  33. yeh its authentic. just bought it for £109 from PC World, what a rip off, i wish i had pirated it lol

    no i cant even get to safe mode.

    I think the update f***ed it up
  34. i have just been told that 2x GTX480 wouldnt work in my pc cos the chipset is old???? and that multi card gtx480 and 8800gtx wouldnt work cos of PSU??? can someone tell me if this is true??

    INTEL CORE 2 DUO E6850 1333FSB SKT775
    ThermalTake W0131RE 850W TOUGHPOWER CABLE MANAGEMENT RET
    ASUS SKT-775 STRIKER S/L SLI 1333FSB
    MS WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM 64-BIT
    ASUS 768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX 2xDVI PCI-E SLI READY
    GEIL 4GB DDR2 800 CL5.0 DUAL CHANNEL BLACK DRAGON RET
    CORSAIR 4GB DDR2 800 GAMING MEMORY
  35. Your CPU is already gonna bottleneck 1 480, I dunno why you'd try to run 2. Doubt you'd really see any gains from keeping your 8800 GTX in there as well, so I dunno why you'd do that.
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