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GTX 470 SLI - Is it worth it?

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September 13, 2010 12:42:09 PM

So i got myself a GTX 470 and my fps are quiet good, but in Age Of Conan i have somewhere around 20-45 FPS on high settings. It could be higher right? My question is: is it worth getting a second gfx card? My processor and RAM is a bit old so im allso wondering if maybe my other computer parts will be like a bottleneck?

My specs are:
AMD Athlon X64 Dualcore 3.0GHZ
3 GB RAM (i was told getting more isnt necessary)
Zotac GTX 470 1280MB
Motherboard is M2N-Plus SLI Vista Edition Series (Nvidia Nforce500 SLI Chipset)

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Thanks for your answers! =)

More about : gtx 470 sli worth

a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 12:57:31 PM

I have 2x GTX 470's in Sli, and i have had not a single game yet (Mafia II, Assassin's Creed II, Aliens vs Pred DX11, etc) which cannot cope with ultra settings, with every option turned on full.

Pure smooth gameplay - Awesome!
September 13, 2010 1:05:14 PM

Sounds interesting! =) Thanks for your answer, lets just hope the rest of my computer can handle it. I might just buy one.... Did you by any chance try Age Of Conan? That game is by far the most demanding i have ever played. If you put that game on Ultra settings it will probably mess up any computer. When im on raid with 24 other ppl atleast 5 ppl crashes
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a c 376 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 1:25:25 PM

No, a second GTX 470 is useless to you. That processor is the problem and is already holding back your single GTX 470 in a rather large way.
As for upgrading unfortunately your motherboard doesn't support a worthwhile processor upgrade so it will need to be replaced as well to do so. Fortunately this doesn't need to cost that much. You can use your current ram and spend as little as $125 or so for a rather large upgrade. Before I look for links though tell me how much you actually want to spend and if you would rather just go for a full upgrade and replace the ram with DDR3 as well.
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 1:44:32 PM

I did forget to mention (but its in my sig), i do have an Intel i7 930 Oc'd CPU. But i did notice a performance increase in Assassin's Creed II and Mafia II when i installed the 2nd GTX 470.



a c 376 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 1:56:23 PM

Yeah, for an OCed i7 a second GTX 470 should be great. For an Athlon64 x2 though even a single GTX 460 would be limited so dual GTX 470s are right out without an upgrade.
September 13, 2010 3:13:10 PM

Thx for your replies =)

I might aswell upgrade the whole computer then. My budget is around $1000. Would you recommend i7 processor and maybe 4 Gb RAM (1600mhz DDR3) ? Because i heard its not verly usefull to have some 6GB RAM even with windows 7 64-bits unless im working with grafics/cad cam.

My powersuply is 750W
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 3:28:10 PM

If you go i7 Socket 1356, you'd be a nutter not to go 6gb (3x2gb Sticks) as its DDR3 (TRI Channel)

But im not sure what is viablr for your needs and prices, as i live in the UK and have different prices for performance (or bang for buck) - Hense why i went the i7 930 route, rather than say a i5 or i7 1156 socket.

Me father has gone the AMD route, DDR2 Ram, Phenom II 955BE CPU, so that will be installed by the weekend, could see the performance on that? (he has a 465 GTX thou)
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 4:19:30 PM

4 gigs is more than enough unless you are specifically doing something that can use more like HD video editing or music production. That said an i7 system is triple channel so youll want either 6 or 3 gigs. However I would recommend an i5 system instead actually which is dual channel so 4 gigs would be fine. An i7 is nice but it isn't worth the extra money imo. Considering you already have the card $1000 is more than you need to spend really. Assuming you will only be taking the card from the old system I would recommend something like this;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It totals about $700. The processor can overclock a huge amount but if you want to go over 3.5ghz or so I would recommend replacing the default cooler. The motherboard is SLI for a second card when/if you decide you need it. It is also USB 3.0 and SATA 6 g/s for the latest standards. The 950w Corsair PSU can easily handle the system with 2 GTX 470s even with the processor and both cards fully overclocked. The hard drive is fastest you can buy for a reasonable price. The case/ram combo is a very nice deal and both are high quality.
If you really want to spend more I suppose you could get a second GTX 470 already but unless your resolution is higher than 1920x1200 I recommend at least trying just the one you have now on the new processor. It should already be very good especially with an overclock. Other options are maybe a bluray burner or perhaps a small solid state drive for the OS and apps/games.
a c 125 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 5:24:35 PM

I'm with jyjjy - get the i5 instead of i7 because as a gaming rig the i5 is as good as you really need. You can see my sig, i5 750, ASUS P7P55D Pro, and I'm using crossfire 5850s which showed a massive FPS increase going from a single card so the bottlenecks here are little. Basically, there's only a very slight bottleneck in the 8x lane bandwidth, but it's only a few % (around 5% at most). 4GB of RAM is sufficient most of the time, I upgraded to 8gb just because STALKER: CoP with a few mods was hogging almost 3GB on it's own (after the upgrade) so when I had 4gb I was getting a lot of small freezes in game as file paging was used.

In terms of scaling on this platform, you can see my post here
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289809-33-single-5850...

As for 16x vs 8x lanes, see this review http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p55-pci-express-sca...
-although it is looking at a single card in these slots. I don't know of any articles comparing 16x/16x to 8x/8x in CF or SLI right now... I'm sure they're out there tho.

Just one note on that mobo, the USB 3 and SATA 3 (6g/s) are ONLY available if you use a single GPU because the CPU has only 16 lanes available, so USB 3/SATA 3 need some of those lanes. I'm having trouble pining down a source of this so it's possible that a workaround was found, but I'm fairly certain of it. Regardless, there's not really anything that I've seen (including SSDs) that will max out a SATA 2 connection.
September 13, 2010 5:26:07 PM

Thanks for your response!

I have reconsidered and i picked something like this: http://www.webhallen.com/hardvara/102302-asus-socket_11...

Corsair XMS3 4096MB DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz (2X2048MB) (CL9) (CMX4GX3M2A1600C9)
and
http://www.webhallen.com/hardvara/112905-intel_core_i5_...
I'm going to look a little more for parts though, but for starters ill go for this. I'll do as you say and try with only one GTX 470. I use 1920X1200 on my screen. It's a 24" one.

As for the SSD i have been thinking about it, but right now i striped 2 disks and i have no idea if an SSD is faster then that. If i remember right i got them striped so Age Of Conan would load faster as someone said. I say: fail! because it doesnt. In fact i dont feel any difference from normal to striped (is it raid 0? cant remember).
a c 173 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 5:31:23 PM

Personally avoid the 1156 if you are looking to sli/crossfire down the road but if not then it is a good bang for buck platform. 1356= sexy
a c 125 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 5:33:25 PM

Good choice of mobo, has all the features plus even a good onboard sound card. I think you could do better on the RAM, 1600mhz CL8 but I don't know that there'll be a significant difference.

I've recently been looking at SSDs and reviews on them and such. They blow the pants off a single HDD and as far as I can tell, they still edge out 2 HDDs for sequential reads and rights (I'm also using a RAID 0) and absolutely crush HDDs (no matter how many in RAID 0) when it comes to random reads and writes, which is where you'll save a lot of time in loading.
a c 125 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 5:34:30 PM

nforce4max said:
Personally avoid the 1156 if you are looking to sli/crossfire down the road but if not then it is a good bang for buck platform. 1356= sexy


Well, I disagree. I posted a link a couple replies above with some good info on why it won't matter much...
a c 173 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 5:46:37 PM

wolfram23 said:
Well, I disagree. I posted a link a couple replies above with some good info on why it won't matter much...


Sure dump in two GTX 470/5850 along with a wireless networking card and a discrete pic-e sound card on a USB 3.0 & sata 3.0 board then see what happens. Don't forget a pair of drives in raid 0 and a few more in raid 1/5 mode.
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 5:48:09 PM

If you are going to have to deal with European prices then just components similar to what I listed will likely end up around $1000 anyway.
That board looks decent but two notes:
It is microATX and when using SLI there will be no gap between the cards at all. This tends to cause air flow issues which may be a problem with hot/power hungry cards like the GTX 470.
Second it isn't USB 3.0. 3.0 is nice but it isn't a big deal unless you use USB drives a lot.
That said there looks to be an i5 750 combo with the board I linked earlier that makes them almost the same price as the cpu/board you are looking at;
http://www.webhallen.com/hardvara/111728-asus_p7p55d-e_...
FYI the i5 750 and i5 760 are the exact same processor. Intel just set the stock clocks slightly higher on the 760. If you will be overclocking(would be a shame not to) this doesn't matter at all.
a c 125 U Graphics card
September 13, 2010 7:05:51 PM

nforce4max said:
Sure dump in two GTX 470/5850 along with a wireless networking card and a discrete pic-e sound card on a USB 3.0 & sata 3.0 board then see what happens. Don't forget a pair of drives in raid 0 and a few more in raid 1/5 mode.


Which is nearly what I'm running. Two OCed 5850s, sound card, GT 240 physX card, and 2 HDDs in RAID 0. And I already mentioned that the USB3 and SATA 3 doesn't work in CF/SLI with a P55.

No issues and extremely good performance with my set up.


I'm not saying the 1366 is bad, it's very good. But it's an extra $100 for the CPU and at least $50 for the mobo, plus around an extra $30 or more for that 3rd RAM stick to go triple channel. As usual, you get less bang for your buck the higher end you go, but in this case I don't see a whole lot of point since already the system performs beyond what demands are placed on it.
!