Hey everyone, was looking for a bit of insight and recommendations on my next move... I'll have to take you back a couple years to my retro(ish) gamer.
I'm running a P35 mobo w/Q6600 @3.3ghz, 4gb DDR2 800mhz, GTX 295 (dual pcb), 750w Corsair PSU system now, and have been for a while... It's still plenty of power and I enjoy it very much, but have stumbled across some interesting options as far as upgrading with parts I have access to.
I am running the system on my DFI BloodIron P35 motherboard now, and have absolutely loved it... a great basic feature gaming motherboard, but I have a friend that just upgraded to an AM3 setup, and has abandoned his MSI p6n Platinum 650i board in the process. I also have a 9800GTX (original, not the thinner chip) sitting around as well.
To skip to the setup of question, I would like some opinions on running these cards on the 650i board using the 9800 as the physx card... I have seen some setups running in similar manners, but just cant find much on how much is added to performance. Is it beneficial to do this, or would it even work? I'd greatly appreciate some better understanding of the technology behind it, any links or input is welcome. The 295 by its self has been fantastic, had initial issues with drivers, but everything is great now, and I don't feel like i hit a CPU bottleneck yet with the c2q running at 3.3 now. I'm not looking to quad sli with another 295, just a single cheaper card add for physx.
I'll be moving up to a new motherboard/cpu set eventually... I know I'm behind the times and in a hole with a 775 socket setup, but I'm waiting a bit longer before I shell out the cash to upgrade everything, so I'd like to focus on my options at hand now for performance growth... although I know they are limited.
Thanks for any input!
The rest of my system is most likely not very relevant, but just in case... I'm running Windows 7 pro x64 on dual 1080p monitors.
I think I'd still use the P35 board. It does have two PCIe slots right? Keep the GTX295 in the 16x slot and put the GTX9800 in the 4x slot. It won't run things faster (unless you already have PhysX on) but it will allow you to turn on the eye candy for the few games that have it.
My P35 board only has one PCIe slot, an x16 one, so to add the second card I'd have to make the switch to the 650i board.
I have been using the default settings with the newest (260.99) drivers on a clean windows install. With the default settings physx runs in 'auto-select' mode and dedicates the 'b' card to physx... I'm about to run a few benches with different settings here and see how it changes when i turn off physx all together. My current settings plus 677/1471/1191 overclocks have scored me above p20,500 before on vantage.
Even if the 9800 wouldn't add much, it would be fun for a bit while i wait for the big upgrades to come... just can't find any definitive answers out there.
If your playing with it off already it won't add any FPS. It will add the nice particle effects however without causing any slow downs. This is ofcourse only in the games that support GPU accelerated PhysX. Its a fairly short list so unless you play any of those dozen or so games it won't do anything.
I do play several games with PhysX support... and didn't know how heavily Vantage could test it! turned the PhysX over to my cpu for a test and it cut its performance down from 37k to 11k. crazy, the GPU stayed the same through both tests at 18k.
kind of a sloppy test, but it is interesting to see the card put out the same score with the setting on or off... but i still feel like the the score could be higher if the cpu load wasn't bogged down and the physx load was still kept off of the 295.
If you want a little boots without having to use a crappy 650i ect then buy a 4gb ram kit and upgrade the HDD or pair the existing one with an SSD which will help smooth things out. 4GB ram isn't much even though the performance gains are small but still worth while for games like GTA IV that suck up all you got and a slow hard drive will botch the fastest systems out there when it proves to be only a bottleneck in games like FSX or once again GTA IV. Why an SSD is simple if you can't afford one that has enough room for os then use it as a paging drive which helps when running fraps or doing video editing.