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SLI older cards or one new better card for gaming?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2011 12:29:48 AM

Hi all!

I am looking at upgrading my current machine to better perform at gaming. I was thinking I could get away with a new motherboard, processor and a memory boost - but now I am concerned about the quality of my video cards. I am considering a AMD Phenom II X4 965 and ASUS M4N98TD EVO (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) so I could SLI my 2 GeForce 8600+ cards.

My question - is it worth investing in hardware that will support my dual 8600+'s or is it better to just get one newer video card for gaming? If the latter, what it the best budget solution?

Thank you in advance!
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 12:38:41 AM

SLi-8600+ is a waste of SLi and money. Get a GTX460 or something similar, is alot better!
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 2:55:13 AM

^agree
You would be better off putting that money twards a 460 or 6850.For budget go with the 460 but all this depends on your resoultion.

Whats your monitors resoultion?
Also what is the make and model of your power supply?
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a c 173 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
January 5, 2011 3:27:14 AM

I remember when an old coworker of mine was so happy he was running an SLI setup. I asked about it, and he was using two 6600s. Not the GTs, but the normal base 6600. I laughed and said my single X1800xt was probably faster, but he was trying to tell me simply because he had two cards he's was. I told him to go home and double check, he was a bit upset the next time I saw him.

CF/SLI can be good, but using two junk cards doesn't make them better. You usually are better off getting just a single better one.
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January 5, 2011 3:27:28 AM

purple stank said:
^agree
You would be better off putting that money twards a 460 or 6850.For budget go with the 460 but all this depends on your resoultion.

Whats your monitors resoultion?
Also what is the make and model of your power supply?


Power supply is Antec Earthwatts 430w Is that enough to power the new hardware components?

My monitor is a SyncMaster 930B - unclear on how to figure out resolution.

Below is the hardware I am now looking at for my new budget gaming system. I don't know at what point it makes sense to just get everything new, or replace specific parts. Do you have any advice?

-AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
-ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
-G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
-Video card either 460 or 6850
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 7:24:05 AM

Do you know how to change the monitors resoultion thru Windows?Click properties on desktop then go to display.
I looked up ur monitor and it says it's native is 1280x1024(since it's a 19'' i was tihnking it would be 1400x900)
Since that isn't a very demanding resoultion you could even buy a cheaper graphics card if you wanted to.

Your current PSU should be able to handle everything.I would think of upgrading it tho if you decide to sli/crossfire in the future.
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January 5, 2011 7:41:39 AM

what about a single hd 4850 or gts 250/450?
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January 5, 2011 8:16:19 AM

Get one single better card. End of discussion.

Which one, now that will depend on your budget.

Low budget - Nvidia GTS 450/Radeon HD 5770 ~$100

Mid Budget - Nvidia GTX 460/Radeon HD 6850 ~$200

No budget - Nvidia GTX 570/Radeon HD 6970 ~$350/$380

GTX 580 is not worth the $500+ when compared to the 570/6970
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 8:32:49 AM

If your budget is around the 4850 range i would say to get a 5770.They are considered equal to eachother in performance but the 5770 is around the same price and has DX11,it is also a little light on power than the 4850.

Whats ur budget and what types of games are you/going to play?
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January 5, 2011 8:51:54 AM

better get a new psu before upgrading your video card because 430 sounds too little for me... if you intend to last long i recommend you to not go lower than 600 watts for single card and 850 watts if you plan to do cf/sli.... a cheap but crap and expensive but high quality certainly makes a difference if you plan to use high end parts....
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January 5, 2011 8:56:56 AM

for 170 to 200 dollars you can get either hd 5850 or gtx 460... it certainly better than your current 8600.... you won't regret it.... if you have more money to spend you can also get hd 6950 not because it can be flashed to hd 6970... but because it is cheaper than gtx 570 and not much slower....
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January 5, 2011 8:58:03 AM

thats right hd 5770 is also great choice but if i would be you i would simply choose gtx 460 1gb as it has everything you need horsepower,directx11,power efficieny,and is really a bang for bucks,you should have atleast 500watts psu for it.go with it you wont dishard.
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January 5, 2011 1:04:23 PM

purple stank said:
If your budget is around the 4850 range i would say to get a 5770.They are considered equal to eachother in performance but the 5770 is around the same price and has DX11,it is also a little light on power than the 4850.

Whats ur budget and what types of games are you/going to play?



For budget, I went into this thinking I could get away with just $300, but that doesn't seem like it is practical anymore. My new price range is $400-$500. Most processor and motherboard packages I am looking at already get me to ~$250.

I am looking at the upgrade because Intel dual core e4400 cant handle the new black ops game - even starcraft 2 is a little iffy. I would like to upgrade so that I can play new games coming out for the next year and a half to 2 years. Not looking for a power PC to hit the top resolutions, just something for casual play.
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a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
January 5, 2011 1:04:25 PM

You understand that cards like the 4850, the 250, and even the 5770 are becoming somewhat dated, and I would not consider any of them at any price for a new gaming build, even moderate gaming. Your old 8600, even when it first hit the shelves, was considered almost bottom of the barrel for gaming, not quite, but it never was a strong performer. 1 weak card +1 weak card in SLI or Crossfire nets you 2 weak cards that a single card a couple of tiers up the ladder would outperform, use less power, generate less heat, and not all games scale well in SLI or Crossfire on top of that.

One more vote for the 460 from me. It is simply a great value and strong performer. It will fit very nicely with the rest of your system.
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a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 1:23:24 PM

+1 to amk09

450/5770 if 100 budget

460/6850 if 200 judgint by the components i don tthink the no boduget scenario is an option

if you go gtx 460 get for the 1 gig over the 768 meg
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January 5, 2011 2:13:00 PM

Quote:
get the newer single card than SLI the two older ones yes...
what games do you play and are you leaning towards ATi or nVidia.?


Im leaning to the 460 now. I have no preference between ATI or nVidia, but hear ATI i better for AMD which I am leaning toward.
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January 5, 2011 2:40:37 PM

Thanks, Malmental, very helpful.

It seems most folks on this thread agree the best mid budget route to go it either Nvidia GTX 460/Radeon HD 6850 for about $200.

My monitor is a SyncMaster 930B that has a resolution of 1280x1024. With these cards to compatible, or overkill to the monitor?
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a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 2:44:20 PM

you should be able to run anything at that res, i also have a syncmaster at 1280x1024, i run a gts 450 and can run anything on there max settings thus far, with a gtx 460 or hd6850 you're giving yourself room to grow in resolution, i also move my rig and play on a 37" 1080p tv and while i can play some stuff like wow maxe don it other games fps drops drastically (well did before i sli'd 2x gts 450 anyway now its fine) a gtx 460 or hd 6850 would be fine for those resolutions in most games max settings.

so the questiong being are those cards overkill for your mionitor... probably... but do you plan on getting a new monitor before you get a new video card? if so gtx460 or hd6850 all the way
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January 5, 2011 3:54:48 PM

Thanks again for everyones help!

So looking at the 460 cards, there are huge price differences and I dont know why.

For example, what it the difference between these two cards - except about $60? And will I really notice any difference playing games casually? I am looking at getting the top card.

EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then there is the Radeon model...
HIS H685F1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 4:02:42 PM

the SE is a chopped down gtx460, they are cheaper because they perform lower, its kind of a middle ground between the full on gtx 460 1 gig and the 768 meg
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January 5, 2011 10:33:37 PM

After seeing the resolution you play at, your budget, and the fact that you are a "casual gamer"... I think its best that you go with a GTS 450 or a Radeon HD 5770.

At your resolution, niether cards will have problems running any game smoothly on high settings.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 11:11:36 PM

I would agree,a 5770 is plently of power for your resoultion.Although if you were thinking of upgrading oyur mointor in the future to a 1080p monitor then a 460 would be a better choice.
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January 6, 2011 2:32:46 PM

Of course a 460 would give you more power, but you will be paying much more also.

If you are willing to pay the extra money, then by all means go for it and get a 460 1GB or a 6850.

But I want you to know that you will be very happy with the cheaper GTS 450 or a Radeon HD 5770, don't let their low prices fool you, they can game.

Also, your PSU is fine for now, you won't need to upgrade unless you plan on crossfiring or getting a very high power card.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 3:19:54 PM

What types of games are you intrested in playing?
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January 6, 2011 6:38:04 PM

he mentioned black ops and starcraft 2.

both of which can ran smoothly by either the 450 or 5770 on high settings, especially with his CPU.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 6:42:27 PM

Yah both those cards can run those games maxed out even at 1080p resoultions,although if you have the money the 460/6850 is more future proof.

It is totally up to the buyer i guess on how much they want to spend....
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!