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Upgrade question, GTX 285 SLI vs ????

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2011 7:42:59 AM

I am currently using two GTX 285's in a SLI setup being water-cooled. I'm looking at possible upgrade ideas but want to know whether it would be worth the money to upgrade now or wait longer. First a little information about my current situation.

I require the ability to do 3D, I have the 120hz monitor and the Nvidia 3D Vision kit already, this will almost inevitably force me into using Nvidia GPUs, this isn't a problem for me. My typical upgrade strategy is to buy a single high end *mainstream* GPU (285 over the 260/270 but not the 295) that that has high performance and high value. Later down the road I purchase a second GPU of the same type and create a SLI setup. This worked great going from 7900 to 7900 x2 to 8800GT to an 8800GT x 2 to an 285 GTX to my current 285 GTX x2. Lately the lines between models have blurred too much and the performance gains between generations seem to be subjective at best. Thus I'm asking the community their thoughts on the matter and which single model card would have a 20~30% higher across the board performance then my GTX x 2 setup and that could later be upgraded to its own SLI. Of further note is that I would have to also purchase a new GPU waterblock, that cost should be factored into the decision.

Thanks for any assistance that could be provided on this issue.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 8:30:36 AM

Wait.

Unless you're happy to sell your car and get two GTX 580s you might as well wait. I'm currently using two OC'd GTX 260's and find they play every game I ask of them over two screens.. so yours should be more than enough for the next year or so.

It's always tempting to sell everything and get the latest graphics cards, but unless you need DirectX 11 or haven't got central heating and thought you'd kill two birds with one stone and get a couple of 480s.. save your pennies and keep your 285s (or send them to me and use onboard graphics ;)  ).
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a c 175 U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 9:37:09 AM

Pretty much totally agree unless you're finding your SLI GTX285 setup to slow in 3D games. Or if you REALLY want to play that new DX11 game that nobodies heard about. The only way I would replace what you have now is if 3D performance isn't good enough, or one of your cards died.
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a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 12:51:47 PM

I agree with *numbers*b ( ;)  ), though I mean how could two GTX 285's be slow in todays games? Unless you're running two 30" monitors I would have thought you can max every game currently on the market.

Everyone keeps saying how crazy Crysis 2 will be, but chances are it'll be very optimised as Crysis 1 took so much power to run and everyone complained.

Keep your cards until the NVIDIA 500 prices come down, or until the 600 series or whatever comes out.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 2:53:36 PM

He said 3D gaming, which cuts your frame rates literally in half. Depending on his res, I can see him having issues with some games at maxed details with "one" GTX285.
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a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 10:15:34 PM

Ahh 3D, yes of course. Though they are watercooled.. so I assume they have a nice overclock on them? What speeds you running them at palladin9479?
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January 12, 2011 11:09:29 PM

Well I was really projecting out for possible replacements later this year. Currently the two GTX285's play everything quite fine, even in 3D mode (1920 x 1080 x 32 @ 120hz). I haven't OC'd them yet, but lately been wondering if I should do that. I got my Phenom II X4 940BE to go 3.7ghz stable, 3.8 or higher boots but cause's random system glitchs. The original reason I used water-cooling was fan noise. One GTX285 can get loud with a high pitch sound, two is unbearably once the system gets serious. I slapped DD waterblocks on em with a huge top mounted radiator (three 120mm fans length), system works quietly now and I can actually enjoy my gaming experience. Also one of the big draws for SLI is 3D-Vision performance scales perfectly with it

Thanks for all the advice, I'll keep what I got till autumn and see whats available then. Hopefully AMD will have its own 3D-vision capable cards that are compatible with my monitor and glass's (I'd hate to have to buy new glass's).
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a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 8:19:19 AM

OMG no overclock!? Dude.. get pushing them babies! You'll see such an increase in performance :o 
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January 13, 2011 9:57:35 AM

Don't upgrade, that's a beastly GPU setup even by today's standard
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a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 9:38:00 PM

Don't sell them to malmental that noob ;) , overclock them and then sell them to me. I'll totally trade them for an old grey atx case and two pairs of socks :D .

Seriously though.. overclock them.
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January 14, 2011 1:49:04 AM

Haha. Well does anyone have some specs to what is possible with a G285GTX GPU? A good bar to set them to before I start tweaking up. And while I'm comfortable OCing CPU's I don't have much experience with GPU's, what are the "safe" things to bump up and what are the "touchy" ones?

And finally, is there a community recognized benchmarking / stability testing tool available for free? Everywhere I turn someone is wanting me to pay then $40 or more to do this.
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January 14, 2011 9:29:16 AM

go with your sli,it is still amazing.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 10:07:45 AM

Download and use either MSI Afterburner or RivaTuner to overclock (MSI being fav on this forum I believe). Increase gently as you would a CPU, but you'll be surprised how far you can push them before artifacts start to show. If you can (some GPU's don't allow it) but MSI offers voltage tweaks also which as you're on water it would be great to make use of.

Furmark is what you want to use to stress the cards and push them to their highest temps etc. GTA4, Crysis and 3DMark Vantage are my chosen programs to test for artifacts.

And Mal, don't you already have better than my feeble 260 (216)s ? ;) 
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July 16, 2012 12:10:28 AM

palladin9479 said:
I am currently using two GTX 285's in a SLI setup being water-cooled. I'm looking at possible upgrade ideas but want to know whether it would be worth the money to upgrade now or wait longer. First a little information about my current situation.

I require the ability to do 3D, I have the 120hz monitor and the Nvidia 3D Vision kit already, this will almost inevitably force me into using Nvidia GPUs, this isn't a problem for me. My typical upgrade strategy is to buy a single high end *mainstream* GPU (285 over the 260/270 but not the 295) that that has high performance and high value. Later down the road I purchase a second GPU of the same type and create a SLI setup. This worked great going from 7900 to 7900 x2 to 8800GT to an 8800GT x 2 to an 285 GTX to my current 285 GTX x2. Lately the lines between models have blurred too much and the performance gains between generations seem to be subjective at best. Thus I'm asking the community their thoughts on the matter and which single model card would have a 20~30% higher across the board performance then my GTX x 2 setup and that could later be upgraded to its own SLI. Of further note is that I would have to also purchase a new GPU waterblock, that cost should be factored into the decision.

Thanks for any assistance that could be provided on this issue.



I'm now in your shoes, and now i'm wondering if you ever found a (worthy) solution.
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July 23, 2012 4:51:17 AM

gtx285fanboy said:
I'm now in your shoes, and now i'm wondering if you ever found a (worthy) solution.



Eventually went with two EVGA 580 Hydro's. That is more then enough firepower for what I'm doing now and for the foreseeable future. I plan on keeping with these for another two years, at which time I'll again reevaluate my situation. Next year I'll be upgrading the CPU platform, either to PD (if it's worth it) or to whatever Intel puts out.
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