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Graphics Card Upgrade Advice Wanted

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 6, 2011 2:54:16 PM

Hello,

I bought a nice machine two years ago that came with two NVIDIA GEforce GTX 280 cards in it. In the last three months, these cards seem to have degenerated (no doubt this was brought on by an overheating problem caused by a dust cap forming over the fins of one of the major heat sinks inside the case, which I didn't notice until the system started acting unstable).

I plan to check my power supply this afternoon when a friend brings his multimeter over, and if it checks out, I'm going to assume the cards are fried.

What I want to know is what a good replacement for the cards I have would be. Unfortunately I can't seem to access the online specs for my machine anymore (I should have printed it out, I know...) All I can find is this: WPC/i7-940/6GB-DDR3/2xGTX280/SLI/SAS/VHP

The above is from an e-mail on my order from tigerdirect. I can decipher a lot of it (WPC = Widow PC), but not all.

I'm looking at the NVIDIA GEforce GTX 580, 570, and 560ti cards.

I'd like to know if I *have* to buy two new cards or if I can just go with one new one replacing both of the old (does my system REQUIRE two cards?) Does dual-carding really enhance performance that much? I'm not averse to paying for two cards, but I wonder if one lone card will run cooler than two.

Will all three of the card types above run dual, or only some of them? Are they good choices?

Any advice would be good. Thanks!


a c 155 Î Nvidia
a c 1362 U Graphics card
February 6, 2011 3:02:11 PM

You can run a single card no problem and it will run cooler. I suggest an GTX570 unless you are running extremely high monitor resolution!
All the cards above are compatible with your computer.
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February 6, 2011 3:02:26 PM

Let me add a few -- I'm currently leaning slightly towards picking up two GTX 560ti cards. As I understand it the 560ti is less powerful than the 570/580 cards, but cheaper, and runs cooler. Two of them won't cost a lot and my machine is currently set up to run two cards (I'd like to avoid "confusing" it if possible).

For games I mostly play World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, Fallout New Vegas, and the like. And I still love Civ4. :^)

Thanks again!
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a c 155 Î Nvidia
a c 1362 U Graphics card
February 6, 2011 3:05:48 PM

SLI with two GTX560Ti would be a nice upgrade.
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February 6, 2011 4:02:05 PM

Thanks again -- just for reference, what would be the pros and cons of the 570 vs two 560tis? I mean operationally, I can check the prices out myself. Still not sure of what kind of advantage dual-carding really offers.
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Best solution

a c 155 Î Nvidia
a c 1362 U Graphics card
February 6, 2011 7:01:15 PM

Here is a benchmark with 560Ti in SLI http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-...
Here it is (same article) compared to GTX570 http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-...
To sum it up GTX570 is faster than a single 560Ti but two 560's in SLI is faster than a GTX570. It is based on your monitor resolution if you need all that power.
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February 6, 2011 10:41:34 PM

Thanks a lot! I purchased a pair of 560Ti cards from tigerdirect earlier today -- should have them in a couple of days and hopefully my computer problems will be solved.

[Edit -- actually, what I bought was a pair of MSI GeForce GTX 560 TI Twin FrozrII/OC cards... From what I read they're a mod of the original card that runs faster and cooler, and they were the same price, so...]

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February 6, 2011 10:42:11 PM

Best answer selected by Werebat.
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February 6, 2011 10:54:31 PM

Umm... Now maybe a silly question... As I understand it, all I'll need to do once the new cards come in is open the case, pop out the old ones (I know how to do this), pop in the new ones (I assume I can link them with the same little ribbon that is linking the old cards), and then boot in safe mode to remove the old drivers and replace with the new drivers.

After that the process SHOULD be complete -- right?
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