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GTX 460 or dual 9800GT's in SLI

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March 3, 2011 3:01:22 AM

Upgradinga computer that I built in 2006 or so as a gaming rig. after sitting a while i had a HD failure and a stick of ram that failed. updated it with 8gigs of ram and some new fans and it is ok, but lacking in GPU department.

So my current setup is listed below, looking to either buy 2 9800GT's in SLI or one good card such as a GTX460. open to brands and other cards if they are better. Funds are pretty tight so i'm setting a cap at most $200 and less is better. Looking for best bang for my buck and need it to be able to 3D render, stream movies on the TV and play most popular game titles out there all while trying to future proof for games coming out soon.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next month BUDGET RANGE: $150-$200 Before / After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3d Rendering (solidworks mostly), Gaming (NFS, Battlefield, COD and the like) and home theater/watching streaming movies

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: 2x EVGA 7600GT KO 256mb PCI-E x16 in SLI and Antec 550w truepower 2.0

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: motherboard: asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ OC'd to 2970ghz
Memory: 4x2gb ddr2 800
OS: Win7 64 bit
Display: 40" 1080P Sony HDTV via DVI to HDMI cable or DVI 19" LG Monitor
Hard drives: 2x 250gb 7200rpm
Case: Antec Performance one P180
Fans: 4 Antec 3 speed 120mm fans all set to high

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, cheapest supplier

PARTS PREFERENCES: Whoever has Best Bang for the Buck Value
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 and 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: looking to upgrade CPU to Athlon IIX3 445 and possibly the power supply if needed in a few months

current passmark scores:
Benchmark Results

Test Name: This Computer
CPU - Integer Math: 329.2
CPU - Floating Point Math: 1044.0
CPU - Find Prime Numbers: 313.4
CPU - SSE: 9.1
CPU - Compression: 2008.7
CPU - Encryption: 9.4
CPU - Physics: 100.1
CPU - String Sorting: 1269.4
Graphics 2D - Solid Vectors: 4.4
Graphics 2D - Transparent Vectors: 4.2
Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors: 87.8
Graphics 2D - Fonts and Text: 105.9
Graphics 2D - Windows Interface: 42.7
Graphics 2D - Image Filters: 149.6
2D Graphics - Image Rendering: 266.1
Graphics 3D - Simple: 506.5
Graphics 3D - Medium: 191.5
Graphics 3D - Complex: 42.9
Memory - Allocate Small Block: 3419.6
Memory - Read Cached: 1331.9
Memory - Read Uncached: 1237.5
Memory - Write: 1253.8
Memory - Large RAM: 3143.2
Disk - Sequential Read: 61.5
Disk - Sequential Write: 51.6
Disk - Random Seek + RW: 2.9
CPU Mark: 1880.9
2D Graphics Mark: 467.0
Memory Mark: 1225.2
Disk Mark: 419.4
3D Graphics Mark: 465.2
PassMark Rating: 1027.6

System information: This Computer
CPU Manufacturer: AuthenticAMD
Number of CPU: 1
Cores per CPU: 2
CPU Type: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5200+
CPU Speed: 2970.1 MHz
Cache size: 512KB
O/S: Windows 7 (64-bit)
Total RAM: 8190.5 MB.
Available RAM: 6631.8 MB.
Video settings: 1280x1024x32
Video driver:
DESCRIPTION: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
MANUFACTURER: NVIDIA
BIOS: Version 5.73.22.18.24
DATE: 1-7-2011
Drive Letter: C
Total Disk Space: 189.9 GBytes
Cluster Size: 4.0 KBytes
File system: NTFS
March 3, 2011 3:13:08 AM

no offense, but it is also lacking in the cpu department as well, with even a moderately powerful gpu setup (GTX460) you are going to see your cpu limiting your gaming

you might be better off waiting and buying a new system
March 3, 2011 3:31:34 AM

mindless728 said:
no offense, but it is also lacking in the cpu department as well, with even a moderately powerful gpu setup (GTX460) you are going to see your cpu limiting your gaming

you might be better off waiting and buying a new system


Yes i understand, do you think i need to upgrade the CPU before the GPU, I'm on a strict Budget so i have to do this in stages. I plan on upgrading to a AMD Athlon II x3 for $77 as the next stage.
Related resources
March 3, 2011 11:45:59 AM

Suprman said:
Yes i understand, do you think i need to upgrade the CPU before the GPU, I'm on a strict Budget so i have to do this in stages. I plan on upgrading to a AMD Athlon II x3 for $77 as the next stage.


that would probably do fine, did you make sure the motherboard can use the new chip (and if it can don't forget to update the BIOS)

as far as gpu, i would go for the single GTX460
a b Î Nvidia
March 3, 2011 12:20:21 PM

I can say this and it hold more true than others. I went from two 9800gt in sli to a single gtx 460 1gb and the two options are more or less equal to each other with the gtx 460 having the edge by 10-20% depending on the game at hand. I games that do not take advantage of sli/crossfire you will notice a huge difference in performance. However you need a Good cpu to compliment either option but even upgrading your current cpu now will give you a nice bump in performance. Dual cores are just to slow for the gtx 460 and two 9800gt under 3ghz and a tri core isn't much better. I ended up getting a quad core in the end to boost things.
March 3, 2011 12:28:00 PM

mindless728 said:
that would probably do fine, did you make sure the motherboard can use the new chip (and if it can don't forget to update the BIOS)

as far as gpu, i would go for the single GTX460


I updated my Bios to rev 5002 and this is the new CPU's that are available

[ 5002 ] (beta)
Support new AM3 CPUs.
Note: AMD 6-core CPUs are not supported.

Athlon IIX2 215 (ADX215OCK22GQ),2.7GHz,512KB,rev.C2,65W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX2 240e (AD240EHDK23GQ),2.8GHz,1MB,rev.C2,45W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX2 255 (ADX255OCK23GM),3.1GHz,512KB,rev.C3,65W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX3 405e (AD405EHDK32GM),2.3GHz,512KB,rev.C3,45W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX3 440 (ADX440WFK32GI),3.0GHz,512KB,rev.C2,95W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX3 445 (ADX445WFK32GM),3.1GHz,512KB,rev.C3,95W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX4 605e (AD605EHDK42GM),2.3GHz,512KB,rev.C3,45W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX4 635 (ADX635WFK42GI),2.9GHz,512KB,rev.C2,95W,SocketAM3
Athlon IIX4 640 (ADX640WFK42GM),3.0GHz,512KB,rev.C3,95W,SocketAM3
Phenom IIX2 550 (HDZ550WFK2DGI),3.1GHz,80W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Dual-Core
Phenom IIX2 555 (HDZ555WFK2DGM),3.2GHz,512KB,rev.C3,80W,SocketAM3
Phenom IIX3 705e (HD705EOCK3DGI),2.5GHz,65W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Triple-Core
Phenom IIX3 715 (HDZ715WCJ3DGI),2.8GHz,95W,rev.C2,SocketAM2+,Triple-Core
Phenom IIX3 740 (HDZ740WFK3DGI),3.0GHz,95W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Triple-Core
Phenom IIX4 820 (HDX820WFK4FGI),2.8GHz,95W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core
Phenom IIX4 905e (HD905EOCK4DGI),2.5GHz,65W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core
Phenom IIX4 910e (HD910EOCK4DGM),2.6GHz,65W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core
Phenom IIX4 925 (HDX925WFK4DGI),2.8GHz,95W,rev.C2,SocketAM3,Quad-Core
Phenom IIX4 945 (HDX945WFK4DGM),3.0GHz,2048KB,95W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core
Sempron 140,SDX140HBK13GQ,2.7GHz,1024K,rev.C2,45W,SocketAM3

a b Î Nvidia
March 3, 2011 1:31:56 PM

x4 925 is usually a very good choice for a AM2 user such as my self. The next two on the list are the more expensive x4 945 or the cheaper but some times rare x4 820. I got the x4 820 for $100 and is holding my gtx 460 up nicely despite my low ress gaming.
March 3, 2011 2:04:32 PM

nforce4max said:
x4 925 is usually a very good choice for a AM2 user such as my self. The next two on the list are the more expensive x4 945 or the cheaper but some times rare x4 820. I got the x4 820 for $100 and is holding my gtx 460 up nicely despite my low ress gaming.


i have the Phenom II X4 810 (@3.2GHz) and it holds up well with 2 x 4870 1GB
March 3, 2011 3:41:41 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thats the only Phenom II x4 that newegg has that is on the list. its $105

here is the comparasion of the 2 i'm looking at from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|19-103-872^19-103-872-TS%2C19-103-824^19-103-824-TS

not sure its worth the extra $30

anyway, I think i will most likely go with a GTX 460 for around $150. which brand/model would be best bang for my buck as far as performance for the money goes?

also my plan is this:
Buy GTX 460 within a few weeks
Buy new processor next month or two
upgrade to a 800-1000w powersupply and buy another GTX460 when i strike it rich.
OC machine to max and run it till it blows - 5 years from now when this stuff can't compete anymore and its time to upgrade mostly everything and build a all new computer.
a b Î Nvidia
March 3, 2011 5:33:26 PM

x4 820 hands down, L3 and a fourth core that is working. No every one can unlock their cpus. What will it be a few bucks between having what you need or something just short of that for a few bucks less.
March 4, 2011 3:19:28 PM

For graphic card better buy one GTX 460 1GB and then latter you can add one more in SLI (16x, 16x) mode. GTX 460 is more future prof then old 9800 GT (SLI or not)...

For processor upgrade, best option that your MB supports (with bios upgrade) is Phenom X4 9950 2.6GHz (SocketAM2+). I know that this cpu is expensive, so you can buy lower class Phenom X4 and oc it to match 9950.

Important! When (if) you decide to buy another GTX 460 1GB for SLI you MUST buy stronger PSU.

And if you change your graphic card and keep old processor, you will most likely often (in newer games) experience low fps because of cpu bottlenecking the graphic card.
March 4, 2011 7:28:27 PM

adampcman said:
For processor upgrade, best option that your MB supports (with bios upgrade) is Phenom X4 9950 2.6GHz (SocketAM2+). I know that this cpu is expensive, so you can buy lower class Phenom X4 and oc it to match 9950.


nope, the best upgrade is not an original phenom, but a Phenom II X4 945
March 5, 2011 8:57:00 AM

mindless728 said:
nope, the best upgrade is not an original phenom, but a Phenom II X4 945


I agree. Honestly i didn't know that Phenom 2 X4 works both on AM2+ and AM3 sockets (i thought it's only for AM3 socket). Keep in mind that this is Nvidia forum and am not an expert on AMD processors... Nevertheless i apologize to all you guys, we learn until we die... :) 

Here is link for AMD Phenom 2 X4 940 from newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


EDIT: added link
March 5, 2011 11:08:46 AM

adampcman said:
I agree. Honestly i didn't know that Phenom 2 X4 works both on AM2+ and AM3 sockets (i thought it's only for AM3 socket). Keep in mind that this is Nvidia forum and am not an expert on AMD processors... Nevertheless i apologize to all you guys, we learn until we die... :) 

Here is link for AMD Phenom 2 X4 940 from newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


EDIT: added link


well my bad if i sounded mean, but yeah they work on both since the AM3 PII's have both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers and are backward compatible with AM2+ and AM2 sockets if there is a BIOS upgrade to support them
a b Î Nvidia
March 5, 2011 11:33:48 AM

Why do people always purchase 125 and 140w cpus when most boards struggle with them even at stock speeds much less overclocked. There is a reason why I suggested the cpus that I did and what the op had come up with. They are all 95w and will run on most boards without as much risk. 140w = trouble. 125w is no different.
March 5, 2011 12:01:35 PM

nforce4max said:
Why do people always purchase 125 and 140w cpus when most boards struggle with them even at stock speeds much less overclocked. There is a reason why I suggested the cpus that I did and what the op had come up with. They are all 95w and will run on most boards without as much risk. 140w = trouble. 125w is no different.


by best i meant performance, but yeah the 820 would be a better buy IMO as well
March 5, 2011 1:37:17 PM

to get this thing back on track.

Which Brand offers the best bang for your buck GTX460 for around $150?
March 5, 2011 1:40:50 PM

Gainward or Palit.
a b Î Nvidia
March 5, 2011 3:19:09 PM

Avoid Palit, they are cheap for a reason just ask any one who has owned one and had many issues due to their cheap cooling. Avoid Gainward if it is using their custom cooler as the fan on these cards are Weak and don't provide much aiflow for the cooler to do it's job. I suggest that you look for a different brand or save an extra $20 and try for a better card.
March 5, 2011 6:35:24 PM

nforce4max said:
Avoid Palit, they are cheap for a reason just ask any one who has owned one and had many issues due to their cheap cooling. Avoid Gainward if it is using their custom cooler as the fan on these cards are Weak and don't provide much aiflow for the cooler to do it's job. I suggest that you look for a different brand or save an extra $20 and try for a better card.


no problem, which brands do you reccomend
a b Î Nvidia
March 5, 2011 7:21:22 PM

I got Gigabyte but it is by no means the best. Personally I like evga and own several of their cards of the years. MSI is also good but like Gigabyte you will need to mod for longer life.

EVGA 1st
Gigabyte or MSI 2nd
Other brands questionable
March 5, 2011 8:25:31 PM

He asked "Which Brand offers the best bang for your buck GTX460 for around $150?"

Best bang for buck is Gainward or Palit! NOT EVGA, Gigabyte or MSI...

:sarcastic: 
a b Î Nvidia
March 5, 2011 8:41:36 PM

you need a new cpu, even your current cpu will bottleneck a single 9800gt. After that, yes get the 460.
March 5, 2011 9:04:20 PM

adampcman said:
He asked "Which Brand offers the best bang for your buck GTX460 for around $150?"

Best bang for buck is Gainward or Palit! NOT EVGA, Gigabyte or MSI...

:sarcastic: 


oh really, what is this then.....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EDIT: and if you meant 1GB version, newegg's cheapest is $180 (which is an MSI btw)
March 6, 2011 12:55:18 PM

First newegg is not the center of the universe... and second brands like Gygabite, EVGA, ASUS are almoust always more expensive...

MSI card from newegg that you showed us here is nice choice. But still i suggest Gainward cards or Palit, because they are best bang for buck.


March 6, 2011 1:02:10 PM

adampcman said:
First newegg is not the center of the universe... and second brands like Gygabite, EVGA, ASUS are almoust always more expensive...


yes but they tend to have the lowest prices and is good for a quick look, and anyways you said i wouldn't be able to find a GTX460 under $150 that wasn't Gainward or Palit

adampcman said:
MSI card from newegg that you showed us here is nice choice. But still i suggest Gainward cards or Palit, because they are best bang for buck.


and we don't because they make some pretty shitty cards in comparison to other companies (like EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte), and imo i would still suggest the other companies if they are a little more expensive, its like buying a cheap PSU vs a more expensive one, you get what you pay for
March 6, 2011 3:35:25 PM

Man he don't want best he want cheap... Is that hard to understand the question?
March 6, 2011 3:53:24 PM

adampcman said:
Man he don't want best he want cheap... Is that hard to understand the question?


yeah, i am not talking best either, i am talking cheap but good quality
a b Î Nvidia
March 6, 2011 4:18:41 PM

adampcman said:
Man he don't want best he want cheap... Is that hard to understand the question?


If I wouldn't buy it my self I wouldn't recommend it. I would never recommend kamikaze parts to any one.
March 6, 2011 11:53:45 PM

hanks guys, i'm gonna go with a EVGA since there are good deals to be had right now and I trust EVGA since thats what i've had in my last 2 builds.

now to narrow it down, but i think i'll try to find the EVGA 01G-P3-1371-TR for $169.99 after rebate, although Newegg is out of stock right now.

Anyone know if the Rebate on EVGA are just for Newegg, or is it through EVGA?
March 7, 2011 6:54:48 PM

nforce4max said:
If I wouldn't buy it my self I wouldn't recommend it. I would never recommend kamikaze parts to any one.


Me too.
!