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Looking For Advice on GPU Upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 8, 2011 3:39:48 PM

Hi,
I am looking to upgrade my gpu and I could use a little advice. My system specs are...
Win 7 64
Asus P7P55D-Pro Mobo
i7 870
4 gig ddr3
Nividia GTS 450
Onboard Sound
HAF 922 Case
80+ 850w PSU
I am trying to decide if I would be better off picking up 1 more gts 450 to run in sli or if I should upgrade to 1 higher end card. From the research i have done, I think I will get more bang for my buck by running 2 gts 450 in SLI. I have never run sli before however so I am not that familiar with it. I check out these forums quite a bit and I often see posts about sli causing games to crash, freeze etc and also that to take advantage of sli in games, the game needs official support with a nivida profile. This worries me a little bit. If anybody familiar with SLI could help shed some light on this for me I would really appreiciate it. Thanks.

More about : advice gpu upgrade

a b Î Nvidia
March 8, 2011 6:45:56 PM

I can tell you personally, I've never had problems with SLI. SLI will run even if there is no specific Nvidia profile. It's been great so far. Nvidia offers great SLI support with their drivers.

On the other hand, I used to crossfire 2 and then 3 5850s on the same setup (see signature). Crossfire gave me many headaches even with "optimized" application profiles. I switched to Nvidia because I was fed up with dealing with new issues monthly on my crossfire setup with each AMD driver release. Although, my single card AMD setups continue to give me no problems.

Going with a newer video card wouldn't be a bad option for you depending on how much you're willing to spend. If you decide to go SLI with two 450s, you'll be just fine.

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March 9, 2011 12:16:58 PM

Thanks for the input. One other question, how much of an issue does heat become while running sli? would i need to add any addtionionl cooling devices? Thanks.
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a b Î Nvidia
March 9, 2011 12:25:54 PM

cadefoster said:
Thanks for the input. One other question, how much of an issue does heat become while running sli? would i need to add any addtionionl cooling devices? Thanks.

I probably have two of the hottest running Nvidia cards in my system and don't have issues with heat. They do run hot, but they don't generate heat that will stop your system from functioning. Your case has decent ventilation, so you shouldn't have an issue. Just make sure you have fans blowing in the front and sides and out the back and top. I imagine if you plan to overclock anything in your system, you should take additional precautions, but running at stock everything's fine.

I've seen those 450s as low as $60 these days. Seems like a decent deal.
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March 9, 2011 2:33:55 PM

ubercake said:
I can tell you personally, I've never had problems with SLI. SLI will run even if there is no specific Nvidia profile. It's been great so far. Nvidia offers great SLI support with their drivers.

On the other hand, I used to crossfire 2 and then 3 5850s on the same setup (see signature). Crossfire gave me many headaches even with "optimized" application profiles. I switched to Nvidia because I was fed up with dealing with new issues monthly on my crossfire setup with each AMD driver release. Although, my single card AMD setups continue to give me no problems.

Going with a newer video card wouldn't be a bad option for you depending on how much you're willing to spend. If you decide to go SLI with two 450s, you'll be just fine.



What? Google SLI problems and tell me SLI works well.

For one, their drivers BARELY support SLI. It's hit or miss whether or not it'll even detect that you have two cards installed. Two, you need to manually prepare a profile for every game you play to ensure it's running in SLI, because a majority of games wont detect it and use both cards. Three, you're using almost twice as much energy and creating almost twice as much heat. You're going to see that when your electric bill arrives.

I gave an SLI set-up a try, but it's not worth it. You pay for it somehow and it's a huge hassle. You're better off upgrading to a 560 or 570 and overclocking.
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a b Î Nvidia
March 9, 2011 5:48:48 PM

lun4tic said:
What? Google SLI problems and tell me SLI works well.

For one, their drivers BARELY support SLI. It's hit or miss whether or not it'll even detect that you have two cards installed. Two, you need to manually prepare a profile for every game you play to ensure it's running in SLI, because a majority of games wont detect it and use both cards. Three, you're using almost twice as much energy and creating almost twice as much heat. You're going to see that when your electric bill arrives.

I gave an SLI set-up a try, but it's not worth it. You pay for it somehow and it's a huge hassle. You're better off upgrading to a 560 or 570 and overclocking.

Funny. Go to AMD forums and look at all the people with crossfire issues. You can google it as well.

I ran with 1 5850 and had no problems. I added a second 5850 and began to experience the driver issues. Flicker in many games at the most inopportune times. I just assumed things would get better the next month with the driver release and they didn't. The they would release a "hotfix" the day after the initial driver release since there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the drivers. I ran with 2 5850s for about 8 months and was still hoping they'd get everything all ironed out. My framerates were good, but I was always compromising. Flicker, GPU load on second card staying at 100% after gaming, HDMI Audio driver no longer install, etc... Once I added a 3rd and had a bunch of money tied up in crossfire and the drivers continued to be flawed, I decided there has to be a reason most of the world is consistently paying more for "equal" performance on Nvidia cards. I didn't want to believe I had to pay more for consistently good performance, but after getting consensus from other AMD crossfire users on the AMD forums and other source on the web, I decided to switch.

I bought a 580 and was impressed with the performance of the individual card. I was curious about SLI performance and wanted to compare it to my experience with crossfire (my question being "Does SLI suck, too?"), so I picked up another 580. This is when I really learned why more people are buying Nvidia. The things just work as expected. You don't have to do anything to make these cards behave like you assumed they would when you paid for them (and you're correct... you need the power to run them). I didn't have to wait for a driver release for all the flickering to go away. Google 'flicker' and any model from the '5xxx' on up and 'crossfire'.

Don't get me wrong, I had great framerates in crossfire, but it's the constant driver issues I won't accept. Every other PC in my house has a single AMD card in it and they work with no issues. I really think the single-card customer is AMD's bread and butter customer and it's cost-effective for them to focus on this customer.

When it comes to more than one card, I can't recommend AMD at this time.
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