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My aging Graphics cards - OC or Replace?

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March 24, 2011 8:50:14 PM

Hey all. I need some opinions. I currently have dual eVGA 8800 GTS' installed on my current computer. This is my biggest bottleneck at the moment.

My main question is;

Would it be more cost effective to buy an active liquid cooling rig for my dual cards and overclock them to extend the life?

OR

Am I better off getting a one card upgrade?


The most I could get away with spending is $500, but even that is pushing it, and then it will take about a month or so to save the cash I'm going to make my purchase with. I'm going to be on a tight budget for the near future, but I'm already noticing my graphics and desired frame rates decreasing.

I mostly play Battlefield Bad Company 2, and World of Warcraft, though I plan on buying Battlefield 3 when it comes out. Thanks for the help everyone.


EDIT: Computer specs below, if I missed something, or you need something else, please ask.

CPU: Intel Core i7 950 Stock Clocked
MoBo: eVGA x58 SLI
RAM:6GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator (running in tripple channel)
Video Cards: (see above post)
Hard Drive: 160GB Intel SSD.
Sound: Mobo Sound Card.
Operating System: Windows 7 64bit Ultimate
Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 main monitor (I also drive my 42" plasma as well, if it matters)

Best solution

a c 214 U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 9:27:42 PM

If you did get water cooling to O.C. them you would actually be decreasing their life span.Their are already aging so i don't think you would get more than 6 months out of them if you O.C. them to the max.

Your better off going with a single card.But with $500 you can get a really nice dual card setup.

Do you prefer Nvidia or ATI?

A single GTX560 or 6870 would be plenty to max out BFBC2.I would just get a GTX560 and then save up for a SLI.That SLI combo will max out games for the next 2 years.

Whats your current PSU?
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a c 263 U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 10:22:12 PM

No way would liquid cooling be cost effective.

With a $500 budget, you can buy any card up to a GTX580.

At 1080P, something like a GTX560ti would serve you well.

Keep your 8800GTS installed and attach your secondary display to it. That will let the GTX560ti use all of it's resources for gaming.

The msi card referenced above may well be a good cooler, but only in a test bed environment. IN a case, it will get heat off of the gpu well, but then dumps it back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it.

EVGA will sell you a $10 high airflow bracket for GTX5.. series cards. It will help a bit, and for $10, why not.
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March 24, 2011 10:24:31 PM

Well, I might be able to twist some finances around to pull one of these out of a hat (right now), though I'd have to talk to/convice my GF. I actually didn't anticipate anything affordable, much less in the 500 series.

Based on the newegg site you linked, I see MSI doesn't give lifetime warranty, but I will definately agree with you that the HSF is much better than the evga. EVGA has treated me right many times when crap went wrong, and it's hard for me to turn to another brand when evga has worked out so well for me.

But to answer your question, it might be possible for me to get a card now (again, girlfriend is gonna be a big factor in that), but it is more likely I'll have to save up a little.

EDIT: Thanks for the help guys. If anyone else has other opinions, I'd still like to hear them.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 10:50:26 PM

Yes the MSI version does exhaust into the case but the temps are so low it won't play a huge factor in creating heat for the others.
The GTX560's deal with heat much better than it's previous versions so in any case either GTX560 will do fine with heat.

If/when you can afford it definitly get the GTX560.Even if you can only afford 1 it will still be better than 8800GTS SLI and be able to max out all of your games.
x2 GTX560's in SLI is actually better than a single GTX580.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_5...
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a c 105 U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 1:42:35 AM

I have the 560 2gig card. Q9550/8gig-800/res 1920x1200 and for the most part I am now CPU bound.......... right now off the top of my head Metro 2033 still gives me problems. There was another i can't "max" out but can't think of it. Go for a 570 or greater. The little extra bit of v-ram will help you and your system will be a little better evened out..... got a good set up why cheapen it ?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 2:26:00 AM

I think performance would be greatly different.A i7 is much more powerful than a Q9550.Espically in such a CPU intensive game as Metro2033.I think he would get 20-30fps more with an i7.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 3:43:02 AM

purple stank said:
I think performance would be greatly different.A i7 is much more powerful than a Q9550.Espically in such a CPU intensive game as Metro2033.I think he would get 20-30fps more with an i7.


Yeah, I agree.
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March 25, 2011 6:24:57 AM

Well, it's pretty much settled. I'm gonna grab the eVGA 560 when I can, unless someone can put up a compelling reason why I shouldn't. Thank you very much guys. :) 
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March 25, 2011 6:26:25 AM

Best answer selected by Lan.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 25, 2011 9:20:29 AM

Your welcome.
The GTX560 is a very good choice.

Goodluck
Happy Gaming!!!
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March 27, 2011 9:17:54 AM

One more quick question. I was able to convince my GF and got the card from Newegg (should get it this week).

How would I go about using one of my old 8800's to run my 42" plasma? Will I need to have the SLI bridge installed? Will I need to worry about some sort of specific setup steps?

If there is an FAQ or guide about this particular subject, it would help immensely. I'm still crawling through google, but thought I would post here to see if I could get some more imput on this topic. Thanks!
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March 27, 2011 9:32:53 AM

2 of those cards is still enough power for a lot of games, I bet it would run crysis 2 pretty decent. But if you have some extra money I would upgrade :) 
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 27, 2011 3:15:39 PM

I'm not really familair with Nvidia or anything in particular.I just know the cards.
I believe what your looking for is called PhysX.But from what i've heard the game your playing must support it.
Sorry can't help much on that.

Try reposting a thread with your Physx question.I'm sure you can get that solved fast.
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