Video card upgrade with 2 y/o homebuilt

I'm looking to upgrade my homebuilt system, and my video card is most definitely being overtaxed since i commonly play videos while gaming on a dual monitor setup. I'd also like to have native HDMI rather than a converter if possible. My current card is linked below for reference, and I have a few questions.

1) Is there anything I can do to go SLI? Or do cards need to match too closely for me to pair up with this outdated card?

2) Are there any high-performance video cards that support a 3rd monitor, and do a good job of it? (as in, i want an upper end gaming card, that happens to do 3 monitors, not something specifically designed for that but without the high-performance)

3) Just to be sure, please make sure all suggestions are compatible with x58 motherboard.
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  1. Hmm.... Well I would think SLI is your best option. Any GTX 275 (that isn't like a special edition) should work quite well. But if you want a single card, it's hard to say. What games do you play? What's the res on the monitors? Are you gaming Eyefinity style, or are you only using a single screen to actually game?

    Sorry for all the questions, but it's important information.
  2. please ask as many as you need. i have crysis and SC 2, but i primarily play wow, on a 26" widescreen HD monitor hooked up with hdmi. resolution is 1920x1080. my 2nd monitor is 19" 4:3 screen for browsing. game is on one monitor only.

    are GTX 275 cards still out there to be bought really? it seemed to me that it is an obsolete card, and if i understand it right the only SLI option i have is another GTX 275, or two new cards; a match is required - am i right?

    if this is the case, and i'm right that gtx275 is obsolete, i'll be best off getting a new single card of the current generation, any suggestions for that?
  3. Yes, the GTX 275 is obsolete. You don't have any DX11 features either.
    After looking around, It looks like you'd be better off with a new card. They are all on ebay, and all expensive.
    From what I'm reading, it looks like 2xGTX 275 is roughly the same as a GTX 470, which is weaker than a 560 Ti or 6950.

    Try and sell your current card. For 3 monitors I would suggest a 6950/6970. 6950's are about $250, and can easily handle SC2. However if you want to game on all 3, you will probably need 2x6950's.

    Hope that helps a bit!
  4. I recommend the 6950 FleX for its good multi monitor setup support.
    Also it seems to meet ur requirements best.

    This is going into the build in ur sig? So u should be good with that setup.
    Even if u go 2X 6950 ur PSU should be more than enough and ur mobo does support CrossFire.

    The normal 6950s (non FleX) cost a bit less which should still satisfy ur needs well.

    If u CF go with normal ones. For single card go with the FleX

    Good Luck.
  5. that's very helpful, and depending on my budget i may get just the gtx 275, i saw one for only $40 on ebay... otherwise a 560 ti sounds good, i just dunno if i can afford that anytime soon, but if a gtx 470 is no better than 2x gtx275 i might as well save up and just go SLI for now.

    i wouldn't be gaming on all 3 monitors (or even 2) but i do play video and surf on the secondary monitor(s) while gaming on the other. why do you recommend ati over nvidia for multi monitor? are newer cards equipped with 3 outputs or would i still need to split an output into 2 to get a third monitor (or is that where sli comes in?) thanks again for your input, hopefully i'll be able to find the money for a higher-end new card!
  6. Wow - Nice motherboard! Right, where do i start!

    Your motherboard supports SLI as ive just checked & you probably know that too, im not sure about your ram supporting SLI though, i couldn't find any reference that it does or doesn't support it and im painfully aware that - to fully unlock the power of an SLI configuration - the ram Must also support SLI...

    So not sure on that one...

    i have an old asus 9800GT (Nvidia) that has 1 GB of GDDR2 ram on it (only a meager 800Mhz) compared to your out dated graphics card and i also do the same - watch movies/surf/mess around in MS Office whilst gaming and though my card is older, i had managed to find another exactly the same online so now i have two.

    - Using 4 screens at the mo, 2 screens per graphics card.

    Im afraid graphic cards dont exist where you can connect up more that 2 monitors unless you willing to spend over £600/$965 for it! Well, saying that, there are a few graphics cards that can connect 2 monitors plus an S-Video output but the resolution of that connected monitor would be crap - something like 640 * 480 or a really low resolutions and i know you said you wanted the graphics card to do a good job of it, so this wont unfortunately...But...

    With 2 graphics cards installed - you will have 4 ports for monitors like i have!!!
    So you have 2 options from here...

    1. Hunt down and buy another graphics card exactly the same as yours - because it is SLI ready also - you will have problems if you pair it up with anything close to the specs to another graphics card - trust me, tried combinations of 6 'almost' near specs as my one asus 9800GT before i hunted down another of the same graphics card as my asus 9800GT!!
    {To do this will probably save you money as the slightly older graphics card you have will have dropped in price considerably !!!}

    2. Go and buy 2 brand new graphics cards that are SLI Ready and have only HDMI ports - which this way will be the more expensive way to go but would ensure you get exactly what you want plus a higher ram speed of the newer graphics cards (GDDR5 !!)

    Also a quote from the below graphics card about the DVI To HDMI Adapter;
    "HDMI convertible output
    Dual-link DVI convertible output supports Video/Audio signal integration through DVI to HDMI interface, which drivers resolution of a digital display up to 1920x1200 or higher"

    Example 1 (SLI Graphics Card - 1 HDMI + 1 DVI Port);

    Example 2 (SLI Graphics Card - 1 HDMI + 1 DVI Port);
    {Roughly $402.24}

    All graphics cards have only ONE HDMI Output like i mentioned before unless your willing to pay mega-bucks, you may even have to have that custom made, lol

    Anyhoo, both those examples are the mid-to-high end graphics cards and both will work with your motherboard as the specs say "Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way or Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology "...

    The 1st option to track down an exact same make and model of the graphics card you already own would seem the best and cost-effective way of getting yourself SLI'd up!
    Before i go tho, not ALL Games will take full advantage of an SLI Setup so make sure the game also supports SLI or you will have 2 graphics cards in SLI configuration AND NO PAYOFF in better graphics as the game must also support this!

    Right, im done with the script! lol

    Really hope this helps you out!

    Bets regards,

  7. Not to be mean, but there is a lot wrong with your statements, Offtherails.
    Ram has absolutely nothing to do with SLI. Nothing at all.
    almost all ATI cards can support up to 4 monitors. Some can support up to 6 ON A SINGLE CARD.

    You do not have to have the exact same card to SLI. As long as it has the same specs (like amount of Vram and stuff) It should work. I think there's a few rare instances of some cards not working, but it's not common.
  8. oops, i sit corrected on those points and many thanks for stating so striker, just means ive gotta go and polish up the old knowledge base! ;)
  9. Yeah I didn't mean to be harsh, but there's nothing worse than dealing with a confused OP lol. I'm glad you are enthusiastic and ready to help, we need those kind of people. You were very thorough, just missed a few details here and there ;)

    A quick tip, a single search goes a long way (also known as google is your friend :p)
    I hope to see you again on the forums.
  10. thanks to all of you for your help, gamestr, thanks for the recommendation, i'll certainly look into those two cards, however i am predisposed to be an nvidia customer rather than ati, so other than brand loyalty to ati, i'd be inclined to stay with nvidia unless persuaded otherwise, please feel free to persaude based on specs and performance.

    i already knew that ram had no connection to sli, and i have already located on ebay an exact replica of my current vid card; so depending on how restrictive my budget winds up being, i may pursue that option, otherwise i'll get one or two new cards and pursue selling my own gently used card separately to recoup some of the expense.

    as i understand it, SLI with two of my obsolete video cards is equivalent to a single mid-level card, if my budget supports it i'd like to go better than mid-level, but if not then SLI with my current card is obviously more cost-effective than a new mid-level card, so therein lies my decision, mid-level or high-level performance, $40 or $200+ investment, we'll see how that goes.

    striker, you weren't overly harsh (confusing the op more than they started is a no-no) but i think the difference between your and offtherails' comments about multi-monitor support; "very few cards support >2 monitors" and "some can do up to 6" is the difference between output ports and hardware support, offtherails i believe was referring to number of ports, and it is rare to see more than 2, although 2 dvi and an hdmi for a third is becoming more common, so the 3rd wouldn't have to be s-vid any longer. in either case, i'm glad to have my initial impression that >2 monitors is supported by most cards reinforced.

    lastly, thank you offtherails for your compliment on my mobo, i selected it very carefully two years ago to be upgrade-friendly for as long as possible, and since both the video card and ram that i have are no longer in production, but current versions of the same are still compatible, it appears i've done a good job of that.

    ps- even if ram did matter, i'm actually looking into an upgrade there as well, likely to one of the two linked below, and unless it doesn't work, the new ram kit will be added to the current rather than replacing it, 18gb > 12gb, after all. also, if anyone has advice on which of those two kits to get, or if i should get something different entirely, please speak up; similarly, if anyone else reading this thread has further advice on my video card, do not consider the matter settled, i'm always looking for more input. thank you all again.
  11. oh, and to gamestr, yes, the build in my sig is the machine that is receiving the upgrade(s) in question. the only updates i've made to the machine that are not in my sig are adding a 2nd HDD (1TB Caviar Black) and I now have 2 DVD burner drives rather than the original 1 (unfortunately though I may need to disconnect one if i go SLI/CF, as good as my PSU is, i'm already out of connectors)
  12. Well actually when I was talking about "Supporting 6 monitors" I was referring to a card such as this: As you can see it has 2 DVI and 4, yes 4, DP ports.
    Have you considered adding an SSD? Or maybe getting a nice CPU cooler and OCing the CPU a bit? While your GPU is the bottleneck for sure, a little OCing couldn't hurt anything ;)
  13. i have considered both of these, i was looking at the dark knight cpu cooler, and considering a little oc with it, except that frankly i don't know what i'm doing when it comes to setting up oc settings, and i really don't want to burn anything out. i still considered the upgraded heat sync anyway just to bring down the temp, i just never got to it.

    like getting a new high-end video card, an ssd is just not really in the budget; especially if i'm upgrading ram and even more so if i upgrade video card. just the upgrades discussed in this thread, i'd be looking at around $800 or so
  14. Well if u can afford the 6950 2GB its competition is the almost similarly priced 560 Ti which doesn't receive recommendation from Toms.
    Toms recommendations are based on price / performance ratio which would mean that the 6950 is the better performer 'even if its just a little bit.'
    But I do know for a fact that at high resolutions the 560Ti is no competition for 6950.,2964-4.html

    Hope that helps. Good Luck.
  15. ^Very true. However since a 560 Ti can be easily found for about $35 less, it's really like half a tier down. And when you get a factory overclocked model, they will smoke the 6950 because a 560 Ti can overclock to amazing levels, high enough to let it compete with a GTX 570!
  16. Well the cheapest 560Ti on newegg is 219$
    The 6950 1GB can be had for 223$ (cheapest)
    The cheapest 2GB is 260$. I know there used to be a sapphire 2GB card for 242$ but even with the premium we pay for it its well worth it for the resolutions in concern.
  17. Well if we are talking after rebate, then it's a $25 gap. I'd say it depends if the OP is going to overclock or not. A GTX 560 Ti at 950MHz crushes a 6950, even when that's overclocked. If he is not going to OC, the 6950 wins in most situations.
    And since he's only gaming on 1 screen, (right now. If OP wants to try 3 screens, 6950 is a must) the Vram is plenty sufficient.
  18. I'd be cool with a factory overclock because it means someone who knows what they're doing did the OC'ing, as i do not, i do not plan to OC on my own. Is there a reason that ATI is considered the "Must have"? I've always (the incumbent gtx 275 and prior to it) bought Nvidia cards and have always been happy with them, so I'm a little reluctant to switch brands without sufficient cause. Thanks again for all your help.
  19. bump hoping for more input
  20. Its not a question of ati or nVidia.
    Its what you want ur video card to do. Depending on that one wins over the other. We are not talking about preference here its the performance of the GPU u choose.

    6950 is a must if u want to game across multiple monitors because eyefinity is possible even with a single card unlike nvidia surround and the added VRAM is a huge plus.

    Hope that helps. Good Luck.
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