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Bottleneck or not?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 17, 2011 10:05:22 PM

After seeing my buddies 3D vision setup I've decided that I want to get in on some of this sweet stereoscopic action. The only problem is that I'm still running a core 2 duo E8400 overclocked to 3.5 GHz, coupled to an ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe mobo with 6GB of RAM running at 1333MHz. My current card is a Radeon HD 4850, which is rapidly sinking into obsolescence. I'm thinking of dropping the coin for two Geforce GTX 560's and a monitor bundled with Nvidia's 3D Vision kit. So the question is will these two mid-range cards be able to play most games in 3D at 1080p resolution (I'm thinking mainly of Crysis 2 which I would like to play in 3D with DX11 enabled). And if these cards are fast enough will they be bottle- necked by my CPU, in other words should I hold off until I have the cash to build a new rig?

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July 18, 2011 2:30:21 AM

Not necessarily. I have no doubt you'll be able to play whatever you like at 1080p. The e8400 was a nice CPU, and it will do fine I would guess. However, I would also look at upgrading to a quad core soon. You're on socket 775, yes? Don't know if you can find a deal on a core 2 quad or not, but I would check that out first, until you're ready for a platform upgrade.

I plan to get the 3d vision kit for my wife, so let me know if its worth it. Undoubtedly I'll have to upgrade her 8800GT, since it can't handle 3d movies. But the montior and 3d vision would go about $500.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
July 18, 2011 3:28:29 AM

I just recently went with a 3D bundled monitor and glasses setup. It is even one that works with both AMD and Nvidia's setup. You'll definitely want to go with Nvidia on this one.

One thing you might have to be prepared for, is that you may have to use 3D in Crysis, but at DX9 settings. 3D requires your system to generate double the images, so it takes a pretty powerful system. That said, even at Dx9, Crysis 2 looks awesome in 3D. It's the best 3D game I've played yet, not that other games look bad, but this one just looks perfect in 3D.

I have heard that the latest drivers from Nvidia do make Dx11 playable in 3D. I don't have first hand experience, however. I need to download it soon.
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July 18, 2011 4:19:35 AM

If you can play it with a single card at 1080p, you can play it in 3D in SLI--more or less. The GTX 560 can't max out a lot of games--especially Crysis 2 w/ DX11 Ultra Settings ( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-2-directx-11... ). So you'll be looking at roughly 50fps on max settings in 2D and 25fps in 3D.

SLI GTX 560's are amazing. But 3D bumps it up a notch. So long as you're not expecting to max everything out in 3D, your experience will be amazing.

You'll need around a 600W PSU for this--I mean a real 600W PSU w/ 45A on the +12V rail (if it's single rail) or 560W MINIMUM on the +12V rails if it's multiple. What PSU are you using?

If you can play Crysis 2 smoothly with your E8400 now, upping the eye candy with better graphics cards won't slow it down. The E8400 @ 3.5Ghz should be able to play everything with solid AVERAGE fps, but it'll have some MIN fps issues now and then in some titles.
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July 18, 2011 5:04:14 AM

@bystander--how much power does your system draw from the wall? Mine is very similar (OC'd i7-930 & OC'd GTX 470) and uses about 476W during Furmark and LinX at once (560@the Wall on my Kill-A-Wall x 85%).

That means it would hit about 650W with a second GTX 470 (SLI power draw is much lower than 2x single card). The 560Ti uses quite a bit less power, probably 40W each and he's using an E8400, not an i7-920, so that's another 30W. That puts him at about 540W load while doing burn-in tests on the GPU and CPU simultaneously. A good 650W PSU would be more than enough. That's why the SLI ZONE has numerous 650W PSUs approved for SLI'd GTX 460's, which use about the same power as GTX 560's: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2011/01/25/nv...

Anyways...I don't trust a lot of PSUs out there, so OP--what is your PSU? If it's less than 600W it's not good enough. If it's not an Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX 650W it's probably not good enough. If it's Logisys...get ready to kiss your components goodbye.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
July 18, 2011 5:09:11 AM

Like I suggested, I'd used the calculator. I haven't measured how much it uses from the wall, but I have punched in the number into the calculator. You also don't want to be that close to your power needs. I wouldn't not feel comfortable being right on the edge of good and bad.
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July 18, 2011 5:20:15 AM

I have an 850W PSU at home for when I add my second GTX 470--same thing you've got. I can't ignore that everything I've read (or tested myself) indicates a good 650W is plenty for a GTX 560Ti build--which shouldn't be a surprise if you consider that a single GTX 560Ti only draws 381W at load (according to bit-tech.net).

According to Anandtech, GTX 470's in SLI only draw 579W in load (Total System): http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=312
And GTX 560Ti's should be drawing well under 500W.

That said, I'd buy a 750W myself. But if he already owns a 650W, I think that would be fine, which is why I want to know what PSU he currently has. There's no point in a GTX 560Ti SLI setup if he doesn't have a real PSU or isn't planning on getting one.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
July 18, 2011 5:39:51 AM

6950's read at the same draw as 560ti's (less on most sites, more on some others). The 850watts recommendation was from the 6950's. Now keep in mind, I do have a strong overclock on both my i7 and 6950's.
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July 18, 2011 6:08:19 AM

Yes, it's a recommendation--but that's largely to account for bad PSUs not putting out the specified wattage. Like the Radeon 5830 recommends a 500W PSU minimum.

My system's overclocked drawing the 475W load w/ GTX 470 & i7 (and idling 8800 PhysX), but my CPU's not OC'd quite to 4.0GHz because of my lousy mobo.

Anyhow...I don't see his system needing more than 650W, you do. And I think we both have the same information available, you're just being more conservative. If I was gonna use a 650W with that build though, I'd get a Kill-A-Watt just so I could see what my real power draw was.
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July 18, 2011 4:00:05 PM

So, I'm running a Raidmax Hybrid 2 RX-630SS 630W PSU, which has 2 +12V rails.

I ran the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator with the specifics of my intended setup and came up with a recommendation of 671 watts, assuming 30% capacitor aging which is probably too low for a three year old machine that runs almost 24/7.

That means that if I want to get my 3D on I'm going to need to upgrade my PSU as well... should have been thinking of a dual card configuration when I built this machine.

As far as replacing my E8400 with a quad core, I can't really justify replacing it when the core i7 2600k is going for just a little bit more than a Q9550 (gotta make the upgrade worth while).

Taking this into account I think it would be best to wait another product cycle or so and go ahead and replace my current rig.
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July 19, 2011 12:28:28 AM

Actually, 30% aging is an overestimate for any decent PSU. But I Raidmax isn't typically very high quality: Tier PSU line list http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

That Raidmax PSU is actually a 550W to 600W PSU (compared to Silverstone & Enermax units with similar rail configurations), which is much better than you'd be doing with Logisys or some even worse brands. I wouldn't load it more than the single card setup it's designed for.

So for now, start with a single GTX 560Ti or 6950 and be happy with the awesome performance that brings.
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July 19, 2011 5:00:23 AM

I read the post on eggxpert that you linked to dalauder, and Raidmax was one of the brands that was listed under tier 5, which according to the OP, includes brands whose units could damage a system. Is this an accurate assesment? If so then I think I'll opt for upgrading my current rig with a new psu and grapics cards, I want to keep it around for a few years as a secondary after I built a new gaming machine.

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July 19, 2011 7:57:20 AM

I cannot recommend the continued use of Raidmax. What you do really depends on how much a dollar matters to you. If it's just for fun because you can afford whatever you need, then get a new PSU. If you're really strapped for cash, then you'll have to ask yourself if you're a gambling man.
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July 20, 2011 1:24:23 AM

What part would you recommend for a new 750-800 watt PSU? I'm looking to spend ~$150.
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July 20, 2011 1:25:25 AM

Best answer selected by S3ntry.
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July 20, 2011 1:27:23 AM

there are compatibility issues between dx11 on crysis 2 and 3d vision,
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a c 172 Î Nvidia
July 20, 2011 1:36:11 AM

Overclocked Toaster said:
there are compatibility issues between dx11 on crysis 2 and 3d vision,

Which are supposed to have been addressed in the 275.50 driver.
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July 20, 2011 4:38:31 AM

S3ntry said:
What part would you recommend for a new 750-800 watt PSU? I'm looking to spend ~$150.
All you need is an Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, or XFX 750W PSU. You don't have to spend $150.

I would personally wait until the weekend and see what sales come up. But if you must buy right now, I'd go with this XFX 750W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's $20 cheaper than similar units since it's the only one with a rebate right now and it's 62A instead of 60A on the +12V rail (compared to a Seasonic 750W and Corsair HX750).

If you don't need modular (I don't have a modular PSU), the Antec EA750 is $75 (no rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And the Antec Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 is $70 (after rebate) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Personally, I'd save that $50 towards upgrading the other parts of my computer sometime.
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