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Just a GPU Upgrade or go all out?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 14, 2011 3:59:02 PM

While my current gaming system components are a few years old, I think they are still decent. Here is what I have:

EVGA 780i SLI mobo (supports 3-way SLI)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 @ 3.16Ghz
4GB Ram
1k watt power supply
BFG GTX 280 (just running one)

I like the eye candy the SLI gives, used to run it on my first build and would like to pick up some of the latest games (Crysis 2, etc) but know my GPU is lacking.

Here is what I would like to do; upgrade the GPU and do 2 or 3-way SLI. My question is what cards would work best without upgrading other components? Was looking at the 550ti vs 460, I'm assuming the 570s, 580s and 590s would not work well with my other components?

And to throw one more variable into the thought process....if I'm going to drop ~$300 to 400 now on cards to satisfy my itch would I just be better off to upgrade the mobo and CPU and jump on the high-end train now? My cluelessness comes from the fact that I do not know what my current mobo and CPU are capable of handling.

Thanks for the help!

More about : gpu upgrade

August 14, 2011 7:43:56 PM

When you say you don't want to change other components, do you mean you don't want to give up your GTX 280 in the process? I'm just wondering because the only way for you to be able to do SLI is if you have the same VC like GTX 460 + GTX 460. So in this case, if you don't want to throw away your gtx 280, you'll just have to get another one to do an SLI.
If you're willing to give up your current VC, then I don't think GTX 460 would show much of a difference when it comes to performance (THIS IS JUST MY OPINION) unless you're really planning to SLI the GTX 460 with another one (THIS, I THINK, WILL REALLY GIVE YOUR GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE A BIG DIFFERENCE). The GTX 570, 580 and 580 should still work with your rig for as long as you have a PCI-E gen 2 or 2.0 slot. Just do a little reasearch on Google and just make sure the VC you buy will fit or will be compatible with the socket or capability of your current rig.
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August 14, 2011 7:52:49 PM

Oh yea I'm good to ditch the 280, sorry I didn't make that clear.

The EVGA mobo I have is PCI-E 2.0 in three slots. After doing some more research I think the rest of the stuff can handle a 570. Now I just have to figure out if I want to go 1 570/580 or 2 560s. Think I have convinced myself to skip over the 400 series all together.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
August 14, 2011 7:59:15 PM

Don't try to sli any thing that is modern like a GTX 570, it can handle two gtx 280 though but even for them in practice your are asking a lot for such a setup. A single card is better for you though. I have a 780i my self and those boards are from a time when most were running G80 and G92 based cards. The gtx 280/285 in sli on that board is the upper limit for 775 cpus can handle without seeing losses or only small gains. A gtx 570 is a ok card but fermi cards are not built as well as your card and won't last as long as you might like. They perform well when they are at high clocks but that is where it ends.
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August 14, 2011 8:55:55 PM

Nforce what GPU are you using in your 780i?

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a c 172 U Graphics card
August 14, 2011 9:09:44 PM

Right now two crummy 9800gt 1gb in sli. I am thinking of picking up two more dirt cheap 9800gtx+ and throw them in there with the one I have on the side. G92 scale well on this board but isn't enough to tri sli three gtx280/285. The i/o performance on this board is horrible. Two way works very well but just got that itch to give tri sli a shot but from research online and personal experience I know that it isn't going to scale all that great. I suggest a single gtx 570 and don't look back. As for the gtx 560ti don't bother you will just end up overclocking only to be sub par to that of a 570 on most clocks and around 950mhz to 1ghz match a 570. You can sli two gtx 280 and get near 580 level performance minus 20% at the best of time so being conservative more like gtx 480/570 level performance. A second hand gtx 280 is around $90-115 on ebay.
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