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Upgrading PC - GPU Choice

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 4, 2011 11:15:50 PM

Hello Everyone: :hello: 

I am going to upgrade my homebuilt PC :bounce:  and would like some help deciding whether to just get another of the same Video card and run SLI or if it would be in my better interests to completely change out my old video card completely.

Things I'm Upgrading

MoBo- Old: Biostar GF7050V-M7 SE New: ASUS P8P67 DELUXE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU- Old: Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz New: Intel Core I7 2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4 GHz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram- Old: 4 Gig 2x2 New: 16 Gig 4x4 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler- Old: None New: Cooler Master V8 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU- Old: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Cyclone New: My question to you????????

Should i get another 450 and run them in SLI Or sell it and get something like the Radeon HD 6950 ( http://shop.amd.com/US/_layouts/shop/ProductDetails.asp... ) Would the performance be that much better either way or not? Also any other solutions GPU Suggestions under 300 bucks would be appreciated. Also I will be Overclocking this I7 hopefully around 4-4.7 GHz is the cooler I mentioned enough or do i Have to go liquid if so any suggestions on the cooler too? Thanks in advance and Tom's Hardware is the best thing since the microprocessor was invented.

More about : upgrading gpu choice

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a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 1:56:41 AM

For gaming, you don't need i7-2600K, i5-2500K will do (the only thing it's missing is hyperthreading which games don't use). You also don't need 16GB RAM, 8GB is enough. That CPU cooler is quite expensive and I doubt you'll see benefit over $27 Coolermaster Hyper 212+.

Motherboard - I'm suggesting Asus P8Z68-V Pro instead.

Now that you saved all those $$, get a 6950 or an nVidia GTX 560 Ti and either sell your 450 or use it as a dedicated PhysX card. DON'T get SLI 450s, it's a waste.
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September 5, 2011 2:26:18 AM

What does hyper threading do? This isn't strictly a gaming pc. What can the i5 be overclocked to? That's a z68 chipset which I'm told isn't as stable or proven as the p68 or so I've heard, any truth to that? Going to stay with the 16 gig for video rendering which I'm told relies heavily on ram?
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a c 254 U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 2:26:20 AM

You can get a GTX 580 which by itself will play all your games and use the 450 dedicated to physics. I don't know about mixing ATI with NVIDIA. Do not sli the 450 with the 580 it will bring the 580 down to the 450.
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a c 254 U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 2:30:39 AM

Hyperthreading is taking the physical core and spliting it in two so if you have a quad core with hyperthreading then you actually have the capabilaty of 8 cores. If you were to run Prime 95 on the quad core you would see 8 threads working.
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September 5, 2011 2:48:17 AM

Dedicated to phys x? How? Thats fine and dandy bout hyper threading and how it works but what are the benifits of it? I would like to stick with radeon I think maybe a 6970? Would be nice. And about the z68 anything on the reliability?
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a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 3:24:40 AM

hillmanant said:
Dedicated to phys x? How? Thats fine and dandy bout hyper threading and how it works but what are the benifits of it? I would like to stick with radeon I think maybe a 6970? Would be nice. And about the z68 anything on the reliability?


I haven't heard anything bad about Z68 so far in terms of OC or reliability.

If you dedicate a card to PhysX, it's not connected to the screen, but you can select it in nVidia control panel as a PhysX processor - then this card will do it rather then other devices (primary card or the CPU). You'll only see the benefits of it in PhysX-using games, however (Mafia 2, for example). For example, I could have my GTX 560 Ti (or two of them) as my primary card (or SLI) and then stuff my old 8800 GT (if it would work, lol) into a second or a third (if I'd SLI the 560 Ti's) PCI-E slot without connecting the card to anything else. Then I'd select the 8800GT as my PhysX processor in the nVidia control panel and the only thing this card would be doing is PhysX calculations. Thus the CPU and the main card(s) wouldn't have to do it.

Hyperthreading, as it's been stated above, turns one physical CPU core into two virtual ("threads"). If you have applications that benefit from more cores or threads, they'll like HT.

P.S. To one of the above comments: you CAN'T SLI two different cards. Not even with "bringing one down", as you said.

Sure, you can stick to Radeon. 6970 is a great card. Also can get a 6950 for quite a bit less and flash its BIOS to force the card to perform like a 6970, if you aren't afraid of a little risk.
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a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2011 3:31:37 AM

Just read that you're gonna be video rendering... I'd say take the i7-2600K, then, as it has 2MB more cache and HT (video rendering might like that) and honestly, I think that HT will be used in games sooner or later, so it's more future proof. And yes, stay with 16GB, then, even more future-proof and video rendering must like this, too.

Both 2500K and 2600K can be OC'd to 4.5 (give or take 100MHz) on air reliably, but so many people just do it for the hell of it... I'm starting to hate it :D 
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September 5, 2011 4:42:54 AM

Anyone else got an opinion i'd like to go to the i5 and ramp up my video card because I don't render that often and I got the time when I do rendering because usually as seasonally unemployed I usually do video in the off season if the i5 will handel the new games at the highest settings with the radeon card great, any definitive answer would be great thanks.
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September 5, 2011 10:59:38 PM

Thank you guys for your help, after debate and hours of wading through forums and benchmark graphs I decided on the i5. I chose it because in gaming the hyperthreading, which seperates the i7 from the i5 does nothing as far as i can see exept slow it down on some games and the i5 performed very very close to the i7 within like 10 fps which as you know is what gaming is all about. Also I went with the XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity (was to chicken to ramp up the 6950 too much money to waste on something I've never done before LOL), also am going to try dedicating the old GeForce 450 cyclone to PhysX (Thanks Phantom). Thanks Again
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a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 5:11:16 AM

You're welcome. And which mobo?
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September 6, 2011 11:18:03 AM

Asus P8P67 Deluxe after watching a video on Newegg seemed the only way to go if overclocking also only 8 gigs of Ripjaw ram maybe expand latter, a corsair 750w psu and a 1Tb sea gate barracuda going to overclock to 4.7 seems to be the most stable and have the most longevity don't wanna cook my pretty new i5 o also started with the v8 cooler just like the look of the beast
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a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 11:29:20 AM

I agree, the V8 cooler looks awesome. Did you already get the stuff? Because I'd replace the Barracuda with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 and make sure the PSU is modular.
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September 6, 2011 12:06:56 PM

No I didn't so I'll look into them thanks again I think we've put together a good build here should slay at max settings on most games I think?
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a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 12:14:58 PM

For sure! :D  So, 2500K with CM V8, P8P67 Deluxe, 6970... btw, what about a case?
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September 6, 2011 12:27:53 PM

Antec nine hundred two v3
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September 6, 2011 12:29:30 PM

Black steel atx gaming case
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a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 12:44:07 PM

Oh, I guess you don't need to upgrade that, then ;) 
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September 6, 2011 12:55:11 PM

Thanks again phantom we sentry over alot so I'll just pick one for best answer. Lol
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a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 12:57:12 PM

amk-aka-Phantom said:
For gaming, you don't need i7-2600K, i5-2500K will do (the only thing it's missing is hyperthreading which games don't use). You also don't need 16GB RAM, 8GB is enough. That CPU cooler is quite expensive and I doubt you'll see benefit over $27 Coolermaster Hyper 212+.

Motherboard - I'm suggesting Asus P8Z68-V Pro instead.

Now that you saved all those $$, get a 6950 or an nVidia GTX 560 Ti and either sell your 450 or use it as a dedicated PhysX card. DON'T get SLI 450s, it's a waste.

+1
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September 12, 2011 11:58:13 PM

Best answer selected by hillmanant.
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