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Need advice on upgrading GTX 275

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September 23, 2011 4:27:11 PM

Hello everyone.

Currently i am running with a GTX 275 and i would like to upgrade it since my FPS is quite low when running high graphics in BFBC2 and i would count on BF3 is not going to require less. :) 

I currently have in mind to get a GTX 580 card, but first i would like to know if there are cheaper options you would reccommend me to get instead? Also, maybe it would be better to get another GTX 275 for SLI? How would 2 of those perform compared to a GTX 580?

My next question is, what brand should i get? I really have no idea which brands are good when considering GPU's. Like ASUS or Sapphire etc. Which are good brands? :) 

My system spec is as following:

CPU: Intel i7 920 2,67 (2,8) GHz
Memory: 6gb (Counting on getting another 2gb)
Power supply: 750 watts

Thanks you in advance. :) 
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 4:42:57 PM

What resolution do you plan on playing on? If it's anything less than 1900x1200, a 580 might be overkill.

Source of my reasoning:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/vga-charts-spring-2011/9

In BFBC2, on 1900x1200, with 8xMSAA, 16 AF, in DX11 a 1.5 gb 580 still pushes 67 FPS. If you want to future proof, by all means go for it, but you "may" not need the extra horsepower in the end.

Also, I wouldn't bother with another 275.
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 5:29:06 PM

1) I would not go the sli route unless you absolutely had to, particularly with lower end cards. (sad.. GTX275 used to be top end),
There is an issue with microstuttering that may offset the benchmark advantage of good fps numbers with dual cards.

2) GTX580 is about as good as it gets today. But today, Newegg has a Zotac GTX570 amp! for $265 after rebate, which seems to me like a great deal.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) As to vendors, I have no experience with zotac. My first choice would be EVGA. They have an active support and forum group. They also have a 90 day trade up program if you change your mind and want a higher end card.

4) The guts of each card is mostly the same, as each comes from Nvidia, differing mainly in the type of cooler used. I prefer the direct exhaust type coolers that get the heat out of your case. Here is an example of a EVGA GTX570 superclocked with good cooling:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) Different issue, adding 2gb seems like a strange idea with a triple channel X58 motherboard. Did you mean 6gb?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 5:30:58 PM

@ Geofelt, I don't think he realizes he has triple channel RAM. Also, I definitely agree, a 570 would probably be fine.
September 23, 2011 6:26:46 PM

@borisof007 I do realize its triple channel ;) 

Although, i didnt know it was strange to add 2gb? :o  Is'nt 8gb better than 6gb when its triple channel?

a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 6:36:18 PM

Well, if you realized it was triple channel, then you should know that triple channel ram can only be added in sums of 3. 3gb, 6gb, 9gb, etc. There's no such thing as having 8 gb of triple channel RAM.

Edit: To clarify, DDR3 doesn't equal Triple Channel. If you have DDR3 RAM, it could very well be dual channel, but based on the type of CPU you have, they used triple channel.
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 6:46:26 PM

Powerman287 said:
@borisof007 I do realize its triple channel ;) 

Although, i didnt know it was strange to add 2gb? :o  Is'nt 8gb better than 6gb when its triple channel?


If the added ram is compatible, then it is fine to add it.
Ram, by itself, is single channel. If multiple sticks are installed, you may get dual or triple channel, depending on the chipset.
In your case, the first three sticks will operate in triple channel mode, and the odd stick will be in single channel mode.
Consult your motherboard manual to find the correct place to install it.
On Intel cpu's with integrated memory controllers, there is marginal loss in performance in single channel mode. You will get much more benefit from the added ram.

That said, with ram so cheap, why not get a second 6gb kit of 3 x 2gb?
September 23, 2011 6:48:29 PM

Well, i do know it triple channel, and it is DDR3, but inside my case is 3 sticks of 2gb DDR3 triple channel 1333 mhz RAM, im sure of it, and no not the other way around (not 2x3gb). Also on a website in my country i can buy 1 stick of exactly the same RAM as i have right now, a 2gb stick. :o 

Oh and btw, do you reckon a 750 watts PSU is enough for a GTX 580 and equal?
September 23, 2011 6:50:01 PM

hmm, i guess i could do that Geo, but i am not sure if my motherboard supports that many sticks, i guess i will find out tho :) 
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 6:55:40 PM

The 750 watt PSU would do just fine. Also, I had no idea that the motherboard would compensate. Learn something new every day!
September 23, 2011 7:02:12 PM

Okay, cool, i have one last question :p  The website i was planning to buy from has 4x2 gb DDR3 1600 mhz RAM as well for only slightly more money, but i guess these would not fit with the 1333 right? maybe i should just replace these 8gb 1600 mhz with the old ones or?
a c 91 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 7:10:28 PM

I read an article the other day while sitting in the jon about triple channel memory. If I could find it i'd post it but in summation..... if you run triple channel memory ( 6gig-3 2gig sticks ) and you want to add more, ( 12gig ) it's best to get 3 4gig sticks than to go just populate the other 3 slots because of how the memory is read/used. Some how it reads the first 3 slot and the has to re-read ( not sure of the terminology ) the second set of 3 slots.....because of the memory controller on the processor. Maybe somebody else can explain it better. IMO it's fine the way it is ( 6gig in triple channel ) Adding more won't do anything beneficial for your system.

the video card. obviously the 580 would be the route to go if the card you have now spit and sputter in the desired game. I wouldn't spend the money until I got the game and tried it. If I could I'd wait for the 7000 series to come along before an upgrade. It'll probably be cheaper and run a lot faster.
a c 106 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 7:11:24 PM

I say SLi
a c 91 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 7:17:20 PM

just found it. it's from corsair. using the second bank (the other 3 slots ) would actually reduce performance. because the memory controller would have to look at 2 separate banks to pull data instead of 1 ( 12gig vs 6gig in other post ).
September 23, 2011 7:28:47 PM

I have a fair bit of experience with 275s alone and in SLI... I did that to my main rig with an i7 875k not too long ago.

GTX 275 SLI > GTX 295 by a little bit. It'll give close to a GTX 480 / 570s performance in some things (Battlefield, Call of Duty, etc.), although it won't improve it much in others (Starcraft II).

If I were you, I'd get the 2nd GTX 275 if you can buy it for $125 or less, otherwise, sell your GTX 275 and grab a 570 or 580. Honestly, the 570 is what I'd look at buying, although I did get a 580 (EVGA) myself haha...

Don't upgrade your memory! It's fine. 6gb is plenty. And 750w is also plenty for your PSU, whichever way you choose to upgrade. If anything, get a nice CPU cooler and overclock that i7 920.
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 7:41:42 PM

jasonw223 said:
I have a fair bit of experience with 275s alone and in SLI... I did that to my main rig with an i7 875k not too long ago.

GTX 275 SLI > GTX 295 by a little bit. It'll give close to a GTX 480 / 570s performance in some things (Battlefield, Call of Duty, etc.), although it won't improve it much in others (Starcraft II).

If I were you, I'd get the 2nd GTX 275 if you can buy it for $125 or less, otherwise, sell your GTX 275 and grab a 570 or 580. Honestly, the 570 is what I'd look at buying, although I did get a 580 (EVGA) myself haha...

Don't upgrade your memory! It's fine. 6gb is plenty. And 750w is also plenty for your PSU, whichever way you choose to upgrade. If anything, get a nice CPU cooler and overclock that i7 920.

Good comments jasonw223. It is nice to hear a post from those who have actual experience with sli GTX275.

As to ram, synthetic benchmarks can detect great differences, but the actual impact on app performance or fps is very small, perhaps los single difits worth. Enough to measure, but not enough to notice.

For most of us with normal desktop apps, 6gb or 8gb seems about right. No games will use more than 2gb, perhaps 3gb, so the rest is useful for multitasking and to keep more code resident. Here is one study about the benefits of 8gb: http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65
There are some 64 bit enabled apps like photoshop that can use lots of ram as workspace in lieu of hard drive I/o. With them, get all you can.

Be careful when mixing ram.
Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards can be very sensitive to this.
Although, I think the problem has lessened with the newer Intel chipsets. Still,
it is safer to get what you need in one kit.

If you try to mix ram, get it as cloce as possible, particularly with voltage since the controller must supply the same voltage to all ram sticks.
If latencies or speeds are different, the ram will operate at the lowest common denominator of specs.
September 23, 2011 8:18:42 PM

Thank you all for your answers, it has been a great help :) 

I just didnt quite get the thing with the ram, uhm, would a 4x2 gb 1600 mhz kit be noticeable in performance when playing games compared to the current 3x2gb 1333 mhz kit i have, what do you think? :) 
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 8:44:41 PM

Powerman287 said:
Thank you all for your answers, it has been a great help :) 

I just didnt quite get the thing with the ram, uhm, would a 4x2 gb 1600 mhz kit be noticeable in performance when playing games compared to the current 3x2gb 1333 mhz kit i have, what do you think? :) 


Short answer...No.

The difference between 1333 and 1600 may make <1fps difference.
The 8gb vs 6gb would not be noticeable.
I would not get a 4 x 2gb kit today.
If you wanted more ram, and ram is cheap, I would get a 12gb kit(3 x 4gb) of the cheapest 1333 ram that is compatible with your motherboard.
Check the ram web site for their compatibility app.
September 23, 2011 8:51:06 PM

Okay, thank you for your great answers! :) 
September 23, 2011 9:05:51 PM

Powerman287 said:
Hello everyone.

Currently i am running with a GTX 275 and i would like to upgrade it since my FPS is quite low when running high graphics in BFBC2 and i would count on BF3 is not going to require less. :) 

I currently have in mind to get a GTX 580 card, but first i would like to know if there are cheaper options you would reccommend me to get instead? Also, maybe it would be better to get another GTX 275 for SLI? How would 2 of those perform compared to a GTX 580?

My next question is, what brand should i get? I really have no idea which brands are good when considering GPU's. Like ASUS or Sapphire etc. Which are good brands? :) 

My system spec is as following:

CPU: Intel i7 920 2,67 (2,8) GHz
Memory: 6gb (Counting on getting another 2gb)
Power supply: 750 watts

Thanks you in advance. :) 

Not sure if I am just a piece of repeating $^@t, My opinion is Hell no on sli 275gtx. There can be too much microstutter with only running two cards versus 3 cards. So yes I would go with the 570gtx and overclock the crap out of it and be very happy it would slaughter Bad Company 2 and pretty confident it will handle BF3 and make you 275gtx think its a nintendo
. Plus it will save you money in the long run. 2 275 would be very power hungry.
September 23, 2011 9:19:48 PM

Well, i honestly dont have a budget, its not like im short on money so, i really just want a GPU that will hopefully crush BF3 requirements as much as poss, but ofc, if the difference between 570 and 580 is like ~2 FPS or so, i prolly wouldnt bother with a 580 :) 
a c 91 U Graphics card
September 23, 2011 9:31:56 PM

Powerman287 said:
Thank you all for your answers, it has been a great help :) 

I just didnt quite get the thing with the ram, uhm, would a 4x2 gb 1600 mhz kit be noticeable in performance when playing games compared to the current 3x2gb 1333 mhz kit i have, what do you think? :) 


an INSANE man would NOT add more memory. 6gig is plenty. Adding more, here making it 8gigs would make it run slower....... as per "ram talk" above. YOUR board was designed to run 3 sticks with great efficiency. Adding one more stick or 3 more sticks would NOT make it run better.
!