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GPU upgrade from 9800GT/9600GSO? or SLI?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 25, 2011 3:07:23 AM

Hello all,

I am currently in the planning process of building another computer and I would to hear some of your opinions as to what might be the best way to go.

I have 2 older graphics card at the moment: 1. EVGA 9800GT 1GB DDR3 AND 2. XFX 9600GSO 512MB DDR3. My current PC supports only 1 GPU, so one of these cards is a spare which I was planning to put into my new computer (motherboard supporting 2 GPUs; 700W 80PLUS PSU). This is where I need your help.


The 9800GT 1GB (~$50 for identical) / 9600 GSO 512MB (~20 for identical) are relatively cheap to purchase nowadays so I was wondering would it still be a good idea to use these in an SLI configuration? Would that provide me with some decent performance at a low cost? If this is a bad idea, I am also willing to purchase a different GPU, as I have heard that I still can dedicate one (9800GT or 9600GSO) of these old cards to running PhysX. I am looking to building a powerful second computer, but not wanting to completely neglect my first PC (if possible).


Ultimately, I am simply asking what would give me the best configuration (taking both computers into consideration & not wasting my current GPUs) at the lowest cost, I am hoping to spend as little as possible; in conjunction with my existing video cards.

Thanks in advance,
September 25, 2011 3:15:36 AM

EDIT:

After thinking it over, the 9800GT is noticeably much better than the 9600GSO, on their own.

Do you think using the 9600GSO in SLI, or dedicating the 9600GSO to PhysX is a smart choice? That way, my first PC can still have some quality performance from using the 9800GT.

Thanks again,
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 25, 2011 3:21:28 AM

You cannot SLI those 2 cards. The cards must be the same for SLI.
Neither of them are considered particular good at this point if you are going to be gaming though the 9800GT would still be passable for low resolutions. I would buying a new video card for the new computer.
You could use either of the older cards for Physx but in IMO it isn't worth it really. There's approximately 5 games I would say that are worth playing that actually utilize GPU accelerated Physx in a significant fashion and outside of when you are playing those games specifically the card will just be a power drain on your system raising your bill.
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September 25, 2011 3:48:05 AM

Hey jyjjy,

Thanks for your reply.

I understand that I cannot SLI the two existing cards. I guess I wasn't clear but I meant to ask if it was worth it to buy another 9800GT for SLI (cost ~$50 now for the same one) or another 9600GSO for SLI (cost ~$20 now for the same one).
EVGA : http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
XFX: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

You brought up a good point... maybe having a dedicated PhysX card is quite expensive and pointless. I guess I should keep the 9800GT in my old PC, and just buy a new GPU altogether (wasting my 9600GSO T~T). A new NVIDIA GTX would have PhysX anyway, correct?

What benefits do I have from choosing NVIDIA over AMD? or vice versa? Any card you recommend for a decent cost (~100 or less)?

Thanks again,
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 25, 2011 4:06:20 AM

I wouldn't bother SLIing the older cards. They are low in memory, lack DX11 compatibility and I believe SLI scaling isn't quite as good on the older cards.
If you are ok with mail in rebates this GTX 460 is $100 and by far the best you are likely to do for that kind of money.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=55409
It is a good brand with great cooling and a nice factory overclock although it can actually go much higher. Otherwise you should be looking at a HD6770 but the GTX 460 is definitely worth the extra money. Here are some performance numbers;
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_460_HAWK/28....
In general Nvidia has Physx, CUDA and better tessellation performance while AMD cards have Eyefinity, MLAA, better power efficiency/less heat and frequently better price/performance.
September 25, 2011 2:27:04 PM

Alright, thanks for the help.

The 9800GT is still decent for gaming so I've decided to keep that in my older PC.

I'm looking at several graphics, such as the the GTX 460 and also the AMD 6850 which I think will be pretty good for the money.

I know you said that using a PhysX dedicated card would be a waste of power, but I was wondering if anyone knew the TDP of the XFX 9600GSO? I tried looking it up and found that a 9600GSO has a max TDP of 105W (same as the 9800GT) but these 9600GSO require the 6-pin supplementary power connector, which my card actually doesn't even have. Would that mean that my card uses less power than the typical cards I've researched?

Thanks
September 25, 2011 2:57:07 PM

I remember way back in 2008 seeing that 9800GT SLI was about equal to the GTX 280, sometimes a bit slower and sometimes a bit faster (you know how it is with dual-gpu). That means a single GTX 460 1GB is a solid step ahead of it it performance (plus DX11 and more consistent results).

If you do want Physx, the old trick to make it work with an AMD card doesn't cut it anymore, so you'd want to go with the 460. But honestly Physx should not matter at this point.
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 25, 2011 10:01:03 PM

rex000 said:
I'm looking at several graphics, such as the the GTX 460 and also the AMD 6850 which I think will be pretty good for the money.

I highly recommend you snag that GTX 460 I linked while that deal is still on. It is the best version of the card you can buy at the best price you are going to find even ignoring the mail in rebate.
As for the 9600GSO there were a bunch of different versions. All I can tell you is the original card idled at about 35w which would be over $30 per year on your power bill if the computer is left on 24/7 like I do with mine.
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 25, 2011 10:14:55 PM

CrisisCauser said:
I remember way back in 2008 seeing that 9800GT SLI was about equal to the GTX 280, sometimes a bit slower and sometimes a bit faster (you know how it is with dual-gpu).

9800GT SLI would actually be closer to the GTX 260 in performance. You may be thinking of the 9800GX2 but that is actually two 9800GTXs in SLI and it was still a bit weaker than the GTX 280 overall.
September 26, 2011 12:44:10 AM

Thanks all for the help.

That MSI GTX 460 seems like my best bet atm. Will get it when soon ~!

Just out of curiosity, if the 9800GT SLI = GTX 260, would you happen to know what a 9600GSO SLI be equivalent to ?
a c 376 U Graphics card
September 26, 2011 1:38:58 AM

The "9600GSO" was sold in many different forms. 2 different GPUs, 2 different memory speeds, 4 different amounts of memory and I believe three different bus widths. You would need the same type to SLI and it is hard to find benchmarks for the card in SLI outside of its original form. I would think in SLI it would be approximately in the performance area of a 9800GTX/GTS 250 in games that scale well with SLI if I had to guess.
September 26, 2011 8:30:07 PM

Thanks for the quick response again,

I'm assuming I have the lowest 9600GSO 512MB, so 2 of these in SLI would not be that great... only a GTS250...

Specs: http://xfxforce.com/en-us/products/graphiccards/9series...


A "GTX260" is still an acceptable GPU right? I know you advised against this but I may just buy another 9800GT (for $50) to use SLI.... to save money and not waste the 9600GSO (which is acceptable for the older non-gaming PC).

btw, I'm from Canada so I wasn't eligible to get the MSI GTX460 you recommended so that's why I'm reconsidering this option. A GTX460 here costs ~$150 still..

Let me know if I am STILL making a mistake... I'm kinda new to the GPU market... u_u"
September 26, 2011 11:01:41 PM

That's a good decision. If you had a 512MB card I'd recommend against it, but at 1GB you should see a good improvement going SLI. Just make sure your motherboard's PCI-e are at least 8x and 8x in SLI mode, and not less. 16x and 4x, for example, won't cut it.
September 26, 2011 11:56:10 PM

Thanks for the help.

I'm looking at the ASUS M4N75TD Motherboard for $90CAD (No rebates :D )

http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4N75TD/

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

This one only runs both the slots at 8x and 8x, but you mentioned that it was still acceptable. What's the performance loss from 16x and 16x, compared to 8x and 8x? I heard it's ~3% ..

I know this motherboard is somewhat ancient... but then again.. so are the 9800GTs ...

I'm wondering if this is the cheapest mobo I can get which supports SLI... I can't seem to find any other =T
Would I get better bang for my buck if I bought a newer board?
!