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Upgrading from GTS 450, need some advice.

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September 30, 2011 4:41:11 PM

So, I'm going to break down and by BF3 or Rage. Currently, I have TR2 Thermaltake 600w, 4gb xms corsair 1600, 965be with tx2 cooler master heat sink, and 890fxa- gd70 board and of course the gts 450. I would like to know what to upgrade to.
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 5:53:53 PM

For gaming, get the strongest graphics card you feel comfortable paying for. Your cpu and psu can handle anything up to a GTX580.

Make the jump a significant one, at least three or more tiers. You may be disappointed if you don't see big gains from a smaller jump.

In this case, look at something like a GTX560 or better.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 6:00:11 PM

I would wait for the 7000 or the 600 series cards.
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September 30, 2011 6:10:37 PM

Thanks Geofelt,but I would like to know what card I can get for Eyefinity I like the concept, unless Gtx can basically do the same thing. Should I change out my cpu cooler for a newer one or stick with the one I have?
a c 236 U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 6:20:25 PM

mr_lucklegs said:
Thanks Geofelt,but I would like to know what card I can get for Eyefinity I like the concept, unless Gtx can basically do the same thing. Should I change out my cpu cooler for a newer one or stick with the one I have?


What would you use eyefinity for?
Dual monitors will attach to almost any card. But games are usually built to run on only the primary monitor.

If you are interested in triple monitor gaming, then that is a whole new issue.
Three monitors will require considerably more graphics power as well as the ability to attach three monitors.
There are implementations from both amd and nvidia, but I am no expert there.

Any aftermarket cpu cooler will be better than the stock cooler, assuming it is pounted properly.
I see no need to change one out for marginal returns. Do not worry too much about a hot cpu. If it gets dangerously hot, it will shut down or downclock to protect itself.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 6:23:20 PM

Graphics is definitely where you want to upgrade.

Check out Tom's Hierarchy chart below
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

I'd recommend any GPU in the tier of the GTX 560 or Radeon 5850/6870. From their it depends on your budget and what sort of deals you can find at the moment of purchase.
I prefer cards from EVGA with the -AR suffix because of the lifetime warranties. The fact of the matter is that in 20 years you won't want that GTX 560 Ti but the peace of mind is typically worth the extra $10 or so.

On the Radeon side XFX has nice warranties also, but the customer service isn't as good as EVGA.

I've seen deals on GTX 560 Ti for as little as $170. It is likely worth doing some shopping and get the best card you can afford.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 6:28:34 PM

You can run Eyefinity off a single card, a 6970 2GB for example. nVidia Surround requires two cards in SLI to function.
September 30, 2011 6:32:23 PM

pacioli said:
Graphics is definitely where you want to upgrade.

Check out Tom's Hierarchy chart below
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

I'd recommend any GPU in the tier of the GTX 560 or Radeon 5850/6870. From their it depends on your budget and what sort of deals you can find at the moment of purchase.
I prefer cards from EVGA with the -AR suffix because of the lifetime warranties. The fact of the matter is that in 20 years you won't want that GTX 560 Ti but the peace of mind is typically worth the extra $10 or so.

On the Radeon side XFX has nice warranties also, but the customer service isn't as good as EVGA.

I've seen deals on GTX 560 Ti for as little as $170. It is likely worth doing some shopping and get the best card you can afford.


Why not 6900's? I think Amd is the path I'll be taking just because of the eyefinity I would to have a wider view of the game I'm playing.
September 30, 2011 6:35:12 PM

C0rehound said:
You can run Eyefinity off a single card, a 6970 2GB for example. nVidia Surround requires two cards in SLI to function.


Well,would I need a different psu or can I keep my tr2 thermaltake 600w when running Eyefin?
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 6:38:20 PM

As long as your doing single card eyefinity that PSU should be fine. Once you go crossfire though I'm not sure it would be enough to power two 6950s/70s. Depends on the rest of your hardware power requirements, etc. I'm running two 6950's just fine with a 750W PSU.

That'sassuming you go 69xx of course... You could go 68xx, etc.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 10:06:11 PM

Sure a 6970 will power 3 monitors with eyefinity... That doesn't mean you will like the results...

mr_lucklegs said:
Why not 6900's? I think Amd is the path I'll be taking just because of the eyefinity I would to have a wider view of the game I'm playing.


Do you have three monitors?

A single current generation Nvidia card can handle up to two monitors. You'd need a second card to run three monitors with Nvidia Surround.

Now... with eyefinity you are still going to want to go with at least a very high end card... Think Radeon 6990 as a minimum for getting decent framerates in BF3 or Rage.

The resolution is multiplied by three and requires tons of GPU. Instead of 1920 x 1080 your card has to produce an image of 5760 x 1080. Eyefinity works great when you are not gaming on more than one screen and just running applications on the extra screens. But... When your GPU has to put out high frame rates over three monitors in a game it becomes very demanding. Just because a 6970 can use eyefinity doesn't mean you will have a satisfying experience with a single 6850.

With two GPUs like a pair of AMD 6850s or GTX 560s you would have a more satisfying experience with 3 monitors. Nvidia may force you to put that second card in to game with three monitors... but they are ensuring it won't suck when you do it. AMD just wants to sell cards by saying 'we have more features' but if those features suck and don't work properly is that really getting a good value? A single 6970 would barely play at the 5760 x 1080 resolution
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 10:09:33 PM

C0rehound said:
You can run Eyefinity off a single card, a 6970 2GB for example. nVidia Surround requires two cards in SLI to function.


Running 3 monitor eyefinity off of a single Radeon 6970 2GB would suck in most games.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 10:18:49 PM

Also...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-build...

You will run into a CPU bottleneck with the 965 BE if you go with a multiple high end card set-up like in this Tom's article.

You are best off forgetting about Eyefinity unless you have enough ca$h for a multi-GPU system based around a high-end sandy bridge processor.
September 30, 2011 10:42:57 PM

So eventually, I want to use eyefinity I need to know if I buy a 6950(HIS) now can I run BF3 and Rage on it smoothly with my current config?
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2011 11:29:55 PM

mr_lucklegs said:
So eventually, I want to use eyefinity I need to know if I buy a 6950(HIS) now can I run BF3 and Rage on it smoothly with my current config?


Yes you can run a 6950 and get great framerates with a 1080P single monitor. You will not be able to play BF3 and Rage on a 6950 or even a 6970 with acceptable framerates on a 3 monitor Eyefinity system. You will need to get a 2nd GPU, 2 more monitors, at least a 750 watt PSU and a new CPU to run 3 monitor Eyefinity.

If AMD bulldozer is as good as I hope it is you could drop a new Zambezi CPU in your existing system and not need a whole new motherboard. Otherwise, if Bulldozer isn't as good or better than you'll need to go with a Sandy Bridge i5 or better. If you do go with an SB setup you could keep Nvidia as an option as you can SLI on that.

Here is the rough lowball breakdown of the cost to add 3 monitor Eyefinity to your rig if you get an AMD 6950(HIS) now.

2 1080P monitors $150 x 2 = $300

Quality 750 watt PSU = $100

Future AMD BD CPU = $250

2nd AMD 6950 (HIS) = $270

Total = $920 before taxes


Basically... it is really expensive! The price goes up by $150 or so if you went to a Sandy Bridge system.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2011 12:47:07 AM

pacioli said:
Running 3 monitor eyefinity off of a single Radeon 6970 2GB would suck in most games.


I ran my eyefiniti setup on a single 6950 2GB for a while, Grid 3, Dragon Age, and BFBC2 ran pretty well actually. I only bought the second card for more eye candy in BF3 and newer games. I tried 5760x1080 with a single card and I agree, you will need crossfire for this one.
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