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Right amount of memory for 1920x1200

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 17, 2011 9:13:13 PM

Hello all,

I'm in the midst of putting together a new (gaming) computer build. I've settled on just about everything except the graphics card (which I thought I had decided already). The list:

ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Case

Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W Power Supply

Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

EVGA 01G-P3-1371-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) FPB EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Everything but the video card is pretty much set in stone at this point. My computer budget just got a little boost though so now I'm looking at the 560. I worry that the 460 will suffer at 1920x1200 with only 1G memory and that a 2G 560 (maybe ti) might do better. I'd like to spend not much more than $250 on the card. Any thoughts/opinions appreciated
a c 88 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 9:23:01 PM

Go for the 560ti 1 GB for your resolution , 2GB isnt necessary and won't see any performance increase.
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a c 1406 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 9:26:59 PM

You already invested in the LGA1366 CPU and motherboard?
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October 17, 2011 9:39:17 PM

no, those remain to be purchased. so far I have the case, psu and ram. this has actually been in the works for a while now, those are the pieces I happened to pick up as they went on sale/I had funds lol.
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October 17, 2011 9:40:06 PM

for that matter, would I notice that much improvement with the 560ti 1G over a 460 1G?
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a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 9:48:46 PM

It is a better idea to go with Sandy Bridge setup. They are faster overall.
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a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 9:51:16 PM

I would get a 2gb card if you want to future proof a bit. At 1920x1200 there are already games out that almost push the 1gb VRAM barrier.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 9:56:00 PM

Well this build was good a year ago but has long been obsolete imo since SB came out in the beginning of this year. (It is also getting replaced in the next month or so) Another big issue, is the build is heavily cpu lopsided, games need more graphics power, the cpu only needs to be good enough to support the gpu. Get the i5-2500k and 560ti. 2gb vs 1 makes no difference at that res, completely disagree with cizzle, let me find some benchmarks. Since you already bought the ram, you could either try to find one matching stick or use 2 sticks for dual channel or deal with single channel.

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October 17, 2011 9:56:34 PM

several different opinions here guys, I'll need some more information before I"m convinced of anything. I like the discussion though
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October 17, 2011 9:58:34 PM

makes good sense k1114, I assume SB = sandy bridge as yyk above was saying? sorry to be ignorant, I'm a converted hardcore amd processor fan, still not 100% familiar with the intel lineup
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a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 9:59:13 PM

If you do primarily gaming, get 2500K, if you do some more multithreading stuff, like video encoding, take 2600K.
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October 17, 2011 10:01:22 PM

I do do primarily gaming, mostly starcraft 2 with a smattering of less intensive stuff thrown in for funs (minecraft ftw)
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October 17, 2011 10:06:12 PM

just after a cursory examination, the sandy bridge route seems to be a good bit cheaper, which is always nice. however I would also have to pick out a motherboard... choices choices
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a c 88 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 10:06:50 PM

Yes you will notice a nice perfromance increase from a 460 to a 560ti
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October 17, 2011 10:10:08 PM

looking at the boards for the sandy bridge, I don't see any with dual x16 slots for sli, which would seem to limit future upgradeability. also using the older socket would seem to limit ease of upgrading as well
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 10:15:13 PM

Yeah, you definitely want to go for a Sandy Bridge system. What you want is an i5-2500k. It is by far the best value for the money. Excellent at stock but it can overclock a huge amount. Here is a comparison with the i7-950 you are considering;
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=100
As you can see it wins all but a handful of the tests but that is only at stock speeds. The i5-2500k usually has no problems getting to 4.5+ ghz with a decent cooler and at that point there's simply no need for anything better.
It is currently on sale for just $205 on newegg at the moment(over $50 cheaper than the i7-950.) I'd snap one up;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
As for the video memory question 1gb is ok for the moment however if you may move to a higher resolution/3 monitor setup or want to Crossfire/SLI in the future than a 2gb card would be the way to go. Here is a 2gb HD6950 for $230 after rebate;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 17, 2011 10:23:46 PM

you have me convinced on the sandy bridge. I don't mind at all picking up an aftermarket cooler and overclocking either.

as for the vid card, I'd prefer to go with a geforce... just a personal preference. ergo the 460 or 560 I was considering, or a third option?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 10:31:05 PM

The easiest comparisons was the 6950 1gb vs 2gb, you can see the only noticable difference is crysis warhead frost bench at 2560x1600.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/24/amd_radeon_hd...
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=293

I will take note of that actual memory usage article, but all that matters to me is actual fps.

As for 16x/16x, imo is a waste of money, I know you said for future upgrade but 8x isn't limiting now. But they do exist: Asus P8P67 WS Revolution. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Don't confuse the 560 with the 560ti they are different cards.
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October 17, 2011 10:41:23 PM

I realize the 560 and 560ti are separate, I was for short just saying "560" but meaning to include all the variations.

I seem to remember seeing that cards were just starting to saturate the 8x interface a couple years back, though I could be in error. I thought the 16x would be even more important with beefier graphics cards
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a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 10:54:43 PM

k1114 said:
The easiest comparisons was the 6950 1gb vs 2gb, you can see the only noticable difference is crysis warhead frost bench at 2560x1600.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/02/24/amd_radeon_hd...
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=293

I will take note of that actual memory usage article, but all that matters to me is actual fps.

As for 16x/16x, imo is a waste of money, I know you said for future upgrade but 8x isn't limiting now. But they do exist: Asus P8P67 WS Revolution. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Don't confuse the 560 with the 560ti they are different cards.


I guess AMD and Nvidia cards handle VRAM differently...or maybe lower VRAM cards are more conservative with their usage.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 10:57:25 PM

What k1114 said :D 

1gb is totally fine, your limiting factor will definitely be the actualy core power. A 560 Ti is a good card, as is the 6950 1gb. They will play any game at high settings (if not max). The 1gb is not going to be an issue until you push massive resolutions. Even though some games will load up more than 1gb of stuff in the VRAM, that doesn't mean there's going to be a noticeable difference with less VRAM. For one, Win Vista and 7 can share system memory with the GPU, so you get just a slight performance drop due to the "lag" of swapping info (for the most part, you'd never notice this). The other thing to consider is that the video card with over 1gb might not be flushing the old info (textures, etc) - say, if you enter a totally new area with completely different scenery. I don't know exactly how it all works behind the scenes, but my guess is that in this case you'd maybe save a couple seconds at loading if you return to the old area and that's about it. An SSD would make it all much faster than the extra VRAM ;) 

Anyway, that's just my thoughts. I know it's possible to exceed 1gb of VRAM in some situtations but it's not really a reasonable thing to consider since it requires massive amounts of resolution and Anti Aliasing.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 11:00:40 PM

It dosent matter regarding the bus there is nothing that makes a difference you will notice at your planned resolution and card selection.
The i5-2500k is an excellent chip for what you want and you can basically team it with the best GPU you can afford with out worry.
Looking to the future with one eye is always a sensible idea as far as im concerned but to be honest what games that are due out will trouble even 2 year old tech ?
Go sensible with the recommended CPU and keep the GPU to 560TI/6950/6970 area.
That should cover most games at high end graphics settings for the near future.

Mactronix :) 
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a c 1406 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 11:09:21 PM

execut1ve said:
you have me convinced on the sandy bridge. I don't mind at all picking up an aftermarket cooler and overclocking either.

as for the vid card, I'd prefer to go with a geforce... just a personal preference. ergo the 460 or 560 I was considering, or a third option?

Glad to see the boy's got you turned! Cant beat cheaper and faster!
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 17, 2011 11:17:26 PM

execut1ve said:
I realize the 560 and 560ti are separate, I was for short just saying "560" but meaning to include all the variations.

I seem to remember seeing that cards were just starting to saturate the 8x interface a couple years back, though I could be in error. I thought the 16x would be even more important with beefier graphics cards

If it was a few years ago then the article may have been about PCI-E 1.0 or 1.1. PCI-E 2.0 doubled the bandwidth so a current x8 is equivalent to an old x16.
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October 17, 2011 11:28:02 PM

all good points. now I guess I need to just choose the mb and the specific 560ti and I'll be all set :) 
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October 18, 2011 12:20:33 AM

any recommendations for the northbridge chipset?
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a c 1406 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 12:29:53 AM

Z68 or P67!
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October 18, 2011 12:39:15 AM

those seem to be the options, is either one better?
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a c 189 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 1:29:15 AM

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_GTX_56...
Here's 560 1gb vs 2gb, same conclusion.

I only consider one worthwhile feature for z68, and that is the igpu capabilty/quicksync. My usual suggestion is the asrock z68 extreme3 gen3 just because it's one of the cheapest sli capable boards and is 12 phase like the higher end extreme4. The money saved goes into more gpu power. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 18, 2011 1:41:44 AM

that set of tests does seem to state it conclusively. I'd like to get an asus board if I can, I'm a bit of a fan :) 
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a c 189 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 1:59:10 AM

Asrock is part of asustek, but ^+1. That would be my next choice up, asus usually OC a little higher too.
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a c 1406 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 2:01:51 AM

k1114 said:
Asrock is part of asustek, but ^+1. That would be my next choice up, asus usually OC a little higher too.

They are currently in competition with their parent company instead of being a test platform for years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASRock
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a c 1406 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 2:33:43 AM

Only if you plan Crossfire or SLI in the future since the second PCIe X16 slot on the LX board runs at X4
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October 18, 2011 2:40:24 AM

mm that's a tough call. any recommendations?
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a c 1406 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 3:16:00 AM

execut1ve said:
mm that's a tough call. any recommendations?

I personally prefer more powerful single card solution from dual card setups and therefore would save the money.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 6:06:08 AM

What about the p67 pro? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... But I would get another company, buying just one company is silly, other companies must be at least just as good or they would go out of business. I wouldn't settle on such a low end board with a higher price than higher end boards. With the lx you lose sli, half as many phases, no mosfet heatsinks, possible ivy bridge support and pay more. I just don't understand fanboyism, every company has it's ups and downs, getting whoever is the current best bang/buck is the best way to go.

I know asrock is a rival to asus but it's still part of the same company(it's an independent subsidiary). Asrock is a competent rival vs asus, being able to match it's quality and at a lower price with similar features.

I never sli/cf, a single powerful card is all I ever need for one monitor. But you fall into the same issue, there are less expensive/good boards with just one x16 pcie slot.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 6:25:51 AM

1920x1200 -- been there done that. Get a card with 2gigs. ! 1gig is NOT enough for many game applications and they're getting more demanding.
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a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 7:10:51 AM

^ +1

games of today routinely use more than 1 gig on 1080p. but that may not affect performance much.
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October 18, 2011 8:21:07 AM

gmcizzle said:
http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/780310-...

This benchmark was done a year ago, and many games tested used over 1gb VRAM at 1920x1200.


The games don't become a memoryhog before he pushes Anti Aliasing up to 16. Who would do that? AA finepolishes edged while demanding a lot of ressources.

So the thing is, if you play at a high resolution, edges will already be very sharp, and you can hardly tell AA is on, and 2-4 AA is all you need. If you play at very low resolution, it is easier to see the effects. But who will be playing with a GPU that can handle 16 AA, on a screen with a 1024x768 resolution? Noone.

People vastly exaggerate what RAM will do to their systems, I have no idea why.

This very site has a review of 1gb 6950s today, comparing them to a 2 gb version at 1900x1200, and they are all performing better than the 2 gb version.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-1gb-...
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October 18, 2011 8:33:16 AM

gmcizzle said:
I would get a 2gb card if you want to future proof a bit. At 1920x1200 there are already games out that almost push the 1gb VRAM barrier.



Maybe at 2650x1600 a gigabyte would fall short and yes 1 gig should be falling short with next years games. But thats what Crossfire and SLI are for.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 9:49:09 AM

I would get the 560Ti any way.
Technically you dont need more than 1GB but as the card you need to get has 2GB its all good isnt it.

Mactronix :) 
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a b U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 10:02:14 AM

squareenixx said:
Maybe at 2650x1600 a gigabyte would fall short and yes 1 gig should be falling short with next years games. But thats what Crossfire and SLI are for.


I disagree.
Since when you get cards in SLI/Crossfire the SAME DAA is put in EACH CARD.
So, if one of them would fall short in memory department, it doesn't matter if you have, 2, 3 or infinite cards in SLI/Crossfire, if you put the same settings all of them will fall short in memory.
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October 18, 2011 11:15:58 AM

that is pretty compelling.

I wouldn't say I'm an Asus fanboy, I've just had excellent experience with their boards in the past and like to reward them by giving them my business when I can.

That P67 board looks good, but it seems to my untrained eye that all I'd be gaining is the possibility of SLI in the future with the higher bandwidth second graphics card slot. I just don't want to shell out for features I won't really utilize.
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October 18, 2011 1:29:08 PM

I'm really uncertain about the 2G card vs the 1G, I see good points both ways but all the charts posted so far seem to indicate there is no real performance advantage to the 2G
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 18, 2011 1:53:24 PM

I'll just repeat what I said earlier;
"As for the video memory question 1gb is ok for the moment however if you may move to a higher resolution/3 monitor setup or want to Crossfire/SLI in the future than a 2gb card would be the way to go. "
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