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Worth an Upgrade?

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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 1:18:10 PM

Ok, so I want to upgrade my GPU, and money is not really an issue, however, i am worried my cpu may bottleneck this option.

Specs:

Phenom II x 4 955BE 4.22GHz
ASUS GTX560 950Mhz
8Gb 1355 RAM
Sabertooth 990FX
**Will be upgrading to a 24" 1080P Monitor.

Question is, will a GTX580, possibly even in SLI later on be limited from the CPU, or would a GTX590 be a better route? also, would 2 GTX560's be another option? Im having trouble finding benchmarks online, so anything you guy scould link would be much appreciated.

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a b U Graphics card
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November 4, 2011 1:27:33 PM

Hi casualbuilder,

Your Phenom has a pretty solid OC on it. Your CPU won't bottleneck anything that's out there at the moment. do you have the regular GTX560, or the 560Ti.

I would have to look for benchmarks on the regular 560, but a pair of 560 Tis would perform better than a 580.
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November 4, 2011 1:31:20 PM

I'm running a 945 @ only 3.3GHz with a pair of AMD 6870s. I'm nowhere near bottlenecking anything. You should be good.
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November 4, 2011 1:59:59 PM

you're probably being bottle-necked by your cpu right now. regardless of OC. I wouldn't run the 590 because of past experiences with "double" cards. They always sucked ( nvidi's anyways ) from heat to other problems. Speaking of heat, I would not sli 2 560's. Close proximity will really hurt one of those cards more than the other. And the benchmark fps numbers may be good but you can't beat the one card solution with the 580. if you can get I would. It'll be something to bring over to the next build.
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a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2011 2:02:03 PM

It's not really worth an upgrade. Try to hold off a little more for the newer cards next year.
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 2:20:27 PM

Well, i am a team member of f@h. The GTX580 upgrade would actually be for that only, as the games i play even dont really stress my gpu. I guess im "donating to science". I guess what im asking, is what is my best performance for gpu that my cpu can handle? if 2 GTX580's would be fine considering im not running an i7 2600k...cough...i would like to eventually get to that, however, waiting for the new 6xx's is a good thought.
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a b U Graphics card
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November 4, 2011 2:36:40 PM

If you don't mind waiting, there will always be something better on the horizon. There have been no firm dates for product releases. So you may or may not be waiting for a while.

If you are satisfied enough with what you have, then waiting may be a good choice, but if you want something soon, you may want to consider going with what is available, since we don't know how long you'd be waiting for the new cards
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 2:45:30 PM

so, in all your opinions, which would be the best options AS OF NOW, a 2nd GTX560, or upgrade to the GTX580, with option for a 2nd in the future? This is solely for f@h, and i want the best performance that will not be restricted my my cpu.
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a c 195 U Graphics card
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November 4, 2011 2:48:49 PM

Benchmarks I've been reading recently (mostly over at HardOCP) definitely show that the newest games (specifically BF3) could benefit from a faster GPU, even at 1920x1080. The bad news is, the AMD chipset and/or CPU may still hold back multi-GPU installations, although their latest tests used a Bulldozer CPU. That corresponds with tests Tom's did a year or so ago which had similar findings. In your place (with money no object), I'd probably get a single GTX580 rather than a pair of cards (which also avoids the potential microstuttering issue). Make sure your PSU is up to the task.

Edit: Ok I see this isn't for gaming. For GPGPU processing, I don't think the chipset or AMD vs. Intel question is as relevant, but I haven't seen benchmarks. I think I'd still go with the single card, if only to avoid potential heat issues. AFAIK, you could even run a GTX580 along with your GTX560; they're running independently, not in SLI. Once again, make sure your PSU is up to it.
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a b U Graphics card
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November 4, 2011 2:49:31 PM

F@H isn't CPU intensive, so your CPU plays a very small role.

For your purposes, right now, if you can sell your 560, I would do that and buy a 580. The future SLI possibility is a good benefit. Once the new cards do come out, you will likely be able to pick up a second 580 for cheaper.

If you aren't looking forward too far, a second 560 would be a much cheaper option if you wouldn't be able to sell your current 560, and would give you similar performance to a single 580
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a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2011 2:54:14 PM

I would say purchase a GTX 580 if it were for gaming purposes but since you are only upgrading for Folding @ Home, waiting for Kepler is definitely a good idea since those cards should have some massive computing potential compared to the GTX 500 series.

As you can see, everyone has a different opinion and would do different things with their money. I would take all of the suggestions we gave you and think about each one carefully, then make your decision.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 2:56:42 PM

Quote:
the AMD chipset and/or CPU may still hold back multi-GPU installations


Source please? I have not seen this. The CPU performance in game is primarily related to how the architecture of the CPU handles the instructions from the game. Some games favor the SB architecture (most notably SC2) but in most cases GPU(s) are still the primary limiter.

If his chipset only allows a x16/x4 configuration, that would limit performance but that is true of amd or Intel chipsets

f@h is not a game. It is a program that simulates protean folding for research purposes using modern GPUs from volunteers (like casualbuilder here).

The CPU will not limit his f@h capabilities.
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 3:00:07 PM

So, outside of maybe SLI'd GTX580/590's, my CPU would not bottleneck any single card setup, and maybe barely a GTX580 in SLI? I will most likely wait then for the 6xx's since they show very promising results. This upgrade, while immediately for f@h, will server to prolong my gaming experiences as well.

Thank you all for your help!
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 3:02:45 PM

Best answer selected by casualbuilder.
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a b U Graphics card
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November 4, 2011 3:03:59 PM

blade061188 said:
Quote:
the AMD chipset and/or CPU may still hold back multi-GPU installations


Source please? I have not seen this. The CPU performance in game is primarily related to how the architecture of the CPU handles the instructions from the game. Some games favor the SB architecture (most notably SC2) but in most cases GPU(s) are still the primary limiter.

If his chipset only allows a x16/x4 configuration, that would limit performance but that is true of amd or Intel chipsets

f@h is not a game. It is a program that simulates protean folding for research purposes using modern GPUs from volunteers (like casualbuilder here).

The CPU will not limit his f@h capabilities.


I wouldn't try to fold a Protean if I were you. They once ruled the galaxy, you know. Might end up badly.
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 3:05:40 PM

Protein*

Spell Check FTW!
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a c 195 U Graphics card
a c 131 à CPUs
November 4, 2011 3:30:19 PM

Well, this is for games, so perhaps not relevant:
1. http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/11/03/amd_fx8150_mu...
2. I searched for "SLI Scaling" in Tom's reviews, and haven't found it yet, but I remember an article that compared an AMD rig and an Intel rig and the AMD rig just didn't scale as well or show the same level of performance. I'm not sure how much more time I have to look before the thread gets closed, but I know it's there somewhere...
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 3:34:38 PM

if you would PM me when/if you find it, i would be very grateful!
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2011 3:35:37 PM

The link you posted was based off of BD 8150...i am running an AMD PIIx4 955BE. This isn't very relative jtt283...
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a b U Graphics card
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November 4, 2011 3:37:02 PM

Hmm, that is interesting,

pm me if you find the other one after this thread closes.
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a c 195 U Graphics card
a c 131 à CPUs
November 4, 2011 4:53:15 PM

Still looking...perhaps the moderator who closes this thread will remember it and post the link?
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!