This will be my first post in this forum and I am looking forward to getting to know you all. The thing that brings me here before you today is a request for advice and opinions about a choice of graphics card.
I built my rig (in a light hearted sense the word) well before I went back to education, when I had a full time job. At the time the components were fairly ok. That was over 6 years ago!!!
Ok, so now that I’m out the other side, with a wife, a kid and a great software engineering job I am going to start to upgrade things a piece at a time.
This is my current set up: CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+ OC@3GHz PSU: 850W Unbranded (piece of garbage, jimmied in in an emergency when the last exploded) GPU: Sapphire Radeon X1550 512MB MB: Asus M2N-E RAM: 4GB OCZ DDRII HDD: 6 1TB SATAs (not raided) Monitors: x4 LCD 19” @ 1280x1024 (2 connected, guess why I have the others) Case: It’s not notably branded, but its BIG, great airflow, lots of fans & bays
Yes, the rig is a pile of garbage, I am fully aware of that fact. The first step I intend to take is (I have to do it in steps because of cash flow) to swap out: PSU: 650W Antec TruePower New Modular CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Black Ed (the mobo supports this with a bios patch) GPU: This is where I want some opinions *
Yeah, stage three will be to scrap the MB for something capable of supporting the Bulldozer or I may go Intel skt 2011 (haven’t decided that yet).
*I am after a card to run eyefinity with 3 monitors (ideally for productivity sakes I’d like 4 but I’m ok with 3). I will be using it for gaming and productivity – yes all the latest games and also some intensive programming. <- I also intend to be using C++ amp etc… so I’ll be taking advantage of all those wonderful parallel processors on the card. That said I am not overly keen on an NVIDEA solution.
I have looked at a lot of reviews and benchmarks and my choices are down to three, possibly four cards, I will link from Scan:
My primary choice based on the reviews and gut feeling was the XFX DD 6790, I also like the cost (I get VAT of all components as well so I’m looking at the little number ). The stock cooler seems to be really good and the card seems able to OC well (even with the stock cooler). Plus for that price I can drive 4 monitors.
But, for the sake of future proofing I liked the look of the MSI and there OC potential – I understand the 6850 series can actually OC to near 6870 series levels… But I also understand that the 6850 series are riddled with issues, notably a VRAM power spike problem that causes black screen/artefacts. The last thing I need is to shell out on something unstable.
I know that the rig will have a serious bottleneck, worsened by the low resolutions for the time that the duel core remains but please remember its getting addressed. Also my wife has an almost identical setup – only hers is even older (socket 939 roflol). I’ll give her my MB with the quad core once I hit stage three. Yeah, she plays games, likes hardware and is not a geek.
So, that’s my situation, I’d like to have this squared away by the end of the weekend so I can get this kit ordered on Monday. Your advice, opinions and help are very welcomed and I greatly appreciate anything you have to say.