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Seeking advice upgrading my 9800GT Sli

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 20, 2012 7:16:32 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: No preference, sooner than later

BUDGET RANGE: $500-$600

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming: Skyrim, Diablo 3, Battfield 3(which I won't get until I upgrade my GPU) would be my "big" games.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Current GPU is 9800GT(x2) SLI. PSU is PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750w

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: CPU is an i5 2500k on the ASUS p8p67 Deluxe(R3) Running Widows 7 64-bit

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Whichever is cheaper? Needs to be US

PARTS PREFERENCES: I've used Nvidia since I started computer gaming. First cards were 8500GT(x2) SLI, upgraded to 9800GT(x2) SLI, and now here I am ready to upgrade again. That said, I would prefer Nvidia, but if they are taking too long with Kepler I would not be adverse to getting the 7970.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Only if my PSU can handle it at the moment. However, if my tax returns are good to me, definitely :D 

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently I'm at 1680x1050. I am planning on grabbing a new monitor to run 1920x1080 after I get a new card. If the year is good to me another 2 will follow around Nov/Dec for a tri-screen setup

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've had these 2 cards for 4 years and I'm really itchin to get something new. I'd love to stick with Nvidia (if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?) but I'm not sure I can wait another 3-4 months for something better than what AMD is offering right now.
a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 8:01:42 PM

You PSU is high quality and will handle a 7970 nicely. That would be about the most prudent upgrade I can think of right now.
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January 20, 2012 9:22:29 PM

always buy the fastest graphics card you can afford at the time. If you want ultra settings on BF3 then 3GB models is a must. As was stated before ATI and nVidia are releasing new cards as we speak.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

out of stock but gives you an idea of whats out there.

Also nVidia 600 series should be around the corner.
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January 22, 2012 1:59:13 PM

Zenophobe said:
always buy the fastest graphics card you can afford at the time. If you want ultra settings on BF3 then 3GB models is a must. As was stated before ATI and nVidia are releasing new cards as we speak.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

out of stock but gives you an idea of whats out there.

Also nVidia 600 series should be around the corner.

Is NVidia's answer to the 7970 (ie: better than or equal to) anywhere near release? I'd hate to drop $600 on a 7970 and NVidia releases a card that is just as good for $450 a month later.

I can't make heads or tails of all these rumors I'm reading. This "GK104" that is rumored to release March/April is supposed to be the 660? Will this be their $500-$600 card or will that still be the 680?

I'd like to wait for NVidia to release their new cards, but I tend to be an impatient person; and if NVidia isn't releasing high-end card until the end of the year I might have to jump ship to the dark side :o 
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2012 4:40:18 PM

Nvidia's new cards are slated for mid year release. Code name Kepler. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-gpu-kepler-grap...

My guess is they will still be a little behind. Honestly, about the only reason to choose Nvidia these days is if you need CUDA for some reason, or there is a specific game that is known to run better on them.

These days, AMD beats them on power consumption, price, and performance in every category. And this is coming from a long time Nvidia fan mainly due to their support of Linux. Like back in the days of Riva 128 long.
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January 24, 2012 4:27:41 PM

Yeah, I don't think I can wait until mid-year to buy a new GPU, especially if it isn't even the high-end model :p 

Looks like I'll be going to the Red Team this time around. Is there any truth to the "crappy drivers/CFX support" rumors I see floating around from time to time? That would probably be the only thing "holding me back" at this point.

EDIT:
OK, so I'm looking at the following 3 cards.
EVGA GTX 580 Classified Ultra 3GB - Will I be able to find a 2nd for SLI down the line? (IE: in about a year)
XFX 7970 Black Edition - Is the aftermarket cooler worth $50 or are there some other modifications (besides overclock)?
<arbitrary MFG> HD 7970 Reference - Doesn't look to be worth it at the moment, unless prices drop back to $550 or less.

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a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2012 9:51:36 PM

drewgamer said:
Yeah, I don't think I can wait until mid-year to buy a new GPU, especially if it isn't even the high-end model :p 

Looks like I'll be going to the Red Team this time around. Is there any truth to the "crappy drivers/CFX support" rumors I see floating around from time to time? That would probably be the only thing "holding me back" at this point.

EDIT:
OK, so I'm looking at the following 3 cards.
EVGA GTX 580 Classified Ultra 3GB - Will I be able to find a 2nd for SLI down the line? (IE: in about a year)
XFX 7970 Black Edition - Is the aftermarket cooler worth $50 or are there some other modifications (besides overclock)?
<arbitrary MFG> HD 7970 Reference - Doesn't look to be worth it at the moment, unless prices drop back to $550 or less.


"crappy drivers/CFX support" is just FUD from Nvidia fanboys. If you ask them for specific known issues, they will be like "well, er, um". As much as they may try, they cannot argue against factual data. I have heard of no recent significant issues with AMD cards. Having said that, remember with "any" new card series like the 7000 there are likely to be growing pains. Just the nature of the bleeding edge.

The twin fan setup has proven to be better for cooling, quiet, and overclocking ability. One of the popular brands right now for either camp is the MSI Twin Frozr series. My 6670 card is not marketed as Twin Frozr, but it has the same fan setup with a different looking shroud. I overclocked it using the MSI Afterburner software and it has been running stable for two months at just a hair under 6770 levels.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
January 24, 2012 9:59:30 PM

since the 7950 is rumored to release on jan 31 and the first 600 card rumor releasing "february." might be worth the wait of a month.

also gives more time for the 7970 to get better cooling.
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January 25, 2012 3:07:17 AM

I'll see how February plays out and if nVidia doesn't pick up its game I'll grab myself a 7970 with an aftermarket cooler.

Thanks everyone for all the help deciding and I look forward to my new GPU.
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January 25, 2012 3:19:15 AM

Best answer selected by DrewGamer.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 7:41:50 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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