After having this setup for a few weeks... I am satisfied but want to eliminate stutter and lag in general.
Here is my current setup:
Gskill 1600mhz ripjaws (2 x 2GB)
ASrock z68 Motherboard (no xfire support)
500gb Sata I 5400rpm HDD
Osz 550w Certified 80+ Power Supply
Intel i3-2100 processor
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850
Old ATI case.
Temps are fine (all less than 60C after hours of gaming)
I have heard that using CrossFireX with 2 6850s can be extremely beneficial, but I have a few questions first.
1. Can my power supply support 2 6850s + the i3?
a. The gpu came with a 4-prong power -> 6 prong PCI cable.
2. Recommended board? (Would have to be ~$120)
a. I found this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
3. I know a HDD upgrade would be beneficial, but how would it compare to a crossfire setup?
My father is building a computer... And I am selling him some of my older components for discounted prices so I can upgrade.
Here is my current money stash:
== $180 ==
The items I have pitched to him are:
ASrock Motherboard... $95
Given I keep the motherboard, I can likely get $105 from him if I can get the eyefinity setup assembled for him
So with $280, I could purchase a 7850 easily.
Would It require any specific cooling methods? I have overclocked the 6850 successfully, but It is known for overclocking capabilities.
Upgrading to a 7200rpm HDD would speed up almost all aspects of your system, especially load and boot times.
Since your 270 is basically completely eaten up by your motherboard and the second 6850 upgrades, i'm not sure whether the HDD or PSU upgrades are something you are planning on doing later on or what?
1. Would a solid-state be worth it? 120GB is more than all my combined games.
2. I purchased this PSU for like $25 including rebates. I was on an extremely low budget at the beginning, so i left plenty of room for upgrades.
nOn that best answer: I wouldnt contradict anything he said except, it is clearly wrong on SSDs. They are by far the best upgrade you can give a system (that doesnt already have one), and far frm a luxury... in the next month the new ivy bridge ultrabooks wills be coming out from $600+ -- with SSDs.
nThere's a coupon on logic buy right now for a 256GB Crucial m4 for $200. Commodity 6gbps 128GB SSDs will be easy to find for <$90 .. you'd be cheating yourself not to get this upgrade.
SSDs give you a grand total of zero performance improvement for gameplay (slightly improved level loading times =/= improved gameplay). So if what you want is a gaming rig, an SSD is a luxury. SSDs make your operating system faster and your computer overall feel more snappy. They do not help game performance.
OP is building a budget gaming rig. SSDs are a luxury that have no place in a budget gaming rig. If he has to sacrifice CPU or GPU power to get an SSD, it will result in much lower game performance.
Sorry bro; I said in my post that I recognize there are other opinions out there about SSDs, but I am far from being "clearly wrong". You do realize that even $100 for an SSD eats up a huge chunk of a low cost rig's budget, resulting in no framerate improvements during gaming, right?
I kind of see this as being level-ground for me.
I enjoy playing games such as Fallout(heavily modded), Skyrim(graphically improved), Dragon Age, and other open-world games. On these games, I predict that my HDD is the bottleneck. Texture pop-in and slow loading are a huge letdown while exploring.
Meanwhile, having a larger graphics card would allow for better processing and loading of advanced shaders and textures.
I think you must be missing the relevant parts of his post then. In fact, my reply that you quoted says
game stutter maybe he's not going to get much from an SSD, but "lag in general" is very likely the fact that he is stuck on the hard drive.
And it says this because he complains of two issues that he must fix with this upgrade: game stutter, and lag in general.
He then goes on to list options he's thought of, and one of them is upgrading the hard drive. After the initial post, he posts an additional reply where he wonders not "would a GPU upgrade be a good idea?" but instead "would an SSD be a good idea?" -- clearly this "lag in general" thing was not meant to be a side line issue for him.
He accepted the other answer already, and I dont want to get too far into this, but suffice it to say like I did the first time, that the accepted answer may be fine but its suggestion that SSD is useless to him is clearly wrong.
After some experimenting with Fallout, I have come to a conclusion:
GPU > SSD
Hypothesis: Game lag is directed towards my hard drive, not graphics card.
Experiment: Choose two different sized texture packs(therefore memory usage) and monitor the speed in which my FPS and gamplay moves along.
Data: TechPowerUp's GPU-Z tool recorded 98% maximum GPU usage on both tests, and the following maximum memory usages:
Large Texture pack: 927mb dedicated, 55mb dynamic
Small texture pack: 850mb dedicated, 27mb dynamic
Analysis: The larger (2gb+) texture pack came together fine, but when loading larger areas, or turning around, my game would stutter and my FPS would drop into the teens. The smaller (800mb) texture pack played flawlessly, with minimal loading times and the ability to turn around without a FPS drop.
Conclusion: Clearly a large quality increase would require a 2GB+ video card, while a new SSD would not provide me with the required dedicated memory for loading larger texture and mesh quality.