New system advice

Just completed my build and looking for some advice on must have software like drivers, updates, and third party software i.e. CPU-Z GPU-Z etc. my specs.

Asus sabertooth p67 revision 3
i5 2500k
h60 cooler
32 (8x4) Gigs G skill Ares 1600 RAM
560 ti 1gb x2 sli (wanted 680 with more vram but to good a deal came up with the 2 560 ti's)
1 OCZ 120 gb SSD (boot Drive)
1 WD Black 1tb HDD
850w PSU
windows 7 professional
24 inch monitor in 1080p

this is my first "performance" build. And I was hoping to get some advice on software, anti virus, stress testers etc. I plan to use the pc for gaming, empire total war, shogun 2. And fairly heavy photo editing. Also with games like total war is it worth while to start looking for good deals on a 680 for the vram boost? or will this Vram handle them maxed out? My thinking when ROME 2 total war releases next year I can upgrade then for more Vram at cheaper prices if this sli setup will handle empire and shogun 2 at ultra settings.

Thanks for any advice.
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More about system advice
  1. I wouldn't go for a 680 at this time as 2x 560 ti's should be enough for you needs and even if they can't play new titles on ultra setting you could always add another 560 ti in sli mabye?
  2. Unless the 560Ti's are really cheap, I would definitely go with a 670. Single GPU setups are always preferable to duals. And on a single 24" monitor, you won't be starved for VRAM using any modern card.
  3. Basically I got the two evga 560 ti for about 300 total so couldn't pass them up.
    However they are just the 1 gb models so I am curious if that's enough to max out
    Empire total war and shogun 2 allowing me to wait for prices to drop on 570s/580s, if they can't run these maxed in 1080p on 24 inch screen then I will look at buying one now. And any suggestions on different software like steam mover I heard was good and avast? Anti virus
  4. Sorry, meant 670s/680s. For some reason it won't let me edit the last post
  5. 1GB of VRAM will be more than enough for a single monitor.

    Yes Avast is good, as well as AVG.
  6. well it seems that 1 GB of Vram is bottlenecking my performance even on one monitor. Playing empire total war on ultra settings with 8x anti aliasing including Darth mod heavy mods including heavy smoke and the system bogs down on bigger battles. So will upgrading to a single 670 with 2+ GB of VRAM be worth while from 2 560 ti's in SLI 1GB VRAM? Or should I wait 6months to a year and just save up for a 2 670 Sli with 2+ GB of VRAM? Trying to justify the performance increase for 400 dollars. If it takes the dual 670s to max out shogun 2 and the upcoming rome 2 might as well save up for that.....
  7. The 670 will definitely get you the performance that you are looking for, but is one 670 better than 2 560 Ti's? Maybe. The extra VRAM will help for sure. Of course, dual 670's will absolutely fix the problem, and would be a substantial upgrade over two 560 Ti's.

    What resolution are you gaming at by the way.
  8. 1920 x 1200.....
  9. Does anyone have any experience with Darthmods like empire total war or napoleon total war? These games are maxing out my 2x 560ti sli setup. Using GPU-z to monitor, the VRAM was maxed at 1028mb and the core clock was also maxed. Playing at 4x aa and 8x ta on 1920 x 1200 my goal is to get my system to max this game out at around 60 fps. Will a 670 2GB or even 4GB do this or should I be looking at 680's? If anyone has any links to benchmarks with this game mod please share..... or is it necassary to look at a 670 sli setup to achieve this. This game is over two years old and I want my machine to run it flawlessly so when ROME 2 comes out next year I can run it high settings.
  10. What FPS are you actually getting? It must be the mods that are bogging you down so much, as even a single 560 Ti can get 60+ FPS in Shogun 2 (which is similar performance wise).

    See where the 560 Ti is on the list? It should be more than capable of running Empire/Napoleon Total War. So two should be blowing it away.
  11. It is the mod that slows me down, it doubles the amount of units in any battle also adds bood and gore and a lot of smoke etc.... I was getting around around 60 fps in the campaign view but on battles it would bog down to around 20 average. I got the 670 2bg evga's sli'd now and they posted 83.6 average FPS in Unigine heaven, on 1920 x 1200 8x AA 16x trillenear and everything set to high.... I will post again if these beasts can handle the mod....
  12. Two 670's can handle anything, so if the FPS doesn't go up, something is really wrong :P. Another thing to consider is that RTS titles usually load the CPU down when more units come on screen, meaning the more units you have on screen, the more of the load that will shift to the CPU, so keep that in mind as well.
  13. right I was aware.... Running a 2500k stock currently... haven't oc it yet. The FPS are up... however having trouble running fraps keeps giving me a dirextx 9 error.... not sure how to switch it to 11. But it runs smooth now except large battles with forts.... My guess a CPU bottleneck? would an OC help this? As far as I know these titles only utilize 4 cores so not sure how to increase this.... anyway my benchmark on 3d mark 11:

    Graphics: 16944
    Physics: 7923
    Combined: 7618

    Seems to me a CPU bottle neck? Is an upgrade to an i7 2700k or even a i7 3770K worthwhile from a FPS stand point? Or just stick to an overclock?
  14. Best answer
    No, you won't really see much improvement moving to an i7, since the only real advantage that they have over the i5's is Hyperthreading, something that no game can take advantage of. The i7-3770K would show some improvement, but it's not really worth the price. If an i5-2500K is your bottleneck, there won't be much that you can do. An overclock should certainly help though. It's also very possible that the mods are just poorly coded, and won't run well in some situations no matter what you do.

    As far as the crashing under DirectX 9, I'm not sure what to do about that. If you get an error code, you could just try Google.
  15. Best answer selected by tiptonsr.
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