Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Best SLI setup that won't bottleneck a Phenom II X4 @ 4.0Ghz

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
July 4, 2012 1:47:31 PM

Hello,

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics setup and needed some advice.
Currently, I'm running an AMD Phenom II X4 @ 4.0Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ASUS SLI motherboard, reliable 750W PSU, etc. I am upgrading from a pair of 9800GTs so this is quite a big jump.

The issue here is I'm not sure where the phenom II stands in terms of CPU power and was concerned about potential bottlenecks. (Also, I'm on a budget!)

I've read that the Phenom II X4s can handle a pair of GTX460s, or GTX560s, or even GTX560Tis without bottlenecking.. but I'm not sure what's what anymore.

My target budget is $160, but MAYBE I can extend it to $200 if necessary. The reason I say this that I've seen GTX460s for about $100 (stores are clearing old stock), GTX560s for about $120, GTX560Tis for $135 (Just bought one for my bro!!)

I'm not in a huge rush to purchase this immediately, maybe in the coming month.. so I'm hoping with the release of the GTX660/Ti, a GTX460 will drop to $80ish, GTX560s to $100 ish, etc... so then I can buy a set. What do you guys think?


Thanks in advance,


Note: I play mostly FPS and driving/racing games. Typically @ 1080p, maxed out.
a b U Graphics card
July 4, 2012 2:05:41 PM

get two gtx 460s and enjoy!
Score
0
Related resources
July 4, 2012 2:41:28 PM

Thanks for the replies. I'm probably going to go for 1GB GTX460s if pricing and availability permits. Hopefully this will be about $160ish.

If not, then I may have to pony up for 2 GTX560s for more $$$.


ALSO, thanks for recommending the GTX480, but I've already considered it and don't think it's for me. It's a good deal, but it's hot, loud and power hungry (and I think it might be too long to fit in my case). Besides, 2x GTX460 SLI would outpace it for the same price... GTX560s SLI even moreso... D:

Yes, I know I'm going SLI so "hot, loud and power hungry" shouldn't even be a factor xD I'm a hypocrite... but yeah, it's too long. O_o
Score
0

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 4, 2012 2:49:29 PM

You can run 460's or even 560's in SLI on your setup without any problem, your processor will handle them just fine.
Now, someone is bound to jump in and say something like an i5 would get better frame rates, don't spend the money on older GPU's, buy a single better GPU, upgrade your platform first, or any other comments about your aging Phenom X4 system, but I am not debating any of that, it's still a good gaming processor and I am simply answering your question about SLI'ing the cards you asked about and saying you will get great performance.
Share
July 4, 2012 3:10:47 PM

Quote:
I sold my AMD unit of these specs, but I had a 965BE and then a 975BE on a 990FX chippy running (SLi) N460GTX TF II Hawks.
it ran well but needed to push the CPU to about 4.2GHz (in my personal opinion) but 4.0GHz with SSD and RAM set to 1600MHz was quite nice.

]http://valid.canardpc.com/cache/banner/2330673.png
(click on CPU-Z shot)



Nice, that is exactly what I'm going for. I feel as though that is the best bang for buck *budget* gaming build at the moment. Currently, the Phenom II is being cooled by an Antec Kuhler H20 620 w/ a Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000RPM. I'm putting 1.4v and the thing idles @ ~39c, load @ ~49c. I think I may be able to push it to 4.2Ghz with 1.45v but I've never tried. May I ask what settings / temps did you use to get 4.2Ghz?
Score
0
July 4, 2012 3:20:53 PM

Well, it all depends on the games you play.

Take, for example, Battlefield 3. It doesn't give a *** about what CPU you have: as long as it's not five years old, your CPU can even keep a GTX690 going.
http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-perfor...

On the other hand though, you might be playing games like Skyrim and Starcraft 2. When playing the first one, for example, my Phenom II X4 @ 3600MHz (isn't that a 975?) couldn't even keep a single 9600GT going in towns.

Also, if you're planning on playing on higher resolutions, like 1920x1200 or 2560x1440, any CPU faster than or as fast as a i3 2100 or Phenom II X4 can easily be used to drive two cards.

Also, as an alternative, you might want to look at a few alternatives like the HD6850 and 6870. They're about the best in terms of performance per euro/dollar/pound, and although slower than the GTX560Ti, they do consume less power than it. If you have $160 to spend, the HD6870 (they cost about €120 here in the Netherlands) might be a nice option if you can't afford a 560Ti.
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_560_Ti/ima...

Lastly, try overclocking your CPU-NB. It tends to yield very good results:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3877/asrock-890fx-deluxe-...
(this is an article about the X6, but it applies to X4's too)
Score
0
July 4, 2012 3:43:00 PM

jitpublisher said:
You can run 460's or even 560's in SLI on your setup without any problem, your processor will handle them just fine.
Now, someone is bound to jump in and say something like an i5 would get better frame rates, don't spend the money on older GPU's, buy a single better GPU, upgrade your platform first, or any other comments about your aging Phenom X4 system, but I am not debating any of that, it's still a good gaming processor and I am simply answering your question about SLI'ing the cards you asked about and saying you will get great performance.


Thank you!

You've read my mind exactly. I've probably gotten a hundred comments telling me to save the money to buy an i5, a better single GPU, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. which is all good fun. But I really did not ask that for a reason. I don't have the time to keep upgrading piece after piece after piece.

Technology always has something new to offer so it would be endless cycle to keep upgrading (not to mention costly). To be frank, I personally (hope no one takes this the wrong way) believe in buying a decent computer, pushing it to the absolute max, and then actually using for the next 3-5 years until it gets old. THEN I'll build a new computer from scratch with all the new tech available. I did the math a while back and it saves a lot of money. I'll save THIS money to buy the Intel i9s 12-cores when they come out... LOL jk ;D

*I'm definitely not against buying new hardware, I would love to have Ivy-Bridge + Kepler, etc. But I've already started this route with the Phenom ... I just think it would be a waste of money to start over and throw it all away when it is perfectly useable in this day =="
Score
0
July 4, 2012 3:48:14 PM

Quote:
^
nice info and I kinda agree with it.

I sold the SLi GTX 460's for a single GTX 570 OC'd Edition.
the SLi GTX 460's are stronger than a GTX 580 but with the OC'd 570 I was able to make up most of the difference.
so yes I might have lost a few FPS but I also (in a good way) -5C in temps and power consumption went down as well.
shortly after I sold the GTX 570 and upgrade to a OC'd GTX 580.
cost me like $30 outta pocket is all.
(power consumption difference IS HUGE..)

so long story short, it's better to run a single stronger GPU then two mid-level but since only the GTX 6 series runs triples and quad monitors off a single card
while the GTX 4 and 5 series still needs SLi
(in case running triples one-day..)


edit:
but with the cheap prices now of some of the 460/560's, it's a hard call.


Yeah, I agree with all of the above as well. But for purposes, the most important thing is budget. I'm just an average person with average computing needs... No need to spend $300+ on a GPU for me. Which is why I've settled for $200 as the limit. Should be good enough to last a few years, right?
Score
0
July 4, 2012 4:05:30 PM

Quote:
yes, I think so bro... :) 

and you can make minor upgrades along the way...
SSD and etc..


Sweeeet.

I've already done all the minor upgrades, the last thing I need to boost is the GPU.. how twisted is that?

- AMD Phenom II X4 955 CPU @ 4.0Ghz
- Antec Kuhler H20 620 w/ Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000
- ASUS M4N75TD SLI MOBO
- Corsair Dominator 8GB 1600Mhz CL9 1.6v DDR3 RAM
- 2 x EVGA 9800GT SuperClocked SLI GPU (I'm selling these to get the GTX460/560s ^^")
- 2 x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD
- Western Digital Caviar Green 750GB HDD
- Sony DVD-RW ODD
- OCZ Fatal1ty 750W Modular 80PlusBronze PSU
- Thermaltake Armor A90 CASE w/ five upgraded fans + fan controller

I think I've pretty much done all the minor upgrades... can you think of anything else?
Total value of my PC is like $700-$800 after taxes... will probably hit the $1000 mark with the new graphics cards though.
Score
0
July 4, 2012 4:10:48 PM

Asbak said:
Well, it all depends on the games you play.

Take, for example, Battlefield 3. It doesn't give a *** about what CPU you have: as long as it's not five years old, your CPU can even keep a GTX690 going.
http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-perfor...

On the other hand though, you might be playing games like Skyrim and Starcraft 2. When playing the first one, for example, my Phenom II X4 @ 3600MHz (isn't that a 975?) couldn't even keep a single 9600GT going in towns.

Also, if you're planning on playing on higher resolutions, like 1920x1200 or 2560x1440, any CPU faster than or as fast as a i3 2100 or Phenom II X4 can easily be used to drive two cards.

Also, as an alternative, you might want to look at a few alternatives like the HD6850 and 6870. They're about the best in terms of performance per euro/dollar/pound, and although slower than the GTX560Ti, they do consume less power than it. If you have $160 to spend, the HD6870 (they cost about €120 here in the Netherlands) might be a nice option if you can't afford a 560Ti.
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_560_Ti/ima...

Lastly, try overclocking your CPU-NB. It tends to yield very good results:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3877/asrock-890fx-deluxe-...
(this is an article about the X6, but it applies to X4's too)



Thanks for advice, much appreciated. I'll definitely keep the overclocking thing in mind.

If I had $160 to spend... I would buy this ;D
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

Oh wait! I already did haahaah.

I'm just playing. I would probably buy another, but I bought the last one in stock near my location..
Score
0
a b U Graphics card
July 4, 2012 4:31:25 PM

Get a 670. I had two 560 ti's with my Phenom II 980. and i overclocked my Phenom II to 4Ghz and no real bottleneck... I mean i know Intel would give me better results but i'll be getting intel later this year hopefully
Score
0
July 4, 2012 5:12:19 PM

Rockdpm said:
Get a 670. I had two 560 ti's with my Phenom II 980. and i overclocked my Phenom II to 4Ghz and no real bottleneck... I mean i know Intel would give me better results but i'll be getting intel later this year hopefully


Thanks for the advice, but a 670 is way out of my budget..

You mentioned that you did not notice a bottleneck with GTX560Tis? Would you care to provide some details as to what games/settings you run? I'm looking to play GPU intensive games @ 1080p max settings, so we may be in the same boat.
Score
0
July 4, 2012 5:15:30 PM

Quote:
looks good.... :sol: 
maybe one day in the future go crazy with monitors (triples) and surround sound, I think your 'golden'..


Yeah that sounds awesome.

Do I just plug in 3 monitors into the i/o ports of the GPUs? and then change something in NVIDIA control panel? or is it more complicated than that?
Score
0
July 31, 2012 3:54:27 PM

Best answer selected by rex000.
Score
0
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 31, 2012 3:59:31 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Score
0
!