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Upgrading Roommate's Computer from 2XGTS 250 - Need Advice

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
December 26, 2012 5:10:32 PM

Heya folks!

So my roommate is getting a nice new TV for Christmas from his parents - very cool. What's not so cool is that his PC, which we keep hooked up to our TV in the living room, doesn't have HDMI outs. I've decided to get him an upgrade for his Christmas/Birthday present but I want to make sure I'm not mucking anything up!

His current PC sports an i7-920 processor and a pair of GTS 250s. I'd like to swap out the 250s for a single 650 Ti, but I wanted to run that by some folks who know better than me and make sure that's a good idea. I've never been super clear on dual card setups - that wouldn't be a downgrade at all would it?

If there's an alternative that would be better, let me know. I do know that he would like to stick with GeForce.

Thanks in advance! If there's any more info you need let me know :) 

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a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 5:17:03 PM

It wouldn't be a downgrade, though I don't think it would be much of an upgrade either. I estimate you're looking at around 70% more muscle than a single GTS250, so not much at all above dual GTS250s. For a real upgrade, stick another £40 on there and grab a GTX660 - that will deliver comfortably 50% higher framerates again. That's a nice present by the way!
a c 117 U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 5:26:35 PM

i beg to differ slightly with the previous post; the 650ti would be a decent upgrade to dual GTS250s; you're skipping 3 generations of gpus.

but i think both of us agree it won't be a downgrade; just having the HDMI output is the added convenience alone would make the difference.
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a b U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 5:33:29 PM

Yeah it's difficult to give an accurate estimate of the comparable performance since the two are separated by several years, so you're not gonna find them benchmarked against each other. looniam - if you take a minute or two to think of performance gains generation by generation (think of comparable performing models from one to the next) you'll probably come to a similar estimate to my 70%. SLI at the time was delivering around 60% gain on average (varying hugely from game to game though, even more than it does today). So, 70% is better than 60%, but not a lot. Whereas the GTX660 is a huge step up from the GTX650 Ti. Comparable to a GTX580 vs GTX560.
December 26, 2012 5:45:25 PM

Thanks for the help and quick responses both of you! I ended up spending a few extra bucks and getting the 660. I figure I may as well err on the side of better performance just in case.

Dude's gonna be psyched to have a nice 1080p picture, as am I :) 
December 26, 2012 5:45:53 PM

Best answer selected by gonzodamus.