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processors and vid cards

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,773Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zorgo
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Zorgo

    Good info so far.

    To continue:

    it seems going a single vid card is a.o.k.

    Therefore, I'm wondering about the deals I've seen for the 'slimline' (for lack of a better term) gaming comps which have much more reasonable prices, yet seem to have all the gaming power.

    Seems like it may be worth the price difference to have 1 good vid card, a 4 or 6 core processor and smaller power supply; with the disadvantage being that you can't ever upgrade to 2 cards. 

    Any thoughts?

    Any desktop with the word "slim" in it isn't likely to be a gaming desktop or a gaming anything else.  Standard video cards won't fit in the extra slim cases.  A lot of other standard hardware won't fit in slim cases, either, so you end up paying extra to get custom parts that give you inferior performance.

    You can get some ultra small form factor cases from Silverstone or Lian Li that are meant to handle gaming rigs, but those are roughly cubical in shape:  short, not slim.

    You shouldn't worry about upgrading to two video cards later.  The only situation I'm aware of where it makes sense to add a second card for SLI or CrossFire later but not to set it up that way initially is if you're buying two computers at once, and plan to eventually move both video cards to the same computer while buying a higher end video card (that didn't exist at the time of the original purchase) for the other computer.

    What you should, however, worry about is upgrading to one faster single card a few years down the line.  And a slim case will probably make that impossible.

    Understood on the slim stuff - but this is actually an alienware 'budget' gaming system; so in my post above you'll see the options I'm looking at. 

    The alienware case actually accomodates all 'current' vid cards - so I spose I'd be taking a bit of a gamble for the future.

    And before anyone rolls their eyes at the dell/alienware choice; 

    with a 10% coupon

    10% gov't employee discount

    cyber monday deals

    + other account advantages;

    I won't get a better value for the price; trust me, this is all I've done this weekend

    It is exceedingly rare to find a good deal from Dell, let alone Alienware.  In fact, the last time I saw an Alienware system at a good price was... probably never.

    Don't be fooled by their claims of discounts.  That's their business model.  Things are always, always, always at a "discount".  All that changes is what the special deal is that week.  But taking something you could get elsewhere for $1000, claiming it's nominally worth $2000, and then offering you a combination of a bunch of special deals to let you have it for $1300 isn't really giving you a great deal.

    Speaking of which, how much are you looking at paying for those systems?  Because it wouldn't be hard to put together something better than any of them for gaming purposes for $1000.

  • furidiamfuridiam lincoln, ILPosts: 137Member Common

    shakymo you can get a 6870 at new egg for $119 with rebate. The 7850 is going for about $175 atm. That is a very large price difference for a similar video card.

    Just on a side note. I found a 7850 for $155 with rebates.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I'm in UK. 6850s and 6870s seem to be running out a bot over here.

    When I got my 6850 was a bargain though £90 when the slower 550ti was £120.

    Simmilar with 6870 vs 560ti.

    500 series nvidias were ridiculously over priced over here. The 600s are more competative with equivelent amds though.
  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Don't be fooled by their claims of discounts.  That's their business model.  Things are always, always, always at a "discount".  All that changes is what the special deal is that week.  But taking something you could get elsewhere for $1000, claiming it's nominally worth $2000, and then offering you a combination of a bunch of special deals to let you have it for $1300 isn't really giving you a great deal...

     

    Heh.. Sounds like "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"...

    I never did like Alienware.. Bloated over inflated prices that only serve those who want to be the 1% that can say "yeah, I got one of those.."..

    Like a Rolex watch..

    image

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Zorgo
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Zorgo

    Good info so far.

    To continue:

    it seems going a single vid card is a.o.k.

    Therefore, I'm wondering about the deals I've seen for the 'slimline' (for lack of a better term) gaming comps which have much more reasonable prices, yet seem to have all the gaming power.

    Seems like it may be worth the price difference to have 1 good vid card, a 4 or 6 core processor and smaller power supply; with the disadvantage being that you can't ever upgrade to 2 cards. 

    Any thoughts?

    Any desktop with the word "slim" in it isn't likely to be a gaming desktop or a gaming anything else.  Standard video cards won't fit in the extra slim cases.  A lot of other standard hardware won't fit in slim cases, either, so you end up paying extra to get custom parts that give you inferior performance.

    You can get some ultra small form factor cases from Silverstone or Lian Li that are meant to handle gaming rigs, but those are roughly cubical in shape:  short, not slim.

    You shouldn't worry about upgrading to two video cards later.  The only situation I'm aware of where it makes sense to add a second card for SLI or CrossFire later but not to set it up that way initially is if you're buying two computers at once, and plan to eventually move both video cards to the same computer while buying a higher end video card (that didn't exist at the time of the original purchase) for the other computer.

    What you should, however, worry about is upgrading to one faster single card a few years down the line.  And a slim case will probably make that impossible.

    Understood on the slim stuff - but this is actually an alienware 'budget' gaming system; so in my post above you'll see the options I'm looking at. 

    The alienware case actually accomodates all 'current' vid cards - so I spose I'd be taking a bit of a gamble for the future.

    And before anyone rolls their eyes at the dell/alienware choice; 

    with a 10% coupon

    10% gov't employee discount

    cyber monday deals

    + other account advantages;

    I won't get a better value for the price; trust me, this is all I've done this weekend

    It is exceedingly rare to find a good deal from Dell, let alone Alienware.  In fact, the last time I saw an Alienware system at a good price was... probably never.

    Don't be fooled by their claims of discounts.  That's their business model.  Things are always, always, always at a "discount".  All that changes is what the special deal is that week.  But taking something you could get elsewhere for $1000, claiming it's nominally worth $2000, and then offering you a combination of a bunch of special deals to let you have it for $1300 isn't really giving you a great deal.

    Speaking of which, how much are you looking at paying for those systems?  Because it wouldn't be hard to put together something better than any of them for gaming purposes for $1000.

    Well, I know you are right about dell/alienware; and I hope that another option presents itself; but essentially, my dell account is the best option for me without having 2k in the bank for this. Your point about the 1300 comp is well taken, but it looks as though with the incentives I have, they are taking  a 1k comp, saying its a 2k comp and I'm getting it for 1k. So.....no real deal, but better than a normal dell/alienware deal.

    I'd much rather have the cash on hand and go through newegg - but without going into the dirty details, I have a dell account. 

    So either wait 3 or 4 months to save the cash and have no comp, or get a dell/alienware.

    Just as a side note; my old rig is an alienware that I paid way tooo much for - yet; it has been the best gaming rig I've had -  years with zero problems, i'd still be using it today if not for a horrid user error involving cats, dogs and hot coffee.

    Soooo......

    the real question is, can I stop gaming for a few months to get a sound deal? or spend a little more and game sooner.....

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,299Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jdnewell
    Go with the middle option . I5 with 660GTX IMO

    Good call IMO. I did the same when the GTX4xx was 'hot' and the 470/480 were way over prized (for my budget) and the GTX460 was new and pretty cheap. No (2 year later) I'm still enjoying the power the 460 gives (in SLI now though).

    AsRock 990FX Extreme3
    AMD Phenom II 1090T ~3.2Ghz
    GEiL 16Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
    ASUS GTX970 3x HD monitor 1920x1080

  • TheOctagonTheOctagon Arcade, NYPosts: 253Member Uncommon

    EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
    16 GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3
    Intel Core i5-2550K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

    I haven't played any game yet that has made this setup stutter at max settings. GW2, SWTOR, Firefall(Beta),Planetside 2, Borderlands 2, Assassins Creed I, II and III...
     

  • bulldog1963bulldog1963 Phoenix, AZPosts: 9Member
    I would dump the idea of a dell 27".  the damn things are 800 bucks and they are only 60Hz.  Get a Catleap.  They are about 350-400 shipped and run at 120Hz.  saves you 400 bucks and you get a much better monitor.
  • bulldog1963bulldog1963 Phoenix, AZPosts: 9Member
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by jdnewell
    Go with the middle option . I5 with 660GTX IMO

    Good call IMO. I did the same when the GTX4xx was 'hot' and the 470/480 were way over prized (for my budget) and the GTX460 was new and pretty cheap. No (2 year later) I'm still enjoying the power the 460 gives (in SLI now though).

    I run the 480's in sli or 2d surround.  these things blow nearly ANYTHING on the market away.  Price for performance of gtx 480's in SLI or Dual is well worht 400 bucks.  You can't get the same performance in a single for that price..

     

    I am WC, though, and my temps are frigid even with everything OC'd

  • stefanakisgrstefanakisgr SerresPosts: 38Member
    Go 4-core and single card . Big single is always better than 2 medium . Lots of reasons , sli/crossfire never scales to 100% , so 2 x 50% cards will roughly give you 80% . You are also  more likely to stumble upon bugs , and some games even get negative performance till profiles / drivers are fixed . I would get an i5 or i7 depending on budget , 16GB RAM , and a 7950/7970 GHz edition . Dont skimp on the PSU , get the best one you can , its crucial .
  • SirFubarSirFubar SeoulPosts: 397Member
    Originally posted by bulldog1963
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by jdnewell
    Go with the middle option . I5 with 660GTX IMO

    Good call IMO. I did the same when the GTX4xx was 'hot' and the 470/480 were way over prized (for my budget) and the GTX460 was new and pretty cheap. No (2 year later) I'm still enjoying the power the 460 gives (in SLI now though).

    I run the 480's in sli or 2d surround.  these things blow nearly ANYTHING on the market away.  Price for performance of gtx 480's in SLI or Dual is well worht 400 bucks.  You can't get the same performance in a single for that price..

     

    I am WC, though, and my temps are frigid even with everything OC'd

    As far as I know, if you don't play your games on mutli-monitors or on a single one but with a resolution higher than 1920x1080, you don't get more performances whatsoever (maybe a little one but nothing noticeable) from SLi. I've tried SLi with two 8800 GT before both overheat and there's was no difference. Not sure if this changed since I've tried it but I really doubt it. Just look at some benchmarks, they nearly always compared both GPU (one single and the other in SLi) in games at a resolution of 1920x1200. Sure at this resolution (or even higher) the SLi cards will always perform better, when you try it at a normal resolution, you don't see any difference. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,773Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bulldog1963
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by jdnewell
    Go with the middle option . I5 with 660GTX IMO

    Good call IMO. I did the same when the GTX4xx was 'hot' and the 470/480 were way over prized (for my budget) and the GTX460 was new and pretty cheap. No (2 year later) I'm still enjoying the power the 460 gives (in SLI now though).

    I run the 480's in sli or 2d surround.  these things blow nearly ANYTHING on the market away.  Price for performance of gtx 480's in SLI or Dual is well worht 400 bucks.  You can't get the same performance in a single for that price..

     

    I am WC, though, and my temps are frigid even with everything OC'd

    Unfortunately, they also blow away your room temperatures and electric bills.

  • bulldog1963bulldog1963 Phoenix, AZPosts: 9Member

    Yeah, people who are WAY smarter than YOU, and about as smart as me have determined that running 2 gtx 480s at stock cooling will add about 20 bucks to your ANNUAL energy usage if compared to using NOTHING at all.  Hardly a ball buster as far as energy goes.

     

    And no, they don't heat up a room like a steam radiator.  sorry, the surface area and the heat they do generate while idle isn't squat.  You would get much more ambient heat increase by using your toaster a lot.

     

    Become educated upon the subject you wish to comment on.

  • bulldog1963bulldog1963 Phoenix, AZPosts: 9Member
    Originally posted by SirFubar
    Originally posted by bulldog1963
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by jdnewell
    Go with the middle option . I5 with 660GTX IMO

    Good call IMO. I did the same when the GTX4xx was 'hot' and the 470/480 were way over prized (for my budget) and the GTX460 was new and pretty cheap. No (2 year later) I'm still enjoying the power the 460 gives (in SLI now though).

    I run the 480's in sli or 2d surround.  these things blow nearly ANYTHING on the market away.  Price for performance of gtx 480's in SLI or Dual is well worht 400 bucks.  You can't get the same performance in a single for that price..

     

    I am WC, though, and my temps are frigid even with everything OC'd

    As far as I know, if you don't play your games on mutli-monitors or on a single one but with a resolution higher than 1920x1080, you don't get more performances whatsoever (maybe a little one but nothing noticeable) from SLi. I've tried SLi with two 8800 GT before both overheat and there's was no difference. Not sure if this changed since I've tried it but I really doubt it. Just look at some benchmarks, they nearly always compared both GPU (one single and the other in SLi) in games at a resolution of 1920x1200. Sure at this resolution (or even higher) the SLi cards will always perform better, when you try it at a normal resolution, you don't see any difference. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    this isnt true.  SLI improves p[erformance at lower resolotions considerably.  You need yto us a benchmark that actually uses both cards.  each is different and not all do.  and SLI 8800's  is like running dual Stanley Steamers .  Not gonna get a lot from something that doesn't have it to start with.  GTX 460'sand 480s are outstanding in SLI.  Go to an OC board.  learn.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,773Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bulldog1963

    Yeah, people who are WAY smarter than YOU, and about as smart as me have determined that running 2 gtx 480s at stock cooling will add about 20 bucks to your ANNUAL energy usage if compared to using NOTHING at all.  Hardly a ball buster as far as energy goes.

     

    And no, they don't heat up a room like a steam radiator.  sorry, the surface area and the heat they do generate while idle isn't squat.  You would get much more ambient heat increase by using your toaster a lot.

     

    Become educated upon the subject you wish to comment on.

    An honest TDP on a single GeForce GTX 480 is about 300 W.  Put two of them in SLI and you've hit 600 W.  Real games don't use all of that, but let's say 500 W under a heavy gaming load.

    For comparison, my toaster is 1050 W.  I bet you play games more than twice as much as I use my toaster.  My toaster probably gets about 10 minutes of use in an average week.  You'd be on slightly less weak ground if you cited my microwave.

    But the real killer is idle power consumption, especially if you attach two monitors.

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1258/15/

    Most modern cards use something like 10 or 20 W at idle.  A GeForce GTX 480 uses something like 50 W.  If you attach two monitors, it's well over 100 W.  And that's just for one.  For two in SLI?  I'm not sure how much power that would use, but I'll bet it's more than one.  Since you talked about Nvidia Surround, let's go with that and assume you're using multiple monitors.  Tack on power supply inefficiencies and you're looking at an idle power consumption difference of perhaps 100 W as compared to a more efficient card.

    If you always turn your computer off when you're not playing games, this isn't such a big deal.  Personally, I leave mine on all day, as I tend to use it for quite a few things other than games.  If we say that's 12 hours per day, then 12 hr/day * 365 day/year * 100 W * $0.10/kW-hr = $43.80.

    Obviously, that number varies with your local electricity rates and how long you leave the computer on.  And remember, this is the difference between a single GTX 480 and a single more efficient card (let's say a Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 660).  If you keep that for five years, then the added electricity bills exceed the cost of buying the card new today.  I don't normally go for total cost of ownership arguments in desktop use, but I'll make an exception for the GTX 480.

    And then there's also this effect:

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/09/30/my_quiet_galaxy_geforce_gtx_480_sli_build

    Having the top of your desk 25 F hotter than the ambient room temperature because there's a GeForce GTX 480 SLI build underneath it isn't exactly optimal.

  • SirFubarSirFubar SeoulPosts: 397Member
    Originally posted by bulldog1963
    Originally posted by SirFubar
    Originally posted by bulldog1963
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by jdnewell
    Go with the middle option . I5 with 660GTX IMO

    Good call IMO. I did the same when the GTX4xx was 'hot' and the 470/480 were way over prized (for my budget) and the GTX460 was new and pretty cheap. No (2 year later) I'm still enjoying the power the 460 gives (in SLI now though).

    I run the 480's in sli or 2d surround.  these things blow nearly ANYTHING on the market away.  Price for performance of gtx 480's in SLI or Dual is well worht 400 bucks.  You can't get the same performance in a single for that price..

     

    I am WC, though, and my temps are frigid even with everything OC'd

    As far as I know, if you don't play your games on mutli-monitors or on a single one but with a resolution higher than 1920x1080, you don't get more performances whatsoever (maybe a little one but nothing noticeable) from SLi. I've tried SLi with two 8800 GT before both overheat and there's was no difference. Not sure if this changed since I've tried it but I really doubt it. Just look at some benchmarks, they nearly always compared both GPU (one single and the other in SLi) in games at a resolution of 1920x1200. Sure at this resolution (or even higher) the SLi cards will always perform better, when you try it at a normal resolution, you don't see any difference. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    this isnt true.  SLI improves p[erformance at lower resolotions considerably.  You need yto us a benchmark that actually uses both cards.  each is different and not all do.  and SLI 8800's  is like running dual Stanley Steamers .  Not gonna get a lot from something that doesn't have it to start with.  GTX 460'sand 480s are outstanding in SLI.  Go to an OC board.  learn.

    Mind to give me some benchmarks (games one preferably)?? I would really like to see it since nearly every benchmarks I've seen always proves what I'm saying. I've yet to see some benchmarks of SLi done at a resolution lower than 1920x1200, most are even in higher resolution.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,172Member Uncommon

    Here's a decent comparison

    Single 680
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-review/
    SLI 680
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_680_sli_review,1.html
    SLI 660 (roughly the same price as a single 680)
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-geforce-gtx-650-benchmark,3297-14.html

    I don't really like these benchmarks, because they are not very good comparisons, but at least it's numbers.

    You can see that two cards do provide something, but looking at the benchmarks it's hard to tell what. They usually test under ridiculous conditions (1080p with crazy amounts of antialiasing, for instance) that aren't indicative of real-world performance. I much prefer the HardOCP method, where they just see what the "best playable setting" is for each card (where it can maintain a reasonable framerate), rather than just looking at the overall average framerate for some canned benchmark suite.

    But HardOCP doesn't do many SLI/CFX reviews anymore, because SLI/CFX just doesn't make much sense. Average framerate doesn't tell the whole story, and there are a lot of things to consider with SLI/CFX:
    * Bigger power supply
    * More power consumption, leading to more heat and noise
    * More expensive motherboard (and possibly case)
    * More internal airflow considerations
    * Driver conflicts (Both AMD and nVidia, don't let the fanboys fool you about drivers)
    * Game support leading to inconsistent performance (most games do not have good support, and even of those that do, it can be weeks or months before an optimized profile is released) = in some cases a game can actually perform worse with SLI/CFX than with a single card (and it's not that uncommon).

    A single video card doesn't have any of these issues. By the time you add up all the "hidden" costs of SLI/CFX, you were probably better off with the single faster card in the first place. The only time that SLI/CFX really makes sense, is when you can't get a single video card that is fast enough (and more often than not, that only happens under multi-monitor resolutions).

    Here is one good breakdown, even though it isn't a video card review, per say.
    The takeaway from this isn't AMD vs nVidia (because they are only testing a limited selection of games, and that skews that result), but rather same card vs SLI/CFX performance.
    http://hardocp.com/article/2012/07/18/pci_express_20_vs_30_gpu_gaming_performance_review/1

    Pay particular attention to the graphs they have. The way I read it, unless your driving multiple monitors and playing across them, there really is no reason to SLI/CFX, unless you just happen to get a matching card for free and want to play with it.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,172Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by SirFubar
    I would really like to see it since nearly every benchmarks I've seen always proves what I'm saying. I've yet to see some benchmarks of SLi done at a resolution lower than 1920x1200, most are even in higher resolution.

    Why would you care about SLI/CFX at resolutions under 1900x1200 (single monitor)? Most every card on the market can provide 60fps at this resolution (including some integrated video at this point) - it's just a matter of what options you need to enable - and anything in the upper 2-3 slots of a video card generation are able to run at that resolution, with 60fps, with nearly every option cranked on max anyway. Anything over that is just overkill with wasted heat and power.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,172Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by bulldog1963 Become educated upon the subject you wish to comment on.
    An honest TDP on a single GeForce GTX 480 is about 300 W.  Put two of them in SLI and you've hit 600 W.  Real games don't use all of that, but let's say 500 W under a heavy gaming load....
    Having the top of your desk 25 F hotter than the ambient room temperature because there's a GeForce GTX 480 SLI build underneath it isn't exactly optimal.

    Anyone arguing the merits of a 480 can pretty much just be discounted on principle alone at best, and is just trolling at worst.

  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member

    IMO, SLI/CFX is worth a shot if you have had a card for a little and do not currently have the budget to jump up to a 300 dollar upgrade and would rather spend maybe 10% (or more) less than you paid for your current card to get a cost effective increase in performance..

    It's worked for me in the past.. Bought a GTX 460.. After about a year, the games were needing better, but I didn't have the money for a 560 (much less anything above), so I settled on a second 460 which cost me like 30 bucks less than I paid for my original 460.. But the perfromance increase that I noticed in many games was worth every single penny..

    SLI is not a catch all, superior performance option imo.. It's more like a band-aid, a patch to hold you over either till you get enough for a stronger single card.. I wouldn't pay MORE for a SLI setup than a powerful single card, but after a little while and I haven't upgraded, I would bargain shop for another of the same card for that extra 50-80% increase..

    image

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 827Member Uncommon

    OP, the reason you are hell bent on getting your rig from dell is because of a 20% discount?

    If so, you could get a 100% discount by using pretty much any other parts retailer.

    I built this rig last month for just under 1k, only thing I didnt buy was a hdd as I had a few sata3 1tb drives hanging around.

     

    i5 3570k

    Gigabyte ATI 7950

    Gigabyte z77x-ud3h Mobo

    16gb Corsair DDR3

    XFX 750w semi modular PSU

    NZXT Phantom case

     

     

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