Let's talk video cards

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-PC-Taishar
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Let's talk video cards

Postby -PC-Taishar on Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:31 pm

OK so I'm fittin to do a revamp on my computer. I'm considering either going with a $200'ish video card, or SLI/Crossfire two $140 ish video cards. What are your general recommendations. Also I know Intel is still the champ in overall speeds, but at this point with AMD's 6 core processors, is the price point worth the switch? I'm sure I could get a 6 core for significantly cheaper, and since games will primarily be driven by my video card/s, I'm not sure I need the extra computing power that a stronger CPU would give me. Another consideration would be future proofing, I'm not sure on where Intel and AMD stand with their current socket setups. Last I checked, 775 was where Intel was at with no plans to upgrade to a different layout. And with AMD I have no idea, since they have not really been in the race for a while now.

What say the gurus?

zel
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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby zel on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:05 pm

AMD most current is AM3 socket and ya, 6 core AMDs are cheap comparatively. I run a quad 2.5G AMD and I have no problems running anything maxed out.

AMD is still best bang for the buck while Intel still churns out the highest numbers.

AMD Radeon (AMD bought ATI) most current versions numbers are all jacked up. ever since AMD bought ATI the numbering scheme has gone to shit and you can't trust their model numbers anymore so you need to go off performance charts.

Toms Hardware still keeps good info but they have been whored out big time to advertising. I mean every goddam word in a review is a piece of shit in-link and between most pages of a review you get a short advert that you have to click off but like i said, they do have good info especially their VGA charts. They also have a nifty "what card should I buy for $xxx amoutn of money" guide.

Alot about your gaming rig comes down to personal preference and what you feel comfortable with. So if you REALLY want a 6 core I say do it. If you're much more comfortable with Intel and would rather pay their premium then I say do that too. I don't worry myself about small performance difference so long as I run acceptable framerates and my current rig has done that for 2 years so I call it a win for 1000 bucks :)

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby -PC-Taishar on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:26 pm

I'm totally comfortable with AMD during the K6 years i ran exclusively on AMD. I have faith in their product I just know that for the past 5 yrs or so Intel has had a HANDY lead in performance. But if you're running stuff maxed out on a quad core I'm alright with getting one of those. Like I said. I'm sure most gaming performance comes from Vid Cards anyway. If I get AMD chip I'm almost for sure going ATI card though (knowing that ATI=AMD). As far as I know right now ATI has the best performance card but are they also best bang for the buck.

Are you running dual cards zel? How much RAM (and what speed) do you have?

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby MaDSpartus on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:57 pm

id be looking at intel seriously right now. on jan 9th they launch sandy bridge architecture on 32nm process. fast clocks, state of the art chips, unlocked multiplier on a quad core chip for ~$210 only. (core i7- 2500k) i know you think hexa > quad, but this quad will be overall faster than amd hexa core, not to mention it will be crazy fast in single threaded apps (lots of games)

as far as im concerned as of jan 9th its the only option that makes sense other than the 2600k for ~ $320 which gives 2 mb more cache and hyperthreading. you know if you wanna splurge.

as for gpu i strongly feel that 1gpu is the way to go. its not just the cost of a second gpu for sli or crossfire. you need a more expensive motherboard, you will use more electricity which is cost over time, and it wont always get full benefit in every game from dual gpu. for your budget id say obvious choices are a 6850, 6870, or gtx 470.

i have both a 5850 and a gtx 470 as i like to shop in the same price ball park. they are both very good, but my 5850 is a total headache because my powercolor branded card is a rma nightmare (5 times now). dont buy that brand. i wouldnt give the edge to either company right now, but whatever is a good deal for the week.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby zel on Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:09 pm

I run 1 Radeon HD4870 card, mainly because I still get great frame rates on everything I play and I simply don't have the money. I was going to buy another one with tax return money and do CF but apparently the 4870 is off the market which is sad because 2x4870s put out great numbers and can be had for cheap which pretty much explains why they're prolly off the market now :(

I run 8G of DDR2@800mhz (PC2-6400), They're 1066mhz sticks but i had to underclock because the AM2+ platform doesn't support all 4 sticks at that speed, only 2 sticks as I found out but since the memory controller is on the cpu I can actually upgrade to a compatible AM3 chip and bump the mem speed up to the rated 1066 and it should run good.

you rebuilding from scratch?

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby zel on Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:41 pm

All the new games are multi threaded that i've seen, They even usually list a dual core as a minimum, i haven't seen a new single threaded game in a long time. Anything that is single threaded still should run just fine at even 2.5Ghz

Didn't see any I7s cheaper than 289 on newegg but maybe they just don't have em, but you can get a 6x 3.3Ghz AMD for 265 right now and thats top end for AMD, AMD based motherboards also tend to be cheaper. I'm all about the price, i don't nitpick over small performance gains or on overkill framerates, 150FPS is the same as 200FPS far as i am concerned since I always lock it down to vsync cause page tearing annoys me so much.

I don't think you'll be CPU limited in any games these days though So I would spend more cash on the GPU and get whichever CPU/mobo you're most comfortable with. My "old" 9850 2.5GHz x4 doesn't cap out 100% in-game yet and it's 2 years old.

Ohh yea get some decent RAM too tho you don't wanna skimp on your RAM :P I like Corsair myself always had good luck with them, kingston has screwed me before :( tho OCZ i've used before too and I really like them.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby MaDSpartus on Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:16 am

These are what im suggesting, but not out for ~8 more days.

http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2010/2010 ... _CPUs.html

a 2500k seems to be the sweet spot. keep in mind with a 32nm process these are very easy to overclock to 4 ghz+

also i agree that games _are_ multithreaded. but they are not thread limited.

for example when encoding a movie if you have 4 cores vs 6 cores, with all else equal the 6 cores will be 50% faster. it sucks up the extra cpu cycles and uses them.

with games what happens is a primary thread runs the game engine, the game logic, feeds the gpu, etc. anything than can be split off will be, for example: physics, sound, networking, videos, etc.

The main game thread still limits the performance of the game, the sound thread doest, but it does offload that work onto a separate core, which helps. getting 2 more cores...does nothing, getting 2x faster cores, that helps....

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby MaDSpartus on Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:48 am

for the sake of curiosity i ran the first 2 benchmarks at stock speeds:

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=24332&page=7

7-Zip
top of the line AMD x6 - 17892 MIPS
Core i7-2600K - 22735 MIPS (27% Faster)

wPrime
top of the line AMD x6 - 260 seconds
Core i7-2600K 215 Secoonds (21% faster)

And last one was superpi (single threaded)
I found this pic of a 1090T overclocked to 4.7 GHz managing a time of 14.6 sec , had to disable the other threads and crazy fsb OC, probably with sub-zero cooling
The 2600K does it in 9.4 at stock speeds. (55% difference)


Oh and the hexa core is 125W cpu where the intel is a 95W

Just saying guys, amd lost its competitive edge a while ago and has been struggling to keep it on price, but are only falling father behind in performance. I only bought my first ever intel cpu a couple years ago, i had to jump ship...

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby BlueSix on Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:22 am

MaDSpartus wrote:Just saying guys, amd lost its competitive edge a while ago and has been struggling to keep it on price, but are only falling father behind in performance. I only bought my first ever intel cpu a couple years ago, i had to jump ship...

This sums up my feelings pretty well. My first intel for a LONG time is the i7 I'm running now. AMD just didn't have anything that touches it. Very well rounded platform.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby -PC-Taishar on Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:43 pm

So I'm probably going to go with the 2500k and two 460's in SLI. What is the socket type for the 2500k? I found something that said 1155, but the only boards I could find were 1156? seemed odd.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby -PC-Taishar on Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:36 pm

Ok after some more searching I found this.

http://www.xpcgear.com/gigabyte-ga-p67a-ud5.html

3 PCIx16 slots so it will support 3 linked video cards...thats sick. I would probably buy two then add a third later. This is the only SLI, socket 1155 mobo i can find as of now. This project looks like it's going to cost a bit more than I anticipated.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby buzz on Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:26 pm

Sounds like some serious hardware. Plan to get back into heavy gaming in 2011?

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby zel on Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:09 pm

You make it sound like there is a huge disparity between the threads like one might be at 80% and the other at 20%, that doesn't agree with what I see happening most of the time. I do see it occasionally but usually at load screens, I never see that kind of disparity when actually playing. All 4 of my cores tend to stay pretty close to each other when playing anything fairly recent. If that applies to anything over 4 cores, I have no idea but i still wouldn't mind having a 6 core :P

As far as I am concerned, the compression benchmarks mean nothing to me, I don't spend my time zipping files so those benchmarks really don't apply to me, As far as video compression I don't do it that often and when I do I just queue it up and leave it running while i'm at work, so I won't pay any extra cash to shave off even 30 minutes per encode, because it doesn't really affect me. The Pi benchmark is completely synthetic and is hard to apply to gaming, which is what we were talking about.

I just don't see spending alot of money on a cpu when it's not the deciding factor in games. So I tend to go amd for the cheap and spend the saved money on a good video card. Nvidia has some great cards but they are also expensive as shit.

The AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz can be had for 100 bucks and should handle any game you can throw at it just fine.
An ASUS M4A88T-V will run you 110, Supports CF, USB3.0, 4xDDR3 up to 16G, it will also support the X6 CPUs so when it drops in price you can upgrade to it if you feel you need to.

So thats 210 dollars for your mobo/cpu combo and it should run any game you throw at it just fine as long as your GPU can handle it. Speaking of which:

Two XFX HD-687A-ZNFC (HD6870) in crossfire are comparable to two GTX470s in SLI according to benchmarks and one will run you 230 bucks (there is a 20 mail-in rebate but I don't count it in up-front costs). So you can get one now and one later. One card would bring your total to $440 for mobo/cpu/gpu which is pretty cheap IMO.

Here is a benchmark on Metro 2033 Toms hardware did on the 6870 and 470, and here is the benchmark they did with them in SLI/crossfire.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby zel on Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:45 pm

Man, G.Skill has a great set for cheap, 2x4G modules for like 90 bucks:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL

Has alot of positive reviews as well and 8G is plenty.

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Re: Let's talk video cards

Postby MaDSpartus on Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:23 pm

yeah i bought gskill, but 1600mhz got it for $100 CAD. never bought their ram before but it was 1.5V not the usual 1.65 and a fair price. Working good so far....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

The new socket is 1155, not 1156, thats the last gen core i series. the new chipset is p67 or h67, you wont see many for sale until the cpu's launch. these p67 chipset boards arnt meant for triple or quad sli, they can but are definitely not meant for it. for example my asus p67pro has 3 16x slots, but the first two are 2x 8x, and the last slot is 4x only...

when i bought my board i saw the gigabyte -ud3 for $135, the asus ps7 for 169, and the -ud4 or the p67pro both for 199. the -ud3 is all you need, but when you get the better board you get more vrms for overclocking and longevity, so the p67 in the ~160 range seems smart. the sweet spot seems to be the asus p67 which has 12 phase power and 2x pcie 16 for sli or crossfire. i got the pro to get an intel nic and 2x esata, splurged.

2500k is definitely the cpu sweet spot, anything slower will still be very fast, but almost no overclocking what so ever if you dont get a 'k' series. if you need cheaper than $200 for a cpu then id suggest getting an 1156 system which can fsb overclock.

460 gpu is nice, i see a lot of people going for that, i picked up my 470 at a pretty sweet price, but like i said, whatever your local deal of the week is would probably be my choice.

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