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Salan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2008 at 12:08pm
Originally posted by Harrison11106 Harrison11106 wrote:

To the OP.  Good stuff, but what about power supply?  How relevent is that for wanting a gaming machine?  What is a good ratio of Battery/power supply to the graphics card & other components?  What're some decent brands? I got a Thermaltake ToughPower 600 Watt Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready for my own mid tower (3870 Radeon on a DDR3 converted unit). 
 
 
 
Hi
 
As a guide as to quality take a look at the following link.  I would not suggest going below tier 2 units.  Newegg is a good source to look up specific psu's and see what people who have bought it think.
 
 
 
Alan
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2008 at 12:25pm
Originally posted by Salan Salan wrote:

Originally posted by Harrison11106 Harrison11106 wrote:

To the OP.  Good stuff, but what about power supply?  How relevent is that for wanting a gaming machine?  What is a good ratio of Battery/power supply to the graphics card & other components?  What're some decent brands? I got a Thermaltake ToughPower 600 Watt Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready for my own mid tower (3870 Radeon on a DDR3 converted unit). 
 
 
 
Hi
 
As a guide as to quality take a look at the following link.  I would not suggest going below tier 2 units.  Newegg is a good source to look up specific psu's and see what people who have bought it think.
 
 
 
Alan
 
Thanx.  Good to know that 've got one that's the second from the top in any case Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 1:42am
Clap  Excellent guide, especially for those who don't even know where to begin when choosing hardware for a gaming rig.  It can be extremely daunting indeed.  I would like to make one minor suggestion if I may.  You start the baseline gaming nVidia cards at the 8800GT / 9800GT range (which I don't think anyone will disagree with), but then jump to the GTX260 as the next performance level.  I might be worth while to include the 9800GTX / 9800GTX+ cards as a step-up alternative from the GT.  They offer a nice jump in performance over the GT cards, and fall nicely between that and the GTX260 in both price ($150+) and performance.  Run a couple of those cards in SLI and you have some serious gaming power.  Hard to imagine that a couple of years ago a 8800GTX was pretty much the $600 mack daddy.  Anyhow, my 2 cents. 
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Salan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 8:12am
Originally posted by Grandmaster B Grandmaster B wrote:

Clap  Excellent guide, especially for those who don't even know where to begin when choosing hardware for a gaming rig.  It can be extremely daunting indeed.  I would like to make one minor suggestion if I may.  You start the baseline gaming nVidia cards at the 8800GT / 9800GT range (which I don't think anyone will disagree with), but then jump to the GTX260 as the next performance level.  I might be worth while to include the 9800GTX / 9800GTX+ cards as a step-up alternative from the GT.  They offer a nice jump in performance over the GT cards, and fall nicely between that and the GTX260 in both price ($150+) and performance.  Run a couple of those cards in SLI and you have some serious gaming power.  Hard to imagine that a couple of years ago a 8800GTX was pretty much the $600 mack daddy.  Anyhow, my 2 cents. 
 
Hi
 
Good two cents.  Two 9800gtx+s in sli kick the gtx280.  
 
 
I have that set up and it is really impressive.  I ordered my rig the week the 9800gtx+s came out.  They are incredibly easy to overclock.  Just download EVGA Precision, move three sliders, and hit apply.  You are done.  I run them at stock anyway because I have had no need to OC.
 
I think my first upgrade somewhere down the line will be to the gtx 260 x2 when it comes out (supposed to beat the 4870 x2) or wait for the inevitable gtx 280 x2 or the new technology gtx 300 series.  I am still waiting for a new game to come out that actually uses quad cpu's.  It would be nice to see how the 9800gtx+ combination works with a game written for quads.  You read a lot about a system being cpu or gpu bound, but nothing about how the two work together and effect each other and overall performance.  For example,  I read an article a while back on the effect of cpu frequency on gpu performance in 3dmark06.  Even though the gpu scores are supposed to test the video cards and be cpu independent, they are not.  Faster cpu's give higher gpu scores.  The differences in gpu scores (as you increased cpu frequency) were not insignificant.
 
I think if I was buying an i7 system now, I probably would order with a gtx260.  It will play anything out their well now.  I would then wait for about six months and see what shakes out in the gpu marked and upgrade. 
 
Alan
 
PS - You are right too about the price changes.  I bought my rig in August and three months ago it was a totally different world.
 
 


Edited by Salan - 08 Dec 2008 at 8:22am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 8:51am
Im looking into building a game machine through Cyber Power, and originaly was looking at something along the lines of:
 
Quad Core CPU
2X 512 n videa graphics card
320 gb hard drive (Plus a 500 I have at home)
4 gigs of memory
Two power supplies (If I settle on the expensive NZXT Khaos Black Full Tower)
Vista Home Premium operating system
 
I really like the Khaos Tower design but Ive heard mixed things about it. I saw an ad that had a base design showing the case but when I try customizing it, it defauts to a Apevia X-Jupiter Jr. from where correcting to the Khaos in the ad ups the price 400 bucks @[email protected]?! Can smeone tell me why the ad shows a different case than the one included in the bundle? And is it worth it to invest in such a large expensive tower with the idea in mind that I plan to upgrade this computer case's components over the years? What case should I get thats the best combonation of function and stlye if not the Khaos black tower?
 
My gameing needs are average, Id like to be able to run some moderatley higher graphics, but im not he type to invest in overclocking. Im not touching games like Chrysis at full specs but rather prefer a computer thats not going to go obsolete for gaming power anytime soon but be able to run games moderatley higher than normal at fast speeds and not worry about slow downs. Im talking games like doom 3 at full specs, Spore, Half Life 2 (well, my laptop runs that just fine really, and it's a 2 gig memory and inerated video card), Star Craft 2, Gears Of War pc, Left 4 Dead, Dead Space, etc. After lookin at the info here Im thinking of changing the specs to:
 
Duo core processor
maybe one 512 video card but Id like two
one 500 gig hard drive (Do the hard drive have to be exactly the same for the dual read feature? Do I need two hard drives if my games arent timeing based like left 4 dead's multi)
2 to 4 gigs of memory
One larger power suply rather than two
 
Plus I have a 1080i olivia 32 inch telavision and a basic flatscreen lcd with speakers built in. I'd like to run the lcd as the main with the games being on the hdtv but my computers running on a vga link to the hdtv often dont work or stop working in the middle of switching between programs and wont start back up again (forcing me to plug it into the lcd computer moniter). Assuming Im buying from Cyber power pc where my brother got his pc, what video cards should I get to have HDMI, Component(maybe not), VGA and DVI video output? And altogther what do you guys recomend I aim for on the computer as a whole, as well as the power suppy wattage and if I should get two or one supply? (and if the Khaos Tower is worth the money if I plan to use it for years to come, or if they are rather rickity cases?)
 
And of course thanks for your time to give me some input on this stuff.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 9:43am
Heya,

I left out the X2 version of cards on purpose, because it goes into a lot more information regarding getting the use of that kind of videocard. First of all, these version of cards, like SLI and Crossfire only get the increased performance at high specs in games, ie, high resolution and high quality settings. This requires you have a very nice display capable of 1680x1050 and higher, preferablly higher. It also means your system should be able to feed such a card setup at those settings (a modern dual core can do it, but, a high clocked dualcore and quadcore do increase performance in dual card setups, because you have to feed both cards instead of just one card; it does tax the system more). You can recommend X2 and CF/SLI to people, but if they have a 1280 or so display resolution, they're just not going to get a benefit from it and pay twice the price for no gain. Multi-GPU setups require a lot more thought and there's no generic way to it other than to say "if you have a high res display, 1600+, more like 1900, and upwards of 2500 or more, then X2/CF/SLI is a good option to consider."

Getting an X2/CF/SLI doesn't coorolate to high performance per price on it's own. It requires your settings be really high--which requires a high resolution display. So think of it like that. Not a lot of people building/buying a new system are going to have such a display. And telling them they have to pay $250 or more for a new display to take advantage of their extra videocard's capability isn't that reasonable. Someone interested in multi-GPU gaming needs to research everything about rather than being told to just get it and it's better. Because it's frankly not, unless they use them in specific settings.

That's why I made the jump from 8800/9800gt's to the GTX260 without touching the multicore GPU's or `overclocked' GPUS (gts, gtx, etc, they're no different, just higher core/memory clocks, which you can overclock yourself).

Also, I jumped to the GTX260 because for the cost, it's a better card to get right now. That's the card to SLI later if you felt the need. It has great performance without requiring what's needed for an X2/SLI/CF setup to benefit itself, as a single card. And is glorious as a double card setup.

Very best, :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 11:13am
Hi
 
"First of all, these version of cards, like SLI and Crossfire only get the increased performance at high specs in games"
 
Not true.  Compare the sli to non sli at lower resolutions for the same card.  SLI does give significant gains.  Indeed SLI/Crossfire shines at higher res, but not a loss at the lower ones either.
 
Alan
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 2:02pm
Originally posted by Salan Salan wrote:

Not true.  Compare the sli to non sli at lower resolutions for the same card.  SLI does give significant gains.  Indeed SLI/Crossfire shines at higher res, but not a loss at the lower ones either.


Here's article that Tom's Hardware put up recently which suggests the low res gains aren't that great.  The conclusions is that you'd probably gain 20% on average starting at 1600x1050.  Anything lower and the performance gain is hardly worth it.

PCI Express & CrossFire: Scaling Explored
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-pci-express,2095.html
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Salan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 7:51pm
Originally posted by Gankis Gankis wrote:

Originally posted by Salan Salan wrote:

Not true.  Compare the sli to non sli at lower resolutions for the same card.  SLI does give significant gains.  Indeed SLI/Crossfire shines at higher res, but not a loss at the lower ones either.


Here's article that Tom's Hardware put up recently which suggests the low res gains aren't that great.  The conclusions is that you'd probably gain 20% on average starting at 1600x1050.  Anything lower and the performance gain is hardly worth it.

PCI Express & CrossFire: Scaling Explored
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-pci-express,2095.html
 
Hardly worth it?  Hardly worth it?  You say hardly worth it!!!!
 
From the 3dguru article comparing 9800gtx+ to 9800gtx+ in sli, all at 1280 x 1024 low res. frames per second.
 
Mass effect - one card = 62, sli = 106 ---> Increase 70.97%
Race Driver Grid - one card = 73, sli = 78 ---> Increase 6.8%
Call of Duty Four - one card =67, sli = 119 --> Increase 77.61%
Crysis (Ugh) - one card = 50, sli = 63 --> Increase 26.00%
Stalker - one card = 69, sli = 101 --> Increase 46.38%
Fear - one card = 120, sli = 209 --> Increase 74.17%
Ghost Recon - one card 89, sli = 94 --> Increase 5.62%
and for the fun of it
3DMark Vantage - one card score 6177, sli 11,371 --> Increase 84.07%
3DMark06 - one card score 11,898, sli = 13632 --> Increase 14.57% (but includes cpu measure as well so not a true % of gpu increase).
 
So worth it?  So worth it? I would say so.  And where is the flatness since it is only 20% at 1600x1050?  20% my sli bridge!!!
 
Anyway, all kidding aside, the tests in the benchmarks have to be taken with a grain of salt.  The overall differential is a measure of both the sli and the iteraction of the  cards with the rest of the system. 
 
For whatever it is worth, I do a little (not a lot) better than the 3dguru scores and running games (testing at 1280 x 1024) and 3dmark06 in both sli and with a single card have seen almost identical results with a q9450 and 780i motherboard.
 
So come into the light and find the truth (it is out there). 
 
Alan
 
PS - Tom's Hardware is absolutely top notch.  The difference is that the benchmarks the different sources publish are not Gospel.  The real question is how does sli effect your system.
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Salan - 08 Dec 2008 at 7:53pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2008 at 9:30pm
Originally posted by Salan Salan wrote:

Originally posted by Gankis Gankis wrote:

Originally posted by Salan Salan wrote:

Not true.  Compare the sli to non sli at lower resolutions for the same card.  SLI does give significant gains.  Indeed SLI/Crossfire shines at higher res, but not a loss at the lower ones either.


Here's article that Tom's Hardware put up recently which suggests the low res gains aren't that great.  The conclusions is that you'd probably gain 20% on average starting at 1600x1050.  Anything lower and the performance gain is hardly worth it.

PCI Express & CrossFire: Scaling Explored
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-pci-express,2095.html
 
Hardly worth it?  Hardly worth it?  You say hardly worth it!!!!
 
From the 3dguru article comparing 9800gtx+ to 9800gtx+ in sli, all at 1280 x 1024 low res. frames per second.
 
Mass effect - one card = 62, sli = 106 ---> Increase 70.97%
Race Driver Grid - one card = 73, sli = 78 ---> Increase 6.8%
Call of Duty Four - one card =67, sli = 119 --> Increase 77.61%
Crysis (Ugh) - one card = 50, sli = 63 --> Increase 26.00%
Stalker - one card = 69, sli = 101 --> Increase 46.38%
Fear - one card = 120, sli = 209 --> Increase 74.17%
Ghost Recon - one card 89, sli = 94 --> Increase 5.62%
and for the fun of it
3DMark Vantage - one card score 6177, sli 11,371 --> Increase 84.07%
3DMark06 - one card score 11,898, sli = 13632 --> Increase 14.57% (but includes cpu measure as well so not a true % of gpu increase).
 
So worth it?  So worth it? I would say so.  And where is the flatness since it is only 20% at 1600x1050?  20% my sli bridge!!!
 
Anyway, all kidding aside, the tests in the benchmarks have to be taken with a grain of salt.  The overall differential is a measure of both the sli and the iteraction of the  cards with the rest of the system. 
 
For whatever it is worth, I do a little (not a lot) better than the 3dguru scores and running games (testing at 1280 x 1024) and 3dmark06 in both sli and with a single card have seen almost identical results with a q9450 and 780i motherboard.
 
So come into the light and find the truth (it is out there). 
 
Alan
 
PS - Tom's Hardware is absolutely top notch.  The difference is that the benchmarks the different sources publish are not Gospel.  The real question is how does sli effect your system.
 
 
 
 
 


Heya,

Just to say, based on these values, it's not worth going SLI/CF at all. You're talking about a large expense to go from great frame rates in those games to... more great frame rates. You gained nothing. You don't need multi-GPU to get good rates at low res. This is why I stated, you get no increase for the cost. Becuase you didn't. If you're gaming just fine on one card over 50 fps, you certainly don't need nor will benefit from multi-gpu. Those benchmarks you posted just further prove that.

That's the reason of my statement.

Take the specs up to high resolution, increase the textures, go with 4xAA or higher, and then see what a single card in comparison to an SLI/CF/X2 setup will do in terms of performance increase.

Going from 50~100fps to 80~160fps is completely insignificant if that's your gaming resolution/settings in the games you're playing; and means you've completely gotten zero impact from the purchase of multi-GPU gaming videocard(s).

Very best,
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