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DivineMayhem
01-10-10, 08:41 PM
I recently upgraded from a BFG 8600GTX card that was becoming a bit buggy to an Asus EN9500GT. I thought I was getting an upgrade, but it appears that I downgraded. My windows 7 windows experience rating dropped several tenths of a point and my performance in games dropped noticeably. Since they were inexpensive, I purchased a second 9500 and set them up to run SLI, thinking that would more than solve the performance issues. Wrong again. I'm really disappointed in my purchase. Should I be seeing these results or am I doing something wrong?

Info on the system:

Asus Rampage II Gene MOBO
Core i7 920
6GB Corsair XMS3 Triple Channel DDR3 133 Memory (3x2GB)
WD 250Gb SATA 3.0G/s 7200rpm Hard Drive
Windows 7 64bit
2x ASUS EN9500GT/DI/1GD2/V2/A GeForce 9500 GT 1GB

MustangSVT
01-10-10, 10:20 PM
I believe you've made up the 8600 GTX, there is no such thing. There is an 8600 GT and an 8600 GTS. From the small research I've done, the 9500 GT is on par with the 8600 GTS.

I am confused as to why you'd buy such a low-end card like the 9500 GT when you have a Core i7 system and am even more confused why you'd buy a second 9500 GT to go with it. Why didn't you just buy something like a GTX 260 or GTX 275 in the first place?

Madpistol
01-10-10, 10:45 PM
Wow, you've got the makings of a fantastic gaming system. Why did you get such a terrible video card... twice?

You need at least a Radeon 5850 to compliment that system. If you spend anything less than $150 on a video card, you're not doing that system justice. In fact, you're severely bottlenecking it.

CaptNKILL
01-10-10, 11:30 PM
As others have said, you bought two outdated, slow, low end cards.

If you can return them, do so immediately. Follow that up with some research on graphics cards.

Remember this: There is absolutely no way to know what graphics card to buy based on anything you'll find on the box, or even on a specifications list online. The amount of memory (1Gb in your case) is nearly worthless, the name brand (nvidia or ASUS), the model name (9500GT), the price... none of it will tell you anything about your purchase, so if you don't know what you're buying before you go to a store and buy something, you're most likely going to get ripped off.

Always research first before buying a graphics card.

To be honest, I'm a little surprised you ended up with cards like those if you chose the other excellent components in your system.

If you're looking to buy something in the $150-$200 range, a GTX 260, GTX 275, Radeon 5770, Radeon 4870 or Radeon 4890 will be great. If you want to really do your system justice, get a Radeon 5850 ($260-$300 usually). Don't buy anything else. Seriously. Don't let anyone at Bestbuy sell you anything other than the cards we're listing in this thread. A single digit being different in a model name can mean the difference between a card that will play any game out now extremely well and a card that won't play any games from the past 3 years at a decent frame rate.

EDIT: This is hardly the best way to judge performance but it should give you a rough idea of what you're dealing with:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

The 9500GT gets 367 in that test and an 8600GTS gets 533, where as a ~$150 GTX 260 gets 1,707 and a Radeon 5850 gets 2,383. SLI will normally give you 50% performance boost... and that's just when its properly set up and is supported by the game. So with two 9500GTs you're still looking at less than a third of the speed of a card you can buy for $150.

MustangSVT
01-11-10, 11:57 AM
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

That chart is fu**ed, it shows like a X800XT ahead of a 3850 so something is definitely wrong there. It also shows a 4870X2 below 4870 and 4890, when a 4870X2 is on par with a 5870.

However, what you said is basically right. A single digit in a video card can mean the difference between something that will play games that come out today at 1920x1200 and one that sucks nuts. i.e 4870 and a 4370 or something like that. With a computer like yours, you should be looking at $200+ for a video card.

As a general rule for the modern video card, this is a decent guideline:

nVIDIA offerings:
GTX 260 Core 216
GTX 275

ATI offerings:
Radeon 4870
Radeon 4890
Radeon 5850

As CaptNKill said, for your system, a 5850 would be the best choice, so if you can return your cards, I'd do that.

Johnny C
01-11-10, 12:04 PM
AMD HD5850 with no compromises.....and if you can get an XFX made 5850 do it....because it has double lifetime warranty...

You have a seriously kick ass system you need a good graphics cards to avoid neutering it.

XDanger
01-11-10, 06:06 PM
Keep a 9500 for physx if you have difficulty returning them

CaptNKILL
01-12-10, 10:49 PM
Keep a 9500 for physx if you have difficulty returning them

Eh, I wouldn't bother. They only have 32 SPs which isn't really enough for good physx performance.

XDanger
01-15-10, 05:11 PM
Eh, I wouldn't bother. They only have 32 SPs which isn't really enough for good physx performance.

some guy on a forum says it works ok but since you say otheriwse I'll go with that

Just burn them both.

DivineMayhem
01-15-10, 09:56 PM
Yeah.. I suppose I should have prefaced this by saying that I built a system mainly to tackle Photoshop/Lightroom/Photodex Producer for editing my photography and wedding work that I do. I had the 8600 GTS (thanks for the correction) from a previous system that was bought brand spankin' new for WoW (I'm a recovered MMORPG'r).

I tossed the 8600GTS in the new rig and it worked fine for a little while then began to show its age and use (had been OC'd periodically during the WoW days). I had also started playing Borderlands to de-stress and began to enjoy it and the graphics that accompanied. I don't know exactly where my head was, but I ASSUMED that 9500>8600 and the card was $59 after rebate. Had a GB of ram (albeit GDDR2 I'm now realizing) and I thought it was an upgrade. I tend to look at a good number of reviews for the "this runs everything I throw at it" and "this isn't a piece of junk". I don't have much invested in these, and I can put em in another system that is laying around and give to family or sell of the C-list. No big deal. Gaming just became somewhat more important once I started playing a game I enjoyed.

So now I'm looking at a BFGtech GTX260 or a MSI N260GTX Twin Frozr GTX260. Both are around $200 which is reasonable for me to spend. There are so many options in the choice of a BFGtech GTX260 though and I want to get the best bang for my $200, so...

-Is it better to have the 216 cores @ 1998mHz or the 192 cores @ 2250mHz?

-Is it at all worthwhile to use another card (9500GT) for Physix, keep it all on the GTX260, or offload it to the CPU (which isn't struggling in any way during gameplay)?

Any assistance is greatly appreciated! And thanks also for the replies.. I feel like a fool for not doing more digging on the choice of a graphics card for my sweet rig. I wasn't concerned about the performance of gaming until it dropped after a new card! Funny how that works, huh?

Toss3
01-16-10, 08:27 AM
Yeah.. I suppose I should have prefaced this by saying that I built a system mainly to tackle Photoshop/Lightroom/Photodex Producer for editing my photography and wedding work that I do. I had the 8600 GTS (thanks for the correction) from a previous system that was bought brand spankin' new for WoW (I'm a recovered MMORPG'r).

I tossed the 8600GTS in the new rig and it worked fine for a little while then began to show its age and use (had been OC'd periodically during the WoW days). I had also started playing Borderlands to de-stress and began to enjoy it and the graphics that accompanied. I don't know exactly where my head was, but I ASSUMED that 9500>8600 and the card was $59 after rebate. Had a GB of ram (albeit GDDR2 I'm now realizing) and I thought it was an upgrade. I tend to look at a good number of reviews for the "this runs everything I throw at it" and "this isn't a piece of junk". I don't have much invested in these, and I can put em in another system that is laying around and give to family or sell of the C-list. No big deal. Gaming just became somewhat more important once I started playing a game I enjoyed.

So now I'm looking at a BFGtech GTX260 or a MSI N260GTX Twin Frozr GTX260. Both are around $200 which is reasonable for me to spend. There are so many options in the choice of a BFGtech GTX260 though and I want to get the best bang for my $200, so...

-Is it better to have the 216 cores @ 1998mHz or the 192 cores @ 2250mHz?

-Is it at all worthwhile to use another card (9500GT) for Physix, keep it all on the GTX260, or offload it to the CPU (which isn't struggling in any way during gameplay)?

Any assistance is greatly appreciated! And thanks also for the replies.. I feel like a fool for not doing more digging on the choice of a graphics card for my sweet rig. I wasn't concerned about the performance of gaming until it dropped after a new card! Funny how that works, huh?

For just 100$ more you can get a 5850 that'll run circles around the GTX 260. I might add that I never got some photoshop filters to work with hardware acceleration on my 8800GTS so that might be true for the GTX260 as well. As for your question 216>192.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150442

DivineMayhem
01-24-10, 06:23 PM
So I just picked up a BFG GTX260 (link) (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143189&cm_re=BFG_GTX_260-_-14-143-189-_-Product) for $150 and I'm wondering if it would be of any benefit at all to keep one of the 9500GTs in the 2nd slot as a Physix processor. Another option I'm considering is making the GTX260 the main card and allowing the CPU to process Physix computations as this is an option in the Nvidia Control Panel. Does it take a lot away from the processing power of the graphics card to run Physix onboard simultaneously with the 3D load? I have the Core i7 920 which seems to yawn while I'm playing games... not choking at all.

Any input would be most helpful.

CaptNKILL
01-24-10, 06:32 PM
With a 260 it can't hurt to try.

You can select what card you want to use for Physx in the nvidia control panel. I'd try out a Physx game with the 9500GT enabled for physx, then try it with the 260. If it runs better with the 9500GT doing the physx, then by all means use them both. :)

More physics heavy games will probably be too much for the 9500GT's 32 shader processors, but you can always switch back over to the 260 to see if it runs better that way.

It definitely helps that the card doesn't require a power adapter so it shouldn't really have any negative effects on your system.

DivineMayhem
01-24-10, 07:06 PM
How about letting the CPU do the Physix? Has anyone tried/read a review of this? My logic on this (which may be entirely incorrect) is that if the CPU isn't being utilized even 40% and the GPU is being heavily taxed, then offloading the Physix calculations to the CPU would lighten the load of the GPU allowing higher frames/etc.. The only way I can see this being worse is if the CPU is so inefficient at calculating Physix computations that is over-taxes that component, slowing the whole system down.

CaptNKILL
01-24-10, 07:22 PM
How about letting the CPU do the Physix? Has anyone tried/read a review of this? My logic on this (which may be entirely incorrect) is that if the CPU isn't being utilized even 40% and the GPU is being heavily taxed, then offloading the Physix calculations to the CPU would lighten the load of the GPU allowing higher frames/etc.. The only way I can see this being worse is if the CPU is so inefficient at calculating Physix computations that is over-taxes that component, slowing the whole system down.

I don't think you get all of the Physx effects in most games when you use software Physx. Plus, Nvidia has limited software physx processing to one core... for whatever reason (best not to get into it here ;))... so even if you have 8 threads to spare on your i7, it will max out a single one and bring your system to its knees with the physics load.

So, in short, you definitely don't want to leave it up to the CPU to handle Physx. It will run terrible.

DivineMayhem
01-24-10, 07:32 PM
All righty then. Thanks for the info!

DivineMayhem
01-30-10, 10:38 AM
Update:

I received mt GTX260 and (after a case modification) am up and running. Super smooth card. It is blowing everything else I've ever used away and not even breaking a sweat. I'm getting 60fps easy on Borderlands at 1680x1050 everything maxed and Dragon Age: Origins is smooth at the same maxed out res and settings. Now I want a bigger monitor!

Thanks everyone for all of the input. It helped me out tremendously.

john19055
02-20-10, 02:17 AM
the 9500GT is a pretty slow card and if you have a i7 920 ,you need beefer cards to show the true potenial of a i7 920.You might have been happy with two 8800GT 512mb in SLI or the 9800GT 512mb in SLI both the same thing.two of the older 8800GTS 512mb would have shown a big increase.But the i7 920 and two GTX260 running in SLI really makes those GTX 260's shine.I can't find the review right now but useing the 9500GT as your physic card is faster then letting the CPU do it ,it was a pretty big difference.It best to get two of the same cards if you have a GTX 260-216 shaders then I would get another one with the same amount of shaders.I would find the cheapest GTX 260 -216 and run it in SLI ,you can turn on physic with two GTX 260 cards and you will have a fast machine.I would'nt worry about the 9500GT unless you are going to run just one GTX 260-216 ,in that case I would install it and just use it for physics.

Revs
02-20-10, 05:01 AM
Good choice on the card :thumbsup:

You should keep the old card for PhysX (whichever one has more cores), but only if you're gonna be playing games that can use it, like Mirrors Edge, Batman, etc. PhysX doesn't run on your CPU, only on the GPU, so if you're playing a game that can take advantage of PhysX and you don't have a separate PhysX card for it, it will use the 260 for graphics and PhysX, which will reduce your FPS. A separate card is the way to go :).

EDIT: Oops, I didn't see the second page, lol

1680 x 1050 is the ideal size for the card. I run at 1920 x 1080 and it would struggle on some games if I didn't have the second card. The 260 is a very capable card for the money tho fo sho!