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View Full Version : Dual 8800GTX and Q6600 - bottleneck?


Elegy
07-23-07, 12:58 PM
As you might already know from my previous threads, I plan on getting a computer with a Q6600, single 8800GTX with a 19" 1280x1024 monitor. I've yet to be informed of any discounts on my system but in the very unlikely event of the discount being ~250, I'll be in a position to upgrade to 2x8800GTX.

I'm aware that I'll see maybe only a 5% performance increase at 1280x1024 with current games but in the next few years where games become far more demanding, I'm thinking this is where the SLI 8800GTX will start to pull away from the single GTX even at low resolutions like 1280x1024. Am I right in assuming this?

Will the Q6600 be a bottleneck for 2xGTX, especially in future games? I don't want to be going down the SLI route if in four years, the Q6600 can only muster 25fps. If it helps, I'll be gaming at 1280x1024 with maximum details at 8xAA, 16xAF and I'd prefer my minimum FPS not to drop below 30. I want this computer to last a bare minimum of 3-4 years and I don't want to overclock.

Tr1cK
07-23-07, 01:09 PM
All of those components will be the bottleneck in "the next few years." Look how slow a 2 year old system runs current titles in comparison to new hardware.

J-Mag
07-23-07, 01:14 PM
It is pretty pointless to buy an SLI system if you are running at that resolution, when considering current games.

If you are looking for future gaming needs, why not analyze them when they arrive? You can always throw in the second GTX or swap it out for whatever new card comes.

I have never really understood the concept of buying a desktop PC for future performance as you can always replace the component that becomes the "bottleneck".

Elegy
07-23-07, 01:20 PM
All of those components will be the bottleneck in "the next few years." Look how slow a 2 year old system runs current titles in comparison to new hardware.

That's true but I'm wondering if the Q6600 will be a bottleneck in relation to just the 2xGTX. There would be no point in upgrading to SLI if in three years, the Q6600 will only be able to output 20fps. It wouldn't matter if SLI could output 50fps.

Besides, I think your analogy doesn't really apply to current hardware because most games don't even make use of two cores let alone four.

I have never really understood the concept of buying a desktop PC for future performance as you can always replace the component that becomes the "bottleneck".

That's an idea but I was under the impression that PCIe 2.0 was going to replace current PCIe. Will the two be compatible?

J-Mag
07-23-07, 01:31 PM
That's an idea but I was under the impression that PCIe 2.0 was going to replace current PCIe. Will the two be compatible?

PCI-E 2.0 will be backwards compatible with previous versions. The only thing one really has to worry about for a future upgrade is the power your PSU can deliver and the draw the new card(s) sustains.

Elegy
07-23-07, 01:34 PM
PCI-E 2.0 will be backwards compatible with previous versions. The only thing one really has to worry about for a future upgrade is the power your PSU can deliver and the draw the new card(s) sustains.

But will the extra bandwidth provided by PCIe 2 still be there if placed on a PCIe 1 slot? The 8800 cards show significant drops in performance from 16x to 8x to 4x and I'm pretty sure the 9 series will be the same way.

I'm pretty sure my PSU will be able to supply future cards - it's a Thermaltake Toughpower 850W and it's 8800GTX SLI certified.

J-Mag
07-23-07, 01:46 PM
But will the extra bandwidth provided by PCIe 2 still be there if placed on a PCIe 1 slot?


No, if you use a PCI-E 2.0 card on a PCI-E 1.1 mobo you won't see improved bandwidth.


The 8800 cards show significant drops in performance from 16x to 8x to 4x and I'm pretty sure the 9 series will be the same way.


I don't remember seeing any significant drops in performance until around 4x. 16x and 8x performed similarly and if this is the case then the "32x" of pci-e 2.0 won't be of any concern for a while. Do you have a source that shows otherwise?

Elegy
07-23-07, 01:59 PM
No, if you use a PCI-E 2.0 card on a PCI-E 1.1 mobo you won't see improved bandwidth.

Well, that's a problem then because I need a computer before I go to university. I can't wait. Normally, I'd be more than happy to wait a few months and get the flagship 9 series card instead, maybe even some DDR3 memory if the prices come down enough but that's not possible. I have to get the best I can in my budget.

I don't remember seeing any significant drops in performance until around 4x. 16x and 8x performed similarly and if this is the case then the "32x" of pci-e 2.0 won't be of any concern for a while. Do you have a source that shows otherwise?

Source (http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/03/27/pci_express_scaling_analysis/index.html)

I looked at a few sources and there's almost no performance loss with the 7 series but there is a much bigger one with the 8 series.

DarkJedi664
07-23-07, 04:04 PM
Wow, I truly never realized that big of a performance drop there! I guess PCI Express really is needed now :)

J-Mag
07-23-07, 04:18 PM
Well, that's a problem then because I need a computer before I go to university. I can't wait.


Is it the wisest of choices to bring an SLI rig into college? You already have chicks and binge drinking on the list of after school activities, right?


I looked at a few sources and there's almost no performance loss with the 7 series but there is a much bigger one with the 8 series.

Well you convinced me to wait for a PCI-E 2.0 mobo. I guess you don't have that luxury. :p

Elegy
07-23-07, 05:31 PM
Is it the wisest of choices to bring an SLI rig into college? You already have chicks and binge drinking on the list of after school activities, right?

Of course. I mean, I certainly don't intend to pass my time playing X3, UT3 and rendering various cityscapes.

Well you convinced me to wait for a PCI-E 2.0 mobo. I guess you don't have that luxury :p

I think nVidia set their flagship release date a month after we start university just to taunt us :(. Penryn, PCIe 2 motherboards, nVidia 9 series, DDR3, all coming out in Q4. Well, DDR3 is already out but it'll probably be more affordable by then.

Wow, I truly never realized that big of a performance drop there! I guess PCI Express really is needed now

I know, I was hoping to upgrade to dual 8800GTS-640 on a 650i motherboard thinking the performance loss would be negligible. Unfortunately, it can be 25%+ in some situations.

john19055
07-24-07, 08:04 PM
I would at least go with a 22" monitor and play at 1680x1050,the 22" monitor are pretty cheap now.You can get a good one for around $250.

Elegy
07-24-07, 09:08 PM
I would at least go with a 22" monitor and play at 1680x1050,the 22" monitor are pretty cheap now.You can get a good one for around $250.

Don't forget that I live in the UK. Take the average price in the US, increase by 50-80% and that's what we'll be paying. The 19" monitor I'm going for costs the equivalent of $300 if I were to get it separately. I can't get larger than 19" anyway, transport becomes an issue.

MaUiLoCaL
07-24-07, 10:32 PM
Even when I had my QX6700 @ 3.33GHz and my E6700 @ 3.5GHz the cards were still bottlenecked IMO. Those 8800's are just so fetchin hungry for food (info)!

In one of superklye's reviews one of my tests in Company of Heroes showed that.:D

JasonPC
07-24-07, 10:41 PM
I would think the Q6600 would be a bottleneck for the 8800 GTX unless you overclocked it quite a bit.

MaUiLoCaL
07-24-07, 10:48 PM
I would think the Q6600 would be a bottleneck for the 8800 GTX unless you overclocked it quite a bit.

I agree.

john19055
07-24-07, 11:50 PM
With a 19" monitor and playing games at 1280x1024 a single 8800GTX should be plenty even running FSAA at 4x and aniso at 16x.I guess I don't understand is 8800GTX's cheaper then a larger monitor or is a 19" the size you want.

jabloomf1230
07-25-07, 12:42 PM
Check this article out:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/07/25/overclocking_intel_core_2_quad_q6600/1

DRen72
07-25-07, 01:47 PM
Check this article out:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/07/25/overclocking_intel_core_2_quad_q6600/1 That's a very good read that seems to continue to suggest that at high resolutions the GPU is more important for gaming, but the CPU makes a difference in programs such as rendering, etc.

So, Dual 8800GTX and Q6600 - bottleneck? - - A higher clocked CPU won't matter for games, but it will for other programs. Looks like all CPU's are the bottleneck in games these days with dual 8800GTX cards and higher resolutions.