Re: GTX 295 and Microstuttering
I've run; WiC, Lost Planet, FC2, Crysis All Very High, Age of Conan, Oblivion, Oblivion: The Shivering Isles, Tomb Raider Underworld, GRID, Jericho, and Assassin's Creed. I play 1920x with filtering active and crank titles details setting to their max.
The only game I noticed any pausing with was FC2 using AA and that happens on single card as well. The way I fixed that was setting AA in game then enabled "enhance" in the nVidia CP for 8-16x CSAA. I am unsure why that smooths out AA performance and it does.
I can not feel the any difference in smoothness of play between a single card or SLi or Tri-SLi. As my sig indicates, I'm using mixed GTX 260 SLi, or that is two 216 cards and one 192SP card.
A lot of folks moan about MS when their hard drive is likely the culprit. Especially in MMOs. Often these are people with 512Mb cards playing at 1920x using 2Gb system ram or much less with AA active.
System restore use to cause crazy MS under XP and I haven't tried it under Vista. As did Creative sound drivers and I'm talking three years ago. They may have tightened up their game.
People that want smooth gaming performance in today's demanding games at a decent resolution ought to:
1. Keep their paging file on a hard disk other than the one with their OS and applications if possible.
2. Disable system restore and other windows services you may not be using.
3. Disable anti virus while gaming. Norton is notorious for lagging MMOs.
4. Move to a 64 bit OS and 4Gb ram.
5. Buy a card with greater than 512Mb ram if you play at a higher res than 1280x, particularly if you like using AA. Games are only getting more demanding. Not less.
6. SLi has overhead. Use a CPU that isn't ancient or slow to support it. An old CPU I'd find acceptable would be an E6600 @ 3.0GHz. Q6600s are now 190usd and will do 3.0GHz all day and night on stock voltage.
7. Delete old temporary files off your computer and regularly scan for tracking cookings and spyware.
8. If your hard drive is ancient you may want to update that. WD has a lot of decent low price solid performing drives.
If you want to try SLi buy a card from a place that allows you to return it. If you aren't happy do just that.
Chris makes great points about people often complaining about their video card performance when other things in their system may be the culprit instead. Also most games are developed and coded for the console. Some are poorly ported to the PC and won't perform well on any computer, or that is when you enable details beyond what a console might use or use something beyond its typical res.
It is true if you don't give a flip about filtering in your games you may play at a much higher res than you might with AA active on a 512Mb card.
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