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Old 07-22-10, 03:23 AM   #1
Ghost girl
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Default GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

I plan on buying two Zotac AMP! GTX480's, which I will install on an EVGA 750i SLI FTW motherboard, with a Q9550 processor OC'd at 3.8GHz. I have two issues that maybe you could help me with.

Problem 1: I am unsure of if my processor will bottleneck two high-end cards like the 480.

Problem 2: The 750i SLI FTW sets the PCI-E connectors to 8x when two cards are used in SLI. Will this be a bottleneck?

Thank you for your time.
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Old 07-22-10, 06:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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I plan on buying two Zotac AMP! GTX480's, which I will install on an EVGA 750i SLI FTW motherboard, with a Q9550 processor OC'd at 3.8GHz. I have two issues that maybe you could help me with.

Problem 1: I am unsure of if my processor will bottleneck two high-end cards like the 480.

Problem 2: The 750i SLI FTW sets the PCI-E connectors to 8x when two cards are used in SLI. Will this be a bottleneck?

Thank you for your time.
My i7 is at 3.8 and bottlenecking doesn't seem to be an issue, so I imagine it will be the same with your Q9550. As for the 8x PCI lanes, you will lose about 2% performance using 8x instead of 16x. I run my bottom card in an 8x lane and I can tell you that you will never notice the difference.

Techpowerup did a nice benchmark using various PCI-E speeds, it's worth a read if you are still concerned.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/N...Scaling/1.html
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Old 07-22-10, 09:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

My 9550 is @ 3.74Ghz, and is a huge bottleneck to a single 480. I rarely see the 480 maxxing out in anything unless I apply crazy amounts of AA and Transperancy AA.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

My suggestion would be for you to get one 480 and get a mobo/i7 combo. That should even out to be the price of the other 480 gtx.
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Old 07-22-10, 03:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

To be honest any core 2 Quad is going to bottleneck more than an i7.... with that being said though I'd imagine at 3.8ghz you're fast enough to be outperforming stock i7's which honestly you won't see a huge bottleneck if that'st he case.

It largely depends on the resolution and quality settings you like to play with. If you're on 30" with 2560x1600 res then I doubt you'd ever notice a bottleneck from the cpu.... if you're on anything less SLI is overkill so you're kind of at that point where either way it doesn't matter..... Anything less and you're going for an overkill of a setup, and with a 30" you're going to be needing so much graphics horsepower you won't notice a cpu bottleneck

My initial thought is you'll be fine.... I could be wrong
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Old 07-22-10, 05:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

Yeah I agree that I think it would be a much worth while investment to get an i7 mobo/cpu and a single 480.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

Are you guys serious?

480sli if he's gaming at 2560x1600 with AA and AF will be far faster than with an i7. Most games aren't cpu bound, they're graphically bound.

Yes, an i7 would be faster if both were 480 sli systems. the 9550 will "hold it back" but only in the sense that it'll be slower than IF he had an i7. If he spent the money on 2 480s then you're definitely going to outperform a single 480 no matter how good the cpu is if he's playing at high resolutions, like 2560x1600 only.

I'd love to see someone prove me wrong. But in games that are graphically bound, the 480 sli setup will do better, that's just common sense. We're talking about a 2 year old near 4ghz quad core.... if it was a dual-core this would be different, but a 3.8ghz c2q is no slouch, at all.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

If he were gaming on a 30", then yes SLI would make more of a difference, but if he were using a 30" most likely he would have mentioned it.

Most of the time, my CPU is being overworked, and the graphics card is only doing between 10 and 40% processing. I can fully stress the GPU if I game with 32xAA and 8x Transparency for some games like MW2.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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Originally Posted by WeReWoLf View Post
If he were gaming on a 30", then yes SLI would make more of a difference, but if he were using a 30" most likely he would have mentioned it.

Most of the time, my CPU is being overworked, and the graphics card is only doing between 10 and 40% processing. I can fully stress the GPU if I game with 32xAA and 8x Transparency for some games like MW2.
That just doesn't sound right at all unless you are running an extremely low resolution. There is no way a single 480 is only using 10-40% of it's power. I routinely see my 480's go into the 90's in SLI with the same speed processor at 1920x1080.

Do you just play old or less demanding games?


Anyway, the bottom line is that a q9550 + 2 480's will be a hell of a lot faster than an i7 and 1 480. Sure the i7 is a better cpu, but it's not nearly as big a jump as a second 480 would be.


Edit: If your CPU bottlenecks your 480, why do you have your 480 overclocked? Overclocking a video card that bottlenecked by the CPU will give zero performance benefit, so you might as well leave it at stock.

Last edited by Bah!; 07-22-10 at 09:01 PM. Reason: nt
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Old 07-22-10, 09:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=23132&page=3

That pretty much says it all. Even @3.2ghz an i7 will see nice scaling by adding a second 480. An i7 at that speed isn't as fast as a q9550 @3.8, so obviously having SLI'd 480's with a q9550 is the better option of the two.

I'd rather have an i7 than a q9550, but if the choice is between the 9550 and two 480's or an i7 and a single 480, I'm picking the former every time. It would give a much better gaming experience.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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Originally Posted by snowmanwithahat View Post
Are you guys serious?

480sli if he's gaming at 2560x1600 with AA and AF will be far faster than with an i7. Most games aren't cpu bound, they're graphically bound.

Yes, an i7 would be faster if both were 480 sli systems. the 9550 will "hold it back" but only in the sense that it'll be slower than IF he had an i7. If he spent the money on 2 480s then you're definitely going to outperform a single 480 no matter how good the cpu is if he's playing at high resolutions, like 2560x1600 only.

I'd love to see someone prove me wrong. But in games that are graphically bound, the 480 sli setup will do better, that's just common sense. We're talking about a 2 year old near 4ghz quad core.... if it was a dual-core this would be different, but a 3.8ghz c2q is no slouch, at all.
They never said what resolution they'd be using, since it looks like they're upgrading from an older card I assume they don't use that high of a resolution. But overall I think you'd see a bigger performance improvement with a 480 + a Core i7. With so many games games out there being console ports anyway you don't even need SLI 480s in a lot of cases even at high resolutions. Also it seems like a Core i7 should be able to overclock better than a Q9550.
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Old 07-22-10, 10:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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They never said what resolution they'd be using. But overall I think you'd see a bigger performance improvement with a 480 + a Core i7. With so many games games out there being console ports anyway you don't even need SLI 480s in a lot of cases even at high resolutions.
true. If we knew what resolution he's playing at we could really help him out, right now its a shot in the dark.

Personally I don't think I'd be happy with BF BC2, Crysis, or Metro at 2560x1600 knowing that even at my resolution (1680x1050) they're all relatively slow if you crank the options. I'd imagine a 480 wouldn't be a whole lot better than my overclocked 470 either.
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