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Old 07-22-10, 11:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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Originally Posted by Bah! View Post
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.
I didn't say ALL the time, I said most of the time. Mainly because I play older games more often than not. When I play newer games like Metro in DX11, then yes, the GPU is working 80 - 100%. I just believe he would benefit more from an overclocked I7 and a 480 over 480 SLI with an overclocked Q9550. Very few games would properly utilise that much processing power.

The question we should be asking is, what type of games does he play normally? If 90% of the time spent gaming is on something like DX11 BC2, then yes. Go get another 480. If it's spent playing games like MW2, WoW, GTA IV or Fallout 3, upgrade the CPU/Motherboard/Ram.
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Old 07-23-10, 10:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

Well.... werewolf, on that note. If he's playing older games who cares if the cpu is the bottleneck.... it will be bottlenecking at 60+ fps so as long as you're breaking that magic number of 60.... who cares

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I just believe he would benefit more from an overclocked I7 and a 480 over 480 SLI with an overclocked Q9550. Very few games would properly utilise that much processing power.
You really thing the architecture move from a core 2 quad to an i7 (lets assume same clock speed, 3.8ghz, which is realistic) is going to provide even a noticeable improvement outside of video / audio encoding?

You guys way over-play the cpu. His 3.8ghz core 2 quad is probably running faster than any stock i7 920, or any stock amd quad-core.

You're all making it sound like adding another 480 will add 0-5% improvement. Almost no value, when clearly according to the graph posted on the first page it nets a 50-80% improvement with a moderately clocked i7. now take all those numbers, and scale them down for ..... lets be generous, 20% for a cpu bound game, and 0% for graphically bound games.

So these numbers are all made up.... say he's getting 30 fps in crysis at 1920x1080 at his quality settings on a 480...... throw in another 480 and you'll be probably getting 80% improvement. That puts you at 54fps. Now lets imagine he went with an i7 instead.... and we'll be generous and say Crysis is cpu bound.... which it isn't, but lets just go with it. Instead of 30 fps he'd now be getting 36 fps. So your upgrade path nets him almost nothing in poorly performing games....

what about "old" games like you've talked about. Lets look at unreal 3 for instance.... 150 fps sounds about right... maybe? So lets be realistic, it's cpu bound, there's no doubt. So at a 20% improvement going from a 3.8ghz c2q to an i7, he'd be at 180 fps if he just went with a cpu, and not another 480..... lets assume cpu bound games get no benefit from sli, absolutely none.... which is mostly true, in fact performance would be worse. Lets say 10% worse (made up). That puts him at 135 fps. So in this case sli actually hurt him. Guess what, who cares, it's still 100 + fps.

My point is "old" games won't benefit to any meaningful degree with either upgrade. However, "new" games that are graphically bound 'nearly' double in performance with sli, but only receive a small increase with a cpu upgrade.

Unless you have outside motivation for moving to an i7, such as you do alot of work with any video editing software, CAD, whatever, then yes.... go with the cpu. But just looking at the money you'll spend and the performance increase you'll get alot more from sli.

If you think my numbers are off they may be. It's not unrealistic to only see a 50% performance increase with sli, or a 50% increase with a cpu.... but that 50% increase with a cpu is still in cpu bound games which are already going to be running very fast. While with sli the 50% increase happens in the worst performing games, possibly meaning the increase from 40 to 60 fps, "playable".

Also, this whole thing hinges on the fact that "old" games run well, and cpu bound games are "old" games.... which I think is almost always true. I have yet to see a cpu bound game with a 480 run under 40 fps.... aside from maybe an RTS, which honestly, that probably isn't an issue at all at 40 fps


what I'm saying is it doesn't even matter what he's playing now.... if you want to future-proof sli is the best way to spend that same amount of cash, no doubt about it. Games will get far more graphically intensive but only marginally more cpu intensive... and consider this, with DirectCompute its not unrealistic to offload more to the gpu, like physics, water, or even game AI.... if that gets utilized more with these dx11 titles coming out then you're going to definitely see more benefit from another gpu rather than cpu
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Old 07-23-10, 06:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

I had a dilemma very similar to yours couple of months ago.
I ended up replacing my q6600 @ 3.6 on 680i sli mobo with p55/i5 750.
Surely you'll get a lot by adding another gtx 480, but you'll also get a lot by replacing your mobo and cpu, especially in minimum framerate department and that's where it really counts.
btw. i run gtx275's in SLI.
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Old 07-24-10, 02:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

I should probably specify my current situation.

I have two monitor. A 1920x1200 panel for gaming, and a 1600x900 panel for misc tasks. My memory is OCZ Reaper 1066mhz, 5-5-5-15, and my current videocard is an ATI Radeon 5870 Vapor-X. The GTX480's (or, if I'm patient, GTX485s's). I am planning to swap from my 5870 (Whose drivers are borderline worse than 196.75) straight to two GTX480/485's. My major concerns are AA. I'd like to play all of my games with 4x or even 8x AA on. I usually play modern games such as STALKER, Metro 2033, and Crysis when I want to feel like a boss.

And I want it to play Touhou at above 59.9 fps average with vsync on.
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Old 07-24-10, 03:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

Your current platform will be bottleneck for two gtx 480's, even with 8xAA.
PCI-E slots at x8 should not be a concern, but the platform itself is the limiting factor for such a high end graphics cards.
When you're running gtx480 in SLI you need as much CPU power as you can get.
Also, Zotac AMP gtx480 cards are three slot cards, and you won't be able to fit 2 of those unless you buy EVGA Classified or ASUS Rampage III Extreme( if you want your cards to be in x16 slots) and computer case with 9 expansion slots such as Coolermaster HAF-X.
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Old 07-24-10, 03:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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Originally Posted by cikanovo View Post
Your current platform will be bottleneck for two gtx 480's, even with 8xAA.
PCI-E slots at x8 should not be a concern, but the platform itself is the limiting factor for such a high end graphics cards.
When you're running gtx480 in SLI you need as much CPU power as you can get.
Also, Zotac AMP gtx480 cards are three slot cards, and you won't be able to fit 2 of those unless you buy EVGA Classified or ASUS Rampage III Extreme( if you want your cards to be in x16 slots) and computer case with 9 expansion slots such as Coolermaster HAF-X.
Case is no issue; I've got a HAF 932, and the EVGA nForce 750i FTW SLI has two PCI slots between the first and second PCI-E slot: enough for two Zotac AMPs
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Old 07-24-10, 03:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

Unfortunately it is not enough, those cards will occupy 3 slots.
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Old 07-24-10, 03:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

I'm looking inside of my case, and I certainly have enough clearance for two 3-slot cards.
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Old 07-24-10, 03:45 AM   #21
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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I'm looking inside of my case, and I certainly have enough clearance for two 3-slot cards.
You do if your PSU is not on the bottom of the case, plus, your upper card will be sitting on top of lower card and that will give you much higher temps for the upper card.
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Old 07-24-10, 03:49 AM   #22
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

Which is why I'm getting a Zotac AMP instead of the reference.
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Old 07-24-10, 03:57 AM   #23
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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Which is why I'm getting a Zotac AMP instead of the reference.
So, you have PSU mounted in the upper PSU chamber?
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Old 07-24-10, 04:03 AM   #24
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Default Re: GTX480 SLI + 750i + q9550 3.8GHz

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So, you have PSU mounted in the upper PSU chamber?
Actually its in the drive bays.

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