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Old 07-27-10, 07:16 PM   #1
Nexx
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Default Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

Hey all,

Apologies to anyone who also reads Rage3D, this post will look somewhat familiar :P

2 years back I upgraded from an 8800GT to a Radeon 4870. I tend to only upgrade once a year and I try to wait to get the best performance that I can for my limited cash. The 4870 served me well until I moved to a GTX 285 a year ago.

The biggest incentive for the move back to nvidia was Linux support, but that isn't so important to me these days.

Recently I've been having issues with pretty much every nvidia driver I could find and TF2. The nvidia driver simply keels over at least once per play session, sometimes more; it recovers fine every time but the lock-up in a multiplayer FPS gets me killed a LOT. I've done my very best to diagnose this and as best as I can tell the machine is 100% stable. I've run memtest, Prime95, Intel Burn Test and others for 24 hours at a time without a hint of a problem. I've even run Furmark for over an hour with zero issues.

I should point out that this began happening after a TF2 update some months back and has been mentioned to be happening on Left 4 Dead 2 as well (See link #1 below post). Again, I've tried every driver revision I can in an attempt to solve this with zero success. I read here that the new 2xx.xx drivers really aren't so good for the old GTX 2xx rang any more either, so admittedly I haven't tried those yet.

My initial thought was to upgrade to a Radeon 5870, but with the potential for a refresh on the horizon, and ATi's drivers being hit-and-miss, I'm beginning to look at other upgrades.

A GTX 470 or 480 seem like a very expensive move, not to mention the power draw or heat output of the GF100 chips. When I heard about the GTX 460 and the rave reviews it was getting I began to look into those.

A pair of GTX460 1GB's would cost around 400, or around 50-100 more than a 5870 would set me back, but the performance seems to be fantastic and the heat and power issues have been resolved with the GF104.

I'm currently running a Core i5 750 at 3.2GHz with 4GB of RAM and a 650W Corsair PSU. Whilst it certainly doesn't have the same horsepower as an i7, it's serving me well and I see no reason to upgrade the CPU / mobo right now. My current GTX285 plays almost everything at 1920x1200 with varying levels of AA and AF depending on the game.

What I play mostly is WoW, and the upgraded DX11 engine coming with Cataclysm is the main driving force for me to upgrade. I play at 1920x1200 with 4xAA on Ultra settings and generally maintain 60FPS, until I go to Dalaran where it drops to almost half that. The graphics upgrade in Cataclysm is only going to make that worse.

I guess I'm just looking for opinions. The members at Rage3D recommended against upgrading to a 5870 right now due to the potential refresh coming in February, plus the cards are madly expensive right now. In fact the first reply was someone suggesting exactly what I'm thinking of now, a pair of GTX460's in SLI.

My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4, which has 2 PCI-e slots but when running 2 cards they drop to 8x each. I know the difference between 16x and 8x on a single card is only a few percent, but does anyone know how much it impacts SLI?

How is SLI scaling these days? I haven't used multi-GPU since the days of the Voodoo 2 and then the Voodoo 5, so I've got zero experience with "modern" SLI and it's quibbles.

Lastly, will my Corsair 650W PSU be able to handle a pair of 460's? It only has 2 PCI-E power connectors, but I have ample molex connectors available and it is a strong PSU.

I'm really just looking for opinions and advice, so please feel free to ask anything if you need more information.

Thanks for your time ^^
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Old 07-27-10, 07:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

my opinion is wait for the refresh. there are only a few DX11 games right now so you're not really missing anything, and the GTX285 is still capable of decent performance.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

If a 480 is too much power and heat than a pair of 460's in SLI will be too much power and heat as well. Also WoW's SLI scaling is pretty horrible, and since that's the game you play the most a single 480 would perform better as well.

If you are dead set against a 480 and don't want a 5870 I would just wait until after the expansion to get a new card. If they don't fix the SLI issues with WoW and you buy 460's in SLI you are going to be stuck with the same performance you have now or worse due to the DX11 hit.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

I went from a 275 --> 5870 onna 1920x1200 monitor, and loving the performance increase. really noticeable. and the whole upgrade cost me less than 40 bucks.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

I went from a 285 to a 480, I notice a difference, but it's not huge. Plus, I gain DX11 and Tessellation support. The big difference is I can turn on more features at 1920x1200 with the 480 than I can with the 285 and get the same frame rates.
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Old 07-28-10, 02:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

I think the GTX 470 at $299 is the best deal ,they overclock great and they are about $100 cheaper then a HD5870 and once overclocked a little they are faster .
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Old 07-28-10, 04:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

I went from dual 280's to a single 480. For the most part, I got performance increases (especially with minimums) and there was less heat.
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Old 07-28-10, 08:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

I don't know if I could suggest it. I went from a 285 to a 470 and there wasn't a huge increase.... in fact it was hardly noticeable except for minimum frames in games like Crysis / Metro. Alot of it depends on your resolution though
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Old 07-28-10, 09:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaboze View Post
I went from a 285 to a 480, I notice a difference, but it's not huge. Plus, I gain DX11 and Tessellation support. The big difference is I can turn on more features at 1920x1200 with the 480 than I can with the 285 and get the same frame rates.
Same here. I went from a SLI 285 to one 480. I'm liking the less heat/power consumption of my machine.
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Old 07-28-10, 01:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

I'd wait 2-3 months and get a radeon 6870.With a next gen launch not far away I think its best to wait.
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Old 07-28-10, 06:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotis View Post
I'd wait 2-3 months and get a radeon 6870.With a next gen launch not far away I think its best to wait.
I really doubt there's a "next generation" anywhere around the corner.... a refresh of ati hardware isn't unrealistic though. Maybe a 5890.... but I really doubt they'd be able to roll out a whole new generation
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Old 07-28-10, 07:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Upgrade time. GTX285 to...?

Firstly, thanks to you all for your thoughts so far, it's great to see such a wide range of opinions ^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bah! View Post
If a 480 is too much power and heat than a pair of 460's in SLI will be too much power and heat as well. Also WoW's SLI scaling is pretty horrible, and since that's the game you play the most a single 480 would perform better as well.

If you are dead set against a 480 and don't want a 5870 I would just wait until after the expansion to get a new card. If they don't fix the SLI issues with WoW and you buy 460's in SLI you are going to be stuck with the same performance you have now or worse due to the DX11 hit.
I hadn't considered that SLI with WoW wasn't all that great, but a bit of googling seems to confirm that to be the case. As it's the one game I play more than anything else, I think we can safely move that idea off the table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john19055 View Post
I think the GTX 470 at $299 is the best deal ,they overclock great and they are about $100 cheaper then a HD5870 and once overclocked a little they are faster .
Over here in the UK the cheapest GTX470 is roughly 50 cheaper than the cheapest 5870 that I can find. A lot of people compare an overclocked 470/480 vs a stock 5850/5870, and I know the 58xx cards overclock really well. I doubt it, but would the 470 overclock far enough to exceed an overclocked 5870?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotis View Post
I'd wait 2-3 months and get a radeon 6870.With a next gen launch not far away I think its best to wait.
Seems to be that the high-end parts of the 58xx refresh aren't due until Janurary - Feburary 2011. I know the 5850/5870 are now 7-8 months old, but waiting for the refresh seems to be 5-6 months away still. At least that's what the latest rumours indicate.

Thanks again all, your input and time is greatly appreciated ^^
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