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Old 10-07-08, 04:33 PM   #1
BlackCross
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Default Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

Hey guys,

Been out of the loop for a while, doing tons of research now trying to figure out what is the best for my system. What do you guys think is the top dawg right now? I'm thinking either 280, 260(sli) or 4870? I dont even think i can run SLI right, just crossfire? My games run great now, but looking to run crysis (of course lol) at 1680x1050 all very high settings.

here is my setup:

e6600 stock
8800 gts 640
asus p5k deluxe (can do crossfire)
corsair 620 psu
vista 32 bit
2 gb corsair 1066

Just read that article at anantech praising the 4870, i've never had anything but nvidia, so a bit weary...

Thanks so much for any input!
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Old 10-07-08, 06:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

A 260 should do 660-700 with little trouble. They're good cards. If you can afford it get the 280.

Two 260s @ 660-700 in SLi would be very fast and they are at a nice price point now. 260s would also work with Tri-SLi. You can't run SLi in your mobo however Intel's X58 is coming up and it will be able to do SLi.

I'm a fan of single strong GPUs. An overclocked 260 will get the job done @ 1920x with filtering save in Crysis if you set all very high. The new 260 with slightly more shaders is also an option. At the same clocks as the regular 260 it's about 1-3% faster. It's below the 280 in price. You might jump to the 280 instead depending on your budget.

One reason you may want to stick with nVidia is quite a few games will be coming out with PhysX support. You could use that old 8800GTS as a PhysX card in the mobo you currently own. I'll post some PhysX results below.

If I were you I'd probably kick that E6600 up to 3.0-3.2GHz and get the cheapest 260 or 280 you can find and OC it. BTW the E6600 I had back in the day would do 3.0-3.1GHz on stock voltage. With 1.52v it did 3.75GHz. If you are using the stock HSF stick to 3.0GHz.

PhysX-

Warmonger, results @ a 1440x res. Max settings. CPU is a Q6600 G-0 @ 3.51GHz.

GTX 260 doing PhysX @ 760|2600 1580 = 93FPS



Adding an 8800GT @ 700|2000 1750 = 123FPS



As above but 1920x-

Single GTX 260 doing PhysX = 71FPS



Adding an 8800GT @ 700|2000 1750 to do PhysX = 88FPS



I got roughly the same results with MKZ. CPU PhysX was only in the low 20s and GPU PhysX was 60+ FPS.

My results match up well with tests Firingsquad did-

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/...ance/page6.asp

Where PhysX may boost performance or add effects-

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia_physx.html

Running the various games that include PhysX support made me acutely aware of just how many things are effected by physics in gaming.

Below is an old post I did with my GTX 260 using card killer games @ 1920x like; Crysis, WiC and Lost Planet.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=116006

Below is a review that includes all the cards you mention in a ton of games-

http://www.egielda.com.pl/?str=art&id=4400

Since the HD 4870 and GTX 260 are often very close I'd get the 260 or 280 to leave the door open for GPU PhysX support.
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Old 10-07-08, 07:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

You said 640MB 8800GTS which is what I just had. The speed and memory bandwith of that original 8800 is nothing like the newer ones (night and day really). (E6600 stock vs Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz), and you can see what going from an 8800GTS to a GTX 260 did for me:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=120255

SLI: I have no idea but it would seem like an E6600 wouldn't even come close to supplying what two 260's or two 4870's could take. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like a waste. Also a 2nd $250-400 card just to try and max out one game (and all the problems that can come with SLI). It just isn't worth it. Not to mention the PSU needs and the amount of heat generated. I'm very happy with a single card. Be happy with every other game maxxed and Crysis on High at 50-60 fps (1680x1050). SLI is just so much extra money for so little return. The only point where it seems to be worth it is if you need the extra power for an LCD that's bigger than 22".

ATI: I went to the dark side once and had a lot of problems. What sticks out the most in my mind is horrible driver issues with older games. I was tempted to buy a 4870 instead of a 260 but I just didn't want to risk that kind of frustration again.
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Old 10-08-08, 12:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

I think the best buy performance-value wise right now is to go radeon 4850 crossfire.Check out hardocp,they have a very nice review checking performance at every price point.
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Old 10-08-08, 01:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

Wow, great reply Blacklash. Thanks so much!! Hambone, thank you as well! I'm definitely swayingin the 280 direction, I'll see what evga is doing these days. Blacklash, if you have time, can you point me in the right direction for overclocking the e6600? I've never done it before. Is it as easy as multiplier/fsb/cpu voltage tweaking?

Thanks guys!!!
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Old 10-08-08, 01:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

cool thanks, im on there now..ill check it out...
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Old 10-08-08, 08:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackCross View Post
Wow, great reply Blacklash. Thanks so much!! Hambone, thank you as well! I'm definitely swayingin the 280 direction, I'll see what evga is doing these days. Blacklash, if you have time, can you point me in the right direction for overclocking the e6600? I've never done it before. Is it as easy as multiplier/fsb/cpu voltage tweaking?

Thanks guys!!!
Best overclocking site on the net is below. I am linking you directly to the Intel section.
Try the threads at the top in this section for basic OC advice-

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...play.php?f=224

E6600 OC database is here-

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=127379

Main Intel section-

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...splay.php?f=59

For 3.0GHz all you should need to do is make sure your ram isn't running too far out of spec. Setting it so you have a ratio that would give you a speed not too far beyond stock is a good idea. For example, I set my ram to a ref of 667 which give me a real speed of about DDR 834 @ 3.0GHz. For 3.5 I run 1:1 which puts me a little below DDR 800. The reason I do that is 3.5GHz is the limit on i975x for my Q6600. I'm guessing a ref of around DDR 800 should put your ram slightly below its correct speed @ 3.0GHz. Usually I will find my CPU max on a 1:1 ratio with relaxed timings first then ramp up my ram and tighten timings appropriately after I know I'm stable. Always make sure your ram is getting its proper voltage too. Some mobos default to 1.84v and some performance DDR2 ram needs anywhere from 1.9v-2.2v to run well. If you're using DDR3 that voltage should be lower.

You shouldn't need to increase vcore until you hit or pass 3.2GHz. For 3.6GHz you'd likely need around 1.42-1.46v to be Prime blend stable. You might need to tweak MCH beyond a 400FSB although many new boards like X38/P45 don't need extra MCH voltage until about a 423FSB or higher.

Good luck. Be patient and methodical. Again I'd take my ram out of the equation when searching for CPU max by going 1:1 relaxed timings until I found said max. If your goal is only 3.0GHz you should only need to drop the ratio to a level that ensures you aren't too far out of spec.

BTW Do not overclock if you are unwilling to assume the risk. Hardware failure could occur. That said, I've never killed an Intel CPU or nVidia graphics card overclocking. Then again, I am not an extreme overclocker that uses such things as LN2. I once killed a ram kit by dropping to much voltage on it to run very tight timings at high speed. That's on me, I knew I was in dangerous territory.
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Old 10-08-08, 11:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

I was having terrible 780i Evga motherboard problems. Since I had to get a new MB I went with an Intel board and upgraded my 8800GTX's to a 4870x2 over clocked card. System works great. Im over clocking my QX9650 at nearly 4.5 ghz.
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Old 10-08-08, 12:59 PM   #9
BlackCross
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Default Re: Ati or Nvidia? Upgrade Advice

wow, great system joe, how does crysis run?

thanks a ton blacklash for all that info! I really appreciate it!!!! I'll be sure to check it all out.!!
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