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 Post subject: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 22 Mar 2011, 14:10 

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17 Mar 2011, 05:41
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Hi all,

As I'm getting parts together for my new i5 2500k system, I've come up against a slight problem in which Nvidia card to get, either -

GTX 460 1GB SLI
GTX 560 SLI
GTX 570
GTX 580

As I'm going to be playing mostly fps's, rpg's and space sims in 1920x1080 with all settings at preferably max, I've found concrete data to be rather elusive. Max amount I'd spend would be £300-£400, and I'd like it to be reasonably future proof for about 3 years or so. Atm, I'm leaning towards the 2x 460's.
Don't know if it'll make a difference, but I'll be using the LG W2363D, unless the GN245HQ is released in the interim.
If anyone could help, it would be great.
Also, don't know if there's any confirmation to this, but I read that there would be more incompatibilities with 3D Vision if I chose an AMD processor over Intel. Could be just Intel fanboy scuttlebutt though.

Thanks
Mik


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 22 Mar 2011, 15:17 
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Getting an SLI-capable motherboard with a single GTX 570 with the option to add in a second board later on (if needed) may be the best choice to ensure a future proof system... although with two 460s in SLI you will also get quite good results, but you may have some trouble with games that don't work well with SLI, although these aren't that many.

As for the AMD vs Intel, it doesn't matter for 3D Vision what motherboard and/or processor you are using. You shouldn't be getting any trouble with 3D Vision using AMD CPU, however AMD can hardly rival the performance offered by the new Sandy Bridge processors. The problem you will have with AMD platform is getting SLI support on it...


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 03:34 

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Thanks for the reply Bloody, that helps with my decision a lot. I will probably go with the 570, although 2x 470's do sound good as well, and are round about the same price as 2x 460's now. Reason being that I'd like to play Metro 2033 on relatively high settings and I've read that 2x 460's really struggle with that, though it might be the same with a single 570....
Is anything affected by the motherboard being limited to 8x8 in SLI? I haven't found any of the P67's that do 16x16 yet.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 12:10 
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The cards bandwidth is a bit limited, but there isn't anything particularly restricting in that... just a slight performance loss.

Two GTX 570s in SLI are pretty much equivalent in terms of performance to a dual-gpu GTX 590.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 29 Mar 2011, 19:24 

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Ok, you've convinced me :) I'll be getting a 570 with an Asus P8P67-M with the option of adding another 570 later, but using my current 8800GTS as PhysX card now.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 02:02 

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Mik wrote:
Ok, you've convinced me :) I'll be getting a 570 with an Asus P8P67-M with the option of adding another 570 later, but using my current 8800GTS as PhysX card now.


I think you deserve just a bit of specificity, Mik.

The motherboard you've chosen doesn't support PCI-E 2.0 x16 times two. That's what you need to ensure that your cards aren't limited bandwidth-wise. Here's the situation; Ivy Bridge is released Q3-Q4 2011, and it will bring with it PCI-E 3.0.

If you wait for Ivy Bridge, you won't have to update your processor for three years. I guarantee it. Why? The primary duty of your CPU when gaming is to support the bandwidth of your graphics cards.

If you wait for Ivy Bridge, you'll be able to sustain whatever graphics cards emerge in the next three years, especially 28 nanometer cards, which make out the 'next generation'. Don't make the mistake of buying a chipset that supports nothing more than x16 2.0 in total.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2011, 08:09 

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Posts: 20
Me, I am getting the GTX 460 1GB SLI..
My friends used it and I am impressed!

_________________
I love my life. I love technology.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 06 Apr 2011, 04:44 

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Maker, thanks for the advice, though I do remain unconvinced of the Ivy Bridges potential at this time. I'm not really concerned about PCIe 3.0 as even the 590 only seems to max out 70% of the bandwidth of 2.0. There don't seem to be any upcoming games that will tax the hardware much, with the possible exception of Skyrim, Doom 4, Rage and Prey 2, though the latter 3 may not even run in 3D Vision. Probably won't be any major hardware advancements until 2013/14 at least.
My ancient computer I'm using right now, with Pentium 4 H/T, 3GB ram and 8800Gts can still comfortably play the latest games including Metro 2033, and I'm confident it'll still play all the games released this year. I just need a little extra "oomph" to play 3D Vision with most of the bells and whistles at high rez.
I'm not really bothered about Ivy Bridges other advancements, the new SATA one in particular being only really useful for SSD's. Overall, the chip is about 20% better than Sandy Bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2011, 15:16 

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Mik wrote:
Maker, thanks for the advice, though I do remain unconvinced of the Ivy Bridges potential at this time. I'm not really concerned about PCIe 3.0 as even the 590 only seems to max out 70% of the bandwidth of 2.0.


A single GTX 590 will not require more bandwidth than x16 2.0, this much is true. However, the Sandy Bridge platform does not natively support more than x16 2.0 in total; if you add a second card you are limited to x8 2.0 for each card. If all you're interested in is a card like the GTX 590, then by all means, go for Sandy Bridge.

Just consider this; GTX 580 SLI wants more bandwidth than x8/x8. That's a forced Fermi refresh we're talking about, not a brand new line of 28 nanometer cards. I'm sure that the first generation of Kepler cards (Q4/Q1 2011/2012) will not require more than x16 2.0, but I'm willing to bet my money that a single card from the second generation (Q3-Q4 2012) will want just a little more juice than x16 2.0 has to offer. So you're only looking at one and a half years of upgrade compatibility if you go for Sandy Bridge.

Mik wrote:
My ancient computer I'm using right now, with Pentium 4 H/T, 3GB ram and 8800Gts can still comfortably play the latest games including Metro 2033, and I'm confident it'll still play all the games released this year. I just need a little extra "oomph" to play 3D Vision with most of the bells and whistles at high rez.


It's all about the subjective experience. I don't know what settings or what resolution you want to run, so I can't comment on that. All I can do is give you the facts about what I think will be a bit of an issue related to PCI-E bandwidth in the coming year. I'm actually running an 8800GTS too and I don't find it satisfactory, acceptable frame rates comes at the expense of making Metro 2033 look like one of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games (and I have to turn down settings in those games already).

Mik wrote:
I'm not really bothered about Ivy Bridges other advancements, the new SATA one in particular being only really useful for SSD's. Overall, the chip is about 20% better than Sandy Bridge.


Intel is saying that Ivy Bridge will be about 20% faster than Sandy Bridge and without any sort of specificity that's debatable, but it sounds reasonable. Ivy Bridge is only interesting because it has PCI-E 3.0, though. Sandy Bridge (2500k, 2600k) is extremely capable and the world's fastest mainstream CPU, but it does not have enough native PCI-E bandwidth. In conclusion, January would have been an acceptable upgrade window had it not been for the recall. I would not recommend you to go for Sandy Bridge at this time.


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 Post subject: Re: New build, wondering which card to get
PostPosted: 06 May 2011, 23:28 

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Thanks again for the advice, maker. Though I have now got all the bits together, all that's missing is the GPU.
I'm finding it really hard to justify getting a 570 as the 480 has now come down in price to at or below the 560. I'm not bothered by the heat, noise or increased power needs of the 480, just a little concerned that my Corsair 750W may not be enough if I decide to go SLI with it later on. I have heard horror stories that the 570 is not as overclockable, that the VRM's can self destruct and that it is made with cheaper components than the 480. Any truth in these?
They seem to be fairly equal in performance, with the only real differences being faster FP16 rate and better z-cull efficiency in the 570. Hard to find evidence, but would these make much difference in games?
The extra VRAM could be a bonus as I intend to run games with high-texture packs as well.

Conversely, I just tried to run Metro 2033 on my 8800GTS at 1920x1080, "Very High" graphics setting and 3D Vision at medium depth. Going through the prelude to about the point where the monsters circle the main character outside the tower, I got a constant framerate in the mid-teens to the twenties. Didn't go any further as I was quite honestly amazed that my card was capable of this, though it may be a different story with a DX11 card as the extra effects might be quite a large hit.

If anyone could help with this minefield of a decision between a 480 or 570, I'd very much appreciate it :)


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