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Video card

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Jean-Francois Matte, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm switching back to PC after an unhappy excursion in the xbox gounds, so I need a few tips...I have a fairly old PC I built (for a home music studio - old but I paid big $$) and I'd like to update it step by step for gaming, well almost exclusively racing. The Mobo is a Tyan S2895 with 2 x dual core AMD opteron 270, 6 gig of DDR2 ram, etc. So I'm thinking of upgrading the video card first.

    So do you guys think just putting in a GTX 560 or 570 would be enough to use that PC for racing ? (BTW I'm looking at Nvidia's because the mobo is SLI ready, in case I want to add a second card). I'd like it to drive a 32" HDTV...

    I would later buy a new mobo/cpu/DDR3 memory, a 2nd card, etc.

    Is a that a good plan ? Any advice is really appreciated !
  2. Interesting motherboard. I just had a bit of a read on several forums about your motherboard and though it does seem robust, there does seem to be some issues with certain combination's of components. If you get the graphics card upgrade first, from what I have read, don't try and run SLI on that board. You might get lucky and have it work, but there seems to be quite a few that have had issues with trying to get SLI to work without crashing the system after a short period of time.

    Upgrading the GPU first will give you a little bit of a frame rate increase and you should get another when you upgrade the motherboard and CPU's.
  3. Thanks, great advice. Yeah I paid 500$ for that mobo 5 years ago, I really want to extend to maximum it's use.

    So I wouldn't have to go the Nvidia way if I don't use the SLI. Been reading around and AMD cards (and eyefinity) seems to get the advantage...What do you think ?

    I just saw Brian Clancy's set up, looks really neet, but the AMD based card, is a PCIe 2.1 card, and my mobo is 1.0. I read that PCIe 2.0 will work just fine on a 1.0 mobo but not a 2.1

    So after all I might have to go Nvidia :confused:
  4. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    I'd upgrade the mobo/cpu now, and get graphics later. Your stuff is way out of date, and a CPU makes just a big of an improvement as a (low-mid end) graphics card will.

    ATI graphics offer better bang-for-the-buck at the lower end, though, if you decide to go that route.
  5. Damn, exactly what I didn't want to hear: it means lot's more $$ and re-installing all my music OS and software, which is a lot of work !!

    But thanks for the advice :wink:
  6. Jean, why dont u keep your current system for music as it was built for and build another system for gaming, your going to have buy a new MoBo/Cpu and Gpu/ram anyway, your almost there :)
  7. Alex Ball

    Alex Ball
    Web Nerd

    Check out Scan.co.uk - they do bundles in their Today Only section, you can usually get most of the bits you need for £400-500.
  8. Yeah, I tought of that, but there's a few parts I could use from my old system: the 250$ tower, the 750 watts power supply, the 80 gig SSD...And music is very power hungry, so I would benefit too from a more powerfull pc. But I guess your right, I really don't feel like tearing it appart since it runs fine for music, plus I could "slave" the second PC for the power hungry music sampling. I saw this system at 1299$ usd, it looks pretty decent, and boy I can't understand how they can pull out that price (it would be 1520$ with a 6970 in it):


    What do you think of that ?

    @ Alex: yeah they pretty good deals there too !
  9. I have to agree with Alex, I use scan for all my PC bits, very fast delivery, good service and prices :)
  10. Jean, those parts look very adequate for a 32" HDTV, you might want to go with a 560Ti or 6950 to give you some better performance. If you are going sli or cf you may want to consider pairing a sandy bridge cpu with a p67/nf200 motherboard instead of the older corei5/i7 on a X58 motherboard because the sandy bridges overclock much better and this greatly improves sli/cf setups. The boards with the nf200 are a bit more money but can do tri and quad sli/cf. If you know you will only go dual sli/cf you can stick with a cheaper board (msi-p67a-G43 is what I have).
  11. Thanks a lot for those comments glight, very usefull because my "final" goal is having 3 32" hdtv. So what "OC friendly" motherboard with nf200 would you recommend me to go with a 6970 ? For shure I will add more GPU's in the future...
  12. According to Newegg.ca (since you're in Montreal) here are your choices:

    I would go for the ASUS p8p67 WS Revo since I like ASUS better than Sapphire (didn't know they made mobos) and it's price is not astronomical. These boards are expensive though and you will definitely need a 2500k or 2600k ($230-330) to go along with these boards to power a cf/sli setup.

    I would recommend buying a 6950 2GB and then unlocking the shaders (but not using a full 6970 bios). From there you can overclock to 6970 stock speeds (880/1325) and enjoy saving $80. I have both my 6950s setup this way and it is great.

    However, you should never buy a computer part with the intention of upgrading it later since something better will come along. Will the 6950/70 still be around when you want to add a 3rd/4th card? Will you have to buy one used? Will it offer the same performance as 2 brand new cards? If you want a tri/quad setup buy 3 or 4 cards now instead of later.. And never buy more power than you need, a 32" TV is a performance bottleneck (ie not enough work for) for a tri cf/sli rig.

    Quad (and tri) cf/sli is overkill right now. You will be paying so much extra compared to a dual cf/sli. It is not just simply another $100 on a mobo and then another $150 a year later on an old card. The main concern with tri/quad cf/sli is cooling requirements and power consumption.

    I know this is stuff we don't always think of right away but you will need a bigger case with better airflow and more fans if you plan on a tri/quad rig. You will almost certainly need the most expensive power supply as well (1200W).This is a big expense and effort for what I have argued is not as big a performance jump as going from single to dual GPU.

    Here are a couple builds from newegg.

    Dual cf/sli: $1500 http://img687.imageshack.us/i/dualcfsliegg.png/]
    Tri cf/sli: $2000 http://img641.imageshack.us/i/tricfsliegg.png/

    If you have the money to blow, go for it man you will make a lot of people jealous (me included). Just don't forget to go the full 9 yards if you do:cool:

    TL;DR tri/quad cf/sli is not worth it for single monitor gaming (1920x1080). Save your money and get a p67 board sans nf200 and save $100 on the board and $500 on your build. Stay with a dual GPU setup and save your money to upgrade in the future. You wont see a benefit from tri/quad gpu.
  13. Wow man thank you sooooo much for all that info. Do you think the dual CF system you built on Newegg -the 1500$ one- would be powerfull enough to drive 3 X 32" hdtv that I eventually would like to add ?

    It's funny, in another post a friend asked advice for building a gaming PC and one guy gave almost exactly the same your giving me, and the hardware is almost exactly the same ! You can read his post here (the post by Paul Lock):


    So he recomends exactly the same CPU, GPUs and mobo. Only differences are the HDD and the power supply (he says 850 watts). He also says you should get an i7 2600k if you want to do other stuff then gaming (which is my case, I'll use the PC as a digital audio workstation (DAW) as well. What's your opinion on that ? Thanks again !!! I'll send a beer or two to alberta !
  14. Since I know you're canadian I had a look at NCIX.com for you. They have specials every wednesday and they usually have a i5 or i7 combo'd with a mobo and other stuff on special.

    Here are a couple builds with stuff from their specials that are on now. I had to go with the asus 6950s since they only have those in stock but you can price match them down (already done).

    2500k build: http://img20.imageshack.us/i/ncix2500k.png/
    2600k build : http://img96.imageshack.us/i/ncix2600k.png/

    I like the 2500k in my build it is more than enough cpu for me. I think that it would be very suitable for a workstation but the choice is up to you since I don't do any of that. There is a $200 difference since the 2500k build has free shipping.

    My 2 6950s work great. I can av 60fps in current games at 6024x1080 (bezel corrected 3x1080p) with high or medium settings. If anything struggles I can get 60fps by dropping to 5020x900 (bezel corr'd 3x1600x900). This is without overclocking my cards I have only unlocked the shaders. I can play shift 2 unleashed at 5020x900 on medium settings at 30fps WITHOUT CF (since this game doesn't support it yet). I had to mod the game to get there but keep in mind this is pretty impressive for 1 card.
  15. Thanks so much again glight, your saving me so much time and reading ! Man I'm like one clic away from buying that i7 system you built at NCIX. You should a commission from them !

    I'm just going to think a little more if tought of everything....(for 10 minutes !)

    Edit: the prices you had were in US right ?
  16. Damn NCIX, in canadian $ they add like 25% compared to us dollars...And the cad $ is actually higher then the us $ ! So i built the exact same system you built that came at 1439$ us, and in CDN funds they charge 1756$ cad. If you just use today's exchange rate, it would cost me 1389$ cad !! Hum they just lost a sale...

    Edit: just called customer service, I wanted to know what the heck is this policy to charge 25% higher prices in canadian dollars when it is actually higher then us dollars...After waiting for 10 minutes, I hung up. Now they lost a client !
  17. Jean, the prices on NCIX.com are canadian dollars. So the builds I put together should cost the same for you since you're in Montreal.
  18. Hmmm, the price I get here on the canadian website:
    PCU/mobo is 414,99$ instead of 379$ on your query
    Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H60: 74,99$ instead of 59,99$
    Corsair XMS3 TW3X4G1333C9A 4GB 2X2GB: 55,99$ instead of 39,99$


    So the price I get is 319$ more then the one you got. Very strange because I just rechecked and the prices on the US website just changed and now are more then the canadian prices !!

    Could you check a couple of items price please, I don't get all these different prices...Sorry for the hassle, I'd really appreciate cause I was going to buy it :frown:
  19. DAMN ! I was beginning to think i was crazy, I went on different NCIX sites and the prices we're not the same, so I must have end up at one point at the sale website (where the prices were the same as the ones you gave me) and tought it was the US one...

    I'll go check it out after supper (and hopefully before the Canadiens-Bruins playoff BEGINS !!!!:bang:)