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Sooth Slayer

Seeking advice on a $1500 build

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Well, since we're veering this way, here goes.

 

The reason why it's difficult to have controlled experiments is that before the 990FX motherboards came out, the only way to do SLI on AMD cards, besides having an Nvidia chipset, was to do an SLI hack. Most typical users wouldn't go SLI anyway, and would definitely not try the SLI hack for fear of doing something wrong.

 

Thus, many AM2/AM3 users typically went with AMD cards if they went with multiple graphics card setups.

 

However, that didn't stop anyone from using an Intel set-up for going either SLI or Xfire without having that issue. Thus, controlled experiments, while useful for non-biased data, isn't always necessary. If you gather all the data there is on the net, you'll find that there's barely any gaming FPS differences between two cards in x8/x8 and x16/x16 PCIE2.0 lanes. You'll also find that between a 1090T at 4.0GHz and an i7 950 at 4.34GHz, there also won't be a drastic difference in gaming FPS.

 

At any rate, I myself have two GTX 580's, two GTX 570's, two HD 6970's (and sold two HG 6870's after benching them), and two GTX 460 1GB's to test with. I even have a GTX 560 Ti, but I'm not sure if I'll get another to SLI or just sell it. At any rate, contrary to what the public or most others will have you believe, they will tell you to always go with something from review data found elsewhere. However, with me playing with different set-ups (and getting them to be equally configured with the same PSU's, memory, and watercooling), I've found the GTX 460 1GB's in SLI are able to compete with the top dogs from AMD, and the performance of the GTX 570 to be very close to that of a GTX 580 when both are overclocked.

 

Thus, you'll always see me recommending two GTX 460 1GB's in SLI or a single GTX 570 over a single GTX 580 or a single HD 6970. Price per performance is what I usually recommend, and if other people want to recommend otherwise, that's fine. People want what they want for one reason or another.

 

 

Ok now that is the solid evidence I have been searching for for the past couple of days. Thank you! Ok if that is the case, I admit I am wrong about the performance. The reason I was arguing the 6950 is because in the heaven bench mark, a single 6950 has much higher FPS than two 460's, but lower minimum frames ( but not by much). Thats why the 6950 seemed like the better option. If you are saying you have personally tested them out yourself, I am willing to side with you on that because the benchmarks and tests online are really questionable.

I apologize for causing this much trouble, but I did have a lot of supporting evidence saying that the 6950 was a smarter way to go. However, nothing beats out the straight forward personal expierience el captin has had with these cards. So I admit defeat.

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Ok now that is the solid evidence I have been searching for for the past couple of days. Thank you! Ok if that is the case, I admit I am wrong about the performance. The reason I was arguing the 6950 is because in the heaven bench mark, a single 6950 has much higher FPS than two 460's, but lower minimum frames ( but not by much). Thats why the 6950 seemed like the better option. If you are saying you have personally tested them out yourself, I am willing to side with you on that because the benchmarks and tests online are really questionable.

I apologize for causing this much trouble, but I did have a lot of supporting evidence saying that the 6950 was a smarter way to go. However, nothing beats out the straight forward personal expierience el captin has had with these cards. So I admit defeat.

You should never apologize or admit defeat for doing your own investigative research. :biggrin::thumbsup:

 

The 6950/6970's are still great cards! One thing I'm noticing about AMD cards in the 6000 series (at least with the HD 6870's in Xfire and 6970's in Xfire/Tri-Fire), is that their Minimum FPS doesn't stack up to be better.

 

For example, if I have a single HD 6970, Min FPS will be 19.1FPS. If I have two in Xfire, it will still be around 19.1FPS give or take a .7FPS difference.

 

If I have a single GTX 570, Min FPS will be 23FPS. If I have two in SLI, it will be around 32FPS, give or take a few tenths of a FPS difference.

 

That may be another review I might do. SLI seems to increase Min FPS, whilst Xfire does not.

 

I also need to expand to testing different in-game FPS with Fraps. I'm going to try to create an automated script for single player gameplay to ensure all movements are the same for each test and see what the actual Fraps FPS results are. I just wish I had more time to play around with this stuff!

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You should never apologize or admit defeat for doing your own investigative research. :biggrin::thumbsup:

 

The 6950/6970's are still great cards! One thing I'm noticing about AMD cards in the 6000 series (at least with the HD 6870's in Xfire and 6970's in Xfire/Tri-Fire), is that their Minimum FPS doesn't stack up to be better.

 

For example, if I have a single HD 6970, Min FPS will be 19.1FPS. If I have two in Xfire, it will still be around 19.1FPS give or take a .7FPS difference.

 

If I have a single GTX 570, Min FPS will be 23FPS. If I have two in SLI, it will be around 32FPS, give or take a few tenths of a FPS difference.

 

That may be another review I might do. SLI seems to increase Min FPS, whilst Xfire does not.

 

I also need to expand to testing different in-game FPS with Fraps. I'm going to try to create an automated script for single player gameplay to ensure all movements are the same for each test and see what the actual Fraps FPS results are. I just wish I had more time to play around with this stuff!

 

I was noticing that too, the max frame rates goes way up, but not the minimum fps. I guess ATI/AMD just don't like explosions?

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I guess ATI/AMD just don't like explosions?

 

Are you kidding?! They love explosions! That's why they've implemented their patented slo-mo technology! Now, whenever bullets start flying, and firebombs start falling, ATI cards will automatically slow down the action, allowing you, the gamer, to enjoy every heart-pounding, breath-stopping moment frame-by-frame. That's right! With graphics processors and video display technologies reaching an all-time high, it's good to know that only ATI cards allow you to take the time to see every detail of every frame that you might otherwise miss by using other, less progressive cards lacking this experience-enhancing design!

 

You see? There are no bugs, only features! :biggrin:

 

On what is rapidly turning into a thoroughly unrelated note, I'll be picking up the first of the equipment today. My mobo popped up as being in stock @ MC last night, and it looks like this time, it wasn't a lie! I'll be picking up the proc, mobo, DVD, and RAM (w/ a $10 MIR!). I'll be ordering everything else from Newegg later tonight. I did decide to go with the OCZ Vertex 3 instead of the M4 or HyperX. Seems like all the synchronous SandForce controllers have similar performance, so I just went with the lowest price. Thanks everyone for the assistance! I'll be sure to keep you posted as the build comes to fruition.

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Are you kidding?! They love explosions! That's why they've implemented their patented slo-mo technology! Now, whenever bullets start flying, and firebombs start falling, ATI cards will automatically slow down the action, allowing you, the gamer, to enjoy every heart-pounding, breath-stopping moment frame-by-frame. That's right! With graphics processors and video display technologies reaching an all-time high, it's good to know that only ATI cards allow you to take the time to see every detail of every frame that you might otherwise miss by using other, less progressive cards lacking this experience-enhancing design!

 

You see? There are no bugs, only features! :biggrin:

 

On what is rapidly turning into a thoroughly unrelated note, I'll be picking up the first of the equipment today. My mobo popped up as being in stock @ MC last night, and it looks like this time, it wasn't a lie! I'll be picking up the proc, mobo, DVD, and RAM (w/ a $10 MIR!). I'll be ordering everything else from Newegg later tonight. I did decide to go with the OCZ Vertex 3 instead of the M4 or HyperX. Seems like all the synchronous SandForce controllers have similar performance, so I just went with the lowest price. Thanks everyone for the assistance! I'll be sure to keep you posted as the build comes to fruition.

 

Hahahahaha that is awesome that AMD does that! It defiantly explains the anomalies. Lastly, good choice with the SSD.

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OP:

Awesome! Good luck on the build and definitely keep us posted, and sorry we de-railed your thread. :whistling:

 

El_Cap:

Not to derail the OP's thread anymore but seems more appropriate here than your driver review. Since you have so many cards at your whim to use as you wish, and assuming you had the time and desire to see such results. It would be nice to see what you bench with the GTX 570 and GTX 580 as single cards ...since you already have the SLI data. Then people can see for themselves what the difference is between two 460s in SLI versus a single GTX 570 or GTX 580. So really it would just be two more benches. :P

 

 

Oh and when I recommended the OP a GTX 460, there is always the option to include a second one down the line. So my suggestion has two upgrade paths: 1) Upgrade to new gen when available, or 2) Upgrade to a second 460. I spent more time discussing the first path because the OP made it clear he has no desire to go SLI/CF, but the option is still there. But I think we beat this topic around so much the OP is quite clear on that. :lol:

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:withstupid:

 

No worries. Honestly, I appreciate the discussion. Part of the reason I went with the build I did was to maximize options. I strongly suspect that the 2500k w/ a PCI-e 2 GPU would carry me until my next build. Still, it's good to know that I have room for Ivy and PCI-e 3 down the road, regardless of whether or not I use it. I was able to read between the lines of your two-part argument, and figured, just as you said, that I could start with one now and if the next gen is a dud (highly unlikely!) or unexpectedly delayed, then I still have room to grow without causing my budget to do the same. If I were running at a crazy res, I'd probably be more interested in a multi-GPU solution, but at 1920x1080, I don't think it's quite as critical.

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If I were running at a crazy res, I'd probably be more interested in a multi-GPU solution, but at 1920x1080, I don't think it's quite as critical.

 

The resolution you game at is more dependent on the VRAM, not that more horsepower with additional cards doesn't matter ;). But, even at 1920 x 1080, the difference between one card and 2 is extremely noticable while gaming!

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