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Future Proofing My Gaming Rig


Deth
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I currently own an EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX ACS3 KO video card and I use Windows Vista Business 32-bit. I bought Company of Heroes because I heard it was a great game and I got to try out the DirectX 10 patch that recently came out. I didn't see too much of a difference, but I did notice one thing. When I try to host an Internet game, CoH and Vista uses my entire 2GB of Memory. I see this as a Red Flag and I am currently considering a memory upgrade. I have two choices.

 

I went on the Microsoft website and got myself Windows Vista Business 64-bit for $10 in case I ever wanted to go 64-bit in the future. I don't see any real advantage of having an 64-bit OS cept for the fact it would make use of more memory if I decided to buy a lot. There seems to be many disadvantages including poor driver support and the fact that current games (that are made for 64-bit) have been shown to be slower (in fps) when compared to their 32-bit counterparts. That sure makes me not want to install Vista 64-bit!

 

So my choice is either to buy either 2 x 512MB of RAM or another 2 x 1GB of RAM. Which would give me either 3GB or 4GB respectively. If I went 3GB, there would really be no reason to ever go Vista 64-bit. I have a feeling in a few years from now, games will be designed for 64-bit and will take advantage of the 64-bit instruction sets. But how many years will that be? I'm still waiting for DirectX 10 games to come out!

 

I also own an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor. I managed to overclock it to 3.6GHz. I am interested in seeing more games taking advantage of Core 2 Duo. Are there any games currently taking advantage of Core 2 Quad? You might say Supreme Commander, but my current processor and video card seem to run that game extremely well so upgrading to a Quad Core seems to be out of the question at the moment.

 

As far as going SLI, I hear that's the worse money sink of them all. It would cost me another $650 for an identical video card that would yield very little performance increase. I still don't understand why SLI can not increase video performance near 50%. Rather than the ~10% I commonly hear. I notice the 8800 Ultra isn't much better than the card I have now. $800 buys me a card that has a slower clock than my current card?

 

Software and Games seems to be lagging behind all the advances in hardware technology. I bought all the neat bells and whistles, but no game to take advantage of this system. I'm just afraid when the next generation games do come out, prices drop drastically on what I currently have and the GeForce 8900 gets released.

 

So what's your most anticipated game coming out? SPORE's release date got pushed back and it looks like Crysis won't be the first DirectX 10 game anymore. Although I'm looking forward to Crysis. Does anyone else have 3GB or 4GB of memory?

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So you maxing out the 2gb's you say :smack:. Sli is great! Good performance increase, its more than 10% <_< but you have to have a beffy psu to run it. You could go with 4gb but the reviews iv been reading show no improvment in any game in any situation, dont take my 100% word for this thou. If you abbsolutly want to go with 4gb please save yourself some trouble and get a 2x 2gb set not 4x 1gb. Any more than 2 sticks of ram slows your ram down drasitcly. Going with a 8800 ultra isnt a good choice, but getting another 8800 gtx would prove to give you a great performance boost, but i dont think you would notice anything unless you run your games at high resolutions. Or you could wait for the next best graphics card. Quad cores will be drasictly droping soon, july, and dont show to much improvement but it is a good amount in multi threaded games.

 

Buttttt, right now you have a killer rig there and should be able to run next generation games with ease. Personaly i'd just wait it out upgrading your current rig is just like upgrading to upgrade. I dont think theres a game you cant run at max settings and a high resolution, unless you want to game on a big 32 inch widescreen or something similar.

 

I guess if you want to future proof your system the most going with 2x 2gb would be the best, i know muskin has some great sets out. Defenatly going with more ram will last you alot longer upgrade wise than anything else.

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As far as going SLI, I hear that's the worse money sink of them all. It would cost me another $650 for an identical video card that would yield very little performance increase. I still don't understand why SLI can not increase video performance near 50%. Rather than the ~10% I commonly hear.

 

Software and Games seems to be lagging behind all the advances in hardware technology.

You just answered your own question.

 

SLI will increase your video performance by roughly 50%. The problem is that you're still held back by processors. Most games don't to quad-cores to good use, so there's not much you can do. As you said yourself, the games are behind the software. There's simply no need for SLI GTXs because almost all games will perform well on just one, even at high resolutions. So the reason another GTX will only give you about 10% visible performance increase is because you didn't need the upgrade in the first place.

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I always liked to exceed the Recommended Requirements for games. I am noticing more often now that the newer games made for Vista have a Recommended Requirement of 2GB. So having more than 2GB probably couldn't hurt any. Also, I will probably go with the 2 x 1GB since it seems to be the most logical. Hopefully I will see a performance increase when going from 2GB to ~3GB. Anything is better than nothing, or god forbid, a performance decrease when adding an additional 2 sticks. My Command Rate is already 2T so hopefully there won't be any negative effects from adding more RAM. I hear the performance issues you spoke of (slower latency when adding more RAM) is the result of going from a Command Rate of 1T to 2T. Since mine is already set to 2T, this should nullify the argument.

 

My monitor resolution is 1680 x 1050. I probably wouldn't see much improvement in my system by going SLI.

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Guest ecthlipsis

I have 4gb of ram and I'm happy with the choice thus far. I have 4 identical sticks of Crucial Ballistix and they all OC'ed beautifully. I'm on Vista also, but only 3.35gb of ram are being detected. This is common and I haven't yet found a work around. And like hardnrg said, don't mix anything different with your sticks. If you're going to add more, add the exact ones you already have.

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Right now, I'm on the line whether or not I should upgrade my video card through eVGA's Step Up program. I have about 2 weeks to decide before it's too late. If I do decide to take advantage of the Step Up program, it would cost me $150 + any shipping fees. So I'm guessing around $200 all together.

 

 

Here are the specs between the two video cards:

 

My current video card, e-GeForce 8800GTX 768MB KO ACS3:

 

Performance

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX

626 MHz GPU

128 Pixel Pipelines

400 MHz RAMDAC

 

Memory

768 MB, 384 bit DDR3

2000 MHz (effective)

96.0 GB/s Memory Bandwidth

 

 

My upgrade option, e-GeForce 8800Ultra Superclocked 768MB:

 

Performance

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra

655 MHz GPU

128 Pixel Pipelines

400 MHz RAMDAC

 

Memory

768 MB, 384 bit DDR3

2250 MHz (effective)

108 GB/s Memory Bandwidth

 

 

So for $150+, the CPU gains an additional 29 MHz and the memory gains an additional 250 MHz (effective) as well as an additional 12 GB/s Memory Bandwidth.

 

Is this worth the money? Will I notice a difference in the games I play currently and the ones in the future? Time is running out, and once my Step Up program expires for my current video card, I can never make this choice again.

 

 

I'm going to guess most people would say it's not worth it and the performance increase is too minute that it's not worth $150 and the money could be better put to use elsewhere. But if you think otherwise, I'd love to hear from you!

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I'm going to guess most people would say it's not worth it and the performance increase is too minute that it's not worth $150 and the money could be better put to use elsewhere. But if you think otherwise, I'd love to hear from you!

Is this meant to say that if we don't think otherwise, you don't want to hear from us? :)

 

I'd say it's not worth it. Pretty much all of the 8800Ultra reviews I've read say that it's just a glorified GTX. You can see it yourself in the relatively small clock improvements. I wouldn't spend $200 for such a small improvement. But ultimately it comes down to what $200 means to you. Some people throw that away and don't think twice, others save for months and don't have that kind of cash.

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I'm going to guess most people would say it's not worth it and the performance increase is too minute that it's not worth $150 and the money could be better put to use elsewhere.
Yeah, I agree with your assessment. OC your current 8800GTX if you really want an increase in the GPU and Mem speeds. But even doing that won't give you any noticeable performance boost in current apps/games...it's something you can do down the line though when you start to feel your card losing a little muster. I just don't think $150 is worth a mere clock increase, same pipes and ram.

 

Your 8800GTX could easily last you 2, maybe even 3 years of solid (high-max settings) performance.

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erm.. no? maybe if you game at 800x600...

 

the 7800GTX came out almost exactly 2 years ago... can you say that you can play ANY game at high to max settings with a single 7800GTX?

 

maybe you can... maybe you have really bad eyes and slow framerate vision... my 7800GT SLI setup is neck and neck with a 7800GTX SLI configuration and even this cannot let me play @ 1600x1200 at maximum settings on EVERY game available...

 

the assumption that a single 8800 series card will support the maximum performance in all games for 2 years or more is so wrong I can't think of an adjective worthy to describe it

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the assumption that a single 8800 series card will support the maximum performance in all games for 2 years or more is so wrong I can't think of an adjective worthy to describe it

 

 

The adjective you were looking for is ludicrous.

 

 

I also wanted to thank everyone for the replies. I did a little research on my own and it looks like my current video card will be more than enough for the upcoming titles. In 2-3 years, I should be looking to buy an entirely new video card anyways. Might as well save my $200 for something more plausible.

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