Graphics Card Question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Bill Griffith, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    I've been away from computers for a bit but am thinking about building my next one. Last one I built was awhile ago, 4 years or more mabye. While its still working fine, I'm thinking maybe its time to upgrade.

    I just have a couple of questinos to help me start looking in the right direction.

    Just some quick background, I do heavy 3d modeling but no animations, and enjoy playing heavy graphic based games, EQ2, FPS and so on.

    1. I would imagine going down the 64 Bit processor line is the way to go, but is it ready yet? I don't want to get into a INTEL/AMD Debate here I will most likely be using AMD, Also what about running a "Dual Processor" I'm not familiar with the advantage of having this option, are there any? what would a dual processor machine mostly be used for?

    2. Graphics cards, is there a noticable advatage to using the boards that can run dual graphics cards? (I'm not interested an any DVR or Home Theater type capacity for my machine)

    3. Minimum Power supply recomended now adays?

    4. Any other new gadgets out there that are being used?

    Thanks for the help in getting me started.
     
  2. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    1) I am in the same boat as you. The bottom line with the 64 bit processors is the software. Will it run on it? Does they have a 64 bit version of the software you like. The software is still a ways out but you can build a 64bit machine and then upgrade the software later. Dual processor machines are best for multitasking. Gaming and graphics don't really get that much of a boost in performance.

    2) For graphics and gaming I would look into the NVidia line with SLI. That seems to be were a lot of gaming vendors are going and I hear it does a great job with high end graphics too. Dual video cards will allow you run two monitors at the same time which you might find great for what you are wanting your PC for.

    3) 400 watts is the standard from what I have been seeing.

    This is my understanding on this newer stuff for computers. I am sure there are plenty of others on this forum that have a lot better understanding and recommendations than I have but it will get you started at least.
     
  3. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    About #2 from Parker's post: actually with dual video cards it allows you to run 4 displays when in 2D mode, as each video card can drive 2 displays each. Of course in SLI mode the 2nd video card simply lends its' muscle to the first video card and you're back to 2 displays total, with only the primary display being useable for 3D graphics.

    The ultimate gaming platform these days is probably a top model Athlon 64 (say an Athlon 64 FX 55 or even just an Athlon 64 3800+) on an NVIDIA nForce4 SLI motherboard with dual GeForce 7800GTX or the just slightly older 6800 Ultra.
     
  4. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    Say I want the SLI board but can only affrod the 1 graphics card, will it run on just 1 and then I get the second identical one in a coupler of months?
     
  5. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely! You just have to get a matching card when you go to upgrade. So if you buy a GeForce 6800 Ultra now, in a few months you will need to buy another GeForce 6800 Ultra. Right now you have to buy the same brand, but later on (perhaps as soon as the fall) NVIDIA will release their 80.xx drivers that will allow brand mixing.
     
  6. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    I guess at that point the discussions will begin as to whether the Matching Graphics cards performance is better than non matching performance, LOL

    Thanks for the help, I believe I will go with either the 6600 256MB Card or the 6800 256 MB Card (need to read abit on both of them)
     
  7. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Well there isn't really a discusssion to be had. The SLI technology only works when you have matching pair of cards.

    One other thing of note the standard 6600 (non-GT) doesn't have the needed SLI connector. 6600GT's and up do.
    The standard 6800 is probably the best bang for the bick.

    For more read up on SLI here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2284&p=3
     
  8. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i think bill was referring to when you said nvidia was going to release updated drivers to allow a non-matching sli combination.

    CJ
     
  9. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahhh now IC... you guys misread it.
    Brand mixing not GPU mixing. See right now if you buy an eVGA GeForce 6800 in a few months you want to add another, well you have to buy another eVGA branded 6800. With the release 80 drivers down the road you could buy an eVGA 6800 now and then a few months later you see a good deal on a PNY 6800 you could get it and have it work in SLI mode... but not yet.
     
  10. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    So got another question on Power Supplies,

    Its my understanding that if I run 2 6800GT or Ultra boards I will need 2 power connectors coming off of my power supply that are/have 6-pin (PCI Express Power Connector type)

    If this is so how can I tell if a power supply has that type of connector.

    http://www.newegg.com/product/Produc...ly#DetailSpecs

    I was looking at this Power Supply but it only says PCI Express ready not how many 6-pin PCI Express connectors it has. So anyway of finding out how many 6-pin connectors this has?
     
  11. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    If I have to I will use adapters but I would rather have the correct connectors and not have to adapt to 6 pin.

    Never mind Finally found a sight that says this Antec TruePower 2.0 550W EPS12V Power Supply, does have 2 6-pin PCI Express Power Connectors
     
  12. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah for a PSU to have 2 PCIe video card power connectors you have to get into some serious wattage. Silverstone and Seasonic both make very nice models that are also pretty darn quiet.

    You can see a list of certified SLI components including PSUs right here:
    http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build.html
     
  13. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    All of yall have been extremely helpfull, thanks a bunch, Matt, great websight, helped confirm some of my choices.

    Just got the go ahead from the "boss" today to order all the parts, had to get her a couple grand worth of garden upgrades, but while she's outside having fun sweating away I'll be inside. System will hopefully loook like this.

    Athlon 64 3800
    ASUS Deluxe A8N SLI
    2 Gb DDR400 (2 x 1 Gb Sticks)
    2 x GeForce 6800GT
    2 x 120 Gb Serial ATA II HD (Western Digital, I think)
    Antec Titan Case w/ 550W PSU
    Audigy 2 Value (usually have the sound turned down so not going to spend the money on sound)

    Figure this is good enough to do what I need right now and still leaves tons of room for expansion later on.
     
  14. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    Looks pretty good.

    Question for ya, why the two 120GB drives?
    You will want a ton of space to install modern games. I would suggest a large 2nd drive like ~200GB.

    Were you planning on doing a RAID-0? If so, don't. It doesn't really help any with most desktop PC activities and essentially doubles your chances of failure/data loss.
     
  15. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    It should be plenty of space, I'm running 2 40G now so the 120s will be an improvemnt. I might go to 2 160's but we'll see.

    I don't mess with Raid anymore its not worth the hassle
     
  16. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    But my point is, why have two the same size? It isn't necessary if you aren't going to RAID. Grab like an 80GB for your system drive. And like a 200GB for storing games, multimedia files, etc.
     
  17. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    An earlier post here really caught my attention, I have read and that you cannot have 2 moniters while in SLI. I have even tried in the properties to enable the second moniter but no luck....

    I just built a new pc and have SLI, using two 6800 GT's. It runs Battlefield 2 like a dream, however I'm a little choked because everywhere I read (guru3d.com for instance) said you could NOT use duel moniter support while using SLI. Just in single card mode that you can use duel moniters...so where could I find more info about trying to get my second moniter to work while in SLI?
     
  18. Matt Wright

    Matt Wright Stunt Coordinator

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    You can't when you are running a 3D application.

    If you disable SLI mode you can have both outputs on each card working for a total of 4. There is a checkbox in the NVIDIA control panel to enable or disable muli-GPU. But of course generally only the primary monitor will be used for 3D games.
     
  19. Bill Griffith

    Bill Griffith Supporting Actor

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    Hmmm I see your point, I guess I always liked Symmetry, HAHAHAHAA.

    Is there a noticable gain to having the 10,000rpm HD, say like the Western Digital 30Gb 10,000rpm drive as my main OS drive?

    Besides I'll get the 2 160's (one for Games, the other for Music/Videos/Internet stuff) and I'm pretty sure the board will support at least 4 SATA2 HD's so I'm thinking of getting the 10,000 rpm 30gb for my OS drive
     
  20. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Thanks Matt, thats what I figured. I like the 2 moniters for when gaming, one for the game and the other thats off to the side for teamspeak so I can see who's in the channel while we're playing.

    I just read about Seagates Cheetah series of Hard Drives, they run at 15 000 rpm. There noisy (35 db) but would be great to have a little 20 GB for gaming.
     

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