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I'm looking to replace my aging 8800 GT with a GTX 560 ti. I was wondering if the rest of my system would cause a significant bottleneck? The processor is a Q6600, RAM is 2 x 1GB DDR2 PC2-6400 and 2 x DDR2 PC2-5300. My motherboard is a P5N32-E SLI. On the other hand, I'm thinking I might be better off just replacing everything as I can't put DDR3 RAM in the motherboard.

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If you have the cash to flash, go for it tongue.gif

 

However, if I remember correctly, I used to run my Q6600 OC'd at the 3.3-3.4 level smoothly on a 680i board. It ran a lot better if you had a P35 setup.

I think I was running two 8800 GTX's as well. So a bit of messing around on the MB settings could save you a few bob.

 

I still maintain the the Q6600 was the best bang for buck Intel chip of that generation.

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What are the differences between SB and the 'old' i-series?

 

1366 is technically still better for performance with it's triple channel memory and high end 6 core CPUs.

SB supports only supports dual channel memory. The X58(socket 1366) chipset also supports x16 PCI-E with two graphics cards plugged in. SB only support 16x single, 8x dual.

However, the difference between 16x16x and 8x8x is just a few percent and doesn't really matter. Dual channel memory vs triple channel doesn't matter much either since you still have lots of memory and lots of bandwidth

 

Sandy bridge CPUs overclocks much better than 1366 while running cooler, but you need a unlocked CPU to do any overclocking at all, i.e an i5 2500k or i7 2600k.

Price also factors in. SB is cheaper and still offers stellar performance.

Edited by Moriquende

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Hoping you knowledgeable guys who keep up with the tech can give me a hand with this one.

 

What I'm running right now (and have been for a bit over 2 years), the bits that count anyway:

 

-Quad Core i7 920 @ 2.66GHz

-Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Mainboard

-6GB (3x2GB) PC12800 DDR3/1600mhz Triple Channel Memory

-GeForce GTX285 1GB

-Creative SB X-Fi 24-BIT PCI-E Sound

-750 Watts Power Supply

 

I've set myself £1500 if I were to go for a complete new system. Do I buy a whole new tower, or upgrade?

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CKinnerley you do a fair bit of video rendering for youtube don't ya? In that case I'd probably just upgrade because software packages like Premiere (or whatever you're using) actually make use of the cores, not much point ditching a lot of perfectly good hardware for an insignificant performance increase.

 

If it's specifically for gaming I'd probably swap to an 1155 setup, run an i5 2500k with 8gb of very high frequency RAM and with a good cooler of course. You can OC those new i5s to like 5Ghz on air. Get a small SSD (or two) for your game installs and you'll be laughing. I've yet to find a game that multi-threads properly so you're better off going for a fast quad core than some fancy hex or octacore at lower speeds.

Edited by Robin-Hood

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What's the purpose? BF3? If it's just that I say just upgrade your GPU, your CPU is definitely enough quality.

Mainly, yeah. To be honest, having not looked at any sort of reviews of any newly released parts during the last 2 years, I was very surprised this time how little things seem to have moved on from when I bought the current system.

 

CKinnerley you do a fair bit of video rendering for youtube don't ya? In that case I'd probably just upgrade because software packages like Premiere (or whatever you're using) actually make use of the cores, not much point ditching a lot of perfectly good hardware for an insignificant performance increase.

 

If it's specifically for gaming I'd probably swap to an 1155 setup, run an i5 2500k with 8gb of very high frequency RAM and with a good cooler of course. You can OC those new i5s to like 5Ghz on air. Get a small SSD (or two) for your game installs and you'll be laughing. I've yet to find a game that multi-threads properly so you're better off going for a fast quad core than some fancy hex or octacore at lower speeds.

Heh, to be honest I'm still on windows movie maker, as uber-n00b as that might be. For the incredibly basic things I want out of a video editing package (basically fade in/out, crop clips and the odd bit of slow-mo) it fills the purpose just fine. The insane price of some of the software out there kind of put me off moving to anything else, though admittedly I've no idea what's actually available within the market overall. Though always having to convert from the .mp4 my camcorder outputs over to .wmv is a PITA it has to be said, that takes more time than anything else.

 

End of the day, the priority is gaming over video since I don't to that much actual alteration to the stuff I record, it's just me chatting *suitcase* about gear n' stuff. I'm not gonna be going all freddiew.

 

Main concern I have over HDDs is one thing: Steam. Probably 90% of the titles I buy now are linked in to steam even if I buy the physical disks, which means everything has to go on to the C drive. I doubt that a SSD even exists which can hold windows 7, a basic array of day-to-day programs and all the games I have installed right now. Currently I've got a 500GB on boot, another 500 for non-steam games and then a 1TB for dodgy things that shall not be mentioned.

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Haha okay, well if you ever decide to upgrade I recommend the Adobe Suite, it has it's flaws but everything ties together & integrates so nicely it more than makes up for it. Anyway...

 

You'd probably want to put your OS on your regular HDD and just run apps from the SSD if you decided to go that route, though of course if you have lots of programs installed then it may not be the best option at all.

 

You can also just install them normally and use a RAMDisk, will be no problem if you upgrade to 8Gb or more. But the HDD is the biggest bottle neck in most systems and it will make a big difference when it comes to loading speeds, even for in game things like textures & LODs. Especially in more intensive games such as Arma or Flight Sims.

Edited by Robin-Hood

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I suppose ideally what I'd want is my windows on a regular drive and then I could just install the 2-3 games I'm currently playing on to an SSD. Sadly the issue with steam requiring everything to be installed on to the same drive as the OS is preventing me from doing that.

 

Had a quick read about RAMDisk but I'm not 100% on what it does if I'm honest, any chance of getting an explanation in basic terms? The wiki page goes in to a load of detail but doesn't seem to really put it in terms of how it's useful for normal people.

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You can have Steam on a different drive to the OS. I have Steam on my D drive.

Well that.. I did not know. So you just install the steam client itself on to a separate drive? Hmm...

 

Bit too late for this PC seeing as it's fairly well 'bedded in' as it were, but that is a very handy piece of info right there, I shall remember for next time.

 

If you want to full out upgrade I suggest waiting for Ivy Bridge when it comes out next year (it'll be the third gen i5/i7 cores). Don't go AMD - Bulldozer was such a disappointment.

Wasn't even considering AMD in all honesty. What sort of time next year is that lot coming along? I'll be away down the Falkland islands from February to June with just my laptop for company, so perhaps sticking in a new pretty-ness card (and possibly some RAM) in this tower for now and leaving the complete new unit until next year would be the way to go.

Edited by CKinnerley

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I suppose ideally what I'd want is my windows on a regular drive and then I could just install the 2-3 games I'm currently playing on to an SSD. Sadly the issue with steam requiring everything to be installed on to the same drive as the OS is preventing me from doing that.

 

Had a quick read about RAMDisk but I'm not 100% on what it does if I'm honest, any chance of getting an explanation in basic terms? The wiki page goes in to a load of detail but doesn't seem to really put it in terms of how it's useful for normal people.

 

Yeah hitman is right, you can put steam on another drive. My steam & all it's associated installs are on my E drive. You can also use a symbolic link to install steam games on one drive and the client on another.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/howto_master_your_file_system_mklink

 

What a RAM Disk does is allow you to temporarily store the entirety of the games related data (or more) in RAM, that way your read times are vastly faster than using an HDD. You see the biggest difference with games that are very hard drive intensive.

 

I think you're right, might be best to just grab some more RAM and a better GPU for now.

Edited by Robin-Hood

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That's rather handy. If I were to pop in a SSD and then move (for example) MW3 on to that, then hard link it, would that work correctly? Or is it only any good for storing your 'good' stuff on a high-speed drive and then linking to old games on standard HDDs?

 

Just to decide on a GPU and RAM really. Current Mobo looks to have 6 RAM slots, but 3 are orange and 3 are black; at the moment the sticks are all in the orange slots, no idea what that means.. :unsure:

 

GTX580 worth going for?

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It's just an ordering thing, it doesn't matter, as long as you dont put 2 in orange and one in black or something like that. It also means when you have 3 sticks they're spaced for better cooling. Back in the day sometimes sticks would be picky about which order they went in and you'd have to look at the serial number and put them in lowest to highest. If you get 3 more sticks you can just put them in the 3 spare slots and voila.

 

Apparently the GT-600 series is going to be released in November, just in time for Xmas. So I suggest waiting, not only will the price of the 5** series drop but you'll have some more powerful cards to choose from. I'd imagine the 285 would be okay for now, the 460 is only slightly faster than the 285 (really, by like 1-3fps in most cases), you won't have DX11 features but you should get performance close to that of the 460. Not ideal but if you run on low it should be fine.

 

http://static.techspot.com/articles-info/448/bench/High_1920.png

Edited by Robin-Hood

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It's just an ordering thing, it doesn't matter, as long as you dont put 2 in orange and one in black or something like that. It also means when you have 3 sticks they're spaced for better cooling. Back in the day sometimes sticks would be picky about which order they went in and you'd have to look at the serial number and put them in lowest to highest. If you get 3 more sticks you can just put them in the 3 spare slots and voila.

One slight problem.. the honking great Fenrir Titan I have on my CPU right now is blocking one of the slots. Guessing that just putting 2 more sticks in the free slots won't work?

 

Apparently the GT-600 series is going to be released in November, just in time for Xmas. So I suggest waiting, not only will the price of the 5** series drop but you'll have some more powerful cards to choose from.

Would any of my other components bottle-neck a 6xx card? The beta seemed to fun just fine on medium (small map admittedly), but I don't mind paying the cost of something like a 580 now; unless it's going to drop massive amount in a couple of weeks that is of course.

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I doubt anything in your PC would cause a significant bottleneck at all. I mean there's always going to be a slowest part to a system but nothing to make a great difference. It's only really a problem if you go to extremes in my opinion. Though I'd probably want to up the CPU & RAM clocks a bit. some 1866 or 2000mhz RAM and so on. OCUK has a this week only on the i7 960 if you're interested.

Edited by Robin-Hood

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Seeing as I'll only be using this rig until the end of january and then leaving it idle for 4 months, I'd probably rather spend a bit less on the upgrade and then get something totally new when I'm back in the summer time. Just not sure what'd be the best way to go about that really. So probably better to stick with a 5 series and my current i7 I'd imagine..? Then there's the question of different CPU cooler and extra RAM, or just replace what's in the 3 available slots with faster/bigger stuff?

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Hmm true it's not that long 'til January.

I'd consider these two options:

 

Buy a GTX 570 and 12Gb of RAM (in 3 sticks to replace your current, that way you can keep the cooler too)

Buy a GTX 580 and just stick with 6Gb of RAM, which should be plenty anyway.

 

Then ebay it all come summer and spend what you get on top of what's left on something better.

Edited by Robin-Hood

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Well, I've got the cash here for a 580 (not sure what the 590 costs?) but if a 60 or 70 would do a pretty similar job then I'm open to that as well. Not sure what sort of differences there are between the range really.

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Ideal, that's exactly the sort of value for money I was hoping for, 570 it is. Now just to have a look for some RAM, and figure out if my HDD connector cable has a spare plug for an SSD, the bloody thing would have to be hidden away at the opposite side of the side panel that's removable...

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