Well, I think it's time to replace my X850XT =D

By agi_shi ยท 15 replies
Jun 20, 2007
  1. Hello people, how's it cooling? (sorry, my jokes are lame...)

    I'm not sure if anyone remembers (or if I even posted that stuff here...), but before I kept on insisting on how much better the X850XT was than the 7600GT. People kept implying that the 7600GT was newer, better, and had new technology (SM3), but I totally threw that off with "X850XT is faster, no games really make use of SM3!". As I now have a X850XT, I see where I was wrong - from a gamer's view of point, I was partially correct; from a programmer's point of view, I was totally off.

    My X850XT at most supports SM2. Now that I've gone into shader programming, I realize how much this limits me. I need more - I need SM3. Heck, even more. SM4.

    So, I'm off for a new(er) graphics card. My current X850XT will go into my "general family pc" which has a nice Gigabyte board with a 6100 IGP an a 400W Fortron - it'll spruce it up nicely, especially when my little bro wants to play games on it.

    I have $24 to spend.

    Ha, what was your reaction with that?

    Yes, I currently have $24 to spend. I'm 14, have no job, no allowance, and thus no money income. However, according to my parents, I'm 99% sure I'll be getting $100 for my upcoming B-day. So that's just about $125 to round it nicely.

    Now: $125 is what my limit should be based around. I *might* twist and turn another $15 if it really comes down to it. If it comes down to a bigger limit expansion, I guess I'll be able to wait a bit more to save some more. Anyways, for the sake of this post, let's put my max limit at $130.

    Now, what I'm looking for, is a nice, flexible, "fast-enough" card that supports newer technology. SM3 is a must, SM4 is a big-want.

    Given that I don't have much to choose from right now for SM4, my question becomes more of a ... how good is the 8600GT? Mainly I'm looking to compare its speed to a 7600GT, and its overall quality/overclockablity/features (obviously other than SM4)... How about to something like a 7900GS?

    Another card is the 8600GTS. What about that one? How does it compare to the 8600GT? As far as I can see from a quick look, its simply faster (still 32 stream processors). I also see it has a larger memory bandwidth.

    Any good SM3 solutions to my problem? Although... SM4 is a big one... not sure if I really want a SM3 card. Unless it's a lot faster than an equivalent D3D10/SM4 card (price-wise).

    So, what are your thoughts on this stuff? I'm really looking to change my card soon, so don't suggest anything like "save up another 100 and get a 8800GTS" :D.

    Thanks, and peace!

    BTW, my mobo is an NF590SLI. This means I'd be able to SLI 2 cards together. So maybe get one now and later on simply get 1 more, and SLI them? But I'll pretty much need a new PSU. My current one is a 480W TruepowerII by Antec.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Nothing wrong with a 480W TruePower II... it will likely handle all of that just fine.
  3. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    Well for $130.00 either the 7900GS or 8600GT.
    I have the XFX 8600GT XXX. That might be your best bet, at least you'll have DX10 till you get a 8800. That will be my next upgrade.
  4. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    I know. It's been holding up quite finely. I'm just saying if I get a... say, 8600GT right now, and I decide to get a second one later on, I'd probably need a new PSU.
  5. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Get an 8600GT if you plan on doing more programming than gaming. If you want more gaming, get the 7900GS. I say this because the 7900GS is more powerful than an 8600GT, but the 8600 has DX10/SM4.0 support, making it more versatile for programming.

    P.S. I feel sorry for you :( I'm getting $600 for my birthday :) Although that is Canadian money.
  6. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    Wow, that sure makes me feel great! ;) My family isn't exactly the richest around here...

    But $100 is good, it'll get me into D3D10 territory. I'll have to wait and see though, there seems to be a hidden source from which I may get a "little boost". If that "little boost" works the way I wish for it to work, I'm onto an 8800GTS 320MB.

    So, new question: How is the 8800GTS 320MB? Compared to the 640MB? Compared to the 8800GTX?
  7. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    320 and 640 are more or less equal at low resolutions. But at around 1600x1200 with AA/AF, the 320 starts to lag. Of course the 8800GTX is never limited by high amounts of AA/AF or high resolutions ;)
  8. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    Or the 8800ultra for the matter :D ;)

    But unfortunately, I don't have pockets the size of Texas.

    Besides, I can only ever run at 1440x900. So it doesn't really make a difference.
  9. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    Well, I squeezed up $239 and just placed an order for an XFX 8800GTS, 320MB. I'm kind of hoping on the rebate to work out, because I'm "borrowing" $50 from my parents right now.

    I was going to settle on a 8600GTS instead because they didn't want to originally lend me money, but I guess they saw it my way (I explained how the jump from a 8600 to a 8800 is more than merely a change in the models number ;))...

    Hm. My PSU is 480W, 18A on the first +12V rail and 16A on the second +12V rail... it's just about a year old, Antec. According to the 8800GTS's specs, I'll need 28 amps for the +12V rail and 400W, at the minimum. I'm going to drop all overclocking and unnecessary lighting to get the best out of my PSU, because I can in no way buy a new one anytime soon. A year old Antec isn't too bad, is it?
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You will be ok. Replace it before you overclock or otherwise push the system. Keep everything clean... Add a 120 mm system fan when budget permits.

    Keep us up to date on how it goes. We can learn from you.
  11. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    Yes, I'm not going to push it on my current PSU. After all... a stock 8800gts isn't exactly bad... ;)

    My cooling is pretty well, I should probably say... My case has a filtered mesh for the front, and two high-speed 80mm fans blowing straight backwards... I have two (slightly slower) fans in the back, a 120mm and a 90mm which I fit in a bunch of open expansion slots. The wiring in there ain't too bad either, I managed to keep most of the wires up in an open drive bay and to the side of it (there's a ... "gap" between the right case cover and the drive bays).

    I'll post some pics of how it all goes when I get it... I can imagine it'll be around Thursday or even Wednesday if I'm lucky.
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I've got the 8800GTS. Its fine. Running C&C3 at very high on everything at 1680x1050 I did get it to lag once tonight, but that may have been CPU too I'm not sure, I had a ton of stuff going on at once, under normal play its great. It also seemed a little off in the bioshock demo at that res with everything high... You'll be fine with that power supply though, or at least I think you will, I'm running everything on an Enermax Noisetaker II 485W and I don't believe it has 28A on 12V.. I can check if you really care that much, but I suspect you'll be fine.
  13. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    Cool. In all honesty, I'm not really getting it for games, but rather for the new technology. I really want to write some parallax occlusion mapping and other nice shaders that aren't possible on my SM2 X850XT.

    But then again... it can't be too bad playing games ;)
  14. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    w00t, I'm now writing from my 8800gts-enhanced rig ;)

    I did full re-format and re-install of XP, so I've yet to install stuff...

    One question, though: how HOT does this thing run? Currently it's at 58C [idle], and I'm a bit worried as my X850XT ran at ~40C idle... Time to go see how it fairs in 3D (I got the best stuff to test with : my game ;)).

    BTW: it's HUGE. And this THIS is HUGE, then I DO NOT want to even SEE the 8800GTX. Well, I do. Obviously. But still. It's huge. For a second there I thought it wouldn't fit, and it was a bit hard to get in there. But once it's in there it's fine (had to re-route some cables).
  15. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    62c is acceptable, and average for that unit... but there is no such thing as too much cooling
  16. agi_shi

    agi_shi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 385

    Wow this card is odd... and fast...

    8x AA, 16x AF on one of the Ogre demos, 1000 separate entities all drawn as inefficiently as possible (on purpose, obviously), shadows, and a bunch of after effects... >30FPS the whole time (@ 1024x768, windowed, as I wanted to monitor the temperature). My X850XT couldn't run it at more than ~5FPS at 1024x768, no AA and no AF.

    When I tried the demo, it went from 58C to 63C and sat there. Then I stopped the demo, and it started idling at 53C.

    Oh wait. Everything dropped. Lol - I forgot to turn on my front fans :grinthumb :eek: :unch:
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