Do I want this graphics card?

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Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Tonster on Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:43 pm

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I've been offered an Nvidia GTX600 series graphics card, I don't know which model but it has 1.5GB of memory. I'm currently packing a Radeon 5850 (1GB) but have no idea if the card offered is better or worse than what I've got. I'll be able to get the exact model in a couple of days hopefully, but is it an instant 'steer clear' or should I unquestionably take the thing and run laughing all the way to the high FPS league?

Also any idea if based on current card whether it will fit or need more power cables? The current card is right on the size limit, I seem to remember I had to get right angled connectors for it.

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Quinnbeast on Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:50 am

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There are a few too many variables in there; it'll depend on which card it is. The 680 is premium end, the 670 is it's wee (but still shit-hot) brother. The 660 (plus Ti variation) is the current mid-range option from Nvidia, and is probably the nearest modern equivalent of your 5850 (and still a reasonable upgrade at a guess). Anything below the 660 may not be worth bothering with.

Give the Anandtech Bench tables a look for a rough idea once you find out the exact model - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU12/372

Most of the mid to high end of the new cards will need two of the 6-pin connectors, but you can use a molex adapter if you really need to. The 680 is a full length card (12inch) or thereabouts, the 670 is a bit smaller etc but again there are variations based on the type of fan (i.e. reference cooler or otherwise). Some have coolers that overhang the PCB... check the reviews for the exact model once you find out.

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby larchy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:22 am

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The only 1.5GB GTX6xx variant I can find officially listed is a rare OEM GTX660, which would be a fairly decent upgrade if it's not costing you.

Are you sure it's not a plain GT6xx, which is more likely as there's the usual medley of rebrands... the GT640 is an old GT545 with a new sticker. There were a ton of 1.5GB 5xxx series models.

Regardless, despite its age, a 5850 is hardly slow.

The current nVidia cards are generally a lot shorter than the huge AMD cards so space shouldn't be an issue. Again, depends on the model.

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Tonster on Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:37 am

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I was mis-sold and I shall be writing to my MP! It's a GTX580. Still, according to that benchmarking link it's still something like 50% faster (and its feggin' enormous!).

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby larchy on Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:28 pm

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It is indeed, being nVidia's old flagship card.

Do be aware of the power consumption though. This is a very highly clocked top end card and is going to be roughly 150-200W greedier under load. The 5850 is actually quite frugal for a GPU, making the jump to the 580 particularly large. Be sure your PSU is adequate; this isn't just a matter of wattage, but the ability to maintain power delivery within spec whilst under what will be a tremendously increased load. Ensure there is enough headroom on the 12v rail, as many PSUs quote high wattages but with the majority of the supposed 'output' on the unused 5v rails. Check the sticker. Anything from a decent manufacturer won't pull this trick, but I'd advise you to still check the 12v capacity. NVidia don't provide specific guidance themselves on this, quoting only meaningless combined wattage recommendations. However EVGA specify a requirement of 42A on the 12V rail, which is generally the province of PSUs that are considerably expensive. The GTX580 has a system whereby it will down-clock itself if the power delivery is too low. Nvidia added this as the only way to keep it within the PCIe specification, but it isn't a good idea to run the card like this without adequate power.

Noise-wise it's about the same as the Radeon, nVidia's cooler generally being far better than AMD solutions and can cope with the increased heat without becoming a vacuum cleaner.

The GTX580s are going on ebay for £150-£200. If I were you I'd be inclined to sell it, and your 5850, and pick up a 660TI for around £220 which is overall about as fast as the GTX580 (sometimes a bit slower, sometimes a bit quicker) but with far lower power consumption (load 290 vs 451W). Pocket the change and have a brand new card/warranty to boot.

Just a thought.

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Quinnbeast on Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:46 pm

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Yeah, this is the first time in a while that Nvidia really seem to have the upper hand. I've been an ATI/AMD fanboi for a long time as far as GPUs go. The 660Ti and 670 look like stonkingly good cards on all fronts though (quicker, smaller, cooler, relatively modest power consumption etc)... not that I'm in a rush to replace the 6870, but if a silly-good deal came along...

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Tonster on Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:37 pm

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larchy wrote:Ensure there is enough headroom on the 12v rail, as many PSUs quote high wattages but with the majority of the supposed 'output' on the unused 5v rails. Check the sticker. Anything from a decent manufacturer won't pull this trick, but I'd advise you to still check the 12v capacity. NVidia don't provide specific guidance themselves on this, quoting only meaningless combined wattage recommendations. However EVGA specify a requirement of 42A on the 12V rail, which is generally the province of PSUs that are considerably expensive.

According to this
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1128618
my Corsair 520W HX has 18A across 3 rails, so 54A total.

Erm, so yeah, rails, and stuff.

I think I'd overload my guilt chip if I took the card au gratis and then flogged it :)

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Tonster on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:04 pm

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Well dagnammit, fitted my ssd which meant taking the 580 out of the PC to access the sata connection in the mobo. I didn't realise I had a spare power connection tucked away so added a molex splitter into the connections. When I boot now all I get is my monitor saying 'dvi-d can not display this mode'. No POST screen, nothing, though the pc seems to have booted ok though.

So I removed all the new stuff I've added. No difference, still giving that message.

Dang.

One of the molex power connections seems a bit dodgy, could be the gfx card is not getting enough juice but I don't have a replacement. Does that sound like a likely cause of the issue? Will buy a replacement anyway but will take some time to get here.

Just to clarify the system is back to how it was before I started trying to fit the ssd, but still b0rked.

:|

Edit: oh and the gfx card has two monitor outputs of course, tried both but even when it was working I didn't get a picture out of one of them (the day I fitted it, thought it must only work with a second monitor).

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby larchy on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:20 pm

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Sounds like the card isn't seated correctly or isn't receiving the power it needs. Do you still have your old card to test the system with?

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Tonster on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:42 pm

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After much ado tracked the problem down to either a dodgy DVI cable or a dodgy DVI connection in the monitor. As I don't have a spare of either I can't tell which but wiggling the cable makes it work, so I'm back with a PC (hooray!). Sounds like a good excuse to get a new monitor to me :D

Windows Device Manager is seeing the SSD for what it is but says it's not formatted, fine. So go to Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management... and it's not listed there to format. I am currently scouring the internet for why not, any ideas? I am NOT currently setting my SSD to run Windows, it's just an extra drive that I'll copy Steam onto until I can be arsed to go though with a proper system update. It is being seen in the BOIS but there are no instructions that came with it to tell me if I need to change anything there, so it's currently on defaults.

Firmware upgrade made no difference.

I see on tinternet lots of people are talking about switching from IDE to AHCI mode in the BIOS. I can see the option but don't want to bugger everything up including my good ol' IDE HDD, there doesn't seem to be an option to have 1 drive on IDE and another on AHCI... but I am firmly into "I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about" territory here.

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby larchy on Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:53 pm

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'IDE mode' (which is actually ATA mode) and AHCI mode are the modes the storage controller chip on the motherboard runs in. You can't have one port on one mode and another on a different mode because they all run off the same controller chip (unless you have a separate controller for RAId or whatever). So it's one or the other.

DO NOT CHANGE IT FFS! You can potentially fuck your Windows installation.

It is possible to change it without any issues, just don't go doing it blindly or you'll end up getting yourself in trouble. I'd recommend only changing it if you intend to install Windows afresh, unless you're confident in fiddling around in safe mode and device manager.

It should be showing in disk management so you can partition/format it. Can you post a screenshot?

Are you breaking things for fun? Do you need a hobby? :D

Re: Do I want this graphics card?

Postby Tonster on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:43 pm

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Pfft, these forums are practically tumbleweed, I'm just sabotaging my PC to have something to post about.

Anyway, I'm a mong, the drive is there for formatting, I just didn't realise it was there as Disk 0 in the lower window of Computer Management.

Warp speed ahead!

(and thanks for the help... again *sigh*)


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