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video card / vid memory


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#1
padre03

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I do some autocad drafting work as well as a bit of gaming and am looking at building a pc for the future in the hopes that it will be serviceable for at least 6+ years. (since I can't play the newer games on my four year old pc). That being said, it looks like I'll be spending close to $1500 bones. I'm pretty intent on buying a 780i/Core2 Quad 6700 mobo/cpu combo - I'm looking at the 512MB nvidia 8800GT at around $200, but am also debating going for the 786MB 8800 Ultra. ($450). Is that extra $250 justifiable, when I could get a second 8800GT and SLI them together for less? Granted, the Ultra supposedly can be SLI'd in a three way configuration, while the GT can only be used in a double card setup.

Secondly, with regard to video card memory, can someone please explain the differences and/or the advantages/disadvantages between DDR3 & GDDR3?

I'm sure this will lead to perhaps more questions than answers, but I gotta start somewhere.
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#2
james_8970

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The Ultra is not a justifiable upgrade and the product is EOL (end of life), it has been replaced by the 8800GTS 512mb card. While the new 8800GTS isn't quite as powerful, there is no reason to spend double on an Ultra.

Granted, the Ultra supposedly can be SLI'd in a three way configuration, while the GT can only be used in a double card setup.

Correct, only the GTX and Ultra can be placed in tri-SLI. However, I highly recommend you don't buy into tri-SLI the benefits just are not there.

Secondly, with regard to video card memory, can someone please explain the differences and/or the advantages/disadvantages between DDR3 & GDDR3?

A video card cannot and will not have DDR3 memory on it. This would dramatically increase the cost of the card, GDDR3 isn't quite as good as DDR3 (DDR3 and GDDR4 is a better comparison bandwidth/performance wise). Lastly, a common misconception is that if your video card has GDDR3 you motherboard needs to have DDR3, this is false.

I'm pretty intent on buying a 780i/Core2 Quad 6700 mobo/cpu combo

Do you overclock? The Q6700 doesn't offer much more then the Q6600 when you take the price into consideration. There will be price cuts next month on the 20th of april if you want to wait that long, this'll bring the prices between these chips much closer.

Unless your monitor is over 22", I highly suggest you do not purchase into SLI, the gain isn't significant enough for what you pay on lower resolutions.
James

Edited by james_8970, 13 March 2008 - 01:10 PM.

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#3
padre03

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Thanks for the feedback - I was going with the 780i/Q6700 because it's currently "on sale" for $500 - the same online store lists the 780i/Q6600 bundle for $480. Although, at the moment, I do not overclock, for an extra $20, I think I would be crazy not to get the Q6700 bundle...

If you don't mind, please allow me to pick your brain a bit more - I'm looking for a recommended psu to run this new build. Assume I'm going to eventually do the SLI thing with two 8800 GT's. I was leaning towards something in the 600-700W range, but there's so many to choose from out there. Something that runs cool and quiet, that's reasonably energy efficient is what I'm looking for.

Secondly, since I'm building "for the future", would you recommend going with the 64-bit OS over a 32-bit? I am planning on installing 4MB (SLI-Ready Edition Dual Channel PC6400 DDR2 800MHz) memory, and using XP Pro in either case...

Thanks again -
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#4
james_8970

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Secondly, since I'm building "for the future", would you recommend going with the 64-bit OS over a 32-bit?

Yes I'd recommend 64bit, I'm planning on doing the upgrade myself sometime in the summer. Please keep in mind that some programs and older hardware will not work with the 64bit version of vista. I have you any older prints/scanners/fax machines, make sure there is a driver update. Lastely, there are still a few compabatiblity issues with some programs, most of which have be cleared up now. I may seem a little negative here, but I just don't want you to experience any surprises.

SLI-Ready Edition Dual Channel PC6400 DDR2 800MHz

Don't fall for the SLI ready memory, it's a marketing ploy.

Assume I'm going to eventually do the SLI thing with two 8800 GT's.

If you can wait till the end of the month, nVidia is releasing a refresh version of thier 9800GTX. I think it'd be better off you get this card alone and not both with SLIing two 8800GT for now.

As for the PSU, I recommend this one.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817256009

James
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