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GPU issues and upgrade advice


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#1
mart_blade

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Hello all,

I've been lurking for a while as a guest now and then but have found I need to ask for some advice from yourselves.

Basically, a family member invested in Crysis for me for christmas not knowing the sort of spec needed to run it on high (or at all!). I have a good spec PC, but for some reason I just can't get any semblence of acceptable performance from my GPU no matter what game I load up and play. So I figured I'd ask maybe see what advice comes out of this. I've done a couple searches of threads on here, read the overclocking guide etc but i'm not really the wiser so any help is appreciated.

Relevant Spec:
Plenty of HD space
Native monitor resolution 1900 x 1200
Quad Core Q6600 @2.4Ghz
6GB RAM (although not entirely sure what type)
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
- Core Clock set at 540MHz
- Memory Clock set at 400MHz
- Shader Clock set at 1188MHz

I'm no expert, but I was under the impression that card wasn't 'bad', perhaps it's not 'good' either for playing newer games. I could overclock and a prog came with the computer to do it with just a slide of the above clock settings, it but I'm not really sure what I'm doing there. Rather frustratingly, I ran 3DMark Vantage and got quite frankly unacceptable results from the tests, weighing in with a phenomenally crap average FPS of around 2 or 3, sometimes even topping a mammoth 0 FPS which leads me to wonder if it's actually set up properly in the first place. These tests were run over a 1080p resolution so I guess I got what was coming to me, but they were also equally rubbish using smaller resolutions even so far as a paltry 1024 x 768 on High with 2x anti-aliasing on Crysis was woeful as well.

So I'm thinking unless someone can help me work some magic with this then I'll have to upgrade, I've got a budget of about £150 at a big push. I've read on here about 8800 GT being nice however maybe it's my n00b eyes but the specs don't look much different to mine? I'm not sure about my motherboard manufacturer but I know it's got PCIe 1x and PCIe 16x, the 16x being what the current card is slotted into - so i'm guessing I can't bridge if there's just 1 PCIe 16x? One point that I should note is that preferrably any new card would have HDMI out.

So any ideas folks, or am I sticking with my 360? :)

Edited by mart_blade, 11 January 2009 - 12:23 PM.

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#2
jrm20

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Hello all,

I've been lurking for a while as a guest now and then but have found I need to ask for some advice from yourselves.

Basically, a family member invested in Crysis for me for christmas not knowing the sort of spec needed to run it on high (or at all!). I have a good spec PC, but for some reason I just can't get any semblence of acceptable performance from my GPU no matter what game I load up and play. So I figured I'd ask maybe see what advice comes out of this. I've done a couple searches of threads on here, read the overclocking guide etc but i'm not really the wiser so any help is appreciated.

Relevant Spec:
Plenty of HD space
Native monitor resolution 1900 x 1200
Quad Core Q6600 @2.4Ghz
6GB RAM (although not entirely sure what type)
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
- Core Clock set at 540MHz
- Memory Clock set at 400MHz
- Shader Clock set at 1188MHz

I'm no expert, but I was under the impression that card wasn't 'bad', perhaps it's not 'good' either for playing newer games. I could overclock and a prog came with the computer to do it with just a slide of the above clock settings, it but I'm not really sure what I'm doing there. Rather frustratingly, I ran 3DMark Vantage and got quite frankly unacceptable results from the tests, weighing in with a phenomenally crap average FPS of around 2 or 3, sometimes even topping a mammoth 0 FPS which leads me to wonder if it's actually set up properly in the first place. These tests were run over a 1080p resolution so I guess I got what was coming to me, but they were also equally rubbish using smaller resolutions even so far as a paltry 1024 x 768 on High with 2x anti-aliasing on Crysis was woeful as well.

So I'm thinking unless someone can help me work some magic with this then I'll have to upgrade, I've got a budget of about £150 at a big push. I've read on here about 8800 GT being nice however maybe it's my n00b eyes but the specs don't look much different to mine? I'm not sure about my motherboard manufacturer but I know it's got PCIe 1x and PCIe 16x, the 16x being what the current card is slotted into - so i'm guessing I can't bridge if there's just 1 PCIe 16x? One point that I should note is that preferrably any new card would have HDMI out.

So any ideas folks, or am I sticking with my 360? :)



While the 8600gt really isn't a low end card it is barley hanging in the mid level video card department IMO but not to everyone's eyes. The video card you have is the weakest link in your system and on a PC if you want to game with high resolutions and all of the eye candy you will want to get the most expensive video card you can afford.

Crysis can be a GPU hog if you do not optimize your video cards settings appropriately, meaning trying to run at higher settings than you should. You won't be able to run Crysis with high settings with your card so we can get that out of the way but have you tried updating your video card drivers to the latest? Sometimes just the drivers will boost your FPS a little IF you have some OLD drivers installed.

List the video settings in CRYSIS you are trying to play at.

If you want decent results IMO for crysis you will want at least some kind of 8800/9800 but you will still have to watch how high you put some settings. It ran pretty good on my 8800gts (g92) but I am always looking for more FPS and keeping the eye candy so I suggest something faster than an 8800gts (g92) IMO.
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#3
amw_drizz

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I'd agree the video card is the weakest link, also is that system SLi capable? The reason why I ask is that I run Crysis @ high settings across the board and the res is either 1280x1024 or 1360x900 depending on what monitor I have hooked up. But I am running 2 9800 GTX OC'ed Cards. And I average about 50 FPS in the benchmark program that came with crysis.
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#4
mart_blade

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have you tried updating your video card drivers to the latest?


I'll have a look but I think i'm set, I remember checking it out towards the arse end of last year so I'd be surprised if any update would provide significant difference

List the video settings in CRYSIS you are trying to play at.


I've tried at 1080p and 720p resolutions, it runs marginally better on the 720p resolutions or thereabouts but with my screen native at 1900 x 1200, 720p looks a little stretched for me. I've taken to letting the game decide the settings and it comes up with 'medium' across the board, but gameplay on those settings still hits me with a 0 - 1 FPS average

It ran pretty good on my 8800gts (g92)


Looks interesting, will keep a look out for a good deal

also is that system SLi capable?


Yeah I had a look last night and I've got two PCIe x16 slots, one is free obviously. From what I've researched I don't think getting another 8600GT and bridging them is going to do me justice if I can only run on a realistically 'low' setting across the board with just the one card. But also, getting a better card and bridging the two won't work will it - I was under the impression going SLI is only as fast as your slowest card, or is that incorrect?

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion I need a better card, will possibly have to invest in a new PSU too but I'm not sure on that yet until I do the calculations. On the one hand I'm using it as an excuse to get back into PC gaming to justify the expense with my mrs, lol, but on the other hand it does greatly suck a fat one that you have to shell out £100+ in order to play a modern, cutting edge game! Thanks for your responses on this, guys
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#5
mart_blade

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Posted Image


Check this horrendous price glitch out

Edited by mart_blade, 12 January 2009 - 01:04 PM.

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#6
amw_drizz

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While from what I have read trying to SLi the cards need to be the same, IE final spec like 9800gtx or 9800gt But you also need the SLi Bridge for them to work correctly as well. If I recall correctly 2 9800gtx are the same as 1 280gtx and 3 9800 gtx are the same as 2 260gtx i believe. I may be wrong.
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#7
TM_Skylark

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Be careful

When installing video cards in SLI or Crossfire (nVidia or ATI respectively) you must make sure that your motherboard supports SLI or Crossfire respectively. They are not the same thing.

If your motherboard did not come with a SLI or Crossfire bridge, changes are you will not be able to run your cards in SLI/Crossfire.

Also, concerning mixing video cards:

When running a fast card along with a slow card in SLI/Crossfire, the faster video card will slow down to match the clock speed of the slower card. So yes, you can mix and match cards as long as they support SLI/Crossfire, however you will only get performance = two of the slower card in SLI/Crossfire.
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#8
stettybet0

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While from what I have read trying to SLi the cards need to be the same, IE final spec like 9800gtx or 9800gt But you also need the SLi Bridge for them to work correctly as well. If I recall correctly 2 9800gtx are the same as 1 280gtx and 3 9800 gtx are the same as 2 260gtx i believe. I may be wrong.

Some games work better with SLI than others, so this may be right in some cases, but very wrong in others. Also, very few games take advantage of three cards, and if they do it's very inefficiently, so I strongly doubt the second comparison.

So yes, you can mix and match cards as long as they support SLI/Crossfire, however you will only get performance = two of the slower card in SLI/Crossfire.

You cannot mix and match just any SLI-capable graphics cards. They must be the same model, however not necessarily the same brand. For instance, you can mix an EVGA 8800GT and a BFG 8800GT, but you can't mix an EVGA 8800GT and an EVGA 8600GT. Also, you can mix factory overclocked cards of the same model, but they will run at the slower speed. For example, you can mix an EVGA 8800GT and an EVGA 8800GT SuperClocked, but they will run at the speeds of the slower EVGA 8800GT.
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#9
mart_blade

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Thanks for all your input, folks.
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