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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 1


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


AMD Radeon R9 290/290X Crossfire for a single monitor?

Question asked by Sohaib from Pakistan | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: 4 days, 22 hours ago

Is it a good idea to crossfire a R9 290 and R9 290x on a single display unit? If so, what amount of power are we talking about from the PSU here?


Hey there Sohaib,

 

This is a great question, and something that's easy to answer, but it really depends on the resolution of your display. If you are running a 1080p monitor, a single Radeon R9 290/290X would be enough. For a 1440p display at 60Hz, the same applies. But if it's a 120/144Hz monitor, then a second R9 290/290X would definitely be put to good use depending on the game.

 

amd-radeon-r9-290-290x-crossfire-single-monitor_06

 

If you're running a 4K monitor, then a second R9 290/290X would definitely be something I'd recommend for performance, but for power consumption and what AMD has coming soon, I would not recommend it. If you've already got a single R9 290/290X and were going to purchase another - I would keep your single card as it will be good enough for your display.

 

amd-radeon-r9-290-290x-crossfire-single-monitor_05

 

As for power consumption, a single R9 290X consumes around 450-500W of power. A second card can bump this up to ~800W or so, and with overclocking, you could easily reach 1000W or so for a pair of 290X's in Crossfire. Our last review looked at the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X, which consumed 450W in Battlefield 4, and while overclocked, a huge 625W.

 

AMD is close to releasing their Radeon R9 390X, which should provide much more performance, all while using similar, if not less power than a R9 290X right now. My advice, would be to stay where you are with the single card and wait it out, or upgrade to the R9 390X when it's released.

In which situations will an Intel processor beat an AMD processor?

Question asked by Hosam from Egypt | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Mar 10, 2015 11:58 pm

Can AMD and Intel processor do the same job, or there are some situations AMD is better than Intel vice versa?


Hi there Hosam,

 

situations-intel-processor-beat-amd_05

 

This is a great question, where everyone is going to have a different answer. In a majority of situations, an Intel processor will beat an AMD processor. Video editing, gaming, virtually anything processor intensive, will have the Intel coming out of the flames holding the winning flag.

 

  • If you were building a video or photo production/editing PC, then I would definitely recommend Intel.
  • If you were building a new gaming PC, both options are great.

 

We've done some testing, and even at 4K the AMD CPU keeps up and actually beats a high-end, expensive Intel set up.

 

I would suggest getting what fits your budget, and if you can Intel. If you can't afford the Intel set up, an AMD set up definitely is not a bad decision, especially for the budget-minded gamer.

Thoughts on DX12, Mantle and NVIDIA building their own PCs

Question asked by Brett from New Zealand | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Mar 8, 2015 12:51 am

Hi there, I was wondering if 3 could be answered please? They are centered a bit about speculation.

 

1: I was wondering what your thoughts and ideas are about DX12 in terms of hardware that would need to support it and weather Intel and AMD will have to produce new hardware (besides GPU's) to support this new API?

 

Second: I was also wondering your thoughts on how much of Mantle would be used by Microsoft for DX12?

 

Lastly: Do you think NVIDIA will eventually build their own branded PC's in a few years time with their ARM Technology once that architecture gets good enough?

 

Sorry about the questions, I just like sticking my head into that kind of territory and taking off my tinfoil hat once in a while :)


Hey Brett,

 

My thoughts on DirectX 12, hey? We're seeing DX12 adopted pretty quick with the new GeForce GTX 900 series from NVIDIA having full support for it, and we're on the eve of the Radeon 300 series which will have support for DX12, too. We will need to see new hardware, but by the time it's here we should have plenty of new GPUs to choose from.

 

thoughts-dx12-mantle-nvidia-building-pcs_06

 

Intel and AMD will be right on it, as they are all part of the DX12 movement thanks to AMD, Intel and NVIDIA all having tight partnerships with Microsoft. On top of that, they will all want to push DX12 forward as it will really differentiate PCs away from consoles, and it'll sell boatloads of new hardware.

 

Mantle is done with now, as AMD has even said it wants to see developers to focus their attention on DX12. AMD released Mantle as a way of pushing developers towards getting "closer to the metal" or, achieving more access of the GPU itself. DX12 does that, as it removes multiple layers of the API which provides developers with even more access to the horsepower of GPUs.

 

As for the last bit, do I think NVIDIA could release their own branded PCs? Well, yes and no. We're seeing the company really expand its Shield line of devices, with the Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, and now the new Shield that is really just a kick-ass Tegra X1-powered console.

 

Secondly, NVIDIA just took the wraps off of the news that GRID will be rendering games in the cloud and pushing them down to gamers in select markets. Would they really need to release their own PC if they could render the game and shoot it down to a $199 console in the future at 4K? Or if you were to purchase a Shield VR headset in the future (which I think will happen this year), and have it rendered in the cloud and blasted down to your HMD?

 

Sure, NVIDIA could release their own branded PC, but I think we'll see that in the form of a Steam Machine or two, versus a full desktop PC as we know them now.

AMD FX-8350 or Intel Core i7-4790K for video production/rendering PC?

Question asked by Mike from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Feb 25, 2015 2:05 am

I am trying to decide between a FX8350 set up vs a i7 4790K set up.

 

I will use the pc for gaming, graphic design, 3D design and rendering and video editing.

 

I am moving up from a old q6600 system.

 

I don't have to have the best, just something that works well. The less money to spend the better, I can get other stuff I need.

 

My gpu is a GTX660 that will transfer to the new build until I can buy a GTX970 or GTX980.

 

Which pc set up should I go for?


Hi Mike,

 

This is a good question, and something that is easy to answer. The AMD FX-8350 isn't a bad CPU by any means, but for graphic/3D design, rendering and video editing, I would sway toward the Intel quite heavily. Even in gaming situations the Intel chip will be superior, but it doesn't make the AMD CPU a bad purchase at all.

 

amd-fx-8350-intel-core-i7-4790k-video-production-rendering-pc_01

 

Intel's Core i7-4790K is a bloody awesome processor, and something that will do some serious number crunching for you. When you want to jump out of work and into some games, it will handle all of those like the best of them.

 

As for the GPU, the GeForce GTX 660 will be fine until you buy that GTX 970 or GTX 980.

Which GPU should I choose out of the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 960s?

Question asked by Rakshit from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 23, 2015 11:56 pm

Hi there,

 

This is Rakshit from India. I am about to buying a GPU, where I'm choosting between 4 GPUs: MSI GTX 970 4GB, ASUS GTX 970 4GB, Zotac GTX 970 4GB & Zotac GTX 960 2GB.

 

Which of these is best for me?

 

I heard a concern of VRAM issue with all GTX 970 is this a serious issue.

 

Plz help me out.


Hi Rakshit,

 

To start it off, any of those four video cards will be a great purchase. You will handle any and all games you throw at it, with the three GeForce GTX 970s being able to handle every resolution right up to 4K. As for the GTX 960, even that would handle nearly every game at 1080p or 1440p at 60FPS with some tweaks to the in-game visual settings.

 

gpu-choose-geforce-gtx-970-960s_01

 

If it were up to me, I'd recommend the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition. This card handled everything for me right up to 4K without a problem.

 

As for the 4GB of VRAM issue, I wouldn't worry about it. Sure, it's there, but it won't negatively effect many people. I was playing countless hours of Battlefield 4 at 1080p, 1440p and 4K during my testing with it and never ran into a problem. The only time I did was when I cranked everything up to maximum, including AA, and started flooding over 3.5GB of VRAM. There aren't many games out there that will use 3.5GB+ of VRAM at less than 1440p.

 

Hopefully we've helped you out here, Rakshit!

My video card is overheating! What should I do?

Question asked by William from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 22, 2015 6:39 am

I have a problem! My NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 1GB video card crashes when I play games like DOTA 2. It starts off okay, with around 60-70FPS but after five minutes the fRAMe rate drops all of the sudden to 20-30FPS then the game crashed.

 

I've taken a look at GPU-Z and noticed that the card is reaching 110C!! What should I do?!


Hey there William,

 

I don't think there's much you can do, as it sounds like there is a serious problem with the cooling set up on the video card. I would suggest a few things:

 

video-card-overheating_01

 

  • Check for dust, or a built up of dust on your heat sink and fan.
  • Check to see if the fan is still spinning, especially when it's under load (in a game).
  • Swap out the card with another (if you can) and see if the problem is resolved.

 

With you already checking GPU-Z and noticing that it's hitting 110C, I would suspect there's not much you can do apart from replace the entire video card, or the cooler. For a card like the GeForce GT 430, it would most likely be cheaper to replace the card itself.

Should I wait for Windows 10 to be released before buying a new PC?

Question asked by Sonya from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Software Content | Posted: Feb 12, 2015 11:21 am

Hey there TweakTown,

 

I'm in the market for a new Ultrabook to replace my Windows 7 PC, but I've heard that Windows 10 is coming out later this year. Should I bite the bullet and buy a Windows 8/8.1 machine now, or wait until Windows 10 is released?

 

My current laptop is working fine, but I want something a bit faster, with a higher resolution screen and maybe touchscreen support.

 

Thanks!


Hi Sonya,

 

If Windows 10 were over a year away, I would recommend waiting. If your current PC was having issues, and/or about to die, I'd recommend purchasing now. But, if your PC is working fine, and you don't have a dire need to rush out and get one, wait it out.

 

wait-windows-10-released-before-buying-new-pc_11

 

Windows 10 is expected in the second half of the year, so we should start to see Windows 10-powered devices at Computex in June, if not it shouldn't be too much after June that we'll start to see proper Windows 10 products unveiled.

 

My advice? Wait. Your PC is still working, and Windows 10 should deliver a new experience that Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 skipped over. If your PC dies in the meantime, purchasing a Windows 8.1-powered Ultrabook isn't going to be a bad thing, as you'll get an upgrade to Windows 10 when it comes out, anyway.

The fan on my video card is broken, what should I do?

Question asked by Isiac from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 2:39 am

I have a GALAXY NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 1GB video card. At some point while in storage dust got in the card and the fan stopped working properly causing my computer to shut down if I didn't make sure the fan was spinning.

 

This lead me to remove the already partially dislodged fRAMe to remove the fan to clean the fan itself.

 

This solved the problem but now I can't really get the fan to stay on the card...

 

The card gets warm so tape won't work and I'm wary about using glue.

 

What's the best way to keep the fan fRAMe on the card?


Hey there Isiac,

 

If the fan itself is broken, which by the sounds of it, it sounds like it is. You have a few options here, which we'll walk you through now.

 

fan-video-card-broken_09

 

First, you could replace the heat sink and fan - which will need to happen if you want to have it 100% fixed. This will cost you $40-$50 or more, depending on the type and quality of product you want to buy.

 

You've said that the card doesn't work unless the fan is spinning? How hot is the card getting? Is there anyway you could mount a fan near the side of your computer, or inside of your case? This way you could continue to use the computer without having to buy a new HSF or a new GPU.

 

Third, replace the entire video card. This is the most expensive option, but you get a brand new card, with a brand new cooler, and a full warranty.

Should I upgrade to the new GeForce GTX 960?

Question asked by Steven from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Jan 26, 2015 6:15 am

Hello TweakTown!

 

I've been waiting for NVIDIA to release a mid-range GPU since they announced the GTX 970 and GTX 980 cards last year, but couldn't afford either. Now that the GeForce GTX 960 is here, do you recommend it? I mostly game at 1080p, but I've been thinking about buying a 1440p resolution monitor. Is there a good upgrade path there? Keep in mind I'm upgrading from an old GeForce GTX 660 video card.

 

Regards,

Steve.


Hey Steve!

 

After a long time away from our Ask the Experts section, we're back to answer questions and you're first on the list with this new question. Yes, definitely, 100%, yes. The new GeForce GTX 960 is a winner in our books, and for just $199-$209, you're getting yourself a card that is more than capable at 1080p.

 

upgrade-new-geforce-gtx-960_01

 

In our review, we found that 1080p and 1440p performed great - but at 1440p if you want 60FPS+ you'll need to adjust the detail settings in some games. As for power consumption, you're looking at less than 250W total system power consumption, which is another great thing about the Maxwell-powered GTX 960.

 

You can feel free to buy a GTX 960 without regret, you will absolutely love it, especially moving from the old GTX 660!

Which GPU should I buy with a budget of $1500?

Question asked by Chazzy from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 6:25 am

I confusing to choose a 'plethora' GPU around the market these days.

 

I like gaming and audio/video editing. I already do research at any web reviewer, but still I didn't got any idea.

 

At least at 2560 X 1440 res my GPU can give a solid performance. as I see there is no GPU for now can give a solid performance for 4K gaming.

 

I hope an advise from you, according I have budget around $1500 for my GPU.

 

Which is better a Sapphire OC R9295 X2 OR Crossfire MSI R9 290X Lightning OR 2 WAY GIGABYTE GTX780Ti GHz Edition.

 

here is my system:

 

1. gigabyte z97x g1 gaming wifi bk

2. intel core i7 4790k

3. (4X8GB) corsair vengeance pro

4. intel SSD 730 480 GB

5. evga 1200w p2 PSU

 

 

 

Thanks.


Hi there Chazzy,

 

This is a great question, and I'm sure I'm going to be hit by quite a lot of flack when I post this up to the site. But, here we go. You're running a 2560x1440, or 1440p display, and you want some serious gaming performance, with a great budget to spend - $1500.

 

which_gpu_should_i_buy_with_a_budget_of_1500_18

 

All three options you've provided me with are great, you could choose any single one of them, and you're going to get not only a kick ass gaming experience, but an amazing all-purpose GPU setup. Let's start by taking one of the options away: the Radeon R9 295X2 option.

 

The reason is, it has an all-in-one watercooler, something that isn't as easy to setup as a install-and-forget GPU like the other options you've given me. The Radeon R9 295X2 is a great GPU, don't get me wrong, but if I had to choose between two faster GPUs than a dual-GPU offering, I would nearly always choose the dual-GPU setup.

 

which_gpu_should_i_buy_with_a_budget_of_1500_12

 

Now the decision is between the Radeon R9 290X Crossfire setup and the GeForce GTX 780 Ti SLI setup. But this is where I'm going to do things a little different. Normally I'd tell you to go for one over the other, but I'm going to tell you to choose either the Crossfire, or SLI setup because both of them are going to give you very similar results.

 

Personally, I would be happy with either of those setups, and I currently have two setups powered by virtually the same GPUs. I have one setup with Radeon R9 290Xs in Crossfire, with another running GeForce GTX 780s in SLI. I love both of the setups for different reasons.

 

No matter what you choose, you've chosen three different options that will ensure you have a great gaming experience - and something that I find funny is that you said "there is no GPU for now" that can give you "solid performance for 4K gaming" yet all three of these options will. If you wanted to game at 4K, you'll be fine on any option you've said here today.

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