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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 14


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


I have an Intel Core 2 Duo e8400 CPU with Radeon HD 6770s in CrossFire, should I upgrade my CPU or GPU?

Question asked by Aaron from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Sep 6, 2012 6:22 am

I currently have a core 2 e8400 and 6770's in xfire. I want to update to be able to play battlefield 3 smoothly. with limited funds to upgrade should I hold off and upgrade to ivy bridge or swap my xfire setup for a GTX 670?

 

Cheers


Hi Aaron,

 

Battlefield 3 is quite demanding, and is one of only a handful of games that truly uses your CPU and benefits from a faster CPU, or more threaded CPU. Your CPU is definitely your limitation, firstly, it's an ageing Core 2 Duo, secondly, it's only a dual-core chip.

 

i_have_an_intel_core_2_duo_e8400_cpu_with_radeon_hd_6770s_in_crossfire_should_i_upgrade_my_cpu_or_gpu_10

 

Your GPU setup is more than good enough to run Battlefield 3 at medium-to-high settings at 1920x1080, so I would suggest waiting and upgrading to an Ivy Bridge setup. You could get a decent Core i5, 4-8GB RAM and CrossFire-capable motherboard for only a little more than what a GEFORCE GTX 670 would set you back.

Should I buy a gaming notebook, or desktop to plug up to my Full HD projector setup?

Question asked by Parichya Gautam from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Sep 4, 2012 5:33 am

I just have a little query here , supposing i had the option to buy either an Alienware M17x R4 (NVIDIA GT 680), or make my own desktop with similar GPU, which option will be more beneficial ( keeping the electricity consumption in mind ) ? and, assuming that i use the Laptop as a CPU only (using external FullHD projectors, audio systems etc ) .


Hi Parichya,

 

Gaming notebooks have their place in the market, and I would recommend the Alienware option if you were a gamer who moved around. If you were going to LAN parties, or friends' houses to LAN, then the Alienware notebook would be the way to go, but for you, I would recommend the desktop.

 

should_i_buy_a_gaming_notebook_or_desktop_to_plug_up_to_my_full_hd_projector_setup_10

 

Power-wise, it will use a little bit more, but if you purchased power-efficient hardware, it shouldn't be too bad. You could get yourself a great Core i7 system, with a GEFORCE GTX 680, and have a much, much faster system, all while costing less!

 

Considering the system you're using is being used as a standalone box, with projectors and audio systems plugged into it, a notebook seems really out of place. A desktop on the other hand, would feel perfect, drop it down somewhere, plug it in and go!

Should I upgrade my GeForce GTX 560 Ti SLI setup to a new GTX 670 or GTX 680?

Question asked by Duarte from Czech Republic | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Aug 31, 2012 5:33 am

Is it worth to upgrade from a gtx msi 560ti oc SLI system to a new gtx 670/680?


Hi Duarte,

 

Good question, with a simple answer: no. Your GeForce GTX 560 Ti setup is still quite good right now, and would be close to the performance of a GEFORCE GTX 670 or 680 on their own. If you're after more grunt, I'd wait for next-gen GPUs, or look at upgrading your monitor setup.

 

should_i_upgrade_my_geforce_gtx_560_ti_sli_setup_to_a_new_gtx_670_or_gtx_680_10

 

Say you're running a 1920x1080 resolution, your GTX 560 Ti SLI setup is fine for virtually all games out right now. Your SLI setup would only need to see an upgrade as your resolution goes up. Your VRAM would be used up, and then you'd have a reason to upgrade your GPUs. I would suggest investing the money from a GPU upgrade into two more screens, giving you a Surround Vision setup.

 

Your GTX 560 Ti SLI setup would still be more than powerful enough to run the three screens, and as time goes by, upgrade to a couple of 670 or 680's when they get cheaper.

My SSD is hanging on system start-up on my ASUS P8P67 motherboard, should I disable Intel Rapid Start technology?

Question asked by Rolando from Paraguay | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Aug 31, 2012 4:52 am

Hello, I have a p67 pc, corei7 2600k, 8g of ram, asus p8p67 mb, gf 570gtx gpu, 850 psu, I just bought a Vertex 4 ssd as my windows drive, the problem that Im having is that the drive hangs when the system stars, I've read that it has do to with the Intel Rapid Storage technology that has my pc, so how do I disable this?


Hi Rolando,

 

Before you disable Intel's Rapid Storage Technology in your motherboard's BIOS options, I would suggest updating the drivers for the Intel Rapid Storage Technology from ASUS' website. This seems to fix most users' issues with the drive hangs and problems.

 

my_ssd_is_hanging_on_system_start_up_on_my_asus_p8p67_motherboard_should_i_disable_intel_rapid_start_technology_05

Would a CoolerMaster Silent Gold 800W run two GTX680's?

Question asked by Andy from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Aug 29, 2012 8:12 am

Would a CoolerMaster Silent Gold 800W run two GTX680's?


Hi Andy,

 

Yes, the CoolerMaster Silent Gold 800W is an excellent PSU, and would be most capable of driving your SLI'd GEFORCE GTX 680 setup.

 

would_a_coolermaster_silent_gold_800w_run_two_gtx680_s_04

 

NVIDIA have also done quite well on power consumption levels on the Kepler-based GTX 680 GPUs, meaning they use less power than the older generations of GPUs at the high end, and under stress. If you already have the GPUs, the CoolerMaster Silent Gold 800W is a fine PSU to acquire.

Would an i5 3570K bottle-neck a 2-way SLI GTX 680 and a 2-way SLI GTX 670?

Question asked by Megs from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Posted: Aug 27, 2012 8:19 am

Would an i5 3570K bottle-neck a 2-way SLI GTX 680 and a 2-way SLI GTX 670?


Hi Megs,

 

Double-edged answer, so yes and no. For a single-screen gamer, no it wouldn't. If you were to be on a triple-screen, 120Hz setup, then depending on the game yes.

 

would_an_i5_3570k_bottle_neck_a_2_way_sli_gtx_680_and_a_2_way_sli_gtx_670_01

 

For the most part, the Core i5 3570K is absolutely more than enough. If it's not enough, then a bit of overclocking would definitely push you over the edge and give you that bit extra grunt that the SLI setup would require.

 

I'm going to guess that you have a single monitor (or TV) setup at 1080p, so if you do, then the CPU is fine.

Which is better for a 46" 1080p HDTV, a Sapphire HD 7870 OC or GTX 670?

Question asked by Gianluca from Austria | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Aug 21, 2012 6:08 am

Should I go with a Sapphire HD 7870 OC or a GTX 670 with a i5 3570k when planning to use a 46" 1080p HDTV?


Hi Gianluca,

 

Out of those two GPUs, I would definitely recommend the GEFORCE GTX 670. The GTX 670 is the third-fastest GPU in NVIDIA's Kepler range of GPUs under the slightly-faster GTX 680 and the dual-GPU from NVIDIA, the GTX 690.

 

which_is_better_for_a_46_1080p_hdtv_a_sapphire_hd_7870_oc_or_gtx_670_03

 

The Radeon HD 7870 on the other hand, is a mid-range offering from AMD. Their equivalent to NVIDIA's GTX 670 would be the Radeon HD 7950, which is AMD's second-fastest GPU as they don't have a dual-GPU HD 7000 series card just yet.

 

As for running your games at 1080p on your 46" HDTV, your Core i5 3570K is absolutely fine, and a GTX 670 would work with that perfectly. You should be able to run all games at maxed out settings at over, around, or just under 60fps, depending on the game and settings used. The HD 7870 might have some issues pushing 1920x1080 at full settings in games such as Battlefield 3, but the GTX 670 shouldn't.

 

Definitely grab that GTX 670 and get ready for some insanely good times whilst gaming!

Would a 500W power supply be sufficient to run a GEFORCE GTX 680

Question asked by Megs from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Cases, Cooling & PSU Content | Posted: Aug 21, 2012 5:57 am

Can a 500w power supply run a single card GTX680?


Hi Megs,

 

This is a tricky question, as it would depend on the power supply unit (PSU) in question. If it were a generic, non-branded PSU, I would suggest to not hook the GEFORCE GTX 680 up to it. If it were a branded PSU by a company such as Corsair for example, then you should be fine.

 

would_a_500w_power_supply_be_sufficient_to_run_a_geforce_gtx_680_10

 

If we look at our review of the reference GTX 680, it has a 3D Mark 11 load consumption of 456W. But, a generic 500W might not actually provide 500W of power, it might only provide 400, 420, or 440W of actual power. My advice would be to check the brand, and if its a relatively unknown brand - use caution.

 

If the 500W PSU you have is an unknown brand, or a cheaper model, I'm not saying it won't work, as it might. But, I would suggest going for either a lower-end card with less power requirements (such as a GTX 660 Ti). My better suggestion would be to pick up a Corsair-branded PSU, or similar, when you purchase the GTX 680 GPU.

Should I upgrade my Core i5 750 processor?

Question asked by Anos from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Aug 16, 2012 6:46 am

I am currently running GTX 560 ti OC SLI with an I5-750 at 3.5ghz, is it time to update my processor or still hang on as i only game at 1920 and its all pretty smooth for now


Hi Anos,

 

The processor you still have, whilst it's not the current generation, is still more than powerful enough for the setup you have. You're playing at 1920x1080, which isn't really pushing the CPU to its limits on the current generation of games. Your GPU setup would most likely benefit from a faster CPU, but do you really need to purchase it? I wouldn't recommend to do so.

 

should_i_upgrade_my_core_i5_750_processor_03

 

I would wait it out and spend that saved money (which wouldn't just be on the CPU, but motherboard, and RAM) and put it into some new video cards in the future. Next-gen games should launch sometime next year with the next-gen consoles, and will definitely require more grunt. But, even then, your CPU should still fare well.

 

I would suggest overclocking your CPU a little bit more (if you've got the know-how, and cooling) and save that money for some gruntier graphics cards next year. Again, everyone has a different opinion, but these days, CPUs aren't the driving force of power for gaming as they used to be. You've got a great CPU, I'd keep it for now. I hope that helps you!

Should I go for a Sandy Bridge- or Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 processor?

Question asked by Andrea from Canada | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Aug 9, 2012 7:16 am

So I am building my first PC, and I was planning on going for the i7 2600k, but with the new ivy bridge, a lot of my friends who have already built their PCs had advised me to go for the i7 3770k. I understand Ivy Bridge is updated and supposed to be better, yet I am also aware of the heat problems, especially when OCing (I don't plan on OCing so far, probably no higher than 4.0). So, if I have an aftermarket HSF, the Noctua NH-D14 specifically, will I still be experiencing heat problems? Should I just go for the Sandy Bridge?


Hi Andrea,

 

Intel's Core i7 2600K is a great processor, and if the 3770K wasn't out, I would have no problems recommending it to you. But, the problem is that Intel have released the 3770K, and it is definitely the best bang for buck you can go for.

 

should_i_go_for_a_sandy_bridge_or_ivy_bridge_based_core_i7_processor_06

 

It does get a bit hot when overclocked, and under strain, but this is mostly when all 8 threads are being utilized at 100%, and for gaming and general use, this is only a tiny portion of its use. If you were using it for video editing, or something equally straining, then you might think twice. But, you've said you're only overclocking to 4GHz, and at 4GHz, those overheating issues don't really pop up.

 

If you were pushing it past 4.5GHz (up toward 5GHz) then yes, it would be a huge consideration to not go for the 3770K if you were worried of overheating. But, these days, getting an Intel-based CPU to get hot enough to run into problems, is hard, unless pushing it past some serious boundaries (not only speed, but voltage).

 

I definitely recommend you go for the Ivy Bridge-based 3770K.

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