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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 9


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


What are the benefits of SLI/CrossFire for a single screen setup?

Question asked by Jeremy from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 17, 2012 1:31 am

What benefit does SLI/crossfire have on a single screen set up?


Hi Jeremy,

 

There are a few different benefits, for gaming it would be frame rates. Let's break this down into a few categories: 2560x1600, 1920x1080 and low resolutions (1280x720, 1600x900, etc). Then we have 120Hz screens and 60Hz screens.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/6/96_07_what_are_the_benefits_of_sli_crossfire_for_a_single_screen_setup.jpg

 

The 120Hz/60Hz thing is all about frame rates - trying to keep your frame rate locked to the refresh rate of your monitor. So on a normal 60Hz screen, your image in-game will look best at above 60 frames per second, and 120Hz obviously translates into 120 frames per second.

 

I could go on forever in those frame rate discussions, but let's say you're running a 1920x1080 display. A multi-GPU setup like Radeon HD 7970's in CrossFire would provide much more than 60fps in every game on the market right now at maximum detail. Then we'll need to talk anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing will really tax frame rates, which is where bandwidth on-GPU and copious amounts of VRAM come into play.

 

So, would a multi-GPU setup help for single screen gaming? Yes and no. You will definitely see huge benchmark scores, but for actual, in-game results? It depends on the settings in-game and of course, the game itself.

 

I recommend multi-GPU for single screen gaming as it will provide you with over 60fps which is what you want for perfect gaming conditions. It'll also give you some huge GPU headroom to enable some, if not all anti-aliasing options in-game and not dip below 60fps.

 

If we're talking mid-range GPUs like the GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards, you will see 60fps in most games - but the AA will be something trickier.

 

As always, if you're looking at SLI or CrossFiring up two GPUs - don't go mid-range. Get one fast card now (HD 7970/GTX 670 or 680) and then SLI/CF in the future. That's the best way of doing things and gives you some incredible future-proofing.

 

If you want to talk in detail about this, and give me some more details on your system - feel free to e-mail me and I'll walk you through it.

Should I get Sapphire's Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X Boost Edition GPU or a GeForce GTX 670

Question asked by Amir from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 14, 2012 4:20 am

Hi, my question is regarding GPU. Is it true that overclocked Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X OC with Boost Edition surpasses the performance of overclocked GeForce GTX 670? I am considering buying 2 Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X instead of 2 GTX 670's, so is my decision correct?


Hi Amir,

 

This is a little hard, as both of those GPUs are great choices. You can see from our review on the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X OC with Boost keeps up with the GeForce GTX 670 - but it doesn't beat it.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/5/95_06_should_i_get_sapphire_s_radeon_hd_7950_vapor_x_boost_edition_gpu_or_a_geforce_gtx_670.jpg

 

The Radeon HD 7970 is that card, that will come close to the GTX 670 and beat it. But the Sapphire offering does come with 3GB of RAM which is good, so if you're gaming at a high resolution or enjoy throwing on lots of anti-aliasing, this will be a good boost.

 

Both cards are great - but the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X OC with Boost does come short of out-performing the GTX 670, but not by much. Two of them in CrossFire X mode is still going to kick some serious ass!!!

My computer keeps shutting down when I play games, is my CPU overheating?

Question asked by Israel from Philippines | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs Content | Posted: Dec 13, 2012 1:31 am

My 4 1/2 year old core 2 quad system recently shuts down by itself whenever i play games especially Far Cry 3, Black ops 2 and Doom 3 BFG... then the screen says processor thermal trip warning when i reboot... is this a warning sign that i should upgrade now to a core I-7 system? i will list down my specs in order to know what part is causing the problem... thanks in advance...

 

specs...

  • core 2 Quad Q6600
  • palit GTX 560ti 2GB
  • intel P45 mobo
  • 650W PSU
  • 150GB raptor
  • 500GB scorpio blue
  • antec 900 case
  • kingston 8GB DDR 3 1333Mhz


Hi Israel,

 

From what you've explained there - your system is shutting down automatically when you're playing games, as well as showing a message that your processor is overheating.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/4/94_04_my_computer_keeps_shutting_down_when_i_play_games_is_my_cpu_overheating.jpg

 

You could take this as two sides - a sign to upgrade, which is something you could do to get around these issues. Secondly, your CPU could be overheating, and all you'd need to do is maybe open the case up and see if the CPU cooler (the heatsink and fan) is dirty, or dusty. You could take the cooler off of the CPU and motherboard itself, clean the CPU and HSF up and reapply some thermal paste.

 

This is most likely the issue - and if you didn't want to spend any money, apart from the cost of thermal paste - this should solve your problems.

 

Of course, you could look at this as a sign to upgrade, and grab yourself a new Core i7 CPU, motherboard and RAM. The GPU, PSU and HDDs are all good, so it would be a cheapish upgrade.

How can I rebind my keys on my Apple Mac system when using Boot Camp to access Windows?

Question asked by Robert from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Software Content | Posted: Dec 12, 2012 5:40 am

Hi TT,

 

I use an Apple iMac with Windows through Boot Camp and I want to rebind my keys. I don't use the command button all that often and would like to rebind the key so it's better suited to my needs - is there a trick I need to know? Or some software I can download for this?

 

Thanks in advance,

Robert.


Hi Robert,

 

It must be a great coincidence, but we actually had this question asked by one of the guys here at TweakTown and one of our awesome fans actually replied with a perfect solution: KeyTweak.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/3/93_10_how_can_i_rebind_my_keys_on_my_apple_mac_system_when_using_boot_camp_to_access_windows.png

 

Derek from our Facebook page recommended the software, which will allow you to rebind a key from within Windows on your Mac. It's actually a great little app, and is perfectly named... with Tweak in it, anything is possible! ;)

Will AMD's Radeon HD 78x0 GPU work on my ASUS M5A97 motherboard?

Question asked by Thomas from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Dec 10, 2012 11:49 pm

Will the Radeon HD 7870/7850 work with my M5A97 AMD-based Motherboard?


Hi Thomas,

 

Definitely. Pretty much any PCI-Express-based GPU will work on that motherboard. Heck, you could even put more than one of the GPUs on the motherboard for some CrossFireX action. The board supports quad-GPU action, so you could actually put four - yes FOUR - GPUs on that motherboard.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/2/92_08_will_amd_s_radeon_hd_78x0_gpu_work_on_my_asus_m5a97_motherboard.jpg

 

So you could choose any Radeon HD 7850/7870 GPU on the market, the most powerful, the most overclocked, or the best-looking, and it'll fit and work beautifully on your ASUS M5A97 motherboard.

I need some help deciding which GPU to buy!

Question asked by Pedro from El Salvador | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 6, 2012 5:16 am

Hello to everyone: I need bought a graphic card, i had a 8800GT with 256MB and it was broken. I have around 70€, i find this cards for that price:Gigabyte HD 6670 (65€) - 1GB DDR3 and Asus 8800GS -384MB (50€). The hd 6670 DDR5 goes to 90€ (almost double price) What I should bought with a little money? Ah, with 8800GT i could play to Skyrim at 1920x1080 with low-mid settings, really. Thanks a lot. I have Ubuntu too and i hope can play with Steam for Linux soon.


Hi Pedro,

 

Not only would I vote for you - hopefully you get the joke - but let me help you with this question. If you're currently happy with the 8800 GT's performance @ 1080p with low-mid settings, then any of those video cards is going to give you an improvement.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/1/91_02_i_need_some_help_deciding_which_gpu_to_buy.jpg

 

I would skip the ASUS 8800 GTS 384MB card - as it's old, and only has 384MB of RAM. I would suggest, out of the options provided, the Gigabyte HD 6670. It will have 1GB of RAM, and is a fairly current card. It'll have no issues under Linux and will kick the ass of the card you're running now - by a long shot.

 

Do let us know how you go with the upgrade, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the huge performance difference.

Does RAM have any affect on gaming performance?

Question asked by Wesley from Bahrain | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | RAM Content | Posted: Dec 5, 2012 3:54 am

Hi, does RAM speed affect gaming performance?


Hi Wesley,

 

That's actually a great question, something we hope to cover more in the future in detail. But, yes and no - it also comes down to the rest of the components in your system such as the CPU, and storage.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/0/90_08_does_ram_have_any_affect_on_gaming_performance.jpg

 

If we're talking about a decent CPU, such as the Intel Core i5 chip, and let's say a mechanical HDD (not an SSD) - then it might help, but it would be single percentage points. Maybe 1-2% in load times. An SSD would mostly erase any "positive" load times or affects from faster memory for gaming.

 

RAM will help things that are constantly diving in and out of RAM - such as video or photo editing, rendering, etc. For gaming, there's not much of an improvement, and when there is - it's usually not enough to be instantly visible to people.

Which GPU should I get for 1366x768 gaming?

Question asked by Nashat from Bangladesh | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 3, 2012 2:56 am

I am gonna play games at 1366*768 resolution in 19'' screen.

 

1.MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition

2.GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 550

3.Sapphire Radeon HD 7770

 

I want to play at highest settings. Which one would be good plz suggest ASAP, I'm dying to buy ! tnx in advance.


Hi Nashat,

 

Out of those three GPUs, the MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition is definitely the way to go. If we were comparing the GTX 550 against the HD 7770 - then I would've suggested the HD 7770. But the Power Edition GPU from MSI is pretty damn good.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/8/8/88_07_which_gpu_should_i_get_for_1366x768_gaming.jpg

 

Because of your low resolution (1366x768) you'll find most GPUs will be bottlenecked, so any GPU in this price range should perform quite well. The MSI GTX 650 Ti Power Edition actually overclocks quite well, and performs at higher resolutions admirably.

 

You can read our review on MSI's GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition here.

Which smartphone should I buy? Sony's Xperia T or the new Google Nexus 4?

Question asked by Severus from Romania | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices Content | Posted: Nov 29, 2012 12:45 am

Hello again Tweakers,

 

I'm looking into buying a new smartphone this Christmas and I wanted your help in this matter. Basicaly, I'm torn between the Sony Xperia T and the Google Nexus 4. Ussually I buy a flagship phone and keep it for around 3 years. My last 3 phones were Sony, so on one hand I'd continue the legacy, but on the other hand I don't think that the T's dual core is too future proof. I love Sony's design and the camera is better, but the Nexus has Jelly Bean and 2gb of ram. A big minus in the Nexus is the lack of an e pxpansion slot.

 

Both phones are at the same price here and that further makes my decision harder, so I hope you can help me find a resolution in this matter.

 

Thank you for your time!


Hi Severus,

 

This is really quite easy - get yourself the Google Nexus 4. I reviewed the Nexus 4 here and called it the best smartphone in the world right now, as (in my opinion) it really is. It's fast, it's gorgeous, it's feature-packed, and future-proof.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/8/7/87_02_which_smartphone_should_i_buy_sony_s_xperia_t_or_the_new_google_nexus_4.jpg

 

Google's Nexus-branded devices are always the first to receive the latest iterations of the Android OS - another huge benefit of owning the Nexus 4. I understand you'd like to continue owning a Sony device, continuing your legacy of owning Sony smartphones - but as you said, it's only a dual-core smartphone, where the Nexus 4 sports a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.

 

Yes, they're both the same price, but the Nexus 4 is heavily subsidized in terms of its price - it's like a $800 smartphone, for just $349.

I have the new Samsung S23A750D, 120Hz-capable monitor and now need a new GPU, suggestions?

Question asked by Daniel from Spain | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 28, 2012 5:34 am

I just bought a new monitor (Samsung S23A750D) and I want to upgrade my graphic card.

 

Current config:

  • Samsung S23A750D
  • AsRock Z77 Extreme4
  • Intel I5 2500k @4,5Ghz
  • 16GB of DDR3 1600Mhz G.Skill Ripjaws CL9
  • Palit GTX 470
  • CoolerMaster GX 750w

 

What card should i get? (cost ~650$)


Hi Daniel,

 

The 120Hz monitors are great for gaming - so first off, nice choice! I have the 27-inch model from Samsung and absolutely love it. Since your new monitor is capable of 1920x1080 and 120Hz, if you want to hit that 120 frames per second for the monitor to look silky smooth in games, you're going to need a decent GPU.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/8/6/86_05_i_have_the_new_samsung_s23a750d_120hz_capable_monitor_and_now_need_a_new_gpu_suggestions.jpg

 

For a $650 budget - you have enough to play around with to achieve that - so I would recommend something from NVIDIA. For $529.99 from NewEgg, you could get yourself's MSI GeForce GTX 680 Twin Frozr card, which features 4GB of RAM and an awesome custom cooler.

 

Alternatively, since your motherboard supports SLI and your PSU is beefy enough - you could go for two-way SLI GeForce GTX 670s. NewEgg sells Galaxy-branded GeForce GTX 670s for $359ea - just over $700. This would give you plenty of power to reach 120fps in most games, and would beat the single GeForce GTX 680 in terms of performance.

 

The last alternative, is to grab the GTX 680 and down the track grab another one for SLI action.

 

Edit: Some people have wondered why I haven't recommended an AMD Radeon-based GPU - well, that is definitely an option so I'll add that in here now. NewEgg sell some of the HIS- and Sapphire-branded Radeon HD 7970s for just $379.99. You could also two-way CrossFire them up for some extreme performance.

 

The reason why I recommended NVIDIA here is because I've (personally) had a better run with them with 120Hz monitors. I will be running some more tests and providing some walkthroughs of this in the near future, so keep checking back to see how we go!

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