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


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


I'm building a flight simulator with 28 screens, what GPUs should I go for?

Question asked by Elton from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 12:29 am

Hi, I'm building a flight sim that uses 28 screens. The most graphics cards you can fit on a motherboard is 4, with the best offering at most 5 outputs per card. If cost is absolutely not a factor, how do I get enough graphics cards running to generate all of the DIFFERENT screens?


Hi Elton,

 

This is actually a great question! Now, I can't guarantee any of this as I haven't tried it myself, but I know that you can daisy chain two DisplayPort monitors from a single miniDisplay Port connection. This means you can go for 4-way CrossFire X on Radeon HD 7970s and enjoy 24 screens. Obviously you'd need a motherboard capable of 4-way CrossFire and a CPU overclocked enough to give you the benefit of pushing all of those GPUs as well as a good enough PSU and cooling throughout your case.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/9/99_01_i_m_building_a_flight_simulator_with_28_screens_what_gpus_should_i_go_for.jpg

 

I would go with XFX Double D FX-797A-TDBC Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition 3GB, which NewEgg sell for $419.99 and then you'd need two of Sapphire's VID 2X Display Expanders. The VID 2X connects to a single miniDP port and gives you two DisplayPort outputs. This will give you:

 

4 display outputs through Sapphire's VID 2X

2 display outputs from DVI.

 

This means you'll have to be careful on what monitors you buy - as you'll need a bunch that are DisplayPort-capable, as well as DVI-capable. I would recommend buying one GPU, and 6 displays first - trying it all out and making sure it works, then continue on and buying 3 more GPUs and the rest of the screens.

 

But this Ask the Experts is going to be different - I think you should write something up (if you have the time) on your journey, with a bunch of pictures and videos if possible and we'll make a news story out of it if you like? If so, e-mail me (anthonygarreffa AT tweaktown DOT com) and we can talk about it.

 

I think it'll be an awesome experience, and something people will really love to read. 28 screens!!! 4 GPUs!!! The things dreams are made of!

I'm upgrading my system but need some help with the motherboard choice!

Question asked by Sahil from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Dec 19, 2012 4:40 am

Hello

 

I am going to upgrade my system this Christmas, I have chosen the Core i5 3570k and gskill 8GB (4gb*2)

 

Now the most difficult part: to choose the MOTHERBOARD

 

I have shortlisted to the following boards:

 

1) ASUS Z77 sabertooth = $309(in Indian price)

2) MSI Z77 MPOWER = $272

3) ASRock Z77 OC Formula = $309

4) ASUS Maximus V Gene (


Hi Sahil,

 

This is an answer that will change from person to person, and I'll probably get flak for not giving you a specific answer that others were looking for, but unless you're throwing in a bunch of GPUs and other hardware, a decent motherboard is all you need.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/8/98_10_i_m_upgrading_my_system_but_need_some_help_with_the_motherboard_choice.jpg

 

The MSI Z77 MPOWER board is great value for money and offers some great performance, too. It has everything you need for high-end performance, USB 3.0, tonnes of SATA ports and more.

 

Alternatively, the ASRock Z77 OC Formula is also a great board, but the real statement that needs to be made here is that all of those boards on your list are going to kick ass in your system. You can choose any of them, and you'll have a great system and you'll have a great time with those boards. If it was my decision, I'd spend the least amount of money - and whatever you have left over could spring for an SSD drive if you don't already have one.

I have around $450 to spend on my PC, what should I upgrade? My CPU or GPU?

Question asked by Luke from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 18, 2012 5:19 am

Hi I want to upgrade my system I don't know whether to upgrade gpu or cpu as game a lot at the moment I have an a8-5500 cpu with a 650 ti gpu and an ssd which component should I upgrade and also I have £300 to spend could you recommend either a cpu plus motherboard or a gpu depending on what you say I should upgrade. please bare in mind if you say about cpu and recommend a cpu don't forget I will most probably have to buy a new motherboard as well so if you recommend upgrading cpu you also recommend a motherboard which make a combined price of £300 or less.

 

Thanks


Hi Luke,

 

You already have a new-ish CPU and an SSD, so I would suggest a GPU upgrade. For £300, you could get yourself a decent GPU upgrade like the 3GB XFX Radeon HD 7950 Double D GPU, which is £220.55 at Scan.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/9/7/97_10_i_have_around_450_to_spend_on_my_pc_what_should_i_upgrade_my_cpu_or_gpu.jpg

 

This is way under your budget, and even if you wanted to spend more, you can go for the 3GB ASUS Radeon HD 7950 DirectCU II TOP V2 for £304.86. Obviously this is a little over budget, but it is ASUS' best HD 7950 GPU and has some insane overclocks and an even more insane cooling system.

 

My preference would be the XFX GPU for £220.55 and you could spend the extra money saved on a bigger/faster SSD maybe?

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.

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