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Upgrade path suggestions?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My venerable opteron/a8n-sli system is finally having trouble keeping up with new games to my satisfaction, so I figured I'd look for advice in how to move forward in steps. Would it be worthwhile at all to replace my 8800GTX xxx first, or replace my entire mobo/CPU/RAM with a new budget quadcore, DDR2 or DDR3 setup? It -seems- to be the graphics that are starting to bottleneck, although playing a game like dragon age II, the first game to really give me issues at 1600x900, does put both of my opty 180 cores at 80-100% most of the time. Reducing graphics settings seem to smooth out the game though, so I wonder if upgrading to a 550 Ti would be better first.

Thoughts? Is a 550 Ti enough improvement over an old 8800GTX to even bother?
post #2 of 12
For the price of a 550 I'd consider a 5830 for 140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102878

or the sapphire 5850 is 10 dollars more but is currently out of stock

Though it really depends on your budget. Maybe cheaper graphics card and new cpu / mobo.

Dragon Age 2 does run better on quad cores.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Actually, my video budget will probably be in the sub-$200 range, so I would probably be looking at the 5850, or perhaps a GTX470, now that I've looked at the numbers more. I probably won't be buying a SLI mobo this time around. I've learned my lesson there. It's always cheaper to buy a new standalone card than to try and match it with two slower ones.
post #4 of 12
For now, go for the best card you can afford. Then when your ready to up the MB/CPU/RAM you can take it to the new build.
    
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I guess that's really the root of the issue: trying to determine whether I am graphics bottle-necked, or CPU bottlenecked. I seem to recall that when I first purchased the 8800GTX xxx, it seemed like it would outstrip anything the CPU could throw at it, but now I have to wonder, since modern games are running fine on laptops with the Ion chipset, which is significantly slower than my Opty. If I can put off upgrading the mobo/CPU/etc... for one more generation of boards though, that would be great.
post #6 of 12
The gtx 550 won't be much of an upgrade from your 8800GTX. Go with a 570.

your opteron's performance at stock should be similar to an athlonX2 5000+.
If you oc to 3.0 ghz it will lower the bottleneck a bit.

Eton
Eton Properties
Edited by edalbkrad - 10/21/11 at 9:29am
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
The best OC I've gotten out of this cpu so far is 2.9 ghz, but with the new HAF 912 case, I may try again. As it is, I've managed to further overclock the 8800GTX to 644 Mhz GPU/1026 Mhz Mem/1620 Mhz Shaders thanks to the case change, and finally bumped my 3DMark06 score into the low 9000s.
post #8 of 12
The Duke has given you good advice.

That 5870 they have now is a great deal if they get more in, or step up another tier. If that fixes your problem then you're good to go, or else you know the bottleneck is elsewhere.

You don't have long before some great games hit the shelves, but enough time to determine if you need to gut the rest of your machine.

Pull the trigger on the GPU then wait and watch egg for a combo deal that will round out your machine.

You do want to play BF3 right?
    
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Lol, thinking of BF3, I never got my beta invite from buying MOH...
post #10 of 12
5850 back in stock at 140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...%28keywords%29
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