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SuicideCabbage

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Message 52473 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 11:35:13 UTC

My son wanted me to piece together a desktop for him since he can't stand gaming on his laptop. The only thing I am going to have to buy is the video card, because his current choice of games is not very demanding I am trying to keep the card in the $30-50 range. I have it narrowed down to three, NVIDIA GT430 and GT520 as well as AMD HD6450. I understand the one from AMD is not a double precision and therefore will not run MW@H but I've been a fan of AMD/ATi for the past few years and the performance of the card does speak for itself. As far as raw GFLOPS the GT430 seems to win, I am just hoping to get some community feedback as to actually run-times.

Also please advise me if I am overlooking something, remember the primary purpose of this computer is to run older games (World of Warcraft, Sims/Sims 2, Starcraft, Homeworld) while I would like to run MW@H I am not willing to make any severe compromises on the cards ability to game. Future-proofing the purchase is unnecessary since the processor is just a dual-core 2.4Ghz (and I hate the motherboard), so the computer will be outgrown about the same time if not before this card.
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Message 52475 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 12:21:37 UTC - in response to Message 52473.  

My son wanted me to piece together a desktop for him since he can't stand gaming on his laptop. The only thing I am going to have to buy is the video card, because his current choice of games is not very demanding I am trying to keep the card in the $30-50 range. I have it narrowed down to three, NVIDIA GT430 and GT520 as well as AMD HD6450. I understand the one from AMD is not a double precision and therefore will not run MW@H but I've been a fan of AMD/ATi for the past few years and the performance of the card does speak for itself. As far as raw GFLOPS the GT430 seems to win, I am just hoping to get some community feedback as to actually run-times.

Also please advise me if I am overlooking something, remember the primary purpose of this computer is to run older games (World of Warcraft, Sims/Sims 2, Starcraft, Homeworld) while I would like to run MW@H I am not willing to make any severe compromises on the cards ability to game. Future-proofing the purchase is unnecessary since the processor is just a dual-core 2.4Ghz (and I hate the motherboard), so the computer will be outgrown about the same time if not before this card.


You will also be limited by the power supply size, most factory made pc's come with a power supply unit(psu) just big enough to do the job with very little overhead as bigger psu's cost more money! So replacing the gpu in the machine could lead to also replacing the psu in the machine too. Don't worry though both are truly plug and play, you just need a phillips head screwdriver and you will be good to go. OH you will also need a GOOD flashlight and some nimble fingers, inside cases can be tight and things can be all squished together. Just pay attention to what you unplug as something will need to be plugged back in there for the pc to work again. YES there should be extra connectors you won't use! When you are done get some plastic wire ties and route the wires away from any fans so you have very good airflow, clip the ends off so they don't accidentally end up in a fan blade!

You will also be limited by the type of slot you have on the motherboard, let's guess and say it is a pci-e slot, but since you said it is an older system it is probably not a newer type slot, so you ARE stuck with an older card. The newer ones are kind of baby blue, the older ones are black but there are other colors too. The type of card you buy will determine what size psu you will need to get, the more powerful the gpu the more powerful the psu needs to be. I have some machines with AMD 5770's gpu in them and a 585 Watt psu would not even power up the machine, I had to go to a 650 Watt psu! A 5770 will also probably NOT work in your older black slot, it MAY but then again it may not!

One more thing, there always is isn't there....you CANNOT run MW and play games at the same time, no matter which card you buy!!! The best thing to do to solve that is with a cc_config.xml file, I think, to stop crunching when the game is being played and then to start crunching again when the game is stopped. If you try to crunch AND play games you will die in the games and get nothing but errors on the workunits!
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Message 52477 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 12:44:09 UTC - in response to Message 52475.  

I appreciate the in depth reply, and your right I did forget to consider the power requirements. The power supply I plan on using is 400W, the GT430 is the most demanding card rated at 60W max, and the CPU I am using 95W, so let's say 110W with the overclock. That gives me a little over 200W for the rest of the system so I think I should be fine. I've played games over-top Collatz in the past, but I do notice a lot more display lag with MW@H running. Therefore I did plan on setting the games as exclusive in the config file, or maybe even disabling GPU computing while the computer is in use. The motherboard I am using does have a PCI-E x16 slot.

You mentioned a 585W could not run your setup, how many 5770s did you have installed? I'm planning my next major upgrade right before this years BOINC Pentathlon and was going to go with an overclocked 8-Core Bulldozer and two double-precision 6000 series (and maybe my old 4670 if I have more than two PCI-E on the mobo) the power supply I have now and planned on using is a 650W but when we're talking 250W each card and 140ish for the CPU, 650W wont be enough. Do you think an 800W would handle that, or should I just go for the kW?
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Message 52480 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 13:15:04 UTC

Don't worry about the PSU for your sons machine. Unless the PSU is complete crap, it will handle it just fine. And if it's crap - you probably wouldn't want to run it anyway.

Regarding the card: buying a new budget card for MW seems like a bad idea to me. They're so weak, they're hardly worth it at all. Even if the nVidias weren't crippled at double precision. If the choice was between GT520 and GT430, definitely go for the 430. It's noticeably more powerful. However, I wouldn't run MW on any of them (there are other nice CUDA projects which work with single precision).

If I were you I'd probably look for a more powerful, used GPU. Recently I sold me HD4870 (was doing a little shy of 100k RAC at MW) for 30€ (friend price), as it isn't power efficient any more for me to run it 24/7. Now it's in a budget gaming box and should serve this role well for some time to come.

Regarding your other update plan: Mikey's 585 W PSU was probably completely crap. It's not normal for a system with a mere HD5770 (~100 W at full load.. which it is not drawing upon system boot) to require a 650 W PSU.

Personally I've got an HD6950 with unlocked shaders @ 900 MHz (no voltage increase), crunching MW 24/7. The CPU is an i7 2600K @ 4.0 GHz (moderate voltage). The PSU is an Enermax 80+ Gold 500 W. I'm drawing < 300 W from the wall. It's exhausting a soft breeze of cold air - easy.

Adding a 2nd GPU would push power draw close to 500 W (at the wall, so ~455 W from the PSU), uncomfortably close. A quality 650 W unit should be able to handle it, though. 250 W is the maximum allowed GPU power draw, not the actual one. You might feel more secure with a higher rated one, but 1 kW is definitely overkill for 2 GPUs.

Wouldn't your HD4670 be the perfect card for your son?

You might also want to consider the new AMDs with Graphics Core Next architecture. They're brand new, so we can't say how good they are at crunching yet. But that's for sure: they're way more flexible than the current lineup. They will be much more useful down the road.

MrS
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Message 52491 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 16:00:29 UTC - in response to Message 52473.  

My son wanted me to piece together a desktop for him since he can't stand gaming on his laptop. The only thing I am going to have to buy is the video card, because his current choice of games is not very demanding I am trying to keep the card in the $30-50 range. I have it narrowed down to three, NVIDIA GT430 and GT520 as well as AMD HD6450. I understand the one from AMD is not a double precision and therefore will not run MW@H

Also please advise me if I am overlooking something, remember the primary purpose of this computer is to run older games (World of Warcraft, Sims/Sims 2, Starcraft, Homeworld) while I would like to run MW@H I am not willing to make any severe compromises on the cards ability to game.

Here's an alternative idea: find an HD 4770 card on eBay or elsewhere (here's one for instance):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ATI-RADEON-HD-4770-512MB-PCI-E-DUAL-DVI-VIDEO-CARD-/200645441435?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item2eb766779b

MUCH faster than the cards you listed above and works great for MW, Collatz & Moo!
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Message 52497 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 18:32:09 UTC - in response to Message 52480.  


Regarding your other update plan: Mikey's 585 W PSU was probably completely crap. It's not normal for a system with a mere HD5770 (~100 W at full load.. which it is not drawing upon system boot) to require a 650 W PSU.

Personally I've got an HD6950 with unlocked shaders @ 900 MHz (no voltage increase), crunching MW 24/7. The CPU is an i7 2600K @ 4.0 GHz (moderate voltage). The PSU is an Enermax 80+ Gold 500 W. I'm drawing < 300 W from the wall. It's exhausting a soft breeze of cold air - easy.

Adding a 2nd GPU would push power draw close to 500 W (at the wall, so ~455 W from the PSU), uncomfortably close. A quality 650 W unit should be able to handle it, though. 250 W is the maximum allowed GPU power draw, not the actual one. You might feel more secure with a higher rated one, but 1 kW is definitely overkill for 2 GPUs.

MrS


Agree with the above, I have a system with an i7 2600 (not K, running 3.8GHz in turbo mode) with 2 5870s in it, under full load it's drawing about 450w. I have a 750w (Seasonic 80+ gold) PSU in the machine, but could probably drop down to 650 and still be comfortable.

Also, I'd second the recommendation for a 4770, ran a couple of those a few years back and they did quite well without drawing a lot of power.

-Dave
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Message 52503 - Posted: 14 Jan 2012, 21:03:53 UTC
Last modified: 14 Jan 2012, 21:09:07 UTC

If you are in no rush, worth waiting to see all AMD's 7XXX range come out over the next two months. They are 28nm cards and therefore far far more power efficient than previous series by an order of magnitude in comparison to what has been normal in cards so far.

Its possible NVidia is joining the 28nm party end of March, so dont forget them, but thats still rumour as far as deployment date goes, however this time its looking as if it might be true .... they arent the best on predictions :) They are not usually strong at lower and mid range cards, but as this is a whole new line, it may be different this time.

Regards
Zy
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Message 52521 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 13:16:45 UTC - in response to Message 52503.  

They are 28nm cards and therefore far far more power efficient than previous series by an order of magnitude in comparison to what has been normal in cards so far.


That would be a factor of 10. A bit generous ;)
Might be that high if GCN is a huge improvement over VLIW for some app (probably GPUGrid), but not for something which runs well on VLIW (e.g. MW, Collatz, Moo).

MrS
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Message 52525 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 16:25:05 UTC - in response to Message 52521.  

They are 28nm cards and therefore far far more power efficient than previous series by an order of magnitude in comparison to what has been normal in cards so far.

That would be a factor of 10. A bit generous ;)
Might be that high if GCN is a huge improvement over VLIW for some app (probably GPUGrid), but not for something which runs well on VLIW (e.g. MW, Collatz, Moo).

I'm thinking generally around a 2x speed bump, which is a lot. Pretty much what we saw when going from the 55nm 48xx (4770 excluded) to the 40nm 58xx. The change from the 58xx to the 69xx (both 40nm) was minimal and mixed.
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Message 52529 - Posted: 15 Jan 2012, 20:35:38 UTC - in response to Message 52525.  

Let's call it an "order of GPU performance" then :D

MrS
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