Couple of questions for upgrading PC

#1 Posted by MethodMan008 (809 posts) -

So between getting money during the holidays and getting my tax refund i'll probably try to upgrade a few things in my PC in the next three months or so... A few of the things I want to work on include..

Board: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. P8P67 LE Rev X.0x

3.20 gigahertz Intel Core i5-2400

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660

......

So DX11 and higher settings make some games chug on my system and I'd like to clear that up..

I'd like to get a new motherboard with pci 3.0 (i know it doesn't really matter, but id like to be using my cards to their maximum potential) and SLI support..

What would be a motherboard you guys would recommend that matches that? My 660 is evga if that matters at all..

I would think my CPU is a big factor in chugging at max settings in some games..? Any recommendations for a good upgrade?

Also, I want to SLI 660s.. Good idea or should I just wait for a more powerful single card?

One last thing... My current case really sucks. What is a good reasonably priced big case? I have four fans in my rig now because the case is so small.. -.-

Thanks duders!

#2 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2991 posts) -

I don't know what the problem could be actually to tell you the truth. I suspect it's a software problem though because those are very current specs actually and it should be able to play dx 11 games. Any information on your operating system? Also the pci 3.0 ports are for future proofing at the best although some motherboards that have that might also have other better components also. Your motherboard is also very up to date with 6.0 gbps sata etc. That card is also very very fast! So I think this may be due to something other than what you're thinking I would not suggest rushing into upgrading such a fast set up.

#3 Posted by Raven10 (1764 posts) -

I think your 660 is the problem not your CPU. On some very intense games you might suffer a bit from it but your GPU should bottleneck it before the CPU causes problems. I wouldn't SLI. A single 670 or 680 will give you much better performance than two 660's in most games. SLI performance really varies from game to game. If you can afford it I always recommend one better card over two worser cards. A 670 is actually two steps up from a 660 (with the 660 ti being in between) so you'd see a 5-10 fps improvement with that. If you really want to run very modern games on max then a 680 is going to be what you need. Looking at Far Cry 3, Planetside 2, Medal of Honor Warfighter, and the upcoming Crysis 3, I would expect to need pretty beefy cards to handle the best looking games going forward. We are starting to see developers make engines with support for high end gaming rigs, probably in anticipation of new consoles. So I don't think a 660, or even two 660's will cut it if you really want to run games on max settings.

#4 Posted by MethodMan008 (809 posts) -

hmm.. the only games it runs really bad on with high settings is metro 2033, batman arkham city (tessellation is what kills it for me), and frycry 3.. i can run farcry3 with everything at max at like ~20fps.

OS is windows 7 pro.. getting windows 8 pretty soon.

#5 Posted by MethodMan008 (809 posts) -

@Raven10: ah, ok. damn i just bought this 660 like two months ago. :P

oops.

#6 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2991 posts) -

@MethodMan008 said:

hmm.. the only games it runs really bad on with high settings is metro 2033, batman arkham city (tessellation is what kills it for me), and frycry 3.. i can run farcry3 with everything at max at like ~20fps.

OS is windows 7 pro.. getting windows 8 pretty soon.

ah okay so then you're not saying there's anything wrong with your pc other than you are not satisfied with the performance. Yeah in general for most games at this point all you need is a gpu increase although if you wanted the best experience you can have right about now it would be a core i7 and a gtx 680.

There's other things you could do to make it even better of course but that gets into being way too expensive. You could get an ssd and install windows on it, you could sli 2 680's or get a 690. Those options get into the 2k+ region easily of course.

#7 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4338 posts) -

@MethodMan008 said:

hmm.. the only games it runs really bad on with high settings is metro 2033, batman arkham city (tessellation is what kills it for me), and frycry 3.. i can run farcry3 with everything at max at like ~20fps.

OS is windows 7 pro.. getting windows 8 pretty soon.

20? What's the resolution at 2560 x 1600? Sounds like your GPU is fucked if that's not the case.

#8 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2991 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie said:

@MethodMan008 said:

hmm.. the only games it runs really bad on with high settings is metro 2033, batman arkham city (tessellation is what kills it for me), and frycry 3.. i can run farcry3 with everything at max at like ~20fps.

OS is windows 7 pro.. getting windows 8 pretty soon.

20? What's the resolution at 2560 x 1600? Sounds like your GPU is fucked if that's not the case.

well if he's trying to do anti aliasing that could be the case easily even at a much lower resolution

#9 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4338 posts) -

@VisariLoyalist: Good point, MSAA in Far Cry 3 will beat the hell out of many rigs.

#10 Posted by MethodMan008 (809 posts) -

@VisariLoyalist: got a SSD a few weeks ago. so cool! :D but yeah, the only real unplayable games i have is arkham city with tesselation and metro 2033 with settings jacked up.

@Colourful_Hippie: 1920 x 1200.. Bought the HP w2408 at work for 100 bucks.. Kinda hate it now. Oh well.

@VisariLoyalist said:

@Colourful_Hippie said:

@MethodMan008 said:

hmm.. the only games it runs really bad on with high settings is metro 2033, batman arkham city (tessellation is what kills it for me), and frycry 3.. i can run farcry3 with everything at max at like ~20fps.

OS is windows 7 pro.. getting windows 8 pretty soon.

20? What's the resolution at 2560 x 1600? Sounds like your GPU is fucked if that's not the case.

well if he's trying to do anti aliasing that could be the case easily even at a much lower resolution

yeah that was with everything all the way up, so 8x aa

#11 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

derp

#12 Posted by Chrjz (327 posts) -

I would recommend... turning some settings down.

#13 Posted by Toxeia (729 posts) -

I got caught up on this "My rig's so small i've only got 4 fans in it :(" thing. Smaller rig means the air would move through it faster, especially with 4 fans. If you're having heating issues, make sure that you've got in-take on one end and exhaust on the other. Doesn't matter which really. If you're really stuck on getting a larger case though, how large do you want to go? I'm a big fan of Cooler Master, and I've been extremely happy with my Cooler Master Stryker, though it is on the high end on the price spectrum.

As far as your concerns about a board with PCI-E 3.0, cards don't currently take advantage of all that bandwidth. You won't see a boost in performance because of that. What you should look for is a newer chip-set on your board. The current on Intel boards is the Z77. It should support your current CPU as well. Your i5 is a full fledged Quad-Core at 3.1GHz and it should be plenty for running DX11 games.

And you made no mention of your RAM, quantity or speed. 8GB these days is enough for any gaming rig. I assume you're running DDR3 at 1366MHz though. See if your memory supports XMP and if you can enable it in your bios. All DDR3 memory defaults to 1366, but with the "xtreme clock profile" (I hate that name) most will operate at higher speeds. That alone might be enough to alleviate some of your issues.

A note on SLI. The video memory mirrors each other. If you're running 660's with 1.5GB, you aren't getting 3GB of video memory, but only 1.5. Also, the second card is pretty much used to off-load PhysX processing. SLI isn't that big of an improvement. Also, it will default to the slower of the two cards, so if you have a 660Ti (or a Power Edition of some sort), be sure to get the same card. Otherwise the slower one will throttle the pair.

#14 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4338 posts) -

@MethodMan008: There's your problem, don't be a crazy person.

#15 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2991 posts) -

@MethodMan008: yeah at 8x that is going to chug on anything that isn't super killer and honestly it doesn't need it at all really. what do you run it at with no anti aliasing? 30+?

#16 Posted by MethodMan008 (809 posts) -

@VisariLoyalist: haven't checked everything at it's max with no aa.. i turned everything down to very high/high with 4xaa and its running ~45fps.. Which is totally fine.. I just wanna run everything at 60fps with everything turned on and at max all the time.. but i guess that isn't really realistic for me.

@Colourful_Hippie: ahhh, ok. :p

@Toxeia: It's really small so it's packed full of cords and stuff.. So I added two extra fans to get some air flowing.. currently, not really having heating issues with my current set up with it maxing out around 50C during gaming, but id like everything not be so cramped.. but wow, that case looks awesome. whenever i find the price I bet i will be disappointed! :p i have 12gb of RAM, i know it's DDR3 but that's all I can remember.. I'll have to look into that.

#17 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -
@MethodMan008: Here's the price on that case he linked, if you're curious.
 
I was going to recommend this because it's what I have, but it's actually more expensive. But it's got fans on fans on fans, if you're a fan of fans.
#18 Posted by Raven10 (1764 posts) -

@MethodMan008 said:

hmm.. the only games it runs really bad on with high settings is metro 2033, batman arkham city (tessellation is what kills it for me), and frycry 3.. i can run farcry3 with everything at max at like ~20fps.

OS is windows 7 pro.. getting windows 8 pretty soon.

Metro 2033 is just poorly optimized. The DX11 stuff is really early and it just wasn't built as well as it could have been. It's one of those games that will probably never run well. Batman would probably benefit from a dedicated PhysX card. If you have that on high with DX11 then it is no wonder it isn't running well. If I were you I would put the 660 as a dedicated PhysX card and then get a 680 to replace it. FInally, don't run 8x MSAA on any game. It is overkill. You are killing performance for only a tiny bit better picture. I've heard that SMAA provides great results with a much smaller performance hit than MSAA. Search it on Google. You'll have to force it on outside of the game, but should look great if you can get it running. At the worst turn on some high quality FXAA and 2x MSAA. It will blur the image a little, but it will fix the jaggies pretty well and won't kill your performance like 8x MSAA. In all honesty, no card around will run Far Cry 3 at 60 fps with 8x MSAA enabled. It's just plain overkill.

#19 Posted by MethodMan008 (809 posts) -

@ajamafalous: Both those cases looks great, 150 is less than I was expecting also. Thanks!

@Raven10: Ah, ok. Thanks for all the info!

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