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8600GT SLI based system Q's

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Armiger, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Armiger

    Armiger Guest

    Hello, I haven't upgraded in a while and wanted to get a good bang-for-the-buck system so I did a little research (too little) and bought an AMD XP X2 6000+ CPU / Gigabyte 570-SLI Mobo / 2GB DDR2-800 CAS4 RAM / 2x EVGA GeForce 8600GT / 512MB GDDR2. I intended to run the video in SLI and hoped it would be a good value system, but my performance sucks pretty badly, like less than 4k on 3DMark06 on a system with a Seagate STA2 3GB/s HDD and Vista Ultimate x65 installed. I have seen similar systems on the Futuremark site which are posting around 9k (with 4GB RAM on Vista). I was hoping someone had feel for a few things and could help a brudda out:
    • I am using my old PSU which was a top notch (in 2003) Vantec Stealth 420w, could this be too little juice? I have read too little power may cause the GPUs to ramp down? If so, how much wattage / brand PSU would you recommend for a system like this with two GPU cards and two optical as well as SATA 2 HDD?
    • I am using onboard audio, I know 3DMark doesn't use sound so that's not a problem with regard to my low scores, but would a dedicated card still be a good idea? SB X-Fi a good low budget choice?
    • The 8600GTs I have don't even have a SLI connecter on board for the bridge, so I am wondering if these are ramped up 8500s. I intend to bitch to the place I bought them from and see if they will take em back for possibly a single 8800GT / 512MB GDDR3 and the difference in cash, is this new card the sweet spot for SLI performance right now? Is the 40 bucks price difference from the base 600mhz to the 700mhz SSC worth it?
    • Is Vista Ultimate x64 the way to go or should I blow this away and reinstall XP Pro?
    • I don't intend to OC, are the stock CPU fans for AMD sufficient since the things pretty robust?
    • I was having problems with the SLI enable button disappearing when I installed the newest GeForce drivers, but I also had the EasyTune utility installed. I ramped back and unistalled ET and they came back, anyone else have this problem? Is it safe to install 7.15.11.6375 for SLI?
    I haven't gamed in a while and Company of Heroes literally melted my RAdeon 9700 Pro down when I tried to play it at 1600 x 1200 with med detail, lol!

    Antec SOHO Tower with Vantec Stealth 420w PSU
    AMD Athlon XP2 6000+ Windsor CPU
    Gigabyte 570-SLI (GA-M57SLI-S4) Mobo
    2x 1GB G.Skill PC6400 CAS4 RAM
    2x EVGA 8600GT 512MB GDDR2 in SLI (I think)
    On Board Sound
    Seagate ST3250410AS SATA2 3 Gb/s HDD
    Vista Ultimate x64
    ALL Stock Speeds, no OC

    GeForce Driver 7.15.11.5824
    3DMark Score 3930

    TIA, Jeff
     
  2. Waymon3X6

    Waymon3X6 Regular member

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    Ok, first, you need at least a 500watt PSU. Second, the 8800GT will tear 2 8600s to pieces, its even better than a GTS! Get the 8800GT! You will need a new psu however, at least a 500watt from Atec, OCZ, Corsair to name a few. The 8800GT is however having heating problems, like 90C on load, so I would still suggest a aftermarket cooler if you get it, like something from Zalman.

    Btw, is your Athlon a duel core? If not, I would strongly recommend getting a duel core, because a single would bottleneck your 8800GT.
     
  3. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    there's no such thing as a 6000+ single core!
    The system is sound to take a powerful card, but that's not what an 8600GT is, not solo, not in SLI. They're ass compared to a single decent graphics card like an 8800GT. You will need decent cooling, but that goes without saying for a decent gaming PC. This therefore means that neither the case or the PSU are suitable for the PC.
    I'd recommend something like a Coolermaster Centurion and a 520W Corsair HX PSU, that and the decent graphics card!
     
  4. Armiger

    Armiger Guest

    Thanks Waymon, the 520HX PSU has been recommended to me by many (including sammorris above)so I will likely go with that. I would guess that the 8800GT SSC has the same fan as the base board, so I will look into better cooling either war...I suppose I should just buy the base board and OC myself while putting the extra 40 bucks to the cooler. Yes the XP 6000+ is dual core, I am not sure on the nomenclature (Athlon XP X2 6000+?).

    Thanks sammorris, I will upgrade power especially since the GPUs seem like money wasted. At least EVGA has a buy back program. My case has been upgraded with (5) 80mm dual speed Thermaltake fans, the SOHO is the one that Alienware started using back in 2003...is it really that undercooled?

    Also, any recommendations on my mobo...is the 570-SLI chipset that bad or should I consider a newer type for the 8800GTs in SLI?
     
  5. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Your motherboard is fine. As for the case it depends how you cool it. If you put high speed noise-blaring fans in all of the slots you'll be alright, but if you keep your cooling quite subtle that aging case design may hold you back.
     

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