upgrade from nvidia 7950 GX2?

  Incony 17:29 12 Apr 2008

My PC is competent, if not the best. I use it for creating 2 and 3D artwork for animations, most of which i use in SecondLife. I often have 8 or more art programs open at once, and the pc does it fine.. but recently, as i get better, and create more complex anims, ive noticed the nvidia card has a hard time when i am running a lot of stuff on Secondlife,and can get hot, 80 deg c plus sometimes, enough for me to fit an external temp sensor and fan, to assist it. That works fine.

its well over a year now since ive had the PC, and i am thinking that while the CPU is well able to do what i want, i could upgrade the video card..

but.. money isnt a problem.. fortunately, and i could build a new PC, if the motherboard isnt up to much, (its done me ok so far...)

If this was your system, and you used it for art and 3d animation creation and used Second Life... what would you suggest i upgrade.. and why?

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name
System Manufacturer ASUSTEK COMPUTER INC
System Model P5W DH Deluxe
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 6 GenuineIntel ~2938 Mhz
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 6 GenuineIntel ~2938 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date A M I - 9000626 BIOS Date: 09/26/06
12:52:11 Ver: 08.00.12
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Video: 64K Colors, NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 Ver. 6.14

Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device HarddiskVolume1
Hard Disks: 139.73 GB Raptor 10,000 RPM, 153.38 GB 7200 RPM

User Name
Time Zone
Total Physical Memory 3,072.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 1.27 GB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 3.85 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

  citadel 20:07 12 Apr 2008

you can get specialist graphics cards for the type of work you do, nvidia quadro and ati fire gl.

  Incony 05:09 13 Apr 2008

yes, thank you citadel, ive looked at some, and seen that i could pay more than the cost of the cpu for a card.. i dont think its reasonable to do that, for what i use it for, but i am looking at the nvidia 9800 GX2, and posting here to try and reach an opinion.

PC advisor havent any info from users on the 7950 card i have.. and its still early days for the 9800 GX2... but folks have rated the 7950 GX2 as a good card.. at least posts elsewhere have said that..

GeForce 7950 GX2 9800 GX2
Graphics Bus Technology PCI Express
Memory 1GB (512MB per GPU)
Memory Interface 512-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 76.8 128
Fill Rate (Billion pixels/sec) 24 76.2
Vertices/second (Billion) 2.0 ?
Pixels per clock (peak) 48 ?
RAMDACs (MHz) 400 600

you see even nvidia dont give the info for both cards using the same titles...ive had to put question marks cos i dont know, so i am not sure how much better the 9800 is.. except that it gets bigger numbers..:)

would the 9800 GX2 fit my mobo? will it get as hot, even though it might only be working half as hard, if the figures above relate to temperature corespondingly?

will the cpu be happier or better with the 9800 GX2 ?

perhaps i should be considering a better cpu, but ive no reason to doubt its ability yet..

these are the kinda questions im looking to answer..

  citadel 13:17 13 Apr 2008

9800gtx2 is 295mm long, must be in a pci express 16x slot, 700w psu rec with true 8pin connector to the card. graphics card cpu's are made to withstand a lot higher temperatures than motherboard cpu's.
it is best to have a large case like the gigabyte 3d aurora with plenty of space and good airflow to keep all your components cool.

  Incony 14:42 13 Apr 2008

the psu isnt a problem, i have an ATX 1000w
click here and the 7950GX2 uses true 8 pin pci express, ive already fitted an external 12v .44w fan( an ex psu fan), it draws cold air to the pc directly from outside, and enters straight thru the graphics card. its triggered by a 10 to 80 deg settable temp switch ( ex immersion heater sw....:) ) via the graphics card heatsink temp.

the measurement is tight though.. i have 300mm max,thats something i might need to consider further.

  Incony 18:55 13 Apr 2008

out of curiosity , ive run the intel vtune tool, and tried a little overclocking of the 7950GX2, and now the core clock is running at 600 MHZ and the Memory Clock at 700 MHZ. ive seen folks push the memory clock to 800 MHZ, but im more curious than an averclocker.. temperature is my prime consideration, and im not going much over 85 degrees c when busy and now, on idle really while i write this its 64 degrees c, the external fan on half power.. so its quiet too.

Again ive no real comparison to understand the benefit.. bigger numbers dont mean a lot to me, i am no games player i have none..

  citadel 22:13 13 Apr 2008

9800gtx2 runs 85 degrees under load, this is normal for a top card. it is miles better than what you have. review at techreport.com

  Incony 23:40 13 Apr 2008

yes..its certainly better than my dear old 7950 GX2, but the gamers dont rate it anything special, its a question of money and driver availability, BT for example have it listed at 403 pounds inc vat.. its no cheap card.

it would certainly surpass my 7950 and run about the same temp, perhaps a little more noise..but if the fans are good i might not need the external cooler fan on..

at 403 pounds and if i kept it a year or so.. like the current cards age.. then thats a little over a pound a day... no big deal.. i waste more money than that, on junk food for example.. at least the 9800 GX2 doesnt end up in the bin like that..:) so i am tempted.. i need a little more time to consider it.. its early days.. another couple of months i think.. plenty of time to see how folks determine it more. :)

  Incony 00:01 14 Apr 2008

what discourages me, is reports like this:
click here
There’s something unlikeable about the GeForce 9800 GX2 – it’s hardly the most well designed card, being hot and bulky, and slapping two PCBs together isn't the most elegant way for Nvidia to make a new high-performance card. For the GeForce 7950 GX2 Nvidia used specially designed power-frugal, cooler-running mobile GPUs to keep the heat output of the card down. For the GeForce 9800 GX2, Nvidia has just clamped two modified desktop cards together and caged the whole thing in black metal. It’s more of graphics brick than a graphics card."

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