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dswo
April 13th, 2010, 05:01
I'm hoping to build (or buy) a new rig this summer. In the meantime, I've been playing around with IL-2 1946 and Wings of Prey. What's frustrating is my video card: a factory-overclocked EVGA 8800GT (512 mb). It works fine, but it's got a noisy fan. In FSX, this isn't an issue: the card never gets that hot. But with the two IL-2 games, the card heats up after a couple minutes and the fan gets loud. I know, some people would just turn up the volume on their speakers, but that's not me.

I looked at VGA coolers, but then I thought: "I'm planning to build a new rig anyway, why not use the fan money ($35-55) to buy a new, quieter video card?" Also, I wouldn't have to remove my card's casing and attach an after-market heatsink...

1. How much should I spend, given that my primary application for the card will be FSX?

2. What should I get, taking into account

a. What Jesus Altuve says about ATI vs. Nvidia (quoted below)

b. I want something quiet



Jesus Altuve on the difference between ATI and Nvidia for FSX
http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=281538

One side note: ATI's 5870 vs nVidias GTX 285 they are both EXCELENT cards... but they have completely different architectures, the ATI's have LOTS of tiny 'slow running' shader processors, the nVidias have fewer shader processors (a lot less) but they are TWICE as fast... so, how does this affects the cards ability to 'process' and 'render' draw commands?

well.. its up to you to decide: the ATI's have 1600 small processors, they are called 'shader processors' the more processors you have, the better the card ability to 'multitask' and do parallel processing so, the ATI's are FANTASTIC reading the command buffer faster than ANY card on the planet (even the new nVidias GTX 480, also called by their codename Fermi) so with an ATI you could practically have FSX nirvana if FSX were to send all draw instructions to the command buffer bypassing the BufferPools.. however, THERE IS A CATCH. Since ATI's have more shader processors, they need to run 'slower' (they run at 700Mhz) same as the core clock. so, complex scenery, clouds, add-on aircraft will considerably LOWER your total average FPS. so, again, its up to you to decide... if you only fly default planes, and want EVERY SINGLE SLIDER MAXED out, vsync, nHancer, ENBSeries mode etc. then the ATI is for you, ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO CRASH IT! I could crash mine (I only owned it for like 2 days) no matter what I tried, but I lost 6FPS! to me thats unnaceptable.

Now.. the nVidias, particularly the GTX 285, have exactly 240 Shader processors, they run at 1476Mhz (and some can be overclocked even higher) this card, is a monster... and even though the ATI's (in raw speed) are faster, the nVidias can render 'complex' scenes much quicker (specially things that relay on shaders such as clouds, high water settings, buildings etc.), so the CPU doesn't have to wait for a particular scene to be rendered. Remember, the FASTER the card 'renders' a scene, the faster the 'frames' will be processed and the CPU will keep producing them! so, as you see, there needs to be 'BALANCE'. remember, that any complex system will be limited by the speed of the slowest running member on the system. Now, back to video card comparisons: The downside to the nVidias?? THEY SUCK at reading instructions from the command buffer fast enough, so they can be stalled by the CPU IF you are running high frame rates and using complex autogen (which is what fills the command buffer quicker, specially after SP2 where there is massive object batching per frame) so when using nVidias LIMITING your framerate to 25-30FPS and lowering autogen is paramaunt. (including the steps I have already mentioned) like vsync OFF, single monitor setup, No ENBSeries and application controlled AA and AF. but don't worry.. The GTX 480's will change all that :) they have 480 shader processors :) still much less than the ATI's but enough to give you Flightsim nirvana and turn FSX into a whole new ball game. So, IT IS completely possible to achieve what everyone though was a dream. FULL MAXED sliders and fluidity (I don't include car traffic) MAX 2.0 Water (which is a killer) or bloom (the other killer) but you can still have pretty descent AI traffic and easily achieve 20-25 FPS under the most demanding conceivable situation, thats quite good.

txnetcop
April 13th, 2010, 05:14
David I have tested every card out on the market except the new 400 series cards which we will test next week. I have not honestly found a really quite card when gaming. MSI comes the closest. As for which way to go, ATI still has the same tearing issue in FSX and ARMA2 not in other games though, especially in cockpits. We were with the the ATI engineers and discussed this, they consider FSX and FS9 a dead issue. ECS and Galaxy have started building dual fan models like MSI and they are quieter but not quiet at gaming speeds.
Ted
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dswo
April 13th, 2010, 05:36
Thank you, Ted.

Given what Ted says about MSI, what do folks think of this for $140?

MSI N250GTS Twin Frozr 1G GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127478&cm_re=msi_nvidia-_-14-127-478-_-Product

txnetcop
April 13th, 2010, 18:10
What operating system do you use David and what other games do you play? I don't mean simulator games, MOP, first person shooters and are any of your games played online against others?
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dswo
April 13th, 2010, 19:39
What operating system do you use David and what other games do you play? I don't mean simulator games, MOP, first person shooters and are any of your games played online against others?

I'm running Windows 7 (64-bit). The only games that interest me are flight simulators, and the one that I really care about is FSX. The next build will be something i7-based. My idea is that I can buy the video card now, enjoy it with my current rig (W7/64, Q6600, 4gb RAM, 8800GT w/ 512mb), then move it to the new box when I build/buy that.

txnetcop
April 14th, 2010, 04:52
The GTS250 was a poor performer in most of the first person shooters I did not get to test it in FSX but it really did badly in Rise of Flight. I would look at least at the GTX275 which performed almost identically to the GTX285. It will also go very well with the WIN7 64bit as the bandwidth is addressed very well.
Ted
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dswo
April 14th, 2010, 05:47
Thank you, Ted. That was EXTREMELY helpful.

CheckSix
April 14th, 2010, 05:55
I have 2x XFX 5770's crossfired sitting alongside an i7 860 2.80Ghz with 8gb Corsair DDR3 and I have to say I am a little dissapointed in the performance (more than like down to my own ignorance of PC's & Windows7). I have always been an NVidia man but I thought I would give the ATI's a go, of course I wish now that I had stuck to my love of NVidia... I will say though they are very quiet cards.

txnetcop
April 14th, 2010, 09:23
I have 2x XFX 5770's crossfired sitting alongside an i7 860 2.80Ghz with 8gb Corsair DDR3 and I have to say I am a little dissapointed in the performance (more than like down to my own ignorance of PC's & Windows7). I have always been an NVidia man but I thought I would give the ATI's a go, of course I wish now that I had stuck to my love of NVidia... I will say though they are very quiet cards.

The HD5770 has basically the same GPU as the HD4870 which was had some success. The bad thing about the 5770 is it is only a 128bit interface which really bottlenecks a pretty good GPU. FSX gets real weird with 128 bit interface video cards whether they are Nvidia or ATI. You would have had a better experience with it's big brothers the HD5850 or HD5870, except that all ATIs have a tearing problem with FSX usually seen in the VC more than anywhere else. I can highly recommend the GTX275 and GTX285s for speed and excellent smooth-line graphics.
Ted

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Major_Spittle
April 25th, 2010, 14:59
DSWO-

I upgraded from an 8800gt to a GTX260 (reference Heat sink design) and it was LOUD and hot and would crash during certain games (factory overclock editions). Didn't see a big difference in FPS between that and the 8800gt (running in a 4gig DDR2 1066/3.6 ghz Q9450 system) but I could enable a few goodies in FSX that I couldn't before. I returned this card due to it over heating and then got.......

An ATI 4890. It was better. The best card I ever had performance wise but it was also LOUD. Not as loud as the GTX260 but close. It also was a reference design heat sink from MSI with factory overclock. FSX look BEAUTIFUL when running on this card!!! This card had a CAP blow on it after ~ 7 months and MSI refunded my invoice price for card since they had no replacement. No I have........

An ATI 5930 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125317 and it is quiet as a mouse. Run very cool also. Performance wise it doesn't seem to do as good as the 4890 but on paper it is the same card with extra processors and built on a newer smaller technology. I love the card, it has the built in eyefinity and sound processor for HDMI output. I got this one specifically because it has a 256bit interface and 56 texture mapping units (4890 had 40). The card also supports DX11 which is nice considering the improvements it has from DX10.

Here is a good comparison of the 4890 vs 5830 that explains the different abilities: http://www.hwcompare.com/graphics/compare.php?c=Radeon-HD-4890-1GB-1024MB--vs-Radeon-HD-5830#texelrateExplain

Here is a good comparison of the 5830 vs gtx 260: http://www.hwcompare.com/graphics/compare.php?c=GeForce-GTX-260-vs-Radeon-HD-5830

txnetcop
April 25th, 2010, 15:50
DSWO-

I upgraded from an 8800gt to a GTX260 (reference Heat sink design) and it was LOUD and hot and would crash during certain games (factory overclock editions). Didn't see a big difference in FPS between that and the 8800gt (running in a 4gig DDR2 1066/3.6 ghz Q9450 system) but I could enable a few goodies in FSX that I couldn't before. I returned this card due to it over heating and then got.......

An ATI 4890. It was better. The best card I ever had performance wise but it was also LOUD. Not as loud as the GTX260 but close. It also was a reference design heat sink from MSI with factory overclock. FSX look BEAUTIFUL when running on this card!!! This card had a CAP blow on it after ~ 7 months and MSI refunded my invoice price for card since they had no replacement. No I have........

An ATI 5930 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125317 and it is quiet as a mouse. Run very cool also. Performance wise it doesn't seem to do as good as the 4890 but on paper it is the same card with extra processors and built on a newer smaller technology. I love the card, it has the built in eyefinity and sound processor for HDMI output. I got this one specifically because it has a 256bit interface and 56 texture mapping units (4890 had 40). The card also supports DX11 which is nice considering the improvements it has from DX10.

Here is a good comparison of the 4890 vs 5830 that explains the different abilities: http://www.hwcompare.com/graphics/compare.php?c=Radeon-HD-4890-1GB-1024MB--vs-Radeon-HD-5830#texelrateExplain

Here is a good comparison of the 5830 vs gtx 260: http://www.hwcompare.com/graphics/compare.php?c=GeForce-GTX-260-vs-Radeon-HD-5830


MAJOR, WAS THIS THE MSI TWIN FROZER 260 OC? MINE IS QUITE IS QUITE AS MOUSE AT 90%
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dswo
April 25th, 2010, 17:26
Thanks for the advice, both of you. It's great to know what actually works...

Major_Spittle
April 26th, 2010, 15:25
MAJOR, WAS THIS THE MSI TWIN FROZER 260 OC? MINE IS QUITE IS QUITE AS MOUSE AT 90%

No it was the XFX Black edition http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150330

The ATI 4890 that was loud was also a reference card: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127427

Anyway, I stay away from reference coolers now because of the noise. my current card has a TWIN Frozer style cooler like yours and it is quiet and cool: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125317

From what I have read it will OC to 1ghz but don't think my power supply is up to the task so I haven't OC it yet.

txnetcop
April 26th, 2010, 16:59
No it was the XFX Black edition http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150330

The ATI 4890 that was loud was also a reference card: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127427

Anyway, I stay away from reference coolers now because of the noise. my current card has a TWIN Frozer style cooler like yours and it is quiet and cool: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125317

From what I have read it will OC to 1ghz but don't think my power supply is up to the task so I haven't OC it yet.


That's great video card. It tested very well. I would only OC that one with a single rail 60amp or better on +12V. Gigabyte has really stepped up to the plate on video cards
Ted
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dswo
May 2nd, 2010, 16:01
Update: I honestly don't remember what my logic was -- I'm still planning to build a new rig -- but a couple weeks ago I ordered an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 ver 2 heatsink for my first-generation EVGA 8800GT. About US$25 shipped from Ewiz.com, plus an $8 squirrel cage cooler from Newegg.com (which I immediately removed because it was too loud). Normally I buy from Newegg, but both times I've bought Arctic gear, this one and my CPU cooler, it's been cheaper at Ewiz. I didn't have time to install it until early this last week. I took my time cleaning off the old thermal transfer material (paste on the GPU, pad on the memory and voltage regulators) because the main complaint you read about this cooler in the Newegg reviews is that the heat sinks on the memory and voltage regulators fall off. Pressed them down with a book overnight, zip-tied on a 120mm Zalman fan that I had lying, plugged it into a Zalman fan controller, set to about 1000 rpm, mounted. Plugged power back in. Booted into W7.

Disappointing: idle temps only dropped by 10C or so, and load temps not at all. Playing "Wings of Prey," I quickly got over 100C -- and immediately exited the game to avoid cooking my gear. I tried various things with the 120mm fan, including running it at full speed. Not enough difference to make a difference.

I resign myself to not playing "Wings of Prey" on this box. The next build will be different! Then I noticed that in heavy cloud I was getting high temps with FSX too (even though the fan wasn't revving up, the way it was with "Wings" and IL-2). I spend a couple hours reading about PWM fans that will automatically ramp up speed when the GPU gets hot. I can't find anything that really does what I want. Sleeve-bearings don't like blowing air up from a horizontal mounting, and the non-sleeve fan (by Arctic again) doesn't push much as air as I'll probably need.

More resignation. I decide that, come morning, I will go back to the stock cooler, hoping that the thermal pads are still usable. (For the GPU, I have fresh silver goop.) I get the whole thing out of the box and unscrew the cooler. (Fortunately there are only four screws.) Only half of the GPU has any thermal goop on it! That means it's not coming into contact with the heatsink. No wonder it's not shedding Cs like it's supposed to!

I end up filing down two of the cooler's plastic spacers with my Leatherman. It takes a couple hours to get it right. File, screw, unscrew, check: how much of the GPU has goop on it now? When I'm close, I clean off the preapplied paste using alcohol and coffee filters (because they're lint-free). Slap on my silver goop in its place, check it to make sure that the whole GPU is in contact with the heatsink, try to screw everything on evenly, and mount the card/cooler/fan assembly back in the box. Power cord back in, boot into W7.

What a difference! GPU temps, idle and load, are now 40+ percent lower than stock. And, because I'm using a larger and slower fan, everything's quieter. It's the same card, so there's nothing new in FSX, but now I can fly without worrying that I'll cook my gear; and I can play "Wings of Prey" and IL-2 without the fan revving up (and still cooking my gear).

I still have to figure out what card to buy for my next box: http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/showthread.php?t=35820. I like what Ted says here about the MSI 260, but if it's not better than my existing card (which I could take with me, now that it's running smoothly) there are probably better ways to spend $200.