Seeing as how I just now found discovered that HL forums are unusable, and many of those member are now here - I am able to ask my computer related questions to a broader audience than just Blake (not that he doesn't have good advice, I'd just like some more opinions).
Anyway, I've found the need for more graphic processing as well as a better CPU for video encoding - something which my current AT3ION-I can't do very well. It's great for say, being quiet and heating up like a toaster, but for actual gaming and burning DVDs, it falls way shorter than I expected. Well, not really, I mean I wasn't expecting to do anything, but buying a 1925 jumbo sousaphone and filming everything wasn't exactly planned for...
I have been looking over components for a few weeks now and have come to a decision on which GPU to buy:
GTX 460 768MB
GTX 460 1GB
My previous computer before the ION-based one was a D 915 with a 7900GS - and finally died after two motherboards. It ran things, but only at medium or so settings. I've been reading about how things have come along since then, and decided I'd either like one fantastic GPU or two midrange in SLI.
With that said, I'd be using a micro ATX board (I have a Qmicra v2 - great case - from the old build) with 2 pci-e slots (x16 or x8/x8). Speaking of which, through some research the difference between x8 and x16 is negligible (about 1-2% difference), so running two cards at x8 seems to be just OK for me - especially since the board is under 80 bucks. The cpu I've chosen is an i5 650 with 4GB of DDR3 1600.
This brings me to the GPU -
I've read about all of the new ones - have narrowed it down to the above, so here goes...
The MSI Cyclone GTX 460 768MB scales really well in SLI and overclocks wells - plus it's cheap. The same thing holds true for the 1GB version, except it's a little more expensive. In SLI I'm looking at spending between $360-400, depending on which 460 version is used. Of course at that price point, I could just go ahead and get a GTX 470...
Then again, I could just grab a GTX 465 for the same price as the GTX 460 768MB.... Blake recommended that I should go with one 470 or 460, but it's best to have a few more opinions (not to say his isn't peachy).
The 465 seems like a good bang for the buck, it out performs the 460 768MB, but not the 1GB - sometimes. In SLI, though, the 460s and the 465 beat out a single 470.
SO here is the question:
Is the extra cores and bells/whistles of the 465 compared to the 460 (768MB) worth it (including the heat output and power consumption)?
Part of me says yes, especially because it seems that the more memory that the 465 has helps with larger display resolutions (I'm running at 1920x1080) compared to the 460. Since it looks like I'll be able to get two 465s for the same price as two 460(768MB)s, I'm edging toward the 465.
Then there is the Galaxy 470 - Newegg shows that after rebate is can be had for about 270. Two of these would be obviously way better, but more expensive.
The GTX 460 1GB is pretty much able to match the slightly older 465, and is supposedly quite a bit friendly to overclocking. It also runs a tad quieter and takes about 50 watts less in power than the 465. I remember when it initially announced the guys at GPU Review went absolutely crazy for the thing. Strictly speaking, I would go for the GTX 460 1GB.
That being said, if you can't find a 460 1GB for the same price or close to it as the GTX 465, I would just get the 465. Or a pair, in your case.
Edited at Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:20:02 PM
Michael: Jodie, how's my schedule look for today? Jodie: You've got a conference and dinner party at the Japanese Embassy regarding wildlife protection. Michael: Oh, yeah...sorry, but I'll have to cancel that. I'm heading out to save America!