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PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby gibborim » Tue May 03, 2011 10:14 am

knaughty wrote:-EDIT- Yah, so apparently this laptop card can run Crysis 2 on "Ultra" at 30 FPS. I think Warcraft isn't going to stress it...


Even at 1440p?
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby knaughty » Tue May 03, 2011 2:20 pm

gibborim wrote:
knaughty wrote:-EDIT- Yah, so apparently this laptop card can run Crysis 2 on "Ultra" at 30 FPS. I think Warcraft isn't going to stress it...


Even at 1440p?


Benchmark wasn't clear, probably 1080.

Bonus news is that they've dropped the Australian price about 20% by removing about half of the currency-coversion padding.

They still seem to be doing the calculation backwards - current pricing implies that a USD buys $1.10 Aussie (then add 10% sales tax). Wrong, you silly Yankees, $1.00 Aussie buys $1.10 USD - you need to use your divide button instead of the multiply one.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Gorlando » Tue May 03, 2011 4:55 pm

knaughty wrote:
Question: Any point getting 2 Gig of RAM?

-EDIT- Yah, so apparently this laptop card can run Crysis 2 on "Ultra" at 30 FPS. I think Warcraft isn't going to stress it...

2 GB of VRAM might be helpful. I read somewhere that increased memory is helpful when dealing with high resolutions. That conclusion was based on multi-monitor setups, however.

Crysis 2 was ported over from a console version, so it isn't nearly as demanding as one would think. Metro 2033 would be a better game to use in comparing video cards.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby knaughty » Tue May 03, 2011 5:07 pm

The extra Gig of VRAM is only a hundred bucks and can't be done later so I'll pick it up.

The built-in screen is 2560x1440 and the iMac appears to have the ability to drive two external monitors on top, so extra RAM can't hurt.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Flex » Tue May 03, 2011 5:30 pm

knaughty wrote:The extra Gig of VRAM is only a hundred bucks and can't be done later so I'll pick it up.

The built-in screen is 2560x1440 and the iMac appears to have the ability to drive two external monitors on top, so extra RAM can't hurt.


http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/03/appl ... ays-video/
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Sabindeus » Tue May 03, 2011 9:56 pm

Just took a look at the specs on that AMD 6970M and it is a decidedly unfortunate card... a sad drawback of the iMac.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby gibborim » Tue May 03, 2011 10:32 pm

Sabindeus wrote:Just took a look at the specs on that AMD 6970M and it is a decidedly unfortunate card... a sad drawback of the iMac.


That is the implicit problem with dealing with a company that demands so much control over your experience. Some times they drive progress and make everyone happier for it and some times it is more like "Hey guis, Flash is ghey, screw that shit."

They still seem to be doing the calculation backwards - current pricing implies that a USD buys $1.10 Aussie (then add 10% sales tax). Wrong, you silly Yankees, $1.00 Aussie buys $1.10 USD - you need to use your divide button instead of the multiply one.


Sorry, Apple did not think they could provide a robust accounting experience using the feature, so regretfully iCalculates are no longer supporting the division button. Hopefully mathematicians will be able to come up with a new function to replace it with that meets Apple's exacting standards.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby knaughty » Wed May 04, 2011 12:16 am

@Gib: If you're going to try and turn this into Mac vs PC, butt out. PS: Flash is shit on mobile devices, go read some of the reviews of the Android tablets that "support" flash.

@Sab: What's wrong with the 6970M?
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 04, 2011 9:00 am

knaughty wrote:@Sab: What's wrong with the 6970M?


It's basically an underclocked version of a current-gen budget card, the desktop 6850 HD. (I say current gen but this generation of ATI cards is already like 8 months old at this point... so that's an issue in and of itself)

What I did learn from the internet today is that in the new iMac the GPU is on a removeable daughtercard rather than on the logic board, and the CPU heatsink is removable so both those components are in fact replaceable. I doubt there will be "upgrades" for it per se but it's definitely a good thing to have as a potential swappable part.

Also 4 DIMM slots is veeeeery nice. Having limited RAM expansion was always a flaw in the iMac line, what with its use of laptop sized parts.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 04, 2011 9:01 am

gibborim wrote:
Sabindeus wrote:Just took a look at the specs on that AMD 6970M and it is a decidedly unfortunate card... a sad drawback of the iMac.


That is the implicit problem with dealing with a company that demands so much control over your experience. Some times they drive progress and make everyone happier for it and some times it is more like "Hey guis, Flash is ghey, screw that shit."

They still seem to be doing the calculation backwards - current pricing implies that a USD buys $1.10 Aussie (then add 10% sales tax). Wrong, you silly Yankees, $1.00 Aussie buys $1.10 USD - you need to use your divide button instead of the multiply one.


Sorry, Apple did not think they could provide a robust accounting experience using the feature, so regretfully iCalculates are no longer supporting the division button. Hopefully mathematicians will be able to come up with a new function to replace it with that meets Apple's exacting standards.


Wow it's like your responses had literally nothing to do with the posts you quoted. Cut it out.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby gibborim » Wed May 04, 2011 11:27 am

knaughty wrote:You can have a SSD plus a HDD, though I understand the SSD is actually a custom part rather than a "flash drive in a 2.5" laptop drive enclosure".


True. This is what a MacBook SSD looks like. About the same size and shape as a piece of desktop RAM.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 04, 2011 1:44 pm

This is pretty cool if true:

arstechnica wrote:
The new iMacs also use an as-yet-unreleased Intel Z68 controller, which 9to5 Mac noted includes support for Intel's Smart Response Technology. The controller allows an SSD to act as a high-speed cache for a traditional hard drive, combining the performance of an SSD for often used files with the high capacity of a spinning platter. Adding the secondary SSD option on build-to-order iMacs adds about a month to the expected ship date, which 9to5 Mac speculated means Apple is waiting on a supply of "Larsen Creek" SSDs from Intel that work with the hybrid technology.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Sabindeus » Wed May 04, 2011 1:47 pm

ooh, more cool info. Apparently the GPU daughtercard is a standard but obscure mobile connector called MXM

http://www.mxm-upgrade.com/


And if you were wondering, The article I've been reading is here:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/ ... sensor.ars
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby fafhrd » Thu May 05, 2011 10:58 am

You are overcomplicating this discussion a bit, the answers to the original questions are fairly straightforward. On the Core2Duo you listed, WoW gets pretty CPU limited. I ran WoW for several months on a Core2 Duo E8500, OC'd to 3.8GHz with a GTX580 (also slightly OC'd), I could only get some settings up to max while maintaining 60fps@1920x1080. FRAPSing even to an SSD would drop FPS to 30ish, and raids would often lose FPS down to the 18fps range.

Keeping the same GPU but upgrading to an i7 2600K, OC'd to 4.3GHz and I can put literally everything in WoW on Ultra, even externally tweak FSAA to 16x, and not drop below 60 fps. Even FRAPsing at 60 fps (which isn't as efficient as the mac capture) will leave me playing at 60 fps, whether recording to the HDD or recording to an SSD. Part of might be the newer motherboard and RAM, but mostly it has to be the CPU. So I'm fairly sure the upgrade for you will be sufficient to max out everything as far as WoW goes. You'll be running at a higher resolution though which will make things harder on the GPU, but not having to run FRAPS will make things easier on the CPU.

Note that this is under DX11 though, which while it's about the same visual quality for WoW, is much more efficient - I noticeably lose performance under DX10. So I'm not sure how how the rendering performance will scale with OGL under OSX.

As for the Z68s, the only thing we know they're offering over currently P67 chipsets is the SSD Cache thing, which sounds awesome but is still an unknown performance factor. Being able to have both the CPU's graphics chip and a PCI-E GPU functioning is fairly immaterial, stuff is very unlikely to be written to use both at once, and WoW certainly doesn't need both to cap you at a 60Hz monitor's VSYNC.

I doubt it matters to you but it's worth mentioning anyway, Mac or not games won't benefit from the differences between an i7 and an i5 so you could save about a hundred bucks there if you wanted. If you encode video though, and have an encoder that supports Hyperthreading (not all do, not even all recent ones do), the HT on the i7s is worth it.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby fafhrd » Thu May 05, 2011 11:04 am

knaughty wrote:-EDIT- Yah, so apparently this laptop card can run Crysis 2 on "Ultra" at 30 FPS. I think Warcraft isn't going to stress it...


Is that saying alot? I'm a bit out of touch with gaming benchmarks, but last I heard Crysis 2 was less demanding of the system than Crysis 1. They downressed tons of textures, reversed DX versions etc. Desktop cards were still pushing 60fps on max settings though.
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