PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

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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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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Gorlando » Thu May 05, 2011 2:37 pm

fafhrd 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...


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.

You are correct.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby Panzerdin » Sat May 07, 2011 4:34 am

Random note on the HD 6970: the HD 6950 is the exact same card with a different BIOS, so you can save the difference if you buy a 6950 and flash it with a 6970 BIOS.

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/ove ... idcard/159

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=335318

Won't do your warranty any favours though.
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Re: PC/GPU upgrade advice/questions.

Postby laterna » Sun May 08, 2011 8:18 am

Panzerdin wrote:Random note on the HD 6970: the HD 6950 is the exact same card with a different BIOS, so you can save the difference if you buy a 6950 and flash it with a 6970 BIOS.

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/ove ... idcard/159

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=335318

Won't do your warranty any favours though.


This is true, but it leads to issues down the road. The reason being is that when AMD made the card, it binned it into the 6950 league based on the performance of the extra stuff. If you flash it to a 6970 you can cause it to burn off VRM's, and knock out your card. Although it works 90% of the time, there's a thread on OC.Net from people who did it, and ended up paying for it. If it was me, I wouldn't do it, but I would do it a few days before my warranty runs out (granted if you flash it, burn the VRM, and flash it back, they'll have a hard time figuring you flashed it in the first place)
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