i7 Video Upgrade

I had built a system for a friend about 6 months ago. It was ready to roar, minus the video card as the rest of it was expensive enough. It did the trick for the time being, but he was ready to go bigger so I ordered him some video cards. They just came in, so I’m doing some before and after benchmarks.

Current Stats:
Intel i7 (4 core) @ 3.4ghz
6mb DDR3 @ 1333mhz Tri-Channel Configuration (3 x 2G)
2 x 1TB Hard Drives
Bluray / DVD Writer Combo Drive
ATI Radeon HD 5450 DX11

New cards:
EVGA nVidia GTS 450 x 2 (SLi)

I’m planning on getting benchmarks with just the ATI, 1 card, and 2 cards in SLi.
3DMark 2007 (basic), Heaven, Tropics, and Sanctuary are on the agenda.

Stay tuned.

ATI Radeon HD 5450 1024mb [stats]
Windows 7 “Experience” Score:

    3.6 Overall
    3.6 Desktop Performance for Windows Aero
    5.7 3D business and gaming graphics performance

      3DMark 2011 – P332 Overall

        Graphics Score: 283
        Physics Score: 6299
        Combined Score: 302

      Heaven – 1280 x 800, DX11, Tessellation Normal

        Min: 2.6
        Max: 8.5
        Avg FPS: 3.8
        Score: 96

      Tropics – 1280 x 800 DX11, Ambient Occlusion

        Min: 1.3
        Max: 6.2
        Avg FPS: 2.1
        Score: 53

        Sanctuary – 1280 x 800 DX11, Ambient Occlusion

          Min: 1.4
          Max: 1.8
          Avg FPS: 1.4
          Score: 60

        Crysis SP Demo – 1024 x 768 (custom: mostly high settings):
        New Game, 300 seconds from suit online

          Min: 2
          Max: 30
          Avg FPS: 14.8

        World of Warcraft 1280×1024 Custom High:

          Min: 11
          Max: 38
          Avg FPS: 27

        EVGA geForce 450 GTS 1024mb [stats]
        Windows 7 “Experience” Score:

          5.9 Overall
          7.2 Desktop performance for Windows Aero
          7.2 3D business and gaming graphics performance

        3DMark 2011 – P2414 Overall

          Graphics Score: 2168
          Physics Score: 6508
          Combined Score: 2214

        Heaven

          Min: 20.3
          Max: 73.2
          Avg FPS: 32.3
          Score: 813

        Tropics

          Min: 41.5
          Max: 111.7
          Avg FPS: 62.7
          Score: 1581

        Sanctuary

          Min: 50.8
          Max: 89.4
          Avg FPS: 73.0
          Score: 3094

        Crysis SP Demo – 1024 x 768 (custom: mostly high settings):
        Nw Game, 300 seconds from suit online

          Min: 16
          Max: 326
          Avg FPS: 111.569

        World of Warcraft 1280×1024 Custom High:

          Min: 55
          Max: 63
          Avg FPS: 60.1

        2x EVGA geForce 450 GTS 1024 in SLi
        Windows 7 Experience Score: No Change

        3DMark 2011 – P4332

          Graphics Score: 4288
          Physics Score: 6474
          Combined Score: 3056

        Heaven

          Min: 30.0
          Max: 133.2
          Avg FPS: 60.6
          Score: 1526

        Tropics

          Min: 77.2
          Max: 210.9
          Avg FPS: 120.4
          Score: 3033

        Sanctuary

          Min: 96.0
          Max: 165.4
          Avg FPS 136.4
          Score: 5783

        Crysis SP Demo – 1024 x 768 (custom: mostly high settings):
        Nw Game, 300 seconds from suit online

          Min: 5
          Max: 296
          Avg FPS: 115.8

        World of Warcraft 1280×1024 Custom High:

          Min: 62
          Max: 192
          Avg FPS: 97.4

        World of Warcraft 1280×1024 Ultra / Max

          Min: 78
          Max: 191
          Avg FPS: 115.8

        World of Warcraft 2650×1600 Ultra / Max

          Min: 64
          Max: 144
          Avg FPS: 105.9

        and finally – the Max it can do – World of Warcraft 2560×1600 Ultra / Max with 8X Supersampling (Anti-Aliasing)

          Min: 47
          Max: 84
          Avg FPS: 64.8

        Still over 60fps!

        Some of the inconsistencies you may see with adding the second card are lower numbers in Crysis. It’s a pre-release demo, so it’s pretty old. In hindsight I probably should have chosen a better demo – but it was already installed and still looked and played great. So the conclusions you can draw from these numbers are – you can get suitable numbers from 2 relatively inexpensive cards. All told we’re looking at a little over $200 for the two that allow you to run most games at max settings, especially if you’re running a lower resolution such as 1280×800, 1600 x 1024, or even 1920×1080 (1080p Equivalent).

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