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Need Advice to Replace GeForce 7950GTOC With a DirectX11 Nvidia Card

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by Damaeus, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    I've ordered an Asus Crosshair V Formula Z motherboard and it'll be here
    Friday, I hope. I'm going to have Windows 8, which makes use of DirectX
    11. I currently have a GeForce 7950GTOC graphics card with 512MB of video
    RAM, which I bought when they were over $400, but I don't have that much
    to spend on a graphics card this time around. I can go up to about $115
    and I prefer an Asus-brand graphics card since I want to match it with the
    Asus motherboard. But sometimes old-generation high-end cards are better
    than present-generation low-end cards. I'm hoping to get something new
    that's at least as good as my 7950GT.

    I was trying to find something like CUDA cores to compare the 7950, but I
    have noticed that the older cards don't seem to have a CUDA core
    specification. I was thinking that the overall clock speed would be
    something to look at.

    The 7960 has a 550MHz core clock, while the GT 610 has an 810MHz core
    clock, but it only has a 64-bit memory bus, while the 7950GT has a 256-bit
    memory bus.

    As for memory, it looks like even the lowest model of the current GeForce
    line has 512 megabytes, so that's not a problem.

    Also, I'm wondering about any special "features" like PhysX or any other
    bells and whistles. I'm assuming all Nvidia cards have all the same bells
    and whistles as far as real-time rendering goes, while the price comes in
    when you start paying for extra memory, better memory, and faster clock
    speeds.

    So I guess the simplest way to ask the question for now is: What current
    Nvidia card would be about the same as my old 7950GTOC? Finding that out,
    I can then see how much that costs and find out how much better of a card
    I can get with any extra money I can spend beyond today's equivalent of
    the 7950 to maybe get something a little better.

    Thanks for any help.

    This is what I'll be running, by the way. The 7950 is currently listed as
    part of my soon-to-be built system below:

    ..---------------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Asus Crosshair V Formula Z 990FX | |
    | AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5 GHz (AM3+) | |
    | 4x4 GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 2133 | |
    | Western Digital 320GB HD (NTFS) | |
    | BFG Tech GeForce 7950 GTOC 512MB | EAT AT JOE'S |
    | Mon: 27" Acer S271HL - 1920 x 1080 | |
    | PSU: Thermaltake SP-850AH3CCB 850w | |
    | (Installed New - July 2012) | |
    | UPS: APC 1500 XS | |
    |---------------------------------------------------------------------|
    | The only overclocked item is the factory-overclocked graphics card. |
    |---------------------------------------------------------------------|
    | OS - Dual Boot: MS Windows 8 (64-bit) |
    | MS Windows XP Home Edition - SP3 |
    '---------------------------------------------------------------------'
     
    Damaeus, Jan 1, 2013
    #1
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  2. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    nVidia GeForce GTX 650 ($120) versus nVidia GeForce 7950 GT PCI-E

    http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=681&card2=445

    Single point benchmarks don't have much merit, but if you're as
    lazy as I am, it's a start.

    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php

    GeForce 7950 GT 284
    GeForce GTX 650 1815

    That doesn't mean it's 6X faster all the time. Just for
    some specific thing.

    You can also use their "Best value" chart. This gives you
    a rating of the equivalent of "3DMarks per dollar". But it
    could well turn out, that a very "efficient" card costs
    $250 - you're getting a lot of "3DMarks per dollar" but the
    price point just happens to be too high for you. I just picked
    the GTX 650 randomly from the first site, and got lucky
    on the price.

    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_value.html

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 1, 2013
    #2
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  3. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Thanks. While I was waiting for replies (both from here and from
    tomshardware.com), I managed to do some digging and actually found that
    GPU Review site and came to the same conclusion. I had been looking at
    the GT 640; it had a much lower memory bandwidth, but appeared to be just
    slightly faster overall. I have already ordered an MSI-brand GTX 650 just
    a little while ago. I'm not typically one to buy mid-range cards, but
    then I've never been quite as poor as I am right now. Looking at the
    comparison on gpureview.com, it looks like the pixel fill rate is almost
    twice as fast, the memory bandwidth is almost twice as wide, and the
    texture fill-rate is way beyond twice as fast, which I assume is because
    of the PhysX technology. I'll still get to see a little comparison
    because I'll have to run the 7950GT for a few days while I wait for the
    GTX 650.

    I was just going to stick with the 7950 until I could get a high-end
    graphics card, but I read that Windows 8 actually uses DirectX 11 to do
    things more quickly (probably eye-candy stuff) so I went ahead and got
    what I could afford now. It was $119.99 on Newegg.com with free shipping.
    I really wanted the Asus version, but it was $124.99 plus shipping of
    $6.98, which, I'm ashamed to say, would have overdrawn my checking
    account.

    Thanks again. I feel pretty comfortable that the GTX 650 will be at least
    as good as the 7950 and it appears that it'll be significantly better,
    even though the 7950 has 256-bit memory pipeline versus the GTX650's
    128-bit pipeline.

    I hope there's nothing wrong with any of my parts. I've got a little cash
    in my pocket, but I was hoping to get something else not computer-related
    with it. Shopping for parts stresses me out because I don't want to get
    anything that's defective or that won't work as I was expecting.

    Damaeus
     
    Damaeus, Jan 1, 2013
    #3
  4. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    If Windows 8 is using hardware acceleration in some important way,
    it's hiding it pretty well.

    Metro apps might use acceleration in some way, but I almost never
    run Metro stuff on my Windows 8 desktop. My monitor isn't wide
    enough for Snap (1366 versus my monitor is only 1280 across),
    so right there, my hardware isn't good enough. I guess I have
    to be "Apple Rich" and buy a brand new wide monitor with touch,
    to be with the "in crowd". You know, the cool kids :)

    As for mid-range video cards, I always feel regrets later, when
    I look at the my bone-yard of slow and lonely video cards. For example,
    I have a bushel of FX5200s, and no more driver support :)

    The main benefit you're likely to get from the new video card,
    is "buzz word compliance". Any new tech that games might use,
    your new card will have it. Whereas the 7950 will likely run all
    your old DirectX 9 games, you can look forward to running demos
    for the newer stuff, to see what all the excitement is about.
    And if some program needs GPGPU acceleration, you'll have a
    chance of trying that out as well.

    But will the new mid-range card make every heavy-weight game
    run like butter ? Probably not. Games designed to run sluggish
    on everything except Blue Gene, are still going to be slow,
    and need the detail turned down.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 1, 2013
    #4
  5. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    I was just going by some stuff I read about Windows 8 and DirectX 11. It
    was saying that Win8 will run with an older card, but I'd be "missing out"
    on some things that would happen faster with a DirectX 11 card.

    Here's a snippet:

    Here are some of the improvements you+IBk-ll notice in Windows 8
    running DirectX 11.1. You can read through this detailed article
    on Microsoft+IBk-s site for a complete rundown.

    There has been a substantial increase in text processing
    which not only makes text load quicker and look sharper, but
    also is less intensive on the CPU, which allows other
    applications to use the CPU while text is being processed.

    Tessellation (which refers to creating two-dimensional
    graphics by repeating the same triangle shape over and
    over). There has been a significant improvement in how
    Windows draws shapes and renders objects. They render more
    quickly with fewer resources.

    There has been a substantial improvement made in JPG and PNG
    image rendering (40% less time, according to their tests)
    which should significantly impact all users of Windows.

    There have been improvements in how DirectX processes
    screens that contain both text and embedded moving objects,
    which is typically seen on web pages with embedded videos.

    Source:
    http://www.reviversoft.com/blog/2012/08/directx-and-windows-8-what-you-need-to-know/

    It sounded good to me, so I went for it.
    I don't want a touch-screen. I just got a new monitor in November,
    anyway, and I was planning on it lasting me at least five years. And my
    head is so far away from the monitor that I'd have to sit up and lean
    forward instead of just relaxing while I do my thing.
    I wish I'd kept my old GeForce 6800 GT (AGP). That's what I was running
    on this motherboard before I built the Fatal1ty rig. But since I didn't
    think I'd ever need it again, I gave it to a co-worker. I've been wanting
    to stab myself in the eyes ever since my Fatal1ty broke down. That card
    ran really well on this Abit NF-7, and it would certainly be light years
    better than this crappy 5600XT.
    Yes, I'm looking forward to demos. I've got to do some writing and try to
    get something published before I can make some money. lol
    Well, the basic specifications make the GTX 660 look faster than the
    7950GT overall: more memory bandwidth, higher clock speed, faster memory,
    faster pixel fill-rate, faster texture fill-rate. I would think that it
    would run anything the 7950GT can run, and do it faster. I'm not into the
    latest high-demand games, although I'd like to be. I'd probably just
    continue playing what I have now until I can get a top-of-the-line Nvidia
    card. The newest game I have right now is The Sims 3, which runs on
    DirectX 9. And since there was a problem with my old motherboard (that
    bad, leaking capacitor that was like that from the day I got it just over
    six years ago), which I now think was the cause of jittery animations in
    most games, even if my new rig only ultimately runs games at the same
    speed as my old one, at least it won't have THAT particular jitter
    problem, which wasn't exhibited in all my games, but it did manifest in
    The Sims 3, Deus Ex, the PlayOnline portal program to Final Fantasy XI,
    Age of Empires III, and some other game I tried to play that I can't
    remember the name of. It didn't affect Farmville 2, Cityville 2, or Final
    Fantasy XI. But at least now I'll have a chance to try the 7950 on a
    different motherboard so I'll know for sure whether it was the motherboard
    or the GPU.

    I'm getting significant improvements in the CPU and memory, plus the
    motherboard, of course, and just the faster CPU alone should boost game
    performance, even if the graphics card itself doesn't.

    AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core 4200+- 2.1GHz ---->> AMD FX-6300 Six-Core 3.5 GHz
    2GB DDR2 800 ---->> 16GB DDR3 2133

    Since the CPU speed affects how fast the video card can do its thing, the
    combination of all these upgrades at once will probably impress me enough
    that I won't care, and then there's the DirectX 11 thing. I'll be current
    on that, at least. And this isn't a final solution card...it's temporary,
    too.

    Damaeus
     
    Damaeus, Jan 2, 2013
    #5
  6. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Oh, the video card I ordered from Newegg.com is shipped with a free full
    version of Assassin's Creed III. Someone reviewing a video card said that
    his came with that game, too, but said, "the game and video card was a
    dissapointing present to my son cause he could not play the game it came
    with." I don't know if that means it didn't run well on his machine, or
    his son was not good at playing it, or if it was too violent and his
    parent or guardian would not allow him to play it.

    :)

    Damaeus
     
    Damaeus, Jan 2, 2013
    #6
  7. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    It could be that the serial number in the box didn't work, or
    there was some other "delivery failure" between seeing the
    claim the game was included, and actually getting to use it.
    Check some more reviews, to see if anyone else had a problem.
    And since that offer would accompany other models of cards, there
    may be other reviews with more details available.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 2, 2013
    #7
  8. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Hello again. I got my new system built. It turns out that this new video
    card might have been necessary after all. I built this thing on Friday
    and used my old GeForce 7950 GTOC -- the one that was in the motherboard
    with the bad capacitor, which we discussed in another thread. And when I
    booted it up to install Windows 8, I'd see the Windows logo and a little
    timer/spinner, and then my system would reboot. I was using all the
    default settings in the BIOS.

    I asked around in some web forums (using my friend's computer, of course)
    and someone told me to change the BIOS to run the memory at its rated
    2133MHz and to change the voltage and timings. So I did that and actually
    got it up and running long enough to see the Windows 8 product key
    verification screen. But the product key was no good, so I decided to
    install Windows XP just to have something to use while I was getting the
    Windows 8 situation sorted out.

    WinXP gave me blue screens on installation, so I made a slipstream disc
    (learning along the way not to use Windows Vista to do this because it
    ruins the key validation) and finally got XP up and running. I thought I
    was doing great until the system rebooted itself after XP had been up and
    running for about an hour. Irritated with it, I tried lowering the memory
    speed. Then I lowered it some more. Then I did a little more research on
    the memory and found that 2133 MHz was its maximum tested speed at which
    it would run, but 1333 MHz was its standard speed, just like the BIOS
    detected automatically. But the system would run most poorly at those
    settings. I was certain to shorten my uptime by trying to load Farmville
    2. My PC rebooted every time with that attempt at loading a game, as well
    as rebooting when trying to launch Stormfall, another browser game. I was
    starting to think it was a bad motherboard or bad memory or something, so
    I started getting together some Memtest floppies to run a memory test, and
    I was preparing my case for an RMA on the motherboard, especially since it
    came in the wrong box. It's an Asus Crosshair V Formula Z that arrived in
    a box for an Asus Rampage IV Formula, and it had a bent pin where the
    Q-Connector goes, a dark smudge on one of the SATA ports, and a greasy
    fingerprint on the CMOS battery. I ordered an unopened box, but somehow I
    don't think this was unopened.

    Anyway, I was expecting a new video card today and decided to just wait
    and see if that made a difference. And so far, it has! The BIOS is
    currently set at its full default settings (except I disabled the Republic
    of Gamers startup logo) and WinXP has been up and running for probably
    20-25 minutes or so. My old 7950 GT would "rev" its fan when the system
    would reboot. Additionally, HWInfo32 shows this new video card's GPU
    temperature to be idling at 26+ALo-C, while the 7950 GT was idling at 57-60+ALo-C,
    even though the fan was running on it, though only at 20%. The new card's
    fan is running at 40%.

    Right now, I'm ecstatic because at least it runs at default settings,
    which is what I was after. I want stability, not overclocking. I just
    hope that running that old 7950GT in THIS motherboard didn't spread its
    sickness to my new hardware.

    I'm calming down a bit, but I'm still finding it hard to relax. I'm
    hoping this system lasts me at least six years like my old one did, unless
    I get enough money together to build computers more often. It'd be nice
    to be able to build a new one about every two years or so.

    Anyway, with my 7950GT in this thing, what few times I was able to run
    Coasterville, I was impressed with the fluidity of the animation. I never
    got to run that game in my old rig because it came out after it fried, but
    it certainly runs far more smoothly on my new stuff than it does on my
    roommate's PC, which has the same amount of RAM as my old system, and the
    same speed dual-core processor, but his has an integrated Intel G33/31
    graphics chip which may make a difference in some browser games.

    That's my update, long-winded though it was.
     
    Damaeus, Jan 8, 2013
    #8
  9. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    The fan revving on the 7950 is normal. It's designed to run at
    a high fan setting, until the driver loads. Then the fan is turned
    down by the driver. There's only one problem with that - if you
    happen to boot Linux while using the 7950 (like a LiveCD), the fan
    could well stay at the top setting for the entire section. The
    driver code might be in the NVidia-produced driver, but
    not in the default Linux driver.

    I hated that behavior enough, I control the video card fan
    separately. The setting the driver uses, is now irrelevant.
    The fan runs off a separate power path. I adjusted the fan
    voltage, so I get the same fan speed as before (when the
    driver was under control). It means I have the nuisance of a
    few extra wires, right next to my video card.

    +ACoAKgAqACoAKgAqACo-

    You can still give memtest86+ACs- a try if you want. It's
    all part of checking your new build.

    I also run Prime95 for at least four hours, as it makes
    a good RAM tester as well. Executables are available for
    multiple OSes. This runs multi-threaded, and gives each
    core something to do. (Sometimes the site is down, so if
    at first you don't get through, try again a few hours later.)

    http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/

    When it asks to "Join GIMPS", answer "Just Testing". Then,
    you can use the program for its math testing skills. You can
    set the testing for "mixed", which does large FFTs and small
    FFTs. The large FFTs can occupy a lot of RAM, while the
    small ones run in CPU cache. You get to select the amount
    of RAM to use. On my 32 bit OS here, that might be limited to
    around 1800MB. I've not tested any 64 bit versions of the
    program yet. The "working bits" of the program, are
    coded in assembler for speed. That also helps load the CPU
    fully, and makes it a more demanding test to pass.

    The program can detect math errors, and knows what the answer
    should be. If your machine is the least bit unstable, the
    program will detect that as a math error, and a red colored
    screen entry will show the thread has stopped. A testing
    thread stops if it detects a single error. If you
    had a 4C-8T processor, maybe it'll run eight test threads,
    and split the tested memory amongst all of them. In four
    hours, you want all eight threads to maintain a "green"
    status, still running.

    If it did detect an error, it won't necessarily show a
    memory address. You would have to use your brain, to figure
    out test strategies, to narrow down the error to a particular
    stick of RAM. It can be done, but it's a bit of a nuisance.
    For that matter, even the readout on memtest86+ACs- can leave
    you guessing, as to which stick is at fault. So in some ways,
    the same problems exists when using memtest86+ACs-. Since
    individual DIMMs have such high capacities now, in many cases
    you can drop down to an individual stick of RAM, and retest,
    and see if the error shows up. Running two sticks in single
    channel mode, and swapping them for a second testing session,
    is another way to get full test coverage.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 8, 2013
    #9
  10. Damaeus

    Ant Guest

    Yeah, I saw this behavior too with my old GeForce 8800 GT video card and
    the closed NVIDIA binary drivers in Debian. I used to exit X to idle
    console mode, but that made my video card fan spin loud and fast.

    Is it difficult/hard to do?
    --
    "For example, the tiny ant, a creature of great industry, drags with its
    mouth whatever it can, and adds it to the heap which she is piling up,
    not unaware nor careless of the future." --Horace, Satires, Book I, I, 33.
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Jan 9, 2013
    #10
  11. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    I needed some connector pins, connector shells, wires, and
    some 1N4000 series diodes.

    I made a Y cable for the fan, because my motherboard didn't
    have enough fan headers. The Y cable, allows one fork of the
    Y to run a regular fan, the other fork runs the video card fan.
    My local electronics store has male and female fan cable connectors
    I can use.

    The video card has a 12V fan on it. On some older fans years
    ago, I think they've also used 5V on occasion. So you have to be
    careful with what kind of fan it is.

    The diodes drop some voltage. I suppose I could use resistors,
    or I could even use an LM317 variable voltage regulator, and do a
    nice job. Diodes are just a tradition in my ghetto PC projects :)
    The diode drops 0.7V. Putting 7 of them in series
    gives a drop of 4.9V. 12 - 4.9V gives about 7 volts for the fan.

    If the fan speed isn't fast enough, you take one of the diodes
    out of the chain. The diodes dissipate a small enough amount of
    power, they don't need special effort at cooling them. If you
    do this with a monster 1 ampere fan, then expect smoke :)
    No matter what you use, you always check the power dissipated
    doesn't overheat something (volts times current).

    +12 ---diode--diode--diode--diode--diode--diode--fan---+
    |
    GND ---------------------------------------------------+

    That's the basic idea.

    If you look hard enough, you might be able to find a pre-built
    commercial solution. For example, some small company in Germany
    was building fan controllers years ago, and that thing may have had
    three pin fan headers on it. Then, you could run the video card
    fan over to a thing like that, and adjust for the speed you want.

    I do things like this, mainly because I can... rather than because
    I should. I was just so annoyed about the 100% fan speed, and
    just thinking about being treated like that by NVidia, I had to
    do something about it. The thing is, if NVidia put their minds to
    it, they could have completely automated the cooling function
    in hardware. There was no excuse for a 1950's style "wait for
    the driver to figure it out" type solution. I know that using
    software to fill in "hardware gaps" is popular in some circles,
    but eventually it gets a bit old.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 9, 2013
    #11
  12. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    Some how my diagram lost its +12V feed :)
    We'll see if this works any better. Here, I removed
    a diode to give a little more voltage to the fan.

    +12V ---diode--diode--diode--diode--diode--diode--fan---+
    |
    GND ----------------------------------------------------+

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 9, 2013
    #12
  13. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Oh god. Well, I've tested the GeForce GTX 650 on a couple of browser
    games to compare it to the 7950 GT. This GTX 650 thing is HORRIBLE! I
    was able to use the 7950 GT for a little bit on CoasterVille before my PC
    rebooted itself and the animations were so smooth and I was so delighted.
    This 650 makes the game play more like my roommate's dual-core 2 GHz
    processor, though it's not quite that bad, and I have a six-core 3.5 GHz
    processor. Mine looks like about 25 frames per second. His looks more
    like 10 frames per second, at best. My 7950 GT looked like 60 frames per
    second. I'm so disappointed. At this point, the only thing that makes
    THIS card better than my old one is the fact that my PC hasn't rebooted
    with it in there. ::: ( I added this parenthetical to a saved draft I
    was composing earlier: ... My PC rebooted itself again after behaving for
    about 3.5 hours. The rest of this was written yesterday afternoon as the
    above portion was.)

    I'm just utterly disgusted. I thought I was looking at the most important
    comparisons when checking the GPU Review website, not that it mattered. I
    only had so much money to spend and I couldn't afford a higher-priced
    card. :( But remember, studies say having more money won't make you any
    happier. Yeah, right!

    I hope you have fixed-width:

    7950 GT GTX 650
    ..===============================================|====================.
    | GPU: | G71 | GK107 |
    | Release Date: | 2006-09-06 | 2012-09-13 |
    | Interface: | PCI-E x16 | PCI-E 3.0 x16 |
    | Core Clock: | 550 MHz | 1058 MHz |
    | Shader Clock: | --- | 1058 MHz |
    | Memory Clock: | 700 MHz (1400 DDR) | 2500 MHz (5000 DDR)|
    | RAMDACs (MHz) | 400 | |
    | CUDA Cores | | 384 |
    | Memory Bandwidth: | 44.8 GB/sec | 80 GB/sec |
    | Standard Memory | 512 MB DDR3 | 1024 MB GDDR5 |
    | Shader Operations: | 13200 MOperations/sec | --- |
    | Pixel Fill Rate: | 8800 MPixels/sec | 16928 MPixels/sec |
    | Texture Fill Rate: | 13200 MTexels/sec | 33856 MTexels/sec |
    | Vertex Operations: | 1100 MVertices/sec | --- |
    | FLOPS | --- | 812.544 GFLOPS |
    | Px. per clock (peak) | 24 | |
    | Memory Bus | 256-bit | 128-bit |
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------|
    | Passmark G3D Mark | 287 | 1822 |
    '====================================================================`


    It LOOKS like the GTX 650 is better if the texture fill rate, pixel fill
    rate memory bandwidth and all that jazz is supposed to be important. I
    don't see why the GTX 650 can have higher specifications in those areas,
    and yet perform at such a dramatically inferior level. I had more
    comparisons in the chart, but since I already know I don't want to keep
    this GTX 650, I didn't bother adding more.

    In actual use, it most definitely is NOT better than the 7950 GT, at least
    in the few games I was trying out as a test. Granted, they aren't
    full-fledged stand-alone games. The two I tested as best I could were
    CoasterVille and FarmVille 2, which might be "meh" games to serious
    gamers, but since I don't have any rockin' heavy games to play right now,
    I get my entertainment with games I can play for free. With the GTX 650,
    animations in CoasterVille were choppy, almost as bad as my friend's PC,
    which has an Intel dual-core 2.21 GHz processor and an Intel G33/G31
    Express integrated graphics chip. That's pretty embarrasing for the GTX
    650, but I never tested it on a real game. I took it out of my system
    because the 7950 GT plays the game with far more fluidity. Farmville 2
    was even on the verge of being unplayable. It certainly wasn't enjoyable.
    I'm hoping I can get a refund on it, or even a store credit at Newegg.com
    so I can put that credit toward a better video card in the
    future...preferably an Nvidia card that supports DirectX 11.1 so I can get
    the full benefit of it in Windows 8.

    One thing that does have me baffled, though, is why Farmville 2 isn't
    showing up with all the "pretties" it had in my old Fatal1ty setup. All
    my hardware (except the hard drive and case) are newer and better than my
    old stuff, and I'm using the same video card. Yet I can't zoom out as far
    in FarmVille 2, the full-screen button is gone, plus there are several
    animations missing, as well as game elements like the tall, animated grass
    in areas I haven't expanded my farm to yet. I'm using the same driver I
    was using before, too; I've got the latest version of the Flash player;
    and I've disabled Pepperflash in Chrome, which is the browser I was using
    before. I don't have all the Windows updates yet, but I don't think I had
    these updates before, either, because I had them disabled for so long. I
    later downloaded them all when I started having problems on the Fatal1ty.
    Can you think of anything I might be missing that would make Farmville
    look like a game designed on the cheap?

    Anyway, I've changed my setup again. I put the 7950 GT back in, and I'm
    not powering the PC using my battery backup anymore. It's actually a
    couple of years beyond its three years of service, but it was behaving and
    it still gave me 20-25 minutes of uptime during power outages. But
    someone suggested it might be going bad and he suggested trying it plugged
    into the wall instead. I just stuck it in a surge protector. So far,
    I've had no issues...but then I said that before about the GTX 650 until I
    had another reboot. Yet before, with the 7950 GT and automatic
    configuration of memory speed, timing, etc..., this thing would not even
    last for 10-15 seconds past exiting the BIOS before it was rebooting. It
    did better if I raised the memory speed to 2133 MHz, and changed the
    timing and voltage to match, but I still eventually had a reboot.

    While I hate running without a battery since I feel vulnerable to spikes
    and outages (I feel like a UPS is more protective than a regular old surge
    protector), at least I might be able to stay up and running until I can
    get a new UPS.

    Damaeus
     
    Damaeus, Jan 9, 2013
    #13
  14. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    Are you uninstalling and reinstalling the driver when changing cards ?

    Steps I'd do if changing cards.

    1) 7950 in place.
    Go to Add/Remove.
    Remove driver.
    Shutdown.
    2) Change cards.
    Install the 650.
    3) Start system.
    System comes up in 800x600 and 16 colors.
    Install a recent NVidia driver which supports 650.
    Test.

    And vice-versa when going back to the 7950. Give the
    driver the chance to optimize settings for the newly
    installed card.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 9, 2013
    #14
  15. Damaeus

    Paul Guest

    The problem with the games, is how they're implemented.

    http://support.zynga.com/article/coasterville/Recommended-System-Requirements1-en_US

    "Browser Version

    Flash Version
    Adobe Flash Player v.10.2 and up <--- hardware accelerated version ?
    <--- hardware acceleration enabled ?
    (Maybe accel is only for video)

    Java Version
    JAVA SE 6 and up
    "

    So it's a Java and Flash game, rather than DirectX.

    It might be using 2D operations on the card, like BITBLT.
    And I don't really know if either Java or Flash, have
    assist from hardware or not.

    It probably has some dependency on processor.

    "AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5 GHz (AM3+)"

    versus the old system

    "Abit Fatal1ty AN9 32x
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+"
    Probably 2.2GHz, 2 x 512KB L2 Cache

    Chances are, your new setup for whatever reason, is
    rendering everything via CPU. And the GPU is being
    used as a dumb frame buffer. Otherwise, your new
    hardware should have had some advantages.

    They'd probably list all their cards, if they
    thought about it. There do seem to be differences,
    when for example, a card doesn't work properly with
    Flash. They're not all created as equal as this page
    would suggest.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/gpus_supporting_adobeflash.html

    *******

    If you want to benchmark, there's the 3DMark series.
    This would be testing a really old version of Direct3D,
    but I like it because it's a relatively small download.
    (I have one other demo that is only 4MB, but it kinda
    sucks as a test. Not enough graphics load.)

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/3Dmark_d99.html

    You should be able to do better than the following,
    with either of your cards (44089 3DMark2001). Just click
    the Benchmark button and let it run. I get in the low
    200's of FPS for the Nature scene for example. The FPS
    varies during the scene, from around 200, to a spike of
    around 400. But the low end of 200's covers it.

    http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/3933/3dmark2001se.gif

    Also, when the MerryGoRound scene appears, I get a
    bit of "coil noise" coming from either my video card
    or the motherboard :) Just for that sense of realism.
    I guess.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Jan 9, 2013
    #15
  16. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    Yes, I did install different drivers. In fact, I had to download a
    different driver for each card. The driver I downloaded for the 650 would
    not recognize the 7950 GTOC. Are you saying that the 650 SHOULD be better
    than the 7950 GTOC? I know we've talked about this before, but if the 650
    should be better in general, I might keep it. I'll see if Flash is in
    hardware or software mode and I'll retest the 650 to see if it changes
    anything. If it is a better performer, I'd be happy to keep it, though I
    wish it had DirectX 11.1 support, and not just DirectX 11.

    I've already boxed the new card back up in preparation for a refund or
    store credit, though depending on what hardware issue is causing these
    reboots, I may need that money for RMAs. I'm glad I have 30 days for
    exchanges. Tracking this problem down has been difficult and I'm not done
    yet.

    I think I've ruled out the UPS. I kept the monitor connected to the UPS
    because I was too lazy to unplug the other stuff plugged into it to just
    hook everything to a regular surge protector to see if it makes a
    difference having nothing at all hooked to the UPS. I'm just afraid these
    sudden reboots, if caused by power problems, are going to damage
    everything I've just bought. I can't take that. I'm about to have a
    stroke over this because I simply can't afford to replace all this if some
    faulty equipment that isn't new fries everything else I have. And I'm
    just trying to get it up and stable I can try to earn some money writing.
    Then computer problems won't be so stressful. lol If I had the available
    cash, I wouldn't mind just replacing everything that's questionable.

    Damaeus
     
    Damaeus, Jan 10, 2013
    #16
  17. Damaeus

    Damaeus Guest

    I take it all back now. The GTX 650 is a LOT better than the 7950 GTOC. I
    installed The Sims 3, which is the most recent game I have, and at 1920 x
    1080, maxed out all the graphical bells and whistles (except distant lot
    detail), spinning the camera around a full 60 x 60 lot was smooth and
    wonderful to see. I put in the 7950 GTOC, changed the driver again, and
    then set the graphics settings to the highest (except distant lot detail
    again), and the animation was choppy and not impressive at all. It was
    flat-out annoying.

    So I put the GTX 650 back in and that's where it's staying. Interestingly,
    I tried CoasterVille again on Facebook and the GTX 650 actually seemed to
    be performing better than it did before. Maybe it just needed its
    switches warmed up and loosened some with some activity.

    I also tried Deus Ex, which is an older game that runs on DirectX 7. For
    that one, both cards were actually about the same, but while I could
    select 1920 x 1080 as a resolution, selecting that seemed to actually bump
    it down to about 1024 x 768 or something. All the menus, controls, etc...
    got larger instead of smaller. It definitely wasn't 1920 x 1080. I tried
    a 1600 x 900, I think it was...or whatever the 16:9 resolution is. I
    haven't memorized them yet because I'm new to widescreen computing. But
    the game performance was the same with both cards. I just forgot to test
    32-bit color with the GTX 650. With 16-bit color, the game was just ugly.

    7950 GTOC's temperature in The Sims 3 went from an idling 58+ALo-C to 90+ALo-C and
    the fan went to 40%. In Deus Ex, it only went to about 62+ALo-C.

    The GTX 650's temperature in The Sims 3 went from an idling 25+ALo-C or so (I
    don't remember exactly) to 47+ALo-C. In Deus Ex, it went to 32+ALo-C.

    Well, I'm happy now. I've retired the 7950 GTOC, but it'll be nice to
    have it as a backup. It's the only other PCIe card I have.

    I'm hoping that the GTX 650's DirectX 11 support will pull out more eye
    candy when I get Windows 8 installed.

    Damaeus
     
    Damaeus, Jan 11, 2013
    #17
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